Obama puts brake on Afghan surge

gator

Old-Salt
#1
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article5683681.ece

Obama puts brake on Afghan surge

Sarah Baxter and Michael Smith
PRESIDENT Barack Obama has demanded that American defence chiefs review their strategy in Afghanistan before going ahead with a troop surge.

There is concern among senior Democrats that the military is preparing to send up to 30,000 extra troops without a coherent plan or exit strategy.

The Pentagon was set to announce the deployment of 17,000 extra soldiers and marines last week but Robert Gates, the defence secretary, postponed the decision after questions from Obama.

The president was concerned by a lack of strategy at his first meeting with Gates and the US joint chiefs of staff last month in “the tank”, the secure conference room in the Pentagon. He asked: “What’s the endgame?” and did not receive a convincing answer.


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Obama may be forced to protect Larry Korb, a defence expert at the Center for American Progress, a Washington think tank, said: “Obama is exactly right. Before he agrees to send 30,000 troops, he wants to know what the mission and the endgame is.”

Obama promised an extra 7,000-10,000 troops during the election campaign but the military has inflated its demands. Leading Democrats fear Afghanistan could become Obama’s “Vietnam quagmire”.

If the surge goes ahead the military intend to limit the mission to fighting the Taliban and Al-Qaeda and leave democracy building and reconstruction to Nato allies and civilians from the State Department and other agencies.

The United States has been pushing Britain to send several thousand more troops but there is just as much disagreement and confusion among British defence chiefs over the long-term aim. Gordon Brown is set to receive a full briefing this week.

General Sir Richard Dannatt, the army chief who will step down this summer, has insisted that troops need a rest and believes he can send only one battlegroup, senior defence sources said.

General Sir David Richards, his successor, believes that the two extra battlegroups the Americans have asked for is the minimum the UK should send, the sources said.
It looks like Obama is starting the process to chickenshit out of Afghanistan, just like he plans to do in Iraq.

It is believable seeing that he ran for President on a platform to cut and run from Iraq.
 
#2
If the yanks sack Afghanistan we have to follow.
 
#3
I would have thought it perfectly reasonable that the new President (and I'm no fan of his) asks what the plan is before sending another 30,000 troops to Afghanistan.
Infact I would have said its quite a wise thing to do really.
 
#4
A few weeks ago we was getting critised for not being "commited" to the war in the stan. Now he's getting cold feet, it's a bit of a slap in the face for the families of soldiers who have died in the conflict.

About time we get out of this pointless fckin war, it's not even our fight.
 
#5
scousadan said:
A few weeks ago we was getting critised for not being "commited" to the war in the stan. Now he's getting cold feet, it's a bit of a slap in the face for the families of soldiers who have died in the conflict.

About time we get out of this pointless fckin war, it's not even our fight.
Is it not a perfectly reasonable question? Obama has simply asked what the plan is. I think as President of the US it is a question he should be asking.
Pouring tens of thousands of soldires into Afghanistan with no clear intention would be a lot more of a slap in the face would it not?

Perhaps Obama is asking the questions that should have been asked years ago?
 
#6
Well we're there. If there is something the wasters in power want to achieve lets achieve it.

If not and the boring line "War on Terror" is still being used lets just pull out and continue this as an air campaign to bomb any Taliban Camps back to... What came before the stone age?
 
#7
jagman said:
Is it not a perfectly reasonable question? Obama has simply asked what the plan is. I think as President of the US it is a question he should be asking.
Pouring tens of thousands of soldires into Afghanistan with no clear intention would be a lot more of a slap in the face would it not?

Perhaps Obama is asking the questions that should have been asked years ago?[/quote]

exactly mate, thats what i was implying. There having second thoughts now, it's abit to late if you ask me.

British soldiers have died all for what, a democracy in the middle east???

