What does Romney’s tough talk on Afghanistan mean?

us-forces-afghanistan-AP-640x480

In a recent debate in Florida, Mitt Romney was asked how he plans to end the lengthy war in Afghanistan, given that he has rejected the idea of trying to negotiate with the Taliban.

“By beating them,” he answered.

It was a strong, manly answer, short and to the point. And yes, beating them sounds like quite an appealing option.

On the other hand, we’ve been at it for more than a decade now, through a good part of three presidential terms, and have lost more than 1,800 American lives in the process. And we don’t seem to be much closer to “beating them” than we were when we began. While we’ve succeeded in weakening the movement, Taliban leadership has retreated to havens in Pakistan, where we continue to strike at them when possible via drones and missiles. Short of an invasion of Pakistan, “beating them” seems a very tall order. If Romney has specific ideas on how that might be accomplished, I have not seen them.

120131_romney_cash_ap_328

In fact, two of Romney’s own foreign-policy advisers, Mitchell Reiss and James Shinn, have publicly endorsed negotiations. As Shinn writes with co-author James Dobbins in “Afghan Peace Talks: A Primer”, the bottom-line goal of U.S. policy must be to prevent a return of al Qaeda to Afghanistan. He and Dobbins write:

“The United States can prevent this indefinitely as long as it is willing to commit significant military and economic resources to a counterinsurgency effort. It cannot eliminate the threat, however, as long as the Afghan insurgents enjoy sanctuary in and support from Pakistan. The United States could also achieve its objective if the Taliban could be persuaded to cut ties with al Qaeda and end its insurgency in exchange for some role in Afghan governance short of total control.

Peace negotiations would obviously be desirable if they could succeed in achieving this objective, but they are also worth pursuing even if they fail, as the risks associated with entering such a process may be greater for the insurgents than for the Afghan government and its allies.”

There’s a lot of hard truth packed in those two paragraphs. As Shinn and Dobbins write, we can keep the Taliban at bay as long as the United States “is willing to commit significant military and economic resources to a counterinsurgency effort.” But we aren’t willing to do so forever, and we know it. Public opinion in this country has turned sharply against an open-ended continuation of the war, and the Afghanis are growing tired of our presence as well.

In fact, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has from time to time denounced NATO forces as occupiers, claiming at one point that “It is just for their national interest that they put our lives under their feet and dishonor the people.”

In light of that reality, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta this week announced plans to end active U.S. involvement in combat in Afghanistan by the end of 2013. U.S. forces after that point would serve to train and assist Afghan government forces, including providing air cover, air transport and logistics support. But the brunt of the fighting would be done by the Afghans themselves.

Yesterday, Romney cast scorn on that approach, describing Panetta as “misguided and naive.”

“He announced that so the Taliban hears it, the Pakistanis hear it, the Afghan leaders hear it,” Romney said. “Why in the world do you go to the people that you’re fighting with and tell them the day you’re pulling out your troops? It makes absolutely no sense. [Obama’s] naivete is putting in jeopardy the mission of the United States of America and our commitments to freedom. He is wrong. We need new leadership in Washington.”

With those seemingly passionate comments, Romney repeats a refrain against announcing timelines that became familiar during the Iraq years. But again, it’s a curious stance. Because you see, Romney himself has publicly endorsed a deadline of 2014 for the withdrawal of almost all NATO military forces, including Americans, from Afghanistan. To borrow his language, Romney announced that support “so the Taliban hears it, the Pakistanis hear it, the Afghan leaders hear it.”

So I’m not sure exactly what his argument is, other than to make meaningless noise on the campaign trail and try to pump himself up as a strong-willed military leader.

If we are going to withdraw almost completely by 2014, leaving behind perhaps a group of advisers, trainers and intelligence specialists, it seems reasonable and rational that you would give the Afghan security forces a year to find their footing before handing them full responsibility.

