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folder icon   04-12-2009, 01:04 PM
Frikken Afghanistan Post #1
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in 2001, terrorists training in Afghanistan carried out several nasty attacks on the US. A US response was necessary. In response, our president ordered a campaign of bombing, and encouraged a civil war, in which the northern tribes defeated the southern ones, pushing the Taliban out of power, and into the mountains of Pakistan. The north then established a new democratic government with a parliament and president, and, at least officially, equal rights.

It was a good, solid beginning. However, the country was then neglected, its new government powerless, as regional warlords were given new titles as "governors" and allowed to maintain their power and corruption. Foreign aid came in, but not nearly enough to build the infrastructure needed for the country to rise from poverty. This is the same poverty that made Afghanistan the world leader in heroin/opium production. The people of Afghanistan have largely grown impatient and weary of their new government.

Our new president, Obama wants to commit America to these problems, asking for another 83 billion from Congress, but I have yet to hear what his goals are, and this worries me. He says he wants to defeat the Taliban. The Taliban are now in Pakistan. So what constitutes a defeat? If all the Taliban go into neighboring Pakistan and trouble that country instead? Or, do we need to invade Pakistan as well, to truly end their capacity to make war? What are the ramifications of this approach? How would the people of Pakistan react? Would this lead to greater instability in the region? How much would it cost? How long would it last?

Most importantly, is the money being requested now for an actual strike at the Taliban, or just to maintain a police presence, as we wait to hand over full control to the Afghan government, under Hamid Karzai? Is our strategy to play a waiting game like that in Iraq, to wait for the fledgling government to become strong enough to pull its own weight? So far, all I can find from US commanders is an idea to use soldiers to teach farmers how to grow wheat instead of opium, and an increase of remote controlled drones, for an ineffectual, "videogame" style war along the border that's just as likely to kill children as combatants.

This isn't what I want to see my money spent on. Meanwhile, this fledling government is showing itself to be not only corrupt, but nearly as backwards and oppressive as the original Taliban. They've just signed a law stating no married woman can charge her husband of rape. Every married woman is legally required to sexually satisfy her husband at least once every four days, unless she's just given birth, menstruating, fasting, preparing for a pilgrimage, or it's Ramadan. The law also stipulates specific reasons (emergencies) when a woman is allowed to go outside without her husband's knowing. This new government is quickly turning into the Taliban Lite, where the only differences are:

1. you're still allowed to voice dissent without beheading
2 They're pro-USA.

These two points are subject to change, and it's all very disheartening to me, as the worst case scenario is the Taliban surges forward, using a wave of violence to retain power, and the best case scenario is that Karzai defeats them militarily, makes a peace agreement with them, and then his government grows, becomes anti-American, and develops its own secret service akin to Pakistan's ISI, and America (and its allies) still suffers terrorist attacks like those on 9/11.

Does anyone else have the sinking feeling this is all in vain?

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folder icon   04-12-2009, 02:12 PM
Post #2
Black~Enthusiasm

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The Talibans would have been effectively crushed if NATO would have been able to pursue them into Waziristan back in 2001, because these islamist have no other territories in which they can reorganize themselves, and from which they can launch sophisticated attacks.

The deal was that instead of going into Pakistan, NATO decided to play by the rules and, according to the legal concept of reciprocity, they decided to give Pakistan a chance to deal with the remaining Talibans, once they were into their territories. We would give Islamabad tons of money and equipment, and they would do the job for us.

Cleared from Afghanistan and hunted in Waziristan, the Talibans would have been dealt with. The plan could have worked.

It didnt because - this is one popular theory- Pakistan's Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) is apparently a de facto independant and almost sovereign institution - a State within a State. During the Soviet-Afghan war, ISI was used by Islamabad and the Americans to organize and coordinate the international network of jihadists in Afghanistans.

