Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-28-2010, 07:55 PM   #101
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
So what? Do we value teamwork for the sake of teamwork or because it helps us achieve some rational goal? Once I head out the door, I don't particularly care what the other NATO members do (I think they'll leave with us, since we leaned on them to be there in the first place) or what the Afghans do.
We're coming at this from different angles. You believe (per your post) that there's no reason to stay. Of course nothing else matters once you've reached that conclusion--except cutting losses.
__________________

__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is online now   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 06-28-2010, 07:55 PM   #102
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
clifp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 7,450
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
I don't believe indigenous irregular forces have ever been or can ever be defeated, so long as they have a safe haven in a contiguous state (see, e.g. - Cambodia, Pakistan) and an external source of supplies. They can always wait us out, whether we set a date or not. Frankly, once we start a drawdown, it will be obvious when we will be gone, more or less. There is no tactical advantage -- unlike, say, we tell them we are going to assault the village at 0500.

It has been a mystery to me since this all began why we ever thought we could "pacify" Afghanistan. Does no one in government read history books? Alexander the Great couldn't do it, the Parthian Empire couldn't do it, the British Empire couldn't do it, the Soviets couldn't do it, and we won't be able to do it. Kill Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden? Fine. Kick the crap out of the Taliban so they won't dare host Al Qaeda again? Equally fine. But at some point, we have to declare victory, come home and leave them to their own godforsaken land.
I wanted to declare victory and leave Afghanistan back in 2005 when it looked like a victory. The situation is so bad now that I think we are stuck there, unless we become extremely unpopular.

I agree that Afghanistan is an absolutely god awful place for the US to fight, from huge logistically challenges of supplying troops, to the rugged terrain, and to the historically failures stretching back thousands of years. Of course the Afghan people are fierce warriors that makes a bad situation even worse.

However, it isn't hopeless. We have a military who has a qualitative advantage over the Taliban that far out strips the advantage that say the Russian's had over the Mujaheddin or the British had over the Aghan's kings troops. I think we have a winning COIN strategy, and arguably the best General since WWII.

It is possible to to defeat insurgents. Even when they have remote safe havens they can retreat into. The Shining Path is for all intensive purposes defeated in Peru, the FMLN in Honduras, and the Columbian war against the FARC is going reasonably well. In the later two case US aid was significant factor. Their are probably example in Africa also and the classic British operations in Malaysia, all are good examples.

The two reasons to stay in Afghanistan is because I think it is sets a very bad precedent for future wars. (I sadly predict that we will be fighting Islamic extremist all over the world for the rest of my life). More importantly if the Taliban regain control over Afghanistan and I don't see how Pakistan isn't the next place to go and that is very very very scary.
__________________

__________________
clifp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2010, 08:52 PM   #103
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,384
Quote:
Originally Posted by clifp View Post
However, it isn't hopeless. We have a military who has a qualitative advantage over the Taliban ...
Unlike for example in Viet-Nam, where we had b-52s, Intruders and F-4s, and they had tiger traps.

Ha
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2010, 01:48 AM   #104
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
clifp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 7,450
Quote:
Originally Posted by haha View Post
Unlike for example in Viet-Nam, where we had b-52s, Intruders and F-4s, and they had tiger traps.

Ha

There is a very little difference between the equipment of Taliban fighter and Vietcong, AK47, mortars, grenades, and boob traps, although the IEDs are more effective than tiger traps.

Our troop are substantially better equiped than Vietnam era grunt, better weapons, body army, night vision goggles. Communication to individual soldier level, integrated command and control systems that utilize GPS system etc.

The amount of firepower between Vietnam era and today has changed that much, what has changed is the precision. B52 are terrific weapons for blowing up large areas,what they suck at is blowing up one house in a village that house the enemy and leaving the rest of the village alone. The primitive smart weapons of the 1960s are far cry from today's which are available from airplanes, helicopters, and artillery. Computer chips weren't even invented until the end of the main fighting in Vietnam. Troops have a much much easier time killing the bad guys and not killing the civilian than we did in the 1960s.

