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timschochet

Obama's failure: the war in Afghanistan will continue

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President Obama announced this morning that the war in Afghanistan will continue past his Presidency. This represents one of Obama's worst failures, in that it was his goal beginning in 2009 to end the war. He has managed a draw down of troops: currently we have 9,800 service people over there, but that number will not decrease. Obama pledged to continue his two goals: to train the Afghan government and troops to defend themselves, and to destroy al-Qaeda.

Both goals may be impossible. Ever since 2002 we have been pledging to train the Afghan troops. If after 13 years they're not trained well enough to defend themselves by now, will they ever be? The fact is we all know this a corrupt government much like South Vietnam that is going to collapse the moment we leave.

As for al-Qaeda, we've been trying to destroy them for 13 years as well. Both they and the Taliban escape into caves on the Pakistani border and we can't ever snuff them out. It's an endless cycle in which we're constantly claiming some small victory or another only to see them return like the mythological Hydra.

Obama is damned if he does, damned if he doesn't, of course. If we leave Afghanistan, within a very short period of time the Taliban will be back in power. If we don't leave, it's going to continue to cost us pointless American lives as well as monies we could certainly put to better use. We are not the first great power to face this hopeless situation in Afghanistan. Both Great Britain and Russia became embroiled in wars there they could not win and in the end had to leave having gained nothing and made the situation worse than it was before. It's a cesspool and always has been. I have no idea what the next President should do about this. Thoughts?

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It's a quagmire. Deposing the Taliban had near universal support in congress and across the country. I'm not sure anybody has a plan that will leave the place in better shape than where we found it.

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I don't think it's Obama's failure, I think the only mistake was announcing a set timetable for withdrawal. He's fixed that which is better than not fixing it at all.

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It's a quagmire. Deposing the Taliban had near universal support in congress and across the country. I'm not sure anybody has a plan that will leave the place in better shape than where we found it.

You're right about this. The Iraq war had some dissenters, mostly progressives. THIS war had almost no dissenters. Everybody in both parties was behind it. And despite promising to end it, both Obama and Hillary campaigned in 2008 that it was a necessary war. There has never been any partisan disagreement about this.

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I don't think it's Obama's failure, I think the only mistake was announcing a set timetable for withdrawal. He's fixed that which is better than not fixing it at all.

Obama has been the President for 7 years. I think he's been a very good foreign policy President. But this war has not gotten better under his watch. If anything it's gotten worse. 7 years is long enough to make him, the man in charge, responsible. We won World War II in about half that time.

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I don't think it's Obama's failure, I think the only mistake was announcing a set timetable for withdrawal. He's fixed that which is better than not fixing it at all.

Obama has been the President for 7 years. I think he's been a very good foreign policy President. But this war has not gotten better under his watch. If anything it's gotten worse. 7 years is long enough to make him, the man in charge, responsible. We won World War II in about half that time.

And you know that no one here has the stomach for or would accept an all out war over there. That's the only way to turn this, and no president would attempt to sell the public on that.

Edited by glock

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I don't think it's Obama's failure, I think the only mistake was announcing a set timetable for withdrawal. He's fixed that which is better than not fixing it at all.

Obama has been the President for 7 years. I think he's been a very good foreign policy President. But this war has not gotten better under his watch. If anything it's gotten worse. 7 years is long enough to make him, the man in charge, responsible. We won World War II in about half that time.

And you know that no one here has the stomach for or would accept an all out war over there. That's the only way to turn this, and no president would attempt to sell the public on that.

Well, McCain might have.

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I don't think it's Obama's failure, I think the only mistake was announcing a set timetable for withdrawal. He's fixed that which is better than not fixing it at all.

Obama has been the President for 7 years. I think he's been a very good foreign policy President. But this war has not gotten better under his watch. If anything it's gotten worse. 7 years is long enough to make him, the man in charge, responsible. We won World War II in about half that time.

And you know that no one here has the stomach for or would accept an all out war over there. That's the only way to turn this, and no president would attempt to sell the public on that.

Well, McCain might have.

Might. Obama might have as well, but he didn't. No commitment from Capitol hill.

Edited by glock

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His failure was the misguided notion that we could withdraw down to an embassy security force. His success is not forcing that misguided notion forward.

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I don't think it's Obama's failure, I think the only mistake was announcing a set timetable for withdrawal. He's fixed that which is better than not fixing it at all.