After the Soviet-Afghan war, Islamabad, through the ISI, continued to entertain links with these jihadists, using them as agents of influence in Afghanistan. Some scholars go as far as to say that when the Talibans came to power, Afganistan effectively became Pakistan's puppet state. You also have to keep in mind that Pakistan was affraid that Afghanistan might somehow fall under the influence of India.

In the context of the global war on terror (GWOT), ISI's attachement toward the Islamists, combined with their de facto independance (which is still a matter of controverse), represent a big problem for us. They're the main reason (among many other factors) why Islamabad had so many difficulties in fighting them. Pakistan's own intelligence service is not cooperating with the State's executive authority, and is apparently acively doing what it can to preserve the Talibans.

This is the principal reason why Islamabad failed to prevent the Talibans from reorganazing themselves in Pakistan's semi-autonomous provinces of Waziristan. This is why Washington is not relying on Pakistan anymore to strike at Taliban high profile targets in Waziristan: Pakistan's military cannot be relied upon anymore because of ISI's corruption.

Having said that, I'd ike to point out two things.

First, the Talibans survived against all odds because they had the help from the ISI, because Waziristan isnt policed by Islamabad, and because they were able to coerce the locals into helping them, or at least into accepting them into their midst.

This isnt a vietnam-like conflict. The Talibans arent anything like the north vietnameses. They arent equiped by a powerfull foreign power, the conflict is confined to the provinces of Wazirstan, the population there, as in Afghanistan, areent too sympathetic to them, and these are the Taliban's last territories. They cant hold their own against us. All that is needed to win against them is to go in there, and assert Pakistan's sovreignty once more.

Secondly, NATO forces can legally strike into Waziristan, and Pakistan can't do much about it. I think I've written enough for now, but I could always elaborate on the legality of american intervention in Pakistan. I can also give sources for much of the stuff I mentioned above.

To sum up, since the Talibans can be easily dispersed, and since we can legaly go into Pakistan and do just that, disperse them, then we could realistically garantee security into Afghanistan. If we ca do this, then the Afghan government will have a much better chance at asserting its sovreignty over the country, and they'll have a real chance at treating the Talibans like a mere criminal organization, with internal legitimate means.

So there's always a chance that it wont all be in vain.

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folder icon   04-12-2009, 05:30 PM
Post #3
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I think b~e, you forgot Pakistan has nuclear weapons and destabilizing the country by invading it is not what I call the best of ideas no matter what OJ simpson level of lawyering you do to make your invasion "legal".

If you want to define winning, it's making a country that is both democratic and also appreciative of our actions. If you lose out on any of those two key points, we'll have failed to accomplish anything.

Democracy doesn't come from blowing up more Taliban, no matter how much you love killing people b~e. Democracy comes from setting up a government that more represents the will of people, there are actionable civil rights, elimination of general poverty and the introduction of education for all.

Representation:
If we want to have a proper democracy there, we'll have to work with aid groups and communities to produce individuals taht people can vote for and hope for a better life. Backing drug lords and warlords and arms dealers is not what I call a fantastic voting list.

Poverty:
We should be working hard to build roads, irrigation, schools and all the other fantastic stuff that makes our countries great. Using even one cruise missile, or deploying a soldier in pakistan costs more than all the textbooks for half a province in Afghanistan. We should be using the least amount of soldiers and maximum amount of aid workers. We have it opposite.

This is also largely why, if Canada were to pull out militarily, we can still win in Afghanistan because soldiers were never part of the solution. They only looked better in the news.

Your whole argument, b~e, basically says we should be even more of an asshole compared to what we've already been. Even if your allegations for the ISI are true, then it basically says the West created it in the first place and is causing all of our problems. Now you want to make the same shit with a different name, what happens then? Twenty years from now we have another 9/11?

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folder icon   04-12-2009, 07:02 PM
Post #4
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Ultra I see what you're saying, but I disagree with the jist of it for this reason. You say, "Democracy comes from setting up a government that more represents the will of people, there are actionable civil rights, elimination of general poverty and the introduction of education for all."