Now technology alone can't win the war, but it sure can help. I'm not saying that this will be an easy to win the war, I suspect it will be more difficult than Iraq, and that certainly wasn't a cake wake.
__________________
clifp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2010, 03:38 AM   #105
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
clifp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 7,450
This editorial in the NY Times (of all places) expresses my argument for staying in Afghanistan quite well.

Quote:
Here is the grim paradox of America’s involvement in Afghanistan: The darker things get and the more setbacks we suffer, the better the odds that we’ll be staying there indefinitely.
Not the way we’re there today, with 90,000 American troops in-theater and an assortment of NATO allies fighting alongside. But if the current counterinsurgency campaign collapses, it almost guarantees that some kind of American military presence will be propping up some sort of Afghan state in 2020 and beyond. Failure promises to trap us; success is our only ticket out.

Why? Because of three considerations. ..
In a nutshell we pay now or pay more latter.
__________________
clifp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2010, 12:45 PM   #106
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
dex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 5,105
Quote:
Originally Posted by clifp View Post
There is a very little difference between the equipment of Taliban fighter and Vietcong, AK47, mortars, grenades, and boob traps, although the IEDs are more effective than tiger traps.

Our troop are substantially better equiped than Vietnam era grunt, better weapons, body army, night vision goggles. Communication to individual soldier level, integrated command and control systems that utilize GPS system etc.

The amount of firepower between Vietnam era and today has changed that much, what has changed is the precision. B52 are terrific weapons for blowing up large areas,what they suck at is blowing up one house in a village that house the enemy and leaving the rest of the village alone. The primitive smart weapons of the 1960s are far cry from today's which are available from airplanes, helicopters, and artillery. Computer chips weren't even invented until the end of the main fighting in Vietnam. Troops have a much much easier time killing the bad guys and not killing the civilian than we did in the 1960s.

Now technology alone can't win the war, but it sure can help. I'm not saying that this will be an easy to win the war, I suspect it will be more difficult than Iraq, and that certainly wasn't a cake wake.
The two elements that the NV and terrorists share are patience, and the 'will'/determination/do what it takes to win.
__________________
Sometimes death is not as tragic as not knowing how to live. This man knew how to live--and how to make others glad they were living. - Jack Benny at Nat King Cole's funeral
dex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2010, 01:41 PM   #107
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
Quote:
Originally Posted by clifp View Post
There is a very little difference between the equipment of Taliban fighter and Vietcong, AK47, mortars, grenades, and boob traps, although the IEDs are more effective than tiger traps.
And that's about where the similarities end.

The VC and the NVA had a nation-state internal to the conflict (N.Vietnam) directly supporting them. They also had support from two powerful external allies (USSR and the PRC). The Taliban/AQ don't have any national government openly supporting them,. The only contiguous safe haven they have is a foothold in Pakistan, and the government there (finally) is coming to recognize the threat they pose to Pakistan's stability.

In Vietnam, the insurgency (and the goals of the insurgency) enjoyed significant levels of popular support in much of S.Vietnam. That's much less true in Afghanistan.

Terrain: It might appear to be a tactical consideration, but it has strategic import. There ain't no jungle in Afghanistan, and if folks are moving about with weapons they are susceptible to observation and engagement.

There's little similarity between social factors, cultural factors, political factors, and military factors in Vietnam and Afghanistan. There may be more similarities between the US domestic situation concerning the two conflicts: The public's fatigue/lack of patience, politicians' desire to change the subject, etc. Since we don't have the draft now, I'd expect we'll never get to the point of large public demonstrations.
__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2010, 02:13 PM   #108
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
HFWR's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Lawn chair in Texas
Posts: 12,964
Quote:
Originally Posted by clifp View Post
In a nutshell we pay now or pay more later.
$300B and counting... http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RL33110.pdf
__________________

__________________
Have Funds, Will Retire

...not doing anything of true substance...
HFWR is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Dave Freeman dead at 47 MichaelB Other topics 6 08-26-2008 05:09 PM
Dave Ramsey said what??... wildcat FIRE and Money 64 10-30-2006 08:53 PM
Dave Barry Book yakers Other topics 2 01-17-2006 03:24 PM
Dave Barry redux Nords Other topics 4 01-05-2006 12:59 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:18 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.