If there going to start something they can finish it, as soon the yanks pull out, all the bloodshed was for nothing.
 

gator

Old-Salt
#8
scousadan said:
A few weeks ago we was getting critised for not being "commited" to the war in the stan. Now he's getting cold feet, it's a bit of a slap in the face for the families of soldiers who have died in the conflict.

About time we get out of this pointless fckin war, it's not even our fight.
About 62 million dumbass Americans decided to "uncomitt" to the war on terror when they cast a vote for that ******** Obama.

It is a slap in the face of every American that served and every one of our allies that served with us. It makes me ashamed.

I don't blame you for wanting to say "**** it".

Make no mistake about it; "review" is Democrat doublespeak for cut and run.

Gates is the one that engineered the surge in the first place. For Obama to tell him to go back and come up with the right answer is a strong sign that Obama is going to cut and run.
 

gator

Old-Salt
#9
scousadan said:
About time we get out of this pointless fckin war, it's not even our fight.
You are our closest military ally and like it or not we help each other fight wars.

There were millions of Americans that questioned whether or not WWI was “America’s fight” but we did it and help to break the stalemate, which saved countless numbers of British lives.

There were millions of Americans that questioned whether or not the war in Europe was “America’s fight” during WWII seeing that the people that attacked us December 7, 1941 were Japanese. Tens of thousands of Americans were put into concentration camps in Texas due to their opposition.

There were millions of Americans that questioned the deployment of troops in Europe during the Cold War to counter the threat of invasion from the Soviet Union. I think you were glad we did it.

We didn’t send troops but we provided significant support during your war in the Falklands although many Americans could not understand why we took sides in a conflict that had nothing to do with our own security.

Most Americans have no clue why we joined the European nations to send troops to Bosnia.

If we start complaining about fighting each other’s wars be careful because you could come out on the losing end of that discussion.
 
#10
gator said:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article5683681.ece

The United States has been pushing Britain to send several thousand more troops but there is just as much disagreement and confusion among British defence chiefs over the long-term aim. Gordon Brown is set to receive a full briefing this week.

General Sir Richard Dannatt, the army chief who will step down this summer, has insisted that troops need a rest and believes he can send only one battlegroup, senior defence sources said.

General Sir David Richards, his successor, believes that the two extra battlegroups the Americans have asked for is the minimum the UK should send, the sources said.
Is General Richards saying that the UK should provide 3 battlegroups for Operation Herrick? :? It goes without saying that it would be virtually impossible for the armed forces to sustain 3 battlegroups (is that approximately 21 000 men and women?) in Afghanistan at the current level of manning and expenditure.

Or am I misunderstanding something?
 
#11
Barry was always a harsh critic of the Iraq war but actually campaigned for a greater focus the Pashtun war, grandstanding he'd if necessary take the war into Pakistan to root out AQ regardless of Islamabad's objections. McCain upbraided him for going to far in this even though the weary Bush administration was quietly moving to a very similar adversarial stance with the nation it once boasted was its greatest ally in the GWOT.

What was a useful bit of tough guy posturing now confronts harsh reality. What is the endgame is one question. Worryingly it's oddly passive Bush like one. It's the executive's job to set strategic goals. The Brass then figures out how best to attain them. Objectives have been very confused and there has been a dire lack of actual leadership. I'd question if even the very able Gates has a clear idea on how to proceed and suspect an inexperienced Barry is realizing how far out of his depth he is.

Truth is things on the frontier have drastically deteriorated. Shifting resources there might have been a smart move a couple of years back but now has to be reconsidered. Pakistan itself is sliding towards chaos and that considerably widens the problem and inherent risks of escalation. It may be as Islamabad's Brass say: militarily defeating the Taliban in Afghanistan carries to high a price down South. If so the POTUS better get to work on redefining what victory should look like.
 
#12
Actually, Gator, I think the reason the US sent troops to Europe during WWII was because Hitler declared war on you just after Pearl Harbour. If he hadn't I'm quite sure you'd never have shown up on the other side of the Atlantic. After all, not one of your several million Jewish citizens ever volunteered to come over and fight the Nazis, did they?