Ultra, have you read what I said? We did create a democracy there, and it's currently dismantling rights in a voluntary return to sharia law. There won't be school for all, and there won't be civil rights for all. You say we don't need troops there, but a major cause of corruption stems from contractors having to bribe local militias/taliban just for safety during their construction projects. Having enough soldiers to kick some ass in those places would help eliminate corruption.

I like the idea of placing enough troops and striking hard enough at the Taliban to force an unconditional surrender.

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folder icon   04-13-2009, 02:26 PM
Post #5
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Ultra, you wouldnt need to invade Pakistan, because the Talibans are confined to a single province that is already semi-autonomous. This province gained its semi-autonomous status following the failure of Islamabad to assert its control in it, because of the influx of Talibans. Therefore, it is not entierly unrealistic to imagine that NATO could be mandated by Pakistan to go into Waziristan, just like NATO is mandated by Kaboul to assure security, or that it could be a joint effort between Pakistan and the Coalition.

It would certainly be an improvement over the current situation, where we dump millions into Pakistan, only to watch Islamabad fail to curb the recovering Talibans, and where the Americans are forced to make legal but delicate and controversial strikes into Waziristan.

I dont think that we, or anybody else, could come up with a satisfying and consensual definiton of victory. Even if we implement durable democratic institutions in Afghanistan, I dont see why a liberal society would emerge. I dont know enough about that country to tell if the liberal factions it in could endure against the reactionary elements. There will always be a shisme between conservatives and liberals, along religious and traditional lines. There is no reason to believe that the liberals are stronger.

You base your definition of democracy entierly on two pillars: representation and fighting poverty. Why wont you accept that security is also an essential element of a workable democracy? How can you fight poverty, if your international aid workers are barrickaded in Kaboul, because there isnt enough soldiers to occupy the lands and roads we manage to secure in southern Afghanistan and elsewhere in the country? How can the central government fight the impunity of warlords and druglords, if it doesnt have a monopoly over the use of legitimate violence i.e efficient military and police forces?

My whole argument ultra, everything I have to say about this issue, spring from the belief that security must be garanteed firt, before democracy can be installed and poverty fought. Why you seem to believe that the use of soldiers and the use of international aid workers is mutualy exclusive, I can't figure it out.

My whole argument is that we have to garantee security by taking the fight to the Talibans, into Waziristan, because it is necessary to prevent them being able to organize themselves in a fixed teritory. They must always be on the move. This is why we went into Afghanistan in the first place: so Al Qaida wouldnt benefit from having a friendly government allowing them to organize themselves in a friendly territory.

But the Talibans are in their last remaining turf: they have absolutly nowhere else to run. This is why the Obama administration didnt hesitated one minute to continue Bush's risky policy of striking into Pakistan despite Islamabad's protest. There wont be security in Afghanistan if the Talibans are secure themselves, and there wont be democracy in Afghanistan without security.

One last thing: we didnt creat the ISI, nor are we responsible for its independant nature. Its all a matter of intern politics. All the Americans did was to us them as an intrument to manipulate the jihadist network in Afghanistan against the Soviets. How would we risk to "make the same shit with a different name" in we'd go into Waziristan, I'd like to understand.

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folder icon   04-13-2009, 11:54 PM
Post #6
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"because the Talibans are confined to a single province that is already semi-autonomous."

I'll grant that's where they can organize and rest, but recent reports show they're attacking all throughout Afghanistan, so they're not as confined as you might think.

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folder icon   04-14-2009, 12:30 AM
Post #7
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Their most important base of importation spring from Waziristan. Because this is where the great majority of them had to relocate in 2001, and because this is, I think, the only region where they enjoy near total impunity. But I may be wrong at this point.

If the Talibans can reproduce effective bases of operation toughrough the country, before we're able to set up a solide central government, then we're probably hosed.