Obama has been the President for 7 years. I think he's been a very good foreign policy President. But this war has not gotten better under his watch. If anything it's gotten worse. 7 years is long enough to make him, the man in charge, responsible. We won World War II in about half that time.

The WW2 comparison is terrible IMO.

How do you view how his policies have been a failure? Like I said his decision to announce the timetable was a mistake, and the Taliban have been driving forward recently with an eye towards closing out as the US leaves.

Anything else Obama has done wrong?

Edited by SaintsInDome2006

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Bomb the living #### out of them until even the mountains are flat imo. All these countries that hate us, why do we bother? We've got a metric ####-ton of nukes. Clean 'em out, take whatever natural resources they have. The rest of the countries will learn to shut up real quick.

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I have no idea what the next President should do about this. Thoughts?

SURGE!!!

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I don't think it's Obama's failure, I think the only mistake was announcing a set timetable for withdrawal. He's fixed that which is better than not fixing it at all.

Obama has been the President for 7 years. I think he's been a very good foreign policy President. But this war has not gotten better under his watch. If anything it's gotten worse. 7 years is long enough to make him, the man in charge, responsible. We won World War II in about half that time.

The WW2 comparison is terrible IMO.

How do you view how his policies have been a failure? Like I said his decision to announce the timetable was a mistake, and the Taliban have been driving forward recently with an eye towards closing out as the US leaves.

Anything else Obama has done wrong?

WWII is an absolute horrible comparison. In WWII there were nations at war with clear overall strategic objectives and national standing armies. Not a comparison at all.

The truth is that Afghanistan has always been broken. Back when the Soviets pulled out- there was an opportunity to stabilize and build a real nation. We ignored that opportunity. To fill in the void, people that are not the greatest of guys and lacking any decent amount of goodwill towards other men- stepped in. If we ignore it again there will be a time that we really have no choice but to go in again. And then we start all over again.

Saint is right- the set timetable for withdrawal was the real mistake. We leave now or near future- Afghanistan falls. A fallen Afghanistan means bad things for us. Not a 'good' thing for us to be there but it is better than the alternative.

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None of know all the details, but what little we as US citizens know I say get the F out. That country will be a disaster for another 1000 years. They like killing each other so let them kill each other. Taliban, et al will always find a place.

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Military Industrial Complex >>>> POTUS

/thread

Oh please, he shut down Iraq tout suite without even checking his briefings.

we still have 3,000+ troops there, no?

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Military Industrial Complex >>>> POTUS

/thread

Oh please, he shut down Iraq tout suite without even checking his briefings.

we still have 3,000+ troops there, no?

Oh. We're still at war in Iraq?

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Military Industrial Complex >>>> POTUS

/thread

Oh please, he shut down Iraq tout suite without even checking his briefings.

we still have 3,000+ troops there, no?

Oh. We're still at war in Iraq?

Yes

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I don't think it's Obama's failure, I think the only mistake was announcing a set timetable for withdrawal. He's fixed that which is better than not fixing it at all.

Obama has been the President for 7 years. I think he's been a very good foreign policy President. But this war has not gotten better under his watch. If anything it's gotten worse. 7 years is long enough to make him, the man in charge, responsible. We won World War II in about half that time.

And you know that no one here has the stomach for or would accept an all out war over there. That's the only way to turn this, and no president would attempt to sell the public on that.

This is an unwinnable war. The best we can hope for is to contain terrorists enough to prevent future attacks on American soil. I don't see any logical alternative to leaving a relatively small number of troops there to prevent the Taliban from taking over.

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Everyone's dissing me for bringing up WWII. I only did it to demonstrate the time frame. It seems hard to believe, but we have been in Afghanistan for 14 years now!

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Military Industrial Complex >>>> POTUS

/thread

Oh please, he shut down Iraq tout suite without even checking his briefings.

we still have 3,000+ troops there, no?

FWIW

there are still about 40,000 US troops, and 179 US bases in Germany, over 50,000 troops in Japan (and 109 bases), and tens of thousands of troops, with hundreds of bases, all over Europe. Over 28,000 US troops are present in 85 bases in South Korea

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Military Industrial Complex >>>> POTUS

/thread

Oh please, he shut down Iraq tout suite without even checking his briefings.

we still have 3,000+ troops there, no?

