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Thread: John Kerry's Afghan war speech; Foreshadowing Obama's decision?

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    John Kerry's Afghan war speech; Foreshadowing Obama's decision?

    John Kerry's Afghan war speech; Foreshadowing Obama's decision?

    The Kerry speech to the Council on Foreign Relations has the predictable Democratic Cheney-bashing and we-inherited-this-mess-and-now-it's-up-to-us-to-make-the-best-of-a-really-bad-situation lines. He quotes one soldier as saying the war in Afghanistan was so poorly run it hasn't been eight years long; it's been one-year wars fought eight times.

    But if Obama's thinking parallels the chairman's, McChrystal can whistle Dixie several times before he'll get 40,000 additional troops. Maybe more like 10,000 to 15,000 to fight a targeted (limited) counter-insurgency/counter terrorism strategy. In short, Kerry's pitch is, less is more.

    Gone, as The Ticket reported three weeks ago, would be the broad defeat of the Taliban, annihilation of Al Qaeda and construction of a viable democracy plan of the past. Said Kerry:

    Achieving our goals does not require us to build a flawless democracy, defeat the Taliban in every corner of the country, or create a modern economy—what we’re talking about is “good-enough” governance, basic sustainable economic development and Afghan security forces capable enough that we can draw down our forces.
    Kerry argues for "a smart counterinsurgency in a limited geographic area."

    We have already begun implementing a counterinsurgency strategy—but I believe that right now it needs to be as narrowly focused as possible. We must be very wary of overextension. And I am particularly concerned about the potential for us to be viewed as foreign occupiers.

    Then Kerry cuts to his main point:

    I believe [McChrystal's] current plan reaches too far, too fast. We do not yet have the critical guarantees of governance and development capacity—the other two legs of counterinsurgency. And I have serious concerns about the ability to produce effective Afghan forces to partner with, so we can ensure that when our troops make heroic sacrifices, the benefits to the Afghans are actually clear and sustainable.


    John Kerry's Afghan war speech; Foreshadowing Obama's decision? | Top of the Ticket | Los Angeles Times
    O.K. let me get this straight, so now it's John "war criminal" Kerry not the Generals on the ground who are informing the POTUS on what to do in Afghanistan? Is this some sort of a joke?

    You heard it here first folks, John Kerry knows more about counter-insurgency operations than General McChrystal.

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    Re: John Kerry's Afghan war speech; Foreshadowing Obama's decision?

    A general will always want more troops, that's why we have civilian control of our forces.

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    Re: John Kerry's Afghan war speech; Foreshadowing Obama's decision?

    The president will be advised, as he should be, from a host of commentators and policy makers. The war in Afghanistan is not conventional, it needs a multifaceted response from various agencies with the Military playing a big part for obvious reasons. If we have learnt anything from Iraq its you cannot defeat an enemy by force alone.

    Paul
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    Re: John Kerry's Afghan war speech; Foreshadowing Obama's decision?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe1991 View Post
    A general will always want more troops, that's why we have civilian control of our forces.
    Yep you're right, the politicians shouldn't listen to the generals at all, John Kerry knows more about counter-insurgency operations than former head of Joint Special Operations Command, General McChrystal.

    I mean it was idiotic when Bush listened to the Generals and increased troop levels in Iraq. The surge was a huge mistake and the Democrats were completely right.

    pffft
    Last edited by Agent Ferris; 10-28-09 at 07:02 PM.

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    Re: John Kerry's Afghan war speech; Foreshadowing Obama's decision?

    Imo there's a special place in hell for amoral politicians who feed the lives of our sons and daughters into the maw of death for political expediency. This war will destroy Obama.

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    Re: John Kerry's Afghan war speech; Foreshadowing Obama's decision?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe1991 View Post
    A general will always want more troops, that's why we have civilian control of our forces.
    I am forbidden from telling the truth about one who makes such generalized ignorant statements that clearly are based on a total lack of understanding of war or the concept of winning a fight.
    If you want to win a war there is no such thing as just enough troops to do the job and there also no such thing as too many tools to get the job done.
    Only a General who is a fool wouldn't want over whelming force to get the job done with the fewest casualties possible in the shortest time possible. To do otherwise is to invite the same result idiots in Washington caused in Vietnam with their damn dumb ass limits on targets in the north and Obama is doing with his restrictions on fighting back if there is any remote possibility of collateral damage.
    Even moderately intelligent people know soldiers are the last to want war and first to want peace.
    The Dims (no spell error) including Obama were calling this the right war last year so lets do what is needed to win and that means getting out of the way and let the Generals do what they do and have Obama go back to organizing protests on the streets of Chicago.
    Kerry is no expert on anything which puts him in a tie with Obama unless you want to protest something.

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    Re: John Kerry's Afghan war speech; Foreshadowing Obama's decision?

    IMO, a strategy should be adopted only after a thoughtful and rigorous process. Difficult questions should be raised and addressed.

    Although there is reasonable consensus that more manpower is needed, there remains considerable disagreement concerning the aims of a new strategy and the extent of additional manpower required. A full discussion needs to examine, among other things, the past experiences concerning Czarist, British, and Soviet forces in Afghanistan, the failure of earlier "surges" to bring about a stable outcome, and Afghanistan's historically decentralized framework in which tribal leaders/local institutions play a larger role than its central government. Additional relevant matters concern the current situation where corruption, cronyism, and incompetence in Kabul have created a de facto political vacuum in what still amounts to a failed state, the lack of institutional development that further hobbles Afghanistan's governance, and the absence of a viable economic framework that would contribute to a rising living standard.

