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2012-10-17 Afghanistan
Lt. Col. Oliver North on patrol with Marines in Afghanistan
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Posted by Skidmark 2012-10-17 01:57|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [6528 views ]  Top

#1 Old war dogs have a special qualification they should remember,...they're old.
Posted by Blinky Gleack8238 2012-10-17 09:08||   2012-10-17 09:08|| Front Page Top

#2 You're right Blinky but I doubt he was working point. And this is the flatland's of Helmand and not the mountains.
Posted by tipover 2012-10-17 09:26||   2012-10-17 09:26|| Front Page Top

#3 Nothing like "engaging the enemy" with a .50 cal!
Posted by BA 2012-10-17 09:26||   2012-10-17 09:26|| Front Page Top

#4 I watched the Colonel testifying on TV when I was still young and impressionable. He has in many ways defined my view of the military -- in a very favorable way.
Posted by Iblis 2012-10-17 09:58||   2012-10-17 09:58|| Front Page Top

#5 "If we walk out on these people in 2014, they are screwed"!

LTC(Ret) COL. Oliver North
Fox News Network, 17 Oct 2012
Posted by Besoeker 2012-10-17 10:52||   2012-10-17 10:52|| Front Page Top

#6 Sorry LTC, those people were screwed as soon as they bought into the terror school known as Islam.

Until they, on their own, learn that the Taliban and the rest of the the fascistii known as Muslims are the problem they really won't/can't do anything about their lives.

Nothing we can do will help them in the long run short of taking on a dictatorial role and beat sense into them. Of course that seems to be a trifle self contradictory. In the short run it just costs us and pisses them off.
Posted by AlanC 2012-10-17 10:58||   2012-10-17 10:58|| Front Page Top

#7 I concur AlanC. They've "screwed" themselves. The sooner we're outta there, the better. Oliver North without a war to report on..... perhaps not a bad outcome.
Posted by Besoeker 2012-10-17 11:06||   2012-10-17 11:06|| Front Page Top

#8 Nothing we can do will help them in the long run short of taking on a dictatorial role and beat sense into them.

Yep. That would have been my approach from the get go.
Posted by Ebbang Uluque6305 2012-10-17 11:28||   2012-10-17 11:28|| Front Page Top

#9 Until they, on their own, learn that the Taliban and the rest of the the fascistii known as Muslims are the problem they really won't/can't do anything about their lives.

Nothing to do with learning and everything to do with money. South Vietnam was defeated by a conventional invasion launched by the NVA because the Soviets sent the North billions in Migs, tanks, artillery and ammo on credit while we cut the South off cold. The Continental Army was in part fed and clothed by the French Royals, without whose financial support*, the Army might have fallen apart. Afghanistan fell to the Taliban in the first place because the Pakistanis were funding and arming them, while we stood aside and not only failed to support their opponents, but appeared to support the Taliban as Afghanistan's last chance for stability. Ultimately, the only chance Afghanistan has of standing against the Taliban, given Pakistan's financial and material support for the latter, is if we either destroy Pakistan or fund the Afghan government. Leaving the Afghan government without resources against a hostile neighbor with 5x its population is a recipe for collapse. They should fight their own battles, but we should provide them with the resources they need to do it, at least until Pakistan stops funding the Taliban. Compared to the resources we gave away during WWII, the aid needed to keep the Afghan military afloat - a few billion dollars a year - is peanuts.

* That financial support helped destroy France's finances and led to the French Revolution.
Posted by Zhang Fei 2012-10-17 15:08||   2012-10-17 15:08|| Front Page Top

#10 I was a mere yut buy mightly impressed with Fawn Hall's testimony. And hairs.
Posted by Shipman 2012-10-17 16:09||   2012-10-17 16:09|| Front Page Top

#11 I was a mere yut buy mightly impressed with Fawn Hall's testimony. And hairs.

She was what fogeys used to call a fine filly. An amusing excerpt from Wikipedia:

Fawn Hall dated Contras politician Arturo Cruz, Jr. In one mishap, she transposed the digits of a Swiss bank account number, resulting in a contribution from the Sultan of Brunei to the Contras being lost.
Posted by Zhang Fei 2012-10-17 16:20||   2012-10-17 16:20|| Front Page Top

#12 ...I wouldn't mind a few billion to keep them busy at home, but I suspect most of it would just be transfers in the utter corruption of the culture that end up in someone's bank account somewhere.

Everyone forgets that we leveled Germany and Japan first, then we rebuilt them. The latter wasn't nice or clean or 'humanitarian' in its execution. It did end hundreds of years of engrained militarism in their societies. Nation building after the scorched earth.
Posted by Procopius2k 2012-10-17 16:37||   2012-10-17 16:37|| Front Page Top

#13 I wouldn't mind a few billion to keep them busy at home, but I suspect most of it would just be transfers in the utter corruption of the culture that end up in someone's bank account somewhere.

Everyone forgets that we leveled Germany and Japan first, then we rebuilt them. The latter wasn't nice or clean or 'humanitarian' in its execution. It did end hundreds of years of engrained militarism in their societies. Nation building after the scorched earth.


Corruption is part of the cost of doing business there, and was a problem in all of the Axis countries we occupied, although to a smaller extent. Worrying about it in the larger context is being penny-wise and pound-foolish. All told, we took a $100b hit from 9/11 alone, and a $1T hit from the ensuing wars. A few billion a year is nugatory to prevent another such incident.