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folder icon   04-14-2009, 04:41 PM
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Actually, only you are assuming that soldiers and international aid work is mutually exclusive.

When there's flooding in Manitoba, we put the military on standby to put up barricades and help shore up levees. We don't send in CF-18s with laser guided bombs to blow shit up.

When there is violent gang crime in Vancouver, we step up police efforts through more recruiting and training. As part of a multi-prong approach, we also create outreach programs, community initiatives, gun amnesty programmes, put money into education and rehabilitation programs. We don't move in soldiers and start "cleaning house".

So when it comes to Afghanistan, the argument I am making is not that soldiers are useless. I am saying that international aid, construction projects, education, healthcare and infrastructure is what counts. There isn't a second to be wasted, or a dollar, by soldiers busy taking out "Taliban strongholds" and doing house to house searches in villages for "ammo caches". They need to spend all that time running convoys full of aid, protecting workers by walking the streets (not driving around in 3-APC convoys that shoots anything in their path) and make a sustained presence. It's impossible for our soldiers to do anything, if they spend a 3 hour mission convoy blazing through "enemy Afghan" territory, shooting anything that moves because it might be a suicide bomber then go back home, drink a few beers inside a cozy American base and then have the psychological capacity to not fall into an "us vs them" mentality, or "all Afghans are potential" targets. You lose sight of the goal to build a real society. You end up asking for relaxation/escalation of rules of engagement, heavier weapons, bigger firepower, more reach. This year, NATO just approved strikes on civilian targets now, in order to more "damage the money raising capability of the Taliban". What's the real effect of that policy except to make Afghans hate us more when we start spraying bombs in every direction?

The things you ask our soldiers to do so carelessly b~e when I think we should probably just pull out because I don't think I can personally ask someone to risk their life to setup a government they don't even agree with. In any case, there's two realistic political outcomes here, in that right-wingers will ask to blow up more stuff, attack more countries and send troops and more troops in deeper. Left-wingers will ask for us to do more humanitarian work, construction and aid or just pull-out. So the two choices end up being "blow up more shit, stay the course, send more soldiers" or "pull out" because those are the only two choices that Western governments can seriously do. In that case, i don't think we're even capable of helping Afghanistan and we should probably just choose pull out.

But just for good measure, here's what i think would work over the course of 10-20 years. (The time frame depends on what "interesting events" might occur in the near-term future).

Short-term policy: using soldiers to guard our international aid workers.
Long-term policy: build schools, roads, wells, irrigation, healthcare, police training

The ultimate big picture: Afghanistan isn't going to become the country you want. Also realize the different political factions that exist in Afghanistan. Much like Bush was pushed to ban stem cell research, abortion and link all AIDS programs in Africa to spreading Christianity instead of actually combating the disease, ultra-right wing components in Afghanistan push them to implement fairly nutball laws. If you thought something else was going to happen, you're as deluded as Dick Cheney about Iraqis celebrating the entry of American soldiers.

Democracy is what it is; a shitfest.

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folder icon   04-14-2009, 10:54 PM
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You raise good points and all but can I just point out that you (ultra punk) compared Vancouver to Afghanistan and based some of your argument on that logic. Vancouver (if I am not mistaken) is a developed city in a developed country. Afghanistan is a big land mass that can hardly be called a country, nor does most of it have even running water or power...

I am sorry mate but the comparison doesn't cut it. You are better off comparing northwest rural China to Afghanistan. But I have no idea what they do there, most likely the government in China sends in the army if things get hairy there. But then again the government in China doesn't really have to 'play by the rules'.

I offer no real answer because I think you both have pretty much the right idea. I just think you are arguing about how to get to the ideal... I believe B~E is right. With out a monopoly over the use of legitimate violence you are never going to get anywhere. At the same time you also have to be building wells, sewerage systems, schools, etc, etc... But there really is no point in building roads if some prick is just going to come long and dig it up... But I don't really know the answer or anything about the ISI so, meh...

