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Old 05-04-2005, 04:51 AM   #16
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Re: Re: Re: Re: A question for the supporters of the war in Iraq

Quote:
Originally posted by STING2


Armored and Mechanized forces cannot be used in most if not all of the heavily mountainous terrain along the Afghan and Pakistani border where Bin Ladin and the remnants of Al Quada hide. Nearly all the large concentrations of Taliban and Al Quada forces were destroyed in 2001/2002. If the military needed more forces in Afghanistan, there were plenty more forces that could be used from the United States that were not involved in the Iraq invasion.

The US military operation in Afghanistan is the most successful military operation ever conducted in the history of Afghanistan. US forces have suffered less than 100 troops killed by hostile fire after 3.5 years of occupation there. Compare that to the Soviet military which had over 5,000 killed in action over that same length of time in their occupation there in the 1980s.

With the Taliban removed in 2001, the hunt for Bin Ladin is a CIA/Special forces operation primarily. The light infantry in Afghanistan is actually more in a supporting role in regards to the hunt for Bin Ladin. The main work is being done by CIA/Special forces who have been enormously succussful in capturing and destroying the Al Quada network.
Well, in this case, I'm not as optimistic as you are. I'm sure there are special forces assisting in Iraq as well, as now there is a budding Al Qaida network there, and I think it would have been more prudent to consolidate those forces in one area.

And I realize we can't use the armored and mechanized forces in the mountains, but not all of the area is mountains, and showing a sizable force in the country of Afghanistan, as we did when we first took down the Taliban, prevents escape that much more and stabilizes the region that much better.
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Old 05-04-2005, 05:00 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
No he is not, Al Qaeda is one part of the greater web of Islamist terrorism, it gets supported by certain governments and is ideologically rooted in radical schools of Islamic thought that are practiced in many places. The terrorist cells themselves are seperate entities and operate without a clear command and control structure from Bin Laden and his lieutenants. Take for example the terror attacks in Madrid or the Ricin plot in the UK which where perpetrated by European cells acting alone but with purpose. Or the Bali Bomings where an Indonesian Islamist group Jemaah Islamiyah carried out an attack with assistance from Hambali. You can link the cells but the problem is much bigger than Al Qaeda and can only be solved by eliminating the support that the ideology recieves and the only plausible way of doing that is creating a free and prosperous Arab world. Iraq is a very big thing in the war on terror and it is a piece of brilliant power politics to route two enemies (rouge states with WMD ambitions and Islamist terrorists) at the same time.

Success in Iraq will catalyse democratic change in the region and break down the barriers that enable terror groups to have support, delivering a long term knockout blow to the ambitions of renwing the Caliphate and taking on the unbelievers. Failure would bring about blowback of a magnitude that would dwarf what came out of Afghanistan. The play has an element of risk but given the danger of taking no action against Saddam Hussein and his WMD ambitions (especially with a nuclear Iran creeping up) as well as the longer term strength that Islamist groups gain by having a "stable" Middle East of dictators and hardliners it was the safest choice. The payoffs are already being seen, both in Iraq where the country is uniting and rebuilding and the faint beginnings of true democratic change ~ from Lebanon to Egypt, Iran to the Palestinan Authority.
I don't disagree with most of what you are saying, but in reference to 9/11, he was involved directly. He was in constant contact with the men who would be seeing the operation through and telling them what to do. The need to capture and/or kill Osama bin Laden is necessary to heal the nation even more, because as of right now, for most families who lost a loved one on 9/11, justice will not be served until he is brought down.

Then, you continue to work on the greater web that is Islamic terrorism, as you are correct in that there are many factions involved, and they all need to be hunted down and destroyed.

And I agree about what a free Iraq symbolizes. But I, and I know many others, were disappointed we didn't complete the job in Afghanistan first. I prefer my hunting by picking off each enemy one by one. I'm assuming that because of the missteps with Iraq, that is why the U.S. has been a bit more conservative in dealing with Iran and North Korea.
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Old 05-04-2005, 05:08 AM   #18
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The job in Afghanistan is not over, it is just that it lacks reportage in the media because it has been running smoothly, or as smoothly as such things can be. The political process is advancing, Al Qaeda no longer has a sympathetic regime to collabarate with and many elements of the Taliban has literally come in from the cold and abandoned the fight to go back to their old lives.

