View Poll Results: Do you support Obama's continuation of the war in Afghanistan?

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  • Yes, I support Obama's continuation of the war in Afghanistan.

    15 34.88%
  • No, I don't support Obama's continuation of the war in Afghanistan.

    22 51.16%
  • Other

    6 13.95%
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Thread: Do you support Obama in continuing the Afghanistan war?

  1. #61
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    Re: Do you support Obama in continuing the Afghanistan war?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    I'm looking for signs that Afghanistan is any better off economically than it was before...and more to the point, that it is sufficiently better off to warrant the enormous amount of resources we have poured into nation-building there.
    The resources we pour into it is a matter of criticism you should have with Washington. Iraq did nothave to be thecontractor orgy it was and it never should have cost asmuch as it did. The same is true for Afghanistan. If you want to see an economic deifference, you have to back off and give it time. Poppy fields don't turn into wheat fields over night. Education programs don't educate a population where 80percent can't read or write over night. Discovered mass pockets of natural gasses don't immediately begin sourcing a nation's growth.

    Afghanistan will always be Afghanistan. But it can damn well be better than it is right now. Al-Queda and other such religious crime organizations can only thrive in nations like the former Afghanistan. Not addressing them and not holding their hands past what outsiders assume is all they are capable of, is criminal to our own security.

    Remember how quick the pundits of Iraq were so willing to cater to short sighted current events as definition for ultimate failure? How every IED was a disaster? How the great civil war was going to erupt the Middle East? All of this was near sighted, ignorant, and smacked of racism for an entire civilization. Even as they refuse to offer credit for the current events towards the greatest social and dramatic change in the region with Iraq's efforts to create democracy, they are starting to voice the same ignorant doomsday crap with Afghanistan.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    The US military is not well-equipped to build nations.
    The U.S. military was not equipped for humanitarian missions either, but that didn't stop them from dropping the military into one mission after another in the 90s. We had to learn under fire and learn we did. Besides, the U.S. military is not in Afghanistan alone. NGOs are very much a part of this effort. So this statement is pointless.

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  2. #62
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    Re: Do you support Obama in continuing the Afghanistan war?

    Quote Originally Posted by reefedjib View Post
    That is precisely why we (they, the guys and gals in theater) are working on promoting a secure DECENTRALIZED solution to this problem, by empowering the provinces. MSgt could perhaps clarify this, but I recall having read that this is the new strategy given the tribal nature of Afghanistan and the centralized corruption.
    With the corrupt government we are also support working against us after a decade at war with the loss of thousands of our soldiers, tens of thousands more with loss of limbs and other permanent disfigurements, and trillions of dollars in National debt, I just don't think we can pull it off without bankrupting the country at a time when our economy and people at home need help.
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  3. #63
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    Re: Do you support Obama in continuing the Afghanistan war?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cephus View Post
    The terrorist groups are just going to move somewhere else and we can't invade EVERYONE. All we're doing is justifying their position that the U.S. is sticking our nose into places we don't belong and fueling their hatred.
    Then let them move. They tried to set up camp in Iraq when tribal differences began to surface. They failed because their kind can't exist in societies where people have a choice for something better. They have been denied their base in Afghanistan and have moved to Pakistan. With a strong Pathan government in Afganistan, they will not return. Their best hope is that we leave prematurely (like they hoped in Iraq) or seek to disrupt the fragile Pakistani government. Do you not understand why crime is greatest in poor/uneducated neighborhoods even in the U.S.?

    This is generational and it is region wide. Where before we could get away with supporting the Cold War dictator for stability, we now have to begin living up to our free/democratic rhetoric and support the people who will never end up choosing oppression.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cephus View Post
    Yeah, that's a good idea.

    It is a good idea. Or do you think minding our own business about these wrecked and oppressed territories where terrorism goes so unchecked was a good idea on 9/11?

    You don't know what you are talking about. I can tell because your remark is very sophomoric and lacks understanding.

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  4. #64
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    Re: Do you support Obama in continuing the Afghanistan war?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catawba View Post
    With the corrupt government we are also support working against us after a decade at war with the loss of thousands of our soldiers, tens of thousands more with loss of limbs and other permanent disfigurements, and trillions of dollars in National debt, I just don't think we can pull it off without bankrupting the country at a time when our economy and people at home need help.
    Karzai is temporary. The corruption is exponentially being addressed at every level. Stop living in the past and assuming that today is the future. Like Iraq, there is a process under way.

