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Thread: U.S. Tries New Tack Against Taliban

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    Re: U.S. Tries New Tack Against Taliban

    Quote Originally Posted by Crunch View Post
    I tend to agree with this point of view.... nation building might work where you have some form of nation to start working with. In Afghanistan’s case, there has never been a nation to speak of.... they have no concept of working together for the greater good, no concept of a long view.
    I agree with this except there could be a more optimistic outlook. The Native Americans held a very similar problem whenever they were faced with the Europeans. When faced with a common problem smaller ethnicities will group together. it appears to be the hope of the United States to gather a coalition of anti-Taliban tribes.

    Nation building, however, is not something we can give to the Afghani people, unless we are willing to be their adversaries.
    I'm afraid that to win this war we would have to "kill them all and let God sort them out", then occupy the country for 50 years until a new generation came of age in the modern world.
    It's true. I am still not understanding what fighting in Afghanistan's end goal is. There's very little evidence that Bin Laden is even in Waziristan! We are witnessing Al Qai'da attacks, even with the Military kicking A.Q. out of Afghanistan.

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    Like you, I hope that Washington does not get involved in day-to-day military tactics. Washington should not dictate targets or military methods, though there is some risk that a combination of stalemate and failure to reduce civilian casualties might lead to such an outcome down the road.
    I think the question is... where exactly should the civilian sector interplay with the military sector. The Military is not responsible for the will of the people, as that is what Congress is (supposedly) for.

    However, when it comes to strategy, Washington should ask the difficult questions that need to be asked including:

    1) Why did the earlier strategies fail?
    because Soldiers were being killed by the 100s per month in Iraq. It was not a priority for the Bush administration to win in Afghanistan. The biggest legacy of the Bush administration is the absolute military incompetence. If it weren't for David Paetreus we would still be at the 100/ month mark.
    2) Why were early forecasts so far off the mark?
    Which forecasts? The only forecast was that American military would displace the Taliban regime and it did. There was no further forecast. Afghanistan was more or less put on the back burner.
    3) Why did the earlier strategies not consider the rise of situations that confronted the British and Soviets in Afghanistan?
    Absolute incompetence. It's disgusting how unprepared we are, as a nation, to fight the Tribesmen in Afghanistan.
    4) How would disproportionate reliance on the Karzai government in a country based on local/dispersed power be better than building a bottom-up strategy based around local tribal leaders?
    It's absolutely not. But the Bush Administration made the effort to immediately replace the "oppressive Taliban" with a Democratic regime. It almost sickens me how one could conceive that such a strategy would work. Bush and his Populist bull**** of "Democracy for everyone!". God, like democracy can be built when there is no majority.
    5) What contingencies are considered in the proposed strategy?
    No Clue.
    6) Why should Washington have confidence that the proposed strategy has a high probability of success given the experience with the past strategies, including the earlier troop surge?
    Because, according to many Generals, what works in Iraq is bound to work in Afghanistan. This is not counter-insurgency it's much tougher than that.

    We are not taking into consideration the amount of support that the ISI gives to the Taliban leadership; even ranking members in the Pakistan military are Pro-Taliban!

    The Tribesmen aren't stupid. They know that by accepting the Karzi Regime (or even Pakistan or NATO) and accepting their help (codename: Infrastructure) they are signing their autonomy, their heritage, and their identity away.
    7) Can the military planners articulate the broader geopolitical implications of the conflict in Afghanistan?
    It's not the military's job to articulate. It's the military's job to eradicate.
    "I do not underestimate the ability of fanatical groups of terrorists to kill and destroy, but they do not threaten the life of the nation. Whether we would survive Hitler hung in the balance, but there is no doubt that we shall survive al-Qa'ida." -- Lord Hoffmann

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    Re: U.S. Tries New Tack Against Taliban

    Quote Originally Posted by CrusaderRabbit08 View Post
    And what happens to that protection when the US leaves?
    When we leave? BWAHAHAHA! Not with all the opium they've got! And there's got to be oil there somewhere...

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    Re: U.S. Tries New Tack Against Taliban

    To be sure, some of those questions, particularly the last one, would cause the military leaders to bristle. But to be blunt, they now bear the burden of demonstrating that they understand the military requirements in Afghanistan and can offer a viable strategy necessary to meet U.S. objectives. The failures to date to build a stable and secure Afghanistan require nothing less than their addressing difficult questions.
    I think it is about time we review why we are in Afghanistan. Why are troops are under fire, and why tax payer money is being drained at a rate of $1 million per soldier.

    Too much is at stake geopolitically for the U.S. to suffer a stalemate or worse in Afghanistan. In the wake of how things have evolved, it is facts and outcomes alone, not the personal sensitivies of the military leaders, that matter.
    What is at stake?
    In the meantime, what is happening in Afghanistan matters deeply for U.S. interests. North Korea and Iran are watching developments closely in Afghanistan. Neither of those hostile regimes is impressed with U.S. power. Both increasingly calculate that the U.S. does not possess the credible means to roll back their nuclear programs. Not surprisingly, they have retained an intransigent policy course.
    I don't think N.K. or Iran ever feared the United States. The credibility we had with most of the world does not exist with Iran and N.K..

