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Mr. T

Can the US win in Afghanistan?

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Not a troll thread. keep it clean!

My thoughts: There is a reason Afghanistan became a terrorist hideout in the first place. A desolate, cold, mountainous country surrounded by such tourist destinations as... Iran and Uzbekistan.

The only people who could possibly WANT to be there or even care are Afghanis, which is IMO the reason no army has ever been able to hold onto the country for more than a few years in modern times.

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SuperSlammer2 said:

Not with stupid Obama as our president

Oh right, let's bring back our previous president to brilliantly get us out of this mess Obama got us into.

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They went in to topple the Taliban regime that had made the country a safe haven for Al-Qaeda AND clear the way for an oil pipeline to the Indian Ocean.

The best they can do is to claim victory, pass the buck to a compliant puppet government and try not to repeat the undignified exit they made from Somalia.

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GreyGhost said:

The best they can do is to claim victory, pass the buck to a compliant puppet government and try not to repeat the undignified exit they made from Vietnam.

I fixed that for you ;)

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The last war to be "won" was World War 2. It's hard to win a war when all your doing is policing a country with a few bad apples.

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GreyGhost said:

They went in to topple the Taliban regime that had made the country a safe haven for Al-Qaeda AND clear the way for an oil pipeline to the Indian Ocean.

Well yes, but what are they doing in there now?

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I'll be surprised if there even is an Afghanistan by the time we get our stupid asses out of that place. We've turned a precarious situation into a failed state because we were too busy starting wars with other unrelated places instead of declaring a very specific war on a very specific enemy and being done with this whole thing.

A war on terror is like a war on jealousy, Al Qaeda took responsibility and should have been the only target. This is not a 19th century war where countries formally declare that they're at odds with you.

Osama Bin Laden isn't dead yet (or at least we didn't kill him) because we weren't looking. We had our dumb heads up our dumber asses doing other shit instead of making an example out of this guy. It's too late now, even if we did find him and put him to trial he'd just be a martyr.

The truth is The United States of America lost this war a long time ago.

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Bank said:

I'll be surprised if there even is an Afghanistan by the time we get our stupid asses out of that place.

But that's the thing. They are not just in Afghan. They are in Iraq, Egypt, Pakistan and even in South America.

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Spleen said:

Well yes, but what are they doing in there now?

Trying to prevent the ousted governments to take power back. Taliban militias are still a threat. And no, most Afghans don't want them either.

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I don't think the U.S. can win, but I think the Afghans can win. We've won the war, the insurgents, while still active aren't a valid military opponent, it's a bunch of rebels with rifles. The U.S. can't win through force because there will always be pissed off people. However I think the government of Afghanistan can overcome the insurgents and create a stable state if Karzai gets off his ass and takes care of the corruption, or a new leader is legitimately elected who actually takes a Democratic state seriously. There's deep routed tribal differences that have lasted hundreds of years, it's nothing a military occupation can solve, but it can at least bring people to the drawing board. If a civil society is established and they begin manufacturing and farming that's not based off of opium, war lords, and cartels the country can work. Hopefully the recent developments with Hekmatyar is a sign for the future. There's no way the insurgents can win against the U.S. and U.N. war machine (props to all the Canadians, Brits, Poles, French, Germans, Italians, Australians, etc...) but there's no way we can win through military action. The country has to be fixed by the people that live there. It can be won, we're not going to do it, if anyone does it's the Afghani people.

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Gez said:

Trying to prevent the ousted governments to take power back. Taliban militias are still a threat. And no, most Afghans don't want them either.


Yeah, so much that they didn't forsake most of the Taliban-imposed restrictions on conduct, interpretation of Islam, women's status etc. Don't forget that "liberating the Afghani people and letting them live as civilized, democratic, liberal human beings" was touted as one of the goals/pleasant consequences of the invasion.

Well, guess what, apparently the Afghani people didn't give a damn about those western ideals, and it wasn't only the "bad" Talibans that wanted women dressed in Burqas, after all.

I may sound racist for saying that, but the culture of most Islamic countries is essentially contrary to what we perceive as given values or even common sense in the western civilization. Democracy, gender equality, liberalization, achievement-based culture mean nothing to them, and almost none would stand for them as ideals, over there.

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You don't sound racist at all, but people would most likely call you that if you went and made a public statement along those lines. Claiming cultural superiority is not politically correct these days.

It's the same with complaints about islam encroaching on European societies. It'll instantly get you labeled an islamophobe, regardless of how full of shit that word is. There's nothing irrational about being wary of religious extremism, and anyone can see that currently islam is the most fertile breeding ground for it.

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Belial said:

Claiming cultural superiority is not politically correct these days.


Re-read carefully. You're probably misreading my statement about cultural diversity and incompatibility of the western's ideals with Islam, as Berlusconi's infamous speech about the superiority of the western civilization. They're not quite the same thing (and, lo' and behold, I didn't make quantifying/qualifying remarks. No edits either).

Belial said:

There's nothing irrational about being wary of religious extremism, and anyone can see that currently islam is the most fertile breeding ground for it.


