11
   

Let's admit the obvious: Afghanistan War is unwinnable

 
 
RABEL222
 
  3  
Reply Sat 1 Apr, 2017 07:26 pm
@Brandon9000,
http://www.salon.com/2016/07/15/28_pages_showing_saudi_connection_to_911_attacks_finally_released_after_14_years/
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  -4  
Reply Sun 2 Apr, 2017 01:14 am
@xingu,
xingu wrote:
So this is an unwinnable, endless war. Kind of reminds you of Vietnam, except we were smart enough to get out of Vietnam.

Actually our soldiers eradicated the Vietcong and set South Vietnam on a path to freedom and independence. Then the American Democratic Party sold out South Vietnam to the Communists by cutting off all their aid and leaving them defenseless.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  -4  
Reply Sun 2 Apr, 2017 01:16 am
@ashwin723,
ashwin723 wrote:
We need to focus our generosity towards the pains of people around the world more, and less on our immediate gains from these efforts. In the long run, this self-less generosity can earn emotional goodwill of the common populace around the world. We all think emotionally somewhat. But the Eastern cultures are more emotional than the Western cultures. We can influence the Eastern cultures more easily through their emotions than through objective representations. Such efforts will divert their hate to somewhere else, and we can stop being their prime target. Change of attitude frog-leaps by generation. It is better to pay for our deeds by reducing the pain of others early than by incurring suffering later. Hate is a monster that devours itself, if nothing else is available. Let us pull out from its path. Meanwhile we can keep defending ourselves with force, need of which will taper down, as goodwill grows.

We already provide generous humanitarian aid to the world. What more would you have us do?
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  -3  
Reply Sun 2 Apr, 2017 01:20 am
@hightor,
hightor wrote:
Not getting involved in these exploits is another thing that sounds easier than it is. Obama was committed to not intervening in Syria, if at all possible. He was criticized from the right and the left and our inaction allowed Russia to enter the war, insuring that the Assad regime would not be overthrown. Personally, I think he did the right thing — but it wasn't a policy that made anyone swell with pride. It's a very unsatisfying option. So we sink into the quicksand of nation building? What are the options?

I see three options.

One, nation building, like we tried in Iraq.

Two, do nothing, like we tried in Syria.

Three, go in and kill the bad guys, then leave, like we did in Libya.

I think the Libya option is by far the least-bad outcome.

Imagine how Iraq would have been for us if we'd shot Saddam in the head the first day we captured him, then pulled completely out of Iraq before Xmas day 2003.



By the way, speaking of Iraq, you posted in another thread a couple weeks ago about a controversy surrounding whether airstrike requirements had been loosened in Iraq. It turns out that the airstrike requirements were loosened by Obama in December. So the Iraqis are correct to say that they've been loosened. And the Trump Administration is correct to say that they didn't loosen them.



There is some recent bad news regarding Iraq too.

I presume that you already understand the history that the Sunnis embraced Islamic State because the Shia-controlled Iraqi government were murdering them and they needed protection. And the US refused to help against Islamic State unless the then-current Iraqi leader stepped down (which he did).

Anyway, a couple weeks ago PBS Frontline did a new undercover exploration of Iraq, and guess what. The Shia are back to massacring large numbers of innocent Sunnis again, so the Sunnis are going to have no choice but to keep backing the extremists even if we manage to drive Islamic State out of Iraq.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/iraq-uncovered/

At this point I think the only viable options are to withdraw completely and stop trying to fix Iraq, or follow Joe Biden's suggestion of breaking Iraq into three pieces.

If we haven't convinced the Shia to stop murdering large numbers of innocent Sunnis by this point, we simply aren't going to be able to convince them to stop.
hightor
 
  3  
Reply Sun 2 Apr, 2017 05:26 am
@oralloy,
Quote:
I think the Libya option is by far the least-bad outcome.

I could see it working under certain circumstances but there's something "slapdash" about it, like were indicating we don't care enough to get involved so we'll just drop a bunch of bombs, kill a lot of people, and go home. I could see it being turned against us through effective propaganda.
Quote:

Imagine how Iraq would have been for us if we'd shot Saddam in the head the first day we captured him, then pulled completely out of Iraq before Xmas day 2003.

