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The curious sacking of Gen McKiernan
The Guardian ^ | Tuesday 12 May 2009 15.11 BST | Simon Tisdall

Posted on 05/12/2009 10:07:49 PM PDT by garyhope

It seems harsh to suggest the Pentagon top brass don't know what they're doing. But those who care to read the transcript of the press conference at which the sacking of the top American general in Afghanistan was announced may find that conclusion hard to resist. "In some ways we're learning as we go here," said Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs. It was not a reassuring admission.

The public defenestration of General David McKiernan, a distinguished career officer who took command in Kabul less than one year ago, was brutal in that cold, callous way peculiar to American officialdom. More to the point, it remains largely unexplained. "We can and must do better ... We have a new policy set by our president, a new strategy, a new mission ... I believe new military leadership is also needed," said Robert Gates, the defence secretary.

(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Breaking News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; afpak; bhodod; dod; mckiernan; oef; taliban
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Another Obammy fall guy. Somebody besides Obeyme has got to get the blame.
1 posted on 05/12/2009 10:07:49 PM PDT by garyhope
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To: garyhope

Krauthammer spoke highly of his replacement McCrystal on Fox today, FWIW.


2 posted on 05/12/2009 10:13:08 PM PDT by balch3
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To: garyhope

bump


3 posted on 05/12/2009 10:14:32 PM PDT by Buddy B (MSgt Retired-USAF - Year: 1972)
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To: garyhope

Is Afghanistan going to be ZERO’s Vietnam?


4 posted on 05/12/2009 10:16:10 PM PDT by PhiKapMom (Mary Fallin for OK Governor in 2010! Mark Rubio for FL Governor in 2010!)
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To: balch3

A lot of freepers have too on other threads.


5 posted on 05/12/2009 10:30:37 PM PDT by GATOR NAVY
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To: garyhope

Do we know this FOR A FACT or is the Boston Globe just making it up?!

******

there is a crucial caveat that Gates and President Obama need to keep in mind as they evaluate the new commanders and their new strategy. McChrystal and the new number two commander in Afghanistan, Lieutenant General David Rodriguez, must make one tenet in their guerrilla warfare playbook an absolute priority: protection of the civilian population.

The Taliban are reaping benefits from a dynamic that should be familiar from other guerrilla wars. When Taliban fighters stage an ambush, US forces frequently feel compelled to call in air strikes or artillery fire. And all too often, as happened last week, innocent Afghan villagers are hurt or killed.

The inevitable outcome is widespread anger against the foreign army. This is what Afghan President Hamid Karzai lamented again and again last week during a visit to Washington. He begged Americans to stop killing Afghan civilians.

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/editorials/articles/2009/05/13/new_strategy_new_commander/


6 posted on 05/12/2009 10:31:29 PM PDT by kcvl
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To: garyhope

not knowing jack about this but hearing that the new brass is a former spec ops guy and that Gates suggested this I think this may be the rare instance maybe Teleprompter in Chief got it right

or didn’t get in the way

somebody correct me please if i’m wrong


7 posted on 05/12/2009 10:34:50 PM PDT by wardaddy
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To: garyhope

Do not alter titles from articles.

Thanks


8 posted on 05/12/2009 10:39:37 PM PDT by Sidebar Moderator
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To: kcvl

US forces frequently feel compelled to call in air strikes or artillery fire
///////////////
That the way we wage war. I’m sure the Afghan Prez would rather have us use tasers and kid gloves and lose 10,000 troops but that ain’t the way we do it.

We should have someone comment on how many civilians the talis kill every stinking month.


9 posted on 05/12/2009 10:53:30 PM PDT by TomasUSMC ( FIGHT LIKE WW2, FINISH LIKE WW2. FIGHT LIKE NAM, FINISH LIKE NAM)
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To: kcvl
The inevitable outcome is widespread anger against the foreign army. This is what Afghan President Hamid Karzai lamented again and again last week during a visit to Washington. He begged Americans to stop killing Afghan civilians.

