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Afghanistan, time to pull out?

alexa

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Does anyone agree that it is time to pull out?

What are we doing there? While the hope was to leave the civilians with a more humane and 'Afghan' type government than the Taliban and the emphasis was on avoiding civilian deaths (absolutely necessary to win their hearts), I thought possibly there was a reason.....

but does anyone really believe there is such a possibility. Guerilla fighters are always almost impossible to beat. Afghan civilians are just trying to save their lives and that of their families and will go this way or that depending on which side at any particular time seems most promising.

This leaves our soldiers themselves very vulnerable - and what for?

I was half listening to Question Time last night and someone tried to make out we were now fighting the war in Afghanistan for the opium trade.

Rawa has been asking for troops to move out for a very long time and I doubt if you will find any organisation which dislikes the Taliban as much as RAWA. However they also believe the Kabul government is about as bad and the situation of women has hardly improved since this war began. They believe that when we all move out there will be civil war and then things will settle.

What are we doing there? Is it worth the lives of our soldiers and Afghan civilians? Does anyone really see a positive conclusion in sight?
 

PeteEU

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I think it is time. Al Q is all but gone, and we are fighting a home grown religious insurgency and that is hard to beat if at all possible. The country is in the stone age still and will remain so even if we stay there for 40 years and this is solely because of the corruption and "ways things are done". You dont change it over night and in Afghanistan's case over decades. Afghanistan has gone back in time since the 1960s and that is pretty hard to do.

What we should do, is make sure as possible that AL Q does not get a new base there, and how we do that.. well that is a good question.
 

spud_meister

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I think it is, we don't want Afghanistan to get pregnant, do we?

but jesting aside, we should stay 'till the country is back on its feet, the only thing that can really stop a taliban resurgence is economic prosperity, if most of the people can have a steady income, the main base of support for the taliban, the poor and uneducated, will crumble.
 

PeteEU

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I think it is, we don't want Afghanistan to get pregnant, do we?

but jesting aside, we should stay 'till the country is back on its feet, the only thing that can really stop a taliban resurgence is economic prosperity, if most of the people can have a steady income, the main base of support for the taliban, the poor and uneducated, will crumble.
Problem with that, is that will take decades if not a century and might not happen regardless.
 

spud_meister

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Problem with that, is that will take decades if not a century and might not happen regardless.
yet, if it did happen, it could bring further stability throughout the entire region.
 

justabubba

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yet, if it did happen, it could bring further stability throughout the entire region.
yes, and if jessica biel would screw me we would have beautiful kids
the likelihood that afghanistan will move from its ancient tribal system of government and adopt an uncorrupt democracy instead is almost as unlikely as ms. biel having an amorous interest in me
Colin Powell warned of the pottery barn rule, "you break it, you own it", before this misadventure was begun
afghanistan is "unwinnable" if the definition of win is to expect that country's people to adopt our western ways
ideally, we would want to stay long enough for the government to become established, but it appears mainly interested in sucking all of the wealth of the USA for the benefit of its prominent people for their own purposes. there is nothing which indicates this government can survive without the American presence. we cannot help those who will not help themselves
al qaeda as effectively been driven out of that country; what is the point of remaining there now
 

spud_meister

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yes, and if jessica biel would screw me we would have beautiful kids
if you look anything like your avatar, that could be doubtful :2razz:

the likelihood that afghanistan will move from its ancient tribal system of government and adopt an uncorrupt democracy instead is almost as unlikely as ms. biel having an amorous interest in me
Colin Powell warned of the pottery barn rule, "you break it, you own it", before this misadventure was begun
afghanistan is "unwinnable" if the definition of win is to expect that country's people to adopt our western ways
ideally, we would want to stay long enough for the government to become established, but it appears mainly interested in sucking all of the wealth of the USA for the benefit of its prominent people for their own purposes. there is nothing which indicates this government can survive without the American presence. we cannot help those who will not help themselves
it doesn't have to be a democracy, just as long as it works, and with the couple of trillion dollars worth of resources sitting under the rocks, if that could be developed into a profitable industry, it is plausible that it'd bring stability, and modernity, and eventually, even democracy.
al qaeda as effectively been driven out of that country; what is the point of remaining there now
to make sure they don't come back, from what i've heard, quite a few of 'em just hopped the border to pakistan.
 