Imagine how the Middle East would be if we'd killed bin Laden in 2002 and never invaded Iraq.
Quote:
...or follow Joe Biden's suggestion of breaking Iraq into three pieces.

Best idea.
oralloy
 
  -4  
Reply Sun 2 Apr, 2017 08:23 am
@hightor,
hightor wrote:
I could see it working under certain circumstances but there's something "slapdash" about it, like were indicating we don't care enough to get involved so we'll just drop a bunch of bombs, kill a lot of people, and go home. I could see it being turned against us through effective propaganda.

Not just kill a bunch of people, but kill the specific troublemaker(s) who caused enough problems to make us invade in the first place.

Propaganda is made against us no matter what we do. The Libya option gives us way less of a headache than the Iraq and Syria options.

Plus we could answer the propaganda by pointing out that we only invade a place if we really need to get a particularly nasty troublemaker.


hightor wrote:
Imagine how the Middle East would be if we'd killed bin Laden in 2002 and never invaded Iraq.

Then Saddam would be murdering people just like Assad right now. It would be the Syria option all over again.

The Libya option is least bad.

Seriously. Iraq, Libya, Syria. None is perfect. But which one of those three doesn't give America a daily migraine?
hightor
 
  3  
Reply Sun 2 Apr, 2017 08:46 am
@oralloy,
Re-imagining the past and re-constructing the present is a mug's game, but...
Quote:
Then Saddam would be murdering people just like Assad right now.

I'm not so sure of that. Without the huge regional destabilization caused by the invasion we would have been spared the "Arab Spring". Chastised by Gulf I and staying clear of Kuwait, Saddam would have squashed the Shi'ite rebellions and maintained control over the Kurds. There'd be no I.S. , no Syrian rebellion. We'd be lucky to have a relatively strong and stable dictatorship in Iraq as a bulwark against Iran. We'll never know but I really think the two huge military invasions were tragic mistakes.
oralloy
 
  -4  
Reply Mon 3 Apr, 2017 04:15 am
@hightor,
Saddam squashing dissent in Iraq would involve the murder of innocents.

If we'd quickly pulled out of Iraq and thereby avoided war fatigue, we might have mustered the energy to take out Iran too. We could have toppled the Taliban, Iran, Saddam, Assad, and Kadaffy and then brought our troops home without dealing with any long-term occupations.

All we'd need to keep active would be a series of small bases to fly drone strikes out of, so we could pick off any remaining troublemakers.
0 Replies
 
Baldimo
 
  -2  
Reply Mon 3 Apr, 2017 10:05 am
@hightor,
Quote:
I could see it working under certain circumstances but there's something "slapdash" about it, like were indicating we don't care enough to get involved so we'll just drop a bunch of bombs, kill a lot of people, and go home. I could see it being turned against us through effective propaganda.

It depends on which president is dropping the bombs. The anti-war/anti-bomb contingent of US politics was really really quiet for the last 8 years, including being almost silent on the expanded use of drone strikes by the Obama admin. When Bush started using drones in Pakistan, the anti-war left, led by Code Pink, harassed him at every turn, when Obama took office and eventually expanded the use of drones and air sorties into 4 or 5 additional countries, they were silent, the media was mostly silent and certainly didn't criticize him for it.

So you are correct, the effective propaganda by the anti-war groups can be effective if they like the President who is doing it. If they like him, bombs away, if they don't like him, then nothing is off limits is get him to stop.
hightor
 
  3  
Reply Mon 3 Apr, 2017 11:58 am
@Baldimo,
Obama was criticized in the leftwing press all the time, mostly because of the drone strikes but also for his 'Republican' style health care plan, and for not putting big bankers in jail. The MSM was a little easier on the drone question because it was seen as effective and allowed the fight to be pursued without the need for more troops on the ground. 'Collateral damage' seemed to work pretty effectively to excuse civilian casualties. But I can tell you, the hardcore 'peace' crowd was not happy with Obama's war.
Baldimo
 
  -2  
Reply Mon 3 Apr, 2017 12:15 pm
@hightor,
Quote:
But I can tell you, the hardcore 'peace' crowd was not happy with Obama's war.

