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With the recent static surrounding General McChrystals replacement, I have watched the talking heads on television discuss whether or not we can achieve victory in Afghanistan. It occurs to me that I never hear anyone clearly state what our actual objectives are in Afghanistan.

So what are our actual specific primary objectives there? I'm looking for serious intelligent answers. The standard response "to fight terrorism" which the controlled media pushes down the dumbed-down mouthbreathers throats won't cut it here either. Anybody who has read even a handful of books on 20th century warfare and US foreign policy understands the reality of longterm blowback resulting from occupying any country, let alone the one people on earth who have absolutely nothing left to lose. The Afghan region has been lucky to spend a decade out of the last two centuries without an invading or occupying force there with boots on the ground (there were even border wars in between the three Anglo-Afghan wars). And for those of you who don't read a wide variety of news sources, the US and British media are the only countries who really push the idea that Bin Laden is still alive. The former Prime Minister of Pakistan (before her assassination) even reported on who she believed killed him.

So what are our objectives? As a matter of fact, what did we actually achieve in Iraq? And isn't there a toll in American lives to weigh these campaigns against. It seems reasonable that if we just had immigration policies as strict as most other civilized countries, and actually enforced them, and committed the same military energy and resources towards border security, we wouldn't be digging deeper in debt, losing more of the very best Americans, and worrying about attacks that we do little to actually prevent...............................
 

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Trey73 said:
With the recent static surrounding General McChrystals replacement, I have watched the talking heads on television discuss whether or not we can achieve victory in Afghanistan. It occurs to me that I never hear anyone clearly state what our actual objectives are in Afghanistan.

So what are our actual specific primary objectives there? I'm looking for serious intelligent answers. The standard response "to fight terrorism" which the controlled media pushes down the dumbed-down mouthbreathers throats won't cut it here either. Anybody who has read even a handful of books on 20th century warfare and US foreign policy understands the reality of longterm blowback resulting from occupying any country, let alone the one people on earth who have absolutely nothing left to lose. The Afghan region has been lucky to spend a decade out of the last two centuries without an invading or occupying force there with boots on the ground (there were even border wars in between the three Anglo-Afghan wars). And for those of you who don't read a wide variety of news sources, the US and British media are the only countries who really push the idea that Bin Laden is still alive. The former Prime Minister of Pakistan (before her assassination) even reported on who she believed killed him.

So what are our objectives? As a matter of fact, what did we actually achieve in Iraq? And isn't there a toll in American lives to weigh these campaigns against. It seems reasonable that if we just had immigration policies as strict as most other civilized countries, and actually enforced them, and committed the same military energy and resources towards border security, we wouldn't be digging deeper in debt, losing more of the very best Americans, and worrying about attacks that we do little to actually prevent...............................
I don't have time for a detailed answer, but here is my take. We initially invaded Afghanistan because we were brutally attacked by a terrorist para-military organization known as Al-Quaeda, which was hosted and supported by the Afghan government (the Taliban). The Taliban provided Al-Quaeda with a secure home base and provided it material support in return for Al-Quaeda's assistance in the Taliban's wars against its own people-especially ethnic minorities represented by the Northern Alliance (another armed group). If you recall, the Taliban refused to turn over the Al-Quaeda leadership or to stop sponsoring the organization in their country. It became clear that the Taliban were terrorists themselves and likely hostile to the United States despite the aid we provided Afghanistan during its occupation by the Soviet Union. That was probably at least partially a result of radicalization by the likes of Al-Quaeda. Thus, the United States was left with little choicew but to invade the country to oust both the Taliban and Al-Quaeda. (Remember that during the Clinton administration we tried missile attacks and that had little impact).

We are still in Afghanistan because if we leave it is likely that the Taliban will take back over the country and once again provide a safe haven for Al-Quaeda or other terrorist organizations. It's also become increasingly apparent that the Taliban themselves are willing to carry out world-side terrorist attacks-for example, the attempted New York subway bombing. There is also the concern that if we leave the instablity and the Taliban's success could potentially topple the government of Pakistan, which would bea very bad thing for all concerned given Pakistan's substantial arsenal of nuclear weapons and missile delivery systems. Finally, Afghanistan has significant mineral resources that might prove quite lucrative to American corporations if we just get off our collective asses and stop letting the Chinese come in and scoop those resources up right from under our noses while our military provides security.

