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US Mission in Afghanistan

Postby john » Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:30 pm

No surprise, as Generals rarely admit that a war, they are involved in, cannot be won. What's hard to fathom is why their advice is so readily accepted by Congress and the Oval Office.

Afghan war whistleblower Daniel Davis: 'I had to speak out - lives are at stake'

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/ap ... niel-davis
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Re: US Mission in Afghanistan

Postby nwdiver » Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:11 pm

john wrote:No surprise, as Generals rarely admit that a war, they are involved in, cannot be won. What's hard to fathom is why their advice is so readily accepted by Congress and the Oval Office.

Afghan war whistleblower Daniel Davis: 'I had to speak out - lives are at stake'

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/ap ... niel-davis





For a thousand years nobody has ever invaded and subjugated Afghanistan. Even the Emirs of old or the modern President rule at the leisure of the various warlords, opps I mean Governors. I agreed with the NATO move to over through the brutal Taliban, but now it’s time to assist the Government not fight its war for it.
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Re: US Mission in Afghanistan

Postby California South » Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:29 pm

There were a lot of warnings about the impossible-to-subjugate Afghans before the 'war' began. All for naught.

Now, please excuse this brief hijack:
Superb blog, nwdiver! I just had a delicious malbec last night, and the first on your page is a Gran Reserve Malbec /Viña Chocalan.
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Re: US Mission in Afghanistan

Postby john » Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:57 pm

nwdiver wrote:
john wrote:No surprise, as Generals rarely admit that a war, they are involved in, cannot be won. What's hard to fathom is why their advice is so readily accepted by Congress and the Oval Office.

Afghan war whistleblower Daniel Davis: 'I had to speak out - lives are at stake'

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/ap ... niel-davis





For a thousand years nobody has ever invaded and subjugated Afghanistan. Even the Emirs of old or the modern President rule at the leisure of the various warlords, opps I mean Governors. I agreed with the NATO move to over through the brutal Taliban, but now it’s time to assist the Government not fight its war for it.


But the Taliban will be back in power shortly after US forces leave, by civil war or otherwise. Now about that Bin Laden fellow!
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Re: US Mission in Afghanistan

Postby FrankPintor » Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:21 pm

patagoniax wrote:
john wrote:No surprise, as Generals rarely admit that a war, they are involved in, cannot be won.


Your misunderstanding is a common one: that wars necessarily are "won" or "lost."


I beg your pardon...? Whose misunderstanding? :roll:

patagoniax wrote:Oh, yes: again, your thread on Afghanistan has nothing to do with Chile, although we could segue to...

Do, please do, that would be interesting, though if I might ... I think that differentiating between a negotiated treaty and an unconditional surrender in the context of Chile vs Bolivia is perhaps not entirely meaningfull.
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Re: US Mission in Afghanistan

Postby john » Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:32 pm

patagoniax wrote:
john wrote:No surprise, as Generals rarely admit that a war, they are involved in, cannot be won.


Your misunderstanding is a common one: that wars necessarily are "won" or "lost."

Throughout history there are many examples of wars (by any other name) which were concluded or at least suspended indefinitely in other ways than unambiguous winning and losing.

Since we have been recently observing the failed n-Korean missile launch and related conditions, it may be well to remember that the Korean War still isn't over, nor were there clear winners nor losers when the armistice/cease-fire was negotiated half a century ago.

And sometimes a negotiated settlement can turn out better for all involved than having a war decisively "won."

A second point is that since there is no military junta in charge of the US action in Afghanistan, but instead a cabal of incompetent civilians, you might more reasonably and accurately recognise the latter's greater and ultimate responsibility, and perhaps re-word your comments to something like " ... a dithering and uncommitted civilian administration might not be able to admit that their current adventure is unlikely to bring about the most desirable conclusion..."

Oh, yes: again, your thread on Afghanistan has nothing to do with Chile, although we could segue to discuss the concept of negotiated settlements ending armed conflicts in the history of Chile, such as the Pacto de Tregua entre Chile y Bolivia en 1844. This established an indefinite ceasefire between the signatory countries. It was not until the treaty of 1904 that the actual war (War of the Pacific) was finally ended between those countries. Part of the negotiated settlement involved in that treaty (as opposed to the prevailing notion of an unconditional surrender by Bolivia) involved the payment of what was then a great deal of money to Bolivia by Chile. But that is another story, for another thread and another time.


No misunderstanding on my part, but thanks for the history lesson.

Your charge that the military was not given the lead responsibility for conducting the war in Afghanistan is inaccurate. However, you are quite right that civilian leadership was/is inept (but that leadership is in the Oval Office and also the Congress) and, furthermore, Congress has abdicated their Constitutional responsibility to uphold the War Powers Resolution of 1973.

Don't know much about the armed conflict history of Chile, so will take a pass.
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Re: US Mission in Afghanistan

Postby Billhere » Sun Apr 15, 2012 3:33 am

Inept leadership led the British army into Afghanistan as well.

Blair going in on the shirt tails of George Bush thinking that the rest of Europe would follow, and then when they didn't getting left with what we have now, ie numbers of soldiers giving their lives in somebody elses war.

History should have told them they couldn't win, but too many in power thinking itsa going to be like a film, the cavalry arrive being led by John Wayne, and five minutes later riding into the sunset, all the baddies disposed of, and the credits roll to the sound of accompanying music.

It will revert to the tribal system as soon as the Europeans leave, and just go back to what it has always been - untameable. Why bother, but somebody was determined to have a war with somebody, anybody, to ensure their place in history.
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