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Thread: End Operations in Afghanistan, Karzai Tells NATO

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    Re: End Operations in Afghanistan, Karzai Tells NATO

    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by Andalublue View Post
    Well, if you're pretending that you have installed a democratic government in the country, then if that government tells you to leave, shouldn't you leave.
    No, not until that government is well established and democracy is secured.

    That IS the voice of the Afghan people, according to you. Isn't NOT leaving tantamount to admitting that the government you have installed is just a puppet of your occupation?
    No, it is the voice of Mr. Karzi, a well known corrupt and neurotic man. If NATO was to base their security on the voice of one very eccentric individual the area, and the world, would be chaos. It is the responsibility, once we are in there and many sacrifices have been made, that we don''t just walk on his say so.

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    Re: End Operations in Afghanistan, Karzai Tells NATO

    Quote Originally Posted by Whovian View Post
    I'm not so sure I agree that we should remain in a foriegn country in a military manner, if that country tells us to leave.
    Several quick things:

    1. The Karzai regime has limited jurisdiction and, by definition, lacks a basic ingredient of a sovereign state.
    2. Its legitimacy is also suspect.

    That U.S. strategy is flawed in that it is Kabul-centric does not alter those two realities. What Afghanistan's various tribal leaders say is far more relevant and important than Mr. Karzai's whim de jour.

    In any case, if the U.S. has strategic interests that require a continued U.S. military presence, those interests, not Mr. Karzai's wishes should take precedence. Furthermore, it is highly likely that the majority of Afghanistan's tribal leaders would oppose a rash pullout that would all but assure that Afghanistan would succumb to power vacuums and collapse into true failed state status (it remains on the edge under Mr. Karzai's corrupt and incompetent rule). Even if Mr. Karzai were not making impulsive statements concerning the U.S./NATO, a strategy correction that shifts the focus to Afghanistan's tribal leaders and away from Karzai would be helpful, both for the country's long-term political evolution and for U.S. interests.

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    Re: End Operations in Afghanistan, Karzai Tells NATO

    Quote Originally Posted by The Barbarian View Post
    I think that the best thing we can do, is basically use this as an opportunity to get the hell out. Since the new rules of engagement have been implemented, handcuffing our troops, there is no possible way to reach any objective set.

    Karzal, can't be trusted, to say the least, we aren't wanted there by the people according to some here. The left in this country, would rather point to the innocent civilians being killed by our troops there, then worry about our American men and women dying there. It's time to tuck our tails between our legs and remove ourselves from another Vietnam that cannot be won. I would also hope that our aid to that country be withdrawn as well. If we are wanted out, lets do what is asked, but the aid given by American should be removed as well.
    Cut and run now, as happened in Vietnam, and the slaughter will begin, as also happened in Vietnam. There are lessons to be learned from Vietnam, but it seems many are learning the wrongs ones.

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    Re: End Operations in Afghanistan, Karzai Tells NATO

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    Several quick things:

    1. The Karzai regime has limited jurisdiction and, by definition, lacks a basic ingredient of a sovereign state.
    2. Its legitimacy is also suspect.

    That U.S. strategy is flawed in that it is Kabul-centric does not alter those two realities. What Afghanistan's various tribal leaders say is far more relevant and important than Mr. Karzai's whim de jour.

    In any case, if the U.S. has strategic interests that require a continued U.S. military presence, those interests, not Mr. Karzai's wishes should take precedence.
    Unfortunately Don, you seem as unable as anyone else in this thread to specify what those strategic interests and goals are. What is the US and NATO hoping to achieve in the long-term from their involvement in Afghanistan? I would be very surprised if any of those goals have more than a minimal impact on the national interests of the Allies.


    Furthermore, it is highly likely that the majority of Afghanistan's tribal leaders would oppose a rash pullout that would all but assure that Afghanistan would succumb to power vacuums and collapse into true failed state status (it remains on the edge under Mr. Karzai's corrupt and incompetent rule). Even if Mr. Karzai were not making impulsive statements concerning the U.S./NATO, a strategy correction that shifts the focus to Afghanistan's tribal leaders and away from Karzai would be helpful, both for the country's long-term political evolution and for U.S. interests.
    Supporting a loose confederation of regional and tribal groups and leaders was the West's policy after the 1989 Russian pull-out. The disastrous consequences of that approach were felt after the fall of the Najibullah regime and right up until the death of Massoud and 9/11. What makes you believe that adopting the same approach now would be any more successful?
    "The crisis will end when fear changes sides" - Pablo Iglesias Turrión

