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  1. #41
    psicobolche tcda's Avatar
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    Victor, please start your own thread if you want to talk about how much you love australian culture. I think to use this thread as your platform is frankly bad taste.

    themightybob - I cannot remember who it was from the British army that said that, but it was a General.

    Regarding the US army's admission though, here:

    Most insurgents in Afghanistan not religiously motivated, military reports say - The Boston Globe

    Taliban not main Afghan enemy
    Few militants driven by religion, reports say
    By Bryan Bender
    Globe Staff / October 9, 2009
    - Nearly all of the insurgents battling US and NATO troops in Afghanistan are not religiously motivated Taliban and Al Qaeda warriors, but a new generation of tribal fighters vying for control of territory, mineral wealth, and smuggling routes, according to summaries of new US intelligence reports.

    Some of the major insurgent groups, including one responsible for a spate of recent American casualties, actually opposed the Taliban’s harsh Islamic government in Afghanistan during the 1990s, according to the reports, described by US officials under the condition they not be identified.

    “Ninety percent is a tribal, localized insurgency,’’ said one US intelligence official in Washington who helped draft the assessments. “Ten percent are hardcore ideologues fighting for the Taliban.’’

    US commanders and politicians often loosely refer to the enemy as the Taliban or Al Qaeda, giving rise to the image of holy warriors seeking to spread a fundamentalist form of Islam. But the mostly ethnic Pashtun fighters are often deeply connected by family and social ties to the valleys and mountains where they are fighting, and they see themselves as opposing the United States be cause it is an occupying power, the officials and analysts said.

    The nonreligious motivations give American war planners some hope that they can reduce the power of these militias, and perhaps even co-opt their support with a new set of strategies and incentives.

    The Afghan fighters use the threat of force to further their own economic interests - extorting payments from people shipping goods through the mountains including, in some cases, even US military supplies coming into Afghanistan from Pakistan, the officials said.

    “That doesn’t sound like someone who wants to create a global caliphate,’’ said Arturo Munoz, who retired earlier this year after a 30-year career as a CIA analyst and case officer and is now a senior political scientist at the government-funded Rand Corporation. “There is a completely homegrown Pashtun tradition of Jihad, which is different from radical [followers of the Taliban] and goes back centuries. We are just the latest foreign invader.’’

    The new intelligence analyses were requested by military commanders earlier this year with the hopes of identifying who might be open to accommodation. The data are informing the heated debate within the Obama administration on whether to send tens of thousands of additional troops to wage a counterinsurgency campaign in Afghanistan. Robert Gibbs, White House press secretary, indicated yesterday that the makeup of the insurgency is playing a prominent role in the discussions.

    “Some in the Taliban have similar agendas that have helped Al Qaeda with safe havens,’’ he told reporters at the daily press briefing. “There’s also a significant number of Taliban that are local warlords that have far different agendas.’’Continued...

    Indeed, the intelligence reports say the Taliban movement that harbored the Al Qaeda terrorist network before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks is responsible for only a small share of the rising attacks - mostly in southern Afghanistan, according to the officials.

    “The term [Taliban] has come to have a meaning far beyond what the United States should care about’’ militarily, said Frederick W. Kagan, a resident scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute who is advising US military commanders.

    He added: “The one that most threatens our effort in Afghanistan is the Taliban group that is based out of Quetta in Pakistan. It is headed by Mullah [Mohammed] Omar, who was the former head of the Taliban government in Afghanistan . . . and his former cronies in that government.’’

    The long-term strategy must include an effort by the Afghan government to “reintegrate’’ many insurgents into society, an enormously complex task that requires much greater effort than just more troops, according to government advisers and private specialists.

    The recent assessment by General Stanley A. McChrystal, the top US commander in Afghanistan, outlined the connections between insurgent groups and the original Taliban leadership that fled to Pakistan.

    It also raises prospects for reconciliation with some of them. For example, two major insurgent groups are believed to have allied with the Taliban to protect their sphere of influence, not to wage a holy war against the West.

    The Taliban often help train local militias, but in exchange for loyalty also offer income - including in the form of wives and dowries - to many warlords, said Bruce Hoffman, a professor at Georgetown University who also advises the US government on terrorism and counterinsurgency strategy. “It is economics,’’ Hoffman said.