But hey, if Romney has a plan for how to “beat the Taliban” and yet be out of Afghanistan by 2014, and to do so without giving Afghan security forces a transition period in which they take the lead role with strong U.S. backing, the American people would like to hear it.

Otherwise, his rhetoric comes across as macho blather, and I believe that rather recent experience has soured the American people on that for a while.

– Jay Bookman

656 comments Add your comment

Robert Lee

February 2nd, 2012
8:49 am

Ahh, more stupidity from the Mittsiah

Midori

February 2nd, 2012
8:49 am

how’s he going to beat them? by taking over their factories and busting them out?

Adam

February 2nd, 2012
8:52 am

Men men men men manly men men men….

jm

February 2nd, 2012
8:52 am

Obama surrendered to the Taliban

The next 9/11 should be a lot of fun. Thanks O

Normal

February 2nd, 2012
8:52 am

Midori,
Exactly! He will forclose Afghanistan! :)

Keep Up the Good Fight!

February 2nd, 2012
8:52 am

“Beat the Taliban? dang why didn’t I think of that!” – George W. Bush

Normal

February 2nd, 2012
8:53 am

I think jm is blogging from under his bed…

Adam

February 2nd, 2012
8:53 am

and the Afghanis are growing tired of our presence as well.

Are growing?

Midori

February 2nd, 2012
8:53 am

Midori,
Exactly! He will forclose Afghanistan!

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Midori

February 2nd, 2012
8:54 am

No Normal -

he’s blogging from his padded cell :)

ByteMe

February 2nd, 2012
8:54 am

Once again, he tries to be on both sides of a tough question. There really is no position Mitt won’t take as long as he thinks it’ll get him votes.

Adam

February 2nd, 2012
8:54 am

Romney himself has publicly endorsed a deadline of 2014 for the withdrawal of almost all NATO military forces, including Americans, from Afghanistan.

Oh look, another issue we can go “Gee, what exactly WOULD Mitt do if he were President?” and not know the actual answer.

larry

February 2nd, 2012
8:55 am

I know how he is going to beat them. He’s going to buy them out .

How does 50 million sound Taliban?

jm

February 2nd, 2012
8:56 am

20 million people left to madmen. this is a repeat of abandoning the iraqi kurds

way to go obama

the killed, mutilated, tortured and subjugated women will be very appreciative

reuters

The announcement, ahead of a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels, was greeted with surprise in Kabul, where a senior Afghan security official said the move “throws out the whole transition plan.”

“The transition has been planned against a timetable and this makes us rush all our preparations,” the official said.

“If the Americans withdraw from combat, it will certainly have an effect on our readiness and training, and on equipping the police force,” he said, adding that his government had not been informed of the change in plans.

———–and

The remarks also prompted concern among Afghans who fear a return to Taliban rule and hope that reconciliation between all parties would deliver a better alternative.

Granny Godzilla

February 2nd, 2012
8:56 am

What does Romney’s tough talk on Afghanistan mean?

Multiple Choice:

1. The sons are going to enlist

2. Planning leveraged buyout of Afghanistan

3. Nuke ‘em back to the stone age

4. Liz Cheney VP choice

5. Tie the Taliban to the top of his car

Robert Lee

February 2nd, 2012
8:57 am

Are there no history books available to the Cons? Yea, Obama surrendered, right. Who was it that ordered the mission to kill Bin Laden? Who was it that gave up looking for him? Those two questions tell the whole story.

F. Sinkwich

February 2nd, 2012
8:57 am

“Obama surrendered to the Taliban”

Technically O’bozo is still negotiating the terms of our surrender which will include releasing terrorists from Gitmo, so our surrender isn’t a done deal yet.

St Simons - codewords are the new black

February 2nd, 2012
8:59 am

I don’t know why he feels like he needs to macho it up,

’cause nothing says “foreign policy street cred” like doing

your mission for the baby jaysus in the south of Fraaaance.