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folder icon   04-14-2009, 11:50 PM
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"When there's flooding in Manitoba, we put the military on standby to put up barricades and help shore up levees. We don't send in CF-18s with laser guided bombs to blow shit up."

Why would you? That's a non sequitor.

"When there is violent gang crime in Vancouver, we step up police efforts through more recruiting and training. As part of a multi-prong approach, we also create outreach programs, community initiatives, gun amnesty programmes, put money into education and rehabilitation programs. We don't move in soldiers and start "cleaning house"."

This is another non sequitor, as the troubles in Afghanistan are much more severe, and the only possible police force is the US military. We're not facing a few small drug gangs, but an entire militia of people in an area the size of, say, West Virginia. They're organized, militant, zealous, and they're terrorizing an entire country.

You say you want the US/Nato troops to walk the streets - to do this we need more soldiers, period. right now, since we don't have enough, there are many, many towns with no soldiers, no protection, and they get raided regularly by the Taliban and have to ally with them or face murder. Here's an interesting article: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/22/w...liban.html?_r=1

and another: http://www.time.com/time/world/arti...1890243,00.html

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folder icon   04-15-2009, 07:32 PM
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Nah, see the problem was that you invaded Iraq and deployed 150 000 troops and 40 000 mercenaries there instead of Afghanistan. Plus American soldiers do not do foot patrols in Afghanistan, they provide the heavy weapons for NATO forces.

Those are not non-sequitor points. Mexico deployed the military alongside American assistance to combat drug crimes along its border with USA. This is not something Canada would have done. That is a developed country with developed cities with a large land mass. They are now facing pretty bad problems because they sent soldiers in not the least of which is civilian casualties. How it will play out I'm not sure, but they'll have to pull the military out eventually and turn it back over to police forces so it won't be that bad.

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folder icon   04-15-2009, 10:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultra_punk
Nah, see the problem was that you invaded Iraq and deployed 150 000 troops and 40 000 mercenaries there instead of Afghanistan. Plus American soldiers do not do foot patrols in Afghanistan, they provide the heavy weapons for NATO forces.

Those are not non-sequitor points. Mexico deployed the military alongside American assistance to combat drug crimes along its border with USA. This is not something Canada would have done. That is a developed country with developed cities with a large land mass. They are now facing pretty bad problems because they sent soldiers in not the least of which is civilian casualties. How it will play out I'm not sure, but they'll have to pull the military out eventually and turn it back over to police forces so it won't be that bad.

I agree that the whole invaded Iraq before finishing in Afghanistan was the wrong idea.

The idea of comparing Afghanistan with the Mexican border is still a bad one in my opinion. But for the sake of the argument.

Mexico is now in a heap of shit because of the massive corruption and drug trade through its borders. It has little or nothing to do with the fact that they have deployed their military along their border. They already had many of the problems before they sent in the military. And why didn't they use police, they did at first, that lead to more corruption and the death of some of the highest ranking officers... You give up the problem and what Canada wouldn't do (because it isn't rolling it own corruption) so now suggest a solution. I for one agree with what Mexico is trying to do. Insure it security while trying to deal with its corruption. But if you know a better way, with out pissing the American off, lets hear it.

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folder icon   04-16-2009, 11:24 AM
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Isn't Mexico's army just as corrupt as everything else? Regardless, that example is closer related to Afghanistan than a flood, but you still haven't convinced me that it's been a mistake.

Now Iraq was of course huge mistake. I've been saying that since 2002, and you can look it up right here on this forum.

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folder icon   04-16-2009, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy the Saint
I agree that the whole invaded Iraq before finishing in Afghanistan was the wrong idea.

The idea of comparing Afghanistan with the Mexican border is still a bad one in my opinion. But for the sake of the argument.

