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Old Nov 3rd 2008, 04:03 PM
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Default The Aghanistan War

I was surprised to see that we don't have a thread for this yet so I thought I'd start one up.

So, yeah, wow, what a fucking mess! That's my assessment of the situation and always has been.

What are your thoughts on the War in Afghanistan? Why are we there? What is it accomplishing? When will it end? What are we fighting?

If you're interesting in listening to possibly one of the most disturbing and equally inspiring radio-plays ever, I strongly recommend you visit one that the CBC produces called Afghanada. Because of the time that's its usually broadcast I usually catch it unawares at 11:30 p.m. while driving down the dimly lit country highway to my home. I recommend listening to this in low light or pure darkness - it enhances the effects!

http://www.cbc.ca/afghanada/
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Old Nov 3rd 2008, 08:16 PM
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Default Re: The Aghanistan War

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greendruid View Post
I was surprised to see that we don't have a thread for this yet so I thought I'd start one up.

So, yeah, wow, what a fucking mess! That's my assessment of the situation and always has been.

What are your thoughts on the War in Afghanistan? Why are we there? What is it accomplishing? When will it end? What are we fighting?
Your analysis is a good one (unfortunately).

And although I've been following the issue quite closely - I must admit that I am vexed. I honestly just don't have a clue about how to proceed here.

I certainly supported and continue to support Canada's mission in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, I'm not sure what that mission is anymore and doubt if any of the grand poobahs in the Foreign Affairs office do either.

One key problem in Afghanistan has been the 'too many cooks' issue with NATO, UN, France, UK, Germany, Netherlands, Canada and USA all calling the shots at different times and in different places. Big problem with 'left hands' and 'right hands' not co-ordinated with each other. And the US fetish for playing DEA games in the middle of a battlefield of course complicates things enormously. US passion for playing their own game and ignoring the allies also helps make the complicated mess even worse.

And the fact that Afghanistan is truly a 3rd world nation centuries away from modern society let alone democracy and the rule of law is doubly difficult. Likewise with the traditional system of rulership by tribal clans with no loyalty to any save their own. And of course the trans-border Pushkins are as fickle and as stubborn as the Kurds. And the Karzi government in Kabul is probably the most corrupt and incompetent government on the planet. And of course that means Karzi is VERY well connected in Washington and much favored there (US installed him in Kabul).

To describe it as a mess is an understatement. Clearly 'western liberal internationalism' has bit off more than they can chew here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greendruid
If you're interesting in listening to possibly one of the most disturbing and equally inspiring radio-plays ever, I strongly recommend you visit one that the CBC produces called Afghanada. Because of the time that's its usually broadcast I usually catch it unawares at 11:30 p.m. while driving down the dimly lit country highway to my home. I recommend listening to this in low light or pure darkness - it enhances the effects!

http://www.cbc.ca/afghanada/
I'll check it out.
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  #3  
Old Nov 5th 2008, 11:49 AM
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Default Re: The Aghanistan War

Another Afghanistan civilian wedding party bombed:

http://www.voanews.com/english/2008-11-05-voa34.cfm

It is one incredible clusterfuck. Why we're still using indiscriminate air strikes to further antagonize the indigenous population in what's a guerrilla war is beyond comprehension. It's a proved fact those actions accomplish nothing but an increase in support for resistance.

Is the US out to break the USSR's engagement record for a failed colonization?
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Old Nov 16th 2008, 12:24 AM
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Default Re: The Aghanistan War

I was discussing this with a Bush supporter (there still are some believe it or not) and he said we should leave Afghanistan and then The Taliban wouldn't have a target and would likely negotiate with the Afghan government but ultimately things would be stable. What kind of bullshit is that?
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Old Nov 16th 2008, 09:19 AM
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Default Re: The Aghanistan War

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Originally Posted by partofme View Post
I was discussing this with a Bush supporter (there still are some believe it or not) and he said we should leave Afghanistan and then The Taliban wouldn't have a target and would likely negotiate with the Afghan government but ultimately things would be stable. What kind of bullshit is that?
The Taliban would take over Afghanistan entirely (again) and run it like a medieval Islamic dictatorship - aiding and abetting OBL and Al-Queda just like before.
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Old Nov 16th 2008, 11:49 AM
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The Taliban would take over Afghanistan entirely (again) and run it like a medieval Islamic dictatorship - aiding and abetting OBL and Al-Queda just like before.
That's the point I've been trying to make. He seems to think that there is no way the Afghan people would let that happen and they would stop fighting since their primary target is us. What's even odder is he is staunchly against a time line in Iraq yet he thinks we should leave Afghanistan because it would motivated the Afghan government and army to pick up the slack. Apparently this only works as a motivator in countries he doesn't want us in.
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Old Nov 16th 2008, 12:58 PM
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The Taliban would take over Afghanistan entirely (again) and run it like a medieval Islamic dictatorship - aiding and abetting OBL and Al-Queda just like before.
That's fine by me. But I don't think we should be nation building in any country for any reason. I'd like to see the majority of foreign bases closed unless the residents of those countries want to foot the bill, aid for Israel dropped to a humanitarian status with no military assistance and the US military budget cut in half.
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Old Nov 16th 2008, 11:46 PM
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Default Re: The Aghanistan War

Ok to provide you with a giggle - here's my solution to Afghanistan.