Oh, and the reason you intervened in WWI was because the British and the French had borrowed so much American money you couldn't afford to see them defeated.

And, of course your massive corporate investments in Europe would have gone down the gurgler if the Russians had taken the place over. And could you really have sat back and let Moscow create a united European-Asiatic power bloc which would have totally outnumbered and out resourced the USA?

As for the average American's understanding of foreign affairs, I'd guess it's about on par with the average Briton's knowledge of tectonic plate movements. And we're both about as interested in each subject.
 
#13
littlejim said:
Actually, Gator, I think the reason the US sent troops to Europe during WWII was because Hitler declared war on you. If he hadn't I'm quite sure you'd never have shown up on the other side of the Atlantic. After all, not one of your several million Jewish citizens ever volunteered to come over and fight Hitler, did they?
Hitler declared war on us because we were arming and supplying his enemy (you and the Soviets). We were sending all kinds of aid to your country to fight Germany long before Hitler declared war.

There was actually a very strong pro Germany, anti interventionist movement in the country prior to WWII.

We can talk about this all day long but the point I was trying to make is that over the years the US has lost about a half million of our finest young men fighting your European wars, which benefited your country greatly, even if it was not an American fight. If you want to play the game of not supporting your closest military ally in a war on terror then be careful of the consequences.

Had London been hit on 911 instead of New York and Washington America would have sent tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands troops to support you and I think you know that as good as I do. Thousands of American troops would have died to avenge the attack.

Like it or not we are brothers. We may get annoyed at each other from time to time but we will always support our family members against outsiders.

I cannot justify the war in Iraq. I have no clue why we felt it was necessary to remove Saddam from power when the guys that attacked us were mostly Saudi Arabians who bosses lived in Afghanistan. I do think the war in Afghanistan is a just war and one that needs to be fought.

However, be careful of Obama’s rhetoric. The asshole will complain that NATO is not doing enough. He will want you and others to send many more troops. When you don’t do it (rightfully) he will use this as an excuse to pull out American because we are not being supported.
 
#14
littlejim said:
Actually, Gator, I think the reason the US sent troops to Europe during WWII was because Hitler declared war on you just after Pearl Harbour. If he hadn't I'm quite sure you'd never have shown up on the other side of the Atlantic. After all, not one of your several million Jewish citizens ever volunteered to come over and fight the Nazis, did they?

Oh, and the reason you intervened in WWI was because the British and the French had borrowed so much American money you couldn't afford to see them defeated.

And, of course your massive corporate investments in Europe would have gone down the gurgler if the Russians had taken the place over. And could you really have sat back and let Moscow create a united European-Asiatic power bloc which would have totally outnumbered and out resourced the USA?

As for the average American's understanding of foreign affairs, I'd guess it's about on par with the average Briton's knowledge of tectonic plate movements. And we're both about as interested in each subject.
Note the underlined text.:

The next time you visit Europe, particularly Normandy, visit some of the American military cemeteries there and note how many 'Star of David' grave markers that you see there. Your statement sort of marks you as an anti-semite IMO.

Also, since you are an Aussie, I would think you might have a little more respect for the USA considering our role in saving your Country from a Japanese invasion, etc., during WWII. Most Australians I have met seem to know this.

As for the jews serving in WW II check this website.:

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/US-Israel/ww2jews.html

Or the Jews who were awarded the MOH.:

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/cmohtoc.html
 
#15
A coherent strategy in Afghanistan means facing up to the role of Pakistan (and possibly Iran) in this war.

Nobody really wants to do that.......

To beat the Taliban means occupying and holding ground; all the way to the border. Even if the manpower and resources were found to do this, one possible outcome would be that Afghanistan becomes a base for the war in Pakistan.