Mexico is now in a heap of shit because of the massive corruption and drug trade through its borders. It has little or nothing to do with the fact that they have deployed their military along their border. They already had many of the problems before they sent in the military. And why didn't they use police, they did at first, that lead to more corruption and the death of some of the highest ranking officers... You give up the problem and what Canada wouldn't do (because it isn't rolling it own corruption) so now suggest a solution. I for one agree with what Mexico is trying to do. Insure it security while trying to deal with its corruption. But if you know a better way, with out pissing the American off, lets hear it.


Well using the military carries its dangers. You have a lot more civilian deaths and a lot of damage done to society in general in order to combat crime.

You also have the choice of a temporary deployment of thousands of extra police officers that would normally not be there, for a period of time.

Italy for instance has had recent issues with the mafia, where they (I think) assassinated some police chiefs. Italy's response was to deploy a bazillion cops and knock those asses out but not send in troops. Both solutions end crime, but this one doesnt carry a bunch of civilian deaths with it.

I'm not really going to bother with finding an analogy you guys like because ultimately if you disagree with my views, no analogy is going to make the cut. The thing is that you're arguing for several things as far as I can see...

a) Monopoly on the use of violence
Monopoly on the use of violence doesn't equate to being the majority figure in all violent statistics. The current numbers puts NATO forces causing more civilian casualties than the Taliban.

The sole purpose of gaining the monopoly on the use of violence is gaining legitimacy in the eyes of the public that you are the sole entity allowed to use armed force. We have not earned that in the Afghan public. This is not earned through shock and awe bombing. It is, in fact, not even earned by attacking Taliban strongholds and ammo caches.

You destroy the strongholds today, there will be new ones tomorrow. If we want the taliban to lose the right to use violence, we have to buckle in and maintain a foot presence that is also culturally aligned. "Living with the locals" is basically what I mean.

Now with Obama pulling out of Iraq (also, I know you didnt support the iraq war but this was my point), America now has many more soldiers to deploy into Afghanistan. However, it will be a pretty useless development if we don't give those soldiers a mission and a strategy that will actually result in long-term gains.

b) Whether to use soldiers
One thing that the European Union has been doing is building police academies and sending police officers to train Afghan police. As far as I know, Canada does the same and Japan provides a large bulk of funding for the police salaries.

Ultimately, police should be doing policing jobs and not NATO forces. It's always a huge mess to have soldiers do civilian jobs and its dangerous. It also creates a lot of resentment. Take for instance, the assassination missions and house-to-house searches. If you look at polls done in Afghanistan, that's the number one thing that people get angry about. The air strikes on the other hand are the number one thing causing refugees. That's not a legacy we want to leave behind. We want them to remember we built roads, schools and wells and unless we prioritize our mission in that manner, nobody is going to remember we did those things.

c) Legitimacy
This is more for b~e than for you guys.

I refuse the notion that in order to succeed we must employ unethical and amoral tactics in order to defeat the Taliban. This has, in the past throughout history, caused nations to ignore worst threats, ally with undemocratic entities that sometimes are even worse than the original foe or cause heavy long-term consequences that eventually lead to worse issues decades later.

We created the Taliban.
We funded and trained the ISI.
We gave the weapons for the Afghan jihadists.
We taught them to use car bombs and make IEDs.

We should not ever repeat the mistake of forgetting what the ultimate goal of any and all our actions are. Even if you are Machiavellian bastard, you still do not enter upon policies that have negative long term consequences.

US propped dictatorships and fascist regimes in South America to combat communism but that resulted in millions of deaths. The instant America lifted its hands off the situation, democracy has blossomed across the continent.

Do I know if liberal factions in Afghanistan would rise to power if we lifted our hands off? No, I don't know, in fact, I seriously doubt it. But democracy is not something you can place into a country by force. All you can place is a puppet regime that nobody likes. I don't really see an advantage to that situation, especially seeing how things like ...

