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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Afghanistan, Done Right?

I have been writing a long screed about the progressive assault on just about everything, but I find myself repeating lots of stuff I wrote years ago. I will get back to it, but first I wanted to take a break and comment on the President's Afghanistan speech.

I thought it an excellent speech, and one that cannot be ignored.

So, of course, the mainstream media is trying to ignore it, with Bozos such as Jim Acosta of CNN sneeringly dismissing it in a tweet as not worthy of a presidential address to the nation:
  Aug 21MoreTypically a presidential prime time address comes with major policy announcement or marks pivotal moment for country. We didn't get that.
Clearly, Cosmo didn't listen to the speech or had his tweet all ready to go, and wasn't going to cancel sending it.

The speech had lots of meat, both visible and some, I think, cooking away in the bottom oven out of sight.

He also did something very significant: he acknowledged that he had changed his mind about pulling out of Afghanistan after spending time studying the situation. It's not often you hear that from a politician.

The President summed it all up quite nicely here,
[T]he consequences of a rapid exit are both predictable and unacceptable: 9/11, the worst terrorist attack in our history, was planned and directed from Afghanistan, because that country was ruled by a government that gave comfort and shelter to terrorists. A hasty withdrawal would create a vacuum that terrorists, including ISIS and Al-Qaeda, would instantly fill just as happened before September 11th. And as we know, in 2011, America hastily and mistakenly withdrew from Iraq. As a result, our hard-won gains slipped back into the hands of terrorist enemies. Our soldiers watched as cities they had fought for, and bled to liberate, and won, were occupied by a terrorist group called ISIS. The vacuum we created by leaving too soon gave safe haven for ISIS to spread, to grow, recruit, and launch attacks. 
We cannot repeat in Afghanistan the mistake our leaders made in Iraq. Third and finally, I concluded that the security threats we face in Afghanistan, and the broader region, are immense. Today 20 U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organizations are active in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The highest concentration in any region, anywhere in the world. For its part, Pakistan often gives safe haven to agents of chaos, violence, and terror. <...>
Another fundamental pillar of our new strategy is the integration of all instruments of American power—diplomatic, economic, and military—toward a successful outcome. Some day, after an effective military effort, perhaps it will be possible to have a political settlement that includes elements of the Taliban in Afghanistan, but nobody knows if or when that will ever happen. America will continue its support for the Afghan government and the Afghan military as they confront the Taliban in the field. Ultimately, it is up to the people of Afghanistan to take ownership of their future, to govern their society, and to achieve an ever-lasting peace. We are a partner and a friend, but we will not dictate to the Afghan people how to live or how to govern their own complex society. We are not nation building again. We are killing terrorists.
That is the essence of the threat and job we face. It is not enough to confine the jihadis to some remote place; they will kill us in our homes if we don't kill them in theirs.

Back in the nineteenth century, for example, most of the world could ignore some lunatic such as the Sudan's self-proclaimed Mahdi, aka Muhammad Ahmad, and his followers -- sort of an ISIS/AQ of its day. His apocalyptic pronouncements and promises to build a Caliphate probably did not resonate much in London and New York. In the end, of course, the British defeated this caliphate (Madihya) in 1898, nearly 15 years after the Mahdi himself had died. That jihadi movement of the nineteenth century posed a very limited threat to core Western civilization.

Not so today.

They might be born and raised in fetid caves and hovels in some of the most benighted countries on earth, but thanks to modern technology, progressive immigration laws, and the pronounced suicidal bent in today's Western civilization, the jihadis are welcomed into our midsts, paid to live among us, and protected by our enlightened legal and political systems. Then, in return, well, you know what happens then: Paris, Barcelona, Turku, San Bernardino, Malmo, Orlando, London, Madrid, Boston, New York, Ft. Hood, Sydney and on and on. They kill us. It seems Trump is promising to return the favor.

President Trump also has, it seems, stopped pulling the punches when it comes to Pakistan.
[T]he next pillar of our new strategy is to change the approach in how to deal with Pakistan. We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe-havens for terrorist organizations, the Taliban and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond. 
Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with our effort in Afghanistan. It has much to lose by continuing to harbor criminals and terrorists. In the past, Pakistan has been a valued partner. Our militaries have worked to together against common enemies. The Pakistani people have suffered greatly from terrorism and extremism. We recognize those contributions and those sacrifices. But Pakistan has also sheltered the same organizations that try every single day to kill our people. We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars. At the same time, they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting. But that will have to change. And that will change immediately.
He had a big shout out to India, reminding them of all the benefits they derive from their relations with the USA. That has to have them with sweaty palms in Islamabad.