Mell

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Does anyone agree that it is time to pull out?
No, I dont agree. It would be too much of security risk, to leave Afghanistan to its own devices.
 

Mell

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Problem with that, is that will take decades if not a century and might not happen regardless.
Attempts still should be made to make it happen, or to keep it under control at least. And, if the foreign troops and NGOs pull out, what will happen then. Threats and terrorist attacks on other countries, unhindered drug trafficing from Afghanistan to the west...
 

Mell

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yet, if it did happen, it could bring further stability throughout the entire region.
Somehow, that seems overly optimistic. But, hopefully when there is some stability, and basic education, medical services, food ... for everybody in Afghanistan, it will at least quieten them down and eliminate or at least reduce support for the Tailban. Most people only support extreemism, when their economy is so bad, that it doesnt support a basic infrastucture and provide people with basic needs.

Will it come to the situation, where there is no other solution, but to defeat the Tailban completely, like what happened with the Nazis?
 

Infinite Chaos

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Does anyone agree that it is time to pull out?

--snip--

What are we doing there? Is it worth the lives of our soldiers and Afghan civilians? Does anyone really see a positive conclusion in sight?
It certainly became harder to produce a proper outcome when we took our eye off the ball and went into Iraq - thus losing a lot more Arab support in such endeavours.

I don't agree it's time to pull out yet but we certainly need a proper exit strategy - leaving behind something that becomes yet another failed state is not going to help us long term.
 

spud_meister

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Will it come to the situation, where there is no other solution, but to defeat the Tailban completely, like what happened with the Nazis?
thing about that, like the nazis, we'll defeat the people, but the ideology'll still hang around, and cause more trouble.
 

tacomancer

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I would say so, we are never going to reform those people.
 

justabubba

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appears many advocate nation-building
in an uneducated country where government is concentrated in the hands of tribal overlords
where there is almost no infrastructure for commerce beyond that conducted in bazaars
yet, we see how our nation-building actions backfire:
... The failure of American companies to pay for contracted work has left hundreds of Afghan workers unpaid in southern Afghanistan, and dozens of factories and small businesses so deep in debt that Afghan and foreign officials fear the fallout will undermine the United States-led counterinsurgency effort to win the support of the Afghan people.
... One foreigner familiar with Bennett-Fouch in Afghanistan said he started hearing that there were problems with subcontractors not getting paid in the fall of 2009.
... United States forces are responsible for only those contracts made directly with the prime contractor and have no means of enforcing the rights of subcontractors, said Colonel Lawhorn, the ISAF spokesman.
... “We are definitely concerned with the impact our activities have on our Afghan relationships,” Colonel Lawhorn said.

... The Afghans, who were pro-American and ready to risk threats from the Taliban to do business with American firms, said they were disappointed when the United States Embassy and United States military told them they could not help. “People are thinking the Americans are failing in everything,” Mr. Layeq said.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/08/world/asia/08contract.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&src=twt&twt=nytimes

meanwhile, notice that many corrupt afghani officials have used their US dollars to fund purchases in dubai:
U.S. Funds Used to Buy Villas for Rich Afghans - ABC News

clearly, we have learned nothing from our defeat in viet nam
 

gunner

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Does anyone agree that it is time to pull out?

What are we doing there? While the hope was to leave the civilians with a more humane and 'Afghan' type government than the Taliban and the emphasis was on avoiding civilian deaths (absolutely necessary to win their hearts), I thought possibly there was a reason.....

but does anyone really believe there is such a possibility. Guerilla fighters are always almost impossible to beat. Afghan civilians are just trying to save their lives and that of their families and will go this way or that depending on which side at any particular time seems most promising.

This leaves our soldiers themselves very vulnerable - and what for?

I was half listening to Question Time last night and someone tried to make out we were now fighting the war in Afghanistan for the opium trade.

Rawa has been asking for troops to move out for a very long time and I doubt if you will find any organisation which dislikes the Taliban as much as RAWA. However they also believe the Kabul government is about as bad and the situation of women has hardly improved since this war began. They believe that when we all move out there will be civil war and then things will settle.

