"We could be in Afghanistan for the next 40 years"

Ken Morgan

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I think the quantity does matter. Some on that list really are taking the pi**.

I agree with what you say there 100% about location. Can you blame their governments though? Also as I said above, the Estonian's have got blokes where it matters. (I'm sure they're not exclusive in that, they just come to mind).

It shouldn't be, and isn't just NATO either.

Im a Canadian of British parents so

The Coalition is made up of troops from NATO and other allied countries. The US asked for aid, from NATO members after September 11, 2001 as they had a right to do and as they should have done. NATO and other allied countrys came to the aid of the US.

I understand the position of some of the allied nations not wanting to put their soldiers into harms way, but I know damn well that if it had been London, or Paris or Toronto or Brussels or Lisbon that had been attacked instead of New York, the Americans would have gladly put there troops in harms way for the rest of us. I think it is hypocritical of many of the allied nations to send troops only if, they can police the Kurdish provinces, or run the air fields, or run the transports. The Americans have put themselves in the line of fire for many in the past, its bloody well time some of the other allied countrys come out from behind cover and help them out.

BTW. The biggest supplier of oil to the US, is Canada. Afghanistan has no oil, and Iraq was a huge mistake.
 

DergaSmash

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It just doesn't make any sense to me.

I get that after we blow a country up, kill it's people, and destroy property, that we owe them to help rebuild and all that. That part I understand.

Yet America wasn't attacked by a country. We were attacked by a super far right religious group, not all that different from the religious groups we have here that blow up abortion clinics.
 
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Tez3

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I’m a Canadian of British parents so…

The Coalition is made up of troops from NATO and other allied countries. The US asked for aid, from NATO members after September 11, 2001 as they had a right to do and as they should have done. NATO and other allied country’s came to the aid of the US.

I understand the position of some of the allied nations not wanting to put their soldiers into harms way, but I know damn well that if it had been London, or Paris or Toronto or Brussels or Lisbon that had been attacked instead of New York, the Americans would have gladly put there troops in harms way for the rest of us. I think it is hypocritical of many of the allied nations to send troops only if, they can police the Kurdish provinces, or run the air fields, or run the transports. The Americans have put themselves in the line of fire for many in the past, its bloody well time some of the other allied country’s come out from behind cover and help them out.

BTW. The biggest supplier of oil to the US, is Canada. Afghanistan has no oil, and Iraq was a huge mistake.

London was attacked by bombers.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7_July_2005_London_bombings
 

geezer

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We were attacked by a super far right religious group, not all that different from the religious groups we have here that blow up abortion clinics.

Yep, but the government of Afghanistan at that time, that is to say Mullah Mohammed Omar and the taliban, offered Osama Bin Laden sanctuary and support, making his country complicit in the act.

Interestingly, historically the Brits had to deal with their own equivalent of the taliban. Ever hear of Oliver Cromwell and the Roundheads? Oh, and what became of those religious fanatics? Their descendants, the Puritans founded our country. And contrary to our national myth, they didn't come here religious freedom, but to establish an oppressive theocracy. From what I see and read, they never quite died out!
 
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Tez3

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Yep, but the government of Afghanistan at that time, that is to say Mullah Mohammed Omar and the taliban, offered Osama Bin Laden sanctuary and support, making his country complicit in the act.

Interestingly, historically the Brits had to deal with their own equivalent of the taliban. Ever hear of Oliver Cromwell and the Roundheads? Oh, and what became of those religious fanatics? Their descendants, the Puritans founded our country. And contrary to our national myth, they didn't come here religious freedom, but to establish an oppressive theocracy. From what I see and read, they never quite died out!

I think you need to have a closer look at the subject especially the history of religions here. Not all Roundheads were Puritans, they were however all Parlimentarians.
 

geezer

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I think you need to have a closer look at the subject especially the history of religions here. Not all Roundheads were Puritans, they were however all Parlimentarians.

Sorry if my attitude seems a bit... er Cavalier.
 

DergaSmash

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It's all good. I just think that sometimes the U.S needs to scale down the pride a bit and admit it when we're wrong or when we make mistakes instead of staying deployed even longer to correct them. Besides why is it 'tyranny' when another country uses their military but it is 'defending freedom' when the US does it?
 
