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Troops: Strict War Rules Slow Afghan Offensive [Are We Fighting To Win?]
NYTimes ^ | February 15, 2010

Posted on 02/15/2010 11:31:05 AM PST by Steelfish

Troops: Strict War Rules Slow Afghan Offensive Sign in to Recommend

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS February 15, 2010

MARJAH, Afghanistan (AP) -- Some American and Afghan troops say they're fighting the latest offensive in Afghanistan with a handicap -- strict rules that routinely force them to hold their fire.

Although details of the new guidelines are classified to keep insurgents from reading them, U.S. troops say the Taliban are keenly aware of the restrictions.

''I understand the reason behind it, but it's so hard to fight a war like this,'' said Lance Cpl. Travis Anderson, 20, of Altoona, Iowa. ''They're using our rules of engagement against us,'' he said, adding that his platoon had repeatedly seen men drop their guns into ditches and walk away to blend in with civilians.

If a man emerges from a Taliban hideout after shooting erupts, U.S. troops say they cannot fire at him if he is not seen carrying a weapon -- or if they did not personally watch him drop one.

What this means, some contend, is that a militant can fire at them, then set aside his weapon and walk freely out of a compound, possibly toward a weapons cache in another location. It was unclear how often this has happened. In another example, Marines pinned down by a barrage of insurgent bullets say they can't count on quick air support because it takes time to positively identify shooters.

''This is difficult,'' Lance Cpl. Michael Andrejczuk, 20, of Knoxville, Tenn., said Monday. ''We are trained like when we see something, we obliterate it. But here, we have to see them and when we do, they don't have guns.''

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; marjah; nationalsecurityfail; roe; usmc
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1 posted on 02/15/2010 11:31:05 AM PST by Steelfish
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To: Steelfish

Meanwhile Cheney talks about how gays should geta free pass. Sick of the McCains and Cheneys gay agenda.


2 posted on 02/15/2010 11:32:06 AM PST by Frantzie (TV - sending Americans towards Islamic serfdom - Cancel TV service NOW)
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To: Frantzie

Those Rules of Engagement certainly are gay.


3 posted on 02/15/2010 11:37:33 AM PST by Jeff Chandler (:: The government will do for health care what it did for real estate. ::)
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To: Steelfish

Thanks Ubama, you ****. You’re getting more of OUR troops killed.


4 posted on 02/15/2010 11:40:29 AM PST by theDentist (fybo; qwerty ergo typo : i type, therefore i misspelll)
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To: Steelfish

IF CONGRESS CONTINUES TO RUN THE WAR, AS WE HAVE LEARNED SINCE WWII, WE WILL NOT WIN IN THE MIDDLE EAST. STRATEGY BELONGS IN THE HANDS OF THOSE WHO WERE TRAINED FOR MILITARY SUCCESS. WWII WAS WON BY MEN WHO WOULD NOT ACCEPT FAILURE FOR POLITICAL CORRECTNESS OR RIDICULOUS RULES OF ENGAGEMENT!! GOD BLESS THE MEN IN THE AIR FORCE, MARINES, ARMY, NAVY, NATIONAL GUARD AND COAST GUARD. bECAUSE THEY ARE A BLESSING TO AMERICA!


5 posted on 02/15/2010 11:42:25 AM PST by Paperdoll (.. PLEASE FORGIVE THE CAPS. I HAVE M.D..)
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To: Jeff Chandler

Our poor soldiers are dying due to this insnane ROE and not a word from McCain or Cheney? Too busy pushing the gays in the military agenda.

Hopefully Palin will wake up and jump ship on stinking MCCain and his gay happy klan.


6 posted on 02/15/2010 11:44:15 AM PST by Frantzie (TV - sending Americans towards Islamic serfdom - Cancel TV service NOW)
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To: Steelfish
''This is difficult,'' Lance Cpl. Michael Andrejczuk, 20, of Knoxville, Tenn., said Monday. ''We are trained like when we see something, we obliterate it.

No! When you see something, and there is probable cause, you Mirandize it. Back to the re-education camp, Lance Cpl!

7 posted on 02/15/2010 11:47:08 AM PST by omega4412
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To: Steelfish
"The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers" - William Shakespeare

We'll never be successful in another "war" while we fight with a bunch of insane rules of engagement.

8 posted on 02/15/2010 11:51:06 AM PST by The Sons of Liberty (Pork Eating CRUSADER - FUBO! Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin)
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To: theDentist

Couldn’t be more true.

Zero is unfit for office. If my son were over there and was killed because of ROE there would be hell to pay.