So does that mean that American casualties will now go up? If so, that should please the Left.

10 posted on 05/12/2009 10:58:52 PM PDT by stripes1776 ("That if gold rust, what shall iron do?" --Chaucer)
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To: PhiKapMom

>>Is Afghanistan going to be ZERO’s Vietnam?<<

The danger is that its going to be OUR next Vietnam. This is one of those situations where we can’t afford to have a President from the other party fail.


11 posted on 05/12/2009 11:10:23 PM PDT by gondramB
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To: PhiKapMom

[ Is Afghanistan going to be ZERO’s Vietnam? ]

Kingfish Stevens(Zero) running the Afganistan war is what we have..
i.e. Amos N’Andy


The Convention 3 parts
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B09QHDWLgo0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOFM5PStH6Y&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NO_o2BAa1M8&feature=related


12 posted on 05/12/2009 11:19:15 PM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: gondramB
The danger is that its going to be OUR next Vietnam. This is one of those situations where we can’t afford to have a President from the other party fail.

Unfortunately, the war-fighting record of Democrat presidents isn't terribly encouraging.

13 posted on 05/12/2009 11:36:32 PM PDT by okie01 (THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA: Ignorance on Parade)
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To: garyhope

Sounds to me that the General in Afghanistan probably disagreed with Obama’s plans for more troops, and probably for suggesting going into Pakistan like Obama said he wanted to do in his campaign... I don’t know anything about the former commander in that area, all I know is that Obama can’t really stand being told he’s wrong — he believes he knows best, even if the commanders on the ground are telling him they firmly disagree. I would imagine that would get someone “sacked” in a hurry in Obama’s military...

All just my armchair opinion...


14 posted on 05/12/2009 11:56:58 PM PDT by LibertyRocks ( http://LibertyRocks.wordpress.com ~ ANTI-OBAMA STUFF : http://cafepress.com/NO_ObamaBiden08)
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To: balch3

Well, that’s a good thing at least...


15 posted on 05/12/2009 11:57:57 PM PDT by LibertyRocks ( http://LibertyRocks.wordpress.com ~ ANTI-OBAMA STUFF : http://cafepress.com/NO_ObamaBiden08)
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To: PhiKapMom

Honestly, I think Obama is planning on turning Afghanistan into the “Pakistan War” and putting our troops in the mountains like he spoke of during the campaign...

THAT would be Zero’s Vietnam, IMHO.


16 posted on 05/12/2009 11:59:19 PM PDT by LibertyRocks ( http://LibertyRocks.wordpress.com ~ ANTI-OBAMA STUFF : http://cafepress.com/NO_ObamaBiden08)
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To: PhiKapMom

Worse. Its going to turn into some UN style political correct clusterf@@k getting alot of US and our allies soliders coming home in bodybags. All in the name of “making sure the taliban feelings don’t get hurt” and Obama maintains his poll numbers with the upper eastside manhattan liberals and SF moonbats.


17 posted on 05/13/2009 12:45:27 AM PDT by Proud_USA_Republican (Trust unto God and He shall direct your path)
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To: garyhope

I suspect this general refused to publicly condemn “don’t ask, don’t tell” and wouldn’t get on board Zero’s desire to appease his sodomite constituency by repealing the policy. That’s my guess.

Let’s see what happens over the next couple of months.


18 posted on 05/13/2009 1:09:13 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: PhiKapMom

NO.


19 posted on 05/13/2009 2:35:12 AM PDT by Dog
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To: wardaddy

You’re right sir.


20 posted on 05/13/2009 2:36:26 AM PDT by Dog
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To: Lancey Howard
Sir I've always respected your opinion over the years but this time you are just wrong....this had nothing to do with gay policy in the military....this was about getting someone in there who could fight a counterinsurgency.
21 posted on 05/13/2009 2:40:22 AM PDT by Dog
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To: PhiKapMom
"Is Afghanistan going to be ZERO’s Vietnam?"

