The runaway war

The runaway war

Nearly 70 percent of Americans say the U.S. should not be at war in Afghanistan — and yet, it is. And it will continue to be so, in some form, for at least the next decade.

There may be no bigger example of the oft-discussed “gap” between the civilian population and the military than the disconnect between popular opposition to the war and its stubborn persistence. Americans say they don’t want the war to continue, but they don’t care enough to elect lawmakers who’ll end it sooner, or to march in the streets themselves. To the Pentagon, this means ‘stay the course.’

Secretary Panetta said Tuesday that polls cannot dictate the conduct of the war — that way lies madness, he argued. Here’s how AP’s Lolita Baldor put it:


Panetta said that there is no question that the American people are tired of war. But, he said, the public understands the U.S. is engaged in Afghanistan because of the attacks on Sept. 11, and to prevent al Qaida from again finding safe havens there to launch attacks.

“We cannot fight wars by polls. If we do that we’re in deep trouble,” Panetta told reporters at a news conference after a day of meetings with Canadian and Mexican defense ministers. “We have to operate based on what we believe is the best strategy to achieve the mission that we are embarked on. And the mission here is to safeguard our country by ensuring that the Taliban and al-Qaida never again find a safe haven in Afghanistan.”

A New York Times/CBS News poll found that 69 percent of those questioned believe the United States should not be at war in Afghanistan, and roughly the same amount say the fighting is going either somewhat or very badly. The numbers are up sharply from four months ago, when a bit more than half said the U.S. should not be at war in Afghanistan.

The survey reflects a growing frustration among the public and on Capitol Hill with the war, even as the Obama administration tries to map out an exit strategy that would shift the security lead to the Afghans by mid-2013.

But let’s be clear: Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said he expects some $4 billion per year from the West for at least a decade to subsidize the Afghan National Security Forces — and that’ll no doubt include continued training from American and international troops. Plus a large contingent of special operations forces will likely remain in Afghanistan to mow the  terrorist lawn. So the war is going to put on a low simmer, but it’ll still be there well after the Afghans take “responsibility” next year.

What does it say about our Republic that it can persist with a war that most of its citizens oppose? Maybe that it isn’t really “opposition” if people don’t do anything about it. Maybe it’s an indictment of a general public that mostly is not affected by the war, insulated by the disproportionate load borne by the all-volunteer force. Maybe it’s a vindication of Panetta’s point: Suppose the U.S. has a great few months and the polls fluctuate the other way, with 70 percent of people surveyed saying they want Afghanistan to be the 51st state. With the pullout on course, would Washington have to reverse once more and send in another surge?

There’s also a case to be made that nearly every war the U.S. has fought since World War II was done in the face of home-front opposition — Korea partly meant the end of the Democrats’ hold on the presidency; Vietnam felled several presidents of its own; and Iraq and Afghanistan have been consistently unpopular since about 2006. Yet each one kept up in spite of protests, speeches, petitions and all the rest of it. Even the heavy tumult of the late 1960s did not actually end the war in Vietnam.

At this point, the U.S. is in Afghanistan because the U.S. is in Afghanistan, and as Panetta said Tuesday, it has to stick it out now because others stuck it out before:

Panetta said that a lot of lives have been lost in the war, and “our commitment must be to ensure that those lives have not been lost in vain.” He said that he and his military commanders are convinced that 2011 was a turning point in the war and that the levels of violence are declining.

That means — let’s all say it together — “The next X months in Afghanistan will be critical.” Just as the last ones were.

Join the Conversation

It’s a shame that the because of the political silly season that is upon us, there can be no rational discussion on the war in Afghanistan. We all see the money pit that it has become, that the corrupt nature of the Afghan government and lack of local security defeats the COIN approach, that a strategy of containment, supplemented by intelligence and spec ops, could easily blunt the Taliban threat. But no, we have to play the games of looking tough for the political theater. ____Yes, in just a few Friedman units, we’ll be turning the corner in Afghanistan! Repeat that statement as needed every few months.

Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.
— Hermann Goering at Nuremberg.

The media killed popular support for wars. Just look at Vietnam. I’m not saying it in a “TV is the enemy or America” or some other bullshit, but seeing people die and the other horrible things does make us reconsider war very fast. Places were conflict is highest are in places which lack readily available or uncensored TV, Internet, or even Newspapers about the goings on. Not saying that it could end war, but make it very hard to start one for a bad reason.

Were doing the same ill fated tactics the Soviets where doing there thirty years ago. Set up a pro USA state and defeat a insurgency well we are failing there like the Russian did.

“Yes, in just a few Friedman units…”

You beat me to it Jason. I wonder if that was Mr. Ewing’s intention with that last sentence.

Same as the Soviets? Really? I don’t recall us carpet bombing villages or bulldozing thousands of acres of food farms or any of a number of scorched-earth tactics the Soviets used. Our long-term plan for the Taliban insurgency may ultimately fail, but not because we’re acting like the Soviets. Afghanistan is traditionally an ungovernable place and any attempt to deal with Afghanistan must take Pakistan into account. The Soviets never tried and all we’ve done are drone airstrikes. Pakistan is one big supply and replacement depot for the insurgency (as it was in the Soviet era).

It was.

Maybe it is time, decades after, to stop believing the US war propaganda of these past times. The Soviets did not carpet bombing.
Soviets were more clever and more cautious than we are, but the US was greatly funding and arming Al Qaida…

Herat, Kabul, and Kandahar were bombed from high altitude on a regular basis, sometimes in raids of dozens of aircraft at a time. Farmland was bombed in mass raids as well. Planting millions of mines without bothering to write down where they put them is clever and cautious? And by the way Al Qaeda didn’t exist as a named organization until after the Soviet withdrawl from Afghanistan. We helped fund and equip many groups in Afghanistan that were fighting the Soviets. Bin Laden was just another dude back then.
http://​news​.cgunson​.com/​k​a​p​l​a​n​/​t​x​t​/​a​f​g​h​a​n​.​pdf
http://​news​.google​.com/​n​e​w​s​p​a​p​e​r​s​?​n​i​d​=​1​7​5​5​&​a​m​p​;da

Check this out about Panetta–
Did you know about Panetta’s affiliation with the Marxist IPS?
Institute for Policy Studies http://​chasvoice​.blogspot​.com/​2​0​1​1​/​1​1​/​i​n​s​t​i​t​u​t​e-f

Secdef wants to continue the war? Give him a gun and send him.

While collateral damage is kept down compared to the Soviet war. fact is were in the same crap as Vietnam placating to our enemies and being to nice to Islamic scum who kill our troops we are finished there.

If the President, SecDef and military leaders really do think they need to continue the war in Afghanistan then they also need to clearly convey to the citizens WHY the war should be continued. At the very least the leaders have failed miserably at that.

Personally I cringed when I heard that US military forces were going into Afghanistan because the place has been a mess for centuries. Their culture doesn’t provide the education on which democracries rely so I have very little confidence that any real progress can be made within a reasonable amount of time. You can’t just accelerate a culture from being iron age to computer age in a few short years.

It is HARD to fight and win a war when POLITICS end up TYING the HANDS of the soldier behind his BACK and he cannot defend himself because the guy who just sot at him dropped his gun and ran

TMB — You’re wasting good thought on morons and myopic “blame America first” types.

“We cannot fight wars by polls. If we do that we’re in deep trouble,” Panetta said. Agree. We also shouldn’t fight them one handed either.

Pakistan is the reason we are still in Afghanistan a decade later and going in with less troops than we should have resulted in a much longer and painful stay than required in Iraq (whether one agreed with it or not).

What’s more exhausting than a decade of war is not listening to the military, not fighting a war to win it and then coming home. I tire of pundits that can’t help but repeat the narrative about America’s war exhaustion. No kidding! What about the administration sending 75% of what was asked for? Simultaneously stating a withdrawl date contrary to the military’s advice? A decade of playing with pakistan? Instead politicians and pundits just keep the pot simmering as American lives boil away.

What did you do when the towers came down? Sending troops to Afghanistan was inevitable.

Afghanistan has always been a tough row to hoe. Being hard isn’t a reason to not do what one must. Using that knowledge we should have never launched the Doolittle raid let alone declared war on Japan. Japan has never lost a war to that point.

If we could really protect our borders and control people we allow in, we would not need to worry so much about terrorists. Political correctness is killing our country!

Raiding Laos and Cambodia were politically sensitive decisions during Vietnam (they were technically neutral) and to some they were being used by the North rather than willing participants; however, the supply stores we destroyed set them back by months. Pakistan has the same relationship with Afghanistan, only much more willing. Our best bet would have been to seal the border with our own troops when the war started, capture or kill Al Qaeda and the Taliban’s leadership at the outset instead of letting them escape, then calling it a day.

There are a couple issues with “fighting by the polls.” One is that in a democracy or republic, you tie your own hands when you don’t get popular support for the war. The second is, if you can’t convey how important the war is to the public, you have to ask yourself if it actually is important? A “just” war shouldn’t be a hard sell. You’ve got some politicians and citizens who say after the damage we’ve done to AQ, staying won’t be productive and isn’t worth the money or lives and get out now. You’ve got others who say if we leave, then the Taliban and AQ will just come back. The problem is regardless if we leave next week, in 2014, or in 2054, the Taliban isn’t going anywhere. They live in Afghanistan and Pakistan and one of those countries has hardly been touched.

Americans are getting tired of a military that cant win and just blames everyone else for it’s defeat.

No, that would just be you.

By the way, what were we supposed to win?

It is not a forgone conclusion that we had to go into Afghanistan. Do we occupy every country that harbors terrorists? Obviously not as Pakistan is sitting there as bold as brass.

A strategy that plans on invading and rebuilding every country that harbors terrorists isn’t realistic.

What should we do? Go in, kill the bad guys and then leave, in other words, use those countries as a honey pot so we know where to find the folks we need to kill. The problem I have with the current strategy is the nation building in a place that has never been a nation and doesn’t have the cultural basis to build a nation.

The population of the USA still has a mindset that wars start and end neatly like WW II did and the war against Islamic terrorists just isn’t going to be that clean.

As far as your analogy goes, Japan hadn’t won all of it’s wars either and they more than had their hands full with China before we were involved. Their war with Russia earlier in the 20th century wasn’t exactly a win either. They won several battles but they were losing the war of attrition.

The problem isn’t the military losing because they aren’t losing. The problem is the lack of a real and realistic goal.

Turning Afghanistan into a real country when they’ve never been a real country and have no desire to be one was a ridiculous goal.

If the goal was killing our enemies, which I think is a much more realistic goal, then we’ve won. Will there be more enemies to kill? There always will be but do we need to build a nation to stop it and is that possible? Not with their current culture.

Zak, we don’t need to go into every country that harbors terrorists, but we definitely needed to go after the 9/11 perpetrators. Your suggestion about going in, killing the bad guys, then leaving is exactly what I suggested a couple comments down. When we went into Afghanistan we pretty much became the Northern Alliance’s air force and helped them take back the country. We thought they’d be enough to meet our goals, but between their training, resources, and private politics, they let the Taliban and AQ leadership escape. The CIA asked CENTCOM to block the border crossings while they were pursuing OBL, but it didn’t happen. Nation building in Afghanistan is pointless, but you’d also have to be sure that our attack against AQ wasn’t going to plunge Afghanistan into anarchy. That would’ve made the long term outlook just as bad.

Zak — You cringe when we sent troops to Afghanistan but you didn’t tell us what you did when the towers came down. Japan had never lost a war until WWII to include the Sino-Russian War or its ops in China. As for having it’s hands full with China history would disagree. Heard of Pearl Harbor, the fall of the Philippines and Hong Kong?

You can make a case against nation building. Making a case against sending troops to Afghanistan ignores any common sense response to 911 unless you’re a peacenik. Those that whine about Afghanistan and our continued presence always fail to address how to keep the nation from becoming a terrorist center of gravity in the future.

TMB – Typically agree with many of your perspectives but you’re missing the boat big time with your analysis of early OIF. We didn’t have the combat power necessary to secure the Afghan-Pak border in 2001 or even into early 2002. Suggest you read from the Comm. on Foreign Relations (US Senate) –Nov 30, 2009 hearings chaired by Sen Kerry and Friedman’s “America’s Secret War”._Contrary to the Tora Bora Talking point, its obvious we couldn’t keep Bin laden and Co from escaping. We didn’t have enough troops, helos, time or supplies to lock him down. The military enthusiasts don’t worry about the details to conduct company let alone BDE strength Air Assaults or Medevac, supply or how many Gator mines it takes to seal a 20 square clicks to foot traffic (our whole inventory +). Don’t drink the cool aid. _Peter Feaver (member of the National Security Council then) said it best… “The U.S. invasion of Afghanistan succeeded because of the “light” approach used. Losing OBL at Tora Bora was the price of that light approach. We had bin Laden within reach at Tora Bora precisely because we were willing to try the very light-footprint approach they denounce.”

TMB — Sealing the Pak border was beyond our capabilities then as it still may be. Read my earlier post for specific details.

Agree. America can never win a war without public support. Polls are just a very finicky measure each side uses to gain power.

Building a democratic state was never a requirement to “win” (defined as making Afghanistan strong enough to not become a terror haven in the near future). The problem is idealists on both sides would accept nothing less.

One of the lead CIA guys on the ground during the initial OEF assaults wrote in his book Jawbreaker that he was pursuing a convoy of SUVs headed to Pakistan (he was a day or two travel behind them) that he believed contained AQ and Taliban leadership. He asked Franks for a blocking force but nothing was available. In the battle plan we executed, no, there weren’t nearly enough forces or equipment available for such a mission. In this hypothetical, I’m saying what if we had deployed enough troops for such a mission or waited longer to attack? When did OBL and Co decide to make a run for it? Could a battalions or two of Rangers have made a difference?

TMB – Not familiar with the specific incident but if you reference it I’ll look it up. Have and read both ‘Jawbreaker” & “Kill Bin Laden”. Great books but buth suffer from battlefield myopia. I’ve had it, it’s when you know exactly what’s going on in your area of influence but nothing to the left, right or above. Higher’s decisions don’t seem to make sense and life sucks. With all respect and gratitude, Bertsen and Dalton Fury didn’t know what was available in theatre or what it would take to get them on the ground

.__From the suggested reading hearings: “Alternative Battle Plan Section” “One former officer told the Committee staff that the inability to get sufficient medical-evacuation helicopters into the rough terrain was a major stumbling block for those who considered trying to push for the assault. He also said there were worries that bad weather would ground transport helicopters or, worse, knock them out of the sky.” … “Commanders estimated that deploying 1,000 to 3,000 American troops would have required several hundred airlift flights by helicopters over a week or more.” Finally, LTG Michael DeLong (USMC) Deputy Commander of CENTCOM… “DeLong defended the decision not to deploy large numbers of American troops. ”We didn’t have the lift,” he told the Committee staff. ”We didn’t have the medical capabilities.”

Going in heavier is exactly what Bin Laden expected/wanted. The reason we were able to pin OBL at Tora Bora is the light footprint we utilized. A heavier footprint/buildup would have set him running to Pakistan much quicker and potentially turned the Afghans against us considering their Soviet experience. We confirmed Bin Laden was at Tora Bora around 5 Dec. It is estimated he was in Pakistan by the 12th and took him at most 12 hours to walk out. NOT a big window to make a decision let alone plan, muster troops from various locations 100s of miles away and stockpile fuel for a BN Air Assault let alone all the other nice to have things like MEDEVAC, QRF and downed aircraft assets. Helicopters landing an understrength and small force to the rear of a force of unknown strength without MEDEVAC, resupply or reinforcement fly in the face of any sound military judgement. Consider Ia Drang minus artillery, a 30 minute turn around time plus SA7s etc. Bin Laden would have flown the coop before the first company was on the ground. Look at the ground, it would have taken BATTALIONS to lock it up.

Those that talk about a heavier footprint or the possibility of blocking OBL at Tora Bora simply haven’t looked at the facts on the ground, what was supportable or don’t care.

Fair enough. If it wasn’t feasible then it wasn’t feasible. Sucks, but I understand.

I’m still in the “what was supportable” category. My joint ops and air assault planning experience is limited to mostly company-sized and below stuff.

TMB — Not trying to beat you up. I’ve seen you write. You’re a smart guy.

Consider Bagram was 125 mi away and Kandahar 300 (10th ID and Marine BN respectively). The Rangers were spread all over the country. There was another 10th Id BN in Uzbekistan. No BDE staff, no conventional helos except for the handful of the MEB had. The half dozen or so MH47s were TF160. Check out this map: http://​www​.mapmanusa​.com/​c​c​i​-​t​w​p​-​p​e​r​s​p​-​6​.​h​tml Not very detailed (you can pull satellite pics) but think how many troops it would take to seal a six mile front in the mountains? How long would it take to get them on the ground? No Medevac or resupply besides what you carried in (remember the birds are lifting other units). No Apaches. Remember how long it took for the Marines to get into Kandahar? The fact they had to refuel in Pakistan and couldn’t venture far (same for 10th ID at Bagram). 5 Dec is 10 days later. Supportable? Decidedly not.

True. SUCKS BIG TIME!!!

The problem that irritates me is I’ve met folks that still parrot the talking point even after the facts are staring them in the face.

First of all you can leave your snide superior attitude somewhere else as I was already in the military BEFORE the towers went down. So any thoughts you have of superior patriotism can now be flushed down the toilet. You’re typical of the people who assume nobody else is patriotic and that nobody else has served their country. YOU’RE WRONG!

Japan did not really beat the USSR in their war, they both lost a lot of casualties for virtually nothing. On paper it was a victory, in reality it was a draw.

The Japanese had some succefful operations in China but they also had a huge number of troops tied up attempting to hold the territory and they weren’t able to do much of anything with the territory they captured. What good is land if you don’t use it? So what good did Japan get out of all of those areas? Nothing they were running around in circles just trying to hold on.

And there’s the flaw with nation building. We didn’t really build nations in germany and Japan because they were already nations. We didn’t build something out of nothing. The people already thought of themselves as members of the nation because they were already culturally advanced. We provided materials and labor but not the key ingredient — a culture that thought as a nation and not as tribes. Afghanistan isn’t like germany and Japan as they’ve never really been a nation — the people just don’t think in those terms. Adding infrastructure isn’t going to change that. Nation building in Iraq is possible as they have somewhat of a national culture even with the 3 main factions (Kurds, Sunni, Shia) eyeing each other suspiciously.

There will always be a terrorist center of gravity. The strength of such an organization is that they aren’t tied to a specific land area or country so “taking them over” isn’t really possible. The only solution is to kill them. The question is where to kill them. My opposition to making Afghanistan that place is the horrible logistics for the entire country. I thought we were much better off when the terrorists were travelling to Iraq. And quite frankly invading Afghanistan without invading Pakistan has proved to be limited in value. Everyone knows that factions within Pakistan are hiding and supporting terrorists but we are very limited in our ability to kill them. Drone strikes are good but not enough. You’re never going to be able to build a nation in Afghanistan with Pakistan as a neighbor because Pakistan is going to continue to undermine any stability in Afghanistan.____Note that one of AQ top goals was to get the USA out of Suadi Arabia and at that they completely succeeded. I’d rather see us drag the war to Saudi Arabia (where the logistics are easy) and use Saudi Arabia as a honey pot. If we go there, the terrorists will follow.

We need to stop fighting on the battelground of their choosing and force them to fight on the battleground of our choosing. Afghanistan is a horrible choice of a battleground, specially since it doesn’t hurt the terrorist backers at all.

exactly so why stay and fight there when the people funding the terrorists are not impacted by the combat? We should take the fight to the terrorists backers yard so they can feel the pain.

Nothin’ like swinging for the cheap seats — in an election year — or out of it. The real question is — what does victory look like ? If you can’t conceive it, you won’t get it. I doubt if anything good can come from meeting Karzai’s demands for baksheesh — but neither can anything good come from withdrawal so that the Afghan government collapses — we have seen that movie before. So, just deal with it, huh ?

Actually, it is worse than that. Islamic radical groups fighting the Soviets got the lions share of outside support, while the true “freedom fighters” like Masoud and Ismail Kahn scraped by on what they could capture from the Soviets. The Soviets tried a Finlandized “neutral state” political solution under Najibullah, while the US, the ISI and the Saudis kept running guns into Afghanistan until Najibullah — a thug, but a more competent one than his predecessors — fell from power. Then we just walked away from it all, as if nothing happened. In all probability, we could have flipped the Afghan government the way we did in Ethiopia and Angola, after the Soviets fell. Sorry on us.

>If the goal was killing our enemies, which I think is a much more realistic goal

If war was just about killing enemies then Germany would have won WW2 hands down.

By carefully picking the goals even the biggest defeat can have it’s triumph.

How can you have an opinion if you don’t know that the objectives are ?

At one time, Afghanistan did have a functioning government, and the life of the people there was gradually improving. What happened ? Well, the KGB and the ISI infiltrated and destabilized Afghanistan, and no one has ever put the place back together. There is no reason you cannot have a functioning national government that represents most or even all of the major ethnic and political groups. The Soviets used to recall their puppets for regularly for “counseling” because the PDPA leaders were too repressive of the other factions, and favored their own faction (and family) too much. But at a fundamental level, you don’t have the history of one group oppressing the others that you had in Iraq. Pushtunistan is tough, but there is more of a balance of power.

We funneled weapons and money to the insurgents for the sole purpose of hurting the Soviets. We didn’t give a damn about the Afghans. The moment the Soviets were on their way out, everything dried up on our end.

Agreed. “Sealing” is not a term one can apply to that border. At least our supply lines didn’t go through Cambodia.