9 posted on 02/15/2010 11:53:12 AM PST by ImJustAnotherOkie (zerogottago)
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To: Steelfish

They shoot you and drop their gun and get a free pass??

Thats insane.


10 posted on 02/15/2010 11:55:14 AM PST by GeronL (Dignity is earned from yourself. Respect is earned from others.)
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To: Steelfish

Wow, this from the NY Slimes, the tide is definitely turning against Obozo and Company.


11 posted on 02/15/2010 11:56:30 AM PST by fatrat (extremely extreme right-wing radicalized veteran)
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To: GeronL

Why is it insane? That’s how socialists and a PC army are taught to fight and we now have a commander-in-chief who doesn’t believe that we are fighting a war on terror, just misguided extremists.


12 posted on 02/15/2010 11:57:58 AM PST by Steelfish
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To: Steelfish

All the enemy has to do is drop their gun and they are “civilians”?? They can’t even be detained?

Thats nuts


13 posted on 02/15/2010 12:07:32 PM PST by GeronL (Dignity is earned from yourself. Respect is earned from others.)
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To: Steelfish

OMG!!!! This is UNFREAKING BELIEVABLE!!!

Under the current rules of engagement, troops retain the right to use lethal force in self defense, said U.S. Col. Wayne Shanks, a spokesman for the international force.

The rules seek to put the troops in the ‘’right frame of mind to exercise that right,’’ Shanks said. They require troops to ask a few fundamental questions:

— Even if someone has shot in my general direction, am I still in danger?

— Will I make more enemies than I’ll kill by destroying property, or harming innocent civilians?

— What are my other options to resolve this without escalating the violence?


14 posted on 02/15/2010 12:25:05 PM PST by panthermom
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To: GeronL

But Brig. Gen. Sher Mohammad Zazai, commander of Afghan army troops in the south, said there is no plan to revise the rules.

‘’The aim of the operation is not to kill militants,’’ he said. ‘’The aim is to protect civilians and bring in development.’’

If this is the case, we really don’t need to be there.


15 posted on 02/15/2010 12:27:32 PM PST by panthermom
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To: Steelfish

Amazed that this was actually printed by the Times!


16 posted on 02/15/2010 12:47:28 PM PST by Oldpuppymax
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To: panthermom

I guess its time to pull out the troops then.


17 posted on 02/15/2010 1:09:13 PM PST by GeronL (Dignity is earned from yourself. Respect is earned from others.)
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To: panthermom

Bring home the troops and send in ACORN!


18 posted on 02/15/2010 1:09:50 PM PST by GeronL (Dignity is earned from yourself. Respect is earned from others.)
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To: Steelfish
[Are We Fighting To Win?]
No. This is year 9 of whack-a-mole against an unnamed enemy.

I hope the troops brought some good lawyers along.

19 posted on 02/15/2010 1:16:20 PM PST by Moe Tzadik
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To: GeronL

Amen to that! Looks to me that they are looking for Community Organizers and Unions in order to bring development.


20 posted on 02/15/2010 1:31:59 PM PST by panthermom
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To: Steelfish

Added “roe” keyword to this thread. This issue seems to be gaining the political momentum it deserves.


21 posted on 02/15/2010 1:33:48 PM PST by Gene Eric (Your Hope has been redistributed. Here's your Change.)
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To: Steelfish

The “Rules” are the only reason this is still ongoing.

A 21st century army with air support and all the high-tech doodads you can think of can’t beat a 19th century army with little more than Kalashnikovs and some C4?

It wouldn’t have been pretty, but given a free rein, Rommel and the Afrika Korps would’ve wiped the floor with the Taliban years ago.

War ain’t pretty. Your choice.


22 posted on 02/15/2010 3:01:47 PM PST by Moltke (DOPE will get you 4 to 8 in the Big House - HOPE will get you 4 to 8 in the White House.)
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To: Moltke
The “Rules” are the only reason this is still ongoing.
Correct.

That begs the question: Who is the TRUE enemy?

Only when US soldiers get tired of dying for NOTHING, will things change.

23 posted on 02/15/2010 4:44:25 PM PST by Moe Tzadik
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To: panthermom

BTTT!!!


24 posted on 02/15/2010 5:42:14 PM PST by 444Flyer (Save the SEALs!(Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew McCabe, Petty Officer Jonathan Keefe/ Julio Heurtas))
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To: panthermom
— Will I make more enemies than I’ll kill by destroying property, or harming innocent civilians?

A civilian who permits a terrorist killer to "blend in" with him is not an "innocent" civilian.

25 posted on 02/15/2010 5:54:08 PM PST by mvpel (Michael Pelletier)
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To: panthermom; Lancey Howard; brityank; SandRat; Girlene; bigheadfred; smoothsailing; RedRover; ...