What are we doing there? Is it worth the lives of our soldiers and Afghan civilians? Does anyone really see a positive conclusion in sight?
IMO Afghanistan was a legitimate target initially. We made a massive mistake switching our attention to Iraq. That said, 'we are where we are' to pull out now, like switching our focus to Iraq, would also be a fundamental mistake. As you rightly point out the Afghanistani government looks at best 'a lesser of two evils' not exactly a ringing endorsement.
The future, although comparable in small ways, is extremely different than that of Iraq, for myriad of reasons. So i see looking at it comparatively offers minimal pointers to a perceived outcome.
Why its not a good idea to pull out at this precise moment is from a military perspective 'the troop surge' will have an affect. This affect will hopefully bring with it an element of stability, however small. The difference i see, is our expectations have to suit the conditions and the people of Afghanistan.
Time scale, i feel its right the British government trying to factor in some-kind of end date and exit strategy. As whats happening in theatre, we need to concentrate more on training up indigenous forces. The fact that this has had mixed results with many susceptible to 'switching sides' is just something we have to put up with. The cultural tradition of warlords switching allegiance is synonymous with many historical conflicts in the region, and we are naive to think it will change anytime soon.
Put bluntly, the best outcome is we train and arm the least corrupt 'gang' in the country any improvement on that should be looked upon as a bonus..

Paul
 

Infinite Chaos

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appears many advocate nation-building
in an uneducated country where government is concentrated in the hands of tribal overlords
where there is almost no infrastructure for commerce beyond that conducted in bazaars
yet, we see how our nation-building actions backfire:
--
No, I think nation-building is a mistake except where the nation involved asks for help as Sierre Leone is apparently doing now by asking the Brits to come back in. The first military people into the country were warning us from the start that it would take many years to do what the political masters may have thought could be done in a couple of months or years.

I think we need now to take stock of where we are now, produce a valid exit strategy and hopefully leave behind the least corrupt gang as gunner has said to run the country. We couldn't hope to do anything else in the timeframe the public seem willing to accept for our remaining in country. What Afghanistan needs now (in my opinion) is a period of stability - democracy and western ideals are something they have to build from within when they wish to - we can't impose them on when we are also there as a military force trying to impose security.
 

jujuman13

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Personally I would prefer it if Russia was invited to send troops to help with (in effect what the west is trying to do is subjugate Afghanistan) subduing Afghanistan.
 

gunner

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Personally I would prefer it if Russia was invited to send troops to help with (in effect what the west is trying to do is subjugate Afghanistan) subduing Afghanistan.
I dont see it as subjugating Afghanistan rather trying to offer a little stability after supplanting the Taliban. What happens in the long term is anyone's guess..

Paul
 
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mmm yes, because those pesky Afghans were in need of a good subduing weren't they.

Have we a secure and reliable opium to heroin manufacture and exportation mechanism set up yet?

And is the pipeline deal all organised, well we know it is yes, well then can we be assured of security during it's construction years?

If not, British troops won't be coming out of there anytime soon.





Are we gonna let them continue?

I think we are really aren't we. The majority are either too blind, too distracted by the chicken coup or couldn't give a toss, or all three.




Ring around the rosy, a pocketful of posies, a-tish-u a-tish-u we all fall down.
 
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mac

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Does anyone agree that it is time to pull out?

What are we doing there? While the hope was to leave the civilians with a more humane and 'Afghan' type government than the Taliban and the emphasis was on avoiding civilian deaths (absolutely necessary to win their hearts), I thought possibly there was a reason.....

but does anyone really believe there is such a possibility. Guerilla fighters are always almost impossible to beat. Afghan civilians are just trying to save their lives and that of their families and will go this way or that depending on which side at any particular time seems most promising.

This leaves our soldiers themselves very vulnerable - and what for?

I was half listening to Question Time last night and someone tried to make out we were now fighting the war in Afghanistan for the opium trade.

Rawa has been asking for troops to move out for a very long time and I doubt if you will find any organisation which dislikes the Taliban as much as RAWA. However they also believe the Kabul government is about as bad and the situation of women has hardly improved since this war began. They believe that when we all move out there will be civil war and then things will settle.

What are we doing there? Is it worth the lives of our soldiers and Afghan civilians? Does anyone really see a positive conclusion in sight?
How long have we been in Europe? Japan? 60+ years?
 
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