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Afghanistan: "Cut and Run"

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Official: Obama wants his war options changed




WASHINGTON President Barack Obama does not plan to accept any of the Afghanistan war options presented by his national security team, pushing instead for revisions to clarify how and when U.S. troops would turn over responsibility to the Afghan government, a senior administration official said Wednesday.


Looks like the sonofa##### wants to cut and run. Actually, he wants to appease his base.


That's my read.

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Probably so.


But then again, we didn't go in there to create an environment where women had decent human rights. We went in there to crush Al-Qaeda. Somewhere along the way, they set up shop across the border in Pakistan and we didn't immediately go after them. To think that somehow we're gonna be able to get a functioning government in Afghanistan that has control over sufficient portions of the country to prevent Al-Qaeda from setting up shop again... well, that isn't going to happen, which is why is wasn't the original reason for going in after 9/11 and rightly so.


Better to go back to the original mission and take out the top Al-Qaeda leaders wherever they are than to stay the current course, which neither is doing much in-country against Al-Qaeda (since they aren't there) nor is going to result (in the end) in a stable, strong central government there. Taking out the Al-Qaeda leadership without even further destabilizing Pakistan should be the focus, since that's the security threat to the US, not what happens necessarily in Afghanistan. Looks like there's more focus on that recently, but lots to be done.


Besides, if it's buhrkhas we're worried about, there a whole list of contries to invade...we could start with Saudi Arabia, perhaps? Or, if we're worried about oppression and human rights, there are a bunch of places in Africa that could use some attention, too.



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My problem with the Afgan War is that our military experts really think they can win this war with ground forces only when history has proven otherwise. These Afgans know the hills and caves where to hide to avoid our troops. They played cat and mouse with the Russians and us and small groups can hold off larger troop incursions using the terrain to their advantage and just pick them off one by one. The only way to decisively and quickly win this war is by using missles, drones, stealth bombers and virtually decimate the hills and caves where these guys are hiding. There would be a lot of collateral damage, civilian deaths, etc., but it would save many of our troops lives than a frontal ground assault would.


All of you also forget that there is no oil or valuable resources in Afganistan, it is not a strategic asset so there is no reason for the US to mount such a campaign. If our military leaders insist keeping this a ground war then those pictures you saw of the Russian troops leaving Afganistan in defeat years ago will be replaced with our own troops leaving in defeat. So Obama knows that this war either has to be accelerated using advanced weaponry resulting in a much more bloody conflict with potentially large numbers of civilian and military casualties, or put more ground troops and watch them get picked off one unit at a time over a long period of time and finally leave in defeat, remember Vietnam, or pull out completely and leave a safe haven for Al Queda and the Taliban. I don't know about you guys but I would hate to have to decide on any of these options.

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Yah, funny read there, KC :)


Da article sure seems to indicate that the most likely response President Obama is considerin' is an increase of 30,000 troops plus an expanded HQ and trainin' mission of an additional 7,000, for a total increase of American combat forces of 37,000 troops.


Not much of a cut and run.


I have to admit that I have never seen any viable way to nation-build in Afghanistan. Da place isn't a country, it's a remote tribal no-mans-land with near zero real infrastructure and no history of effective self-governance. We could pour hundreds of billions of dollars into the place and not make a dent.


I can't see us spendin' our money and blood to prop up a corrupt fool like Karzai. Every month we're on the ground doin' that we'll increase our number of enemies by 10% no matter how many we kill. So do we stage a coup and topple the fellow? And then what? Appoint a military governor? General Eikenberry is right to sound a strong warnin'.


No good options in that godforsaken place, especially when da mission was bungled as badly as it was early on. Best option is to try to make a push with Pakistan to get most of the worst actors in the short term, but who knows with Pakistan?


My hope is that each branch of government does its own job well - the President settin' strategy and the military determining tactics - and they don't start gettin' confused about who should do what. Presidents are genuinely lousy at military planning and operations, and generals are genuinely lousy at geopolitical strategy.



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"My hope is that each branch of government does its own job well - the President settin' strategy and the military determining tactics - and they don't start gettin' confused about who should do what."


Sadly, it's too late for that. We need a quarterback, and got a cheerleader.

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I agree with Sherminator and Beavah. The president is trying to fix a problem that was left for him by the previous administration. It's a very difficult problem. Hindsight is always 20-20, as they say, but I can't help thinking that the previous administration should have been tougher with the government of Pakistan about going after the Taliban and other forces who found shelter across the border. I also think that the previous administration took its focus off Afghanistan (which had harbored the people who attacked us on 9/11, and other times) and put it on Iraq (which had not) and kept it there even after the "bad guys" were quickly removed. For years after the war in Iraq started, it was like Afghanistan didn't exist anymore. I think most Americans (including me) sort of had this vague idea that things were going ok in Afghanistan, because we weren't really hearing anything about it. But in fact things were getting worse and worse, and now the president has to choose among several bad options, one worse than the other. Personally I think he should put more troops in there, but coupled with a clear exit strategy, which is what he seems to be working on.

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What I would like to do is turn back the clock. After we turned the Iraqis out of Kuwait, our job was done. I don't really give a rat's patoot if Iraqi and Afghan women wear burqas or not. Let the UN fight for human rights. We are fighting against a culture 5,000 years old and we are not going to win by occupying their land. As someone said, there is no "government" to take over when we leave. Just lawless tribes. We don't even know who to shoot, for God's sake. We've spilled enough of our sons and daughters' blood. If we want to do "nation building", there are areas in New Orleans and Appalachia that could use a few billion dollars.


What would I do...I would get Hillary and Gates in a room and have a frank, one-way conversation. "YOu have one year to get us out of there...make it happen."

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The enemy that struck on 11 September is still there. Bush vowed to accommodate their death wish and then he asked for them to "Bring it on." And then he failed miserably, no, he betrayed this country and this country's ideals. And despite the banner behind him, he didn't accomplish the mission.


Bin Laden, the Taliban, they're all still there because we didn't do what we should have back when we had our best chance to do it. And now it is going to be really costly to do it...now that we wasted blood and treasure on nation building in another country. The enemy that attacked us is still there. What kind of message do we send to the world if we do not destroy that enemy?

I agree that we shouldn't worry about nation building in Afghanistan. We should focus our attention on the enemy that will strike us again if we don't kill it. We should do whatever is necessary to destroy it...to kill it. Period. Anyone who aids or protects that enemy is not an ally. Leave them on the beach. Do it as quickly and as destructively and as violently as possible. Cauterize, obliterate the place if necessary. Feed the enemy's dismembered bodies to pigs.

And I agree that the American people should sacrifice in order to pay for it. All of us. But we should not rest until that enemy is dead and in hell. (yeah, I know, I can dream)

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Isaiah 1:24 Therefore the Lord says,

The Lord of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel,

"Ah, I will rid Myself of My adversaries,

And take vengeance on My enemies.

Isaiah 34:8 For it is the day of the Lord's vengeance,

The year of recompense for the cause of Zion.

Isaiah 35:4 Say to those who are fearful-hearted,

"Be strong, do not fear!

Behold, your God will come with vengeance,

With the recompense of God;

He will come and save you."

Isaiah 59:17 For He put on righteousness as a breastplate,

And a helmet of salvation on His head;

He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing,

And was clad with zeal as a cloak.

Isaiah 61:2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,

And the day of vengeance of our God;

To comfort all who mourn,

Isaiah 63:4 For the day of vengeance is in My heart,

And the year of My redeemed has come.


"The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who in the name of charity and goodwill shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee." Jules, Pulp Fiction

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