    McChrystal’s assessment called for a “credible program to offer eligible insurgents reasonable incentives to stop fighting and return to normalcy, possibly including the provision of employment and protection.’’

    Underneath, however, there is also simply a strong desire to repel foreign invaders, US officials believe, which may be harder to overcome. They are fighting “more out of xenophobia than Islamic fundamentalism,’’ said a defense official with access to the latest intelligence assessments on Afghanistan.

    The good news, however, is that many of them may be enticed to come over to the other side, said Munoz.

    “Foreigners have been playing the ‘great game’ for centuries in Afghanistan,’’ he said, citing the Persians, Russians, British, and other outside powers who enlisted the Afghan people to further their interests. “You need the Afghans to play. They have been only too willing to play - as long as they see a benefit for themselves.’’

    Bryan Bender can be reached at bender@globe.com.

    © Copyright 2009 Globe Newspaper Company.
    "Of course we spent our money in the good times. That's what you're supposed to do in good times! You can't save money in the good times. Then they wouldn't be good times, they'd be 'preparation for the bad times' times."

    "Every country in the world owes money. Everyone. So heere's what I dont get: who do they all owe it to, and why don't we just kill the bastard and relax?"

    -Tommy Tiernan, Irish comedian.

  2. #42
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by eagleseven View Post
    Americans, Russians, Germans, and Japanese all executed captured POWs on several occasions.

    The Japanese made it a policy (Bataan Death March), and the Russians didn't think twice.
    Yes I know all about this(Ive been studying WWII for 16 years now), and after the war both German and Japanese figures faced trial as a result of their actions.


    The Japanese Empire deployed both chemical and biological weapons en masse against the Chinese military and civilian populations.
    In '37 and '38 mostly, so technically thats not WWII per se.

  3. #43
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eagleseven View Post
    Americans, Russians, Germans, and Japanese all executed captured POWs on several occasions.
    Yes, when we fought the Japanese on the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea, the Japanese didn't take prisoners and nor did we. But we keep quiet about it today.

  4. #44
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcda View Post
    Victor, please start your own thread if you want to talk about how much you love australian culture. I think to use this thread as your platform is frankly bad taste.
    If it makes you feel better, he does this to every thread.

  5. #45
    Senior Member eagleseven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Yes I know all about this(Ive been studying WWII for 16 years now), and after the war both German and Japanese figures faced trial as a result of their actions.

    In '37 and '38 mostly, so technically thats not WWII per se.
    Then I suppose we have nothing left to debate?

  6. #46
    Senior Member eagleseven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    If it makes you feel better, he does this to every thread.
    And I took the bait

  7. #47
    psicobolche tcda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    If it makes you feel better, he does this to every thread.
    a fair point.
    "Of course we spent our money in the good times. That's what you're supposed to do in good times! You can't save money in the good times. Then they wouldn't be good times, they'd be 'preparation for the bad times' times."

    "Every country in the world owes money. Everyone. So heere's what I dont get: who do they all owe it to, and why don't we just kill the bastard and relax?"

    -Tommy Tiernan, Irish comedian.

  8. #48
    Senior Member eagleseven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcda View Post
    - Nearly all of the insurgents battling US and NATO troops in Afghanistan are not religiously motivated Taliban and Al Qaeda warriors, but a new generation of tribal fighters vying for control of territory, mineral wealth, and smuggling routes, according to summaries of new US intelligence reports.
    I've read dispatches from people on the ground...we're fighting the militia of local warlords/druglords, because the non-drug economy simply cannot provide the standard of living selling heroin does.

    Very similar to Columbia, really.

    The region won't stabilize until Afghanistan's conventional economy improves (hard) or the Afghan government wrestles control of the heroin trade away from the warlords (internationally illegal).

    Puts our guys in a bit of a bind, doesn't it? No good outcomes, in the short-term. The American population is rapidly losing patience with Afghanistan, as Obama has already double-downed.

  9. #49
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcda View Post
    a fair point.
    Yeah any minute now he's going to justify military action in Afghanistan on the grounds the Taliban are all addicted to child porn.

  10. #50
    Priestess Of Syrinx Katsuni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    If it makes you feel better, he does this to every thread.
    Not true, some threads he just goes on about how MBTI is a lie.

    It's pretty much 50/50 whether it's aussieland or MBTI he goes on about.

    Sometimes a mix of the two.

    Would that be 60/60 then? O.o;

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