The President also said he was unleashing our military and dropping many of the restrictions that had hampered them before. He also refused to announce deadlines or troop levels. All good.

OK. You can read the text for yourselves and decide.

Let me just add, that I think we are slowly moving to the Diplomad solution for Afghanistan: get out of nation-building (the US Army is not the Salvation Army); stop threatening them with Democracy, and use, even pay, the traditional warlords to help us to keep ISIS, AQ, Taliban in check; keep a potent military fist in Afghanistan that can strike quickly to provide either back-up or punishment for local authorities who don't keep their side of the bargain. This is not too dissimilar from how the British ruled South Asia. All that is new . . .

It is a good vision, well, as good as we can get given the mess we have this century. We, after all, are stuck with Afghanistan for the foreseeable future so might as well have a realistic approach to that particular mess.

49 comments:

  1. Agreed Agreed!
    My concern is "What happens when the next Obama comes into office?"
    Trump has *only* four or eight years to accomplish his goals.
    Anything that is not fully wrapped up in four (or eight) years, will be *deliberately* squandered by the next progressive administration.

    I hope Trump does not attempt to go lightly into Afghanistan. I am heartened by his rejection of political micromanagement of military conflicts. Obama and Johnson would just shake their heads in their sagacious smugness.

    - reader #1482

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    1. I've recently read a couple of accounts of the Vietnam war. My reaction was similar to yours; what a pity Eisenhower didn't grasp the nettle and remove his few hundred advisers from South Vietnam, instead of leaving the issue open for the dud JFK and the vile LBJ to muck up.

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  2. "it is up to the people of Afghanistan to take ownership of their future, to govern their society, and to achieve an ever-lasting peace." Why do politicians say daft things such as "ever-lasting"? It is especially daft in the context of Afghanistan and peace. Peace is not, on the whole, what Afghans do.

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    1. Yes, they all say that. But here, at least, President Trump is saying if the Afghans want peace they have to secure it.

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  3. The tweet I sent to the President and DoD, "This vet is glad to see ROE changes & hope no more unloaded weapon Amber status anywhere allowing our people to be killed." In Afghanistan in 2010, and maybe Iraq before that, some of our troops were operating on patrol NOT being locked and loaded, Amber status. Col. Hackworth told me that from recognizing a threat to being ready to fire took at a minimum 5 seconds. Plenty of time to get you killed. This was supposedly a policy because the enemy hid behind civilians and our guys may react too fast and kill civilians. So my sons life was worthless to the ass wipes who thought up this great policy.
    Reports are that the orders to the sentries at the Marine barracks in Lebanon during Reagan's time in office was to be at Amber status. That cost the lives of 243 Marines. But this stupidity goes back to even Vietnam. A good friend, a former Marine, told me that while on sentry duty he saw a VC aiming an RPG at his post and he shot and killed him. He was about to be brought up on charges, since he did not get permission to fire, but someone higher up realized the stupidity of such an action and stopped the investigation.
    My Constitution is not a suicide pact between the people and government. While we need to adhere to our values, we need not get our people killed by placing others lives over our own as a SOP; PC has no place in war!

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    1. My solution to this and many other problems is to have those who make the decisions have skin in the game. If you make the ROEs, you have to be right there with the soldiers who have to deal with the consequences of your decision. No more lawyers at the Pentagon safe behind their desks.

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    2. Dakota Meyer was able to rescue US and Afghan troops in the ambush because he was not allowed to enter the village with his team. He was being punished for shooting at Taliban lobbing mortars into the base. The excuse was that "they were not in uniform." The story is in his book.

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    3. Under Geneva Accords, not in uniform gives us the right to kill them; even execute them in the field. In Iraq many some patrols included the Polish because under their rules of engagement they didn't have to see a firearm to shoot someone. In particular those out after curfew which were off limits to Americans shooting.

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  4. Further to your point: when I joined the Foreign Service in 1978, the Marine Guards at our Embassy were not allowed to have their weapons loaded. Absurd.

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    1. Would the absurdity not depend on which embassy it was?

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    2. "Maybe" in 1978. Given what has happened around the world in recent years, it would not today. There is no "safe" place where preparedness is not mandatory today.

