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Religion, Politics and World Events They make great dinner conversation, don't you think? plus Political Film

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Old 02-18-09, 10:33 AM   #26
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re: Afghanistan: The War Continues Under Obama

I'm sure General' Patraeus' expertise in counter-insurgency could have been more useful in Afghanistan.
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Old 02-18-09, 10:55 AM   #27
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re: Afghanistan: The War Continues Under Obama

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Do you favor AQ controlling Pakistan's nuclear arsenal?

Like I said, there are actually REASONS to contemplate this war unlike Iraq.
You dodged my question.

Do you favor the U.S. 'invasion' of Pakistan to 'deal' with AQ?
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Old 02-18-09, 10:57 AM   #28
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re: Afghanistan: The War Continues Under Obama

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I'm sure General' Patraeus' expertise in counter-insurgency could have been more useful in Afghanistan.
We know his expertise in Iraq worked - don't we?

I'll argue it was quite useful in Iraq.
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Old 02-18-09, 11:33 AM   #29
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re: Afghanistan: The War Continues Under Obama

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We know his expertise in Iraq worked - don't we?

I'll argue it was quite useful in Iraq.
Useful to clean up our mess. A mess which was limited to their house.

The mess in Afghanistan has far reaching implications to our national security. Iraq? Not so much.

Too bad we didn't focus on the actual problems in 2003.
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Old 02-18-09, 11:34 AM   #30
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re: Afghanistan: The War Continues Under Obama

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You dodged my question.

Do you favor the U.S. 'invasion' of Pakistan to 'deal' with AQ?
Not especially but much more so than any intervention in Iraq.
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Old 02-18-09, 11:38 AM   #31
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re: Afghanistan: The War Continues Under Obama

What's the exit strategy, Mr. Obama?
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Old 02-18-09, 11:38 AM   #32
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re: Afghanistan: The War Continues Under Obama

Then just how do you expect to really deal with AQ?

There is a chance that Iraq will become a reasonably stable country (with a bunch of oil) who does not threaten its neighbors and doesn't treat its citizens as harshly as they were treated and is on at least acceptable terms to the U.S.

Do you possibly envision that for Afghanistan?

I don't.

Whether or not we focused on Afghanistan in 2003 doesn't mean anything, unless we were ready to go into Pakistan with a large military force. Obviously we weren't, and obviously we're not going to do it now.

Therefore, things will continue to deteriorate in Afghanistan.
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Old 02-18-09, 11:40 AM   #33
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re: Afghanistan: The War Continues Under Obama

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Then just how do you expect to really deal with AQ?

There is a chance that Iraq will become a reasonably stable country (with a bunch of oil) who does not threaten its neighbors and doesn't treat its citizens as harshly as they were treated and is on at least acceptable terms to the U.S.

Do you possibly envision that for Afghanistan?

I don't.
Iraq was a secular country. I thought all of this war was about keeping Islamic fundamentalists from attacking the US mainland? I could give a rat's ass about Iraq's stability. It was far more stable than many countries in the region before our invasion.
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Old 02-18-09, 11:44 AM   #34
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re: Afghanistan: The War Continues Under Obama

You damn sure had better to give a rat's ass about Iraq's stability.

It's rather strategically located.

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Old 02-18-09, 11:57 AM   #35
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re: Afghanistan: The War Continues Under Obama

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You damn sure had better to give a rat's ass about Iraq's stability.

It's rather strategically located.

If the Kuwaitis weren't slant-drilling into Iraq, we wouldn't even be discussing Iraq.
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Old 02-18-09, 12:21 PM   #36
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re: Afghanistan: The War Continues Under Obama

It would seem that, for any reasonable objective to be attained in Afghanistan, we need a dramatic increase not only in troops numbers but in the severity of operations. They have proven themselves very capable of sustaining ongoing pressure and the types of operations currently being conducted. I would imagine this should involve the President putting the war front and center (alongside the economy) as a World priority and getting the favor of the American people and our allies for the increases with clear objectives. He is well aware of the mistakes that his predecessor made in that department and I hope he takes this approach rather than handling the war in a seemingly passive manner. I believe he will do so soon. Or outline our withdrawal.

I'm curious what our members here think would be reasonable achievements in Afghanistan that would cause this war to not be reflected on as a defeat similar to the one Russia experienced?
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Old 02-18-09, 12:30 PM   #37
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re: Afghanistan: The War Continues Under Obama

Our 'allies' aren't going to contribute signficantly to any efforts.

At best they will provide token help.

