Less peril for Afghan civilians, more for troops

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by iShater, Sep 23, 2009.

  1. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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    #1
    Very interesting article. For the longest time, US strategy has what I think have been "collateral damage is OK as long as we are OK". I felt the new shift in strategy was a welcome change.

    It looks like not everybody agrees. It is a sensitive issue, what are your thoughts?

    link.

    Partial article, please see link for full:

     
  2. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #2
    Those civillian casualty figures seem to be very very low.

    That said 130>50
     
  3. iShater thread starter macrumors 604

    iShater

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    #3
    I think these are for direct military action, and do not include insurgent-related deaths.
     
  4. Shivetya macrumors 65816

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    #4
    You cannot win a war by being nice.

    We really don't have the stomach to fight one correctly anymore, as in if we had to fight WW2 again we could not. We don't have the ability to make tough decisions, always second guessing, always over analyzing.
     
  5. iShater thread starter macrumors 604

    iShater

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    #5
    Is killing innocent civilians just considered "not being nice?" We are not talking here about attacking your enemies mercilessly, but people who are NOT involved.

    How is ensuring that innocents are not killed is a tough decision? it should be the EASY decision. Not much to over analyze there.

    And to look at it from a strategic perspective, long term vs. short term, wouldn't ensuring that you are denying them recruits, and creating an environment where people are willing to trust and provide information are better than turning everybody in sight against you?
     
  6. rasmasyean macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    You’ll never know how many “civilian deaths” there really are in this situation and anyone can pull random isolated numbers from “reports” to make this type of case.

    The reality of it is that troops aren’t robots. You can’t remote control them to do anything. And if you were one, you would risk “civilian deaths” to save your own (or your comrade’s) life. It’s not a board game. It’s war! :p


    I think that holds some truth, the problem is that life is “much more valuable” in modern society because you are expected to have so many luxuries and live so much longer compared to the past. You don’t go home to tend the fields and the hard life and die randomly from some unknown illness. You play your Xbox in bliss and communicate with everyone you know on your shiny new iPhone. What a shame to take that all away. And hence people’s tolerance for death is near zero.

    What “westerners” don’t realize is that Afghan on Afghan and even Soviet on Afghan on Afghan was much more brutal and there weren’t any “NATO rules” and crap like that involved. They exterminated villages that were involved with the opposition. And you know what…they prolly got things done and prisoners talked!
     
  7. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #7
    So, the conclusion is that an abject failure to "take the hard decisions" and blow up innocent civilians in someone else's country is showing weakness and lack of resolve? How much clearer could the argument be?
     
  8. rasmasyean macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    The Taliban have pretty decent “resolve” then, would you say? I mean they would even use their own people as human shields (or sacrifices). That makes them a “formidable” enemy, now would it? …despite shooting rusty guns in their sandals.
     
  9. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #9
    Your point, if you have one, is not clear. And your text is still greater than its content.
     
  10. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #10
    Well if they aren't a formidable enemy then why hasn't the US defeated them completely yet?

    Seriously can you just use the normal font/sizing too?
     
  11. rasmasyean macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    The font issue prolly is a "browser thing"...

    Maybe Shivetya has a point then…

    Don’t forget that the Afghan Army has grown to 100K recently. So it’s not just the “US” that are fighting them. If you think that it’s basically the US vs. the entire country, you’re wrong. But, anyways perhaps the more “moderate” Afghans who aren’t Taliban aren’t willing to make as many sacrifices.

    But the other side of Taliban running head on to certain death is that some may not believe they have any hope anyway. Which will still make them a formidable weapon for their leaders to use them to make a statement.
     
  12. rasmasyean macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    The point is that the Taliban obviously have a stronger stomach for sacrificing themselves and their own people in the name of their beliefs. That makes up a bit for the fact that they are really no match technologically for Western troops AND the Western equipped Afghan Army.
     
  13. BoyBach macrumors 68040

    BoyBach

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    #13
    WW2 was 'total war', Afghanistan is an insurgency. You're comparing apples and oranges.
     
  14. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #14
    No, it is not a "browser thing", it is you typing and . Or is your browser doing that unbidden?
     
  15. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #15
    skunk, ever since we got into all this crap, our guys have been shot at by folks from within mosques or within a crowd of non-combatants. Two ways to go: Pull out, or shoot back and tough luck to some of the good guys, sometimes.

    So the powers that be, TPTB, set up rules of engagement to reduce the bad PR engendered by "collateral damage". That's rough on our guys at the sharp end, who already were attempting to hold collateral damage to small levels.

    Odds are that so long as the NATO countries' leaderships figure that oil is the lifeblood of their countries, and as long as Afghanistan is a locale for pipeline routes, it's gonna be "Doom on the Taliban." These new and stricter ROE ain't gonna help our guys at all.

    Back when we first went into the Balkans, I asked my son to ask around as he wandered through various European countries in his F1M travels: Why aren't European folks concerned about Bosnia and Serbia? He got told that, generally, the folks in the Balkans were crazy as rats, and the sooner they killed each other off, the better.

    Given the history and culture of Afghanistan, a similar attitude there seems pretty reasonable to me...

    'Rat
     
  16. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #16
    I have never heard anyone with that sentiment in the UK.
     
  17. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #17
    By the sound of it he was asking in some part of Europe that I haven't heard of that's populated by Texans.:)
     
  18. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #18
    My son has lived in southern Bavaria since 1992. During his years as a team manager for an F1 motorcycle team, he was at tracks in Germany, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Spain and Portugal. (Japan, Kuala Lumpur and Brazil as well, but they ain't Yurropeen.) Lots of bull sessions and beer drinking. Knows folks from all across southern/central Europe.

    Et vous, m'sieu'?

    'Rat
     
  19. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #19
    Lighten up, it was a mild joke at your folksy down-home manner. There's no need to try and address me in French I can speak English. I am supposed to be impressed by the hearsay from your son because he's lived or visited a few countries? He may want to try talking to people other than in bull sessions while drinking beer.
     

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