Will US Lose Afghan War Due to Public Fatigue?

#1
Although this article focuses on the US public, there is a legitmate question as to whether thie "fatigue' factor affects other members of the coalition as well. As the US found in the Vietnam War, loss of public support is a critical factor for any nation with a representative government successfully waging a war. In a COIN op, such suggestions of public loss of confidence serve to encourage our enemies to do all they can to increase this sense of fatigue.


Losing the War on Exhaustion
It's not low troop levels that stand to defeat the United States in Afghanistan. It's plain old public fatigue.


BY MARK T. KIMMITT | SEPTEMBER 21, 2009

As Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, awaits a response from the White House on his assessment of the war effort, some would suggest that doubt is growing on Capitol Hill and in towns and cities across the United States about whether America can win this fight.


This doubt is misplaced. The truth is that there are more than enough troops, civilians, money, and operational capability available between the United States, NATO forces, and our Afghan allies to defeat the Taliban and assist in rebuilding Afghan society. There is no reason to fear losing a war of attrition. The major danger in Afghanistan is losing a war of exhaustion.

Over time, the U.S. military has evolved in its conviction that the center of gravity in counterinsurgency operations is protecting the local population rather than defeating the enemy forces. However, while protection of the Afghan people is necessary, it's not sufficient, for the true center of gravity for the Afghanistan enterprise is not in Kabul or Kandahar -- it's the support of the domestic U.S. population that matters most. And, the Taliban intends to fight a war of exhaustion to defeat that support.

Unlike a war of attrition, where the objective is to defeat the enemy, the objective in a war of exhaustion is to defeat a nation's will to fight. The British Empire was not defeated in Afghanistan by a war of attrition, nor was the Soviet Union defeated in Afghanistan through attrition. Both were defeated through exhaustion. And this is how the Taliban intends to defeat the current coalition efforts in Afghanistan -- by steadily eroding our will to fight.

Just look at Taliban leader Mullah Muhammad Omar's recent Eid speech. "We fought against the British invaders for 80 years," he said. "Today we have strong determination, military training and effective weapons. Still more, we have preparedness for a long war." In Osama bin Laden's Sept. 11 message, he repeated his claim that his fighters will wear down the coalition in Afghanistan "like we exhausted the Soviet Union for 10 years until it collapsed."

In Washington, however, the debate does not discuss exhaustion, but "stuff" -- the physical capacity to prosecute the war. The debate is focused on U.S. troop levels, the right number of civilians, the various ways to employ them, the defense and foreign assistance funding required to support them, and the benchmarks and metrics to grade them. This debate on capability, while necessary, is insufficient. The "War in Washington" must be to win the support and patience of the American people. Without that, mere capabilities are sure to prove insufficient and strategic patience is sure to wane. It is not hyperbole to suggest that gaining and maintaining the will of the American people is at the heart the Afghanistan enterprise.

But after eight years of combat, Americans are already impatient and war-weary. Regardless of the reasons and choices that brought Afghanistan to its current environment, it is unlikely that Americans will demonstrate the same measure of patience without a focused effort to make the case for prolonged sacrifice.

Also, most observers agree that the situation is worse in 2009 than in the past. Americans can tolerate many things, but are quick to recognize wasted effort and sunk costs. No existential threat is seen to exist in Afghanistan; rather, one reads of governmental corruption, a resurgent Taliban, and allies unwilling to bear the same burdens. Unlike Iraq, Afghanistan is a poor, undereducated, and sparse land with few natural endowments. A significant turnaround in the same time as experienced in Iraq is unlikely. What's more, Afghanistan competes with a host of domestic priorities from health-care reform, to economic recovery, to cap-and-trade legislation, all of which draws on a finite pool of high-level time and attention.

Regardless of the challenges, this administration should understand that popular support for the war effort is essential. If success in Afghanistan is important, then the case must be made to the American people not only in the next few months, but also over the next few years. Success in Afghanistan will not come quickly, and a skeptical America must be persuaded to give the strategy the time it needs and the resources it requires.

