View Poll Results: What should we do in Afghanistan?

Voters
25. You may not vote on this poll
  • Sit tight with 68,000 troops in theater

    0 0%
  • Increase troops by 40,000

    7 28.00%
  • Increase troops by 30,000

    1 4.00%
  • Increase troops by 20,000

    0 0%
  • Increase troops by 10,000

    1 4.00%
  • Decrease troops by 34,000

    0 0%
  • Get out.

    16 64.00%
Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 39

Thread: What should we do in Afghanistan?

  1. #11
    Banned
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Last Seen
    09-22-10 @ 04:36 AM
    Gender
    Lean
    Independent
    Posts
    11,430

    Re: What should we do in Afghanistan?

    I see "define the concept of victory in Afghanistan" isn't one of the options.

    Nor is "do what is needed to secure victory, if the Messiah can ever get his incompetent ass around the effort of defining victory in the first place" an option.

  2. #12
    Banned
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Last Seen
    10-14-11 @ 10:09 PM
    Lean
    Undisclosed
    Posts
    1,164

    Re: What should we do in Afghanistan?

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    Oh, lol. You're right. I'd have them learn either Pashtun or Dari depending on where they would be deployed.
    We have an MOS for linguists. While I agree that it would be really helpful for Platoon and Squad Leaders to speak the local language, there simply isn't enough time for all the training involved.

    Where would they learn it? What do you mean? They could be trained anywhere, no? Military bases, green zone, wherever.
    You would deploy Soldiers to the Green Zone to learn Arabic? Seriously?

    In Garrison, we don't have the time to do this. Period. To be proficient speakers, the Soldiers would need to go to DLI. Now, with that being said, I did organize an Arabic speaking class for selected member of my battalion at my last duty station. The students were taught common Arabic (Iraqi dialect) phrases for likely tactical situations; Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1530-1700 and that was pushing it. They had other obligations, like knowing their jobs.

    That's balony. Many universities have language learning requirements to graduate and students take like 3 hours of classes a week for 2-4 of their years in college to pass them. 40 hours a week or more for 6 months would be loads of time.
    Horrible analogy. We aren't college students with nothing to do all day. We have to train. Soldiers can't "take off" for 6 months learning a foreign language...where the hell are all these language instructors going to come from?

    For which part? Rebuilding or language? Why is it too late?
    We have essentially done all we can do for Iraq, outside of helping them build a real military, unlike what they have now. Arabic would be helpful for that, but we should have thought of that years ago.

  3. #13
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Last Seen
    07-23-12 @ 03:52 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Private
    Posts
    6,763
    Blog Entries
    2

    Re: What should we do in Afghanistan?

    Quote Originally Posted by kansaswhig View Post
    We are doing COIN now, or at least some version of it since we don't have enough troops. The problem is that we don't have the troops to adequately conduct COIN operations in an appropriate manner. We are half-assing it now, and with an additional five brigades, we would still be half-assing it.

    Gotta switch to C-T, it's really the only option at this point.
    Yeah, I understand that with 5 extra BCT we would still be half-assing it.

    C-T = counterterrorism, right? Do you have any links that would explain it well? I am not familiar with it.

  4. #14
    Banned
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Last Seen
    09-22-10 @ 04:36 AM
    Gender
    Lean
    Independent
    Posts
    11,430

    Re: What should we do in Afghanistan?

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    For which part? Rebuilding or language? Why is it too late?
    We've already won in Iraq and that country's problems are being shifted to the national leaders.

  5. #15
    Banned
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Last Seen
    10-14-11 @ 10:09 PM
    Lean
    Undisclosed
    Posts
    1,164

    Re: What should we do in Afghanistan?

    Quote Originally Posted by reefedjib View Post
    Yeah, I understand that with 5 extra BCT we would still be half-assing it.

    C-T = counterterrorism, right? Do you have any links that would explain it well? I am not familiar with it.
    Hey I'll do some research for you on it and get back to you with some good sources.

