All the king’s horses and men struggle to put Afghanistan together again

It’s impossible to know how much credence to give such reports, but a story out of Washington by McClatchy Newspapers suggests that Gen. Stanley McChrystal might resign as commander of allied forces in Afghanistan unless President Obama gives him the additional troops he is requesting:

“In Kabul, some members of McChrystal’s staff said they don’t understand why Obama called Afghanistan a “war of necessity” but still hasn’t given them the resources they need to turn things around quickly.

Three officers at the Pentagon and in Kabul told McClatchy that the McChrystal they know would resign before he’d stand behind a faltering policy that he thought would endanger his forces or the strategy.

“Yes, he’ll be a good soldier, but he will only go so far,” a senior official in Kabul said. “He’ll hold his ground. He’s not going to bend to political pressure.”

The Washington Post doesn’t go quite that far, but it does report growing impatience in military circles with the pace of deliberation within the administration. Karen DeYoung writes that McChrystal’s grim assessment of our prospects in Afghanistan “opened a divide between the military, which is pushing for an early decision to send more troops, and civilian policymakers who are increasingly doubtful of an escalating nation-building effort.”

U.S. Marines march on patrol Tuesday in Afghanistan's southern Helmand Province. (AP Photo)

U.S. Marines march on patrol Tuesday in Afghanistan's southern Helmand Province. (AP Photo)

Personally, I’m thinking the military brass needs to take a very large chill pill and allow the elected civilian leadership to work this through. Furthermore, if McChrystal really is ready to resign if his request is not granted, I hope he doesn’t hesitate in doing so. He is by almost every account a very good general, but a general who can’t in good faith carry out the mission given to him by his president doesn’t belong in command.

When Obama took office, we had roughly 45,000 troops in Afghanistan. In February, he announced the commitment of another 17,700 combat troops and an additional 4,000 military trainers; those reinforcements are still flowing into Afghanistan. That alone represents an almost 50 percent increase in manpower.

Now, word out of Washington is that McChrystal is pushing for another surge of as many as 40,000 additional troops. That would represent a major and more or less open-ended escalation of the U.S. effort in Afghanistan, and no administration should be asked to make such a critical decision in haste.

In the assessment leaked to the Washington Post, McChrystal acknowledges that after eight years of fighting, the United States is losing in Afghanistan. He makes a strong case that without a change in strategy and additional resources, mission failure is likely.

To avoid that failure, McChrystal advocates a “comprehensive counterinsurgency campaign” in Afghanistan. That’s hardly surprising,  given that his immediate superior, Gen. David Petraeus, supervised drafting of the military’s counterinsurgency doctrine, known as FM 3-24.  McChyrstal was brought in precisely to lead such an approach.

The problem is that when you compare the situation in Afghanistan as described in McChrystal’s assessment with the doctrine as prepared by Petraeus, the contrast is deeply sobering. Additional troops and a change of strategy may not be capable of closing that enormous gap.

For example, the Petraeus doctrine recommends 20 troops per 1,000 civilians as a rule of thumb for fighting an insurgency such as the Taliban. In Afghanistan, a nation of 28 million, that works out to 560,000 troops, and there’s no way we can or will field a force that size.

In addition, McChrystal suggests that the first order of business for the augmented force must be to protect the Afghan populace, retake the initiative from the Taliban and reverse insurgent momentum. In FM 3-24, those tasks are described as “emergency first aid,” the first things to be accomplished upon taking the field against an insurgency. In other words, after eight years of struggle we are essentially being forced to start over.

Even more sobering, FM 3-24 stresses the importance of a legitimate host government that the local populace can rally around. “The primary objective of any COIN (counterinsurgency) operation is to foster development of effective governance by a legitimate government,” the doctrine states.

In fact, the doctrine lays out six possible measures of host-government legitimacy:

“- The ability to provide security for the populace (including protection from internal and external
threats).
- Selection of leaders at a frequency and in a manner considered just and fair by a substantial majority
of the populace.
- A high level of popular participation in or support for political processes.
- A culturally acceptable level of corruption.
- A culturally acceptable level and rate of political, economic, and social development.
- A high level of regime acceptance by major social institutions.”

As recent elections have demonstrated, the current Afghan government fails every one of those tests of legitimacy. To his credit, McChrystal’s assessment acknowledges the difficulty of the situation:

“The weakness of state institutions, malign actions of power brokers, widespread corruption and abuse of power by various officials … have given Afghans little reason to support their government. These problems have alienated large segments of the Afghan population. They do not trust (the Afghan government) to provide their essential needs, such as security, justice and basic services. This crisis of confidence, coupled with a distinct lack of economic and educational opportunity, has created fertile ground for the insurgency.”

So here’s the problem in a nutshell: To be successful, the strategy recommneded by McChrystal requires much more than more troops. It requires a legitimate Afghan government that can inspire loyalty from the local population. Given that no such government exists or seems likely to exist, and that U.S. soldiers and Marines, like all the King’s horses and all the King’s men, are simply not equipped to put it all back together again, what can we hope to gain through open-ended escalation?

If the administration is taking some time to think that one through, good.