As for Iraq, I believe what we have accomplished is a relatively free, friendly and stable power in the center of the Middle East. While we didn't find WMD's, it was not unreasonable to believe Hussein had them or was actively seeking them given the intelligence we had and his history. It was clear he was going to do everything he could to undermine our positions in the Middle East and equally clear that the decade long blockade of Iraq was expensive and unsustainable in the long run. Finally, let's not forget that Al-Quaeda affiliated agents were in Iraq before the invasion-that is undeniable. To risk allowing chemical weapons (which Hussein still had) to fall easily into their hands was, to me, an unacceptable risk.

I could add more, but I don't have the time at the moment. Maybe I'll follow up later.
 

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We went there to seek out and destroy Al Qaeda, and to remove the Taliban from power.
For awhile we were doing pretty well. The problem is that many of those we seek to kill went to Pakistan for a refuge, and we decided that going in there, atleast overtly, was bad ju-ju, sort of like Cambodia was in the Viet Nam War.
As long as you leave an enemy a safe refuge, you are in the end, only prolonging the agony.
And, yeah, Pakistan is a problem. Cambodia was a different animal but Pakistan has nukes. I'm not sure they'd use them against us. The head honchos there aren't really happy about the whole situation, but they have India to worry about on one side, and the Islamo-Nazis are hiding in the northern provinces which harbor all sorts of ruffians and is not easily controled. No, scratch the "not easily," it ISN'T controled -- at all.
While the concept of "blowback" may have a degree of validity, becoming overly concerned about it will only paralyze us. Some people argue 9/11 was "blowback" from our early interferences with Islam .... like trying to save them in Somalia, and certain northern Mediterrannean areas in the 1990s. They get really p'o'd when America tries to save them.
Well, they really don't like our involvement in the mideast, either ....none of which is anywhere near a decent reason to commandeer four aircraft and murder 2,973 human beings and cause billions in damage on September 11th, 2001.

Mayby THEY should should regard what we're doing in Afghanistan and Iraq as BLOWBACK from 9/11 :twisted:
 

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Mac2411 said:
We initially invaded Afghanistan because we were brutally attacked by a terrorist para-military organization known as Al-Quaeda, which was hosted and supported by the Afghan government (the Taliban). The Taliban provided Al-Quaeda with a secure home base and provided it material support in return for Al-Quaeda's assistance in the Taliban's wars against its own people-especially ethnic minorities represented by the Northern Alliance (another armed group). If you recall, the Taliban refused to turn over the Al-Quaeda leadership or to stop sponsoring the organization in their country. It became clear that the Taliban were terrorists themselves and likely hostile to the United States despite the aid we provided Afghanistan during its occupation by the Soviet Union. That was probably at least partially a result of radicalization by the likes of Al-Quaeda. Thus, the United States was left with little choice but to invade the country to oust both the Taliban and Al-Quaeda.
True for the most part. The Taliban gained legitimacy and funds from the larger Arab/Muslim world because of al Qaida; sort of a tail wagging the dog, the Taliban got money, support, guns, etc. because of these foreign, Arab mujahideen there. Also remember that the Northern Alliance was just as brutal against its enemies as the Taliban. The Northern Alliance is made up of former generals and troops who were loyal to the Soviet puppet state (and some still to Moscow) as well as ethnic minorities. They were for the most part the ones who fought the mujahideen the US supported in the 80s. You can look up the tales of brutality they committed against the Afghan people (mainly the majority Pashtuns) and why exactly they would band together today...they might be eradicated just like they attemtpted to do to most of the Afghan populace in the 80s. Also, look up how the Taliban came about, it was not a terrorist organization and I doubt it has global plans either: short story, Mullah Omar formed a militia from his townspeople to recapture two girls kidnapped by a warlord as sex slaves, he was successful and hanged the warlord. A town over had the same problem and asked for his help, then another and so on until he had neutralized all these warlords, except the ones who joined up with the Northern Alliance. Most notably, there were two warlords fighting (and killing everyone who got in the way) over the right to have a young boy as their sex slave and Mullah Omar promised both of them death if they touched the boy and so they stopped. Google "bacha bazi" and prepare to be revolted and wonder why we would fight for these people.

