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Waiting to Lose in Afghanistan
National Review ^ | Leif Babin

Posted on 04/09/2012 4:51:05 AM PDT by nuconvert

After a decade of fighting in Afghanistan, at tremendous cost in American blood and treasure, many Americans are now asking: Why are we there? What do we have to show for our efforts? The answers are troubling: A government, under President Hamid Karzai, that is corrupt, largely incompetent, and of questionable loyalty; inept Afghan security forces that regularly turn their weapons on their American and NATO advisers; and a resurgent Taliban poised to regain control of the country after U.S. forces withdraw. Many look at these facts and conclude that the U.S. can’t win in Afghanistan and should therefore get out. But few have examined the dire consequences of losing.


Many say that the American people, after ten years, are tired of the war in Afghanistan. But I believe Americans — and certainly the U.S. military — are tired of not winning. The U.S. is in dire need of a serious shift in strategy — from one that props up a corrupt and incompetent Afghan government and simply trains and equips its security forces, to one that smashes our enemies, the Taliban and al-Qaeda. America must allow U.S. combat forces, now largely restricted to defensive actions, to take the offensive, rout the enemy from safe havens in Afghanistan and the Pakistani tribal areas, radically reduce the Taliban’s military capability, and then declare victory (which, be it noted, President Obama failed to do in Iraq) and bring our troops home.

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TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: afghanistan
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To: nuconvert

My plan for Afghanistan:

1 Start withdrawing our troops

2 Tell the “One Child” Chinese that with the men there killing each other that there are plenty of single women in Afghanistan.

3 Let the Chinese army invade. Afghanistan becomes their problem and they might be ruthless enough to take care of things.

41 posted on 04/09/2012 7:52:50 AM PDT by CtBigPat (Free Republic - The grown-ups table of the internet.)
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To: ltc8k6

Russia didn’t have NATO writing the rules of engagement with lawyers determining what a soldier can or cannot do.

42 posted on 04/09/2012 7:54:58 AM PDT by hedgetrimmer
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To: montag813

Before you get all misty-eyed about WWII and FDR’s war aims, I don’t recall the liberal FDR forcing the war criminal Hirohito out or including him in the planning for war crime trials, or developing a strategy to keep the Commies from taking Eastern Europe.

43 posted on 04/09/2012 8:00:54 AM PDT by ngat
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To: Leaning Right
True, but the wars also taught the islamic radicals a lesson: The West, and particularly the USA, can be worn down and can ultimately be beaten.

It wasn't the wars that taught them that; it was the division on the homefront.

44 posted on 04/09/2012 8:27:51 AM PDT by Mr Ramsbotham (Laws against sodomy are honored in the breech.)
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To: ThermoNuclearWarrior

“Even though we have such a well trained military force with the most advanced weapons the world has ever seen they are not allowed to win wars any longer. We don’t have what it takes to fight a total war that we are willing to win at all cost any longer, and we have shown time and time again that...”

Your points are all well-taken, but...

You are overlooking the reality that the “United States” that won World War II simply doesn’t exist any more, nor will it ever exist again.

The USA “of then” was a culturally (and ethnically) unified nation with common and traditional values. When threatened, a nation so unified was able to find within the common purpose and intestinal fortitude necessary to support the level of human and economic sacrifice necessary that made “total war” possible, and total victory achievable.

Look around TODAY. That unity no longer exists. Indeed, the country is reaching a level of internal “division” nearly as acute as existed in the 1850’s.

Victory against a “common enemy” isn’t possible in a nation that no longer has “common bonds”. Whatever bonds that held “the old America” together seem to be dissolving. I daresay the worst conflict we may experience in the future may be of a civil/ethnic nature — an internal war.

45 posted on 04/09/2012 9:40:51 AM PDT by Road Glide
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To: Mr Ramsbotham
It wasn't the wars that taught them that; it was the division on the homefront.

Agreed. And since the homefront has shifted back into an ignore/appease mode, we are in for rough sailing ahead.

46 posted on 04/09/2012 9:41:26 AM PDT by Leaning Right (Why am I carrying this lantern? you ask. I am looking for the next Reagan.)
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To: nuconvert

We Congress passes a formal declaration of war to unite the nation, we win. When they don’t, we don’t. Presidential choice of war work-arounds, don’t work around.

47 posted on 04/09/2012 9:51:59 AM PDT by ex-snook ("above all things, truth beareth away the victory")
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To: hedgetrimmer

And they still got their hats handed to them...

48 posted on 04/09/2012 10:14:30 AM PDT by ltc8k6
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To: nuconvert

It is not the job of the military to “nation-build” leave that for the Peace Corps to do. The job of the military is to destroy the enemy. What should happen is we should sweep the entire ME (and North Africa) from Morocco to Iran and Saudi Arabia and kill every last Al-Qaeda terrorist and any local militant. Then bring in the Peace Corps (let them do something useful for once) and Catholic Charities, and other Christian missionaries. provide national guard protection for these, and keep moving east. Of course, this would necessitate a much larger military. Of course, no one is willing to believe that this would succeed, much less support a c.o.a such as the one above.