Many in Washington get it. "An integrated strategy has yet to be unveiled," Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar noted last week. "And none has been described ... with the force and conviction necessary to persuade the American people to endorse what will likely be a much longer, albeit necessary, commitment to achieve stability in the region."

So where does the responsibility lie? While some suggest that General McChrystal take on the job of speaking to the American people, this is not McChrystal's mission alone. There are three layers between him and the American people: his boss Gen. David Petraeus, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and ultimately President Barack Obama himself. Secretary Gates has been forward-leaning on this issue already, but when it comes to rallying the country behind a cause, the commander in Afghanistan, the head of U.S. Central Command in Tampa, and the secretary of defense in Washington are important, but not the central voice in that discussion. The only voice in the chain of command elected by the people of the United States is President Obama, and he bears the responsibility to make the case to the American people.

If this war is to be won, it will certainly require more capability: more troops, more civilians, more funding, and a coherent strategy. For that, we can depend on the Department of Defense to find the troops, on the Department of State and other cabinet agencies to find the civilians, and on Congress to find the money.

But capability is insufficient. Achieving success in Afghanistan will also require domestic will, popular support, and strategic patience. These are the most important weapons in a war of exhaustion. Congress, DOD, and State can help out, but only the president can achieve a popular mandate for Afghanistan. Only the president can ask Americans to endure years of sacrifice. Only the president can build support for a protracted struggle that, in his words, is a "war of necessity." And, only the president can harness domestic will, popular support, and strategic patience -- the indispensible elements for success -- without which our efforts in Afghanistan cannot succeed.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articl...haustion?print=yes&hidecomments=yes&page=full
 
#2
An example of enemy ratcheting up pressure on allies:




talian paratroopers react during the funeral of the victims of an attack on an Italian military convoy in Kabul on Thursday Sept. 17, during their state funerals in St. Paul's Outside the Walls Basilica, in Rome, Monday Sept. 21, 2009. The crowd applauded as the coffins of the six victims, draped in the Italian flag, were carried inside the Basilica of St. Paul's Outside the Walls in Rome by fellow soldiers. An honor guard saluted the coffins and many outside the basilica waved the red-white-and-green Italian flags.



Italian Army trucks carry the coffins of the six Italian soldiers killed in a suicide car bomb attack on their convoy on Sept. 17, in Kabul, Afghanistan, in Rome, Monday, Sept. 21, 2009, en route to St. Paul's outside the Wall's Basilica for the funeral service. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

Deaths Prompt Italy To Rethink Troops In Afghanistan
by Sylvia Poggioli

September 21, 2009



Italy marked a national day of mourning Monday for six soldiers killed in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan last week. The deaths were Italy's biggest single loss in the war and have stoked a debate on the future of Italy's participation in the multinational force in Afghanistan.

The soldiers' deaths have unleashed an outpouring of emotion in a country where the Afghan mission is increasingly unpopular.

A poll taken before the attack showed 55 percent of Italians oppose the deployment.

After the bombing, Umberto Bossi, leader of the Northern League, which is arguably the most influential member of the ruling coalition — called for a speedy pullout.

"The problem is that it seems impossible to export democracy. I hope that our boys will be home by Christmas," Bossi said, according to the ANSA news agency.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said Italy will not unilaterally withdraw its 3,000 troops. But he suggested a change in allied strategy.

"It's now time to meet with our allies to draft a transition strategy and a program that would help the Karzai government to gradually take responsibility for the country's security and allow the allies to reduce their troop numbers in Afghanistan," Berlusconi said in televised comments Thursday, after the deaths.

Mourners gathered at Rome's Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls on Monday. Many waved the green, white and red Italian flag as fellow soldiers carried the coffins into the church.

An unidentified man briefly disturbed the ceremony when he rushed to the altar, grabbed the microphone and chanted, "Peace now."