FWIW

there are still about 40,000 US troops, and 179 US bases in Germany, over 50,000 troops in Japan (and 109 bases), and tens of thousands of troops, with hundreds of bases, all over Europe. Over 28,000 US troops are present in 85 bases in South Korea

But none of those places are at risk. If I had a family member serving in Afghanistan or Iraq, I would be afraid for their safety while they were there. Not in Japan or Germany or anywhere else.

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None of know all the details, but what little we as US citizens know I say get the F out. That country will be a disaster for another 1000 years. They like killing each other so let them kill each other. Taliban, et al will always find a place.

Agreed. Like Iraq, the people of Afghanistan just won't stand up for themselves. We can't be there forever. Time to GTFO.

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What's the real reason for staying?

So far as I can see, if the Taliban takes back control, it once again becomes a haven for al-Qaeda. And then Pakistan is threatened.

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None of know all the details, but what little we as US citizens know I say get the F out. That country will be a disaster for another 1000 years. They like killing each other so let them kill each other. Taliban, et al will always find a place.

The world is too small now for that thought process to work out well for us.

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Bomb the living #### out of them until even the mountains are flat imo. All these countries that hate us, why do we bother? We've got a metric ####-ton of nukes. Clean 'em out, take whatever natural resources they have. The rest of the countries will learn to shut up real quick.

You do know that's completely insane right?

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What's the real reason for staying?

So far as I can see, if the Taliban takes back control, it once again becomes a haven for al-Qaeda. And then Pakistan is threatened.

Pakistan is threatened not by the Taliban or al-Qaeda but by power brokers in ISI. There is a delicate balance between the military, ISI and the civilian leadership there- prob the only thing keeping them all together is the mutual fear/hatred of India.

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I agree that it's been a failure, although I can't help but wonder if things would be spun a little differently if we had a Republican in the White House. We've had half as many military deaths under Obama than we did under Bush.

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Bomb the living #### out of them until even the mountains are flat imo. All these countries that hate us, why do we bother? We've got a metric ####-ton of nukes. Clean 'em out, take whatever natural resources they have. The rest of the countries will learn to shut up real quick.

You do know that's completely insane right?

Sounds like you need bombin' too, smartass. :bye:
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I agree that it's been a failure, although I can't help but wonder if things would be spun a little differently if we had a Republican in the White House. We've had half as many military deaths under Obama than we did under Bush.

Of course each side has a horrible habit of making excuses for their guy and pointing the blame at the other. Some people are trapped in that thinking.

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I agree that it's been a failure, although I can't help but wonder if things would be spun a little differently if we had a Republican in the White House. We've had half as many military deaths under Obama than we did under Bush.

Of course each side has a horrible habit of making excuses for their guy and pointing the blame at the other. Some people are trapped in that thinking.

I am going to support drone attacks regardless who is in the White House. Unfortunately, Republicans tend to love putting boots on the ground.

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I agree that it's been a failure, although I can't help but wonder if things would be spun a little differently if we had a Republican in the White House. We've had half as many military deaths under Obama than we did under Bush.

Of course each side has a horrible habit of making excuses for their guy and pointing the blame at the other. Some people are trapped in that thinking.
one of the reasons to appreciate this forum is that so many people here are NOT trapped by partisan thinking. In this thread I have been greatly critical of President Obama, while SaintsInDome has defended him. That represents the opposite of our normal stances about Obama's foreign policy.
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I agree that it's been a failure, although I can't help but wonder if things would be spun a little differently if we had a Republican in the White House. We've had half as many military deaths under Obama than we did under Bush.

Of course each side has a horrible habit of making excuses for their guy and pointing the blame at the other. Some people are trapped in that thinking.

I am going to support drone attacks regardless who is in the White House. Unfortunately, Republicans tend to love putting boots on the ground.

My biggest support to Obama's foreign policy decisions was the ramping up of drone use. Obviously it is not 'perfect' by any means but it has been effective in degrading the terrorist organizations we face in many countries. It is a useful alternative to Special Ops missions and invasions, etc. But following the same theme as mentioned above- it was another example of how liberals would foam at the mouth denouncing Bush as a war criminal and yadda yadda yadda.... then Obama not only continues but increases the use of drone strikes and all of a sudden crickets.

