The Wars
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The Wars

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    Jackwagon Patrolman Rexone's Avatar
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    Default The Wars

    Reading this latest report on Afghanistan causes me to take pause thinking about history. History of the Vietnam War, which I viewed on TV as a teenager. History of the Soviet’s unsuccessful foray into Afghanistan in a different time for different reason but same place, same conditions, same country and similar rugged adversaries.

    Are we there to win something or are we just there? Are we saddled by political correctness preventing winning for many years and costing many lives? Do we have a definite goal of what winning will consist of in both Iraq and Afghanistan? Do we as a country think we will know when we have won or accomplished our mission? Do we know what the mission is? Is it when all Al Quieda and Taliban are exterminated? If that is the case is it even feasible? If it is feasible would it alienate half the world that isn't already alienated simply by the level of military might it would require? I don't think there's much of a question if we could win militarily if politics would allow it. But will politics ever allow it? If not, how many more American and allied soldiers will die before we exit similar to Vietnam or the Soviet Afghan deal? Were both these wars seriously compromised in the opening months by not using enough military force to eliminate the threats before they dissipated into the population and environment?

    Questions I often ponder. I certainly support our troops and agree with the idea of taking the war to the terrorists that attacked us on 911. I am just quite uncertain our commanders (political and military) are able to get the job done due to restrictive rules of engagement and other political restrictions. I do believe that Bin Laden and a much larger slice of the bad guys would be gone by now if it were not for politics over past years and continuing.

    None of the large wars were won without a lot collateral damage. Can it even be accomplished? Can a politically correct or surgical war ever be won by anyone?



    That latest report...

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090921/...us_afghanistan

    By ANNE GEARAN, AP National Security Writer Anne Gearan, Ap National Security Writer

    WASHINGTON – The situation in Afghanistan is growing worse, and without more boots on the ground the U.S. risks failure in a war it's been waging since September 2001, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan says in a confidential report.

    "Resources will not win this war, but under-resourcing could lose it," Gen. Stanley McChrystal wrote in a five-page Commander's Summary. His 66-page report, sent to Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Aug. 30, is now under review by President Barack Obama.

    Details of McChrystal's assessment were first reported late Sunday by The Washington Post. The newspaper posted a link to the report on its Web site, with some operational details withheld at the request of the Pentagon.

    "Although considerable effort and sacrifice have resulted in some progress, many indicators suggest the overall effort is deteriorating," McChrystal said of the war's progress.

    While asserting that more troops are needed, McChrystal also pointed out an "urgent need" to significantly revise strategy. The U.S. needs to interact better with the Afghan people, McChrystal said, and better organize its efforts with NATO allies.

    "We run the risk of strategic defeat by pursuing tactical wins that cause civilian casualties or unnecessary collateral damage. The insurgents cannot defeat us militarily; but we can defeat ourselves," he wrote.

    In his blunt assessment of the tenacious Taliban insurgency, McChrystal warned that unless the U.S. and its allies gain the initiative and reverse the momentum of the militants within the next year the U.S. "risks an outcome where defeating the insurgency is no longer possible"

    The Pentagon and the White House are awaiting a separate, more detailed request for additional troops and resources. Media reports Friday and Saturday said McChrystal has finished it but was told to pocket it, partly because of the charged politics surrounding the decision. McChrystal's senior spokesman, Rear Adm. Gregory Smith, told The Associated Press on Sunday the report is not complete.

    Obama is re-evaluating whether the renewed focus on hunting al-Qaida that he announced just months ago has become blurred and whether more forces will do any good.

    "Are we doing the right thing?" he asked during one of a series of interviews broadcast Sunday. "Are we pursuing the right strategy?"

    A spokesman for Afghanistan's Defense Ministry said Sunday the Afghan government would not second-guess international military commanders on the need for more troops, but said that the greatest need is actually on the other side of the Afghan-Pakistan border.