    The tactic to define things in blacks and whites or it's either this or that never addresses the issue. There is no reason to "bankrupt" the nation in our efforts. Without addressing Washington's waste, you'll only ensure that they waste elsewhere. None of this should have cost this much.

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  5. #65
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    Re: Do you support Obama in continuing the Afghanistan war?

    Quote Originally Posted by MSgt View Post
    The resources we pour into it is a matter of criticism you should have with Washington. Iraq did nothave to be thecontractor orgy it was and it never should have cost asmuch as it did. The same is true for Afghanistan. If you want to see an economic deifference, you have to back off and give it time. Poppy fields don't turn into wheat fields over night. Education programs don't educate a population where 80percent can't read or write over night. Discovered mass pockets of natural gasses don't immediately begin sourcing a nation's growth.
    Yeah, things don't change overnight. But I don't think it's asking too much to see SOME signs of progress after ten years. Afghanistan is not progressing, certainly not enough to justify the costs. The "contractor orgy" may have been part of the problem, but even if we had spent one-third as much, we could have certainly done more humanitarian good per dollar spent in, say, India.

    Quote Originally Posted by MSgt
    Afghanistan will always be Afghanistan. But it can damn well be better than it is right now.
    If you want to fix Afghanistan, you have to fix Pakistan first. There is absolutely no way that a landlocked country is going to economically grow if it is dependent on coastal neighbors that are FUBAR themselves. To illustrate this point, let's suppose for a minute that the population WAS suddenly educated overnight and those poppy fields DID suddenly turn to wheat fields overnight. OK, now what? How do you plan to get those textiles, machines, and wheat to port?

    Nation-build Pakistan if you want to nation-build Afghanistan.

    Quote Originally Posted by MSgt
    Al-Queda and other such religious crime organizations can only thrive in nations like the former Afghanistan. Not addressing them and not holding their hands past what outsiders assume is all they are capable of, is criminal to our own security.
    OK, there are plenty of other terrorist havens where our nation-building dollars can go much farther. You could start with some place like Yemen, that's coastal and has the potential to at least not be a disaster...if not a prosperous state. There's plenty of room for altruism there.

    Quote Originally Posted by MSgt
    Remember how quick the pundits of Iraq were so willing to cater to short sighted current events as definition for ultimate failure? How every IED was a disaster? How the great civil war was going to erupt the Middle East? All of this was near sighted, ignorant, and smacked of racism for an entire civilization. Even as they refuse to offer credit for the current events towards the greatest social and dramatic change in the region with Iraq's efforts to create democracy, they are starting to voice the same ignorant doomsday crap with Afghanistan.
    I snipped this before, because it's really not relevant. But suffice it to say that Iraq is stagnant economically and actually regressing politically. If you want to discuss it more than that, start a separate thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by MSgt
    The U.S. military was not equipped for humanitarian missions either, but that didn't stop them from dropping the military into one mission after another in the 90s. We had to learn under fire and learn we did. Besides, the U.S. military is not in Afghanistan alone. NGOs are very much a part of this effort. So this statement is pointless.
    The US military is still not equipped for humanitarian missions, even after "learning under fire." I would be very happy if more of our defense dollars were geared toward things like nation-building instead of, say, fighter jets.

    NGOs are in Afghanistan too, yes. I fail to see how this addresses the criticism that our nation-building efforts just flat-out aren't working and aren't going to work.
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  6. #66
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    Re: Do you support Obama in continuing the Afghanistan war?

    Quote Originally Posted by MSgt View Post
    And this is why you are destined to be dissapointed. Like Iraq, the goal is not Vermont in the desert.

    In regards to Afghanistan, its history is very Pathan controlled. As long as the central government respects the soveriegnty of the local outlying tribes (which shares a common divided theme with the others around the borders), then the tribes will accept Pathan government. This is historical. This is where the Soviets and so many other outsiders failed. Even between outside invasions over the last 2,500 years, their internal frictions and "wars" it was the Pathan government that offerred the greatest stability. A strong Pathan government with a trained ANSF/ANAF will do the job we need against the Taliban and Al-Queda base of operations so that we can leave.