You should bear in mind that during the Clinton administration there was a lot of focus on the problem of WMD proliferation and rogue states. Now this was and is an important issue but in some ways they didn't forsee the threats from Islamic terrorism as well as they may have. Given that this contributed to September 11 you would not want to go in the other direction and focus exclusively on terrorism while neglecting the still very serious and in many ways entwined problems regarding roguestates. In matters of war one does not have the luxury of paying attention to one enemy at the expense of attention to all others.
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Old 05-04-2005, 05:25 AM   #19
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Well, that's where we disagree then. I think the situation in Afghanistan could be running more smoothly with additional forces to help augment what we have there already. The U.S. is the largest superpower in the world, and I have no doubt whatsoever that if all of our military might was used in hunting down Osama bin Laden and the Al-Qaida network there, the operation would have been completed by now.

And I would never have wanted the U.S. not to continue keeping an eye on rogue states such as Iraq, but I believe we could have kept the pressure on Saddam Hussein with the help of our allies and the U.N., and not have used force right away, so our primary objective in Afghanistan could have been achieved. And once that had happened, if Saddam Hussein still had not cooperated with the U.N. and our allies, force would have been the next measure, and I believe we would have had more support from others as well. I just think that scenario would have played out better.
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Old 05-04-2005, 08:09 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by phanan
I'm curious to know how you think we have dealt with the bin Laden issue when we haven't captured or killed him yet.
Addressing an issue and resolving an issue are two different things.

Failure to capture or kill bin Laden is only evidence that the current methods should be re-examined.

But, considering the capture of the al Qaeda 'No. 3' it appears that some of the methods are working.
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Old 05-04-2005, 08:28 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader


Addressing an issue and resolving an issue are two different things.

Failure to capture or kill bin Laden is only evidence that the current methods should be re-examined.

But, considering the capture of the al Qaeda 'No. 3' it appears that some of the methods are working.
I would agree with that, although I think that capture, and many others that haven't happened yet, would have happened earlier if the chronological order had gone differently.
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Old 05-04-2005, 05:05 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2


Most of the forces used to fight the war in Iraq would not be used for missions in Afghanistan. So waiting to go into Iraq would not have seriously effected the hunt for Bin Ladin. M1 Tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles, the work horses in Iraq at the moment, would never be used to hunt Bin Ladin through the high mountain ranges of Afghanistan.


Quote:
CIA agents told to deliver bin Laden's head on ice
04 May 2005 23:16:11 GMT
Source: Reuters
WASHINGTON, May 4 (Reuters) - The CIA officer who led the first American unit into Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks said on Wednesday that his orders included an unusual assignment: bring back Osama bin Laden's head on ice.

Gary Schroen and his six-member CIA team arrived in Afghanistan's Panjshir Valley two weeks after bin Laden's al Qaeda network orchestrated the attacks on Washington and New York that killed 3,000 people, prompting the Bush administration's war on terrorism.

A 32-year CIA veteran with long experience in South Asia and the Middle East, Schroen's prime task was to build up Northern Alliance forces so they could join U.S. troops in the overthrow of the Taliban.

But in the days that followed the worst terror attack on U.S. soil, Schroen said his boss at the CIA also told him and his deputy in no uncertain terms to kill the al Qaeda leadership.

"What he said (was), 'I would like to see the head of bin Laden delivered back to me in a heavy cardboard box filled with dry ice, and I will take that down and show the president. And the rest of the lieutenants, you can put their heads on pikes'," Schroen told Reuters in an interview.

He was quoting Cofer Black, a prominent U.S. intelligence figure who was then the director of the CIA's counterterrorist center.

"I don't think he meant that in detail ... I think he meant to impress upon me and my deputy that this was very serious business and he wanted to get our adrenaline charged," Schroen added.

Black was not immediately available for comment.

Schroen recounts his post-Sept. 11 Afghan experience in the book, "First In: An Insider's Account of How the CIA Spearheaded the War on Terror in Afghanistan," which will be published next week.

Schroen, 63, who is officially retired but continues to work for the CIA as a contractor, said the conversation was a turning point.

"Other than in paramilitary operations, I have never in 32 years heard of an order to kill anyone. And in fact up to that day, my orders and the orders the CIA was operating under were primarily to try and capture bin Laden alive," he said.

Bin Laden's trail grew cold after the Bush administration withdrew its most highly trained special operations and intelligence units from Afghanistan in preparation for the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, Schroen said.


