Skip to comments.The Republican Fight Over Afghanistan
Posted on 07/20/2010 7:54:05 AM PDT by ventanax5
As Hillary Clinton heads to Kabul for an international conference on security, a civil war has erupted in the Republican Party over Afghanistan. In recent weeks, Republicans have fought among themselves over the war in Afghanistan. Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele ignited the furor by disavowing the war as President Obama's folly. That comment was sharply attacked by Sen. John McCain and others, questioning Steele's ability to lead the party. William Kristol took Steele's remark as "an affront, both to the honor of the Republican Party, and to the commitment of the soldiers fighting to accomplish the mission they've been asked to take on by our elected leaders."
(Excerpt) Read more at thedailybeast.com ...
Clinton state to Afghanistan that “Regardless of the growing attitude against the Afghanistan war, the US will stand with them”.....or something like that. What this means is that the government doesn’t care what our people want. We have been there for about 10 years. Now they are talking about being there another 10 years. Enough is enough.
"1-3. Political power is the central issue in insurgencies and counterinsurgencies; each side aims to get the people to accept its governance or authority as legitimate."
"1-4. Long-term success in COIN depends on the people taking charge of their own affairs and consenting to the governments rule."
"1-10. ... maintaining security in an unstable environment requires vast resources, whether host nation, U.S., or multinational." "The effort requires a firm political will and substantial patience by the government, its people, and the countries providing support."
The popularity of the local government is main criterion for the success of COIN in Afghanistan. Until that happens it will be Afghanistalemate, with our blood the new currency.
“We have been there for about 10 years. Now they are talking about being there another 10 years. Enough is enough.”
Have we “had enough” with all our European outposts?
Should we abandon Korea as well?
As China advances in Asia, should we retreat from Japan and deny our demand for a peaceful resolution of the issues between Taiwan and China?
My fear is that some people just don’t have a stomach for the human costs of our mutual security agreements, and if places like Korea explode, they will say, as they do now with Afghanistan, that its “time to leave”.
To some it seems it is only good for the U.S. to appear to be strong; an appearance, a pretense of will that they are willing to shatter based primarily on body counts. It is exactly what all our enemies have tried to count on (weak will over time) which is what Al Queda and the Taliban are counting on now. They just need to hang on until America’s internal enemies weaken its will to continue; then the field will be clear for them - but only then.
The Iraqi militias and Al Queda hoped for the same thing, hoped the Iraqi people would not obtain a government that would stand the tests of time, because we would fail to stay long enough to make that possible. So far, we and the Iraqi people have, together, not failed that test. By running away from the same test in Afghanistan, we will secure Afghanistan, again ——————————————————for the Taliban.
Sorry, I watched our nation spit on the graves of our dead in Vietnam. I will not idly stand by and watch that scenario repeated again.
How many more countries will you agree to station our troops in? Where will it stop? I believe that the Middles East is different. We will never change the minds of the muslim nations. All we can do is try and control them and have our kids killed...........for what?
I made no statement calling for us to station our troops in any “additional” countries.
I did ask, in a long winded way: are some people who want us to leave Afghanistan now, unwilling to ask us to leave places like Europe or Korea, only because our troops are not dying there (at the moment) and would they begin to call for us to leave THOSE places as well, if our troops there had to actually fight?
“I believe that the Middles East is different.”
The history of each country there is “different”, the people are “different” - from the west and from each other, the terrain is “different”, the cultural, social and political history of the region is “different”. The same was true for Japan and Germany. Did we have two entirely different long term visions for what we hoped to achieve with the democratic states we helped them build? Does “difference” in terms or “who” demand, require that long term visions - not the specifics - cannot possibly have goals in common. “Difference” to me is not an argument.
“We will never change the minds of the Muslim nations. All we can do is try and control them and have our kids killed...........for what?”
That's an assumption that requires facts not in evidence. And the primary fact not in evidence, assumes in your argument that there is an ingrained stereotype in every Muslim human being that will prevent a majority of Muslims in Afghanistan from joining us, and their own government, in a common goal within their country - democratic government whom the majority support and which - in time, provides security for its people.
Many people assume your stereotype to be true, but, whether the one who believes that stereotype is a Muslim them self or a Westerner, the problem with the assumption is that it might be no more than a self-fulfilling wish, and not the truth. It might be the mere belief that that assumption is true, and not the truth that stymies change. Iraq is turning out to be the best testing ground of that idea, and so far, the idea keeps getting weaker and weaker there. So too in Afghanistan? We won't know by quitting.
Wuli, your thoughtful analysis is spot on. I think a growing number of Americans are feeling weary of the heavy investment we’re making in Af’stan with few apparent results, and the political bleatings of people like Steele and his counterparts in the Democrats. I know I myself am tired of seeing young people at work in the Pentagon walking with canes or crutches, or in wheelchairs with missing limbs, or with “thousand-yard stares” and a chestful of ribbons. I feel we’re expending a valuable resource—our magnificent young men and women—with no sensible strategy for achieving success, whatever that might be. Afghanistan will never be like Iraq, which I view now as a success story, albeit at a tremendous cost.
I understand how you feel, but I have been heartened by the attitudes of the many wounded vets from the current conflicts that I have met at my VA hospital, and their attitudes about our situation and theirs, personally, as well as how many want to return to Iraq or Afghanistan.
They have more of something that the public needs; and its not blind nationalism. They are proud of the good they are trying to do.
"I feel were expending a valuable resourceour magnificent young men and womenwith no sensible strategy for achieving success, whatever that might be. Afghanistan will never be like Iraq, which I view now as a success story, albeit at a tremendous cost."
The question is not will Afghanistan be "like" Iraq; it won't, anymore than Germany is "like" Japan. Their democratic norms and institutions are very much shaped by their own history (just as Iraq and Afghanistan's will be), as much as they are by our encouragement for them to shape them, peacefully. The outcomes we can expect in Iraq and Afghanistan will be no different than we expected in the 1940s for Japan and Germany - we didn't know what they would look like, exactly (5,10,20 years later), but we knew (we believed, or not) that they were moving in a good direction.
Unless we were to be old-fashioned imperialist colonizers, that's as much as we CAN know now, with respect to Iraq and Afghanistan, and that - a good direction - is at the center of our encouragement (not some imposed Utopian vision of what it will all wind up looking like).
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