245 comments Add your comment

Normal

September 22nd, 2009
5:15 pm

Mr. President, bring our troops home, now!

md

September 22nd, 2009
5:20 pm

“In Afghanistan, a nation of 28 million,”

Sounds to me as if the country has enough bodies to implement a draft to take care of the problem and bring our boys and girls home. Its getting a little old doing the heavy lifting in countries that don’t have enough “skin in the game”. Its high time they get their butts out their and fight for THEIR country.

I Report/ Vast White Wing Conspirator (-: You Whine )-:

September 22nd, 2009
5:20 pm

Or run from it screaming.

ew

Bush had it right, minimal forces with superior capabilities, lightening fast intel and no whiners in the Executive Branch.

Oh, for those days.

Public Option's A Gol

September 22nd, 2009
5:23 pm

During Bush Patraeus had carte blanche to kill as many troops as he chose. Americans don’t support Repubozo Kay Baily Hutchison’s simplistic nebulous “we gotta fight ‘em over there and add troops foevah”. Hutchison gets very quiet when anyone mentions her children enlist via draft.

There is no support for repeating Iraq in Afghanistan at 30% cost more troop, when no other country is dumb enough to waste lives along with us. We don’t have the troops to protect Afghanistan, and interestingly no Repubozos support a DRAFT which is what it takes to get the number of troops that the McCrystals of the world will continue to waste.

The National Guard is on their 4th deployment and there is no definition as to what victory in Afghanistan and Pakistan means. Bush wasted 8 years and a lot of lives there.

Yo Stanley McCrystal door can hit your butt. Buh Buh.

Public Option's A Gol

September 22nd, 2009
5:26 pm

Bush was a total failure and killed a lot of people and there is nothing to show for it. Iraq is a total clusterfaux as is Afghanistan.

We paid and armed tribal war lords in Iraq who have no loyalty to us.

British got massacered in Afghanistan; Soeviets got massacered; now the Americans are lining up to get massacered.

Public Option's A Gol

September 22nd, 2009
5:30 pm

Comparison in dollars of what the Federal Employee Pays and What You’d Pay Under Baucus’s plan written by the insurance company.

Boy would you get screwed bigger than ever before.

http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/22/baucus-proposes-new-limits-on-insurance-premiums/?src=twt&twt=nytimes

Pogo

September 22nd, 2009
5:30 pm

GET OUR SOLIDERS OUT NOW. One drop of American blood is worth more than the whole putrid country. If you ain’t prepared to do what it takes to win, get out. Obama is not prepared to do what it takes to win. In fact, he doesn’t even know what he doesn’t know about winning.

Offtopic, I find Obama’s response to New York Governor David Paterson very interesting. He is encouraging the governor not to run. He didn’t like the Governor appointing a replacement for Hillary Clinton that he himself did not pick. He doesn’t like the Governor’s low poll numbers so in another words, he wants to pick the candidate himself. The people of New York are pretty much suckers.

But the thing I find the most interesting is the bit of advice the “Great Evader” Charlie Rangel gave to the New York Governor about the election. Charlie’s concern about the election was that Paterson would draw off almost all of the “black vote” which could make for a dicey situation on election day for the democrats. Now what exactly was Charlie saying here? I think, if I read it right, Charlie was saying the “black people are going to vote for the black candidate, each time, everytime, no matter if the candidate is the best candidate or not” . Now that says a lot about what is at the heart of the Democratic party, doesn’t it? It appears that the Democrats rely upon the unquestioning loyalty of the black voters and they know that this loyalty towards black candidates can even become too much for them. Another words, what Charlie and Obama are saying is, “we love your support as long as it is on our terms”. Obama and Rangel should be very proud. As matter of fact, every liberal should be very proud. If this is what it takes to win, then winning ain’t worth it.

AmVet

September 22nd, 2009
5:33 pm

So after eight freaking years we need a mulligan?

Bush got NOTHING right.

This colossal coward’s failures merely ensured that nearly 5,000 flag-draped coffins came home. He’s ruined countless lives in untold numbers of American families.

And the yellow fools and chickenhawks cheered him on…

Brad Steel

September 22nd, 2009
5:33 pm

McChrystal sounds like he has a tough argument for executive buy-in. Perhaps he should hire Orly Taitz to craft his argument.

I Report/ Vast White Wing Conspirator (-: You Whine )-:

September 22nd, 2009
5:36 pm

For example, the Petraeus doctrine recommends 20 troops per 1,000 civilians as a rule of thumb for fighting an insurgency such as the Taliban. In Afghanistan, a nation of 28 million, that works out to 560,000 troops, and there’s no way we can or will field a force that size.

Let’s see here, Iraq has 25,000,000 citizens and Bushie won that war with how many troops? 500,000?

I don’t think so.

Remember during the 08 presidential kampaign when we told you all about democrats and their myriad National Security Failures?

When will you ever learn, when will you eeeeeeevvvvvvvvveeeeerrrrrrrr learn?

Mrs. Godzilla

September 22nd, 2009
5:36 pm

Ok so now we know what it will take to “win” in afghanistan.

We need to decide if it’s worth it.

I say no.

GEORGE AMERICAN

September 22nd, 2009
5:39 pm

JUST LIKE GEORGE AMERICAN HAS ALWAYS SAID, OBLARMA AND HIS CHICKEN COOP DON’T HAVE THE GUTS TO FIGHT A WAR.

SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP OBARMA!!! LET A SOLIDER AND REAL AMERICAN TAKE CARE OF THIS FOR YOU!!!

YOU GO BACK TO DOING WAHT YOU DO: WASTING OUR TAX DOLLARS ON ACORN AND ILLEGALS.

Public Option's A Gol

September 22nd, 2009
5:40 pm

Paterson can’t beat Rudi 911 and Coumo can. Every liberal is proud. We is passin’ public option and beatin up on Baucus and Grassly and the Senate Finance Six and their bill written by insurance companies to force you to pay 20% of your income for insurance that will cancel you when you get sick.

http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/041b5acaf5/protect-insurance-companies-psa

Will Farrell’s Commercial that we must protect the insurance companies

Public Option's A Gol

September 22nd, 2009
5:40 pm

George American–make sure everyone in your family is included in the Draft you support.

md

September 22nd, 2009
5:43 pm

The Afghan army currently has 90,000 troops. Let them draft another 90,000 and ship our boys home.

Problem solved.

GEORGE AMERICAN

September 22nd, 2009
5:45 pm

REAL AMERICAN’S SIGN UP OF THERE OWN FREE WILL!!!

WE DON’T NEED TO BE DRAFTED, COWARD

eagle scout

September 22nd, 2009
5:46 pm

can anyone say Vietnam Part Deux???

Stephanie

September 22nd, 2009
5:48 pm

Although we all would like to decisions to be made now, stepping back and assessing the situation ma be better in the long run. If we are going to pull out we need to find the opportune time. If we are going to stay, we need to find the best strategy to accomplish our goals.
http://www.newsy.com/videos/finding_the_right_path_in_afghanistan

Paul

September 22nd, 2009
5:48 pm

Democrats have a difficult situation.

Their ‘good war, the just war, the war that was ignored’ is no longer ignored. But is it still the good war, the just war? Democrats embraced Afghanistan largely because Bush embraced Iraq. Now Iraq is fading, Afghanistan is center stage, the left of the Democratic Party wants out, the American public is growing weary. Yet Democrats are still left with their pronouncements.

The elections were a great complication, for they demonstrate corruption throughout the political process – something we definitely do not want to be associated with, let alone fight to perpetuate. Nothing else has changed, yet that event illustrated the gulf between what is and what we want.

Strategy? Pres Obama announced a new strategy in March. Then it was, what, August? he said we needed a review. A new strategy. His goals for Afghanistan have not changed, just the strategy to achieve them. He told the military what he wanted to accomplish. They said what they needed to do to achieve his goals. No it appears the Commander in Chief is dithering.

This is far more serious than sending troops into combat without all the gear or armored humvees they need. Far more. This is sending troops to die while the troops believe if there were more soldiers, less of them would die.

The US military does not have a tradition of senior officers resigning under protest. The closest we’ve come in recent years was the early retirement of General Ronald Fogleman, Chief of Staff, United States Air Force, shortly after the election of Pres Clinton. But even he carefully laid out the reasons why he retired and made the case it was not a resignation.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0ICK/is_1_15/ai_75578148/

The President made some pretty encompassing, absolute comments about why we are still in Afghanistan and what we will do there. Maybe it’s time to revise the goals. Reality has a way of doing that. After all, this is the same President who said he would never let Iraq get the Bomb and there was nothing he would not do to keep them from getting one. It appears they will obtain the capability during his term. Time to start laying the groundwork of revising goals.

DoggoneGA

September 22nd, 2009
5:48 pm

I think the Pentagon’s “impatience” is more than a little late. Where was all this push to hurry the process along for the last 8 years? I think it’s more than “ill-timed” to decide that NOW – with a different President – that all of sudden we’re “losing” Afghanistan. It waited 8 years, it can wait more than a few months.

Or maybe Obama was the Pentagon’s “Messiah” too and they, TOO, are disappointed that his magic wand waving isn’t working.

AmVet

September 22nd, 2009
5:49 pm

The ONLY silver lining to these dual clusterf&cks is that the neo-cons got beaten like red-headed step children at the polls for botching EVERYTHING about them. Staggering, humiliating and epic losses. One that will never be seen again – a 0 win, 36 loss campaign! Talk about industrial strength losers.

Americans in droves FINALLY started seeing through these gutless chickenhawks and chest pounders. But by then BushCo had already shiite the bed like some imperious little Hitler.

I wonder why the Pogonians waited for this late date to realize the obvious?

Where was that sentiment years ago? What has happened recently that has changed his mind?

I think we all know…

I assure you non-valorous George Aryan has never darkened the doorway of an AFEES station. Like virtually ALL of his fellow neo-conned chickenhawks, he just plays brave on blogs.

md

September 22nd, 2009
5:50 pm

“can anyone say Vietnam Part Deux???”

At least the boys in Vietnam didn’t have to fight with one hand behind their back and their lawyers number in their pocket.

Nothing is Free

September 22nd, 2009
5:51 pm

Either give the military what they need or bring them home. People like Uncle teddy and Robert Byrd already killed 50,000 Americans because they didn’t have the stones to fight a war.

Obama, grow a backbone or bring them home.

AmVet

September 22nd, 2009
5:53 pm

WOW! Even NOTHING has joined the chorus. Again I implore where was that voice years ago?