    Primarily, C-T would entail intelligence-based targeting of Taliban and AQ leadership; with SOF, drones, etc. We are already doing this, to an extent.

    It's different from COIN because we don't occupy the villages and cities. I'm not even opposed to occupying the major population centers, but we simply don't have the manpower to put a platoon in every village. We can't do it.

    We could also have advisors to the ANA and ANP, which I am not opposed to either. Advisors serve a good purpose and report SECFOR progress (or lack of) to HHQ. Pertinent data they use when assessing HNF units for possible mission changes. Leaving the Advisors out with HNF is risky, but valuable.

    CT is just the more plausible option at this point. We will fail if we try to implement full-on COIN.

  6. #16
    Sage
    teamosil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    San Francisco
    Last Seen
    05-22-14 @ 12:47 AM
    Gender
    Lean
    Liberal
    Posts
    6,623

    Re: What should we do in Afghanistan?

    Quote Originally Posted by kansaswhig View Post
    In Garrison, we don't have the time to do this. Period. To be proficient speakers, the Soldiers would need to go to DLI. Now, with that being said, I did organize an Arabic speaking class for selected member of my battalion at my last duty station. The students were taught common Arabic (Iraqi dialect) phrases for likely tactical situations; Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1530-1700 and that was pushing it. They had other obligations, like knowing their jobs.
    All the logistics for how they would find instructors, where the classes would be held, timing, etc, I'm sure could be worked out. I'm talking about increasing troop levels by 30k and doubling the budget to support language teaching and reconstruction. No need to figure out how it would fit into the existing budget or troop readiness time constraints.

    Quote Originally Posted by kansaswhig View Post
    We have essentially done all we can do for Iraq, outside of helping them build a real military, unlike what they have now. Arabic would be helpful for that, but we should have thought of that years ago.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scarecrow Akhbar View Post
    We've already won in Iraq and that country's problems are being shifted to the national leaders.
    In terms of eliminating the old regimes we've maybe done all we can, but both countries are basically destroyed at the moment. If we leave them worse off than we found them, what the hell was the point of this whole thing?

    IMO we can't leave with a clean conscience until the countries are not only stable militarily, but functional again. Until people have jobs, the schools and electrical grids are back up, the economies are working again, etc. I'd rather bite the bullet and get all that back at least to how we found it as fast as possible so we can get out of there with a clear conscience as soon as possible. If we just linger around with guns and never fix things back up we'll just continue to blow through money, we'll continue to alienate the population, we'l continue making more enemies than friends.... And for what?

  7. #17
    Banned
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Last Seen
    10-14-11 @ 10:09 PM
    Lean
    Undisclosed
    Posts
    1,164

    Re: What should we do in Afghanistan?

    For the short term, this explaination is about the best I can come up with.

    Cordesman is usually pretty good, despite some differences I have with him.

    The article is a long read, but well worth it.

    U.S. Strategy in Afghanistan - - The Debate We Should Be Having

    By Anthony H. Cordesman
    Oct 7, 2009

    The last few weeks have done at least as much to reveal the critical weaknesses in US strategic thinking as they have done to clarify them. We have become embroiled in a largely conceptual debate over whether we should commit ourselves to more troops and a “counterinsurgency” strategy, use of special forces and UCAVs to attack Al Qa’ida and other key insurgent leaders in a “counterterrorism” strategy, or rely on building up Afghan forces in an “anything but us” strategy. There also is a cadre of thinkers who advocate a loosely defined range of “withdrawal,” “no more increases,” or “Pakistan instead” strategies.
    Full Article

  8. #18
    Sage
    lizzie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    between two worlds
    Last Seen
    @
    Gender
    Lean
    Libertarian
    Posts
    28,581

    Re: What should we do in Afghanistan?