That’s not a joke, cons.- Checkmate.- in February, too – dam

Keep Up the Good Fight!

February 2nd, 2012
8:59 am

The ODS is strong in these posters!

Adam

February 2nd, 2012
9:00 am

Technically O’bozo

…is a really good President, and Mint RawMoney would be a terrible one.

carlosgvv

February 2nd, 2012
9:01 am

And yet, a recent news report said Afghan officials are negoitating with the Talaban and the US approves. Since the Talaban can be trusted about as much as Hitler, it seems we are conceding defeat and getting out. While this is the only sensible thing to do, this war becomes even more usless and showers even more contempt on those who started it than the Iraq war. Will history eventually show that our soldiers died in Iraq and Afthanistan for absolutely nothing?

Recon 2533 1811

February 2nd, 2012
9:02 am

Of course Obama once said that Afghanistan was the war we needed to win. He evidently changed his mind. Oh well, politicians. I think we should get out of there now.

Robert Lee

February 2nd, 2012
9:03 am

The Afghans had 10 years to get their stuff together and still cannot do it. The sad fact is that many of those women who jm seems so concerned about will tell you that they don;t want to have Western morals and values forced upon them and will actively collaborate aganist our troops. It seems that many cons still beleive that BS that W and Cheney put out there about “they will greet us as liberators” when actually they see us as Christian Crusaders who are intent on fighting Islam.

Adam

February 2nd, 2012
9:05 am

carlosgvv: Since the Talaban can be trusted about as much as Hitler, it seems we are conceding defeat and getting out. While this is the only sensible thing to do, this war becomes even more usless and showers even more contempt on those who started it than the Iraq war. Will history eventually show that our soldiers died in Iraq and Afthanistan for absolutely nothing?

The Taliban and al Quada have been turned into nothing more than pests who no longer have the capability to strike inside the US or in most other countries. They simply do not have the people or the resources, and our disappearance from the region, eventually, will lead to less involvement not more. It’s our presence there that stokes them. And if we leave they don’t have the same motivations of anger due to our occupation. We have also killed many of their leaders and have drones that strike at them regardless of whether or not we have troops on the ground. Al Quada is f***ed. So no, we didn’t do it for nothing. Hopefully, though, we have created a situation where no more US soldiers ever need to die in a war.

Adam

February 2nd, 2012
9:06 am

The sad fact is that many of those women who jm seems so concerned about

….Would be told, in our country, that they need to be subservient to their husbands, not work, make babies, and stay in the kitchen. If the right wing has their way, anyway. We are not better than them if we keep electing right wing anti-choice fanatics to office.

stands for decibels

February 2nd, 2012
9:08 am

What does Romney’s tough talk on Afghanistan mean?

That he thinks 2012 = 2004? When such dumbassery was enough to secure a “W” for W with a one-state EC margin? Who knows, maybe it’s fool me twice… you *can* get fooled again.

(And Paul, I saw your thoughtful response downstairs. One can only hope the candidates will behave in such a civilized fashion on a national stage, but that wouldn’t be the way to bet.)

larry

February 2nd, 2012
9:09 am

We are not withdrawing entirely , read what the man said.

Good gosh 13 years is enough.

Past time to go.

Jm

February 2nd, 2012
9:09 am

Robert

Thats right

Women love to be killed mutilated and subjugated

Liberal hypocrisy knows no bounds

They’re only compassionate when it comes to benefitting themselves with someone else’s money

Adam

February 2nd, 2012
9:09 am

So, which nutball wants to tell me NASA is a left wing liberal socialist hack?

ByteMe

February 2nd, 2012
9:11 am

What is a “win” for the US (as opposed to “for a particular president”)?

Eliminating imminent threats. (al Qaeda)

Stabilizing portions of the world that are destabilized near-term threats against us. (Afghanistan)

Destabilizing portions of the world that are stabilized near-term threats against us. (Iran)

Stop with the macho partisan nonsense about us being the police force for the world and think about what our goals are as a country.