Government and parliamentary deputies, members of the armed forces and leaders of all the major political parties were on hand for the state funeral.

Under both the current center-right government and preceding center-left coalition, the Italian public has been told that Italian troops went to Afghanistan in 2002 not to fight a war, but on a peacekeeping mission.

The ambiguity has haunted the country since then, says Roberto Menotti, a senior research fellow at the Aspen Institute Italy.

"No government here has been ready and able to clearly explain this gray area between peacekeeping, peace enforcement and combat operations. This has always been left ambiguous deliberately. I personally believe it has been a very dangerous decision from the beginning to leave it so vague," Menotti says.

Italy is not alone in wondering about its future in Afghanistan. There is similar debate in Germany, which has more than 4,200 troops deployed. The mission became even more unpopular after a German-ordered airstrike earlier this month in the northern province of Kunduz, in which civilians appear to have died.

But, Menotti says, Germany is also not planning a unilateral pullout.

"The idea there, just like in Italy, is it is a coalition mission. If it changes, it changes because there is a coordinated decision to change the policy, the strategy. The idea is no one right now intends to leave right away, intends to go it alone," he says.

Under their respective constitutions, the mandates of both the Italians and Germans in Afghanistan stipulate that soldiers can open fire only when under attack, as compared to the proactive strategy of British and American soldiers.

Menotti says there is no likelihood Germany and Italy will increase their deployment. But he says the latest deaths on the Afghan battlefield might help convince European public opinion that serious combat operations are part and parcel of a peacekeeping operation.

"With Europeans, the key will be to make sure that they remain involved in the most dangerous elements of the mission, not so much that they provide more troops," he says.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=113035047
 
#3
The USA funded Islamic extremists in Afghanistan in a deliberate attempt to provoke a Soviet invasion. Not just "My opinion" - Secretary Brzhinski actually boasts about it in his autobiography (as well as several interviews) When the USSR DID invade, the Muslim terrorists were immediately promoted to "Freedom Fighters" (American "English" for "the kind of terrorists we fund and support") Money and hardware was pumped into the region, through the auspices of Pakistan's INter Service Institute, the terms of the deal offering (almost) plausible deniability, in that those who'd provided the arms and gear stayed out of the area, leaving the whole thing up to the Pakistanis. The Pakistanis were less than accurate or honest in their accounts of what they'd done, which was mainly promote the interests of groups friendly to Pakistani interests. When the smoke cleared, the USSR had gone home... and the USA's idea of who was who in Afghanistan relied almost entirely on distinctly - and deliberately - inaccurate Pakistani reports. The shattered country was run as a series of princedoms, in the interests mainly of a few "warlords". Aid was severely hampered by "taxation" on it levied by every fiefdom it passed through. The rise of the Taliban seemed at the time to Afghans be an improvement on the Warlords. The US invasion and (temprary) explusion of the Taleban pushed things back -almost exactly - to where they'd been just before the rise of the Taliban; but this time it as called "Democratic Government". Afghanistan had reached that point almost entirely as a direct result of deliberate American meddling. (That's particularly strange, given that in the early 1950's Afganistand had pleaded with the USA to become a "client state". The USA wasn't interested. Not, that is, until Afghanistan became a handy place to cause the Russians trouble.)

Afghanistan is indeed a "failed state", mainly because the USA deliberately provoked the situation which broke it (and then just walked away, no longer interested.) Repairing it isn't a job for people whose skill set is limited to "Blowing things up and killing people"; particularly when those people have such an unrivalled talent for self-delusion. Afghanistan has almost NO employment, and little "industry" outside of Opium cultivation. Given the opportunity, Afgans would LOVE to have work outside of hiring out as mercenaries for one side or the other. (Or possibly as re-volunteering for the Afghan Security forces; the USA's claim of "90,000 trained men" overlooks the reality that many men have got trained, moved to another area, and got trained again. And again. Repeatedly undergoing basic training under a variety of pseudonyms is apparently one of their few growth industries.) US Aid, unfortunately (and hardly unexpectedly) is more beneficial to thepolitically well connected corporations picked to administer it than to the supposed recipients. Things like schools in the wrong places, and incapable of withstanding a typical Winter's snowfall. The Brits, the Irish and the Swedes spend a lot less cash, but spend it a lot more efficiently; it actually helps AFGHANS.