They tell me every time I head over there that I’m supposed to help build the Afghan police and government so their country won’t be a safe haven for AQ and the Taliban. It’s not something you can “win” and certainly not in any perceivable amount of time and certainly not in that country. We’ve been given the mission of cleaning up a flooded house with a mop and bucket when the source of the water hasn’t been addressed because it’s coming from the next door neighbor’s house. And if your furniture could talk half of it would say “we like the water more than you.”

There are some elements of the administration’s approach I actually agree with. Population-centric COIN is going nowhere in Afghanistan. Leave it to the historians what coulda, shoulda, woulda have worked, if this or if that had been done. That does not mean we have to waste billions of dollars on the ANA and ANP, even if the ISI continues to undermine the Afghan government. Karzai’s a big boy, and if he wants to try his antics on other “partners”, let him go. You do need a deployable and projectable force in being to go back in there if things really go south. I’m not as bullish as I used to be on the prospect of supporting freedom fighters, but both we have a relationship with the Tadjik militias, and might consider underwriting that investment.

Are you being a smarta$$ or just incapable of answering the question?

That comparison makes no damn sense. Germany killed millions of Soviets, but obviously didn’t kill enough of them because their army never got smaller while losing millions of their own. Our casualties versus our enemy’s in the last few wars we’ve fought have been extremely lopsided, but it means nothing if it wasn’t in the pursuit of something achievable or useful. Americans aren’t tired of being “defeated” as you put it, but rather tired of spending a fortune and the lives we’ve lost pushing boulders uphill for going on a decade.

Ugh! Like I said earlier thoe promoting quitting as a solution never address how to keep the place from becoming a terror haven again.

Are you promoting we attack Pakistan? How do we handle the Pakistan military when they resist?

Uh, I’ll play. What are your carefully selected goals?

And all our money went through the Pakistanis who actually picked the winners and losers.

Ugh, you’ve got a 1 track limited width vision going on. Your method of preventing it from becoming a terrorist haven isn’t working so what’s your plan that will work? Camp out in Afghanistan for 50 years? It will take at least a full 2 generations for those folks to come around and it will never happen so long as Pakistan is supporting the terrorists, which they are.

So you want to let them train in Pakistan and just wait for them to come over the border to cause trouble? That’s a great plan for losing!

easy, kill their leadfership, which we’ve already done. They’ve replaced them but not with anybody who is competent. So what capacity do the terrorists now have to carry out attacks in the USA? None!

The purpose of the US military is to keep the USA safe, not to fight every bad guy in the world.

But Afghanistan was where they were the day after 911. Attacking Pakistan wouldn’t have bothere Bin Laden a bit. In fact he would have been happy. He wanted a larger war. Oh, Pakistan had/has nukes. I think your “strategy” has some “issues”.

BTW, The way we went into Afghanistan totally surprised Bin Laden and the Taliban. That’s why they went to Pakistan.

I do agree that americans are tired of the massive spending for the wars in the middle east and Asia. I think some of that has to do with the fact that it is hard to see the benefits of the spending. And it’s become worse now that there are a lot of reports that the Afghani people don’t want us there. I’m not so sure that’s an accurate representation because it wouldn’t be that hard for a small radical group to arrange demonstrations.

No snideness. Just an appropriate response to your unworkable solutions.

BTW, I was wearing the uniform when the towers came down. Again you said you “cringed” when we sent troops to Afghanistan but then you promote war with Pakistan and Saudi Arabia as an immediate response to 911. Your “brilliance” is making me cringe.

Yet you fail to address how we handle the Pakistani military or its nukes.

No. I don’t have the one track “quit at any cost” approach.

I’ve long said we have to address Pakistan. I’ve never said we have to quit Afghanistan without a plan to keep it from becoming a terror haven again where attacks on the US are planned, trained & recruited from.

Uh, how do we find the leadership? Sigint is limited. Boots on the ground develop intel as well as bases in the region to launch those “surgical” UAV strikes.

How does killing the leadership we find prevent the terrorists from taking Afghanistan if we aren’t there? How long do we “just kill leaders”? Where is the end state?

BTW, never said we have to kill all the bad guys in the world. My heartburn is with those that want to quit Afghanistan because it’s “hard” and yet don’t have a plan.

Oh, we’ve had terror attempts come out of Pakistan (Google Times Square Bomber training, Underwear Bomber etc.). “Incompetent” leadership isn’t a threat? No attacks on the US?

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