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Obama to demand more from Europe in Berlin speech

MSgt

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GySgt, I have one coveat to add to your statements about NATO. Canada is currently the leader of the NATO mission in Afghanistan and has not been timidly moving forward. Canadian casualties are reported weekly and there is intense fighting going on now. What you're saying implies that NATO only has the ability, if it would quit its whining, to hold the fort until America arrives. What a sad twist of reality.
Canada is a part of that anglo English speaking alliance that always bears the burden of our efforts. The most dangerous region is in the south where Canada, the U.S., and Britian are located. NATO hasn't the ability to be anything more than national guard abroad because Europe has refused to act in accordance to what it discovered during the Bosnia/Kosovo campaign.




How long will America, Britain, Canada and other NATO countries remain in Afghanistan? It really doesn't matter because after they have gone the Taliban or someone like them will still be there. They win by simply out waiting the West. This is the lesson of history. America can arrive tomorrow or in 10 years, it won't make a difference. You're dealing with a fractured country made up of tribal sections that are multi-generational in nature.

Of all of Alexander the Great's conquests, Afghanistan was among the hardest and most time consuming. And of all the troops that Alexander left behind to garrison his new domains, an astonishing 95% were left in what is now modern Afghanistan. The British failed to conquer the country in the 1880's just as the Soviets failed 100 years later. Those who ignore the past are condemned to relive it. This is exactly what our leaders are doing today.
Which is why enough people have stated that dealing with this region will be a multi-generational effort. Nobody, except for idiots and pundits are arguing that this is or was supposed to be a quick fix. The problem was and is never the malicious overlords who are easily stripped of power. It was always the tribes underneath once that Overlord was released from duty who have to cope with freedom. Alexander had to dedicate a lengthy campaign to defeating Afghanistan. We dropped the Tali-Ban from power in weeks. We are not repeating history, because we do not seek to conquer or to colonize. We have offered and given Afghanistan to the people and when they are able to defend their government by themselves, we will be released from the pressure. Much like what occurred in Iraq. The tribal themes within are the same but far much persuasive in Afghanistan.
 
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Orion

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I don't think a multi-generational effort is sustainable. I can't speak for the other nations but Canada won't be in there for that long. There is already talk of withdrawl by 2012.
 

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We didn't go into Iraq as heavy as we should have to occupy correctly and this is why we have had to correct the chaos for years the hard way. What do you think is happening in Afghanistan? Just one more example where even our "allies" refuse to do the job correctly. Mass deployments is what sees an effort quickly to bed. Not feeble attempts to prove support and a never ending bare minimum deployment schedule year after year.
We had 550,000 in Vietnam, certainly a mass deployment by any standard.

Mass deployment may stifle the symptoms of an insurgency, but not the cause of it.
 

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We had 550,000 in Vietnam, certainly a mass deployment by any standard.
We did not deploy 550,000 men to Vietnam. We gradually worked towards that number out of reaction and throughout the event our government treated it as a "conflict" and never gave it the attention it demanded.


Mass deployment may stifle the symptoms of an insurgency, but not the cause of it.
I don't know what you mean here. A proper deployment to begin with reduces the abilities of an enemy to organize. If you wish to reduce crime in the streets, you place a "beat cop" at every corner. In a thoroughly broken society, such as Iraq, only large numbers of occupation troops provide a sound foundation for the rebirth of civil order. Whereever we cannot be, latent enemies emerge. We saw this in Iraq. Our enemies did not organize on the streets where our military was patrolling. They chose cities (Fallujah, Najaf) where our presence was limited or absent and attacked out.

Regardless, without the proper number of troops, in the beginning of an event like this, we are prevented from following the basic rules of occupation in the first place. And we've spent five years recovering from this blunder.
 

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I don't think a multi-generational effort is sustainable. I can't speak for the other nations but Canada won't be in there for that long. There is already talk of withdrawl by 2012.
Not us. Them. They will be left with something they have never been left with before. History lessons in regards to former conquerers do not apply. With a basic foundation and strength to protect their democracy, they only need generations of people to thrive. This entire "war on terror" is going to take decades and much of it will rely upon the Muslim people and their future generation. People born into freedom and democracy do not simply dismiss it away. They may take it for granted (U.S.A.), or they may give up some election power to government (Russia) or threaten to drown in tribal feuding (Pakistan), but most seek ways to protect it and to move forward (Turkey). The multi-generational effort, for not only Afghanistan but the region, is on their shoulders. This was always the case. We were never going to leave "Vermont" in the desert at the end of our military efforts.
 

Iriemon

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We did not deploy 550,000 men to Vietnam. We gradually worked towards that number out of reaction and throughout the event our government treated it as a "conflict" and never gave it the attention it demanded.
Sure seemed like the Govt gave it lots of attention to me.