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Old 05-04-2005, 06:27 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep




You know, I think everyone here is able to read the normal type. Blowing up the type like that does not add anymore credibility to your views or Schroens. General Tommy Franks, the commander of both operations at the time, has already said that there was no let up at all in the hunt for Bin Ladin and that this claim of Schroens is false. My friends involved in BOTH operations agree as well!
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Old 05-04-2005, 06:48 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2


You know, I think everyone here is able to read the normal type. Blowing up the type like that does not add anymore credibility to your views or Schroens. General Tommy Franks, the commander of both operations at the time, has already said that there was no let up at all in the hunt for Bin Ladin and that this claim of Schroens is false. My friends involved in BOTH operations agree as well!

Schroens is the man that would know not Franks or you and your buddies.

Quote:
Morning Edition, May 2, 2005

Gary Schroen is one of the CIA's most respected and experienced spies. Two days after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, his bosses handed him a new mission targeting Osama bin Laden: "Bring his head back in a box" is the phrase Schroen remembers. Five days later, the veteran operative and his six-man team were on a plane.

They were the first Americans to enter Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks. Over the next few weeks, Schroen paid $5 million in bribes to Afghan commanders, paved the way for U.S. military forces to enter the country, and armed anti-al Qaeda fighters with silencer-equipped machine guns and grenades.

Schroen's work with the Northern Alliance and smaller groups led to some successes, but he says his team never got close to killing the al Qaeda leader -- or his top deputy, Egyptian Ayman al-Zawahiri, who was reportedly in the eastern section of Kabul.
two part interview here about 6 minutes

if your computer can play audio
you can get some facts

the stuff you are posting is not true.
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Old 05-04-2005, 06:52 PM   #25
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A question for the supporters of the war in Iraq

Quote:
Originally posted by phanan


Well, in this case, I'm not as optimistic as you are. I'm sure there are special forces assisting in Iraq as well, as now there is a budding Al Qaida network there, and I think it would have been more prudent to consolidate those forces in one area.

And I realize we can't use the armored and mechanized forces in the mountains, but not all of the area is mountains, and showing a sizable force in the country of Afghanistan, as we did when we first took down the Taliban, prevents escape that much more and stabilizes the region that much better.
In 2001, when the Taliban were kicked out of power, the United States had 3,000 troops on the ground in Afghanistan! Today the United States has 20,000 troops on the ground in Afghanistan and there are several National Guard Divisions that could have been sent to Afghanistan at any time over the past four years if the military felt they were needed there.

US forces have brought far more peace and stability and have been more succesful at tracking and defeating their enemies, with 20,000 troops than the Soviets were in the 1980s with 120,000 troops. More troops is not a cure all for any situation. Most of Afghanistan is mountainous and the area's where the remaining Al Quada and Taliban are hiding are completely mountainous. In addition the United States knows from the Soviet experience in the 1980s, the logistical difficulties and other problems that come from operating in this environment.

It would be a huge mistake to simply ship every single US special forces unit to one spot on the planet. Once again the United States has other national security needs other than Bin Ladin in Afghanistan or even Saddam in Iraq. The United States has the second largest military in the world, and is capable of conducting multiple military operations around the globe at the same time. It would be a mistake and would not help the situation, to lump so many resources into one area. Its about good intelligence not numbers of boots on the ground, when your hunting for someone like Bin Ladin. One could even argue that large numbers of troops could make it more difficult by upsetting certain parts of the local population and making it more difficult to operate in secret.
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Old 05-04-2005, 07:17 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep



Schroens is the man that would know not Franks or you and your buddies.