Given more than 60% of the GNP of the country is opium and that money is all blackmarket - providing tons of money for corruption....

I say nationalize the opium farms, pay the farmers really well to grow the stuff, the former drug thugs are hired to protect the fields and personal consumption is made illegal. Then the gov't runs a clearing house market where they sell the crop by auction to the highest bidder, be that Chinese Triads (buying to resell) or the US DEA (buying to destroy). That brings all the moola into the legal government (probably eliminating the need for foreign aid) and gives the international market exactly what they want!

Now doesn't the thought of the suits negotiating that deal make you smile
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Old Dec 2nd 2008, 05:20 PM
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Default Re: The Aghanistan War

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Originally Posted by The Sister View Post
Ok to provide you with a giggle - here's my solution to Afghanistan.

Given more than 60% of the GNP of the country is opium and that money is all blackmarket - providing tons of money for corruption....

I say nationalize the opium farms, pay the farmers really well to grow the stuff, the former drug thugs are hired to protect the fields and personal consumption is made illegal. Then the gov't runs a clearing house market where they sell the crop by auction to the highest bidder, be that Chinese Triads (buying to resell) or the US DEA (buying to destroy). That brings all the moola into the legal government (probably eliminating the need for foreign aid) and gives the international market exactly what they want!

Now doesn't the thought of the suits negotiating that deal make you smile
The thought of it makes me laugh!

In other news in Afghanistan...

Quote:
German general criticizes nation's efforts in Afghanistan
Source

As one commentator put it, "the one time we've got the Germans fighting on our side they have to start acting like they are Italians?"

That made me laugh. So true. Must be weird describing/witnessing a half-assed German military operation.
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Old Feb 18th 2009, 05:35 PM
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Default Re: The Aghanistan War

Well, things in Afghanistan are not looking up at all. Here are some of my thoughts on the situation...

1. The campaign against the Taliban in Afghanistan has been going very badly over the last 12 months. The Taliban have been gaining ground and steadily increasing their influence throughout the country.

2. The 'war' in Afghanistan is generally seen by Afghanis as essentially one between 'the west' and 'the Taliban'. This war does not belong to the Afghani people - they are merely pawns in the war.

3. The number one reason Afghanis oppose western military assistance is due to the high number of Afghani civilians killed by US airstrikes (which accounts for approximately half of all killed in Afghanistan).

4. Most serious observers of the situation in Afghanistan keep saying (over and over) that the situation in Afghanistan does NOT call for additional military power. Most importantly, analysts consistently call for a massive reduction in US airstrikes as totally counter-productive

5. The Obama Administration has just approved the sending of 17,000 additional US troops to Afghanistan. Source

6. The US military has a well-documented history of defending their troops in the field with airstrikes. Airstrikes in Iraq more than doubled during the US 'surge'. More US troops in Afghanistan is thus, pretty much a guarentee that there will be MORE US airstrikes (in order to defend 'more' US troops).

As it stands, the US 'troop surge' in Iraq essentially was a feint to cover the fact that the US had re-defined their mission there. This has worked out reasonably well because it coincided with Iraqis taking control of Iraq. The 'surge' really was only a US domestic political policy - it was targeted to the US domestic market and that's where it had its greatest effect. It had very little to do with the situation on the ground in Iraq.

Sure looks like the same game is being played now in Afghanistan. A 'surge' policy directed at the US domestic market and cross one's fingers for Afghanistan. This doesn't look good at all.

Bottom line is that throwing an additional 17,000 US troops into Afghanistan addresses not one identified need in Afghanistan and flies in the face of what experts (and the Afghanis) are suggesting.

Question is, can anyone explain what the US strategy here is? They need a strategy for dealing with Afghanistan and they need an exit strategy. As it stands, they have neither. And that's the main problem here. No one really knows what the plan in Afghanistan is - or rather, there are a half-dozen different plans out there and no one knows which one is actually being followed (if any of them). The US and the west need a realistic plan for Afghanistan that defines just what it is the US/west is hoping to achieve there. As it stands, most of the NATO countries are in full 'withdrawl' mode given the lack of progress and the lack of a strategy/plan. NATO members are increasingly viewing the Afghan operation as a political deadend that isn't worth fighting for - especially since they have no real control over the situation in Afghanistan (which has always been, and continues to be, dominated by US military and political interests).
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