I propose you read Lost in the Sacred: Why the Muslim World Stood Still by Dan Diner. It goes a great deal explaining why Islam is essentially a snake eating its own tail and deadlocking on its own contraddiction-filled moral & conduct systems.

Ideally, most Islamic states would prefer having no contact with the outside world to avoid the striking comparisons and strident contradictions.

E.g. in the west the position of the woman is quite different, while most Islamic countries are apparently happy to cut off more than 50% of their population from their workforce based on their gender. It might work if everything else in the world did the same, but not when your competitors don't do it. Nowadays, it's just impossible to get a solid economy going this way, among others, and this is just one aspect of their socioeconomic problems.

Claims of superiority of the West? No.
Claiming that Islam has some real, objective and quantifiable issues and is not suitable for this day and age, judging by how it affects its practicioners? Hell yeah.

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We would win if the armed forces didn't have its head up its own ass. Stupid officers, sub-standard issue gear, unmotivated soldiers, etc are all hurting us in different ways. Not to mention all the assholes back here who throw a shitfit anytime we actually kill someone, and you have Vietnam II. And that isn't fucking fair.

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Mr. Freeze said:

We would win if the armed forces didn't have its head up its own ass. Stupid officers, sub-standard issue gear, unmotivated soldiers, etc


What do you mean? Even if I don't second the purpose of their missions, I do recognize that the U.S. army has easily the best standard issue equipment of all modern western armies, high levels of training and professionalism (100% volunteer professionals with higher wages that most citizens in other western countries and even in the US itself).

Compared to e.g. a Greek soldier in "full battle dress" with combat backpack and hanging etc., an US soldier looks like the fucking Predator or a Storm Trooper from Star Wars, while our uniforms and most of our gear are practically from the US Vietnam era. And let's not even compare an army of conscripts with an army of professionals...it's like comparing a posse of angry farmers to a highly trained SWAT team.

If you can't "win", the problem isn't to be found in technical or personnel reasons. It's more or less the same as with why no police force around the world can "win" against crime: it's too capillary, unpredictable, low intensity, and well connected to defeat in one swift blitzkrieg-like maneuver.

And the "War on Terror" has more in common with a fortified, large-scale police operation than conventional warfare vs an entrenched enemy.

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actually no one should have walked in there from the first start, if those guys has a civilwar, let them fight it and then we can talk to thewm, if they say they're going to kill us beacuse they think we're sinisters, beacuse we dont what they do and so on, then we just leave them alone, if they bomb us, then we listen before we march their heads off, if they never go for peace or reconsidering thier deeds, thoughts and plans. then we should either put a fence round them so they have thier own party for themselves (they always fight against each other who is gonna do what) or if that didnt help and we're just taking to much shit from them, then im sad to get the thought of a nuke to make them drop their pants.

or some one just take out fanatics one by one fast and easy.


there is no bloody order in afghanistan. they have to fix it themselves, not us, it wount work.

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The Ultimate DooMer said:

I miss fodders.

Spoiler

Yes because we all want to hear how this all was an inside job or something, right? Even though that shit's been beaten like a dead horse until it's merely carbon soot, and debunked as well.

The US can't win in Afghanistan because no one has been able, in the history of man, to completely control Afghanistan. Not even the soviets could do it. (Of course, we wouldn't let them...)

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Maes said:

And the "War on Terror" has more in common with a fortified, large-scale police operation than conventional warfare vs an entrenched enemy.


They say you can't win a war against a tactic, anyway...

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Fisk said:

They say you can't win a war against a tactic, anyway...


Well...there's no clear "win" condition either. Some might say that the One And Only Win Condition for the US would be for all non-WASP humans to be wiped off the face of the earth, and so the 250 million or so Red Blooded Americans that remain can get their Lebensraum ... err... something along these lines, anyway.

Or when each and every potential non-WASP terrorist dies...which is never going to happen. In any case, there must be more serious reasons to justify NATO presence in Afghanistan, being a thorn in Russia's and China's sides is more than enough of a valid geostrategical reason. I don't think anyone really cares if Afghani women have to dress up in Burqas or if a couple of goat shepherds with rusty AK-47s hide in a rocky cave, that alone doesn't justify a multi-billion dollar campaign.

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eargosedown said:

Short answer; no.

Long answer; Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

This. We're fucked both in Afhanistan and Iraq. The only way to end these conflicts is to just pull out, but that would end with the countries descending into anarchy and then we'd get blamed for THAT too. The Bush administration completely fucked over our country.

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You can't really win a war on 'terror'

We'll call it a win whenever someone gets bored.

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Danarchy said:

but that would end with the countries descending into anarchy


Aren't they already?

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Maes said:

Well...there's no clear "win" condition either.

What about setting up orphanages which raise children in a more Western manner, and forcing all newborn children in Afghanistan to grow up there? From what you you already described, the average person's beliefs there would be considered extremist in the Western world, so this isn't going anywhere unless we do something about their beliefs.

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