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HomeOff Topics News & Politics › The Debate over the War in Afghanistan
11-16-2011 02:58 PM  6 years agoPost 1
Dennis (RIP)

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The Debate over the War in Afghanistan

Mike Brownfield November 16, 2011

The killing of Osama bin Laden was a hard-won victory for the United States, but the gains made in pursuit of that day of justice and in waging the war in Afghanistan–including putting al-Qaeda on its heels–could be squandered if the Obama Administration continues its plotted course. When Republican presidential candidates lay out their foreign policy agendas in next Tuesday’s debate hosted by The Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute on CNN, they should pay significant attention to this seminal war that is so crucial to America’s struggle against terrorism.

In June, President Barack Obama announced his decision to bring home 10,000 troops by the end of this year and a total of 33,000 troops by next summer–despite requests from the Pentagon and General David Petraeus to limit the initial withdrawal to 3,000 to 4,000, as the Los Angeles Times reported. That decision, as The Washington Post wrote, wasn’t based in a “convincing military or strategic rationale.” Rather, it was “at odds with the strategy adopted by NATO, which aims to turn over the war to the Afghan army by the end of 2014.”

At the time, Heritage’s Lisa Curtis wrote that, apart from denying his military commanders flexibility to determine the pace and scope of withdrawal based on conditions on the ground, the President “also risks upending the major achievement of eliminating Osama bin Laden across the border in Pakistan.” Curtis also noted that the decision would “further discourage Pakistan from cracking down on the Taliban leadership that finds sanctuary on its soil” and “reinforce Islamabad’s calculation that the U.S. is losing resolve in the fight in Afghanistan and thus encourage Pakistani military leaders to continue to hedge on support to the Taliban to protect their own national security interests.”

Unfortunately, after the President’s decision, the United States reaped a bitter harvest sown by the Pakistani government. On September 13, the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, was attacked, and reports revealed that those responsible were linked to Pakistani intelligence officials. Then, in testimony before Congress, Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, declared that Pakistan’s military intelligence service is directing the Haqqani network, a militant group responsible for attacks on Americans, including the assault on the embassy.

Sadly, Pakistan’s support of insurgent groups in Afghanistan is the most significant obstacle to achieving stability in the country, and refusal by the Pakistani military to take action against the Haqqani network seriously undermines U.S. and NATO success in the Afghan mission. And that mission is critical to the United States’ continued prosecution of the war against terrorists. Heritage’s James Carafano and Jessica Zuckerman explain why that war is central to America’s global response to terrorism:

Al-Qaeda’s core leadership remains in Pakistan’s tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, and the Taliban (whose leadership is allied with al-Qaeda) continues to threaten stability in Afghanistan. In order to stop terrorism at its source, the U.S. must remain committed to its counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan, which aims to prevent the Taliban from regaining influence in the region.

There are steps that the White House should take to ensure success in Afghanistan, and they revolve around dealing with the main obstacle to progress: Pakistan. First and foremost, the U.S. should reverse its withdrawal plan in order to show Pakistan that America is not turning its back on the region and to ensure that there is no void that the Taliban can once again fill.

Next, since half of all supply routes to the NATO mission go through Pakistan, the U.S. should develop additional supply routes into Afghanistan. In response to the attack on the U.S. embassy, the U.S. should freeze aid until Pakistan takes actions against perpetrators of the attack and helps shut down the Haqqani network, designate the Haqqani network a foreign terrorist organization, establish a congressional commission to investigate Pakistan’s role in fomenting the insurgency in Afghanistan and the extent to which its actions are preventing the U.S. and NATO from achieving their security objectives in the region, and pursue an aggressive drone campaign against the Haqqani network.

There is much at stake in the war in Afghanistan, and Americans–particularly the brave men and women in uniform–have already made tremendous sacrifices. But their sacrifices should not be rendered meaningless for the sake of scoring political victories at home. The United States has made significant strides in the war against terrorism, but the President–and those who seek the White House–must realize that unless the U.S. changes course, America will slide backward in its mission to secure itself against those who would do us harm.

http://blog.heritage.org/2011/11/16...in-afghanistan/

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11-16-2011 03:54 PM  6 years agoPost 2
Inspector Fuzz

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911 was an immigration issue that had nothing to do with the middle east.

The members of our military have been badly wasted for long enough in a mission to try to bring democracy to a region of people who's brains are not evolved enough to handle it.

It does not matter whether all of the troop are pulled out now or in 50 years, the result will be the same because the people of the region are not capable of self government.

If we pull all of our troops out now we save numerous US lives and untold amounts of future debt.

While this whole pull out is a BO popularity stunt it does not change the facts listed above. It also won't make me vote for him.

