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post #11 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-12-2006, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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Unfortunately, your analysis is way too simplistic. The vast disparity in resources dedicated to each is where the real reason lies. I fully believe that had the same focus, attention, and military resources been applied to Afghanistan as Iraq, we'd probably have a functioning government there and have pushed the Taliiban back into the tribal areas of Pakistan rather being resurgent. Unfortunately, for us and Afghanistan, the Pentagon began repurposing intelligence and military resources to Iraq.

Rumsfeld left a thin force that could not be effective in Afghanistan, hence the lack of progress in that effort. Your comparison fails to take this into account.

Granted, some of my statements are speculative, but the redirection of focus and resources from Afghanistan to Iraq is well known.
I beg to differ. We were in Afganistan for two years before we set foot in Iraq. We had plenty of time and resources (from many countries) to wipe out Al-Queda and the Taliban if it were possible to do so.

They, instead, retreated under heavy American (coalition) firepower only to return to fight a guerilla war. Just like in Vietnam. Just like currently in Iraq. Just like the Russians experienced in Afganistan. Just like the Israeli army encountered in their invasion and occupation of Lebanon which lasted from 1982 until the year 2000. Just like Israel re-experienced in the recent 34 day war.

Do you really think that the USSR, in their Afganistan adventure, had likewise failed to devote sufficient resources to fighting this war in spite of 15,000 casaulties over a period of a decade?

Sounds like a bullshit excuse to me to blame George Bush for all the ills in the world.
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post #12 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-12-2006, 04:50 PM
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I agree -- nothing short of nukes was going to change the landscape (figuratively, rhetorically, politically and/or any other way you can imagine) of Afghanistan. It will eventually revert to its former self, almost no matter what.

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post #13 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-12-2006, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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I agree -- nothing short of nukes was going to change the landscape (figuratively, rhetorically, politically and/or any other way you can imagine) of Afghanistan. It will eventually revert to its former self, almost no matter what.
I would oppose the use of nukes anywhere except as an absolute last resort.

Just becasue we haven't defeated the enemy in a decisive fashion in either Afganistan or Iraq does not mean that we haven't been able to disrupt their operations and keep them on the defensive having to expend their resources to fight us over there instead of on our own shores.

I know full well that this theory is frowned upon on the left but I believe that it is true.
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post #14 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-12-2006, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
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Using nukes, I should point out will only come about if there is a complete rethinking about the issue of civilian casaulties. Berlin was carpet bombed and Tokyo was firebombed during WWII.

We may never win this war with radical Islam unless we become willing to accept far more civilian deaths (and I'm not sure that we have the stomach for that).
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post #15 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-12-2006, 05:35 PM
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I would oppose the use of nukes anywhere except as an absolute last resort.
Don't make the mistake of believing that I endorse the use of nukes in Afghanistan (or anywhere else) -- nothing could be further from the truth. Just pointing out that our "interference" there is temporary, under almost any circumstance.

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #16 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-12-2006, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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Don't make the mistake of believing that I endorse the use of nukes in Afghanistan (or anywhere else) -- nothing could be further from the truth. Just pointing out that our "interference" there is temporary, under almost any circumstance.
Well assuming that you do not endorse the use of nukes in Afganistan (let's be speciifc here), do you agree with our invasion and occupation of that country or not? How should we, otherwise, have responded to the 9/11 attacks? What's the endgame there?

It's very easy to be critical. Much harder to find viable solutions.
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post #17 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-12-2006, 05:50 PM
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I have never criticized the administration's response to the 9/11 attack. I do think it was a bit slow in developing, and I think the horrific decision to invade Iraq was tantamount to taking their eye off the ball. You define a task, you do it well, and you complete the task by applying yourself fully to its resolution. Then and only then do you consider the possibility of initiating a new task, unless a grave and immediate threat presents itself that cannot be ignored. My harsh criticism of the Bush administration is almost entirely about Iraq, which presented no threat to the U.S. Was it a potential threat? Perhaps (but doubtful), but any intentions of action against Iraq should have been shelved until the perps in Afghanistan were effectively dealt with. This isn't hindsight -- it's just common sense.

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post #18 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-12-2006, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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I have never criticized the administration's response to the 9/11 .....
Let's concetrate for a moment on Afganistan here. I would like you to reconcile the quote I highlighted above with the comment that you made a few minutes earlier:

Quote:
Originally Posted by GermanStar
I agree -- nothing short of nukes was going to change the landscape (figuratively, rhetorically, politically and/or any other way you can imagine) of Afghanistan. It will eventually revert to its former self, almost no matter what.
So are you advocating the use of nukes in Afganistan or not? Or are you advocating a futile engagement? Because you also said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by GermanStar
Don't make the mistake of believing that I endorse the use of nukes in Afghanistan (or anywhere else) -- nothing could be further from the truth. Just pointing out that our "interference" there is temporary, under almost any circumstance.
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post #19 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-12-2006, 06:06 PM
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Well, it's ultimately a futile engagement. You go in and kick down all the anthills, kill the perps, and go home. You do it in such a way as to give the locals pause in regard to providing safe haven for terrorists in the future. If they do, you go in and do it again. You cannot impose a way a life upon these people that they find offensive, unless you propose a permanent occupation -- even then. Kill the perps, then leave the rest to live as they wish. What else is there to do?

Had Masoud still been around, we might have tried a different tactic, but in his absence, no one has a chance of pulling the tribal leaders into a cohesive government.

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post #20 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-12-2006, 06:09 PM
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I beg to differ. We were in Afganistan for two years before we set foot in Iraq. We had plenty of time and resources (from many countries) to wipe out Al-Queda and the Taliban if it were possible to do so.

They, instead, retreated under heavy American (coalition) firepower only to return to fight a guerilla war. Just like in Vietnam. Just like currently in Iraq. Just like the Russians experienced in Afganistan. Just like the Israeli army encountered in their invasion and occupation of Lebanon which lasted from 1982 until the year 2000. Just like Israel re-experienced in the recent 34 day war.

Do you really think that the USSR, in their Afganistan adventure, had likewise failed to devote sufficient resources to fighting this war in spite of 15,000 casaulties over a period of a decade?

Sounds like a bullshit excuse to me to blame George Bush for all the ills in the world.
The Britsh have been there longer than the johnny come latey USA ......
At the organisational level, the poor performance of the Bombay regiments at Maiwand helped lead towards a fundamental restructuring of the Indian army in the 1880's conducted by Roberts himself. The British Army was heading for its own reorganisation as part of the Cardwell reforms that were coming into effect in 1881. Within five years, the armies and organisations that fought in Afghanistan were to be transformed beyond recognition. Which is just as well, for despite the eventual success of this campaign, its style and execution would not have seemed out of place to a Napoleonic era commander. As usual, it was the bravery, technology and professionalism of the soldiers on the ground who time and time again salvaged the strategic situation for the commanders running the show. This campaign falls into the classical example of the small colonial war that the British army so frequently found itself in the Victorian era.
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