I don't know what you mean here. A proper deployment to begin with reduces the abilities of an enemy to organize. If you wish to reduce crime in the streets, you place a "beat cop" at every corner. In a thoroughly broken society, such as Iraq, only large numbers of occupation troops provide a sound foundation for the rebirth of civil order. Whereever we cannot be, latent enemies emerge. We saw this in Iraq. Our enemies did not organize on the streets where our military was patrolling. They chose cities (Fallujah, Najaf) where our presence was limited or absent and attacked out.
Yes, brute force reduces the symptoms of crime/insurgency. But not the cause of it.

The Nazis used brute force in occupied Europe. The Soviets used brute force in Afghanistan. That suppressed but did not eliminated the insurgencies, and it died not eliminate the reasons for the insurgency, only magnified it.

Regardless, without the proper number of troops, in the beginning of an event like this, we are prevented from following the basic rules of occupation in the first place. And we've spent five years recovering from this blunder.
The blunder was going in in the first place, based on your assertion of what were bald faced lies by this Administration about WMDs and the supposed threat they supposedly represented.
 

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Sure seemed like the Govt gave it lots of attention to me.
Not the right kind of attention. Their attention was based on reaction. One can't win a war when one's government pretends that it is little more than a conflict. Whther or not we agree on what war is the proper war for us, when our government decides to take part in one or conduct one, it has the obligation to give our troops everything they need to win it. This is called full commitment. What if we hit Normandy with only half the troop strength we did because half was "good enough?" Or hit Iwo Jima with "just enough" troops? We have been playing this "good enough" game since WWII and this is why we keep running into problems that always go back to troop strength. This idea we have that we can send men into war for a limited period of time and then relieve them with fresh green troops is stupid. We did not deploy to the Pacific theater or to Europe with this idea that a 6 month pump between units would do the job. What should take a matter of a relatively easy few years always turns into a long drawn out and expensive violent expedition.

Yes, brute force reduces the symptoms of crime/insurgency. But not the cause of it.

The Nazis used brute force in occupied Europe. The Soviets used brute force in Afghanistan. That suppressed but did not eliminated the insurgencies, and it died not eliminate the reasons for the insurgency, only magnified it.
I didn't say anything about "brute" force. It doesn't require "brute" force. It requires presence and proper execution. The Nazis conquered. The Soviets sought to conquer. We were always going to leave. Our entire history proves this. Giving them the opportunity to vote on their new government proves this. The insurgency in Iraq got much of its recruits from the Iraqi youth who had absolutely nothing to do. They had no jobs. No way to feed their families. No gaurantee of security. Militias were formed in order to not only attack American troops, but to protect their families from rival tribes. This is because we failed to occupy correctly.


The blunder was going in in the first place, based on your assertion of what were bald faced lies by this Administration about WMDs and the supposed threat they supposedly represented.
Yeah, yeah. That's the America that defines that shining capital on the hill right? Support the dictators for oil stability in the Middle East during the Cold War, but refuse to topple them after the Cold War when we can finally focus on fixing oppressed regions for fear of the stigma that we only did it for oil? This is twisted morality. Hiding behind Bush lies and WMDs only furthers this sense of denial that you have about this failing civilization we are up against.

The way to get long term security from WMDs is not to watch oppressed and brutal civilizations who support religious terror drive themselves straight to hell while seeking someone to blame.
 
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Iriemon

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Not the right kind of attention. Their attention was based on reaction. One can't win a war when one's government pretends that it is little more than a conflict. Whther or not we agree on what war is the proper war for us, when our government decides to take part in one or conduct one, it has the obligation to give our troops everything they need to win it. This is called full commitment. What if we hit Normandy with only half the troop strength we did because half was "good enough?" Or hit Iwo Jima with "just enough" troops? We have been playing this "good enough" game since WWII and this is why we keep running into problems that always go back to troop strength. This idea we have that we can send men into war for a limited period of time and then relieve them with fresh green troops is stupid. We did not deploy to the Pacific theater or to Europe with this idea that a 6 month pump between units would do the job. What should take a matter of a relatively easy few years always turns into a long drawn out and expensive violent expedition.
I disagree with your assertion that the 550,000 deployed to Vietnam was based on what was "just enough".

I didn't say anything about "brute" force. It doesn't require "brute" force. It requires presence and proper execution. The Nazis conquered. The Soviets sought to conquer. We were always going to leave. Our entire history proves this. Giving them the opportunity to vote on their new government proves this. The insurgency in Iraq got much of its recruits from the Iraqi youth who had absolutely nothing to do. They had no jobs. No way to feed their families. No gaurantee of security. Militias were formed in order to not only attack American troops, but to protect their families from rival tribes. This is because we failed to occupy correctly.
Your claim that we were always going to leave is contradicted by Administration efforts to establish a permanent presence in Iraq.