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    3. If you are going to handicap an embassy Marine Guard's most basic function (repelling hostile actors) by unloading his weapon, then why have him there at all? All you are doing is offering up a sacrificial victim to anti-American action.
      Just as with ROE in the ME, if you're not going to let our troops fight as they have been trained, that is to kill the enemy and blow things up, then don't put them in the position of goat-bait tied to a tree.

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  5. I'll reiterate the phrase that dearieme quoted:

    "...it is up to the people of Afghanistan to take ownership of their future, to govern their society, and to achieve an ever-lasting peace."

    Clearly, this is a pipe-dream. If we step back, the Islamists step forward. That will not change.

    This means, then, that Afghanistan is our little tar-baby, now and forever. One can argue that this dismal reality is the best of a lot of bad options, but let's at least be clear about it.

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    1. Radical muslims have always reacted poorly, as in ignoring or increasing operational tempo, to soft politics.

      On the other hand, they have, since they first came upon this earth, reacted in a positive manner to overwhelming force, either by dying or by withdrawing into their hovels.

      Trump has announced the end to soft politics and the beginning of hard politics. No more jello-filled silk gloves, but instead a cement-filled maille fist.

      And we need our so-called 'allies' to stiffen up, too. To quit going behind our backs, to tell all the proggies to screw off.

      I won't go as radical as to say it's time to disband the useless and dangerous UN, but...

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    2. "I won't go as radical as to say it's time to disband the useless and dangerous UN, but..."

      I would...

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    3. The muslims have two happy points. When our boot is on their neck, when their boot is on ours. If they perceive that the issue is on doubt, chaos reigns.

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  6. So shout out to India and gently pointed remarks to Pakistan?

    Does ANYONE realize how impossible Afghanistan is without clear and unambiguous support from Pakistan, rather than the duplicitous game that country has been playing?

    I'm of the mind that the best response to 9/11 would've been to quietly build up our HUMINT capabilities, to the point where we might've intercepted OBL when he emerged from his cave to crow, rather than bomb, bomb, bomb.

    To begin with, Afghanistan has long been as much a whole in the map as it has been a nation. It's a feuding patchwork of tribes that made a convenient buffer between Russian Central Asia and British India, and too Sunnite to join with Safavid (or successors) Iran. I don't see any great advantage to staying there, especially as long as Pakistan simply cannot be trusted.

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    1. Yes, it is impossible without Pakistan's official support, but what country, exactly, was the house that Osama bin Ladin found in? And what country, exactly, do a good portion of the 'freedom fighters' retreat to for rest and refit?

      Pakistan has been playing on both sides for too long. Allowing our bases while actively obstructing our forces and aiding our enemies. Time to poop or get off the dung heap.

      And as to HUMINT, well, that blame can fully be laid upon the feet of B. Clinton and A. Gore and their slashing of HUMINT assets and programs during their reign of terror, instead relying upon cheaper and 'more reliable' satellite footage and intel from our supposed allies (who have really shafted us in the past.)

      And we (the USA) had OBL's phone numbers and contacts, but the presidency between the two Bushes did nothing with the intel. The Clinton WH could have gotten that rotten little bastard any time during the period between the 1st WTC bombing and 9-11/01.

      And one of the reasons for the rise of the terrorist organizations in Afganistan post-soviet era was the lack of economic aid. Once the Russkies left, we stopped giving aid. Trump said he would focus all our powers, military, economic, political to the issue at hand and let them - the Afgans - figure out what the hell they want once the boot of the oppressive terrorists (many, nay most, who are not of Afgan origin) are gone.

      And keeping troops in Afganistan also is a thorn in Pakistan's side.

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    2. Much of what you say is right. But how is Pakistan to be brought unambiguously to "our" side? As for aid in Afghanistan, Afghanistan is the sort of country where our aid could easily be squandered on all the wrong things. For us, "winning" involves a stable, no-haven-for-terrorists, functioning, and at least semi-democratic Afghan state. But, is this even in the remotest realistic? Hence, aafter killing OBL, would cutting our losses there and withdrawing be all that terrible?

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  7. While I'm here, I'll state again that Pres. Trump was right and --Presidential--in letting NorK know that missile launches near US territory would not be taken lightly. I further believe that we shoul've vetoed the UN decision to send NorK aid for their drought. That should wait until NorK backs off of its aggressive nuclear program. Indeed, I believe US policy on NorK's badly mismanaged economy should be that until they pull a Qaddafi on nukes (giving them up), their famines and droughts should be relieved by the North Korean peasantry realizing that there's a lot more nutrition in Communist cadre than in their own starving children.