    Quote Originally Posted by kansaswhig View Post
    Primarily, C-T would entail intelligence-based targeting of Taliban and AQ leadership; with SOF, drones, etc. We are already doing this, to an extent.
    That is something that I could support. To me, we are just routing out gang members, and putting thousands of troops on the ground is like sending an army of cops into a neighborhood to fight gangs. It seems like using intelligence and special ops teams would be more sensible in this "war". I also don't think we should be spending untold amounts of dollars rebuilding two countries.

  9. #19
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Last Seen
    07-23-12 @ 03:52 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Private
    Posts
    6,763
    Blog Entries
    2

    Re: What should we do in Afghanistan?

    Quote Originally Posted by kansaswhig View Post
    For the short term, this explaination is about the best I can come up with.

    Cordesman is usually pretty good, despite some differences I have with him.

    The article is a long read, but well worth it.



    Full Article
    Yeah, I have always liked Cordesman. Great link, thank you. I have to quote a few things from it, but you should read it yourselves...

    There are heavy stakes:
    More generally, a strategy for the war in Afghanistan cannot be separated from the need for a regional strategy to help ensure stability of the nations around Afghanistan and Pakistan, and one that deals with impacts on the broader range of jihadist movements. It is unrealistic to talk of nearby “dominoes” falling if Afghanistan does. At the same time, it is equally unrealistic to ignore the fact that a US, NATO/ISAF, and UN failure within Afghanistan – and the creation of a Taliban-dominated nation or region – will not affect Iran and the Gulf, India, Central Asia, Russia, and China. We also cannot afford to ignore the fact it will give a powerful boost to Jihadist movements that now extend from Morocco to the Philippines and spill over into Europe and the United States.
    Define the mission:
    It also needs to define the mission realistically The US may well be able to achieve its goals in the Afghan War if it is defines them in practical terms: This cannot simply be focused on containing Al Qa’ida and denying it the ability to carry out “international” attacks – important as this prime objective may be. Al Qa’ida is simply today’s symbol of a much broader, endemic, and enduring set of threats that are almost certain to emerge in new forms as any given movement is defeated.

    The US needs to bringing broad stability and security to most of the Afghan population, to denying all Jihadists a new sanctuary, and help the Afghan government move towards economic security and functional levels of governance. Achieving less presents obvious, although not necessarily fatal, risks. If more is possible, it will be years before we can know this and raise our goals accordingly.
    Get the right resources:
    it is absurd to try to decouple strategy from resources – particularly when one considers the complex range of resources that need to be involved in the Afghan conflict. They go far beyond US troop levels. They involve ISAF forces, US and allied civilians and aid workers, build-up and allocation of the Afghan national security forces, and the availability of credible Afghan civilian partners at the national, provincial, district, and local levels. They also involve the availability of such resources over a period of half a decade or more.
    The Afghan government is corrupt:
    No strategy can succeed which does not accept the fact that the Afghan central government is corrupt and lacks capacity, that even the best Afghan ministries and institutions require constant support and aid, that provincial and district government suffers from similar problems and chronic underfunding, and that there is no meaningful local Afghan government presence in as much as 40% of the country. This makes the Afghan government as much of a practical problem for the US and its allies as the Taliban and Al Qa’ida.
    The Afghan Army is critical:
    The Afghan Army is now virtually the only aspect of the Afghan government that has any popular respect and generally is free of corruption. It also, however, is already being churned out in ways that maximize numbers rather than quality; without adequate trainers, mentors, and partners; and with limited training at the level of integrated battalions – much less in ways that create larger and truly independent formations.

    The Afghan Army is still a fragile structure and further rushing its expansion and the training process is dangerous.
    Police needs work:
    As for the other elements of Afghan forces, the US and ISAF have wasted eight years creating an ineffective and corrupt mix of police forces that cannot survive and operate in hostile areas. As in Iraq, this effort was underfunded and lacked trainers relatively to the military. It has also been corrupted by organized crime, narcotics, and power brokers.
    Characterize the threat:
    Properly characterize the threat and do so in a net assessment context: Until this spring, the US and its allies spent some eight years in denial and understating the scale of the threat. They focused on winning tactical battles and encounters while the Taliban and its affiliates focused on winning on a war of political attrition designed to make the US and ISAF leave, force aid efforts out of the country, undermine the weak Afghan government, and take control of the Afghan population and key territory.