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11-16-2011 04:17 PM  6 years agoPost 3
Dennis (RIP)

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911 was an immigration issue that had nothing to do with the middle east.
What?

Please explain.
The members of our military have been badly wasted for long enough in a mission to try to bring democracy to a region of people who's brains are not evolved enough to handle it.

It does not matter whether all of the troop are pulled out now or in 50 years, the result will be the same because the people of the region are not capable of self government.

If we pull all of our troops out now we save numerous US lives and untold amounts of future debt.
Agreed.

But, leave the killer drones there to do their work.

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11-16-2011 07:38 PM  6 years agoPost 4
Inspector Fuzz

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What I meant is that if America's borders had been secured and if the the INS had been properly following the "students" from the midde east who committed the attacks then the attacks would not have happened.

I personally have no problem with imperialism provided if that is what the US really did.

The lame argument that America went into Iraq for oil is exactly that: lame. America went in on an idealistic binge belief that it could advance a culture stuck 5000 years in the past.

I wish we would just take all the oil we want. At least our soldiers lives would not havwe been a complete waste.

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11-16-2011 07:57 PM  6 years agoPost 5
mrloudly

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Afghanistan IMHO is another Vietnam... The Ruskies went in and, although they won't admit it, left with their tails between their legs... They didn't fight with kid gloves on either...
The biggest problem is, we don't know who we're fighting... Even if we kill all of them, required to "win, thousands more will flood in from Pakistan. Best thing we can do is just look upon it as a testing ground for new arms tech. It's a shame, but the un-educated beardies will continue taking our troops out whilst we're there... An ill thought out folly of a war...

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11-16-2011 09:18 PM  6 years agoPost 6
Dennis (RIP)

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An ill thought out folly of a war...
Thats because we have lost the ability to take "Victory" in our hands. We DO have that ability, but not the desire.

Vietnam was not about "Victory"' It was about "Body Count". "Body Count" is not the same as "Victory". "Body Count" was judicially printed in the newspapers everyday and announced on the 6 o'clock news each evening alone with the gruesome scenes of war. That war was run from Washington DC with very poor fighting decisions. McNamara admitted that many years afterwards.

If we would have gone for "Victory" instead of "Body Count", and let commanders on the ground make fighting decisions, we would have easily run the commies out of Vietnam and won the that war.

The Iraq war was just what you said it was. But, I feel as though we did get a measure of "Victory" there. Then unfortunately, Obama was elected.

We have forgotten what the finality of "Victory" means. The Dems don't like it. I am not so sure they will ever allow "Victory" to happen for the USA ever again. Obama has already said he does not like the word "Victory".

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11-16-2011 09:39 PM  6 years agoPost 7
baby uh1

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The problem is that just like the Vietman war was really a war with China and the USSR, Afganistan is in reality a war with Pakistan and Iraq is a war with Iran and Syria. We just don't have the balls to fight the real enemies!

Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about!

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11-16-2011 09:51 PM  6 years agoPost 8
shawmcky

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Have to agree with that,China and Russia have bigger balls

Team- unbiased opinion.K.I.S.S principle upheld here

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11-16-2011 09:55 PM  6 years agoPost 9
Dennis (RIP)

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The problem is that just like the Vietman war was really a war with China and the USSR, Afganistan is in reality a war with Pakistan and Iraq is a war with Iran and Syria. We just don't have the balls to fight the real enemies!
Yup, thats correct.

Only in the case of Iran, we may have to go for it there.

But, will we fight that one to "Victory"?

Certainly not based on history since Korea. We are still there (Korea). South Korea has still not stepped up to protect themselves after over 50 years !! Thats certainly not "Victory" !!

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11-17-2011 01:12 AM  6 years agoPost 10
baby uh1

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Only in the case of Iran, we may have to go for it there.
In the case of a country like Iran, I don't know why we just don't tell them that if they don't straighten up they can kiss anything that floats or flys goodbye! Bottle them up in their country and let them think about it for a while.

And as far as Pakistan goes, the next time they get into a war with India they are on their own. No more Amreica protecting the Muslims from their neighbors. Period!

Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about!

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11-17-2011 09:01 AM  6 years agoPost 11
shawmcky

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Korea got sticky when the Russians and Chinese joined in on North Korea,s side.Big guy kicking little guy until the big brothers turn up.Different game then.Does make one think sometimes how many wars there would be if all sides were equal.The British Empire was made by fighting and stealing from people armed with no more than words and the odd spear.Heavyweights and ants.

Team- unbiased opinion.K.I.S.S principle upheld here

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11-17-2011 06:46 PM  6 years agoPost 12
mrloudly

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How would we define a "Victory" in Afghanistan? A democracy with leaders telling us what we want to hear? Peace amongst the Afghan tribes? What about an elected Taliban Gov't, how would that wash?
As I said, it's a folly...

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