If the scheme is cordon, cleanse, control, it seems our command group wants to do A, and they want to get to C, but they’re unwilling to do B, the step that bridges the gap.

Exterminators know how to kill bugs. Keep them from escaping, kill them, control the environment to prevent re-infection.

Maybe we should put an exterminator in charge instead of a general. They seem to have lost their wits or their courage. I suspect the latter.


26 posted on 02/15/2010 5:55:45 PM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who support our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: 444Flyer

Truthfully, call a meeting, all the war lords, Kharzai even the Taliban. We are done, you want to live like civilized people, figure it out. However, we will be flying drones around your borders and if so much of a whisper of yall stirring any $hit comes from within this God forsaken hell hole we will bomb you to oblivion. Good Luck!!!


27 posted on 02/15/2010 5:56:37 PM PST by panthermom
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To: xzins

The mental checklist sounds like it was thought up by a kindergarten teacher!!!


28 posted on 02/15/2010 6:05:29 PM PST by panthermom
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To: Steelfish

Not ONE Dem on the National Stage EVER uses the word ‘VICTORY’!


29 posted on 02/15/2010 6:20:21 PM PST by originalbuckeye
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To: originalbuckeye

This is a military disaster. We telegraphed our punch and now the damned taliban has opened up with hundreds of snipers and we are stuck in a booby trapped city of enemy moslems. We are going to take staggering casualties. Obama should be impeached and the generals who blew this should go to prison.


30 posted on 02/15/2010 6:58:42 PM PST by ReyTurner
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To: panthermom

Sounds very workable.


31 posted on 02/15/2010 7:36:38 PM PST by 444Flyer (Save the SEALs!(Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew McCabe, Petty Officer Jonathan Keefe/ Julio Heurtas))
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To: Steelfish

We can’t gain support from the Afghans, especially those in the hinterlands, unless we convince them that we are serious about winning. One of bin Laden’s speeches is to remind peasants that the Americans threw the South Vietnamese to the wolves by withdrawing troops and funding, and warning them that Al Qaeda and the Taliban will still be around after we leave Afghanistan.


32 posted on 02/15/2010 7:49:37 PM PST by haroldeveryman
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To: panthermom; Steelfish

Questions to ponder while bullets are whizzing past one’s ear.

1. “Even if someone has shot in my general direction, am I still in danger?”
Only if he’s using real bullets.

2. “Will I make more enemies than I’ll kill by destroying property, or harming innocent civilians?”
That depends on whether the innocent civilian is shooting in your general direction.

3. “— What are my other options to resolve this without escalating the violence?”
When a U.S. Army general is asking you stupid questions like the first two, locate the nearest dune buggy and point it toward Khazakstan.


33 posted on 02/15/2010 8:18:52 PM PST by haroldeveryman
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To: Steelfish

This ROE is just wrong. Can it get anymore insane under this administration?


34 posted on 02/15/2010 8:39:33 PM PST by blogOps (don't bite me. i'm newbie)
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To: The Sons of Liberty
We have not been successful in any war since WWII and will not win in the ME with these INSAANE ROE. Korea was a truce, a stalemate, UN-sponsored, we played by their rules. We lost, but it was called a 'truce'. Vietnam: Our men fought not only the Communist NV but the great numbers of peasants forced into fighting or who volunteered to join the enemy. LBJ, MacNamara, & the JCF decided they knew more than the generals on the ground over there, or the troops. Nixon & Kissinger, same. They lost us the war; our guys were winning until Nixon caved in to rabble rousers and leftists here at home. 58,000 American men died and 2.5 million SE Asians were slaughtered by Pol Pot.

These wars now : I've been told the ROE are worse than ever, and one difference is the apparent massive brainwashing undergone by the generals--McCrystal, for example. Remember that the USS Cole was unarmed! Look how long ago that was, yet Pres. Klinton made no changes, he was as scornful of the military as the faker in the WH today. Both Bush Sr and his son? Certainly not scornful, but something seriously lacking in either man or they would have demanded change.

Incidentally, Klinton's War (Kosovo) was absolute slaughter of Christians using our planes disguised as "NATO". Klinton should have been hanged for war crimes.

35 posted on 02/15/2010 8:50:18 PM PST by molybdenum ((Yes I posted this masterpeace))
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To: Moltke

>>”A 21st century army with air support and all the high-tech doodads you can think of can’t beat a 19th century army with little more than Kalashnikovs and some C4?”

The Soviet Army couldn’t manage to do it.