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  8. Trump said that his original instinct was to pull the troops out. Oh, I so hoped he would. Then he caved to his "military advisers", a bit like Pilate after washing his hands.I understand that politics look so much different when in the Oval office. The one at the desk is probably attacked all day long by lobbyists from Lockheed, Raytheon, Northrop etc. There are so much to consider, employment, economy, contributions. And then there is, like Trump says, Afghanistans nuclear, unstable neighbour, Pakistan. In my humble opinion, the West shouldn´t be in the region at all. And wars in Afghanistan are un-winnable, history tells us that.But Trump inherited this war and has to plod on and he does. But when warmongers like Lindsey Graham is jubilant I cringe. This Graham, unlike Trump, probably never had any instincts against any war. However, Trumps suggestions are probably a workable compromise, no nation building, using those terrible islamist warlords to keep those terrible islamist organisations at check. Afghanistan is no place for Westerners as Thomas Campbell wrote long time ago: "Few, few shall part, where many meet. The snow shall be their winding sheet. And every turf beneath their feet. Shall be a soldiers sepulchre."
    No, it´s no place for Westerners and the West is no place for most people from these region unless they totally change their minds.
    Swedish lady

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    1. Swedish lady

      There are arguments on both side of staying vs leaving. I respect the arguments for leaving, but I have always thought we needed to stay but in a smarter way. Did I just "cave in?" Did Dilpomad "cave in?" Why are you assuming Trump is "caving in?" Of course you may disagree with the "stay" argument, but I believe it self-righteous and unbearably egotistical to be so sure your view is so unarguably correct as to decide Trump and my side have "caved in." Donations? Gosh, Raytheon doesn't give me any. Do you know whether anyone is giving Trump contributions? Do you think money is what motivates his presidency? (I think it is costing him big time.)

      Or are you saying you think Trump showed some smarts and didn't cave in in the "compromise" he reached? Note, his policy towards Pakistan and India is new - his. Not a "compromise."

      Which is it? I can't tell.

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    2. Msher, I am sorry if I sounded "self-righteous and unbearable egotistical", because I am certainly not sure at all that my view is unarguable correct.How could I ? Well, "caved in" or changed his opinion, maybe there is a big difference that I don´t get. But he took a hard stand during his campaign , didn´t he ? And I liked what he said. But since I like and respect Trump I understand that his position is difficult. Pat Buchanan writes that " they cannot walk away from it because what will follow ?" What happened after the Brits left Delhi 1947, the French left Alger 1967, and then Vietnam ? And Buchanan continues: " Trump was elected to end American involvement in MidEast wars. And now he is persuaded not do do it. He will likely end up sacrificing his presidency trying to rescue the failures of those who worked hardest to keep him out".
      As I said, I like and respect Trump, I don´t think money motivates him at all now,he has sound political instincts, and I really want him to succeed with at least some of his campaign agenda. That part with Russia affects us in Europe very much. But I can see neocons circling him like sharks. And, am I really wrong ? Doesn´t various lobbyists influence and affect American politics ? Because they do over here in Europe.
      https://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/is-trumps-agenda-being-eclipsed/
      Swedish lady

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    3. Yes, lobbyists influence, here as well as in Europe, but with some differences. First, they carry a good deal more weight in the Congress than in the White House. Congress critters want campaign cash, and, once they retire, they get to take the remainders home, just like the leftovers at a church potluck, only more of it. Presidents want blocs of votes, for them, or against their opponents. e.g.Clinton destroyed Southern California aerospace, so the Republican majority left the state. Now, they are not the fifth largest economy in the world, but the eighth, and they have a huge problem with chronic unemployment/dependency, creating a reliable bloc of welfare voters. If they succeeded in doing something like that to Texas, we'd never have another Republican President, ever.

      OTOH, most of the mineral interests know that it is cheaper to pay off a corrupt Afghan government than to fight a war to dominate that country. A good many Europeans still believe, for example, that we fought in Afghanistan because of some oil pipeline there. The pipeline was a Saudi idea, was never built, and would have been more effectively and cheaply guarded by local war lords than by the 4thID.

      I just fear greatly that PDT is over a barrel in Afghanistan. He can't just leave it. We've tried that,and have a couple of large holes in the ground in southern Manhatten to show for the gamble. It's often been suggested that we turn the matter over to the UN or some other collective of kleptocrats, but their record on human rights is pretty horrifying, so we are reluctant to do that. One important thing:Putting Pakistan on notice will enormously help the situation in Afghanistan.