Why should they - they've got the U.S. to do the heavy lifting.
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Old 02-18-09, 12:34 PM   #38
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re: Afghanistan: The War Continues Under Obama

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If the Kuwaitis weren't slant-drilling into Iraq, we wouldn't even be discussing Iraq.
Excuse me, but there was never ANY evidence of Kuwait slant-drilling into Iraq.
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Old 02-18-09, 12:44 PM   #39
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re: Afghanistan: The War Continues Under Obama

I guess I need to hear more from Obama himself. Is he prepared for this war to still be ongoing in 2012? When is the last time America was at war for that long? Clearly these numbers cannot be maintained indefinitely so what state does it need to be left in for our absence to be acceptable? We are already weary from Iraq and worn by the economy. The stickers are fading and I don't see a fresh round of them being printed yet for Afghanistan. I don't think we as a nation right now are capable of getting motivated on this one.
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Old 02-18-09, 12:54 PM   #40
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re: Afghanistan: The War Continues Under Obama

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Excuse me, but there was never ANY evidence of Kuwait slant-drilling into Iraq.
The only evidence I have is anecdotal.

I talked to a man who worked for Texaco and he was working in Kuwait. He told me about it.
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Old 02-18-09, 01:22 PM   #41
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re: Afghanistan: The War Continues Under Obama

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I thought he was always pretty clear that he wanted troops (even more troops) in Afghanistan. But I agree that because he has ordained it, it will be deemed pure and good.
Or not even brought up:

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Racial Paternalism in the Antiwar Movement

United for Peace and Justice, one of the two major antiwar coalitions, just launched its "Yes We Can" campaign. The campaign deliberately avoids criticizing Obama or even mentioning his foreign policy plans. The reason for this, according to this report from the organization's most recent conference, was that the antiwar movement "would risk alienating the Black community if it directly confronted Obama."

http://www.historiansagainstwar.org/...-movement.html
Shouldn't an anti-war group be against, you know, war?
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Old 02-18-09, 08:59 PM   #42
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re: Afghanistan: The War Continues Under Obama

I was for Obama in the election... if you can call it that. But I'm not for this shit. Even though I realized this would be coming when I voted for Obama. It was one of the things that pissed me off about Obama pre-election, and I'm not overly happy about it now. Not everyone is a complete partisan fan-boy as KVR would like us to believe .

Looks like it will take 5+ years to get our troops out. Bring the money home. Let's stop making more enemies and focus our efforts internally.

I realize I am a distinct minority here, but I don't really care.
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Old 02-18-09, 09:05 PM   #43
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re: Afghanistan: The War Continues Under Obama

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Originally Posted by CRM114 View Post
Iraq was a secular country. I thought all of this war was about keeping Islamic fundamentalists from attacking the US mainland? I could give a rat's ass about Iraq's stability. It was far more stable than many countries in the region before our invasion.

I agree.
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Old 02-18-09, 10:51 PM   #44
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re: Afghanistan: The War Continues Under Obama

I ask you the same question that I wasked CRM114 - 'you don't believe it's rather necessary for Iraq to be essentially stable considering it's strategic location?'
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Old 02-19-09, 12:26 AM   #45
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re: Afghanistan: The War Continues Under Obama

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That has little to do with it, actually.

We could handily do that with the resources there now. And greatly cut down on civilian deaths, which will turn public opinion against us just like it did the USSR.
Exactly. Unless we are nuked and can go to war with a country with nukes of our own, and have the whole affair done in 6 months, there is no way to win a war in this day and age.
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Old 02-19-09, 12:32 AM   #46
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re: Afghanistan: The War Continues Under Obama

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Iraq was a secular country. I thought all of this war was about keeping Islamic fundamentalists from attacking the US mainland? I could give a rat's ass about Iraq's stability. It was far more stable than many countries in the region before our invasion.

I could easily misremember this stuff, but didn't Iraq have AQ training facilities, etc? From my view the only real difference between the two was the location of OBL, which I think Obama will backtrack on his importance over the next few years.
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Old 02-19-09, 06:22 AM   #47
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re: Afghanistan: The War Continues Under Obama

This will certainly help things...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090219/...yzstan_us_base

Quote:
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan – Kyrgyzstan's parliament voted Thursday to close a key U.S. air base in the country — a move that could hamper President Barack Obama's efforts to increase the number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

Deputies voted 78-1 for the government-backed bill to cancel the lease agreement on the Manas air base, a transit point for 15,000 troops and 500 tons of cargo each month to and from Afghanistan. Two deputies abstained.

If President Kurmanbek Bakiyev signs the bill and Kyrgyz authorities issue an eviction notice, the United States will have 180 days to vacate the base.

"The decision to shut the American base reflects the will of the Kyrgyz people," said Nurbyubyu Kerimova, a deputy with the pro-government party that overwhelmingly dominates parliament in the former Soviet bloc nation.