Supporting the monarchy in Iran eventually lead to the Islamic Revolution.
Supporting the Saudi royal family has led to the formation of thousands of terrorist cells we collectively call Al Qaeda.
Supporting the Afghan mujahedeen against the soviets led to sister groups such as the Taliban rising to power.
Backing Saddam Hussein in Iraq and leading him into the Iran-Iraq war. This mess up later resulted in the Gulf War.

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folder icon   04-17-2009, 12:47 AM
Post #15
Sammy the Saint

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Look. None of us are saying that we should send in the army and start bombing schools and little children. We are saying that we should send in more troops so that we can train an Afghani Army and an Afghani Police force with out people trying to shoot them. That we can build more schools for little children with out people trying to blow us up. We are arguing for the same thing. A stable Afghanistan.

Monopoly over the use of legitimate violence - Politic 101
The majority of the Afghani public couldn't careless about who has the guns. They are just sick of the fighting. They accepted the Taleb's the first time because the fighting ended. The people are sheep because they are poor and uneducated. That isn't going to change. The idea of wining the hearts and minds of the people is nice propaganda but that is all it is.

I agree that the assassination missions and house-to-house searches are wrong way to go about this problem. And good on the Japanese and Canadian's for training up a Afghani Police force.

But I believe that if you want to build a nation in Afghanistan that is going to last then you will need allot more soldiers to insure the stability of the country while you move ahead. There are not enough police to do the job and you can not ask a civilian to go to a country and do their job there when they are more then likely to be killed for trying. You can however ask a soldier too. In fact that is pretty much a soldiers job.

Quote:
Now with Obama pulling out of Iraq (also, I know you didnt support the iraq war but this was my point), America now has many more soldiers to deploy into Afghanistan. However, it will be a pretty useless development if we don't give those soldiers a mission and a strategy that will actually result in long-term gains.
Do you really think people just send in soldier and hope for the best? Just because they don't tell you their game plan doesn't mean they don't have one. I mean really?

It is nice to say that we should send the police in. Only problem being is that there are no police. In fact there is hardly a nation. A few warlords, tribes, with one working city stuck in the middle does not a country make... In my opinion. You need to send in more soldiers, like it or not. You need to train a working Police force and Army. Like it or not. And you have to do this while allowing the 'people' to believe one of their own is in charge of the whole mess... Meh. I am bored of this topic... Someone post a new one, seeing as we are pretty much the only people that read or post in here. ^_^

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folder icon   04-17-2009, 05:07 PM
Post #16
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I think it wrong to assume government has an awesome plan but they just can't tell us. Obama's wording has been encouraging since he has been pushing for diplomatic avenues alongside military ones but I'm fearful of another Bush. They sent troops into Iraq basically along the idea of "hoping for the best", so yes I do think nations do that because their leaders are just as dumb and stupid as anybody else.

I stated sending in the Police, I meant our police (who we'd have to train for the local laws and culture).

We've always been arguing for the same thing, a stable Afghanistan, I think we're just going about it differently. Obviously you don't want to blow up schools and little children but what I am saying is that sending in soldiers as combat missions will inherently cause this whether you want it to happen or not. If we attach soldiers solely to aid missions, then they would still get shot at, the difference being is that we'd have to use hand weapons and very measured force by the very nature of the mission. It's a difference in mentality for the Afghans in how they view foreign soldiers and it's a difference in psychology in what our military commanders want to do.

If we haven't the soldiers to do this, that's too bad, but we cover what ground we can and we do it right. I think it's pointless to send them on transient goals of subduing Taliban forces only to have the extremists come straight back and claim all the territory. The sad thing is, they receive a lot of support because people think they're better rulers.