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    The United States military can win this fight and if the politicians keep their noses out of it, they will win this fight.
    I disagree. The military is mighty, but it's not unstoppable. There is a breaking point, and we are beginning to inch our way closer. As the suicide rates continue to climb, we're going to start questioning how humane it is to put our soldiers in a place that carved the British military might (late 19th century) through scaring them and causing trauma by consistent attacks with outrageous efficiency.

    What's worse. We are on the defensive and we have not faced the cream of the crop in full-force.

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    What worries me is what seems to have amounted to a dangerous lack of coherent strategy from the onset, limited leadership on the ground, grossly deficient understanding of the historic experience in Afghanistan, and a lack of attention to the role Afghanistan's local tribes play. Each of those factors has contributed to the current situation. Whether the forthcoming strategic planning effort by the President will really get to the heart of those issues remains to be seen. If it is merely a more robust counterinsurgency strategy, it probably will not accomplish too much in Afghanistan. However, it could further drain public and Congressional support for a conflict that is critically important for the United States.
    It's not counter-insurgency. It is a people's fight for autonomy. Call their rule barbaric, call their Sharia law evil, call their tactics Machiavellian, but it's a fight for their heritage and identity.

    With the Taliban seeing the U.S./NATO lurch from tactic to tactic and from strategy to strategy, the Taliban will likely remain largely unresponsive to the new tactic. Instead, their behavior will be guided strictly by on-the-ground developments, not tactical or strategic announcements. It is those on-the-ground developments that a new Aghanstan strategy will need to visibly and decisively shift in the favor of the U.S./NATO.
    Yeah. I find the interim period whenever the Taliban was making foreign policy (going from tribal politics in Peshawar to global politics in Kabul) highly interesting. With the Taliban, there really is no larger period. The was very little organization their policy making, and Sharia Law appears to be applied because of their fear that the Afghanis would see their lack of organization.

    I mean, the Taliban banned kite-flying and tennis! It's nothing more the Will to Power, or legitimacy through iron-fists.

    I think the Taliban is beginning to lose faith in A.Q., as it brought the foreigners into their lands. It would be as likely the Taliban (without A.Q.) to strike the United States, as a Sudanese paramilitary force-- Not much to deal with logistics, but more to deal with "who cares?"

    Lets not forget that A.Q. even matters because it is the Rich man's (Bin Laden & Middle East contributors) support of the poor man (suicide bombers, Mujhadeen)
    "I do not underestimate the ability of fanatical groups of terrorists to kill and destroy, but they do not threaten the life of the nation. Whether we would survive Hitler hung in the balance, but there is no doubt that we shall survive al-Qa'ida." -- Lord Hoffmann

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    Re: U.S. Tries New Tack Against Taliban

    Quote Originally Posted by j-mac View Post
    And that is why we must win, what ever that looks like.


    j-mac
    "scorched earth"

    I truly hope not but I fear that is what it will take

    If you haven't won in eight years I would suggest it is time to change the base on which you are playing - this looks like it might just be a way out. I read the times article - it is about giving the moderates a way OUT of the Taliban - it is about breaking up the base of the Taliban so that you marginalise the extremists more and more

    Sounds like it might be a worthwhile strategy
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    Re: U.S. Tries New Tack Against Taliban

    Quote Originally Posted by CrusaderRabbit08 View Post
    And how long should the US occupy Afghanistan to secure that victory?
    If the fighting is over, who cares? We don't see you crying about the troops that occupy South Korea.
    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    At least Bill saved his transgressions for grown women. Not suggesting what he did was OK. But he didn't chase 14 year olds.

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    Re: U.S. Tries New Tack Against Taliban

    Quote Originally Posted by Crunch View Post
    I'm afraid that to win this war we would have to "kill them all and let God sort them out", then occupy the country for 50 years until a new generation came of age in the modern world.

    That's the tried and true method of modern warfare. It's only after we stopped using that proven method that things got all ****ed up.
    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    At least Bill saved his transgressions for grown women. Not suggesting what he did was OK. But he didn't chase 14 year olds.

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    Re: U.S. Tries New Tack Against Taliban

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    That's the tried and true method of modern warfare. It's only after we stopped using that proven method that things got all ****ed up.
    Are you related to Patton?

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    Re: U.S. Tries New Tack Against Taliban

    Quote Originally Posted by EpicDude86 View Post
    When we leave? BWAHAHAHA! Not with all the opium they've got! And there's got to be oil there somewhere...
    While you guys were too preoccupied with Talibans China sneaked in there for their minerals.
    Afghanistan copper deposits worth $88 billion attract Chinese investors

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    Re: U.S. Tries New Tack Against Taliban

    Quote Originally Posted by RDS View Post
    While you guys were too preoccupied with Talibans China sneaked in there for their minerals.
    Afghanistan copper deposits worth $88 billion attract Chinese investors
    Osama Bin Laden is in West China. Maybe same for ghostly Mullah Omar.
    "I do not underestimate the ability of fanatical groups of terrorists to kill and destroy, but they do not threaten the life of the nation. Whether we would survive Hitler hung in the balance, but there is no doubt that we shall survive al-Qa'ida." -- Lord Hoffmann

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    Re: U.S. Tries New Tack Against Taliban

    Quote Originally Posted by RDS View Post
    But you guys can't remain in Afghanistan and Iraq forever. When you leave it could end up in a worse scenario.
    We were in Germany for 50 years and no one said anything. Where were you for that occupation?

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