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  1. #21
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAVO View Post
    I never forgot, which is an important reason why I get so infuriated by idiots who think 9/11 and the war in Afghanistan is some kind of self-aggrandizing American plot. I've also never forgotten the reasons for going to war, and why abandoning Afghanistan is a pretty bad idea.

    That said, I hope Obama and the American military realize that a surge strategy can only result in temporary gains, and have some good ideas concerning how to help Afghanistan build up its own military resources. Perhaps more importantly, Pakistan needs to stop dicking around and obsessing over Kashmir, and acknowledge the Pakistani Taliban as an enemy which must be fought for their own sakes.

  2. #22
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    The people of the moutainous region of Afgahnistan/Pakistan have withstood armies and empires for hundreds of years and not been broken. They will fight until there are none left to fight us. The West does not have the will to win. It never did.

  3. #23
    Senior Member swordpath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiltyred View Post
    When will it end...
    It won't.

    And yes, Afghanistan is bad news right now. A small chance I'll spend time there before I get out of the service.

  4. #24
    Senior Member swordpath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by d@v3 View Post
    They've always had the upper hand! It's THEIR back yard, not ours. On the other hand... we have newer technology (and bombs)..... lots and lots of bombs....(and aircraft).

    It seems the only way the war in Afghanistan will end is with a stalemate. I mean, their hiding in their little tunnels/holes while we are just wasting out time trying to hunt them down. We ought to just regroup and wait for them to come back out of hiding, then we send in some recon incognito. That's what the OSS (CIA) is for.
    If this were a fair fight, every last one of those terrorists would have perished a long time ago. This is a war that will see no end. The only pause will be with diplomacy, however the fighting in that region will never cease.

  5. #25
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    What I think that is often overlooked and under-reported is the spirit of the Afghan people, and the different decisions that they face daily, and the great need to build their capacity in all areas of society and industry.

    Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries in the world and lack in many areas even the most basic requirements such as access to education, health care, potable water or healthy sanitation facilities. It has a high illiteracy rate and the human resource level is very low in many regions.

    Many farmers are in debt and have to make choices to whether they will be able to feed their families. Some of these choices can include not going against or cooperating with the Taliban/"anti-government elements"/ criminal gangs/local bosses so that their assets are not damaged, they can get a loan or even can work without having a family member harmed. Think about it, the international community sways back and forth about how much support and in what way they will provide to Afghanistan. On the ground, as a farmer or a town-dweller, would you be willing to take a stand against the local "baddies" if you weren't sure which way the wind would blow? Tick them off, and the consequences are dire. So many sit on the fence trying to survive each day.

    Despite these conditions, a bright part of this is that hundreds of Afghans, particularly in the volitile southern provinces make a choice every day to work for international NGOs and other civilian aid and humanitarian organizations despite repeated attempts threatening their life, lives of their family members or other hostilities towards them because they believe that there is a brighter future for Afghanistan. Some even have been kidnapped, and still returned to work because they believe that this is the right path. We need to re-factor the people into the equation and try to understand reasons why things are, and what it would take for the Afghan people stand up to the Taliban and other elements. Many want a peaceful and prosperous future for themselves and their country, and are willing to risk their lives for it.

    While I haven't agreed with much of the Bush Admin's approach to Afghanistan, I do think that we have a legitimate reason to be and remain engaged in stabilizing and working to get Afghanistan back in its feet again. One can argue that we need a more comprehensive and coordinated strategy, and seriously work to build the capacity of Afghans in many sectors so that there will be, in time (10+ years), a critical mass to keep Afghanistan functioning independently and democratically.
    [SIGPIC]

  6. #26
    Senior Member weminuche's Avatar
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    Afghanistan is hard for us to fathom. Most of the people there exist in a world similar to ours 500 yrs ago....and that is not an exaggeration. Most care little for the Taliban or the USA or Al Qaeda or centralized government of any sort all they really care about is their village, heath and safety. Even the notion of a unified country of Afghanistan, is an artificial concept with the borders drawn by other countries.