If you want to "fix" Afghanistan, divert 10% of the military budget from military expenditure to local aid projects. Help them build small scale industry. (But for God's sake, let the Irish or the Swedes handle the administration of it) "The Man from Delmonte" could change things for the better far more easily than a couple of divisions of infantry. (The Afghans used to be great growers of soft fruit. Build fruit juice packaging plants, and open your borders to trade.) Turn the terrorists into " a bloody nisance who get in the way of me making a lot of money", and they've got a SERIOUS problem. DOne right, that 10% investent would mean that most of the troops could just go home, as there would be nothing much for them to do.

But... maybe it's time to check our agendas here. Is "sending the troops home" what the people who actually run things in the USA want to happen? By the most amazing coincidence, the USA has found it vitally neccessary to build a series of vast military bases right next to the path between other peoples' oil and the customers they're selling it to. A convenient "small war" gives a pretext for keeping troops and airbases where the USA wants them, (straddling the pipelines) but where they'd otherwise have no reason (nor justification) to do.
 
#4
BigRonW said:
But... maybe it's time to check our agendas here. Is "sending the troops home" what the people who actually run things in the USA want to happen? By the most amazing coincidence, the USA has found it vitally neccessary to build a series of vast military bases right next to the path between other peoples' oil and the customers they're selling it to. A convenient "small war" gives a pretext for keeping troops and airbases where the USA wants them, (straddling the pipelines) but where they'd otherwise have no reason (nor justification) to do.
Interesting thesis. I am not sure our current masters would agree but fear not, if that was the evil intent all along from we greedy, grasping colonial dirty Americans, I expect it will be fixed shortly, along with the requisite apologies to all concerned.
 
#5
jumpinjarhead said:
BigRonW said:
Interesting thesis. I am not sure our current masters would agree but fear not, if that was the evil intent all along from we greedy, grasping colonial dirty Americans, I expect it will be fixed shortly, along with the requisite apologies to all concerned.
Given the USA's track record on provoking wars and then failing to apologise for doing so, this seems to me "somewhat unlikely." (Which is a polite British way of saying "Pigs will fly before a US government admits to dirty deeds, let alone apologises for them.")

Back in the mid 19th century, there was just one world-class superpower: the British Empire. More than 50% of world trade involved the Brits as buyers or sellers. The USA doesn't come even close to that figure. And during that period, a serious and long term political debate broke out between two rival views of how "the world's only superpower" should behave. W.E.Gladstone (aka "The People's William") took the view that "It is never in a nation's best interests to behave dishnourably". His arch rival, Benjamin Disraeli, tok the view "So, who's going to stop us?" The USA has produced hatloads of Disraelis, but - thus far - not a single Gladstone. There have been some US presidents who resembled Gladstone in some ways - Gladstone used to roam the streets of London at night looking for prostitutes, who he'd then bring back to Downing Street. But Gladstone would then pray with them to "give up their wicked ways and see the light of the lord." Maybe Clinton should have claimed that's what he was up to with Monica?
 
#6
per the thread title: it's the only way they'll lose

also, makes you wonder who the world's bogeyman was prior to 1776...
 
#7
BigRonW said:
Given the USA's track record on provoking wars and then failing to apologise for doing so, this seems to me "somewhat unlikely." (Which is a polite British way of saying "Pigs will fly before a US government admits to dirty deeds, let alone apologises for them.")