Where were all of the anti-war protests? Disrupting his vacations? They might not have been happy with him, but they were willing to over look it because he was Obama.
hightor
 
  4  
Reply Mon 3 Apr, 2017 12:40 pm
@Baldimo,
There weren't enough single-issue anti-war voters to mount a protest on a meaningful scale. The fact that most Dems supported him had a lot less to do with him being Obama and a lot more with him being a Democrat. You make it seem like he got special treatment but really, people who vote for a candidate will often continue to support him, especially if those opposed to him seem quarrelsome, unreasonable, and obstructionist.





Baldimo
 
  -2  
Reply Mon 3 Apr, 2017 12:53 pm
@hightor,
What you are saying is that the anti-war protests were all BS. It had nothing to do with being anti-war as much as it was anti-Bush.
hightor
 
  5  
Reply Mon 3 Apr, 2017 01:09 pm
@Baldimo,
As I said, the drone strikes gave Obama a degree of cover because we didn't see the steady stream of body bags and unit deployments. Bush, after all, started the second Iraq war under false pretenses and he lost a lot of support because of it.

Widescale antiwar sentiment usually surfaces at the beginning of armed conflict, when we're seen as losing, and when the cost is exorbitant compared to the results. The cost has been effectively hidden by deficit spending. Most people don't see us as "losing". The wars have been going on for over fifteen years with no end in sight. So unless something really changes I doubt you'll see widespread antiwar protests.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  -2  
Reply Mon 3 Apr, 2017 06:00 pm
@revelette1,
revelette1 wrote:
Neither did Afghanistan. They just didn't turn over Bin Laden. Pakistan had him sitting pretty for quite a good while we were in Iraq for no reason and we didn't bomb and invade Pakistan.


Quote:
...The Taliban allowed terrorist organizations to run training camps in their territory and, from 1994 to at least 2001, provided refuge for Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda organization. The relationship between the Taliban and bin Laden was close, even familial—bin Laden fought with the mujahideen, has financed the Taliban, and one of his daughters is reportedly married to Mullah Muhammad Omar....


https://www.infoplease.com/who-are-taliban
revelette1
 
  2  
Reply Tue 4 Apr, 2017 06:50 am
@Brandon9000,
I know Afghanistan allowed terrorist camps to train in Afghanistan but we didn't begin the war in Afghanistan for that reason. We asked the Taliban to turn over Bin Laden, they did not, so we invaded. I supported that effort and I supported the later efforts to stay to help the new government. However, I didn't support the way we just rounded up prisoners like a drag net and then abused and tortured them. Nor do I continue to support staying there when clearly after all this time we are not going to ever "win the war in Afghanistan" (winning over the hearts and minds of the Afghanistan people) and we will be there indefinitely under the reasons we remain there now. The people we are there helping do not want our help and are not cooperating. As that solider from KY put in the article I started this thread with put it, "they are not buying what we are selling."
oralloy
 
  -3  
Reply Thu 6 Apr, 2017 07:56 am
@revelette1,
Nonsense. Those training camps were the home bases of the group that conducted the 9/11 attacks. They were very much one of the objectives of our war there.

And we are not going to allow Afghanistan to return to being a terrorist haven. Period.
oralloy
 
  -3  
Reply Thu 6 Apr, 2017 07:57 am
@hightor,
Another thing to consider about an alternate history where all the dictators remain in place is, Kadaffy stays alive in such a scenario.

Kadaffy may not have had the blood of thousands of innocent Americans on his hands like Usama bin Ladn did.

But Kadaffy did have the blood of hundreds of innocent Americans on his hands.

I much prefer a history where both Kadaffy and Usama bin Ladn are dead.
0 Replies
 
revelette1
 
  3  
Reply Thu 6 Apr, 2017 08:49 am
@oralloy,
On the first point, I concede.

On the second, so, in order to not allow training camps to resume (as though there are not any in other parts of the world), do you recommend staying there indefinitely?
oralloy
 
  -2  
Reply Thu 6 Apr, 2017 09:09 am
@revelette1,
Yes. Stay indefinitely.

But we don't have to do nation building. Just have some isolated bases that we fly drone strikes out of.
 

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