And it's not about keeping them busy. Afghanistan has 35m people. Only a handful, out of tens of thousands stateside, have been discovered to have plotted terror attacks against us. It's really about propping up a government that isn't hostile to us against an anti-American opposition that is being financed and armed by people trying to wage a proxy war against us, that we would like not to have to invade and occupy. In other words, it's a lot like the Cold War, but on a shoestring budget.

As to WWII, note that it was a different time. First, we spent 50% of our GDP every year for 4 years to defeat the Axis powers. Second, we lost 400K dead, which muted opposition to fire-bombing German cities and nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki. What's our excuse for slaughtering millions in Afghanistan? Like it or not, we're not Muslim conquerors, and the American public will not stand for mass killings of enemy civilians on that scale unless given sufficient provocation in the form of a nuclear attack on our cities.

Bottom line is our aid isn't going to end corruption in Afghanistan (or cure the common cold), but it will keep our enemies there at bay until they decide to engage in more productive pursuits.
Posted by Zhang Fei 2012-10-17 18:11||   2012-10-17 18:11|| Front Page Top

#14 Corruption is part of the cost of doing business there, and was a problem in all of the Axis countries we occupied, although to a smaller extent

There's a difference between petty corruption and out right looting. Any levels of efficiency just disappear just as fast as a WH selected green company in handling money. You get nothing in the end except executives who give themselves big bonuses before closing the doors, or government officials before jumping the last helicopter out.

The point about WWII is that the enemy population knew they were defeated, that further resistance was only going to end deeper in the destruction of whatever culture/civilization they had. You didn't have State Dept types running around telling SHAEF how to conduct a 'war' and RoEs*. It was SHAEF that determined when to shift to occupation duty/support, even then it was first a shift to a military government with key decisions made by that staff, not State.

* People don't seem to grasp the number of French, Dutch, Belgium, and Italians civilians killed in the whole process of fighting the war. They sort of magically disappear in the telling of it all.
Posted by Procopius2k 2012-10-17 18:34||   2012-10-17 18:34|| Front Page Top

#15 The point about WWII is that the enemy population knew they were defeated, that further resistance was only going to end deeper in the destruction of whatever culture/civilization they had.

We stayed for decades to hammer that point home. If we had left after a decade, would the Nazis or the Emperor cult have resuscitated themselves? Especially if we hadn't killed millions of them? That's my point when I say we need to give the present Afghan government a stipend so it can fight off the anti-American Islamists funded by Pakistan and private donors in the Gulf states.
Posted by Zhang Fei 2012-10-17 21:07||   2012-10-17 21:07|| Front Page Top

#16 Scroll down the Rant to read -

Now at its biggest size yet, 195,000 soldiers, the Afghan Army is so plagued with desertions and low re-enlistment rates that it has to replace a third of its entire force every year, officials say.

Yep, that'll hold.

The better program would have been to support the non-Pashtun's like the Northern Alliance to begin with the like Kurds after the first Gulf conflict.
Posted by Procopius2k 2012-10-17 22:01||   2012-10-17 22:01|| Front Page Top

#17 But the Northern Alliance and General Dustum were icky! He drinks whiskey, swears, chases wymin and leads from the front.
Posted by Besoeker 2012-10-17 22:08||   2012-10-17 22:08|| Front Page Top

#18 Yep, that'll hold.

The better program would have been to support the non-Pashtun's like the Northern Alliance to begin with the like Kurds after the first Gulf conflict.


These people have the mindset of militia rather than professional troops. Both sides are plagued with desertions. Taliban recruits head home for the harvest or if the near-misses are hitting a little too close to home. Ultimately, these people aren't brainwashed like the people in modern armies who fight to the death in large formations. It's not that much of a weakness given both sides have the militia mindset. Obviously the attackers on suicide missions get all the press, but there are precious few of those, and those attacks are ultimately a waste of highly-motivated men.
Posted by Zhang Fei 2012-10-17 23:12||   2012-10-17 23:12|| Front Page Top

#19 We have this habit of making out our enemies to be 10 feet tall. The Taliban aren't fanatical warriors - our guys have killed tens of thousands of them while losing 2,000+ dead. In a slightly shorter time interval, Vietnamese communists, North and South, inflicted 58,000 military deaths on us, while losing 1.2m fighters. North Vietnam's population was 23m people, compared to Afghanistan's 35m. The Taliban's reputation far outstrips its actual motivation and combat skills.
Posted by Zhang Fei 2012-10-17 23:41||   2012-10-17 23:41|| Front Page Top

#20 In terms of their tolerance for punishment, what was truly impressive about the Vietnamese communists is that they lost in the Vietnam War almost as big a % of their population as the Germans in WWII, and a higher % of their population than the Japanese. And their spokesmen said frankly that when Kissinger gave the communists everything they wanted during the Paris Peace Accords, the North Vietnamese were on the verge of giving up. Kissinger is a very entertaining essayist, but practical foreign policy was not his metier, which leads one to wonder if his flair with the written word masked deep flaws in his analyses.
Posted by Zhang Fei 2012-10-17 23:50||   2012-10-17 23:50|| Front Page Top

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