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U.S. commander in Afghanistan warns that full withdrawal will allow al-Qaeda to regroup
Washington Post ^ | March 12 | Ernesto Londoņo

Posted on 03/13/2014 6:16:59 PM PDT by xzins

The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said Wednesday that al-Qaeda’s network in that country is in “survival mode,” but warned that a full American military drawdown after the end of the year would allow the terrorist group to regenerate there.

Marine Gen. Joseph F. Dunford’s remarks to the Senate Armed Services Committee appeared intended to shape the White House’s deliberation over whether to leave behind a contingent for training and counterterrorism missions beyond 2014 or pull out entirely. The decision has been delayed by the Afghan president’s refusal to sign a security pact with Washington.

“A withdrawal, in my mind, means abandoning the people of Afghanistan, abandoning the endeavor that we’ve been here on for the last decade, and then providing al-Qaeda the space within which to begin again to plan and conduct operations against the West,” Dunford said.

The general said a U.S. pullout in 2015 would be a “huge moral factor for al-Qaeda,” and would allow it “to once again establish preeminence in the region and become the vanguard for the al-Qaeda movement from the region.” “If we leave at the end of 2014, the Afghan security forces will begin to deteriorate,” Dunford said. “The security environment will begin to deteriorate, and I think the only debate is the pace of that deterioration.”

Dunford testified that he supports leaving a residual force of 8,000 to 12,000 NATO troops — made up mostly of U.S. forces — and a separate contingent of a few thousand special forces to carry out counterterrorism operations.

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


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; blood; treasure

1 posted on 03/13/2014 6:16:59 PM PDT by xzins
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To: All

The issue with Afghanistan is blood and treasure...mostly blood. Many Americans have given their lives in that piece of earth. As one mother lamented about the results in Iraq after our withdrawal...”as if my son died for nothing.”

I deeply regret that this was fought wrong from the beginning. What should have been a reprisal and exit became a war and nation building of endless numbers of years with continued American blood shed.

If we don’t intend to go all in and achieve an unconditional surrender, then we should stop shedding US blood.


2 posted on 03/13/2014 6:17:44 PM PDT by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!)
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To: xzins

But who will listen to him?


3 posted on 03/13/2014 6:18:47 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: xzins

I believe in a nearly full withdrawal, but I want us to leave behind a base which could house up to 300,000 soldiers. It also has 100+ drones that monitor Iran and a contingent force of about 10,000 troops.


4 posted on 03/13/2014 6:20:19 PM PDT by castlegreyskull
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To: Salvation

No one. If it’s contrary to Obama’s wants, this general just showed courage. I think he’s right about al Qaeda, but I think he’s wrong about the solution.


5 posted on 03/13/2014 6:21:35 PM PDT by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!)
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To: xzins

What mushrooms?


6 posted on 03/13/2014 6:22:03 PM PDT by no-to-illegals (Scrutinize our government and Secure the Blessing of Freedom and Justice)
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To: castlegreyskull

I believe in beating your enemy’s head in with everything you’ve got ‘til he cries uncle, and if you’re not willing to do that, then don’t get involved in a long-term war.


7 posted on 03/13/2014 6:23:37 PM PDT by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!)
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What if we have to go solo?


8 posted on 03/13/2014 6:24:06 PM PDT by no-to-illegals (Scrutinize our government and Secure the Blessing of Freedom and Justice)
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To: xzins

May the force be there!


9 posted on 03/13/2014 6:25:10 PM PDT by no-to-illegals (Scrutinize our government and Secure the Blessing of Freedom and Justice)
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To: xzins
Karzai doesn't want us there. So we're leaving and good riddance to them.
10 posted on 03/13/2014 6:25:51 PM PDT by DoodleDawg
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To: DoodleDawg

See #2 & 7


11 posted on 03/13/2014 6:26:33 PM PDT by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!)
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Ain’t no real big secret/


12 posted on 03/13/2014 6:26:37 PM PDT by no-to-illegals (Scrutinize our government and Secure the Blessing of Freedom and Justice)
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To: xzins
hell, my bookie coulda told me that...
13 posted on 03/13/2014 6:28:43 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY - 86-44)
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To: xzins
Screw you, Gen Dunford!!!

You have a responsibility to tell the President and Congress this is not winnable with the objectives and ROE as is.

14 posted on 03/13/2014 6:33:24 PM PDT by Salvavida (The restoration of the U.S.A. starts with filling the pews at every Bible-believing church.)
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To: DoodleDawg

I have no desire to shed our blood to save Afgani’s, Iraqi’s or muslims in general. At the end of the day, we’ll still be infidels and they will still hate us.


15 posted on 03/13/2014 6:34:24 PM PDT by umgud (2A can't survive dem majorities)
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To: xzins
While I want the US out of Afghanistan, with the exception of occasional raids to kill terrorists, I suppose this is the best we can hope for.