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Everyone's dissing me for bringing up WWII. I only did it to demonstrate the time frame. It seems hard to believe, but we have been in Afghanistan for 14 years now!

You could have made the point that 14 years was a long time without bringing up WWII, genius.

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Wait....was he for real? Just assumed it was all campaign rhetoric. Hard to keep track these days :bag:

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I agree that it's been a failure, although I can't help but wonder if things would be spun a little differently if we had a Republican in the White House. We've had half as many military deaths under Obama than we did under Bush.

We've had WAY more American deaths in Afghanistan under Obama. It's not close.

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It's a quagmire. Deposing the Taliban had near universal support in congress and across the country. I'm not sure anybody has a plan that will leave the place in better shape than where we found it.

You're right about this. The Iraq war had some dissenters, mostly progressives. THIS war had almost no dissenters. Everybody in both parties was behind it. And despite promising to end it, both Obama and Hillary campaigned in 2008 that it was a necessary war. There has never been any partisan disagreement about this.

Gen Zinni and Jim Webb are not "progressives", Tim. The Iraq war had a lot more than some dissenters, and many of them were realists and pragmatists, not "progressives."

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And you know that no one here has the stomach for or would accept an all out war over there. That's the only way to turn this, and no president would attempt to sell the public on that.

What would "all out war" in Afghanistan look like? How would it differ from what we actually did during the initial invasion?

I know that America is really good at fighting WWII, and so there's a tendency to think that we could win any war if we could just turn it into WWII. I'm just not sure that's even possible.

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I don't think it's Obama's failure, I think the only mistake was announcing a set timetable for withdrawal. He's fixed that which is better than not fixing it at all.

Obama has been the President for 7 years. I think he's been a very good foreign policy President. But this war has not gotten better under his watch. If anything it's gotten worse. 7 years is long enough to make him, the man in charge, responsible. We won World War II in about half that time.

The WW2 comparison is terrible IMO.

How do you view how his policies have been a failure? Like I said his decision to announce the timetable was a mistake, and the Taliban have been driving forward recently with an eye towards closing out as the US leaves.

Anything else Obama has done wrong?

WWII is an absolute horrible comparison. In WWII there were nations at war with clear overall strategic objectives and national standing armies. Not a comparison at all.

The truth is that Afghanistan has always been broken. Back when the Soviets pulled out- there was an opportunity to stabilize and build a real nation. We ignored that opportunity. To fill in the void, people that are not the greatest of guys and lacking any decent amount of goodwill towards other men- stepped in. If we ignore it again there will be a time that we really have no choice but to go in again. And then we start all over again.

Saint is right- the set timetable for withdrawal was the real mistake. We leave now or near future- Afghanistan falls. A fallen Afghanistan means bad things for us. Not a 'good' thing for us to be there but it is better than the alternative.

The problem with Afghanistan is that unlike Iraq or most countries, it had almost no infrastructure or foundation to rebuild on. The literacy rate is far less than 50% and you cant have a democracy or even a stable government when the people cant participate on practically any level. As one very astute war reporter put it back in 2009 or so, it will take generations to get Afghanistan to a point where it can be stable on any level acceptable to Western or first world standards, and that would include a massive education project just to get the population to a literacy level close to two thirds literate. We can either decide to to that, with all it entails, or we can come up some alternate approach, which is what I think we are doing. There just arent any really good alternate approaches that dont end up with the country back in teh hands of the Taliban.

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And you know that no one here has the stomach for or would accept an all out war over there. That's the only way to turn this, and no president would attempt to sell the public on that.

What would "all out war" in Afghanistan look like? How would it differ from what we actually did during the initial invasion?

I know that America is really good at fighting WWII, and so there's a tendency to think that we could win any war if we could just turn it into WWII. I'm just not sure that's even possible.

We havent had an all out war since WWII. If we wanted, we could implement a draft, put a soldier on the ground in Afghanistan for every Afghani, rebuild the entire country, force all the kids into schools, etc. It would be a massive massive undertaking, but we could do it if we really wanted to. We dont want to.

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I am very very conservative but the lives we( and them) have lost thinking we can nation build & change their way of thinking in the middle east has proven to be an abject failure. I'm comparing lives lost vrs. accomplishments. Just believe we should take care of things here.

This may sound stupid, given the previous comments but I would strengthen our military in case some of those bizzaro countries take this as weakness & do something stupid, which they will. IMO

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