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Old 06-27-2010, 12:06 PM   #1001
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Originally Posted by KhanadaRhodes View Post
oh ffs.
Sorry, I was talking to a soldier over drinks last night, and I had to issue a Sunday dispatch.
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Old 06-27-2010, 04:22 PM   #1002
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i think it's a huge mistake to compare Afghanistan and Iraq to WW2.

the reasons we are in Afghanistan today are quite different than they were in October of 2001.

it's now the longest American war. they don't call Afghanistan the "graveyard of Empires" for nothing. no empire, ever, including ours, has endless blood and treasure. decisions will have to be made.
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Old 06-27-2010, 05:45 PM   #1003
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It's time to be mean, or get the fuck out.
I know, right? Trying to hold ourselves to a higher moral and ethical code than our enemies is so damned inconvenient!









One gross oversimplification deserves another...
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Old 06-27-2010, 06:08 PM   #1004
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i think it's a mistake to think that we're not "winning" in Afghanistan because we're hamstrung by political correctness, if that was the point of your post.

Afghanistan will not be "won" by conventional means, because "winning" cannot be understood in conventional terms.
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Old 06-27-2010, 06:26 PM   #1005
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It's war. You're either all in or nothing. There's no in betweens. The troops have to play by a clusterfuck of ROE that really hinder progress. War is not nice. You can't be humanitarian in it if you want to win. Remember, the last war America won? WWII. People don't want to talk about what Americans did to the military and the civilian populace. No, I'm not talking about dropping nukes on civilian cities in Japan. We did far worse in that war.

Take Dresden, Germany for example. We firebombed the city with incendiary bombs. Thousands of B-17's and B-24's (what we glorify today) dropped hundreds of thousands of bombs on this city. The whole city was ablaze. The fires created a hurricane force circulating winds, that sucked out the oxygen from women and children in bomb bunkers. The generals knew this. They wanted this to happen. It's war, and war is terrible. But once you're in it, you have to go all the way. There are more examples. Tokyo was firebombed by B-29s. Over 100,000 died, mainly women and children.

American Revolution. What do you think American troops were? An insurgency. The British thought they themselves were all powerful, so they didn't take Americans seriously and attempted to fight with rules and civility. American's fought dirty, by Brit standards at least. Well, we all know how that ended.

If you talk to troops who have come home, they know this war will not be won, and it will continue until we pull the troops out or go all out. They know the civilians know absolutely nothing on how to direct a war. The politicians run the show and the war is a whole PR campaign. Everything about the war will be criticized, but absolutely no one remembers that you can't be civil in a war. It's contradicting yourself. The generals know exactly what to do. They just don't have permission.

Now respect to the Brits. They are the craziest bastards out there in Afghanistan. They don't have nearly the same amount of ROE Americans do, and they absolutely kickass and get the job done. If a person looked suspicious, you wouldn't be surprised to see a British chopper rain 30mm rounds on the guy. Americans, you have to get permission, and go through a very large chain of command, just to start shooting. Hell, read Newsweek. They tell you the amount of evidence to collect and CSI: Middle East you have to play just to detain an enemy combatant. Because if you don't do this ridiculous amount of work, you might piss off a Senator, and actually get something done. There are some not so nice divisions of the military that do say fuck the rules, and play not so nice with the enemy, but I guarantee you that these divisions get the work done.

And for an afterthought: Somebody I know asked why we are even in Afghanistan. That strikes hard in the heart.

A) She is a dumbass.

B) It's also been nine years since America's civilian population was attacked by Al-Quaida that bred in Afghanistan. Nine fucking years. It's time to be mean, or get the fuck out.
Hold on to your seats everybody. . .

I think I agree with everything you just said.
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Old 06-27-2010, 06:27 PM   #1006
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Old 06-27-2010, 08:03 PM   #1007
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I know, right? Trying to hold ourselves to a higher moral and ethical code than our enemies is so damned inconvenient!


One gross oversimplification deserves another...
War is an awful, awful thing. That's what really resonated with me about what Moser said.
Let me elaborate a little.

I agree that if you're going to fight a war, you need to be able to fight a war. If there are enemy combatants hiding in a house, you need to be able to shoot at that house.

To me the higher moral code is the difference between mowing down a bunch of civilians just because they are there on the one hand, and accepting that there will be civilian casualties in the process of going after the combatants. When you reach the point where you'll let the enemy go free to prevent civilian casualties, you've stopped accepting the reality of the ugliness of war. Until nations agree to set aside some place on earth's surface that will be reserved strictly for warfare, the reality is that civilians will be caught in the crossfire--the undeserving victims of other men's fights.

Which is why I have a problem with wars on ideologies (like the war on terror or drugs). It is also why I think that going to war as a way of nation building is a bad idea. As any one whose been following my posts in this thread knows, I've been uncertain about where I stand regarding what should be done in Afghanistan. My views have been in flux as I weigh the information I'm gleaning. What Moser said makes practical sense. We either need to fight a proper war or get out. And unfortunately, I don't know that fighting a proper war will result in newly built nation of Afghanistan. The kinds of goals we have in Afghanistan don't fit with what fighting a proper war can accomplish. So perhaps it is time to go.

What about Al-Quaeda? I think rather than fighting a conventional war, we're simply going to have work at staying one step ahead of the terrorists.
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Old 06-27-2010, 08:21 PM   #1008
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I appreciate the elaboration, Sean. I pretty much agree with you. But as it pertains to Afghanistan and Al-Qaeda, I think this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by maycocksean View Post
What about Al-Quaeda? I think rather than fighting a conventional war, we're simply going to have work at staying one step ahead of the terrorists.
Is what Moser is missing. We can't expect to be able to go in with a formal military operation, no matter how down-and-dirty or "mean" we're willing to get, and expect to eradicate Al-Qaeda and solve terrorism once and for all. So I don't view it as a question of how mean we're willing to be to get results, I view it as a question of whether we're approaching the fight in the right way. You can't solve terrorism with military force.
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Old 06-27-2010, 08:54 PM   #1009
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But you can minimise some of the risks by assassinating the leadership and blowing up training camps.
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Old 06-28-2010, 12:03 AM   #1010
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Oops. Just noticed we're over 1000 posts. Time for the next installment, gang.
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