    "The focus should be on those points and areas where the insurgency is infiltrating Afghanistan," he said, referring to the Pakistan border region where Taliban and al-Qaida fighters hide and plan attacks.

    In Congress, the war has taken on a highly partisan edge. Senate Republicans are demanding more forces to turn around a war that soon will enter its ninth year, while members of Obama's own Democratic Party are trying to put on the brakes. Obama said in the Sunday interviews that he will not allow politics to govern his decision.

    Nor has the president asked his top commander in Afghanistan to sit on a request for U.S. reinforcements in a backsliding war.

    "No, no, no, no," Obama responded when asked whether he or aides had directed McChrystal to temporarily withhold a request for additional U.S. forces and other resources.

    But he gave no deadline for making a decision about whether to send more Americans into harm's way.

    "The only thing I've said to my folks is, 'A, I want an unvarnished assessment, but, B, I don't want to put the resource question before the strategy question,'" Obama said. "Because there is a natural inclination to say, 'If I get more, then I can do more.'"

    Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Congress last week he expected McChrystal's request for additional forces and other resources "in the very near future."

    Other military officials had said the request would go to McChrystal's boss, Gen. David Petraeus, and up the chain of command in a matter of weeks. The White House discounted that timeline, but has remained vague about how long it would take to receive the report and act on it.

    In the interviews taped Friday at the White House, Obama mentioned concerns about the "mission creep" that befell former President George W. Bush's attempt to build and prop up a viable democratic government in a country unaccustomed to central rule and sensitive to foreign meddling.

    Obama said he's asking this question now of the military regarding his plan: "How does this advance America's national security interests? How does it make sure that al-Qaida and its extremist allies cannot attack the United States homeland, our allies, our troops who are based in Europe?"

    "If supporting the Afghan national government and building capacity for their army and securing certain provinces advances that strategy, then we'll move forward," the president continued. "But if it doesn't, then I'm not interested in just being in Afghanistan for the sake of being in Afghanistan or saving face or, in some way, you know, sending a message that America is here for the duration."

    Obama spoke on CNN's "State of the Union," ABC's "This Week," NBC's "Meet the Press," and CBS' "Face the Nation."

    ___

    Associated Press writer Rahim Faiez in Kabul contributed to this report.

    ___

    On the Net:

    A link to McChrystal's summary and report is at: http://www.washingtonpost.com

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    "On the road again..." Old Texan's Avatar
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    Obama's in a position that will clearly define a lot about his character. He has a situation where he may not be able to win no matter his decision. On that note I hope he doesn't cost a lot of lives by trying to stay without giving a chance to win a war, that even with effort may not be able to be won.

    The Taliban are growing stronger and have nothing but time on their side. The only way to defeat them is from within, by the will of the Afghan and Pakistani people, not by outside forces. If it was me, I'd back off on the ground troops and offer heavy air and missile attacks with the local forces doing the dirty work. But this doesn't seem feasible without the local support of both the people and government. And air and missiles create a lot of collateral damage that the people will not support.

    So what do you do?????? Hopefully O addressing the UN isn't going to be some new strategy of getting the "World" invloved in, "making" the Taliban back off, like that is ever going to happen. I'm afraid we are in a bad position of having to either go in full tilt with great loss of life or back off and give the Taliban what will appear to be a victory.

    This is where we will get a true view of O's character in how he manages what in reality is a no win situation. Bigger War, he loses the bulk of his Dem/Left support, pull out and he will be viewed as allowing the terrorists of the Middle East and Radical Islam a major victory.
    "Bottle by bottle, I'm clearing off that shelf...."

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    Senior Member Ms Understood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Texan View Post
    Obama's in a position that will clearly define a lot about his character. He has a situation where he may not be able to win no matter his decision. On that note I hope he doesn't cost a lot of lives by trying to stay without giving a chance to win a war, that even with effort may not be able to be won.