I was studying the map of the m.e. last night and of course noted that Iran is flanked on one side by Afghanistan and on the other by Iraq. I can only speculate, and thus could be wrong, but my sense is that both of those flanks have become less stable since Zer0 took charge. I think Afghanistan was never real stable anyway. I was not a happy camper with some things W did, but I think he clearly understood that controlling territory on either side of Iran was important to making it easier to engage Iran if necessary, a pragmatic approach perhaps. He could never convey his strategy openly because the anti-american marginal stream media and their hollywierd allies would crucify him more. Sometimes, the C-in-C has to look long term and I don't think Maobama is capable of such a world view. These are frightening times. I'm not sure if this is Zer0's Viet Nam, or our second Viet Nam with a marxist president again escalating the action and body bags flowing home.

22 posted on 05/13/2009 3:15:57 AM PDT by RushLake (Democrats & Maobama have never met a terrorist they didn't like.)
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To: balch3
Krauthammer spoke highly of his replacement McCrystal on Fox today, FWIW.

So did Cheney, FWIW

23 posted on 05/13/2009 3:30:36 AM PDT by jersey117
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To: garyhope

Hey 0bama...you’re gonna need a BIGGER BUS!


24 posted on 05/13/2009 3:32:58 AM PDT by FDNYRHEROES (In just 3 days, the War on Terror became the War on Free Speech.)
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To: TomasUSMC; kcvl

I’ve been reading “No True Glory” about the battle for Fallujah. If that book can be believed, the American military is incredibly careful about not creating collateral damage among the civilians in order to avoid the fallout that it creates.


25 posted on 05/13/2009 3:46:29 AM PDT by Hardastarboard (I long for the days when advertisers didn't constantly ask about the health of my genital organs.)
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To: balch3
...since the puppet man has made this one of his objectives he NEEDS someone he thinks could accomplish the mission....what would be interesting is to see the other choices he had..... .....another thing to consider is HOW he (bambi) wants the General to accomplish the mission.
26 posted on 05/13/2009 3:47:56 AM PDT by Doogle (USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand..never store a threat you should have eliminated))
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To: wardaddy
You might have it right, but why did Gates use the terminology "asked for his resignation" and foster the widespread use of the characterization that he was "fired." He could have simply reassigned McKiernan. Why was it deemed necessary to humiliate him and indicate that the resignation would probably end McKiernan's career?

It seems more than the usual change of command process. I wonder if we will soon see McKiernan on the speaking tour as a retired General giving his side of what happened?

27 posted on 05/13/2009 3:49:34 AM PDT by Truth29
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To: kcvl

I’m certain there are unfortunate incidents of civilian innocents losing their lives accidentally caught up in this war comprised of exploding ordnance, and lead, however there is also a quantity disinformation that is disseminated from the region.

I have read often over the years of Karzai’s use of those civilian casualties for financial gain. Apparently he claims inflated numbers of such civilian casualties, and uses those numbers, and the grief of “the families of those innocents” to wrench funding allegedly for their families from our Treasury.

It’s difficult to be such a cynic due the topic, but as many times as I’ve read about Karzai approaching our Government with inflated numbers contrary to the statistics provided by our own military, and our Government caving to the apparent faux outrage of Karzai due the necessity of his assistance in the area, providing large monitary contributions each event then I haven’t a choice but to be a cynic.


28 posted on 05/13/2009 4:26:27 AM PDT by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists...Call 'em What you Will, They ALL have Fairies Living In Their Trees.)
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To: Truth29

>> You might have it right, but why did Gates use the terminology “asked for his resignation” and foster the widespread use of the characterization that he was “fired.” <<

Maybe it was all an act, carried out so as to calm the Afghans — who seem highly agitated by the recent spate of civilian deaths due to collateral damage. Behind the scenes, Gates and General Mac may still be on good terms.