Fighting the Taliban does not do anything for us provided they don’t try to “export” their values through terrorism or harboring terrorists. That’s why we’re ok with negotiating with them now. AQ is no longer operational in that part of the world and what remains of the Taliban is not interested in them.

It’s also why we should be engaging in Cuba before it becomes a destabilized threat as the Castro brothers pass.

Paul

February 2nd, 2012
9:12 am

“What does Romney’s tough talk on Afghanistan mean?”

“It was a strong, manly answer, short and to the point. ”

Mitt learned from Newt. If you want to end the debates with the support of the testosterone-lacking males, you must give a tough, manly man answer.

At least, I hope that’s the sum substance of meaning here.

“Macho blather.”

Yeah, well, consider much of the audience -

HDB

February 2nd, 2012
9:12 am

Afghanistan is the place where wmpires go to DIE!! Starting from Ghengis Khan and going forth to the Russians in the 80s…no nation has gone nto Afghanistan and conquered it!! Those who call for “nuking it back to the stone age”…my question is: Why waste good warheads?? Afghanistan is already in the stone age!! Afghanistan’s Islamic beliefs are holding it back…and any outside force will be met with resistance — the Russians because of race….the Americans because of religion……

Much of what has to be done in Afghanistan has to be done INTERNALLY…..and Pakistan has to be the influence, not the US!!

HDB

February 2nd, 2012
9:12 am

..I meant EMPIRES….

Jm

February 2nd, 2012
9:13 am

Oh and let’s not forget al Qaeda which still exists (though seriously damaged thanks to the president) will now have a pretty good safe haven

On top of Pakistan

Well I guess the war on terror is over

Be prepared to one day have a new war of terror in the US

Good grief, short American memories

People have already forgotten 9/11

Midori

February 2nd, 2012
9:14 am

HDB -

Even Alexander the Great couldn’t take down that area…..

Robert Lee

February 2nd, 2012
9:14 am

jm, yea that’s exactly what I said isn’t it? Where is your outrage over the treatment of women in other countries? Do you think we should invade Saudi Arabia since they treat women in a similar manner? How about various countries in Africa? Why the concern over the Afghan women and none for the rest?

Talking Head

February 2nd, 2012
9:14 am

Three years ago to this day, President Obama acknowledged that the fate of his re-election four years later would likely rests on the success of the proposed $825 billion stimulus package and said “If I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.”

Best thing this guy has ever said, and it’s coming TRUE!

Adam

February 2nd, 2012
9:14 am

Jm: Knock Knock

“Who’s there?”

9/11

“9/11 who?”

YOU SAID YOU’D NEVER FORGET!

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Granny Godzilla

February 2nd, 2012
9:16 am

Jm

I can loan you some bottled water, duct tape and plastic sheeting.

We don’t want you to be scared.

kayaker 71

February 2nd, 2012
9:16 am

So….. we have gotten our asses kicked again. First in Korea, then Vietnam, then Somalia, then the Gulf war, now Afghanistan. This is getting to be a habit.

ByteMe

February 2nd, 2012
9:17 am

Best thing this guy has ever said, and it’s coming TRUE!

Yep, unemployment has consistently fallen for the past 2 years. GDP has been positive since the stimulus got into the economy. It worked!

Finn McCool

February 2nd, 2012
9:17 am

Mitt hasn’t really thought it through…..

The normal Republican way of doing things!

Adam

February 2nd, 2012
9:17 am

kayaker: This is getting to be a habit.

I have an idea, let’s not start these wars IN THE FIRST PLACE!

stands for decibels

February 2nd, 2012
9:17 am

People have already forgotten 9/11

for f-ck’s sake, jm, we still sit through the tedious renderings of “God Bless ‘Merkuhhh” during the seventh inning stretches every summer. We’re not ALLOWED to forget, thanks to the militaristic jackals in our midst.