The USA has produced hatloads of Disraelis, but - thus far - not a single Gladstone. There have been some US presidents who resembled Gladstone in some ways - Gladstone used to roam the streets of London at night looking for prostitutes, who he'd then bring back to Downing Street. But Gladstone would then pray with them to "give up their wicked ways and see the light of the lord." Maybe Clinton should have claimed that's what he was up to with Monica?
This view of course much depends on your underlying view of the US in general and how you define the word "provoke." (Such parsing is appropriate since you already have dragged Clinton into this since he was a master at such things). From what little I know of these matters, I believe a more objective assessment would reflect some situations where the US was the provocateur (Grenada and Panama come to mind), but I do not believe your implication is accurate that this was the consistent or even predominate role of the US in international affairs. Indeed, in many situations the US was rather a relatively unwilling participant, having to become involved due to alliances or other reasons. In more recent years following the breakup of the USSR, a number of its entanglements have actually been thrust on it due to its role as "the" superpower (Somalia, the former Yugoslavia, etc.).

While I try to be intellectually honest enough to acknowledge that as an American I have inherent biases such that I try to deal with them in forming my opinions, I also think it accurate to observe that many who continually bash the US on many fronts are actually doing so for reasons other than those they may cite in the given situation but they do not have the same concerns about being transparent as to their real motives or prejudices.
 
#8
JJH, I believe this was the provocation referred to earlier. Have to say I was gobsmacked first time I read it. We all know there are two main types of Black Ops in this area.

Counter Revolutionary Warfare
Revolutionary Warfare.

I guess this Op was in the latter camp then.........

History Corrected—U.S. Wanted Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan
Mid-East Realities, 6 October 2001

The world believes that there was an invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union on 24 December 1979 and then, in response, the U.S. and Muslim countries rallied to help Afghanistan repel the invaders. Wrong...just as so much of the widely accepted history of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the actual realities of U.S. involvements in the Middle East are wrong because of the manipulation of history by various governments and intelligence agencies—most especially the U.S. and Israel, the CIA and the Mossad.

What really happened is that the President Jimmy Carter secretly approved CIA efforts to try to topple the government of Afghanistan in July 1979 knowing at the time that U.S. actions were likely to trigger Soviet conter-reactions. Read the following interview with Carter's National Security Adviser, Zbigniew Brezinski just now available in English, and in addition to everything else note the not-so-subtle Western biases and slights...i.e., stirred up Muslims.

INTERVIEW OF ZBIGNIEW BREZINSKI

National Security Adviser in the Carter Administration

Q: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs [From the Shadows], that American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet intervention. In this period you were the national security adviser to President Carter. You therefore played a role in this affair. Is that correct?

Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.

Q: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into war and looked to provoke it?

B: It isn't quite that. We didn't push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.

Q: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn't believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don't regret anything today?

B: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.

Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic [intigrisme], having given arms and advice to future terrorists?

B: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?

Q: Some stirred-up Moslems? But it has been said and repeated: Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today.

B: Nonsense! It is said that the West had a global policy in regard to Islam. That is stupid. There isn't a global Islam. Look at Islam in a rational manner and without demagoguery or emotion. It is the leading religion of the world with 1.5 billion followers. But what is there in common among Saudi Arabian fundamentalism, moderate Morocco, Pakistan militarism, Egyptian pro-Western or Central Asian secularism? Nothing more than what unites the Christian countries.
 
#9
nigegilb said:
JJH, I believe this was the provocation referred to earlier. Have to say I was gobsmacked first time I read it. We all know there are two main types of Black Ops in this area.

Counter Revolutionary Warfare
Revolutionary Warfare.

I guess this Op was the latter.........

History Corrected—U.S. Wanted Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan
Mid-East Realities, 6 October 2001

The world believes that there was an invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union on 24 December 1979 and then, in response, the U.S. and Muslim countries rallied to help Afghanistan repel the invaders. Wrong...just as so much of the widely accepted history of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the actual realities of U.S. involvements in the Middle East are wrong because of the manipulation of history by various governments and intelligence agencies—most especially the U.S. and Israel, the CIA and the Mossad.