Around 15 thousand there forever.

That's the way we should have handled Iraq.

But why Afghanistan?

16 posted on 03/13/2014 6:35:23 PM PDT by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: xzins

I don’t think we ever defined the enemy in Afghanistan. However, Russia, China and Iran are our enemy, and having a large base there, makes us more capable with dealing with such threats.


17 posted on 03/13/2014 6:35:26 PM PDT by castlegreyskull
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To: xzins

Who cares. There’s real shit brewing in other parts of the world that take precedence over this hell hole.


18 posted on 03/13/2014 6:35:31 PM PDT by stuck_in_new_orleans
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To: castlegreyskull; xzins
"I don’t think we ever defined the enemy in Afghanistan"

Bush did when he went in: The Terrorist training camps and the "State" that supported them.

Both were eliminated within the first few months and that's when we should have got out.

Back for occasional killing sprees, of course.

19 posted on 03/13/2014 6:39:58 PM PDT by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: xzins
Sadly the Al-Quedans have regrouped and have their champions in the Executive Branch. I understand we've shed precious American blood - but given the Rules of Engagement that we've imposed on our men, and given the fool-hardy idea of ‘nation building’ in that part of the world (while prohibiting any evangelism that might truly break the shackles of the people over there) — what is the point? Let Al-Queda take back that pile of rocks - and lets focus on protecting our borders and getting the traitors out of office.
20 posted on 03/13/2014 6:41:02 PM PDT by El Cid (Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house...)
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To: Mariner

Yes, they came to doubt it.


21 posted on 03/13/2014 6:41:25 PM PDT by no-to-illegals (Scrutinize our government and Secure the Blessing of Freedom and Justice)
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To: Mariner; castlegreyskull

I agree with you completely.

Destroy the bad guys...return for occasional smack-downs as needed.


22 posted on 03/13/2014 6:41:51 PM PDT by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!)
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some know better than to try and pretend.


23 posted on 03/13/2014 6:43:40 PM PDT by no-to-illegals (Scrutinize our government and Secure the Blessing of Freedom and Justice)
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To: xzins

We still didn’t catch that effing Omar, one eyed head of the Taliban


24 posted on 03/13/2014 6:50:09 PM PDT by yldstrk ( My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: xzins
al-Qaeda to regroup?

Didn't he hear? obama defeated them long ago. Mission accomplished! /s

25 posted on 03/13/2014 6:50:16 PM PDT by Right Wing Assault
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Love those Mission(s) Accomplished.


26 posted on 03/13/2014 6:53:08 PM PDT by no-to-illegals (Scrutinize our government and Secure the Blessing of Freedom and Justice)
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To: stuck_in_new_orleans

I agree with you....so F...ing what?!!!

If Al Quada grows into something that actually can attack America, then we bomb that Al Quada. America should not waste one more life or one more dollar on the back-assward country called Afghanistan. It is not worth it.


27 posted on 03/13/2014 7:00:29 PM PDT by ScubieNuc (When there is no justice in the laws, justice is left to the outlaws.)
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To: ScubieNuc
"It is not worth it"

True that.

The USA has very little interest in Afghanistan and almost all of that is tied up in the public statements made by occupants of the White House.

We have no treaty.

We (and GW Bush) should have stuck to the original game plan. Kill 'em and get out.

Think about this folks, if we ever had to fight the Russians or the Chinese, those guys in Afghanistan are pawns in great peril.

For pretty much nothing.

28 posted on 03/13/2014 7:17:15 PM PDT by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: xzins

“When you’re bleeding and dying on Afghanistan’s plains/and the women come out to crave up what remains/roll over to your rifle and blow out your brains/and go to your God a soldier’’.— Kipling.


29 posted on 03/13/2014 7:29:55 PM PDT by jmacusa ("Chasing God out of the classroom didn't usher in The Age of Reason''.)
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To: xzins

In the run up to Afghanistan I told my wife we’d never win this “war on terror” because we aren’t willing to do what would have to be done.


30 posted on 03/13/2014 7:35:04 PM PDT by VerySadAmerican (".....Barrack, and the horse Mohammed rode in on.")
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To: xzins

Well, d’uh


31 posted on 03/13/2014 7:37:01 PM PDT by NonValueAdded (Screw the farmers. I can get everything I need at the grocery store.)
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To: VerySadAmerican

It’s hard to say, but Bush was as much of a puppet of other interests as his dad, as Clinton and now as Obama.

Bush failed to define our actual enemy. He labeled this thing as a “war on terror” which by definition can never be won because any bonehead with a knife can create terror. He should have properly defined who attacked us as Muslims and attacked that.