God forbid we should ever stop thirsting for revenge. A few hundred thousand in Eyerack, who knows how many in Afghanistan–it’ll never be enough to avenge the three thousand, I guess.

(until some Godly Republican War Preznit declares otherwise, of course.)

ByteMe

February 2nd, 2012
9:17 am

we have gotten our asses kicked again. First in Korea, then Vietnam, then Somalia, then the Gulf war, now Afghanistan. This is getting to be a habit.

Defeatist traitor.

Granny Godzilla

February 2nd, 2012
9:18 am

Talking Head

Are you still having money troubles?

How can we help?

Finn McCool

February 2nd, 2012
9:18 am

You conservatives are sooooo worried about losing. You had 11 years to WIN it. Poop or get off the pot.

Adam

February 2nd, 2012
9:19 am

Granny: Don’t give Talking Head a handout. He needs to pull himself up by his bootstraps and stop blogging and spend his time looking for extra work.

stands for decibels

February 2nd, 2012
9:20 am

First in Korea, then Vietnam, then Somalia, then the Gulf war, now Afghanistan.

funny how you forget Ronnie Reagan bravely running away in Lebanon.

ByteMe

February 2nd, 2012
9:20 am

funny how you forget Ronnie Reagan bravely running away in Lebanon.

… and then attacked little itty-bitty Grenada without telling the UK about it (you know, the country that owned them) until after it was over.

Jm

February 2nd, 2012
9:21 am

My manager has zuckerberg envy this morning

Kind of hilarious actually

He doesn’t save…..

Robert Lee

February 2nd, 2012
9:23 am

Heyt Yakker, you forgot Lebanon when Reagan made the Marines run like little girls after terrorists killed 256? cause he didn;t want to make anyone mad.

Talking Head

February 2nd, 2012
9:24 am

“Yep, unemployment has consistently fallen for the past 2 years. GDP has been positive since the stimulus got into the economy. It worked!”

No, not really. Unemployment has consistently been in the range of 10-8.5% for the past 2 years, and more people have dropped out of the workforce so the real number is much higher. GDP has been 2% or less, and if you don’t have more GDP growth than rising inflation, is it really growth? No, at best we have been growing at 1% or less. Oh and not to mention that our national debt is now almost 100% of our GDP.

kayaker 71

February 2nd, 2012
9:25 am

When we pull out of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai and his government won’t last 6 months. Read the book, “A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini if you want to see how a Taliban government treats it’s people. Back to the dark ages.

Guy Incognito

February 2nd, 2012
9:26 am

Lord Help Us

February 2nd, 2012
9:26 am

K71, what is you suggestion on Afghanistan…stay there forever?

carlosgvv

February 2nd, 2012
9:27 am

Romney is certain he already has the votes of all moderate Republicans. However, he still has to persuade those crazed Tea Party voters he’s the man for the job. So, he must talk tough about Afghanistan and never appear to be a “cut and run” candidate. These simple voters will, of course, ignore all reality about Afghanistan and gladly vote for us to be there for, as John McCain said, another 100 years. We can only hope that, if he becomes President, the moderate, sensible Romney will be our President. Since he can change personalities as fast as you can change TV channels, that may be a dim hope.

gm

February 2nd, 2012
9:28 am

Lets see Obama has killed how many terrorist since he been in office?
Please Mitt you are out of your league, how can you question a man who has the sucess of President Obama?
This shows what a egotistical spoil brat this idiot is and he will say anything to ever listen to be President, are rep voters this stupid?

Welcome to the Occupation

February 2nd, 2012
9:29 am

Shinn and Dobbins: “The United States can prevent this indefinitely as long as it is willing to commit significant military and economic resources to a counterinsurgency effort. It cannot eliminate the threat, however, as long as the Afghan insurgents enjoy sanctuary in and support from Pakistan.