It wouldn't surprise me if the politicians are casting around as we speak, for a quick and dishonourable exit strategy.

With the present govt in power it seems like Afghanistan is a lose/lose situation for the British army. Either the politicians and spooks will do a dirty deal and pull the troops out without a victory, or they will assign greater tasks (which the lads will attempt, but can't cope with on the present budget and manning levels) and break the army.

It doesn't matter how superbly the troops are performing at a tactical level, how bravely they are fighting, how savagely they maul the Taliban....The fact is that most of NATO isn't interested in helping, and the British army is too small and under resourced to hold the ground necessary to decisively defeat the Taliban.

Brown and Co are manifestly incompetent (and don't care anyway) so unless Obama pulls something seriously good out of the hat, we will be remembered as an army that failed. Or the war will just drag on for years - an ongoing low level meatgrinder that wastes lives and consumes resources.

If we don't win decisively, Central Asia may become seriously destabilised in coming years, and what credibility we still have left, will be gone.
 
#16
Trip_Wire said:
The next time you visit Europe, particularly Normandy, visit some of the American military cemeteries there and note how many 'Star of David' grave markers that you see there. Your statement sort of marks you as an anti-semite IMO.
Just to make sure your facts are in the right context.

There was a draft on in WWII. Jews were drafted along side Christians in proportion to their population.

Jews don't serve nowadays in the all volunteer military in proportion to their population. With the Jews being about 2.5% of the population they should have about 60K members of the military. I have seen a low number of about 5,000 from the US military Chaplains and a high number of about 14,000 from the Jewish sources. Either number is very low.

Jews have served honorably and bravely. However, they are really not that much different than many other ethnic groups in America. They serve when are required to do so and pass as volunteers.

The only problem I have with the American Jewish population is that they seem more loyal to the IDF than the American military, which is a disgrace when you think about it. There are far too many American citizens that are serving in the IDF that would never or never had served in the US Military.
 
#17
Gator:

Are you trying to tell me that no jews volunteered to serve in our Armed Forces? Yes, there was a draft in WW !, WW II, Korea, and Vietnam; however, the Armed Forces of the USA had many Jews who enlisted voluntarily in our Armed Forces in all of those wars. As well as many of our earlier wars. (See Jewish MOH winners.)

I dare say we still have Jews that serve in our volunteer Armed forces of today. As for proportions of the various communities, etc. in the USA many certain communities are not well represented.

American jews, who move to Israel and claim Israeli citizenship, must serve in the IDF as military service is mandatory in Israel.

I see no real reason to bring these things up, as my post was to correct what I saw as a very anti-semantic statement on Jews taking part in WW II in our Armed Forces. I'm sure most in the UK are aware that we drafted people up until lately in our wars.

The facts are, that many jews both volunteered and were drafted in WW II and were KIA. WIA & MIA. They have also fought in every war that America has fought in starting with our Revolutionary War.

I have served with Jews in the US Army, in garrison and combat, they are as good as any other soldier.

BTW: I am not Jewish. I just don't care for Bigots, especially when they abuse history and facts.
 
#18
gator said:
Had London been hit on 911 instead of New York and Washington America would have sent tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands troops to support you and I think you know that as good as I do. Thousands of American troops would have died to avenge the attack.
How many died in Northern Ireland due to terrorism?
Where was the good old US of A then?

You may have some valid points gator but non of them are proven or served by preaching to the British.
Britain has fought longer and harder in just about every corner of the world than anybody. Despite our politicians I don't think you have any right to demand some form of loyalty from Britain to whatever cause the USA thinks appropriate.
 