    "Austerity is used as a cover to reconfigure society and increase inequality and injustice." - Jeremy Corbyn

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    Re: End Operations in Afghanistan, Karzai Tells NATO

    the strategy underpinning OBAMA'S WAR in afghanistan is completely incoherent

    1. it's equal parts ESCALATION and withdrawal

    2. the pull out date has been pushed back every season, biden (longtime senate foreign relations chair) last november announced the admin's newest "drop dead" date of 2014

    3. afghanization of the effort is impossible so long as the corrupt kook karzai is in control

    4. there's no way any kind of real stability can be achieved by july

    5. the enemy we seek, al qaeda, isn't even in afghanistan

    6. obama has been, therefore, waging a not so SECRET WAR in pakistan

    7. we are more dependent on the efficacies of karzai and zardari than we are reliant on the efforts of our own troops

    8. why are almost 100,000 american soldiers over there, what is their mission, what is our exit strategy?

    9. BOB WOODWARD provided a very inconvenient answer---POLITICS

    10. american casualties in OBAMA'S WAR have increased 400% since he assumed office

    11. our heroes are operating under ridiculous roe's, rules of engagement, that appear to have been written by a montessori

    12. obama's first general spoke with mcchrystal clarity, so he was fired

    13. the man the former junior senator from illinois called general betray us was brought in at the last second to rescue OBAMA'S WAR

    14. dennis blair was ousted because he was a military realist not interested in politics

    15. jim jones jammed after complaining about obama's waterbugs

    16. john kerry calls for inclusion of iran in negotiations

    17. the deceased richard holbrooke held out for the haqqani

    18. afghanistan is the WRONG WAR, the taliban is the wrong enemy

    19. our entire foreign policy, from china to mexico to iran to korea to palestine to putin, is today conducted by rank amateurs, mrs clinton

    20. afghanistan is killing this president, where's it gonna be in summer, 2012?
    Last edited by The Prof; 03-14-11 at 01:32 PM.

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    Re: End Operations in Afghanistan, Karzai Tells NATO

    Quote Originally Posted by The Prof View Post
    the strategy underpinning OBAMA'S WAR in afghanistan is completely incoherent

    1. it's equal parts ESCALATION and withdrawal

    2. the pull out date has been pushed back every season, biden (longtime senate foreign relations chair) last november announced the admin's newest "drop dead" date of 2014

    3. afghanization of the effort is impossible so long as the corrupt kook karzai is in control

    4. there's no way any kind of real stability can be achieved by july

    5. the enemy we seek, al qaeda, isn't even in afghanistan

    6. obama has been, therefore, waging a not so SECRET WAR in pakistan

    7. we are more dependent on the efficacies of karzai and zardari than we are reliant on the efforts of our own troops

    8. why are almost 100,000 american soldiers over there, what is their mission, what is our exit strategy?

    9. BOB WOODWARD provided a very inconvenient answer---POLITICS

    10. american casualties in OBAMA'S WAR have increased 400% since he assumed office

    11. our heroes are operating under ridiculous roe's, rules of engagement, that appear to have been written by a montessori

    12. obama's first general spoke with mcchrystal clarity, so he was fired

    13. the man the former junior senator from illinois called general betray us was brought in at the last second to rescue OBAMA'S WAR

    14. dennis blair was ousted because he was a military realist not interested in politics

    15. jim jones jammed after complaining about obama's waterbugs

    16. john kerry calls for inclusion of iran in negotiations

    17. the deceased richard holbrooke held out for the haqqani

    18. afghanistan is the WRONG WAR, the taliban is the wrong enemy

    19. our entire foreign policy, from china to mexico to iran to korea to palestine to putin, is today conducted by rank amateurs, mrs clinton

    20. afghanistan is killing this president, where's it gonna be in summer, 2012?
    I hope the American people realize in 2012 that it's more important to elect a leader for the content of their character rather than the color of their skin.

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    Re: End Operations in Afghanistan, Karzai Tells NATO

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    I hope the American people realize in 2012 that it's more important to elect a leader for the content of their character rather than the color of their skin.
    Eh, it's not like we had that many great options to choose from in 2008. If I had to go back and vote again I would potentially have switched for Hillary, but I'm not sure.
    Nobody who wins a war indulges in a bifurcated definition of victory. War is a political act; victory and defeat have meaning only in political terms. A country incapable of achieving its political objectives at an acceptable cost is losing the war, regardless of battlefield events.

    Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.