two part interview here about 6 minutes

if your computer can play audio
you can get some facts

the stuff you are posting is not true.
Shroen is one man with one opinion. You seem to be mis-informed about what Franks or for that matter any commander of CENTCOM would know. I had already heard Shroen's second theory as to why Bin Ladin has not been caught, but his first theory is even more nutty. The stuff I'm posting is true although its not something liberals or anyone who wants to find a way to attack the removal of Saddam wants to hear.
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Old 05-07-2005, 05:26 PM   #27
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I have several conerns about the Bin Laden situation. First I am part of the force here in Iraq. I know a lot of info gathering prcedure and our ability to find people. What bothers me knowing what I know I find it hard to believe that we didn't catch Bin Laden in the first 6 months of looking for him. I'm not so sure our SF groups primary purposes were with finding him. I'm sort of inclined to believe that we were more concerned with rooting out the terrorist training camps and weapons caches. I think finding Bin Laden was/is a mission objective but I don't believe it is top priority. If a man like John Walker Lynn can find him I think our SF Groups could find him as well. I think that there are more factors involved that we are not aware of. All of this is just my personal opinon don't take anything I say as mission or operational doctrine. I think I'm rambling, I'll stop now. Thanks for the good thread its very interesting!
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Old 05-08-2005, 04:48 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by madroseka
What bothers me knowing what I know I find it hard to believe that we didn't catch Bin Laden in the first 6 months of looking for him. I'm not so sure our SF groups primary purposes were with finding him.
exactly that´s what bothered me too. i remember when t.v. news said he had telephoned, apparently with a fucking handy from somewhere in afghanistan, and they aired this "live". happened probably about one or two months after the WTC attacks. what kinda satellite can´t find a handy used by the top no .1. terrorist. u.s. intelligence must really be fucked, i thought. but normally the nsa and cia are relatively intelligent... or is this on purpose, i asked myself? thanks, from that point i knew something was foul. not "finding" bin laden is the perfect excuse for continued action which can be tarned as hunting down terrorists and even a better excuse keep homebase in fear.

hey, lets start changing rights! no more privacy. less opposition. kick civil society´s ass for good. it was just TOO obvious. but the americans bought it. nice .)
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Old 05-08-2005, 06:10 PM   #29
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A question for the supporters of the war in Iraq

Quote:
Originally posted by STING2


In 2001, when the Taliban were kicked out of power, the United States had 3,000 troops on the ground in Afghanistan! Today the United States has 20,000 troops on the ground in Afghanistan and there are several National Guard Divisions that could have been sent to Afghanistan at any time over the past four years if the military felt they were needed there.

US forces have brought far more peace and stability and have been more succesful at tracking and defeating their enemies, with 20,000 troops than the Soviets were in the 1980s with 120,000 troops. More troops is not a cure all for any situation. Most of Afghanistan is mountainous and the area's where the remaining Al Quada and Taliban are hiding are completely mountainous. In addition the United States knows from the Soviet experience in the 1980s, the logistical difficulties and other problems that come from operating in this environment.

It would be a huge mistake to simply ship every single US special forces unit to one spot on the planet. Once again the United States has other national security needs other than Bin Ladin in Afghanistan or even Saddam in Iraq. The United States has the second largest military in the world, and is capable of conducting multiple military operations around the globe at the same time. It would be a mistake and would not help the situation, to lump so many resources into one area. Its about good intelligence not numbers of boots on the ground, when your hunting for someone like Bin Ladin. One could even argue that large numbers of troops could make it more difficult by upsetting certain parts of the local population and making it more difficult to operate in secret.
Our ground forces at the very beginning were smaller while the air strikes were being conducted, but it was soon after that the number of soldiers increased in order to help stabilize the region. However, they decreased once the war in Iraq began, as a certain number of special forces had to be redeployed in Iraq. I do recall reading that, but I don't have specific numbers.

It's not all about numbers, though. It's also about focusing most of our energy on the largest problem at hand.

And I never suggested that we put all of our eggs in one basket, or that we have a war that parallels what happened during the Soviet occupation. But I think concentrating on running one war at a time works better. Does that mean we pay absolutely no attention anywhere else? Of course not, but keep the primary focus on one situation at a time.
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Old 05-10-2005, 02:45 PM   #30
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I don't know if even a 100,000 U.S. troops could've helped. There are so many variables in the mix...

Pakistan didn't get its act together fast enough and didn't seal the border effectively and many Taliban escaped into northwest frontier province of Pakistan.

Even if Pakistani troops were there en masse, it's debatable how well they could've worked (or would've wanted to work) with U.S. troops...Pakistan's army and intelligence had many Taliban sympathizers who could've/would've allowed Taliban or Bin Laden's people to escape (remember it's Taliban/Al Qaeda sympathizers in the Pakistani army who tried to kill President Musharraff on at least two separate occasions two years ago).

Aside from all that, the terrain makes it impossible to cover all the escape routes, especially for someone who knows the area well.

And, the tribes in the area (in Afghanistan and Pakistan) have a strict code of conduct where if someone comes in peace and is seeking sanctuary, it's your duty to hide them.

The best chance for the U.S. or Pakistani forces to get Bin Laden has to be from informants and inside-intelligence gathering.

The question really should be not whether the Iraq war took military and special forces resources away, but whether the Iraq war took away or decreased all the intelligence-gathering/informant building initiatives.
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