Afghanistan starting to feel like Vietnam

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by thewitt, Jun 12, 2016.

  1. thewitt macrumors 68020

    thewitt

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    #1
    10,000 US troops on the ground, however they cannot actually take place in the fighting.

    The President orders an increase in air strikes.

    The leader of Al-Qaeda pledges support to the leader of the Taliban.

    There is no strategy to win, just to fight at some "politically acceptable" level.

    Starting to feel a lot like the war in Vietnam.
     
  2. 617aircav Suspended

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    #2
    You can't give a country that it's people don't want democracy, democracy.
     
  3. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    #3
    All wars since 9/11 have been desasterous.

    Dubya and Hussein are both thugs cut from the same cloth.

    Bush started pointless wars in an amateurish manner and Hussein made things worse.

    As Trump says:

    Our leaders are stupid, incompetent ****-ups.
     
  4. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #4
    This was obvious nearly a decade ago...
     
  5. thewitt thread starter macrumors 68020

    thewitt

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    #5
    So why haven't we done anything in the last 10 years to address the problem? Obama isn't old enough to remember Vietnam?

    Bush didn't finish the job and I'll never forgive him for that.

    Obama has changed nothing for the better.

    If we are not going to defeat the enemy, what's the point?
     
  6. thermodynamic Suspended

    thermodynamic

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    #6
    I'm surprised when you said "Dubya". Back when I was younger and immature, I used that name as a pejorative as well.

    Bush seemed to start the second Iraq war as retaliation to the death threat against Bush Sr. He made false claims about imminent attack to lure support with and got it, for a while (the youtube video where he admits there was no imminent issue is everywhere along with other of his famous speeches and quotes), changed the reasons (Liberating the people? Really?), how Iraq's oil would pay for it (it hasn't yet, how many decades has it been now? 1.3...)

    Also, Saddam Hussein has been dead for years, nor has he ever ran America. He governed Iraq, but it's strangely fascinating you would say Bush was no different to Saddam.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 12, 2016 ---
    Yes, the creator set the stage. Fixing it takes time and well meaning. We can also point at the President only so much, Congress still has a part to play.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 12, 2016 ---
    So now what? More brightly colored flower motifs? Revival of TV shows made in the 1960s so we can re-live how wonderful the era was? A new round of hippie bands to cash on on populist attitudes? Many people no longer find most of the original hippie bands to be even remotely sincere, or are apathetic in general since they've observed the effort put into a society have dwindled...
     
  7. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

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    #7
    So, what do you propose we should have done?

    It's easy to monday morning quarterback and say "Ohh we should have done this better" but not actually offer any idea as to what should have been done better.
     
  8. Toltepeceno Suspended

    Toltepeceno

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    #8
    Obama bought it with the surge and has owned it ever since so he changed it for the worse.

    It's not "cool" to point that out with a nobel peace prize winning "D" in office though.
     
  9. Huntn Suspended

    Huntn

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    #9
    What do you suggest?

    The problem is the job will never be finished, it will be permanent occupation. Can we afford it and are you willing to give up your quality of life, and several of your kids/grandkids to make Middle Eastern Muslims think like us?

    And I don't claim to have a solution. The Middle East represents a region where former colonies converted to nations with dictators propped up by Western governments. The invasion of Iraq opened this Pandora's box, created a vacuum and like dominoes set off the Arab Spring. The Neocons loved the idea of invasion, Obama did not want to be there, vowed to get out, but he realized to some degree Colin Powell's unheeded warning to Dumbo Bush, If we break it, we own it.

    I'd suggest we work with allies, but local Nations must take the lead. We are outsiders who just stir the pot by our presence. And ultimately our debt is mounting, and it's a economic disaster in the making to jettison all social and infrastructure spending, to support never ending war. That's a zero sum game, even if we can save the Middle East, what good is it if we destroy ourselves economically in the process?
     
  10. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

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    #10
    Close but no cigar! Let's bring back the Draft and then it would feel like Veitnam!:eek:
     
  11. Huntn Suspended

    Huntn

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    #11
    We seriously need a draft, no college exemptions, and the sons and daughters of politicians should head the list.
     
  12. Scepticalscribe, Jun 12, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2016

    Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #12
    Oh, dear.

    Sigh.

    Afghanistan.

    Years ago, - when Harold Macmillan was the (Conservative) Prime Minister of the UK, (he held office between 1957 and 1963) on leaving office and having been asked to tender a few words of advice, he is supposed to have advised his successor as follows:"My dear boy, as long as you don't invade Afghanistan, you'll be absolutely fine."

    However, before we lose ourselves in trivia about Afghanistan, it might be pertinent (maybe boring for some, but I submit respectfully, a bit pertinent) to take a look at a few facts, first.

    Afghanistan is not in the Middle East, @Huntn, and has nothing whatsoever to do with whatever is happening there at the moment. Afghanistan lies in central Asia, bordered by Iran to the west, and south west, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to the north, and Pakistan - which once upon a distant time was a part of British India - to the east and south east.

