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Objectives of Afghanistan


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#1 Robert Williams

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Posted January 05 2011 - 3:56 PM

Obama listed three objectives:

1) to deny al Qaeda a safe haven;

2) to reverse the Taliban's momentum and deny it the ability to overthrow the government of President Hamid Karzai; and

3) strengthen the capacity of Afghanistan's security forces and government so that they can take the lead responsibility for Afghanistan's future. In order to do so, he ordered the deployment of an additional 30,000 American troops to Afghanistan.

So how are we making out?

#1 was already accomplished before Obama was sworn in.

#2 is something the military wants to argue they are, in fact, accomplishing, although they do have to argue for this since it's not a clear cut fact and many think that it's like pushing a rope and that all progress is temporary.

#3 This is the big one. This is the one that will get us out of Afghanistan. And this is the one that seems to be utterly impossible in the existing Afghanistan political enviornment and, so far, has been tanatmount to trying to bail out the Ocean with a leaky bucket.

Tactically, we are winning. Strategically, we seem stuck. And this raises some questions. If we cannot make progress, is this a war we can afford to lose? Do we stay, anyway? Do we cut our losses and affect a withdraw and accept the fallout and consequences of the failure? Or do you thinkk that we can find a strategy or plan that will turn the corner for us?

Just something I've been thinking about.



#2 NS Mike D

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Posted January 05 2011 - 4:14 PM

2& 3 are intertwined

karzai is problematic


he's not the guy to get the job done, but they don't have a better answer



#3 lichum

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Posted January 05 2011 - 4:19 PM


karzai is problematic



So are Pakistan's nuclear weapons.


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#4 Brother Brian

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Posted January 05 2011 - 4:22 PM

Vietnam Deux .


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#5 JimW

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Posted January 05 2011 - 4:24 PM

First, I think it needs to be a discussion of the objectives in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Secondly, I think it could be argued that none of them have been met in any sort of permanent solution. Obviously have disrupted AQ safe haven in Afghanistan but apparently not so much in Pakistan, and even this is dependent on a large military presence.

My opinion which really worth nothing- Reduce forces in Afghanistan to one or two strategic and defendable bases. Leave sufficient to keep pressure on Taliban and AQ with mainly air strikes. Would leave special forces as available in place. Keep pushing Pakistan to clean up their side.

I don't see Karzai gov't succeeding.
I don't see Afhan military or police be capable any time soon.
I don't Pakistanis sending military to tribal areas in sufficient nbrs to do alot.
I don't see any secular democracy blooming in Afghanistan

Keeping AQ off balance and preventing Taliban from resuming gov't in Afghanistan are about what we are capable of.



#6 JimP

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Posted January 05 2011 - 4:45 PM

You guys are forgetting one thing: MChrystal asked for 60,000 troops to get the job done. He was ordered to go back and reassess as the "political situation" would not allow 60K new troops. He goes back and they do a bare-bones scrub and come up with a figure of 40K. No fewer than 40K and even then it is risky. Obama drags his feet for four months and approves 30K. Then the libs go prancing about what a warhawk Obama is and that he's the second-coming and will wrap up Afghanistan real quick, fast and in a hurry.

Sorry, but 30K didn't cut it. There is NO ONE in this administration (or military) that can explain to me in a hundred words or less what our vital national interest is in propping up a corrupt karzai government.

As a military member, we have no business engaging in the manner we are in Afghanistan. I say lets agree to either get the fight done and really engage with all our national might; or, let's get the hell out.



#7 Animal

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Posted January 05 2011 - 4:53 PM

You guys are forgetting one thing: MChrystal asked for 60,000 troops to get the job done. He was ordered to go back and reassess as the "political situation" would not allow 60K new troops. He goes back and they do a bare-bones scrub and come up with a figure of 40K. No fewer than 40K and even then it is risky. Obama drags his feet for four months and approves 30K. Then the libs go prancing about what a warhawk Obama is and that he's the second-coming and will wrap up Afghanistan real quick, fast and in a hurry.

Sorry, but 30K didn't cut it. There is NO ONE in this administration (or military) that can explain to me in a hundred words or less what our vital national interest is in propping up a corrupt karzai government.

As a military member, we have no business engaging in the manner we are in Afghanistan. I say lets agree to either get the fight done and really engage with all our national might; or, let's get the hell out.

Can't argue with that.


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#8 Hawker

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Posted January 05 2011 - 5:15 PM

You guys are forgetting one thing: MChrystal asked for 60,000 troops to get the job done. He was ordered to go back and reassess as the "political situation" would not allow 60K new troops. He goes back and they do a bare-bones scrub and come up with a figure of 40K. No fewer than 40K and even then it is risky. Obama drags his feet for four months and approves 30K. Then the libs go prancing about what a warhawk Obama is and that he's the second-coming and will wrap up Afghanistan real quick, fast and in a hurry.