Bush claimed in a speech that unless you are for us, you are our enemy, but Pakistan still receives billions of dollars from us, YET Al Queda has been growing, and training there forever and that is where they come from to attack Afghanistan. Besides that, the President of Afghanistan is not for us anymore either. He’s just taking our money and will disappear once we stop protecting him.

Afghani’s neither want freedom, as we know it, nor do they have the will power or knowledge to sustain freedom. They are a country filled with what amounts to theiving welfare reciepients. I say cut them off now and blow up anything that threatens our troops on their way out.


32 posted on 03/13/2014 7:49:50 PM PDT by ScubieNuc (When there is no justice in the laws, justice is left to the outlaws.)
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To: ScubieNuc

Bush said Islam is a religion of peace. GAG! They would never say it’s a war on muslims. Hell, they even backed out of calling our efforts a “crusade” because that would offend muslims. The downfall of our country will be PC crap.


33 posted on 03/13/2014 7:52:26 PM PDT by VerySadAmerican (".....Barrack, and the horse Mohammed rode in on.")
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To: VerySadAmerican

True. PC is just a “clever” or manipulative way to lie and mislead. Satan is the father of lies and unfortunately, America has become his stomping grounds...at least America’s political leaders and Washington DC has become his minions and home.


34 posted on 03/13/2014 7:56:23 PM PDT by ScubieNuc (When there is no justice in the laws, justice is left to the outlaws.)
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To: xzins

Seems to me that if the goat-herder, opium growing, local afghan peasants can defy a Soviet standoff for about ten years,

and can defeat a US based military giving them shock and awe, and hill to hill combat for 12 or so years with crude weapons,

these mountain people must be the best mother F**k’in
warriors in the world!!!

What a disgrace to the US to have to walk away from this
major conflict in the world. What other country within
our treaty network will ever believe that the US has their
back???


35 posted on 03/13/2014 8:44:14 PM PDT by Noob1999 (Loose Lips, Sink Ships)
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To: Noob1999

They’re nothing special. They only held out so long because our military weren’t allowed to go after them in their Pakistan caves.


36 posted on 03/13/2014 10:09:24 PM PDT by Corporate Democrat
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To: jmacusa
29 “When you’re bleeding and dying on Afghanistan’s plains/and the women come out to crave up what remains/roll over to your rifle and blow out your brains/and go to your God a soldier’’.— Kipling.

Am currently reading Churchill's First War about a British punitive campaign into Afghanistan in 1897.

“Financially it is ruinous. Morally it is wicked. Militarily it is an open question, and politically it is a blunder.”

From a private letter to his mother, Jennie Randolph Churchill, 10/21/1897, regarding his assessment of the British Malakand Field Force punitive expedition against the indigenous tribal uprising in the Hindu Kush along the borders of Afghanistan, India, and the future nation of Pakistan. Churchill was 22 years of age and a subaltern veteran of this campaign. This is the same area in which U.S./NATO troops faught Muslim mujhadien (the great-great grandchildren of Churchill’s enemies) from 2001-2014 – America’s longest war.

37 posted on 03/13/2014 11:22:46 PM PDT by MacNaughton
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To: Noob1999

There is a victory, but no one is willing to go there.

What would George Patton or Douglas MacArthur do if turned loose to determine the enemy and kill it?


38 posted on 03/14/2014 3:38:39 AM PDT by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!)
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To: xzins

I’ve been saying for a while that we should have left after the punitive expedition phase and before the meals on wheels phase. Especially since we have no stomach for true nation building as we did post-WWII. That would have required we completely eradicate the opposing ideology, which of course is Islam.


39 posted on 03/14/2014 4:05:14 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: VerySadAmerican

Bush pushing the ROP nonsense put us 25 years in the hole, minimum, on effectively addressing the threat.


40 posted on 03/14/2014 4:08:50 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: MacNaughton

Churchill’s The Story of the Malakand Field Force should have been immediate required reading for anyone in the U.S. Government involved in reacting to 9/11. Big chunks of the State Dept., DoD, and the National Security Council, for starters.


41 posted on 03/14/2014 4:18:10 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: xzins
I believe in beating your enemy’s head in with everything you’ve got ‘til he cries uncle, and if you’re not willing to do that, then don’t get involved in a long-term war.

Exactly - there's not much that can stand against our military if we "turn loose the dogs of war" and if we don't intend to take off the leash, we have no business firing a shot. I get the sense that the restraints that have been impose don our warriors is being used to adopt the philosophy that we can weaken the military machine to the point where its best efforts will only be able to give us the results that we get with all the restraining ROE - it might not be too long when we don't have the ability to win a real war even if we regain the will.

42 posted on 03/14/2014 4:58:46 AM PDT by trebb (Where in the the hell has my country gone?)
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