>>”It wouldn’t have been pretty, but given a free rein, Rommel and the Afrika Korps would’ve wiped the floor with the Taliban years ago.”

The Soviets were utterly ruthless. Case in point: they sowed the ground with mines made to look like kids toys, with the intent that children would pick them up and lose life or limb.

DG


36 posted on 02/15/2010 9:10:45 PM PST by DoorGunner ("Rom 11: until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; 26 and so, all Israel will be saved")
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To: haroldeveryman

>>”...Americans threw the South Vietnamese to the wolves by withdrawing troops and funding...”

So, are you saying that we should do the same to the Afghans?


37 posted on 02/15/2010 9:20:47 PM PST by DoorGunner ("Rom 11: until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; 26 and so, all Israel will be saved")
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To: haroldeveryman

>>”...locate the nearest dune buggy and point it toward Khazakstan.”

Sounds almost like you are advocating Desertion.

DG


38 posted on 02/15/2010 9:22:34 PM PST by DoorGunner ("Rom 11: until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; 26 and so, all Israel will be saved")
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To: Steelfish

These ROEs and the JCS licking Obama’s boots are going to kill this country. It certainly is costing us our precious heroes.


39 posted on 02/15/2010 9:38:39 PM PST by 1010RD (First Do No Harm)
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To: Steelfish
just wait until the administration starts charging soldiers with violating these BS rules of engagement, when all they were really trying to do is defend themselves.

I can imagine a murder charge being the result of these murky and impossible rules of engagement.

40 posted on 02/15/2010 9:42:17 PM PST by JohnBrowdie (http://forum.stink-eye.net)
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To: Steelfish
This is NOT NEWS, folks - and any of you who count yourself Freepers who are hearing this for the first time - shame on you!

This has been going on since last spring when McCrystal, ‘bummers lap dog, was put in charge.

How many of you remember this story from last Sept? This told the public about these new ROE. Where was the out cry? They should have been recinded long before now.

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/227/story/75036.html

“WE'RE PINNED DOWN: 4 U.S. MARINES DIE IN AFGHAN AMBUSH”

August was the deadliest month of the whole war for our troops = AND EACH MONTH BREAKS A NEW RECORD...because of the new ROE - Rules of Engagement...
which are NOT to provide air cover for our troops, even when ambushed, pinned down and being killed. (the rationale for these new ROE’s admits that it will cause more deaths for our troops now but that it will be worth it in the long run. Worth it for WHO?)

This is treason. Pure and simple. That is aiding and abetting the enemy, who now knows THEY have the cover, not our troops - and they are ramping it up.

The MSM have been ignoring this almost a year - and are now treating it like its news - of course, I guess it is to a lot of people who pay little attention.

But for the AP & NYT to actually put it in print must mean they can't keep a lid on it anymore - I'm praying really hard that someone will finally make an uproar big enough to rescind these idiotic ROE - the Taliban could fight forever under these one sided ‘rules’

And if they capture a terrorist - excuse me, I see we're back to ‘insurgents’ - in the battlefield, they are no longer allowed to question them - but must immediately read them ‘their Miranda rights’. Excuse me, how could it be THEIR Miranda Rights? They are not U.S. citizens.

this costs more of our troops lives. There
s m ore - but I am very tired - and I have my dear grandson back in that hell hole on his second deployment.

People, there has been a coup in the U.S. - the WH has been taken over by an American/Constitution hating Marxist and a gang of Chicago street thugs - and their puppeteers behind the curtain.

It looks like even the democrats are realizing it - and are bailing. Batten down the hatches...

Pray hard - fight harder.

41 posted on 02/15/2010 9:47:40 PM PST by maine-iac7 ("He has the right to criticize who has the heart to help" Lincoln)
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To: DoorGunner

“So, are you saying that we should do the same to the Afghans?”

Good God! Read the entire comment. My point was that we cannot gain the active support of the Afghan people (e.g., they won’t provide us with information such as where they last saw the enemy, which villagers are working with AQ, etc.) if it appears to them that we are not determined to finish the job. Because they know that if we “do the same to the Afghans” as we did to the South Vietnamese, the anti-Taliban Aghans, and their children and their parents, and their cousins, are as good as dead.


42 posted on 02/15/2010 11:15:36 PM PST by haroldeveryman
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To: molybdenum

“our guys were winning until Nixon caved in to rabble rousers and leftists here at home.”

Nixon was elected on a promise of Peace with Honor. His Vietnamization program achieved just that.

The Viet Cong were destroyed as a significant force in our response to the Tet attack in early 68.

When the Watergate flimflam was perpetrated by the left, the South Vietnamese Army had demonstrated their ability to defeat the north on the battlefield, and almost all our troops were out of the country.