What really happened is that the President Jimmy Carter secretly approved CIA efforts to try to topple the government of Afghanistan in July 1979 knowing at the time that U.S. actions were likely to trigger Soviet conter-reactions. Read the following interview with Carter's National Security Adviser, Zbigniew Brezinski just now available in English, and in addition to everything else note the not-so-subtle Western biases and slights...i.e., stirred up Muslims.

INTERVIEW OF ZBIGNIEW BREZINSKI

National Security Adviser in the Carter Administration

Q: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs [From the Shadows], that American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet intervention. In this period you were the national security adviser to President Carter. You therefore played a role in this affair. Is that correct?

Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.

Q: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into war and looked to provoke it?

B: It isn't quite that. We didn't push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.

Q: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn't believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don't regret anything today?

B: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.

Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic [intigrisme], having given arms and advice to future terrorists?

B: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?

Q: Some stirred-up Moslems? But it has been said and repeated: Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today.

B: Nonsense! It is said that the West had a global policy in regard to Islam. That is stupid. There isn't a global Islam. Look at Islam in a rational manner and without demagoguery or emotion. It is the leading religion of the world with 1.5 billion followers. But what is there in common among Saudi Arabian fundamentalism, moderate Morocco, Pakistan militarism, Egyptian pro-Western or Central Asian secularism? Nothing more than what unites the Christian countries.
I am not disagreeing on this one necessarily although ZB's creds have been called into question in the past. I simply don't know enough about it to opine either way. Even taking his account as true for the moment, given his sequence of events, one can easily argue that the original "intent" of the US in this aid was not necessarily to induce a Soviet attack (if I understand the other posts in this thread this is the assertion--that the US diabolically foments and orchestrates these events for that specific purpose).

While a Soviet reaction may have been predicted by ZB in his note in response to the 3 July 79 directive of that evil and Machiavellian advocate of US world domination, James Earl Carter, ( :? ) it does not mean that that was the reason for the directive in the first instance. Clearly, something other than the alleged enticing of the Soviets to invade had to have prompted the directive in the first instance or else why would ZB have then added the note in the way he now describes since it would have been merely restating the obvious?
 
#10
Not sure how much more evidence will ever reach the ear of the public. All I can say that those two principles of warfare,

Create a revolution,
Counter a revolution,

are central to black ops carried out by CIA and our own specialist organisations for very many years.

I would also add that more often than not the CIA's interventions have caused more problems than they have solved. I was involved in the Kosovo war, it was only several years later, whilst reading a Sunday Times article that I realised I had been flying around Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), players in the back of the aircraft.

That well worn phrase, "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter", clearly applies just as equally to us in the west.

It goes on JJH.....
 
#11
There is no country in the world that can claim to be "fatigued" by TWOT. You frankly would not know there was a war on unless you were immediately next door to a casualty's family.

Claiming, as politicians are, that we are fatigued and tired of war is like somebody half a mile into a BFT saying their legs hurt.

War-fatigue sets in when the 50000th conscript is dead or the supply of X-ray machines for civilian hospitals is impacted. Nobody in the developed world has had to give up something material because of TWOT. No oil rationing, no sweet rationing, nothing at all - except half an hour's less kip on the day you fly off for your long haul vacations...

Now you might be fed up with the way the war is being run - for example the way it is trying to be fought of a peacetime economy and budget. You might not approve of the absence of robust and rigourous objectives and missions - I know I do. However there is a threat to be countered and we really need to get it right and pretty F-ing quickly. This war is at a point where we can lose it, as opposed to Taleban or Al Q winning.

Politicians and peaceniks moaning about war-fatigue and demanding truces, peace and abandonment are merely traffic bumps and need to be driven over with conviction. which it seems the governments and CofC are facing a shortage of. The only shortage I can detect during the Great War against Terror by the way.

So everybody who reads this, count your blessings, saddle up and push for a war-attitude from the government rather than a rather soppy global sheriff, who is afraid of the dark, attitude.
 