      Now, as to President Trump's changed opinion about Afghanistan, he's certainly convinced me that he'd been cowed by the facts, as he now sees them, in the Oval Office. On this side of the pond, a lot of the people who constantly complain that he won't see reason, will not consider others' opinions, etc, are now going on that he made some kind of duplicitous deal or change in his stated position. I am more and more certain that if he cured cancer, there would be complaints that he was putting undertakers out of work.

      As always, you and your words of wisdom (and your questions) are most welcome.

      MFA

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    4. Swedish lady

      Unknown above me said much of what I was going to answer. Trump gave up hundreds of millions of dollars of potential income to be president and he continues to embrace positions that alienate Republican donors. And as you said, he is risking his presidency. So why would you accuse him of selling out or caving in for money? As Unknown said, he is criticized for not listening, for not wanting to learn about the world - so he listens, takes in information ....and now he's "caving in." The critics want him to fail, and it doesn't matter what he does, he's wrong.

      I wasn't reacting to your disagreeing with the policy, but to the, excuse me, arrogant, unfounded and unhelpful assumption he "caved in." That is also insulting to those of us who always wanted this focused, kill-the-bastards policy. Do you think we are we morons who "caved in?" To whom did we cave in? Please note, we are applauding a policy we think is new, focused, smart and based on America's interests, not previous build-democracy, neocon policy. Trump recognized it might not work - but it deserves a chance. Especially, as in some of our opinions, it is disastrous to leave. And Trump has shown he is flexible. If the policy shows no results, he will change the policy.

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    5. Swedish lady

      Hell yes there is a difference between "changing your opinion," and " caving in." "Caving in" is an extreme insult. It means you are weak and give into pressure, regardless of what you think is right. I don't know what you understand the term to mean. "Changing one's opinion" is neutral. I would not be reacting if you said Trump changed his opinion. Yes, he did change his opinion.

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  9. "And wars in Afghanistan are un-winnable, history tells us that." Actually, history tells us that they are winnable as long as they are quick punitive expeditions. Invade-and-stay is a lousy idea.

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    1. Occupied Germany since 1945, Japan likewise, S Korea since 1950-something. So far so good, I'mna thinking. Quick, punitive expeditions don't work unless you're willing to keep coming back. Want to make a permanent change, you gotta hang around and make it stick.

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    2. The Mongols knew how to "win" in Afghanistan. They razed Herat, Balkh, and Mazar-e-Sherif, raising towers with the skulls of their inhabitants. They also made sure a good chunk of the surviving locals' descendants would look like them. But, for the USA, would it be worth it?

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  10. To pull out in Iraq gave us ISIS; to do so in Afghanistan would create another reality beyond our control. My son's 27 months in Iraq and the deaths of his fellow soldiers was wasted by politicians.
    Perceptions can really color war and since we refuse to fight all out war against islamic terrorism, withdrawals, cutbacks and the like are the same a defeat.
    Beyond my son still in the army, I have a grandson in the Army so I have a stake in doing this right. A change in tactics about Pakistan and the ROE, as has been indicated, it is what I have been calling for for many years.

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  11. Dip, any comment on the Pakistani Democrat IT staffers? Has ISI been running our Afghan policy for 8 years ? Those people all skedadled to Pakistan. Also, what about this new guy who is talking trash about the US of A ?
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/pakistan-political-upheaval-puts-strategic-alliance-with-u-s-at-risk-1503489603

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    1. http://www.nationalreview.com/article/450665/debbie-wasserman-schultz-it-scammers-indicted-mysteriously-narrow-and-low-key-way

      JK

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  12. 1) I think we are in a maybe centuries long struggle with jihad, and unfortunately disrupting safe havens is going to be a necessity with us indefinitely.

    2) The hidden part: Pakistan.Trump is doing something about it he isn't talking about.

    3) Diplomad mentions pay. I coincidentally in recent weeks have gone back to T.E.Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom and his 27 Principles. He outlined it all, about how to fight in Arab/Muslim lands, including pay. The one thing, though, he talks about, is they basically don't want us there as colonial rulers. Petraeus studied Lawrence for Iraq - got the part about working with tribal leaders, letting them doing the fighting and using pay. But perhaps in Iraq we were still seen as colonial rulers. Also, we didn't manage what Lawrence stressed hugely - protect the population. Trick in Afghanistan is to protect the population, pay or provide work and make them want us there. What we do about Islam itself and its teachings - I have no idea. If Islam keeps teaching jihad and reward in heaven for death while killing infidels - yikes. How do we ever beat that?