49 posted on 04/09/2012 1:05:40 PM PDT by FutureRocketMan (Santorum 2012)
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To: nuconvert
While not starting with any similarities to Viet Nam the war (sic) has certainly morphed into exactly what we had in Viet Nam in the last three years of that doomed war. We need to get totally out of the mid-east and issue a Fatwa of our own.

We do have weapons of mass destruction and if you mess with us or any of our allies we will use them, post haste.

Screw this being the good guys wearing white hats. Bomb them back into the 7th Century where they would like to live anyway. Scare them back into the caves where they have to wave a white flag just to step out for a drink of water.

Of course, we will need a very different CINC and Congress to do this.

Sooner or later it will come to this.

50 posted on 04/09/2012 1:32:31 PM PDT by ImpBill ("America, where are you now?" - Little "r" republican!)
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To: Road Glide
I agree we will never fight a war correctly from now on. I just think we should fight them, and accept the civilian deaths that go along with war as victims of our enemy who made war necessary instead of trying to fight them in ways history has shown doesn't work. We have had military leaders from long ago warn us that trying to make war less cruel than it is will only end in a debacle which we have proven, but we only work out new ways of reforming it that cause more harm to our effort in each war, but it has had no affect on those who propagate these ridiculous strategies getting us involved in wars. We should fight our wars to win at all cost or not get involved in them to begin with.

How many people would have changed their minds about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan if they had known how bad they were going to be fought? Our military has the best troops in the world, and we dominate when it comes to weapon technology. Those wars should have been quick and devastating victories for the U.S. which they easily could have been. Our last decisive victory just happened to be against the best militaries in the world, and we were not guaranteed to win that war and didn't even have a very good military when it started. We had a will to win as a people though, and a military that learned how to fight fast while on the job after a lot of sacrifice.

Now we have no unity or resolve when it comes to wars that we couldn't lose if we had the same resolve we had in WW2. You could take the axis powers of WW2 and switch them to Iraq and Afghanistan(along with most of our other enemies), and put the same war effort into it, and it would be a footnote in history because we would have won without the worry and sacrifice that had such a profound affect on so many Americans as WW2.

If you could only see the results of our actions without any military statistics you would think our military was was tiny, outdated, and untrained because they aren't allowed to win when they could have destroyed the entire countries of Afghanistan and Iraq while taking Iraq's damn oil instead of acting like resources that we need to survive as a nation aren't worth fighting over. I think most people think fighting over oil in Iraq would have been a lot better reason for the sacrifice in lives and money than fighting to prop up an anti-American government in Afghanistan that has a constitution that permits them to murder those who convert from Islam.

I doubt Iraq would have even been necessary if we had done what we should have in Afghanistan. Nations were very wary of us after 9/11, but we went on to relieve them of many of those fears, and make them confident enough to move back into their anti-American activities when we showed we would not use the full might of our military in a total war. We embolden them when we instead got back to the ridiculous nation building idea that isn't the job of our military in what made it obvious to the enemy we more than likely wouldn't open up another front which embolden them. They know we have the might to completely destroy them, but they also know we have no will to win for some reason.

President Bush should have used nuclear bombs or whatever it took to win regardless of opinion while keeping the media away from the troops instead of putting them with them when many of them are the enemy these days. We should have just woke up to news of the nation being vaporized, and every damn civilian death would have been the responsibility of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. A good leader would have seen that we needed to destroy Afghanistan quickly by any means necessary because we have the media working against us, and the people wavering soon after there is any bad news or death in a war. I would have been able to make that decision in better conscience than I could make our guys fight and die the way they are now. I find it cruel that we get our guys killed and maimed by such an inferior enemy all because we won't unleash them. They prop up governments that hate them and patrol for years until hit with IED or shot by someone in the “friendly” government that wouldn't exist without their protection.

51 posted on 04/10/2012 1:57:27 AM PDT by ThermoNuclearWarrior
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To: Gaffer

I agree we should have made an example of them by completely destroying the nation with total war. It should have been brutal and quick with the use of nuclear weapons in my opinion as well. We should have woke up to a video of mushroom clouds coming out of Afghanistan right after the Taliban refused our demands to turn over Al-Queda leaders. We would have probably prevented the Iraq war and all the problems we are having now with Iran if we had made an example out of Afghanistan with, or without, nuclear weapons by conducting a total war that was brutal, fast, and uncompromising. The response should have been so brutal and swift it would make the 9/11 attacks look like the most foolish strategy to make war with us by making them pay with so much more. We could have also shown that we will react to a direct attack on our nation in a much more brutal and aggressive way than we conduct other wars. Bush should have done this as our leader instead of telling everyone we aren’t getting into another Vietnam only to get into the same type of ridiculously long war that ignorant policy is completely to blame. We couldn’t even win WW2 with our modern military using the stupid ways we try to fight wars now because the Nazi and Jap civilians would come before our own troops.

52 posted on 04/10/2012 2:17:52 AM PDT by ThermoNuclearWarrior
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