#12
Cuddles hundreds and hundreds of players have been killed in "targetted actions", in Iraq and Afg, beneath the soppy platitudes there is a shed load of killing going on.
 
#13
nigegilb said:
Not sure how much more evidence will ever reach the ear of the public. All I can say that those two principles of warfare,

Create a revolution,
Counter a revolution,

are central to black ops carried out by CIA and our own specialist organisations for very many years.

I would also add that more often than not the CIA's interventions have caused more problems than they have solved. I was involved in the Kosovo war, it was only several years later, whilst reading a Sunday Times article that I realised I had been flying around KIA players in the back of the aircraft.

It goes on JJH.....
I agree on that as a general principle. I just am a bit less eager to ascribe the conscious, intentional puppetry on the part of the US (or most other western nations for that matter) as the root of all the world's woes. This is not as result of some sentimental jingoism on my part but rather a profound skepticism that the US is so adept and methodical at its foreign policy as to accomplish such things intentionally.

I appears to me that many of those who ascribe such competence to the US, really do so in order to fit their template that the US is in fact the "Great Satan" of world affairs. While this may make their conspiracy theories more plausible, it is not supported by the facts, at least as I know them.

Indeed, even under the evil incarnate and simian (to use the tone of many posters on here) George B*sh (I hesitate even to use his full name as it might cause such revulsion and apoplexy among some readers), if one adds up the numerous instances where the US gave of its treasure and talent to help those in need around the world, it would put the "unparalleled, illegal, immoral, unjustified, deceptive, colonial, imperial etc. etc.) aggression of the hated US in Iraq and Afghanistan in a slightly different context.
 
#14
I hear what you are saying. The common criticism of CIA led ops is that they tend only to fight fires and think little for the long term. Thinking back to the Soviet invasion of Afg, if it was started/helped along by CIA they did a very good job, initially. The massive problems since were created when the CIA/US/UK walked away from Afg when the Soviets left. A terrible civil war ensued followed by Talib/ALQ/9/11/ to present day.

I would argue the opposite. CIA should leave well alone!!

Then the rather ironic situation which I experienced at first hand, going up against the possible threat of Stingers in a defenceless aircraft in 2001/2, missiles left over from the last bit of meddling. If it does go pete tong again, well, all the Afg warlords have re-armed thanks to western money pouring into Afg. Another civil war will follow and here we go again a cycle of never ending war.........
 
#15
nigegilb said:
Cuddles hundreds and hundreds of players have been killed in "targetted actions", in Iraq and Afg, beneath the soppy platitudes there is a shed load of killing going on.
Perhaps, but I do not think a factual case can be made that the targeting by the allies has been anything but scrupulous, if imperfect, in trying to minimize noncombatant casualties. Indeed, if one compares the conflicts in recent years to all others in which the US, UK and our allies have been engaged, the targeting process used in these ongoing operations can not honestly be said to be wanton or irresponsible.

The grim reality, and perhaps that is your point---that we are not adequately portraying this reality, is that in all armed conflicts, civilians are often the victims. This is even more so in COIN and MOUT ops like those in which our forces have been engaged where noncombatants become commingled (often intentionally by the insurgents). While none of us should ever become so jaded as to ignore the terrible cost in human suffering in any armed conflict, this does not equate with any evil intention or wrongdoing (excepting of course those situations where criminal intent or recklessness may be involved) in general by the COIN force.
 
#16
I was really referring to alleged spec ops killing teams, (open source). Though I would agree many thousands of innocents have been killed. The point about the alleged killing teams is that their missions are rubber stamped, allegedly, by Govt Ministers. The same Govt that is basically split down the middle by Afg. So it is not JUST sloppy platitudes by DfiD, there is a bit of mettle hidden from view.

When one considers the apparent success of these missions, one wonders why it is necessary to go for such a blunt option as that used in Kunduz.
Afg might well have been better for being left to spec ops and locals to sort out the threat of the Taliban. The collateral damage that has followed attempts at force protection for the many thousands of conventional forces that were subsequently sent, has led to thousands of civilians being caught up in the melee. Counter productive?
 