Transparent as they are gutless…

DoggoneGA

September 22nd, 2009
5:53 pm

“Either give the military what they need or bring them home.”

Yeah, and did you say that any time in the last 8 years?

Nothing is Free

September 22nd, 2009
5:55 pm

Amvet

**The ONLY silver lining to these dual clusterf&cks is that the neo-cons got beaten like red-headed step children at the polls for botching EVERYTHING about them. Staggering, humiliating and epic losses. One that will never be seen again – a 0 win, 36 loss campaign! Talk about industrial strength losers.**

We are STILL in Iraq.

We are still in Afghanistan with many more casualties.

The economy is heading further south every month.

Our major corporations’ boards of Directors are being chosen by Washington and

It is a constant battle catching the White House in one fascist scheme after another

and you are whining about Bush.

It’s expected, at least from you.

Hef

September 22nd, 2009
5:55 pm

md-from accounts of friends who served in V.Nam,yes they did. ie your post @5:50

Paul

September 22nd, 2009
5:55 pm

Let IraN get the bomb. But you all knew that.

Nothing is Free

September 22nd, 2009
5:57 pm

DoggoneGA

In the last eight years?

So you are bragging about the fact that Obama has changed nothing? I would try to point out the lunacy of your answer, but I just don’t have the desire or the time.

Hef

September 22nd, 2009
5:58 pm

md-But I’m sure the resident” expert on all things him” would be better to answer that in say a 20-30 page short answer tirade. Get ready

Nothing is Free

September 22nd, 2009
6:00 pm

md

**At least the boys in Vietnam didn’t have to fight with one hand behind their back and their lawyers number in their pocket.**

Oh yes they did. Remember, the Democrats were in charge of that one, too. A lot of defense plants were built in dim’s home states during that war. It only cost us 50,000 Americans.

N-GA

September 22nd, 2009
6:00 pm

Good afternoon, Paul.

This seems to be a situation where there are no winners. With all of our technology, we haven’t been able to get this done in almost 8 years. In conflicts like this, there is no absolute victory. By most measures we’ve won already. The enemy was the Taliban government and the terrorists they supported. They are no longer in power, yet the fighting continues.

It would seem that we have had eight years to recruit, arm, and train Afghan troops to take over the fight. Real victory can only happen if the Afghans can sustain their own government (so we can leave). Unfortunately I don’t see that happening…..ever. There will always be conflict there, whether it be conflict arising from religious beliefs or conflict driven by tribal histories.

Perhaps it would be cheaper (measured in American casualties, arms, money) to leave the country with these parting words: “If you attack us again, we will be back!”. I think they know that to be true.

Paul

September 22nd, 2009
6:01 pm

DoggoneGA

A lot was done over the 8 years. A lot. But the war with AQ, including Taliban as if they were AQ – that arena was more of a holding action. The Army had barely enough (as they were structured, and heaven forbid they would restructure without being forced to, other services included) to handle Iraq – never mind the TRILLIONS of dollars we gave them with their assurance they’d be able to fight a couple of wars at the SAME TIME. They got done in by one.

They weren’t about to ask for more for Afg when they had a tough time sourcing Iraq. They were the ones telling the White House they couldn’t do it. (BTW – as candidate Obama said the military’s extending tour dates was a terrible thing and it would change when he took over. Guess what? It hasn’t. He recently told soldiers who were due to return home they’d be there months longer. Add another item to the “Just Like Bush” file).

md

September 22nd, 2009
6:01 pm

Hef,

I hear what you are saying. And from my friends that were in Nam, it was hell on earth and they had no idea who the enemy was. But today in Iraq/Afghan, they are so skittish of committing “atrocities”, they end up getting killed because they have to ask the enemy if they are the enemy. Vietnam actually made it worse for these boys.

Dusty

September 22nd, 2009
6:02 pm

Oh my goodness…

AmVet doesn’t know that Bush is no longer president. Would somebody tell him?

Afghanistan is NOW Obama’s baby. If he wants to send more troops, OBAMA decides.

If OBAMA wants to bring all the troops home and desert Afghanistan, OBAMA decides.

Bush had experience as a leader and could make a decision. Obama has no leadership experience and others seem to make his decisions. We will just have to wait..and wait…and wait…..until somebody tells Obama what to say..

Here we are, lacking in leadership.

I say a prayer for our troops.

AmVet

September 22nd, 2009
6:04 pm

No read a little more carefully, Nada.

I excoriate YOU and those like YOU for enabling those f ups in the first place.

You voted for the fascist coddler twice. And you cheered loud and long when he was acting like Caesar ready to conquer the world.

And now you hide under mommies skirt rather than admit it. Why?

And worse YOU act like you have suddenly found your stones, and your voice and are calling for reason to prevail.

You can cut and run, neo-con, but you can NEVER hide. I will always find you.

So save your mystical new-found sense of outrage for somebody else who will buy into your sham. Someone who is as big a sap as YOU…

Nothing is Free

September 22nd, 2009
6:05 pm

N-GA

The problem is that we can never leave. We are STILL in Japan and Germany. 65 years later. If we leave Iraq or Afghanistan, it has all been for naught.

Curious Observer

September 22nd, 2009
6:07 pm

Comparison in dollars of what the Federal Employee Pays and What You’d Pay Under Baucus’s plan written by the insurance company. Boy would you get screwed bigger than ever before.

The article you reference is flat-out wrong. The figures listed should be per pay period , not per month. Federal employees get paid every two weeks, so that the figure listed should be multiplied by 26 to derive the employee’s annual contribution–in other words, $90 every two weeks is deducted from the paycheck. I know what I’m talking about. I was a federal employee. Some anti-reform writers will undertake any contortions necessary to discredit reform.

Nothing is Free

September 22nd, 2009
6:07 pm

Amvet

** I will always find you.**

Just another coward making threats over the internet. Say it ain’t so.

Nothing is Free

September 22nd, 2009
6:08 pm

Amvet

BTW, half-wit. Bush is gone. We have YOUR man in charge now. How is that working out for you?

Paul

September 22nd, 2009
6:08 pm

Good Afternoon, N-GA

I agree. I’ve made the point we went in to take down the government (Taliban) because of their support of AQ, and to defeat AQ. We pretty well did both. Then the mission morphed, and morphed, and morphed, and the Taliban and AQ reconstituted.

Seems to me we’ve brought in the type of government that would give us the best assurances of protecting our interests. Maybe we should think about using their traditional power centers to achieve that.

The Obama Administration’s statements early on of goals and what Will Be rather remind me of a parent’s dreams upon the birth of a child. The child will be like this, will go to these schools, will have a wonderful life. Then reality intrudes and the child’s choices do not follow the parent’s hopes.

Sometimes it’s just not possible to get what you want. Particularly when so much depends on someone else.

N-GA

September 22nd, 2009
6:11 pm

Nothing is free (your 6:05): I really don’t understand your reasoning. Are you saying that if we leave Iraq or Afghanistan then our period of world domination is over? Or are you saying that it will mean that we are no longer the world’s policeman? More specifically, are you suggesting we should stay in Iraq and Afghanistan forever?

AmVet

September 22nd, 2009
6:11 pm

Don’t pee your panties, Nada, I use the term metaphorically.

I’m no John Ashcroft who might just be spying on you at this very moment! Bwahahahahahahaha!

You’ve done a helluva job Connies.

Be afraid! Be very afraid!

Hef

September 22nd, 2009
6:13 pm

md-As I was sayin,yes the wars to me are very simular in regards to political correctness. I believe we the USA should never enter into a conflict/war unless the mindset is to win. I believe you go into war to defeat your opponent as I believe the enemy’s mindset to be the same. You allow your military to fight the wars and the politicians to provide the objectives and then get the F*CK out of the way.

md

September 22nd, 2009
6:13 pm

And why in the world is the most technologically advanced military in the world putting “boots on the ground”. If we are going to fight a war, then do it with all the power and might we have or come home. These PC wars get too many of our boys killed.

AmVet

September 22nd, 2009
6:13 pm

Sorry nothingness, hate to disappoint you.

I voted AGAINST BHO.

It is you that only operates in the Dem vs. GOP paradigm.

The one that has failed this nation for a generation or longer.

How did voting for McCain and Palin work out for you!

Bwahahahahahaha again.

Disgusted

September 22nd, 2009
6:15 pm

Bush had experience as a leader and could make a decision.

Yup, the hero of the Texas Air National Guard really lowered the boom on Karla Faye Tucker, regardless of what all the preachers wanted him to do. That’s the kind of “experience” he had before he entered the White House–that and two or three failures at running businesses.

DoggoneGA

September 22nd, 2009
6:15 pm

” I would try to point out the lunacy of your answer, but I just don’t have the desire or the time.”

Oh too right. Bush had 8 years to screw it up and that was fine, but now Obama has only been the Pres for 9 months and he’s supposed to turn it all around JUST LIKE THAT? How about giving HIM 8 years? With NO COMPLAINTS. Can’t see THAT happening.

I think the Pentagon is just trying it on to see if Obama will jump or not. They knew that Bush wouldn’t. So they waited for the new guy. And I think they are WAY underestimating his “fear” factor.

I Report/ Vast White Wing Conspirator (-: You Whine )-:

September 22nd, 2009
6:16 pm

People would do well to understand that Obozo thinks victory is when he spews against the United States, like he did today at the UN.

There is no hope for Afghanistan.

Dusty

September 22nd, 2009
6:17 pm

Will sombody say “BOO!” to AmVet. He is trying to scare folks.

Sorry, AmVet, but it is not Halloween and nobody is afraid.

You forget that we are fighting terrorists, not Americans. Did you get a bit mixed up on that?

Nothing is Free

September 22nd, 2009
6:17 pm

Hef

**You allow your military to fight the wars and the politicians to provide the objectives and then get the F*CK out of the way.**

Bravo!!

but that’s certainly not going to happen. This administration is more concerned about the political implications of putting the past administration on trial than the real implications of what he is doing to our intell. HE thinks nothing of sacrificing highly trained intell agents. Imagine how little he thinks of a common foot-soldier.

AmVet

September 22nd, 2009
6:19 pm

Well, smoochie I sure as hell would take a sh-it shoveler like you along. You’d just get in the way and get a bunch of other people killed…

DoggoneGA

September 22nd, 2009
6:19 pm

“They weren’t about to ask for more for Afg when they had a tough time sourcing Iraq.”