People might not care who has the guns but they do care about consistency and rule of law. If the Taliban provide that and not us, they'll support the Taliban. If we blow up the Taliban, they cant support them until we have to inevitably move our forces to another location and hten the Taliban resurge. In the southern provinces where the British, Canadian and American forces are fighting, the Taliban provide the police, the court system (even though its the most crazy interpretation of Sharia law), the social services such as welfare and so the people accept them. They realize the Taliban are oppressive and bad but when the majority of the people NATO forces put in power are drug lords and bandits, what real choice do they have? That's how I think they feel and that's the problem that needs to be addressed and it's not really a military issue.

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folder icon   04-17-2009, 07:26 PM
Post #17
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I really am not sure which side to pick here.

But as a comment going to both the situation in Mexico and in Afghanistan:

LEGALIZE DRUGS

I think a lot of violence in both Afghanistan and Mexico has to do with the illegal drug trade. It seems an excessive amount of military actions in Afghanistan are directed at disrupting opium supply and production. The US imports a ton of opium from Turkey and India to provide medication for sick people (morphine, codeine). At least Afghanistani farmers could be allowed to grow poppies to sell for the production of medications. I think it would help control the land and win sympathy among the people if we helped them in their trade rather than trying to destroy it.

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folder icon   04-18-2009, 12:32 AM
Post #18
Sammy the Saint

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultra_punk
I think it wrong to assume government has an awesome plan but they just can't tell us. Obama's wording has been encouraging since he has been pushing for diplomatic avenues alongside military ones but I'm fearful of another Bush. They sent troops into Iraq basically along the idea of "hoping for the best", so yes I do think nations do that because their leaders are just as dumb and stupid as anybody else.
If you really believe any country would send it's military in to another country with out a plan then you sir are crazy. They never just 'hope of the best'. Look, basic plan.

Kill Taleb's. Stop the opium trade. Install new government. And I bet they have a whole load of arguments and ideas to back their plans. More on that later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultra_punk
I stated sending in the Police, I meant our police (who we'd have to train for the local laws and culture).
As I said. You can't. You can not ask your civilians to take up their job in another 'country', when it means that they are likely to face death. You can not order civilians, that is why you have an Army. Well you could if this wasn't a democracy, but then if it wasn't we wouldn't be in this situation now would we.

You have to send your forces against the Taleb's, to disrupt their ability to rule, the same reason you have to disrupt the opium trade. Where do you think the Taleb's have been getting most of their money? Thorn is on to something here though, give the people growing the opium more money to sell it to you or more money to grow something else. The only way to brake the trade is to undermine it. If the people know they can get more money for less work they are going to do that and love you for it.

The 'drug lords' and 'bandits' you leave in power are the same ones that the Taleb's leave in power. The people see the fighting as done by outsiders in their backyards and houses. Everywhere you look it is the same thing they say. They don't care who is in power because at the local level it is the same, they just don't want the fighting near them. Meh, like I said this topic is annoying now. I keep writing the same thing in every post it seems. Just in a different words...

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folder icon   04-18-2009, 11:54 AM
Post #19
Gaggin

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OMG! Charlie Wilson's War was a great movie! Sadly Bush quit drinking, a major character flaw to say the least.


People expect too many quick changes in these countries. First off we need to do something about the opium trade. An interesting idea I discovered on Real Time with Bill Maher was a contract for legal opium for pharmaceuticals. Right now Turkey has that contract, but if we extended it to Afghanistan it would definitely put some power in our hands instead of the Talibans. It seems the only thing that can compete with the illegal drug trade is the legal drug trade.

In such a backwards country you can't expect them to switch up their culture overnight. The good news is for the most part they want to, but you still have a big ole country where people in a village may never make contact in their lives with another village 5 miles down the road unless they're trading and they'll certainly never read Time magazine or the Washington Post, so any change forced on them will be hard to sell, no matter how good the intentions are.


Speaking of which, I'd love to smoke some opium right now...

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folder icon   04-19-2009, 03:15 PM
Post #20
Kjell Thusaud

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We need to reinstate the opium monopoly!

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