    Without going into too much detail (the kind of detail I have in mind is to remind ourselves that the US aided and abetted and equipped and financed what were then the mujahideen - Afghan insurgents and insurrectionists, but they were 'our insurgents' - from bases in Pakistan as these were the individuals who could be counted on to fight the Soviets, and the Marxist government of Afghanistan - after the Soviet intervention & invasion in December 1979), I would suggest that we bear in mind that western (for which read US) involvement goes back, in some shape or form, to 1979, when the Soviet Union decided that local Marxists (who were about to change their leader for the third time in 18 months and were busily engaged in the demanding logistics of running an internal bloodbath) needed to be taught a lesson in political etiquette. Hence the invasion.

    More recently, after the Soviet withdrawal (in 1989), and subsequent Soviet collapse in 1991, others (yes, that includes us), lost interest in the region. Years of civil war, as the mujahideen fell out with one another, and raped and robbed the country, allowed an opening for the Taliban to take power over most of the country by 1996.

    Now, as we know, - or ought to know - the Taliban didn't, in fact, bomb the Twin Towers, but their guests - Osama bin Laden and some of his Saudi renegades - did. This act of hospitality deriving from Pashtun guesting traditions was one that the Afghans lived to regret once the Americans responded to this atrocity with a fresh invasion of the country.

    The single biggest US mistake was to allow themselves to become distracted by the Iraq war, and not finish off the Taliban once and for all and for good in 2002-2003 when they had the opportunity to do so.

    More recently still, the war and the insurgency have been 'Afghan led', which means that it is mainly Afghans who are killing and being killed.

    In fact, over the past two years - since the drawdown of the international forces - the Afghan security forces have taken horrendous casualties.

    Re the Taliban itself, last year, it became belatedly clear that the reclusive Mullah Omar had, in fact, been dead for some time. A savage power struggle ensued in the Taliban, and Mullah Mansour, who succeeded Mullah Omar, spent months trying to secure his authority. In order to achieve widespread support, and reinforce his authority, he couldn't be seen to be 'soft' - by being open to holding (possible peace) talks - but instead, needed to be seen to present an even more militant facade while maintaining the 'armed struggle'.

    Anyway, this year, in late May, Mullah Mansour met his maker on a road in a part of Pakistan (Baluchistan) where US drones don't normally prowl, at least not very visibly.

    The point is that the Taliban are not just fighting among themselves (though they are); they are also fighting the Afghan Government (itself a bit divided as the very contentious election result of 2014 led to the sort of impasse where the two top contenders were obliged to serve together in office), and - and this is significant - they are also fighting ISIS which has tried to make inroads in eastern Afghanistan, and threaten the Taliban as a movement that is, in essence, more authentically radical in its puritanical zeal than anything that the Taliban could ever have offered to the Afghan people.

    The declaration of loyalty from Al-Queda to the Taliban has to be seen in the light of this; these are home grown terrorists - fanatical Afghan nationalists - who are trying to see off a terrorist threat on their patch.

    Meanwhile, the Government is fighting with itself, with the Taliban and with ISIS. And the casualties that the ANSF - the police and army - are taking daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, - are stratospheric.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 12, 2016 ---
    I'm not sure that this is either accurate or fair. Afghanistan is not a monolith, and parts of the country are actually quite advanced. Now, yes, needless to say, there are parts of the country where the writ of the government does not run, and where by any yardstick or measurement you would choose to measure, (literacy, mortality, maternal mortality, economic activity, wealth, corruption, security,) the results are deeply depressing.

    While the second round of the 2014 Presidential election saw stratospheric levels of fraud, the first round was pretty much free and fair, and the turnout was (genuinely) astonishing.

    And, for all of their flaws and the many problems besetting them, the Afghans did actually vote for the two best candidates by far, an excellent former Foreign Minister (Dr Abdullah, a Tajik), and an outstanding former Finance Minister (Mr Ghani, a Pashtun).
     
  13. Huntn Suspended

    Huntn

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    #13
    Oh dear. Sigh. Afghanistan is not in the Middle East,@Huntn,

    Rut ro. :p You don't think I know that? But they are both directly related as far as the militant Muslin US foreign policy is concerned.
     
  14. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #14
    Yes, but Afghanistan is not Iraq.

    Whatever justification there was for the invasion of Afghanistan - the Taliban were a perfectly dreadful regime, and their guesting traditions meant that they did provide sanctuary (having had no idea as to possible consequences until after the events of September 2001, which they viewed with a dawning horror) for Osama bin Laden and his acolytes - there was none whatsoever for the invasion of Iraq.
     
  15. Huntn, Jun 12, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2016

    Huntn Suspended

    Huntn

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    #15
    Are you surprised I agree? I thought you new me better than this. :oops: I thought Afganistan was a good idea. Dummy, I mean Dubya thought Iraq was a better opportunity even though we were still in Afganistan despite the fact that Iraq was stabile before we vacuumed Sadam. Bad decisions , but ultimately, now the same game in two regions that are close together, squash militant Muslim movements trying to turn the world into a giant Muslin theocracy. And, no, I don't hold us blameless.

    Edit: I want to add that The Invasion of Iraq was and remains the National Disgrace of my lifetime, yet we collectively seem oblivious as to what a tragic failure it was, unrepentant about the tremendous loss of life we instigated, not to mention the severe damage to our reputation around the world. If I believed in the tradional Christian God, it's the kind of decision that gets people sent to Hell.
     
  16. Ironduke Suspended

    Ironduke

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