Mac2411 said:
We are still in Afghanistan because if we leave it is likely that the Taliban will take back over the country and once again provide a safe haven for Al-Quaeda or other terrorist organizations. It's also become increasingly apparent that the Taliban themselves are willing to carry out world-side terrorist attacks-for example, the attempted New York subway bombing.
True that Afghanistan might again become a haven. But the Taliban does not have global goals, it only wants Afghanistan back. The subway bombings were ordered by al Qaida from Pakistan which now is a terrorist haven. al Qaida no longer needs Afghanistan to survive or exist. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/24/nyregion/24zarien.html

Mac2411 said:
As for Iraq, I believe what we have accomplished is a relatively free, friendly and stable power in the center of the Middle East.
Read the Iraqi constitution, it says right in the first sentence that it is an Islamic Republic and as soon as we leave it will tear itself apart. The North, Kurdistan, will leave the country thus triggering a war with Turkey to keep its domestic Kurdish population from seceding and possibly the Kurdish areas in Iran and Russia will come under fire from their rulers to prevent the same. Several Kurdish groups are on the State Department Terrorist watch list because of their bombings and assassinations in Iraq and Turkey to foment rebellion by the Kurds. At least the Kurds wised up early, stayed calm and allied themselves with us but as soon as we leave they will leave triggering at the least a civil war and more than likely a regional war. The Sunnis in the West will have no oil and so become more radicalized. We are paying them now not to fight but if we leave and then you have a large, youthful population with no wealth or job prospects (like in the Palestinian areas), despair basically, then you will have a terrorist army.

The Shi'ites with the most oil wealth, rivaling Saudi Arabia...well, they will become an Iranian ally or its satellite. If anyone has won this war so far it has been Iran, it has become the most powerful country in the region and as has been evidenced since the 2003 invasion, has done any and everything it wants with no one able, or willing to stop them. I doubt an oil-rich Shi'ite nation carved out of part of Iraq that was brutalized for years by Saddam with US approval and aid will be "free, friendly and stable."

Kurdish independence will destabilize the US biggest ally in the region, Turkey, and probably lead to its no longer being our ally. Western Iraq, the Sunni area which sides more closely to the al Qaida ideals, will create a recruiting pool to fight against the US closest ally in the region, Israel, when US checks stop. This area will also probably cause great upheaval in Saudi Arabia, bin Laden's greatest enemy after the US.


Mac2411 said:
While we didn't find WMD's, it was not unreasonable to believe Hussein had them or was actively seeking them given the intelligence we had and his history. It was clear he was going to do everything he could to undermine our positions in the Middle East and equally clear that the decade long blockade of Iraq was expensive and unsustainable in the long run. Finally, let's not forget that Al-Quaeda affiliated agents were in Iraq before the invasion-that is undeniable. To risk allowing chemical weapons (which Hussein still had) to fall easily into their hands was, to me, an unacceptable risk.
I think it is unreasonable to believe he had them. For over ten years the US and its allies had no fly zones, periodic bombings within Iraq, satellite imagery and other sources of Intel, Special Forces incursions, etc., and a sanction regime that was one, if not the, most strict any country has ever endured which contained him and then overnight we were told that "no, all this failed and somehow he got them but we don't know what kind, from whom, or where they are at...trust us, we're with the government."

They did find canisters of VX gas way out in the eastern desert at an abandoned army base; they were from before the Iran-Iraq war and they were sold to him by the US. VX has a shelf-life measured in weeks not decades. It means a few things to believe he had them: 1) The US knew about it but let it continue 2) The American military and intelligence services were completely incompetent and then in the span of a year (from 9/11 to when plans to invade Iraq were floated) became competent 3) Some people's pants are on fire. No one in the region, including Israel, thought Saddam had WMD.