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Tez3

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Sorry if my attitude seems a bit... er Cavalier.

Well as long as you don't lose your head over it!

We've had a long history of religious fighting here and if you want to compare anything we had to the Taliban I'd suggest the IRA, they bombed both the Province and the mainland many times causing death and mayhem. Thousands were left dead, even this year we had soldiers killed. American money was funding the IRA, not the government but sympathisers raised the money for the arms to be sent to the provos to kill innocent British and sometimes not just British people.
If you look at that you will also see the connection to Oliver Cromwell.
 

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"Americans are trying to beat down the Taliban uprising. And they think that by sending in their troops and Pakistani troops, that they'll be able to squash these people down. Good luck! These people live in caves ... they make guns with their bare hands. You can't beat them. They've been doing it for centuries, and they will continue to."

[yt]kWA4s4p7Ttc[/yt]
 

Deaf Smith

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If Obama nickels and dimes Afghanistan like Johnson did in Vietnam, yea we could be there 40 years.

The SURGE in Iraq was a real SURGE. Obama isnt doing a surge like Bush. He is just throwing in a few here and there to act as a stopgap.

I'm afraid we are seeing history repeat itself, "First time as tragedy, second time as farce."

And GI's are dying cause Obama simply want's out of Afghanistan.

He cares nothing but for himself cause in his view, it really is about him.

Deaf
 

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I really like all the armchair military historians....

It is possible to "win" in Afghanistan..if we had the will and the nerve to do so. Sometimes though the cost of victory is at the expense of our ideals. Look at Saddam..he was able to "control" all of Iraq for a long time. We could do it too if the necessary methods were not so repugnant. War has been of THAT nature FAR longer than it has been of the current one..you know, the whole reporting of every single soldier death as if THAT is proof that we are loosing, making our military look like villains every time there is an accidental civilian death, comparing the beheading and execution of OUR soldiers taken prisoner with our troops making theirs stand naked for a while... Stuff like that.
 

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It looks like my video above failed to embed. Here's the link:

 
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Flea

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comparing the beheading and execution of OUR soldiers taken prisoner with our troops making theirs stand naked for a while
Neither decapitation nor sexual humiliation are acceptable treatment for prisoners of war. When both practices being compared are so repugnant, a discussion of which is worse loses meaning.
 

Ken Morgan

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I really like all the armchair military historians....

It is possible to "win" in Afghanistan..if we had the will and the nerve to do so. Sometimes though the cost of victory is at the expense of our ideals. Look at Saddam..he was able to "control" all of Iraq for a long time. We could do it too if the necessary methods were not so repugnant. War has been of THAT nature FAR longer than it has been of the current one..you know, the whole reporting of every single soldier death as if THAT is proof that we are loosing, making our military look like villains every time there is an accidental civilian death, comparing the beheading and execution of OUR soldiers taken prisoner with our troops making theirs stand naked for a while... Stuff like that.

Armchair military historians?

Dude, there are many of us posting here with extensive practical military experience, plus serious education in strategic studies, foreign policy and defence policy, we actually may have a clue as to what we speak

Is it really a victory if we kill every man, woman, child and salt the fields of Afghanistan? Machiavellian tactics are quite abhorrent IMHO.
 

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Neither decapitation nor sexual humiliation are acceptable treatment for prisoners of war. When both practices being compared are so repugnant, a discussion of which is worse loses meaning.

I think that murder and humiliation (which SHOULD be punished...dont get me wrong) are on VASTLY different levels of "repugnance". As different as life and death. Believing that the the two are somehow equal is a bit mind boggling. In civil law would they be punished equally?

Hmm..death or sexual humiliation? Ill take the sexual humiliation please...I know that someone is somehow going to interpret what Im saying as "awww. Abu Graib wasnt so bad" and that the soldiers there shouldnt have been punished. They got what they deserved, but they were scapegoated for people WAY up the chain IMO. What Im saying is that the media makes things like Abu Graib front page news that we STILL talk about, while the rapist/murdering infantrymen that were recently convicted are a temporary blip on the radar. Why? because one is trying to paint our entire military as "being as bad as them" while the other is an obvious example of evil individuals doing evil things.

What we did to Japanese Americans in WWII seems repugnant to our current sensibilities but are they on the same level of "repugnance" as the German extermination camps were?