    Kinetics are important: they either kill the enemy or US and friendly forces. The political, security, governance, and economic struggle for the population, however, is what determines the outcome of this kind of war. The need to change the assessment of the threat to reflect this fact is clearly recognized in the McChrystal strategy document, and all other strategies must be based on similar judgments.

    On the counterterrorism strategy:
    The public discussion of the “counterterrorism” strategy is even more decoupled from every aspect of the civil side of operations -- coping with the weaknesses in the Afghan government, and dealing with the problems in ISAF and the international aid effort. It also is curiously ill defined. Versions vary from little more than using UCAVs and few special forces to “plink” at Al Qa’ida in Pakistan, to a mix of far more intense strikes on all aspects of Al Qa’ida and the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan with something very close to the presently planned level of ground forces and aid efforts in Afghanistan, including the added troops that President Obama committed this spring.

    It is difficult to discuss some of the most critical aspects of any effort to strike at Al Qa’ida and Taliban cadres, because such an depends so heavily on sensitive strike assets and aspects of intelligence fusion. It is far from clear, however, that such an effort can achieve enough scale to have a lasting impact without major forces on the ground or without expecting special forces to perform miracles and survive in the process. It is unclear why such strikes should be any more decisive than they have been over the last eight years in defeating Al Qa’ida and the broad threat posed by violent Jihadist threats. It is unclear how it can be applied to the insurgent networks that are now embedded in densely populated areas. Decapitation is wonderfully simplistic as a concept, but Tarantino will not write the script in Afghanistan
    .

  10. #20
    Banned
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Last Seen
    10-14-11 @ 10:09 PM
    Lean
    Undisclosed
    Posts
    1,164

    Re: What should we do in Afghanistan?

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    All the logistics for how they would find instructors, where the classes would be held, timing, etc, I'm sure could be worked out.
    If you have been in the military, you could possibly comprehend why this would not work. Your plan is not feasible. 500 linguists? That are qualified and properly trained? Yes, DLI can facilitate that. American Divisions of Dari and Pashtun speaking troops? Can never happen. We already have those troops anyway...they are known as the ANA.

    I'm talking about increasing troop levels by 30k and doubling the budget to support language teaching and reconstruction.
    Budgets are easy. Execution is not.

    No need to figure out how it would fit into the existing budget or troop readiness time constraints.
    Yeah, actually that is what you would need to work out. There isn't time for it.

    In terms of eliminating the old regimes we've maybe done all we can, but both countries are basically destroyed at the moment.
    I wouldn't call Iraq "destroyed" at the moment, considering where they were about three years ago...Afghanistan was essentially not a country prior to our arrival after 9/11. The government we installed is a debacle, but is it better than nothing?

    If we leave them worse off than we found them, what the hell was the point of this whole thing?
    Good question.

    IMO we can't leave with a clean conscience until the countries are not only stable militarily, but functional again. Until people have jobs, the schools and electrical grids are back up, the economies are working again, etc.
    I would love for naked porn stars to ride around on unicorns.

    I'd rather bite the bullet and get all that back at least to how we found it as fast as possible so we can get out of there with a clear conscience as soon as possible. If we just linger around with guns and never fix things back up we'll just continue to blow through money, we'll continue to alienate the population, we'l continue making more enemies than friends.... And for what?
    Well, theoretically, reconstruction doesn't come without governance.

    Governance doesn't come without security.

    Security doesn't come without guns and money.

    Can't skip steps 1 & 2 to get to 3.

    Tough one, I know.

Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •