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Obama Unlikely to Widen Afghan War

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by JBond, Jan 31, 2009.

  1. JBond

    JBond Well-Known Member

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    Obama Unlikely to Widen Afghan War

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/elections/2009/01/31/obama-unlikely-widen-afghan-war/100days/

    WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama campaigned on a promise to redirect U.S. troops and resources to Afghanistan from Iraq, but he has done little so far to suggest he will significantly widen the grinding war with insurgents in Afghanistan.

    On the contrary, Obama appears likely to streamline the U.S. focus with an eye to the worsening economy and the cautionary example of the Iraq war that sapped political support for President George W. Bush.

    "There's not simply a military solution to that problem," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said last week, and Obama believes "that only through long-term and sustainable development can we ever hope to turn around what's going on there."

    Less than two weeks into the new administration, Obama has had little to say in public about what his top military adviser says is the largest challenge facing the armed forces. He did say Afghanistan and Pakistan are the central front in the struggle against terrorism, a clue to the likely shift toward a targeted counterterrorism strategy.

    After Obama's first visit to the Pentagon as president, a senior defense official said the new president surveyed top uniformed officers about the strain of fighting two wars and warned that the economic crisis will limit U.S. responses. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because Obama's meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff was private.

    Obama said he wants to add troops to turn back a resurgent Taliban, but he has not gone beyond the approximately 30,000 additional forces already under consideration by the previous administration. Those troops will nearly double the U.S. presence in Afghanistan this year, but they amount to a finger in the dike while Obama recalibrates a chaotic mishmash of military and development objectives.

    Defense Secretary Robert Gates last week warned of grandiose goals in Afghanistan, prescribing a single-minded strategy to prevent Afghanistan from being a terrorism launchpad.

    "Afghanistan is the fourth or fifth poorest country in the world, and if we set ourselves the objective of creating some sort of Central Asian Valhalla over there, we will lose," Gates said, referring to a haven of purity in Norse mythology. "Nobody in the world has that kind of time, patience or money, to be honest."

    Obama has ordered a fast internal review of his military, diplomatic and other options in Afghanistan before he makes decisions that define how aggressively he will answer the growing threat of failure in Afghanistan.

    Along with that review, coordinated by the National Security Council, Obama will have results of a just-completed classified Joint Chiefs of Staff assessment of a largely stalemated fight against the Taliban and counterterrorism efforts against al-Qaida and affiliated groups along the Pakistan border.

    That report, which has not yet gone to the White House, talks broadly about tamping down expectations in the Afghan war.

    Instead, it suggests that key goals should be to make modest gains to stabilize the governance and to eliminate terrorist safe havens, senior defense officials said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the report is secret.

    It also calls for military commanders to better articulate what their objectives in Afghanistan are because only then can leaders determine what types of troops should be deployed and how many.

    The Joint Chiefs review also stresses that the strategy must be driven by what the Afghans want and that the U.S. cannot impose its own goals on the Afghan government.

    Also coming: Army Gen. David Petraeus' wider survey of both the Afghan and Iraq wars and other issues in the Middle East. Petraeus, military architect of the "surge" of U.S. troops in Iraq, is not likely to recommend a similar increase in Afghanistan. Like Gates, Petraeus has argued that the United States cannot shoot itself into victory in Afghanistan.

    And waiting for Obama when he arrived was an unreleased assessment by the Bush White House that sketched grim options in a war that the Bush administration once thought was all but won.

    "It is clear that 2009 will be a crisis year in Afghanistan," said Anthony Cordesman, a close student of military developments in Afghanistan at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "Fundamental changes are needed in U.S. strategy, force levels and aid effort to reverse years of inadequate and incompetent efforts."
  2. Jon88

    Jon88 Benched

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    I'm sure al qaeda has high tailed it over there after getting beat in Iraq.
  3. JBond

    JBond Well-Known Member

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    I remember what he said he would do. He claimed he would invade Pakistan in the search for Bin Laden. He claimed he would make winning in Afghanistan a priority.

    So what is he going to do?
  4. CowboyWay

    CowboyWay If Coach would have put me in, we'd a won State

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    :lmao2:
  5. sacase

    sacase Well-Known Member

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    You realize that AQI essentiall gave up Iraq and decided to fight us else were. You probably already know casualties in Iraq are less than Afghanistan. So yes we did kick their *** in Iraq.

    I find this comment interesting. I was in a couple meetings with some folks from CENTCOM and they are making plans to move more troops into theater. Pratreus is a very agressive General.
  6. Jon88

    Jon88 Benched

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  7. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    Afghanistan is in many ways so much more primitive then Iraq. The people are much more illiterate and superstitious and subject to local leaders. It was the people who finally stood up in Iraq and when we showed that we were willing to go the extra mile with the surge they made themselves count.
    Sadly I do not see that in Afghanistan. Probably we will just have to go counter insurgency and just hang in there. Not a whole lot else we can do. As regards Pakistan that actually might be the REAL TROUBLE point. The fundamentalists have way too much power there and the ISI is a cesspool.
    And the government is now weak.
  8. CowboyMcCoy

    CowboyMcCoy Business is a Boomin

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    Sadly, it's now our obligation to establish a government there too.
  9. Cajuncowboy

    Cajuncowboy Preacher From The Black Lagoon

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    Why bother with these people? They are too dang blinded to understand the realities on the ground. All they do is parrot what Obhermann tells them. End of story.
  10. Aikbach

    Aikbach Active Member

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    Funny, could've sworn I was being sent to Afghanistan in three weeks.
  11. Cajuncowboy

    Cajuncowboy Preacher From The Black Lagoon

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    Sounds like you are going to be on your own.

    Lots of luck with that.

    :D
  12. iceberg

    iceberg detoxed Zone Supporter

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    try to blend. it will go much easier on you. :)

    good luck man. hope things go well and you're home soon.
  13. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    :laugh2: You are a big bully.
  14. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    The minute we decided to go to War, I think this was a foregone conclusion. Regardless of what is said by politicians, I have always believed that America will have bases in the Middle East. I don't believe we will be leaving that region for many, many years.
  15. Jon88

    Jon88 Benched

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    They've yet to figure out how to act civilized so we have to show them.
  16. iceberg

    iceberg detoxed Zone Supporter

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    when are we going to figure it out?
  17. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    Peace Sells, but Who's Buying.
  18. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    It's a marketing problem IMO. I mean, you look at the last guy who bought into this plan and look what happened to him?

    :eek::
  19. Jon88

    Jon88 Benched

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    Some people can't be reasoned with.
  20. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    I guess my joke went over people's heads.

    [IMG]

    But maybe some here were/are not into 80s thrash.:D

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