The vast majority of our population get their opinions about War served to them by their media of choice which gets to pick and choose what is served up on our idiot boxes and laptop screens. When it's come to the point that we think that an enemy that beheads prisoners on camera for propoganda are somehow "on par" with what happened at Abu Graib we have a serious disconnect going on IMO.

When did this start? Its my opinion that the media first got its taste of this power during Vietnam. When Cronkite was able to take what was in military terms a tactical defeat for the Viet Cong..the Tet offensive and what could have been the turning point of the war..and rephrased it as proof that Vietnam was "unwinable", turning it into a decisive defeat for US and the power balance was shifted. IMO all reporters ever since have been salivating at the chance to drop a Cronkite bomb on the next American war.

I defer of course to the "many of us" with extensive military theory and foriegn relations experience here...I will be returning to the Pentagon shortly.
 
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Tez3

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Looking at went on at Abu Ghraib purely from an intelligence point of view not a humanitarian one, it is a complete waste of time trying to get reliable information out of people that way. Picking low ranking soldiers out for torture is also pointless, it was just an excuse for sadism. It was sheer stupidity to think that it was a worthwhile exercise in intelligence gathering as is Guantanamo, sloppiness and lazy thinking. Again if you want to think cold bloodiedly, all they've done is lower ourselves to Saddams standards and made us look no better than him. In todays world of instant access to media the propaganda war is as equally important to win, this doesn't do it. We must appear to be better than that which we've cast out, hearts and minds are as important as weapons in winning these wars.

I don't know how the conversation turned to a diatribe against American media but there you go. America shouldn't have been in Vietnam in the first place never mind whether it was a winnable war or not. Thats also the view of a Vietnam vet I know, he can't see why he was there ( being injured twice) in the first place. It's the general view thats the problem not the media.
 

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America shouldn't have been in Vietnam in the first place never mind whether it was a winnable war or not. Thats also the view of a Vietnam vet I know, he can't see why he was there ( being injured twice) in the first place. It's the general view thats the problem not the media.

The South Vietnamese sure as hell didnt think we shouldnt have been there and many of them paid the price when we backed out....we "shouldnt have gone there" if we were not willing to win in the first place. Exactly the case in Afghanistan so it is appropriate here....

As to individual soldiers and their opinions as to "why they were there" well those are going to vary widely. Im betting more than a few WWII vets asked the same question...

BTW if you dont think that the media influences the "general view" well I dont know where THIS discussion can go.
 
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Tez3

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The South Vietnamese sure as hell didnt think we shouldnt have been there and many of them paid the price when we backed out....we "shouldnt have gone there" if we were not willing to win in the first place. Exactly the case in Afghanistan so it is appropriate here....

As to individual soldiers and their opinions as to "why they were there" well those are going to vary widely. Im betting more than a few WWII vets asked the same question...

BTW if you dont think that the media influences the "general view" well I dont know where THIS discussion can go.


The question about Vietnam is simply that North Vietnam was communist and America hates communists therefore it's right for American troops to die for that belief. Vietnam was frankly none of America's business, other countries such as Zimbabwe have to sink or swim without interference from 'superpowers'.

You are talking about American media, the OP was about a British commander stating we'd be in Afghanistan for the next forty years.
 

Ken Morgan

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I understand what your point is and from a purely military point of view I agree with you. You do what you have to, to win a war.

But as Carl Von Clausewitz once said, War is the continuation of politics by other means.

War has been and will always be political.

Soldiers and para-military forces only ever make up a small percentage of a States population. What do you do when you defeat them? When you kill or capture enough of them? You still have 95% of a population to deal with, generally a population that will slip a knife into your back at the first opportunity.

Afghanistan has at least 8 separate ethnic groups, some allied with us some not. The Taliban are almost exclusively made up of the Pashtun people, who make up 40% of the country, and who encompass huge areas into Pakistan. They do not recognize a border between the two countries. The Pashtun are for all intents and purposes not represented in the National government.

The Taliban have never carried out a terrorist attack outside of Afghanistan, that is al Qaeda. They are two separate and distinct organizations. The Taliban are only interested in Afghanistan, and kicking out the foreign invaders.

You can not kill off 40% of the Afghan population, therefore you need to find a political solution that appeases the Pashtun people.
 

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