#17
nigegilb said:
I was really referring to alleged spec ops killing teams, (open source). Though I would agree many thousands of innocents have been killed. The point about the alleged killing teams is that their missions are rubber stamped, allegedly, by Govt Ministers. The same Govt that is basically split down the middle by Afg. So it is not JUST sloppy platitudes by DfiD, there is a bit of mettle hidden from view.

When one considers the apparent success of these missions, one wonders why it is necessary to go for such a blunt option as that used in Kunduz.
Afg might well have been better for being left to spec ops and locals to sort out the threat of the Taliban. The collateral damage that has followed attempts at force protection for the many thousands of conventional forces that were subsequently sent, has led to thousands of civilians being caught up in the melee. Counter productive?
We are now on the same song sheet.
 
#18
Afg might well have been better for being left to spec ops and locals to sort out the threat of the Taliban
As in the early days, with plenty of air back up. I believe a similar situation existed during the early US involvement in Vietnam...until the conventional forces build up.
 
#19
jumpinjarhead said:
I am not disagreeing on this one necessarily although ZB's creds have been called into question in the past. I simply don't know enough about it to opine either way. Even taking his account as true for the moment, given his sequence of events, one can easily argue that the original "intent" of the US in this aid was not necessarily to induce a Soviet attack (if I understand the other posts in this thread this is the assertion--that the US diabolically foments and orchestrates these events for that specific purpose).

While a Soviet reaction may have been predicted by ZB in his note in response to the 3 July 79 directive of that evil and Machiavellian advocate of US world domination, James Earl Carter, ( :? ) it does not mean that that was the reason for the directive in the first instance. Clearly, something other than the alleged enticing of the Soviets to invade had to have prompted the directive in the first instance or else why would ZB have then added the note in the way he now describes since it would have been merely restating the obvious?
It's a matter of record that the Afghan political leadership, who'd "been left out in the cold" by the British withdrawal from the Indian subcontinent, almost begged the USA to include them in their "sphere of influence", around 1950. It's equally a matter of record that the USA declined the invitation. To my mind, that pretty much defines the difference between "Imperialism" (where you actually take responsibility for people, as you might for an adopted child) and simply building military bases in a foreign country, while taking absolutely NO responsibility for what happens outside of the bases. It's also a matter of record that Jimmy Carter OK'ed funding for the Afghan Islamists, and the "date on the cheque" can be examined, if you Google it (as I've done in the past, but can't be bothered to again) you can fairly easily find the records; they've long been declassified. At the time Afghanistan was a sovereign state... surely, sending funds and weapons to a non-government group within a sovereign state counts as "funding terrorism" in anyone's book? Didn't a subsequent President claim that doing so was a BAD thing?

A similar Google search - for historical documents relating to "Operation Northwoods" will reveal comprehensive plans to provoke war with Cuba (i.e. justify an invasion), through use of "false flag" operations. Some of those plans involved the mass murder of US citizens. A change of government got the plans spiked (by incoming SecDef Robert McNamara) but nobody seems ever to have apologized, or to have been even slightly censured. Indeed the pattern seems to be that if a US citizen discovers that the government and/or military is behaving illegally ("The Pentagon Papers" etc.,) then they are hounded and tried for "breaching national security". Olly North stands out as one of VERY few scapegoats ever thought neccessary to be offered up for trial.
 
#20
The key to Affers lies in Pakistan. The Pakistanis are doing everything they can to undermine the coalition efforts because they want to control Affers themselves. They also know that if they don't, the Chinese will step in and Affers will be "lost" forever.

It was the sabotage by the ISI that prevented a more enlightened gobment being installed in Affers immediately after the Ivans upped sticks. The Pakistanis wanted a gobment they could manipulate, in other words, a strict Muslim gobment. Until things are sorted with Pakistan, Affers is just going to keep boiling, I'm afraid.

MsG
 

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