Sorry, but 30K didn't cut it. There is NO ONE in this administration (or military) that can explain to me in a hundred words or less what our vital national interest is in propping up a corrupt karzai government.

As a military member, we have no business engaging in the manner we are in Afghanistan. I say lets agree to either get the fight done and really engage with all our national might; or, let's get the hell out.


Jim- The democrats seem to forget the troop level request. Aren't they the party that said Bush should have gone in big in Afghanistan to begin with? I'm with you, go big or get out.



#9 TBRegime

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Posted January 05 2011 - 5:19 PM

Obama listed three objectives:



1) to deny al Qaeda a safe haven;



2) to reverse the Taliban's momentum and deny it the ability to overthrow the government of President Hamid Karzai; and



3) strengthen the capacity of Afghanistan's security forces and government so that they can take the lead responsibility for Afghanistan's future. In order to do so, he ordered the deployment of an additional 30,000 American troops to Afghanistan.



So how are we making out?



#1 was already accomplished before Obama was sworn in.



#2 is something the military wants to argue they are, in fact, accomplishing, although they do have to argue for this since it's not a clear cut fact and many think that it's like pushing a rope and that all progress is temporary.



#3 This is the big one. This is the one that will get us out of Afghanistan. And this is the one that seems to be utterly impossible in the existing Afghanistan political enviornment and, so far, has been tanatmount to trying to bail out the Ocean with a leaky bucket.



Tactically, we are winning. Strategically, we seem stuck. And this raises some questions. If we cannot make progress, is this a war we can afford to lose? Do we stay, anyway? Do we cut our losses and affect a withdraw and accept the fallout and consequences of the failure? Or do you thinkk that we can find a strategy or plan that will turn the corner for us?



Just something I've been thinking about.



And what were Bush's objectives?



#10 dena

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Posted January 05 2011 - 5:29 PM

And what were Bush's objectives?


Who cares now.
Our president took the half way measure to try to appease both sides. As usual when you try to please every body, you make both sides mad.
I too am in the go big or go home camp. The Powell doctrine is the right way to fight a war.


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#11 MikeMunn

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Posted January 05 2011 - 5:51 PM

You guys are forgetting one thing: MChrystal asked for 60,000 troops to get the job done. He was ordered to go back and reassess as the "political situation" would not allow 60K new troops. He goes back and they do a bare-bones scrub and come up with a figure of 40K. No fewer than 40K and even then it is risky. Obama drags his feet for four months and approves 30K. Then the libs go prancing about what a warhawk Obama is and that he's the second-coming and will wrap up Afghanistan real quick, fast and in a hurry.

Sorry, but 30K didn't cut it. There is NO ONE in this administration (or military) that can explain to me in a hundred words or less what our vital national interest is in propping up a corrupt karzai government.

As a military member, we have no business engaging in the manner we are in Afghanistan. I say lets agree to either get the fight done and really engage with all our national might; or, let's get the hell out.

Well said, and I agree Jim. Keep your head down, and stay safe.



#12 Gotcow?

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Posted January 05 2011 - 6:15 PM

Time to cut our losses and get out.

The Obama administration has no intention of going all out to win.

Even if we were to win then we would hand over the country to a totally failed corrupt Karzi government?

Not one more US service member should suffer as much as a paper cut fighting there anymore. Bring them home

And when we leave we let them know in no uncertain terms that we are watching and if anything that they do threatens the US we will carpet bomb it back to the age of the dinosaurs.



#13 Skitter

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Posted January 05 2011 - 6:21 PM

300,000 might not cut it either.... go nuke or go home imo and we`ll never go against the international community so aggressively.... so go home and drone nuke them and say we cannot discuss it.


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#14 Robert Williams

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Posted January 05 2011 - 7:23 PM

And what were Bush's objectives?



Moot point. Thanks for asking. Now let's get back to discussing our current deadlock in Afghanistan what it will take to put it behind us eventually.



#15 bridgerat

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Posted January 05 2011 - 7:57 PM

The only reasonable solution to Afghanistan is to get out.
We could commit 10x the amount of manpower we have there now and the result would be the same. STAGNANT. We are throwing away American lives for NOTHING. WE have zero to gain by being there. The resources would be better spent just about anywhere. We are paying to "run" their gov't and eventually that has to end. Why not now?
Afghanistan and Iraq will always be bad Offensive moves. Spend the defense budget on just that, DEFENSE. Let the rest of the global economy spend in the middle east. We've done enough.