    In other words, "We are not about to send American boys nine or ten thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves" isn't possible without providing them the means to do it.
    The part in bold I emphasized above is where we are not at, after a decade of war. And IMO we are making the same mistake we made in Vietnam, thinking the side we are supporting in Afghanistan has our interest at heart, and is willing to fight for it. Its why it didn't happen in Vietnam. Its why it won't happen in Iraq after we remove our military occupation and won't work in Afghanistan after we remove our military occupation.
    Last edited by Catawba; 02-13-11 at 06:19 PM.
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    Re: Do you support Obama in continuing the Afghanistan war?

    Quote Originally Posted by MSgt View Post
    Like Iraq, there is a process under way.
    I've heard absolutely nothing more convincing than this statement for our immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan!
    Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children. ~ Ancient American Indian Proverb

  8. #68
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    Re: Do you support Obama in continuing the Afghanistan war?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Yeah, things don't change overnight. But I don't think it's asking too much to see SOME signs of progress after ten years.
    This was the situation. Until a year ago, Afghanistan was not the focus. Iraq was. Even today, coalition forces, to include the U.S. Army, have celebrated a trend to hunker down instead of being proactive in their efforts. Instead of pushing forward with social and security programs, they treated the effort as an 8 hour a day job. Italians were training ANSF/ANAF differently than the French were. The Briitish were treating local villages diffrently then the Georgians were. Etc. The result has been a lot of stagnation. In the end, everyone was treating this as if they oinly had to hunker down in safety and wait out their end dates.

    This is no longer the case. Coalition generals have visited Camp Lejeune recently to see what we are doing different that has produced such change over the last year in Marine sectors (towards Pakistan and Iran). ANSF/ANAF is responding better than before and local villages are responding to a more uncorrupt system of gaining assistance. The government is responding to coalition watchdogs who look for corruption. Intel has intercepted transmissions between Taliban leadersinsttructing them torefrain from attacking Marine units because they are "crazy and unkillable and cannot be exploited." They are notjust referring to Marines. They are referring to the ANSF/ANAF that have Marines embedded. We have also gotten away from allowing the enemy to dictate the pace of the war. Instead of retiring for the winter months, they are having to defend from coalition and ANSF/ANAF aggression.

    It's happening. Bigger economic concerns very much depend upon other programs such as the transition from poppy to wheat. Or the pipelines that are to carry natural gas out of Afghanistan. Getting away from the drug trade will address much of the corruption within the government.





    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post

    If you want to fix Afghanistan, you have to fix Pakistan first.
    It's not a one or the other. They are both concerns and they are both key to each other. It doesn't help that much of the taliban "tribe" is rooted on both sides of the border.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    OK, there are plenty of other terrorist havens where our nation-building dollars can go much farther.
    And you don't think they are being addressed as well? CENTCOM doesn't just deal with locations where our military is present. National aid to these countries is a factor. Politicial and diplomatic lean is a factor. We do not have to invade everywhere to address terrorist havens within foreign governments... and we don't. Do you think Egypt's future is on a pace all its own?

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  9. #69
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    Re: Do you support Obama in continuing the Afghanistan war?

    Honestly - I thought he would have altered our approach and nature of involvement by now. But he's really just more of the same.

    I agree that there's a problem worldwide which needs attention.
    I don't believe (haven't for a long time) that we're going about it the right way.

    But should be pull our troops out immediately? No. There would actually be MORE harm done by doing that than by doing what we're doing.

    The opposition is riled up, pissed off, and well funded and armed - while it would be *nice* to not to have to worry about things anymore - we can't just *stop* giving it attention - they will just take what they have *now* out on everyone in our absence.

    I'm sure many won't agree with me - but I feel that's how it is.
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    Re: Do you support Obama in continuing the Afghanistan war?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catawba View Post
    I've heard absolutely nothing more convincing than this statement for our immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan!
    Well, that's because you have chosen to shut down (in 2003 no doubt) and refuse wider thought. Immediate withdrawal from Iraq would not have produced the Iraq you see today. And it would not serve as an example to the rest. It would also be a festering mess full of Al-Queda agents who are building safe havens for which my kind (and your son's) would have to bleed later for.

    Immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan now is equally stupid and short sighted. This is bigger than Afghanistan. The enemy nol onger marches under a government banner in a uniform with a swastika on his shoulder. He no longer takes to the field to pit tank against tank under the expressed declaration of war with his neighbor. Our wars are no longer so neat and packaged for the simple folk who need such things to address an enemy. And this isn't new. The twentieth century merely gave history and the globe's civilizations a timeout from the norm.
    Last edited by MSgt; 02-13-11 at 06:41 PM.

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