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#1 I can't argue well against your prescription, TW, except to note that our current administration and indeed, our current political class, has not the stones to make it work.
In a modestly better America our administration would ensure that the special forces had what they needed to carry out such a mission, including support at home and clear, concise rules of engagement. But they do not and will not, and hence asking them to stay in Afghanistan to go after the Taliban simply puts them at risk.
Is it any reason why our current administration is so in love with drone-zaps? It is precisely because it is so Terminator-like; you push a button and a man dies. It is (to use a word) clinical. It is like chess; no one in Washington has soiled hands.
That is not the kind of operation that will succeed long-term.
At this point I do not care if the people of Afghanistan live in the tenth century, AD or BC. I used to care but the Afghanis clearly prefer their clans, tribes and moon-god. So be it.
All they must do now is leave us in peace. Don't kill Americans; don't let their country be used to kill Americans. We should maintain an overwatch and a warning: if we have to come back, it won't be pretty.
Posted by Steve White 2012-02-26 11:37||
#2 All they must do now is leave us in peace
They already don't leave us in peace, Dr. Steve. How many arrests have been reported in Rantburg in the last year or so? In the last six months? David Headly comes to mind...
Based in Chicago, he scouted out the Mumbai attack and was putting together something in Sweden or Norway when he was picked up. Ties to the ISI and Lashkar-I-Taiba, if I recall, and that Kashmiri fellow.
Watching with satellites from above would have done nothing to stop him. Didn't do anything, actually. He flew under the radar until we started tracing things backward after the Mumbai massacre.
Of course this administration loves drone zaps. Cutting edge cool video games, with a great big boom to fill the screen at the end. And the bad guys hate them: there you are, minding your own business and doing your bad guy thing when you suddenly realize you and your friends have just kissed a missile you didn't even realize was on its way.
They don't want to die, no matter how much they blither on about the joys of martyrdom and the further disgusting joys of their Paradise to follow. If they really wanted to die, human waves of suicides would have overwhelmed all unbelievers everywhere a thousand years ago, continuing until today without pause for breath. Instead, they have to brainwash the emotionally fragile, isolate them, dose them repeatedly with drugs, and even then ride herd in them until the moment of impact to ensure they don't change their minds,
And then there's this. It's not Afghanistan, but it's of a piece.
Posted by trailing wife 2012-02-26 12:18||
#3 Pity the USA chopped up all those B-52s. We're gonna need them.
Posted by Shimble Guelph5793 2012-02-26 12:49||
#4 Both you TW and White did a great job on your pieces.
Posted by newc 2012-02-26 13:09||
You don't get thought-provoking stuff like this at the mainstream rags.
Posted by Bobby 2012-02-26 14:27||
#6 When we did not act decisively, with overwhelming force in the beginning of this sad affair after 9-11, we won battles but we lost the war.
We put our finest men and women in harm's way without the overwhelming support of the Congress, and in many ways, the American people. I am sure that many Rantburgers have read that watershed work, "On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society" by Lt. Col.Dave Grossman. There is the potential of a severe psychological and physical price on sending your troops into battle. Leaders had better have the plan squared away before they put our finest in harm's way. There is a high price to pay, for even a "good" war.
But we have been fighting our battles with one hand tied behind our back of our own choosing. We had originally gone into Afghanistan to deny the enemy a training ground and base of operations for terrorist attacks against the United States. Then we got into nation building, then we continued playing footsie with Pakistan, who were the enablers of the whole thing, except for one omission, and that was that the Saudis were providing much of the funds for Pakistan.
They financed and are financing thousands of madrases, where Jihadi Bots are developed from an early age. And so it goes on. We still pay Pakistan billions to screw us. We never went after Saudi Arabia with their record of supporting Wahhabi and Jihadi enterprises.
Why did we not do something about that??? It is because enough people in key leadership positions were bought off by Saudi money. Too many of our leaders have sold this country out. That is what has happened and why it really hurts.
Af-Pak should have been resolved and completed in a year or less with overwhelming force. A lesson to all potential aggressors. We have spent 10 years mucking about there and have poured personnel and treasure into a rathole. So what do we do from here?
Supporting the afghan effort is not sustainable. We are being screwed by the paks and our alternate logistical routes are long, expensive and tenuous.
We need to end our effort in Afghanistan and withdraw in an orderly fashion that is not a rout.
We then need to cut off all types of aid to the Paks.
If possible we need to neutralize their nuke assets.
We need to get our domestic energy house in order.
We need to get into the Saudi's faces.
We need to let our potential enemies know that we will destroy them utterly if they pull any sh*t on us. We will not invade. We will decapitate the country's leadership and infrastructure.
We do have some allies. We need to lead by example. We have to clean our own house. WASHINGTON, DC is the biggest threat to our constitutional republic. It is a huge den of parasites and self serving individuals. It needs to be cleaned up constitutionally or the rot will kill us just like what happened to Rome. I hope that we can do it. It's going to be down to the wire.
Actually, it is not an impossible task, but it just needs true leadership. And THAT is what is lacking now.
As far as Petraeus goes in the CIA, I believe that he and others are trying to hold things together to outlast the O administration's efforts in destroying our institutions. Like I said, it will be down to the wire.
Posted by Alaska Paul 2012-02-26 18:21||
#7 Excellent and informative points, TW. Excising the tumor is a must wherever they are found--and I mean not just in Afg-Pak. Track and hunt them down in a covert war and keep following all tangents until the web is dismantled worldwide. I am so glad Petraus is at CIA but we need allies--and keep them guessing who is on board the Orient Express. "Do unto evildoers before they do unto you" is about the only way to deal with WMD blackmail by Iran, Syria, or any of their proxies with all the defense cuts.
Posted by Omoluque Hapsburg8162 2012-02-26 18:44||
#8 AP, if we had a bipartisan leadership that could do that, and get the American people behind them, I'd go for it in a New York minute. I don't see that leadership in Washington in either party right now.
Posted by Steve White 2012-02-26 19:45||
#9 You are right, Dr. Steve. The leadership crisis is the main existential threat we have in this country.
Posted by Alaska Paul 2012-02-26 20:00||
#10 I am forced to conclude that your way will win out, Dr. Steve, at least until we have a new president. George W. Bush surprised everyone after 9/11, though his best was not nearly as good as we would have liked, in the end. So there is hope for hidden depths in his Republican successors.
Posted by trailing wife 2012-02-26 23:55||