    The Taliban are growing stronger and have nothing but time on their side. The only way to defeat them is from within, by the will of the Afghan and Pakistani people, not by outside forces. If it was me, I'd back off on the ground troops and offer heavy air and missile attacks with the local forces doing the dirty work. But this doesn't seem feasible without the local support of both the people and government. And air and missiles create a lot of collateral damage that the people will not support.

    So what do you do?????? Hopefully O addressing the UN isn't going to be some new strategy of getting the "World" invloved in, "making" the Taliban back off, like that is ever going to happen. I'm afraid we are in a bad position of having to either go in full tilt with great loss of life or back off and give the Taliban what will appear to be a victory.

    This is where we will get a true view of O's character in how he manages what in reality is a no win situation. Bigger War, he loses the bulk of his Dem/Left support, pull out and he will be viewed as allowing the terrorists of the Middle East and Radical Islam a major victory.
    I have read that O administration will accept blame for what is wrong with the World when addressing the UN.
    Also read that previous Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton gives Obama a grade of "absent" when it comes to foreign policy.



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    Senior Member Ron Hill's Avatar
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    Default Same Stuff, Different Day

    Johnson kept the Vietnm war going, to give the impression that he cared, all the while bushing his War on Poverty (You know the WAR where the welfare check replaced the DAD in most BLACK FAMILIES......) but the Demos sure got votes...

    Now Obama Mama is doing the same crap, to get his "HEALTHCARE PLAN" through....Insure all illegals, when they have eight kids, with free medical care, guess what party they will vote for?

    Obama could give a rats ass about any war!

    DId anyone read where OBAMA wants to get the FCC involved with the internet?? They want to shut me and 250 million Americans up....

    I was reading about the Mayor of Lancaster, CA, he said dealing with gangs?? There is no dealing with gangs, you rub them out.

    Bomb the country of Afganistan until it glows. GANGS RUN THERE....BOMB them until they wave the white flag.

    The only way to deal with a bully is kick his ass! Talbans are bullies. Killing them is the ONLY ANSWER! Just like during the crusades. FYI: ThaT WAS BEFORE THE ELECTROLA COLLEGE!!!!

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    Will work for Boat pronstar's Avatar
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    When politicians are involved, winning isn't possible. Because they don't want to win.

    - Vietnam's ridiculous rles of engagement.
    - Iraq's mosque "safehouses" for terrorists.
    - Our border...a 20-foot wall is far cheaper than what we're doing now...but keeping illegals out isn't the goal.
    - The UN making soldiers for hire illegal for African governments - then mass genocide ensues when they leave. While UN "Peacekeepers" are held hostage.
    - Pakistan hiding Taliban withing the safety of their border.
    - Afghani farmers that grow opium "to feed our families"...how about growing food, Einstein?

    Tell me again why Afghanistan isn't a parking lot?

    By comparison, look at WWII.
    The Allies did *anything and everything* to win, because we had to.
    And guess what? Our enemies are doing "anything and everything" to win.

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    Temporarily Pacified! donzi5150's Avatar
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    One of my Grandfathers biggest complaints as a combat Vet from WWII and Korea was WH involvement. He always told me stories about DC policies disrupting military policy and objectives. He always conveyed this thought, "Tell us the objective and get the hell out of the way!" When I entered the military and was involved with many operations across the world I saw and understood what he meant first hand.........Give them the objective and let the Generals and troops do their job....no Monday morning quarterback.


    "On every question of construction (of the Constitution) let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invent against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed."
    Thomas Jefferson letter to Justice William Johnson, June 12, 1823

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    Tex is pretty close to right on this. We just need to keep our eye on the towel headed, bearded guys we've let settle in our inner cities

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    Marine Organism Forkin' Crazy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirty Old Man View Post
    Tex is pretty close to right on this. We just need to keep our eye on the towel headed, bearded guys we've let settle in our inner cities
    AND our small towns!!!
    "An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life"

    - - Robert A. Heinlein

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    Jackwagon Patrolman Rexone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pronstar View Post

    Tell me again why Afghanistan isn't a parking lot?