South Vietnam could have protected itself with the same support that Red China and the Sovs were giving to the north. When we pulled our troops out, we promised them our support.

Peace with Honor in Vietnam would have been a ghastly defeat for the left everywhere. Watergate was as much about that as it was any two-bit burglary.

As soon as Nixon was hamstrung, Kennedy and the rest of the leftist slime cut off funding for support to South Vietnam.

That’s where South Vietnam was lost, not on the battlefield, and not by Nixon.


43 posted on 02/16/2010 12:18:02 AM PST by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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To: dsc
You explain this much more clearly than I even attempted to do. And remember infamous Kronkite, claiming Tet was our defeat, we were through. Rotten to the core he was, along with Kennedy. (and Albert Gore, Sr!)

And until there is an agreement to open up oil drilling here at home, the ME wars will rage on; with our own oil, sever relations with the Saudis, with Kuwait etc. and be independent. But this can't be done overnight.

44 posted on 02/16/2010 12:51:57 AM PST by molybdenum ((Yes I posted this masterpeace))
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To: DoorGunner

“Sounds almost like you are advocating Desertion.”

Well, it sounds to me like you are being extremely literal minded. So I’d better come right out and say it. No, I do not advocate desertion.

Anyhow, please excuse the gallows humor. But when a general (correction, a colonel) implies that a soldier may be acting with criminal intent if he returns fire on somebody that’s shooting at him, or expects him to make a cost-benefit assessment of the public relations value of defending himself when he comes under attack, the present unpleasantness in Afghanistan begins to resemble Somalia, but on a much larger scale.

This smacks of the culture of the political correctness that led up to the Ft Hood massacre, when numerous warnings of Major Hasan’s deeply disturbed mental state were ignored by fellow officers and the FBI. Or the recent near tragedy over Detroit that highlighted the persistent refusal of our government to profile airline passengers with a high likelihood of being terrorists. Or how about the fact that our president, and the Democrats in general, have been pushing all along to tear down the wall that separates military and civilian law, which could potentially put our combat soldiers in legal jeopardy. The half heartedness of our leadership in the Afghan is bad news. That’s the context of my pessimism.

If the Vietnam taught us anything, it’s don’t dick around when you send soldiers into a shooting war. If you’re going to do it, then bomb Hiphong Harbor or whatever else it takes. If you’re overly concerned about how the Russians might react, or about negative “world opinion”, then keep the boys home.

Same thing with Afghanistan. If our government won’t be able to resist the inevitable demands by some European judge to extradite soldiers for to some Belgian or Spanish court for “Human Rights” violations, then we shouldn’t be over there, putting all kinds of restraints on our soldiers, just to please some so-called friends.

A few months following 9-11, a small number of American special forces types hooked up with Uzbek tribesmen. With our air and artillery suppport the Uzbeks routed the Taliban and their Al Qaeda allies. They didn’t stop running until they got to Pakistan. All this proved that the Afghans in general despised the Taliban government. So we can win their support and the war if are willing to give our army what it takes to do what armies are designed to do.


45 posted on 02/16/2010 1:10:03 AM PST by haroldeveryman
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To: DoorGunner

True. Point taken.


46 posted on 02/16/2010 2:10:35 AM PST by Moltke (DOPE will get you 4 to 8 in the Big House - HOPE will get you 4 to 8 in the White House.)
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To: haroldeveryman

Obviously, I misunderstood your position, Thank you for the further explanation.

DG


47 posted on 02/16/2010 2:42:09 AM PST by DoorGunner ("Rom 11: until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; 26 and so, all Israel will be saved")
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To: molybdenum

“And remember infamous Kronkite, claiming Tet was our defeat, we were through.”

Under a false flag the whole time, pretending to be a loyal American.


48 posted on 02/16/2010 3:29:36 AM PST by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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To: xzins

The generals seem to be operating on the principle that one dead civilian creates x more insurgents vs. one dead insurgent is one less insurgent. I dbout it’s a courage thing....it’s calculating risking our own troops vs. civilians to “win the hearts and minds” of the Afghanees.

I just don’t get how this is going to work while you’re in the middle of an offensive to “cleanse” the Taliban from a region, especially since they forecast they were coming and their ROE’s are so obvious that the Taliban are now using them to their advantage.

Seems like a good time to regroup and rethink their approach.


49 posted on 02/16/2010 7:12:17 AM PST by Girlene
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To: dsc

The “grand old man” of the evening news or whatever. A rat and a liar on a grand scale!


50 posted on 02/16/2010 9:42:11 AM PST by molybdenum ((Yes I posted this masterpeace))
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