On the other hand, McK may have been a clone of Wesley Clark — who has been overly reluctant to follow orders from above.

(Let’s not forget that it was PØTUS Clinton who was forced to sack Wes, after complaints from SecDef Cohen. Gates and/or Petraeus may have had the same sorts of problems with McK.)


29 posted on 05/13/2009 5:03:00 AM PDT by Hawthorn
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To: Hawthorn

Right or wrong decision, I don’t know
But I do know if this was Bush the press would be all over him like he won’t listen to his General so he fires opposing voices.


30 posted on 05/13/2009 5:19:16 AM PDT by NoDRodee (U>S>M>C)
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To: garyhope

Not to defend Barry but after a LOT of reading the change in Command makes sense.


31 posted on 05/13/2009 5:53:36 AM PDT by Condor51 (The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits)
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To: balch3
Yes, saw CK on Special Report, too. Kristol also said McChrystal's #2, Rodriguez, is top-shelf.

Couldn't ask for better is the impression I came away with after watching that segment.

uk.guardian, meh.

32 posted on 05/13/2009 6:01:35 AM PDT by rvoitier (One of the 25 million)
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To: LibertyRocks

The current Commander had asked for MORE troops that zer0bama indicated would be provided.

I think that the change up was because they wanted someone who would think like Gen. Petreaus and employ new/different tactics similar to the Surge seen in Iraq. For Iraq - with 135,000 troops already there - the addition of 25,000 troops was far less significant that the tactic of clean and hold, and embed troops in the neighborhoods that they were trying to re-claim and protect.

Since the present Commander is a 4 star General, with no further assignment being considered - this means essentially a forced retirement (with 37 years of very honorable service ....nothing to snear at!)

Replacing a convential warfighter with a Special Forces experienced warfighter is probably one of the only good things that the zer0bama has done thus far.


33 posted on 05/13/2009 6:28:40 AM PDT by Vineyard
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To: RushLake

I think rivers of blood are going to flow in Iraq, and then “that man” will say that the war was never won anyway, and that it’s all Bush’s fault.


34 posted on 05/13/2009 7:16:20 AM PDT by ichabod1 (I am rolling over in my grave and I am not even dead yet (GOP Poet))
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To: balch3

It sounds like both McKiernan and McCrystal are good generals, with terrific careers and reputations. It also sounds like the DoD personnel (Gates & Petraus) are on board with this change, so I’m not sure that I would read any Obama interference into this particular move. McKiernan may not have done anything wrong, it may come down to simply the fact that General Petraus simply wants that McCrystal offers a slight advantage in some aspect of the job and he wants to make the change.

One of the great things about our military is that it can be a ruthless meritocracy. When lives are on the line, the guy in charge doesn’t have to wait for a screw-up or loss to change personnel. The success of the mission is bigger than any one General’s career.


35 posted on 05/13/2009 7:17:02 AM PDT by CaptainMorgantown
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To: Hardastarboard

The trouble is that if we don’t kill the civilians, the towelies do it anyway and blame it on us. THAT is the counter-insurgency problem we have to deal with.

Remember, the hajis use a variation of the “kill’em all, let God sort ‘em out” approach. They think if the victim was righteous, he/she will go to paradice, if not, to hell with ‘em.


36 posted on 05/13/2009 7:18:51 AM PDT by ichabod1 (I am rolling over in my grave and I am not even dead yet (GOP Poet))
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To: wardaddy

I’ve heard good things about the new guy, but Gates is a political butt-boy. He would cheerfully fire someone for political reasons.


37 posted on 05/13/2009 7:22:14 AM PDT by Mr Rogers (Everything for Unions, Nothing for Defense!)
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To: Condor51

That’s the problem. Barry doesn’t make good moves. If Barry makes a good move, you have to question his motives.

I know about the blind squirrel and all, but something about it is still fishy.


38 posted on 05/13/2009 7:22:56 AM PDT by ichabod1 (I am rolling over in my grave and I am not even dead yet (GOP Poet))
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To: garyhope

I’m guessing this is the most accurate analysis:

“McKiernan warned last year that a satisfactory outcome would take a decade, perhaps 14 years. For his political bosses, that was way too long.

The changes in command underscore the impression that Obama, abandoning long-term nation-building goals, is looking for quick, minimalist results in Afghanistan, chiefly containing and deflating the insurgency. His aides don’t want the war dragging on when he stands for re-election in 2012.”


39 posted on 05/13/2009 7:24:15 AM PDT by Mr Rogers (Everything for Unions, Nothing for Defense!)
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To: garyhope
It seems harsh to suggest the Pentagon top brass don't know what they're doing.

Anyone who ever served in the military wouldn't think that was harsh at all.

Afghanistan is a quagmire and something has to change. This may well turn out to be a Petraeus-for-Casey kind of swap, and if that's so then Gates and Obama will deserve the credit. If it turns out to be a mistake then they'll deserve the blame. But regardless, the troops in country deserve our hopes that McChrystal has the same kind of positive impact on the war in Afghanistan that Petraeus had on the war in Iraq.

40 posted on 05/13/2009 7:25:10 AM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: Mr Rogers
“McKiernan warned last year that a satisfactory outcome would take a decade, perhaps 14 years. For his political bosses, that was way too long.

Similar to the kind of warnings Shinseki was giving Bush prior to the Iraq invasion, and look what happened to him.

41 posted on 05/13/2009 7:26:16 AM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: garyhope
In some ways we're learning as we go here.

Very little to learn here.

#1: Align cross-hairs on enemy.
#2: Pull trigger.
#3: Check to see if enemy is C, Moving, B, Breathing, C, Has pulse.

If A, B, or C are true, repeat steps 1 and 2.

42 posted on 05/13/2009 7:27:36 AM PDT by MindBender26 (The Hellfire Missile is one of the wonderful ways God shows us he loves American Soldiers & Marines)
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To: garyhope
In some ways we're learning as we go here.

Very little to learn here.

#1: Align cross-hairs on enemy.
#2: Pull trigger.
#3: Check to see if enemy is A, Moving, B, Breathing, C, Has pulse.

If A, B, or C are true, repeat steps 1 and 2.

43 posted on 05/13/2009 7:28:12 AM PDT by MindBender26 (The Hellfire Missile is one of the wonderful ways God shows us he loves American Soldiers & Marines)
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To: Non-Sequitur

Shinseki WAS wrong about Iraq. The invasion and conquering didn’t require 500K, nor did beating Afghanistan. If he had his way, we would still be in the troop build-up phase.

The mistakes in Iraq were in handling things post-victory. Things like refusing to work with the Iraqi Army, etc. But if we waited for Shinseki to be ready, we would still be waiting.


44 posted on 05/13/2009 7:31:43 AM PDT by Mr Rogers (Everything for Unions, Nothing for Defense!)
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To: garyhope

In the process of using opposition to the Iraq war for political gain during the campaign, calling it the “wrong war” (and thus Afghanistan the “right war”), the reckless and bumbling political novice 0bama managed to make the war in Afghanistan his own. He is now tethered to it, and dependent on its success.

But in truth, Afghanistan is everything 0bama and his Democrats spent years trying to falsely portray Iraq as being.

There is no long-term military solution there. The war in Afghanistan is ‘unwinnable.’ This isn’t to say we are losing the war or are in any danger of it, but simply that there is no possible exit strategy based on permanent victory there.

Afghanistan is the Wild Wild West. It is ungovernable. No one wants to live there except for outlaws. There are no natural resources except for poppies. It is landlocked with no major sources of water. It is inhospitable. This is the reason why outlaws and terrorists make it their home when no other country will take them.

That is why outlaws will always rule Afghanistan. A country where legitimate people will not live cannot have a legitimate government made up of legitimate individuals. The US will never be able to extract itself by setting up a legitimate, functional, non-corrupt government there. The only solution involving a military presence is one where we are there indefinitely, with US soldiers playing the role of cops. That’s not an exit strategy.

Instead, we need to leave Afghanistan, and destroy what little infrastructure it has, torch all the poppy fields, and level the camps there.
We can do this from 10,000 feet. And we will need to do it once every decade or so, to prevent the likes of Al Qaeda and the Taliban from reconstituting and rebuilding too much.

But 0bama won’t do any of this, and thus he will fail spectacularly in Afghanistan. The contrast between Bush’s success in Iraq and 0bama’s failure in Afghanistan will not be missed by history, and neither will the irony of 0bama’s usage of the two in his campaign.

Luckily for us, unlike with Iraq, it’s really not too important whether Afghanistan succeeds or fails.


45 posted on 05/13/2009 7:36:05 AM PDT by counterpunch (In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem.)
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To: ichabod1
That’s the problem. Barry doesn’t make good moves. If Barry makes a good move, you have to question his motives.

I know about the blind squirrel and all, but something about it is still fishy.

I understand your mistrust.

But I read a lot of the linked articles AND about the Generals in question before I posted. Without getting into a lot of 'inside baseball stuff', the General 'fired' was the wrong guy, for the wrong place (war).

But here's a *funny* thing. The new General believes in the tactics that RUMMY believed in, and first used in Afghanistan in ousting the Taliban. THAT will drive some moonbats even nuttier.

46 posted on 05/13/2009 7:39:22 AM PDT by Condor51 (The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits)
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To: garyhope

Gates is a sack of dog dung. Pig. I hope he gets his one of these days very very soon. The stinking sell out.


47 posted on 05/13/2009 7:47:46 AM PDT by RetiredArmy (Right wing military retiree. Proudly on DHLS hit list!!!!!)
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To: Mr Rogers
Shinseki WAS wrong about Iraq. The invasion and conquering didn’t require 500K, nor did beating Afghanistan. If he had his way, we would still be in the troop build-up phase.

Shinseki warned it would take several hundred thousand to take Iraq and to handle the lengthy post-war occupation, and all he was doing was quoting from the Central Command Op Plan that had been created the year before Shinseki became chairman. As it turns out he and the Op Plan were a whole lot closer to the mark than those who said the job could be done with fewer than 50,000 and the troops would be home in no time.

48 posted on 05/13/2009 7:49:21 AM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: ichabod1

I agree with you although it almost goes without saying that that is what that half man and his puppeteers will say. I live in Michigan and have listened to our very own Zer0 clone, clueless Jenny Grandmole blame John Engler and George Bush for all our problems. Its what weaklings do.


49 posted on 05/13/2009 7:55:00 AM PDT by RushLake (Democrats & Maobama have never met a terrorist they didn't like.)
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To: kcvl
Do we know this FOR A FACT or is the Boston Globe just making it up?!

It's probably true that civilians are being killed by airstrikes, although probably not in anywhere near the numbers being cited.

In a guerilla war, however, the exact truth matters far less than does the perceived truth. If the bad guys can convince the general population around them that the Americans don't care about their lives, the local population is more likely to support them.

That was the dynamic in play in Iraq for several years. It turned around for two reasons. First, the bad guys in Iraq killed so many Iraqis that it could no longer be overlooked. And second, Petraeus' strategy put Americans in direct contact with everyday Iraqis, which directly countered what the propaganda said.

Something similar has to be done in Afghanistan, although the particulars would undoubtedly be different.

One thing's certain, though -- reliance on "death from above," while tactically effective, has significant downsides when one is trying to decouple the population from the guerillas.

50 posted on 05/13/2009 7:57:14 AM PDT by r9etb
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