#19
littlejim said:
Actually, Gator, I think the reason the US sent troops to Europe during WWII was because Hitler declared war on you just after Pearl Harbour.
"Europe First" Strategy, ever hear of it? We basically sent the bulk of our men and material to go help in the defeat of what was considered the Bigger threat. Churchill & FDR decided the strategy, not the populace. Except for the real U-Boat threat on the East Coast we had a Bigger threat from the IJN on the west Coast and the Only US Terrritory invaded in the war was from the Japanese. Yet the older model equipment was sent west.

littlejim said:
If he hadn't I'm quite sure you'd never have shown up on the other side of the Atlantic. After all, not one of your several million Jewish citizens ever volunteered to come over and fight the Nazis, did they?
Are you claiming that no Jew volunteered to fight the Germans from the USA?

Between 900-1,200 fought in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in Spain- 30% of the Brigades strength. Tell that to Milton Wolff, American Jew, Abe Lincoln Bde. Member & worked for SOE until the US entered the war, then for the OSS(He's still alive by the way).

Albert "Yank" Levy though Canadian Born grew up in Cleveland Ohio. Abe Osheroff fought in Spain and then in Europe in the US Army. Several RAF Eagle Squadron Members were US Jews & many others. Sorry that they didnt wear a Stars and stripes Yamulka so you could easily Identify them. :roll:

littlejim said:
Oh, and the reason you intervened in WWI was because the British and the French had borrowed so much American money you couldn't afford to see them defeated.
Perchance a Source to that accusation? or just more Gibberish? We (the USA) had no real business entering WW1 which basically was a tiff between interelated Royals all measuring their cocks. Eventually we did(After the UK told us about the Zimmermann telegram), though to late to really accomplish much.

That we should have entered the second fray earlier I have no doubt. The population of the US was heavily into Isolationism and Pacifism- A result of WW1, they didnt believe the Nazis were as bad as publicised (due to many reasons, including the old "Huns Bayonetting Belgian Babies" Bullshyte fed them in WW1 by the Allied Propaganda). When we did enter we tried not to hold back with Men & Material.

Remind me again how many Australian or NZ Built Tanks were used in Combat? You wound up with British & American Tanks for operations. In point of fact, didnt most of the Allied Nations use some American Built Tanks during the war?
 
#20
Trip_Wire said:
Gator:

Are you trying to tell me that no jews volunteered to serve in our Armed Forces? Yes, there was a draft in WW !, WW II, Korea, and Vietnam; however, the Armed Forces of the USA had many Jews who enlisted voluntarily in our Armed Forces in all of those wars. As well as many of our earlier wars. (See Jewish MOH winners.)

I dare say we still have Jews that serve in our volunteer Armed forces of today. As for proportions of the various communities, etc. in the USA many certain communities are not well represented.

American jews, who move to Israel and claim Israeli citizenship, must serve in the IDF as military service is mandatory in Israel.

I see no real reason to bring these things up, as my post was to correct what I saw as a very anti-semantic statement on Jews taking part in WW II in our Armed Forces. I'm sure most in the UK are aware that we drafted people up until lately in our wars.

The facts are, that many jews both volunteered and were drafted in WW II and were KIA. WIA & MIA. They have also fought in every war that America has fought in starting with our Revolutionary War.

I have served with Jews in the US Army, in garrison and combat, they are as good as any other soldier.

BTW: I am not Jewish. I just don't care for Bigots, especially when they abuse history and facts.
My post was not an anti Jewish post. I have respect for the Jewish religion and no problem with Jewish ethnicity.

WWII was mostly a draftee force.

If you can come up with better figures than me on the numbers actually serving in the all volunteer force then I would like to see them. When I looked at the figures the highest number I could find was 14,000, which is very low proportionate to the population.

I did not question their ability to serve and I made a strong statement about their bravery in past conflicts. I am sure they are many Jewish active duty personnel that serve with honor and competency, as do most of the men and women in the armed forces.

The thing I don’t like is an American Jew going off and serving in the IDF instead of the American forces. That shows me their loyalty is misplaced. I don’t like the concept of “dual citizenship”. I would say the same about an Irishman serving in the IRA instead of the US military.
 

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