    The reality is that additional manpower alone--unless the number is overwhelming (several hundred thousand additional troops, not approximately 40,000)--will not likely bring about a rapid onset of stability. Meaningful progress on the security front will require an alignment of security, political, economic, and institutional objectives and very close coordination of those functions. Success will depend on gaining and sustaining the political support of a substantial majority of Afghanistan's people and cooperation of a majority of its tribal leaders.

    Questions that need to be answered before a decision is made include:

    1. Why haven't the previous troop surges proved effective?
    2. Why did the military planners fail to foresee how events unfolded to date?
    3. Given the above-listed shortcomings and the historic experience concering past outside forces in Afghanistan, why should one be confident that this time will be different?
    4. What objective measures are currently available to show that the overwhelming majority of Afghans will support the new strategy and what are the vast majority of Afghans seeking in such a plan?
    5. Who are the key tribal leaders whose efforts will be leveraged in implementing the plan and how reliable have they been in the past?
    6. What local institutions will be relied upon to complement the efforts of the additional troops?
    7. What can be done to rapidly build a dependable and competent Afghan security force (if that's feasible) or, if necessary, competent regional security forces to augment the security effort of a new U.S. strategy?
    8. What are the five scenarios that could most compromise achieving the security efforts and what measures would be taken under such circumstances with a high probability of success of overcoming such contingencies?
    9. What are the concrete measures against which progress will be evaluated, what specific goals does the plan seek to fulfill and over what timeline?
    10. What resources will be required (human, financial, weapons, etc.)?

    The consequences of failure are high. The stakes range from wider and greater regional instability, which could have regional political/balance of power/nuclear proliferation implications, diminished U.S. credibility, and possibly the widespread "Talibanization" of parts of central Asia.

    Considering that the earlier military strategies and previous troop surges in Afghanistan did not succeed, there should be a healthy skepticism under which military planners are asked to credibly demonstrate that a new strategy really has a high prospect of success. In that context, no prospective plan or concept should receive automatic endorsement. All serious plans should be subjected to a thorough review. Difficult questions need to be raised and answered before any strategic decision is made.

    During that time, attempts to exploit the current situation to gain political or partisan advantage should be avoided. Politicization can only complicate an already difficult and complex challenge. Worse, it can undermine prospects of developing a credible and effective strategy.
    Last edited by donsutherland1; 10-29-09 at 07:25 PM.

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    Re: John Kerry's Afghan war speech; Foreshadowing Obama's decision?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe1991 View Post
    A general will always want more troops
    That's just plain not true. Where did you get that idea?

    A general will want more troops when he needs more troops. Now, for example.

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    Re: John Kerry's Afghan war speech; Foreshadowing Obama's decision?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe1991 View Post
    A general will always want more troops, that's why we have civilian control of our forces.
    No it isn't. Civilian control is used to keep the military from gaining control of the government. It's all part of our system of checks and balances.

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    Re: John Kerry's Afghan war speech; Foreshadowing Obama's decision?

    I am forbidden from telling the truth about one who makes such generalized ignorant statements that clearly are based on a total lack of understanding of war or the concept of winning a fight.
    Because you KNOW war? Because you could win the fight? You don't have the political will to win the fight in afghanistan, you don't have the will to take the gloves off to the extent that you could win. The things that you would have to do to win would turn this planet against you. If you aren't for a just war, then you're a savage in your own book.

    If you want to win a war there is no such thing as just enough troops to do the job and there also no such thing as too many tools to get the job done. Only a General who is a fool wouldn't want over whelming force to get the job done with the fewest casualties possible in the shortest time possible.
    Resource management? The gov't gets a blank check for wars but when it comes to saving the economy a bailout is causing some sortof anti-socialist uproar of fox news rush limbaugh brain dead chest thumping jingo backlash?

    To do otherwise is to invite the same result idiots in Washington caused in Vietnam with their damn dumb ass limits on targets in the north and Obama is doing with his restrictions on fighting back if there is any remote possibility of collateral damage.
    Limits on targets the issue? The result of what you're implying is genocide. If the people of other nations do not bow to you're will you simply eliminate them? Given there is a civilian security issue with this war which is why I support our involvement. And your answer is more firepower to a political war?

    Even moderately intelligent people know soldiers are the last to want war and first to want peace.
    WTF do you know? WTF are you going to tell me when I've heard US soldiers say themselves that they joined for a license to kill? You don't speak for our soldiers. I don't speak for them either. You know as well as I do when we invaded afghanistan they were probably looking for a fight.

    [quote]
    Quote Originally Posted by Councilman View Post
    The Dims (no spell error) including Obama were calling this the right war last year so lets do what is needed to win and that means getting out of the way and let the Generals do what they do and have Obama go back to organizing protests on the streets of Chicago.
    Hell, bring stalin back from the grave and organize a system of internment labor camps to fuel their economy thatd ****in win. You wanna win afghanistan, its the graveyard of empires for a couple millenia, look to stalin hell show you the ****in way to conquer a people.

    Seriously, all you folks on the right have got at the moment is 'killem harder' you contribute nothing to this war except for that. You have no concept of what victory or the means to it would entail.

    Kepp watchin glenn beck, because everyone who doesn't agree with you is a secret communist. I hope he inspires you to enjoy all your rights to be ignorant and go protest this unicorn magical fantasmical government which possesses the ability to be fascist and communist at the same time. As for me I enjoy the fact that your side is now so politically insane it is considered a threat to the state. As if they don't watch domestic chatter nowadays.

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