    All the same, it's nonsense. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, show me a political loser, and I'll show you a loser.
    - Colonel Paul Yingling

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    Re: End Operations in Afghanistan, Karzai Tells NATO

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    I hope the American people realize in 2012 that it's more important to elect a leader for the content of their character rather than the color of their skin.
    Obama was the better choice between McCain

    Had nothing to do with the fact he's black.

    For some yes.

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    Re: End Operations in Afghanistan, Karzai Tells NATO

    Quote Originally Posted by Andalublue View Post
    Unfortunately Don, you seem as unable as anyone else in this thread to specify what those strategic interests and goals are.
    Notice, I have repeatedly premised by statements with "if." Key issues that would have to be resolved would be:

    1) Would Iran exploit a post-withdrawal power vacuum in Afghanistan to project its growing regional power and further destablize the region?
    2) Would a power vacuum in Afghanistan lead to increased risk in neighboring Pakistan that could heighten risks associated with Pakistan's nuclear arsenal?
    3) Would a U.S. withdrawal significantly reduce the United States' ability to project power in the region?
    4) Would a power vacuum in Afghanistan exacerbate long-running geopolitical rivalries between India, Pakistan, China, etc.?
    5) Would a power vacuum in Afghanistan lead to various radical groups gaining a safe-haven from which they could export violence to destabilize the broader Central Asia region?

    Depending on the answers to those questions, would viable alternatives exist so as to mitigate those potential problems?

    At the same time, the U.S. would have to balance those issues with whether the mission in place can reasonably achieve U.S. goals. If not, could the strategy be restructured?

    As noted previously and well today's events, I've noted that I believe the Karzai regime is part of the problem, not the solution. It has been corrupt, inept, and unreliable. It has often put Karzai family members and cronies ahead of Afghanistan's people. Not surprisingly, it has only very limited ability to exercise jurisdiction and it is widely perceived among Afghans to be illegitimate. In part, the violence directed against it is from the Taliban. At the same time, there is a dynamic of home-grown rejection of it arising from various tribes.

    Making a strategic correction away from a Kabul-centric orientation would be more compatible with the country's historic experience, structure, and dynamics. Hence, if the issue concerns maintaining the status quo approach vs. withdrawal, the answer might differ from the choice of pursuing a corrected course (non-Kabul-centric approach) vs.withdrawal.

    Finally, geopolitical significance matters. With Somalia's having collapsed into failed state status, piracy poses the current threat to U.S. interests. The impact of the pirates is, in the whole scheme of things, insignficant to U.S. interests. Access to a narrow strip of water through which most oil shipments pass, not the larger body of water proximate to Somalia is critical to the U.S. Were Afghanistan to fall into failed state status, the geopolitical fallout would potentially be magnitudes of order greater than that of Somalia (regional destabilization, opportunity for Iran, increased risk to Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, diminished U.S. ability to project regional power, etc.). I would also suggest that the geopolitical impact from a collapse of Afghanistan would be far greater than that associated with whatever the outcome in Libya would be. In short, there are enough variables of importance that suggest that the U.S. could have sufficiently critical interests in the evolution of Afghanistan to reject any formal call by Mr. Karzai to withdraw. If, in fact, that's the case, then the U.S. should reject Mr. Karzai's call, especially as Mr. Karzai lacks sufficient power to compel such a move.


    Supporting a loose confederation of regional and tribal groups and leaders was the West's policy after the 1989 Russian pull-out. The disastrous consequences of that approach were felt after the fall of the Najibullah regime and right up until the death of Massoud and 9/11. What makes you believe that adopting the same approach now would be any more successful?
    The U.S. provided arms and nothing more. Had the U.S. worked with the tribal leaders to build a cohesive state following the conclusion of the war, a different outcome might have been achieved. By that, I mean had the U.S. provided technical, economic, and reconstruction assistance, as well as mediated the development of a reasonably stable political system. Instead, the U.S. did none of that. The power vacuum that followed is not surprising given that country's structure and historic experience.

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    Re: End Operations in Afghanistan, Karzai Tells NATO

    Quote Originally Posted by Marshabar View Post
    End operations in Afghanistan, Karzai tells NATO

    I guess Karzai and the people of Afghanistan have decided the cure is worse than the disease. The drone attacks must be horrifying on many levels. It's too bad the coward terrorists insist on hiding behind women and children.
    With a handshake and a kiss on the cheek, we should grant their wish and be done with the place. Who knows...maybe they surprise us all and actually manage to maintain their progress and grow. or...they get overwhelmed and the Taliban reasserts itself in their government and they go back to the stone age hell they were. Either way they will deserve their fate.

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