I disagree with your assertion that the insurgency in Iraq is based on idle youth.


Yeah, yeah. That's the America that defines that shining capital on the hill right? Support the dictators for oil stability in the Middle East during the Cold War, but refuse to topple them after the Cold War when we can finally focus on fixing oppressed regions for fear of the stigma that we only did it for oil? This is twisted morality. Hiding behind Bush lies and WMDs only furthers this sense of denial that you have about this failing civilization we are up against.
No, that is based upon your own assertion that the Administration knew that Iraq had no WMDs, and therefore deliberately lied to the public in order to justify a war that was otherwise unjustifiable.

The way to get long term security from WMDs is not to watch oppressed and brutal civilizations who support religious terror drive themselves straight to hell while seeking someone to blame.
The way to long term security is not attacking other nations based on bald faced lies, givening those who seek to foster support for hatred against the US perfect legitimacy.
 

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I disagree with your assertion that the 550,000 deployed to Vietnam was based on what was "just enough".
You just don't get it. And when did 550,000 get deployed? At one time or in increments as they decided that "just enough" wasn't good enough? The first deployments was in the hundreds and then the thousands and then the ten thousands. Each time the attitude was that it was "good enough." When they finally reached 550,000 they should have acknowledged that they should have deployed 550,00 to begin with. We would not have had to be in react mode for 7 years.

There is an old Army maxim: A lack of occupation troops inspires resistance. The result of this is finding ourselves deploying additional forces to support a troubled effort.

Your claim that we were always going to leave is contradicted by Administration efforts to establish a permanent presence in Iraq.
We were always going to leave in the capacity that we left Japan or Korea or Germany or Kuwait or the many other places the local governments have invited us to stay. Our base has nothing to do with controlling the country or the people. Nothing is contradicted. We did not go in as Nazis to conquer and to rule as you implied. We did not go in as imperialists as the Soviets did as you implied. We went in the same way we have always gone in. With every intention to give back with the possibility of leaving a base for future entanglements. We have never kept an inch of conquered territory abroad that wasn't offerred.

I disagree with your assertion that the insurgency in Iraq is based on idle youth.
And what do you base your disagreement on? Good faith? It is a fact that much of the local resistance was made up of youth or out of work fathers that eventually tired of the idea that "utopia" was going to be delivered by the bare minimum of American troop strength. We couldn't protect them, they protected themselves. Some joined the international Al-Queda element. As things worsened, the locals became more angry with the situation.


No, that is based upon your own assertion that the Administration knew that Iraq had no WMDs, and therefore deliberately lied to the public in order to justify a war that was otherwise unjustifiable.
Because human misery and terror is unjustifiable. Because acknowledging our responsibilities is unjustifiable. Because attempting to correct the path an entire civilization is on while blaming solely us and Jews is unjustifiable. We've heard it before Iriemon. Without WMDs pointed at us, the world can rot as long as we maintain our illusions of "peace" and happiness on the hill.

The way to long term security is not attacking other nations based on bald faced lies, givening those who seek to foster support for hatred against the US perfect legitimacy.
Heard it already. We should have stated that we are attacking Saddam Hussein because he deserved it long ago when we were too caught up in our fantasies about stability equaling peace and has since ignored his every snubbing at the UN. perhaps that would have broken people's sense of false morality. Then they could be honest and state that Iraqis matter as little as Africans do....but we care because we are the shining capital on the hill.
 
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Orion

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Not us. Them. They will be left with something they have never been left with before. History lessons in regards to former conquerers do not apply. With a basic foundation and strength to protect their democracy, they only need generations of people to thrive. This entire "war on terror" is going to take decades and much of it will rely upon the Muslim people and their future generation. People born into freedom and democracy do not simply dismiss it away. They may take it for granted (U.S.A.), or they may give up some election power to government (Russia) or threaten to drown in tribal feuding (Pakistan), but most seek ways to protect it and to move forward (Turkey). The multi-generational effort, for not only Afghanistan but the region, is on their shoulders. This was always the case. We were never going to leave "Vermont" in the desert at the end of our military efforts.
I sincerely hope you're right, but the cynic in me is doubtful. It's one thing to instill the ideas of democracy into a society, it's another to try and do it with a region that, for thousands of years, has been ruled by separate tribal associations who never seem to agree on anything. (Except for maybe that the infidels of the West need to be fought.) I question if the Middle East is culturally ready to accept Democracy for the longhaul, since traditionalism is still the status quo. Cultural shifts take generations, during which time Democracy can be overturned once more.

Like I said... hopeful but also doubtful.
 
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