Saddam last used chemical weapons in 1988, three years before the Gulf War and at that time Bush, and Clinton after him did not deem him a war criminal or of committing crimes against humanity, at least not enough to kill him or bring charges up at the Hague. As I alluded to earlier, the US actually sold him some of the stuff he used against the Iranians and his own people so it was not such a big problem then. Even W. said that if Saddam just stepped down and exiled himself to another nation (Sudan and Saudi Arabia both offered to host him) then the US would not pursue him. Remember this was the guy compared as being equal to or worse than Hitler, would the US have allowed Hitler to escape the Nuremberg Trials and go live in Monaco if he had just stepped-down? I believe the reasons given for invading Iraq caused a lot of pants to give their wearers third-degree burns.

Destabilize the US, yes. Saddam's two biggest sins, from least to greatest, were trying to set up an assassination against Bush senior while on a trip to the Middle East, but what condemned him was that in 2000 he refused to take dollars for sales of Iraqi oil and would only accept Euros.

Yes, al Qaida agents were in Iraq before the invasion but only after the announcement was made that the US was going to invade. They went there to get a stake in picking up the pieces after Saddam's ouster and to be in place to wage war against US troops. It is hard to believe that all the military might focused on containing Saddam for ten years was suddenly found to have all failed in one foul swoop. Iran hates al Qaida but, once the invasion was announced, they allowed its members to transit the country to get to Iraq; Saudi Arabia actually released some of its domestic al Qaida prisoners if they promised to leave and go fight in Iraq (hopefully, to get killed and so the Sauds would be rid of them).

The only terrorist groups operating in Iraq before the announced invasion were a group of Iranian secular dissidents that wanted to topple the Mullahs in Teheran and who had Saddam's support in exchange for their helping to destabilize Iran. The other one was a group of Shi'ite Arabs who got support and protection inside the Kurdish autonomous zone and from Iran. Their training base was within the northern no-fly zone. Surely, they could have been bombed into oblivion long, long ago since they were operating in an area controlled by the Kurds and allies.

But, none of these are reasons the US is in Afghanistan. So, to answer why is the US in either country...while there might have been good reasons in the beginning (that we were never told honestly) there are now no good reasons.
 

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I don't think it matters what the objectives are. We're not going to achieve them. The only thing that matters is that we withdraw with the minimum amount of casualties.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I would like to thank each of you for your thorough detailed responses. It was exactly what I'd hoped for. I will respond properly (by that I mean I have more questions because of your responses:lol: ) when I am away from work and have the time to properly organize my thoughts and make some notes. One question I do have is which of you spent time over there, and how much of your knowledge was gathered from cultural training and briefing, or simply word of mouth between those serving, versus how much information was gathered directly from American media, and maybe specifics if possible of a particular source from which you feel you learned the most. (maybe a lengthy feature in a monthly publication?).

I am actually working on a project (a series of articles, which will later be compiled into a collaborative ebook) where I need to specifically get information and opinions directly from the mouths of regular Americans, especially those who have served, while specifically trying to avoid gathering any firsthand information directly from any of the five major empires that ultimately comprise the pyramid-like informational panopticon upon which the vast majority of Western civilization forms their worldview.

(Wrong link to media bracket removed)

There is an information crackdown coming, through things like internet regulation, restrictions on free speech, laws like the Fairness Doctrine, etc. We are trying to educate the people on how controlled their flow of information is going to be if we allow ANY further restrictions on speech and media, I will explain more later.

I don't think it matters what the objectives are. We're not going to achieve them.
Once one American life was lost, it mattered. The biggest problem is that people on the ground there think they are fighting for something, that may (or may not) be no more than further imperialism and profiteering by the same forces of the international banksters that are ripping Western civilization apart at the seams. It does bother me that someone somewhere affiliated with the governments of the US and Britain are directly profiting from the export of tons of pure heroin while military contractors and even US troops are becoming directly involved in securing the opium farms, not to mention the lack of discussion of where the regions oil is going. An atmosphere is being created that is becoming so polarized and explosive, that another world war is a real threat now.

95% of the people in the world want the same thing. They want to wake up and go to work, to feed and take care of their families, and maybe enjoy a few of lifes simple pleasures along the way. Can you imagine the horror of another world war with the technology available today?
 
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