    4) Has anyone read Breitbart? Bannon is having a temper tantrum and Brietbart has now become a propaganda site full of articles slamming Trump on this (and every other) policy - he was "highjacked," he "sold out," etc. Breitbart went from a news outlet to an 100% anti-Trump hate site. The scary part is almost all of the comments are on same wave length: full of fury and hate towards Trump for "breaking campaign promises" and being "secret neo con." What happens if Bannon and other diehards turn half Trump's base against him?

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    1. I've thought for years that we should just buy the Opium crop.

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    2. https://audioboom.com/posts/6227434-the-awan-family-gang-and-the-feds-andrewcmccarthy-thadmccotter

      JK

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    3. Michael K

      I believe we did that in Southeast Asia during VietNam war. I was actually in the poppy fields of war lords in northern Thailand. (Long story. I was just a tourist.)

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    4. Yeah.. that's kind of the problem with trying to adopt the old "none of our business" line today. It no longer works.
      We tried leaving Afghanistan on its own, after the Soviets left.
      We can ignore it again, but it will again bite us in the butt.
      We have the choice of taking the battle to Afghanistan or waiting for Afghanistan to take the battle to us.
      In the larger scope, this *could* take centuries indeed, and still not finish. And that would only be the case if western civilization doesn't commit suicide first.

      - reader #1482

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  13. Vietnam: in the 1950s General Leclerc issued a warning to the Americans to the effect of 'it will need half a million men and even then it won't work'. He proved remarkably prescient. So for Afghanistan: what are the Americans aims? Are they as hopelessly foolish and unachievable as their aims in Vietnam? If not, is this the best way to achieve them?

    P.S. The odds favour foolish and unachievable.

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    1. Oops, he said it in the 1940s not the 1950s, and the remark was addressed to the French government not the American. Which makes it even more prescient I suppose.

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  14. Which century is this about?


    XXX had fallen under the spell of a "group of hawkishly Russophobic advisers" who persuaded him that they needed to replace the government in Kabul by a more pliable one. Soon Kandahar, Ghazni and Kabul were taken. The former ruling group had fled across the Hindu Kush. For a brief moment it seemed as if the gamble had paid off. But it was one thing to invade the country; quite another to hold it. “I have no doubt you will take Kandahar and Kabul” commented a foremost Afghan expert. “But as for maintaining [control] in a poor, cold, strong and remote country, among a turbulent people like the Afghans, it seems to me to be hopeless.”

    Take your pick; 19th century or 21st. Or if you replace Russophobic by Americaphoic, 20th century.

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    1. history will repeat itself, until it doesn't.

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    2. There's negligible chance of the US achieving anything that could reasonably be called "winning" in Afghanistan, for basically the same reason that they couldn't win in Vietnam. The locals are warlike and determined and know perfectly well that they can out-persevere the US. That's because the locals have a vital interest in Afghanistan and the US doesn't. It's now fighting, I suspect, to save face. Trump is being a chump: he should just say that the state of the war there is Obama's fault and bring his troops home.

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    3. dearieme

      You will find many like opinions on Breitbart, which is now waging war on Trump. Besides "chump," I assume you feel Trump has sold out and should now be brought down. That seems to be sentiment of those who disagree with the policy.

      I don't know your nationality, but if you're American, they are "our" troops.

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    4. Bring everybody back and wait to see what the terrorists dream up to kill us next? I'm sure that's not your intent in suggesting an exit to Afghanistan at this point, so how would you go about preventing the next 9/11 being dreamt, plotted, and trained in Afghanistan? While such a threat could come from somewhere else, it would seem to be the height of incompetence to allow another such attack to be developed in the same place as the last.

      - reader #1482

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    5. They'll be "his" as soon as its obvious that they are dying for no good reason.

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    6. dearieme

      Very catchy, nicely snarky. But what does it mean - if anything?

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  15. http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2017/08/sending-more-troops-to-afghanistan-is-a-good-start.php

    JK

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  16. here as well as in Europe, but with some differences. First, they carry a good deal more weight in the Congress than in the White House. Congress critters want campaign cash, and, once they retire, they get to take the remainders home, just like the leftovers at a church potluck, only more of it.

    หนังเกาหลีใหม่

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