They’s have had all they needed for Afghanistan if they’d told Bush to shove it on his war in Iraq. Not a ONE of them had the courage to say “No Iraq or I quit” did they? Might have been funny to watch Bush try to run the Armed Forces with no high level officers to do the grunt-work for him.

But for all their vaunted “courage” – they were too afraid of losing their cherished power to say Iraq was a waste of time and resources. And no, don’t come back with the “information” – I don’t want to hear it. I knew it was all lies at the time and there’s nothing that’s going to convince me otherwise.

Pogo

September 22nd, 2009
6:19 pm

Obama is an empty suit. He knows only what President Rham tells him and he parrots it non-stop on television everyday. Americans are burned out on seeing seeing “The Big Brother” on their screens all the time. It is glaringly apparent to most intelligent people that he knows nothing of foreign policy (or of nothing else for that matter). When you have European leaders telling you that you need to slow down on the spending, you are in bad shape. Obama’s whole game is “I am smooth, I am cool, therefore they will follow me no matter what”. He would have made an excellent TV Evangelist. He could have made millions.

DoggoneGA

September 22nd, 2009
6:20 pm

“So save your mystical new-found sense of outrage for somebody else who will buy into your sham”

AMEN!

Redneck Convert

September 22nd, 2009
6:21 pm

Well, I told you all we needed a draft. And now we’ll get one. It will need to be the libruls on account of all us godly Conservatives already volunteered to serve. I served and I know Sister Dusty must of served on account of she’s always for war.

Have a good night everybody.

md

September 22nd, 2009
6:22 pm

“He would have made an excellent TV Evangelist. He could have made millions.”

He is and he will.

N-GA

September 22nd, 2009
6:23 pm

Paul,

I’m unsure what drove your comment about Iran and nukes. Personally I don’t believe that we (or anyone else) can stop any country from developing nuclear weapons. The technology is no longer a secret. We already have “rogue” states with nuclear weapons, and they seem willing to share them with others.

So the strategy needs to be more about preventing their use,and even that seems hopeless. Someday, somewhere, some radical will detonate a nuclear weapon. Once again we will find ourselves in a “you bomb us, we annihilate you” scenario. Pathetic, but true…you think?

Nothing is Free

September 22nd, 2009
6:24 pm

DoggoneGA

**Oh too right. Bush had 8 years to screw it up and that was fine, but now Obama has only been the Pres for 9 months and he’s supposed to turn it all around JUST LIKE THAT?**

No But raising taxes during a failing economy, tripling our deficit and trying to force public health care on the country appears to be failing miserably. So when will his nonsense start working? Georgia is at almost 11% unemployment. How much more of this great administration can we take? Next year, we will be paying more in interest to China out of our taxes than we will be paying to run the country. That’s a direct result of the actions taken by this administration. Is that OK with you? Can you actually stop slobbering long enough to type out an answer?

So when does this start working?

Paul

September 22nd, 2009
6:26 pm

Doggone/GA

“They’s have had all they needed for Afghanistan if they’d told Bush to shove it on his war in Iraq”

That may be satisfying to think, but it would have resulted in a number of courts-martial.

As far as your “or I quit” remark – you may want to peruse the interview with General Fogleman I just posted. (You’ll note the same situation existed during VietNam. Officers have a way of retiring without a lot of “I’m going to tell you what’s best” bravado).

Hef

September 22nd, 2009
6:26 pm

AmVet@6:19 as much as I dispise almost everything you say and stand for,no make that everthing, that was funny. That hurt just to think/type that-OWWWWWWWW

Dusty

September 22nd, 2009
6:26 pm

Disgusted,

I don’t even know what you are talking about but it sure sounds like something from the Dem propaganda file.

This we know for sure: Bush was a pilot in the Air National Guard and governor of the state of Texas. Obama was editor of a Harvard publication and a community organizer. Which has the most leadership experience?

Can you even tell????

DoggoneGA

September 22nd, 2009
6:28 pm

“So when does this start working?”

Bush had 8 years to screw it up. I give Obama 8 years to get it fixed.

Hef

September 22nd, 2009
6:31 pm

Nothing for Free-Just as I think Obama is holding our military back, I also believe Bush allowed the PC police to influence him. As far as I know it goes back to VNam with the other chosen one JFK and Johnson.

Nothing is Free

September 22nd, 2009
6:32 pm

DoggoneGA

I would be more than happy to point out the direction the country is taking, but why should I? You have a TV. You can read the papers. Some of us are smart enough to understand that another seven years like this year, and unemployment would be in the 50-75% range.

But what the hell? Let’s just let him have a little fun, dismantling our CIA and destroying our economy. After all, I’m sure he means well.

N-GA

September 22nd, 2009
6:32 pm

Nothing (to say): re your 6:24

Taxes only have a significant affect on those who pay them, and any tax increase only affected people making big bucks. It has little or no effect on this economic collapse. Paying for the sins of previous administrations is expensive. Where were you when Bush enacted the big tax cuts while increasing spending and quickly wiping out the federal surplus we had? His Republican-controlled Congress passed the biggest spending bill in history. You sound like someone else who posts here under a different sobriquet.

Paul

September 22nd, 2009
6:33 pm

N-GA

I’ve brought up Candidate Obama’s Iraq nuclear remarks from time to time. And I’ll be the first to grant the realities of office should cause a reassessment of electioneering statements. The point was, just as I’d expect a ‘reassessment’ of his remarks on Iraq while candidate, I also think it may be time to ‘reassess’ remarks on Afghanistan, even if they did occur but a few months back.

And yes, sadly, we may be back to that earlier ultimatum. Because now we are (to all intents and purposes) not dealing with calculating, despicable enemies who have a strong sense of self preservation and the assurance we would do what they say (annihilate them), we are dealing with peoples who seem willing to do what has before been deemed unthinkable.

And if some radical – even a nonstate terrorist, not a sovereign nation – does to the unthinkable – well, I wondered the other day if our policy should not be “we determine the source signature of the materials and trace it back to you, your country ceases to exist.”

Then we’d have the problem of being taken seriously. Then again, Saddam didn’t take Bush seriously, so who knows?

DoggoneGA

September 22nd, 2009
6:33 pm

“That may be satisfying to think, but it would have resulted in a number of courts-martial.”

Yeah, so? They didn’t have the courage to face a court-martial for speaking truth to power? Doesn’t impress me.

Dusty

September 22nd, 2009
6:34 pm

NOOOOOO RedNeck, you ol’ parrot of parodies,

I don’t like war at all. But when we are in one, I surely do support our troops. I don’t sit at home and tell them they are fighting for nothing. They are fighting for us and I know it. Seems a lot of people forget.

Now go step in that pond around your trailer, RedNeck. Next best thing to taking a bath for the likes of you.

Paul

September 22nd, 2009
6:34 pm

N-GA

I’ve got to stop working on the other monitor and pay better attention. IraN. Not IraQ.

DoggoneGA

September 22nd, 2009
6:36 pm

“Let’s just let him have a little fun, dismantling our CIA and destroying our economy.”

Why not? Then he can be right down there with Bush, who got 4000+ of our soldiers killed in a war against a country that NEVER ATTACKED US.

AmVet

September 22nd, 2009
6:36 pm

Hef, yeah, sometimes, I even crack myself up.

smoochie, wanna see my etchings? Or my DD214? (Google it feather merchant.)

Paul

September 22nd, 2009
6:37 pm

DoggoneGA

[[They didn’t have the courage to face a court-martial for speaking truth to power? Doesn’t impress me.]]

One person’s truth is another person’s heresy. You should be grateful they did not do what you wanted, for by not doing so they were true to the oath they swore. To follow your path would lead to anarchy.

Oh, and BTW – dissenting views are presented, are debated. But when the decision is made, it is over. It’s not done in a public forum as a direct challenge to civilian authority.

Nothing is Free

September 22nd, 2009
6:37 pm

Hef

Of course he is holding our military back. Imagine capturing prisoners that might have information that would save American lives and only being able to offer them kindness and respect, like the Army Field Manual requires. Personally, I would never turn in a prisoner. I would, however love to interrogate a politician.

Did you think that so many journalists would be so quick to put on the presidential knee pads for Uncle Barry last Sunday Morning?

N-GA

September 22nd, 2009
6:39 pm

Paul,

Sorry to leave so quickly, but my wife is going to make it home from the ATL for the first time in 3 days and I’m going to have veal chops, asparagus tips, and a nice buttery saffron orzo waiting for her (along with a beautiful 2005 Maison Champy Vosne-Romanee Burgundy).

Cheers!

Paul

September 22nd, 2009
6:43 pm

DoggoneGA

[[I give Obama 8 years to get it fixed.]]

When we don’t even have a reasonable assurance it’ll work?

Lessee…. 50 dead a month times 12 months times 8 years… factor in a higher death rate from increased tempo… now add in the number of amputees…..

Would you mind coming down from 8?

DoggoneGA

September 22nd, 2009
6:43 pm

“To follow your path would lead to anarchy”

A little anarchy would have been better than a war fought to appease an idiot’s ego.

DoggoneGA

September 22nd, 2009
6:44 pm

“When we don’t even have a reasonable assurance it’ll work?”

And what assurance did we have that Bush’s way would work?

Paul

September 22nd, 2009
6:45 pm

DoggoneGA 6:43

You really don’t understand what military people mean when they talk about “Duty, Honor, Country” do you? Not meant as a put down, just an observation.

Paul

September 22nd, 2009
6:48 pm

DoggoneGA

[[And what assurance did we have that Bush’s way would work?]]

None.

But there comes a time when people need to stop pointing and saying “Well, Bush…” and come back to the present.

Hef

September 22nd, 2009
6:48 pm

Paul- “Duty,Honor,Country” John Kerry’s or Rusty Tillman’s version?

AmVet

September 22nd, 2009
6:49 pm

moochie, that’s all you got. Impotent jealousy? What are you 21? Like mike and a host of other that is always what you never-served, never-will fall back on when you’ve got nothing else.

Let me guess, your mom and dad loved the swift-boaters…

Hef

September 22nd, 2009
6:50 pm

I’ll take Rusty’s version anyday

AmVet

September 22nd, 2009
6:52 pm

Hef, I’ve never understood how grown men will wear the jerseys of other grown men to ball games. IMHO, it’s fine if you’re twelve but any age over that nad I’m thinking, what a nimrod.

But Pat Tillman is the one man I’d personally make an exception for…

jconservative

September 22nd, 2009
6:53 pm

“Bush had it right, minimal forces with superior capabilities, lightening fast intel and no whiners in the Executive Branch.”

This is cute but has nothing to do with the Afghanistan problem.

Actually Bush had it dead wrong. That is why the “surge” was necessary in Iraq. The minimal forces could not cut it. And in Afghanistan Bush had it wrong because the minimal force he put in could barely protect itself much less catch bin Laden.

If Bush had gotten it right we would have been out in 2002.

Scooter

September 22nd, 2009
6:54 pm

Dang, what a fracus! I will now do my impression of Normal.

MR.PRESIDENT BRING HOME OUR TROOPS. NOW!

Casey

September 22nd, 2009
6:54 pm

The generals will always ask for more bodies to bury so they can get the job done. The problem is that nobody knows what the job is. Afghanistan is no different from Iraq. Nation building is not a sustainable strategy.

AmVet

September 22nd, 2009
6:57 pm

Hanging on the wall here in my study.

Wanna come over, big boy?

Bring a nice Chardonnay…

Hef

September 22nd, 2009
7:01 pm

AmVet-again you amaze me! I’ve never been one to wear athletes number’d jersy’s either,but would proudly wear Mr.Tillman’s. Not to any type of sporting event,but to something that would honor him as soldier/warrior/human being. I believe they have a Pat Tillman Day in AZ.

Taxpayer

September 22nd, 2009
7:02 pm

If we no longer have to pay taxes, then these issues go away. So, where are those tea partying tools when you need ‘em. Where is Dick’s Armey. No military, no roads, no schools, no police… .

Nothing is Free

September 22nd, 2009
7:03 pm

Smoochie

So what if he has a discharge paper? The military does not a man make. I would tend to form a more accurate opinion based on what he writes. And we both know where that points.

DoggoneGA

**A little anarchy would have been better than a war fought to appease an idiot’s ego.**

**And what assurance did we have that Bush’s way would work?**

You talk like that a lot. Did you ever take a civics class or do you just choose to ignore what you should have learned?

Do you understand that it literally takes an act of Congress to send our troops to war? Do you understand that lots and lots of democrats voted to send our troops to war or do you feel that by seeming so hysterically ignorant that you will make a stronger point?

DoggoneGA

September 22nd, 2009
7:04 pm

“You really don’t understand what military people mean when they talk about “Duty, Honor, Country” do you?”

What duty? To a man or to their COUNTRY? What Honor is there in sending your soldiers to be killed in a war of choice against a country that was no threat to us? Don’t try to give me that baloney. They, like Colin Powel, put obeying orders ABOVE their “Duty, Honor, Country” The BETRAYED their men and their country by obeying those orders.

DoggoneGA

September 22nd, 2009
7:05 pm

“But there comes a time when people need to stop pointing and saying “Well, Bush…” and come back to the present”

Not as far as I’m concerned. The country gave Bush 8 years…they can give Obama 8 years.

eagle scout

September 22nd, 2009
7:06 pm

EnPaul-

“Duty,Honor,Country” John Kerry’s or Rusty Tillman’s version?

Who is Rusty Tillman?

If you meant Pat (close but no cigar)

Hef

September 22nd, 2009
7:06 pm

goodnite & peace

AmVet

September 22nd, 2009
7:06 pm

That man represented the very best in us, Hef.

And that was even before he enlisted,. But what a crying shame he not only died the way he did, but that the Pentagon covered it up and lied to his family about the entire thing.

Sickening.

And some people wonder why Americans, especially veterans, don’t often trust them…

Hef

September 22nd, 2009
7:09 pm

Eagle Scout-My bad, I just showed my age. Rusty Tillman was a football player back in the 70’s (redskins among other teams). Sorry Mr. Pat Tillman is the Brave American Soldier that I was refering to.

Paul

September 22nd, 2009
7:10 pm

DoggoneGA

[[What duty? To a man or to their COUNTRY? ]]

Y’know, you’re sounding a lot like those people who circulated the email that said Pres Obama was going to change the military oath to swear allegiance to him…. :-)

Obeying lawful orders IS duty, honor, country.

Your 7:05 – maybe you could ask AmVet for some of the Chardonnay? He’s real good about sharing.

Pleasant evening, all -

DoggoneGA

September 22nd, 2009
7:11 pm

“Do you understand that it literally takes an act of Congress to send our troops to war? Do you understand that lots and lots of democrats voted to send our troops to war or do you feel that by seeming so hysterically ignorant that you will make a stronger point”

Of course I understand that…and I said at the time, and I will ALWAYS say: if *I* had the power to do it I would have tried every person in Congress who voted yes to that “use of force” (NOT a declaration of war) for handing over the Congressional power to declare war to the President. As far as *I* am concerned that is, and was, treasonous.

DoggoneGA

September 22nd, 2009
7:13 pm

“Obeying lawful orders IS duty, honor, country”

I never considered the order to invade Iraq to be a lawful order, and the Pentagon brass should have refused to obey it for that reason.