    The Taliban government (not the Afghan people) provided safe harbor for Al Qaeda and provided them with a base of operations to train other terrorists. These people attacked the USA. After 9/11 they refused to give them up. That left us no option other than to go after them ourselves.

    The US has no desire to occupy Afghanistan like the invaders mentioned above. We would love to GTFO, but cant as long as it is a safe haven for terrorists bent on attacking us. "Victory" will be some sort of agreement that the Afghan government....whatever it looks like...will not harbor terrorists. That is really all we can hope for and all we really need or want, but one cannot negotiate from a position of weakness. Right now the Taliban has little incentive to negotiate because their hand is strong.

    Here is a wonderful site for a realistic look at what is going on on the ground in Afghanistan with lots of great pictures. It will be generations before Afghanistan could look and act like a "country" as we think of one.

    It will be a long fight.....


    Sangow Bar Village







    Letís grab a napkin and do some coffee table math. According to the CIA World Factbook estimate, the population of Afghanistan, as of July 2009, is 33,609,937. Just how the CIA arrives at such a precise number but canít find in Iraq the WMD that certainly existed at one time, must leave the math-whizzes rolling on the floor. For the sake of humoring the CIA, letís round to the more napkin-friendly number of 34 million. The CIA World ďGuessbookĒ opines that about 24% of the people are urbanized. This leaves 76% in the sticks. Sticks and mountains. And deserts. So thatís about 26 million people in the boonies. Afghanistan is geographically slightly smaller than Texas, the people are 99% Muslim, and the place is home to some of the most forbidding mountains in the world. Deep Appalachia has nothing on Afghanistan.

    There is no estimate for the average size of Afghan villages in the CIA Guessbook. My big guess from seeing villages in various provinces and many districts is the average community probably consists of less than a hundred people. Former USMC officer Tim Lynch has lived here more than four years, and estimates the average village might have sixty people. For the sake of coffee table math, letís say the villages in micro-communities are home to some 26 million, and have about 100 people each. That would leave 260,000 villages, plus the 8 million people who live in cities and towns.

    Those 260,000 villages are spread out in some of the wildest country you can dream of. Now imagine putting one schoolroom and one teacher in every village to teach all kids through all ages. According to the Guessbook, about 28% of the people are ďliterateĒ; thatís about 43% of the men and 13% of the women. The hand that rocks the cradle canít read, and the fact is that the Guessbook has no idea how many people can read because in all the years of war, most villages are never visited.
    I 60% / N 60% / T 64% / P 76%

    You always get what you settle for.

  7. #27
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Son of the Damned View Post
    The people of the moutainous region of Afgahnistan/Pakistan have withstood armies and empires for hundreds of years and not been broken. They will fight until there are none left to fight us. The West does not have the will to win. It never did.
    The Mujahideen fighters used to drop bouklders ontop of Russian Hind-III helicopters to destroy them:


    No matter how many million Rubles those gunships cost, they were crushed when the rotor blades got hit with hundreds of pounds of granite...

    Quote Originally Posted by weminuche View Post
    The Taliban government (not the Afghan people) provided safe harbor for Al Qaeda and provided them with a base of operations to train other terrorists. These people attacked the USA. After 9/11 they refused to give them up. That left us no option other than to go after them ourselves.
    Has anyone read the TIME magazine article on Mullah Baradar? He's supposedly in charge, but allegedly taking orders from Mullah Omar still...


  8. #28
    Senior Member weminuche's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post
    The Mujahideen fighters used to drop bouklders ontop of Russian Hind-III helicopters to destroy them:
    They killed way more Russian helicopters with the Stinger missiles we provided them than with boulders. No matter how clever you are, a boulder has a horizontal range of a few feet..... stay 100 ft from any cliffs.....threat neutralized.
    I 60% / N 60% / T 64% / P 76%

    You always get what you settle for.

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