CSI Afghanistan

Remember when Attorney General Eric Holder proposed trying 9-11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other foreign terrorists in New York federal court?  The AG eventually backed down in the face of bipartisan opposition, but not before initially guaranteeing a convictio…

  1. Zafar

    If US objectives in Afghanistan include ‘winning hearts and minds’ then you can’t have soldiers giving in to their baser instincts and doing My Lais, or Abu Ghraibs or getting caught urinating on corpses etc.  The only way to stop these things happening, in the bitter furious atmosphere of a vicious guerilla war, is to police the soldiers.  Is there a better way of realistically stopping these from happening?  Or is winning hearts and minds a completely unrealistic goal anyway?

  2. liberal jim

    This unfortunately is not only with Obama.  GWB, Mr Compassionate himself, got a lot of our military killed unnecessarily also.  The real tragedy however is the fact that both of these bozos could  play their games and have not a single senior military officer resign in protest.  Bush proved he was good at staring wars, but as he did during Vietnam, not vary good a fighting them.  He was replaced by someone who was worse and they were both aided by senior military that are more politician than warriors.

  3. Skyler

    It’s a completely unrealistic goal. We conquered the region (it is not a nation) and installed a religious government, did not export the Bill of Rights and we allow them to tell us what to do. It’s madness. They are illiterate barbarians . . . No, that’s too generous. They are ignorant savages, only out of the stone ages because they have found a way to get somewhat modern weapons. They have no economy and nothing worth taking. We should punish more and coddle less.

  4. Devereaux

    We apparently stopped fighting wars back when we changed the department name from War Department to Department of Defense. Since then we have been engaged in a series of “police actions” which have generally ended badly for us, usually because of us.

    The communists in NK assaulted across the country to capture it, Uncle Joe thinking we were too tired to continue to fight. We almost were. JFK launched a series of “advisor” actions in RVN to stave off the capture of THAT remnant, and after the largest Marine Corps loss of life in its history we negotiated a “peace” the other side had absolutely no intention of keeping – and then refused to fund our “friends” (who probably could have staved off the attacks) – leading to yet another communist killing field. Now we have the Mideast, where we have chosen to “pacify” the region and institute “democracy” – this in the face of islaam, which is totally anti-freedom. 

    When you look back over this record, it is amazing that we have actually won anything – we haven’t been fighting to win!

  5. DocJay

    One of my buddies fought in SOG in Vietnam.  These badass dudes dropped in behind enemy lines with a few Montagnards (indigenous personnel) and were supposed to do mostly recon.   Policy had their positions reported to ARVN leadership among whom was a traitor who betrayed their locations frequently ending in costly firefights.   They incurred 50% casualties because of this PC policy.   I see no change in our stupidity.   PC behavior is the real enemy, we have not learned it seems nor apparently lost enough young men to alter this idiocy.  

  6. Devereaux

    Docjay – read Black April. A fine, detailed expose of our duplicity.

  7. Blue State Hostage

    There are three lines that I would love to hear Romney utter tonight:1. “It’s nice that you’ve committed yourself to tracking down the murderers of Christopher Stevens, Mr. President. My administrator will focus on preventing terrorist acts, not investigating them.”2. “There’s no trick to ending a war; anyone can cut and run. The trick is WINNING a war, and protecting victories that are already won.”3. “Bin Laden was tracked down by the tireless work of unsung heroes in the intelligence community. Regarding that system, Mr. President: you didn’t build it.”

  8. JimGoneWild
    Zafar: If US objectives in Afghanistan include ‘winning hearts and minds’ then you can’t have soldiers giving in to their baser instincts and doing My Lais, or Abu Ghraibs or getting caught urinating on corpses etc.  The only way to stop these things happening, in the bitter furious atmosphere of a vicious guerilla war, is to police the soldiers.  Is there a better way of realistically stopping these from happening?  Or is winning hearts and minds a completely unrealistic goal anyway? · 4 hours ago

    Edited 3 hours ago

    Zafar, you’ve managed to conflate many unrelated and unassociated events, concepts and clichés into a few sentences–well done.