Bakiyev unexpectedly called this month for the closure of Manas, complaining that the United States was not paying enough rent for the base.

His announcement of the base closure was made in Moscow, shortly after Russia offered his impoverished country $2.15 billion in aid and loans. Analysts say the closure and the aid appeared to be linked, although officials deny any connection.

However, Communist deputy Ishak Masaliyev said the decision on Manas could help improve ties between Kyrgyzstan and Russia.

"We in Kyrgyzstan do not need anybody else's base. We have always advocated a union with Russia," Masaliyev said.

Russia established an air base in Kyrgyzstan in 2003, after the U.S. base opened in late 2001.

Moscow's perceived pressure on Kyrgyzstan to expel U.S. forces has been greeted with frustration in Washington.

"I think that the Russians are trying to have it both ways with respect to Afghanistan in terms of Manas," U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday. "On one hand you're making positive noises about working with us in Afghanistan and on the other hand you're working against us in terms of that airfield which is clearly important to us."

Widespread public discontent in Kyrgyzstan over the U.S. military presence has been sharpened in recent years by a number of high-profile incidents surrounding the base.

In late 2006, a U.S. serviceman fatally shot truck driver Alexander Ivanov during a routine security check. U.S. officials said Ivanov threatened the serviceman with a knife.

"So far, no American soldier has appeared in court," Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Kadyrbek Sarbayev told deputies Thursday.

On a recent visit to Kyrgyzstan, U.S. Gen. David Petraeus said an investigation into the killing had been reopened.

Sarbayev also complained that the United States has failed to adequately compensate Kyrgyzstan for $650,000 worth of damage caused to a civilian Tu-154 plane when it collided with a U.S. KC-135 tanker aircraft.

Manas base spokesman Maj. Damien Pickart rejected the suggestion and said the U.S. had conducted repair work on the Tu-154, which also doubled as the president's private jet. The KC-135 was so severely damaged it could no longer be used, he said.

The only opposition to the bill came from the Social Democrat party, which argued the shuttering of Manas could undermine national security.

"The threat from the various extremist and terrorist organizations that seek to impose religious fanaticism in the region has not yet been removed," said Social Democrat leader Bakyt Beshimov.

"Guided solely by Kyrgyzstan's national interests, we believe the decision to withdraw the U.S. air base is premature," he said.

The United States is trying to finalize details of an alternative overland supply route to Afghanistan amid concerns over worsening security in Pakistan. Some 75 percent of U.S. supplies currently travel through Pakistan, where militants have stepped up attacks on truck convoys destined for U.S. bases.

Washington has already received permission from Russia and Kazakhstan to transport non-lethal supplies for Afghanistan by rail. It hopes to secure similar guarantees from Uzbekistan, which has a border and transportation links with Afghanistan.

Around 100 containers of non-lethal supplies bound for Afghanistan left by train Wednesday from Latvia for Russia, U.S. diplomats said.

Also Thursday, a delegation of U.S. military transportation officials arrived in another former Soviet state in the region, Tajikistan, which shares an 810-mile (1,300-kilometer) border with Afghanistan.

The officials will study Tajikistan's transportation infrastructure and evaluate the potential for shipping nonmilitary cargo through the country to Afghanistan, the Tajik Foreign Ministry said.
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Old 02-19-09, 07:29 AM   #48
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re: Afghanistan: The War Continues Under Obama

I believe OBL is deader than Elvis.
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Old 02-19-09, 08:01 AM   #49
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re: Afghanistan: The War Continues Under Obama

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I ask you the same question that I wasked CRM114 - 'you don't believe it's rather necessary for Iraq to be essentially stable considering it's strategic location?'
One of the articles of the current Iraqi constitution says "no law shall be established which is contrary to Islam." Is it marginally in the US interest to have Iraq be another "ally" like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait or Jordan? In a purely realpolitik sense, I guess it is. And now that we've gone this far, I suppose it's not in our interest to let it dissolve into chaos. But was it worth American lives and billions of taxpayer dollars being spent to install a regime like that in the first place? No. Iraq is NEVER going to be a country that would EVER side with the US and Israel against the Muslim world in the crucial areas of conflict between Islam and the West. It's not going to side with the US on any issue of support of Israel, support of religious pluralism and the rights of religious minorities, support of freedom of speech, support of legal rights of women, support of academic freedom, support of the rights of artists, gay rights, etc. With "allies" like that........

I think you could make a good argument that Saddam was a better buffer against Iran than the Shia dominated new Iraq is going to be, although time will tell with that.
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Old 02-19-09, 08:47 AM   #50
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Re: Afghanistan: The War Continues Under Obama -- but the debate is still about Iraq.

I'm more concerned about future Iraq's relationship to the United States than I am their relationship to Iran.
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