    By comparison, look at WWII.
    The Allies did *anything and everything* to win, because we had to.
    And guess what? Our enemies are doing "anything and everything" to win.

    Pretty much sums it up I guess.

    Just appears under present ROE and plan that the US and NATO will become another in the long line of countries that have gone into Afghanistan and left with little accomplished. Perhaps I'm just being a pessimist in this case, I don't know. 8 years is a long time though. It's 8 years today.

  11. #10
    Living in a cage of fear thatguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pronstar View Post
    When politicians are involved, winning isn't possible. Because they don't want to win.

    - Vietnam's ridiculous rles of engagement.
    - Iraq's mosque "safehouses" for terrorists.
    - Our border...a 20-foot wall is far cheaper than what we're doing now...but keeping illegals out isn't the goal.
    - The UN making soldiers for hire illegal for African governments - then mass genocide ensues when they leave. While UN "Peacekeepers" are held hostage.
    - Pakistan hiding Taliban withing the safety of their border.
    - Afghani farmers that grow opium "to feed our families"...how about growing food, Einstein?

    Tell me again why Afghanistan isn't a parking lot?

    By comparison, look at WWII.
    The Allies did *anything and everything* to win, because we had to.
    And guess what? Our enemies are doing "anything and everything" to win.

    Pretty clear picture right here.
    Tommy
    Quote Originally Posted by Rexone View Post
    Tommy please remove all Jimsplace quotes from your sig and don't put more back. He doesn't like it and it is against the rules. Thank you.
    "So as through a glass, and darkly
    The age long strife I see
    Where I fought in many guises,
    Many names, but always me."

    Gen. George S Patton

  12. #11
    Already miss the 310/562 2manymustangs's Avatar
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    Rex, Barry S. said he was going to end this AND the Iraq war and bring our troops home... He also said he is gonna close GITMO... I'm still holding out HOPE...

    Don't you believe he is a man of his word???
    Pat Eason, the voice of reason...

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    Living in a cage of fear thatguy's Avatar
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    I think the reality of what he is facing became clear post election.
    His campaign BS was no way plausible to anyone with a brain, even himself.

    Now, he is trying to spin a way to break his promises and blame someone or something else.

    As far as the Wars, the reason for Afghanistan is the Taliban plain and simple.
    If we are not going to aggressively pursue Taliban strongholds, Taliban supporters, and Taliban cells with little concern for so called collateral damage (think Israeli tactics here), then there is no reason to stay.

    Of course, this then opens the door for guaranteed future terrorist attacks and by default puts us in a predominantly defensive posture with fingers crossed.

    My take is we should concentrate our efforts on full scale Taliban eradication in Afghanistan, if any one (Pakistan?) complains, hit them next.
    We have the means, but the world knows that we will ONLY respond and conduct in a "PC" manner. The Taliban plans on that in there attacks.
    Case in point, NO response after 9/11 for 28 days. Even LONGER than they counted on.
    Tommy
    Quote Originally Posted by Rexone View Post
    Tommy please remove all Jimsplace quotes from your sig and don't put more back. He doesn't like it and it is against the rules. Thank you.
    "So as through a glass, and darkly
    The age long strife I see
    Where I fought in many guises,
    Many names, but always me."

    Gen. George S Patton

  14. #13
    Already miss the 310/562 2manymustangs's Avatar
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    Rex, sorry for the smart ass reply earlier...

    One would think that after 8 years we would know the turf far better than the yokals SINCE we have the droans, unlimited funds, listening/spy technology, all sorts of airial surveillance and deep under cover folks that have been embedded for years now...

    I can't think of a reason why we would want to stay in that hell hole except to:

    A: keep a close eye on things next door in Paki OR
    B: lay claim to the vast untapped natural gas deposits

    I guess that I am suspicious IF we (U.S. Millitary) want it to end... Same for Iraq (and keeping an eye on Iran)...
    Pat Eason, the voice of reason...

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