  9. DocJay
    Skyler: It’s a completely unrealistic goal. We conquered the region (it is not a nation) and installed a religious government, did not export the Bill of Rights and we allow them to tell us what to do. It’s madness. They are illiterate barbarians . . . No, that’s too generous. They are ignorant savages, only out of the stone ages because they have found a way to get somewhat modern weapons. They have no economy and nothing worth taking. We should punish more and coddle less. · 6 hours ago

    Yes.  

  10. HVTs

    Once you understand that winning is not the goal, common sense no longer appears reversed.  Obama’s goal was and is to keep a lid on Afghanistan until reelected.  He knew he couldn’t get reelected if he simply walked away. But he doesn’t think winning is useful to his foreign policy goals.  So he’s just holding on until packing up in 2014.  He buried the war, in effect, and it has worked perfectly for him.  The war goes on and young men die week-in, week-out. But it’s almost completely unremarked upon despite an extremely close Presidential election. Who would have thought this possible in 2008?

    This is what having the media in your hip pocket is all about . . . you get to decide what’s important, instead of that being imposed upon you by others.  It has become banal to say it, but if it were still a Republican war Afghanistan would consume at huge portion of tonight’s Presidential debate on foreign policy. Instead, we will hear more about Russia (and way more about Iran) then we will about a war we’re actually fighting and in which brave Americans are actually dying.

  11. BlueAnt

    Mitt Romney needs to lead with the repeal of these horrible Rules of Engagement in tomorrow’s debate.  He’ll make a critical point that needs to be raised to the public’s attention, and he’ll catch the President off guard without a memorized soundbite.

  12. Skyler

    Marine battalions now have police officers attached to help them gather evidence and evaluate “crime” scenes.

  13. Zafar

    Skyler

    [It's a completely unrealistic goal.]

    Then why is the US in Afghanistan?

    Why not just support a local strong man and completely ignore their unjust internal policies so long as they deliver the external environment that you want (and are paying for)?

    Regards

  14. Zafar

    JimGoneWild

    [Zafar, you've managed to conflate many unrelated and unassociated events, concepts and clichés into a few sentences--well done.]

    Soldiers did kill civilians inMy Lai. They did abuse prisoners in Abu Ghraib. They did urinate on the corpses of their enemies. (We know about the last two because they photographed themselves doing it.)

    Soldiers’ actions are policed because some of them have behaved awfully in the past, and there is a perceived cost to national security from their actions.  I don’t see how that is clichéd or unrelated to the questions:

    Can they achieve their mission in these situations without some of them trying to commit atrocities?

    Can they be policed to stop atrocities without it fatally compromising their ability to achieve their mission?

    Regards

  15. Zafar

    Jonathan Cast

    [The only way to actually "win hearts and minds" is to pound the enemy and keep pounding them until the civilians conclude that supporting theUSis the only way to get peace & stability back.  (This is called "defeating" the enemy).  Then if we are magnanimous in victory,Afghanistanwill become Poland- or Japan-level in its loyalty to theUS.]

    Arguable – but I’m not sure that theUS administration and people are willing to pay the price (military, economic or political) for that.

    [Pretend-fighting just makes the civilians believe that the way to restore stability is to support the Taliban.]

    That’s actually what’s happened in the past.  Why are they foolish to believe this? They might be unrealistic if they doubted it.

    Regards

  16. Jonathan Cast
    Zafar: If US objectives in Afghanistan include ‘winning hearts and minds’ then you can’t have soldiers giving in to their baser instincts and doing My Lais, or Abu Ghraibs or getting caught urinating on corpses etc.  The only way to stop these things happening, in the bitter furious atmosphere of a vicious guerilla war, is to police the soldiers.  Is there a better way of realistically stopping these from happening?  Or is winning hearts and minds a completely unrealistic goal anyway? · 4 hours ago

    Edited 3 hours ago

    Well, no.  The only way to actually ”win hearts and minds” is to pound the enemy and keep pounding them until the civilians conclude that supporting the US is the only way to get peace & stability back.  (This is called “defeating” the enemy).  Then if we are magnanimous in victory, Afghanistan will become Poland- or Japan-level in its loyalty to the US.

    Pretend-fighting just makes the civilians believe that the way to restore stability is to support the Taliban.  (This is called “being defeated by” the enemy).

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