Obviously a LIB!! Oh wait …

Welcome to the Occupation

February 2nd, 2012
9:33 am

I think you’re right, carlosgvv: “Romney is certain he already has the votes of all moderate Republicans. However, he still has to persuade those crazed Tea Party voters ..”

What we’re seeing right now is Mitt literally putting the dog whistle up to his mouth. The fact that we don’t hear anything (of substance) doesn’t mean that there’s not a very loud and clear signal going out to the requisite groups.

The same was true of the “I’m not interested in poor people” crack.

Road Scholar

February 2nd, 2012
9:35 am

Let’s give Romney, his sons, and all the other chestbeaters an M16, a few boxs of ammo and airdrop them into Afganastan so they can clear this whole thing up. I mean, since they all are experts, it will be cleared up in no time! Oh, and don’t worry about the cost of this war…we’ll pay for it from the sales of Newt’s books and Carlista’s keylar helmet (her hair).

Road Scholar

February 2nd, 2012
9:37 am

Oh and AJC, fix your damn website!

Butch Cassidy

February 2nd, 2012
9:37 am

Apparently to gain approval as a Pesidential candidate these days, all you have to do is come up with a simplistic answer that really has no chance of becoming a reality.

Hermain Cain – How would you implement your 999 plan? We’ll just re-write the tax code.

Newt Gingrich – What’s your vision for the future of America? – A moon base.

Mitt Romney – How would you deal with the Taliban? – I’d beat them.

Donald Trump – How would you counter rising fuel costs – I’d tell the suppliers F@#k You.

I guess I could throw my hat in the ring too with my plan to counter climate change by generating a giant shield around the earth. Quick, how are my poll ratings?

Robert Lee

February 2nd, 2012
9:37 am

Yes, it will be back to the dark ages unfortunately but I thought the Con mantra was to have people pull themselves up by their bootstraps….so why can’t the Afghans do the same? If its good enough for poor Americans then I would expect its good enough for them.

Truth

February 2nd, 2012
9:38 am

“Let’s give Romney, his sons, and all the other chestbeaters an M16, a few boxs of ammo and airdrop them into Afganastan so they can clear this whole thing up. I mean, since they all are experts, it will be cleared up in no time! Oh, and don’t worry about the cost of this war…we’ll pay for it from the sales of Newt’s books and Carlista’s keylar helmet (her hair).”

Ok… Lets let Obama and all the crats redistribute their own wealth and see if they can fix the economy since they are all experts.

mm

February 2nd, 2012
9:38 am

Romney will ignore them. He doesn’t care about poor people. you know.

Joe Hussein Mama

February 2nd, 2012
9:38 am

Great. This is ALL we need. Another nutless wonder of a Republican who wants to get into a Richard-measuring contest with the rest of the world.

Hey, Mitt — tell us about your military service.

. . .

Well, THAT was fast. :roll:

Steve - USA (I support "None Of The Above")

February 2nd, 2012
9:39 am

I guess Trump is going to endorse Newt, maybe that means Romney isn’t so bad after all.

Mick

February 2nd, 2012
9:39 am

Enter your comments herejm

Bone up on your history, war has devasted many an empire draining both blood and treasure. Sure there are some conflicts that are necessary like ww11, which we had to be pulled into. Sovereign states need to find their own destiny whether we like what they choose or not…

ByteMe

February 2nd, 2012
9:39 am

If its good enough for poor Americans then I would expect its good enough for them.

Charity begins for them with those they can’t see. They reserve their disdain for the people in their own country and the people in countries who they are told to hate.

They are lemmings, no matter how much money they have.

Stonethrower

February 2nd, 2012
9:39 am

“Richard Nixon is a no good, lying bastard. He can lie out of both sides of his mouth at the same time, and if he ever caught himself telling the truth, he’d lie just to keep his hand in. ” Harry Truman said this about Nixon but it I say it applies to all of politicians!

kayaker 71

February 2nd, 2012
9:40 am

Lord Help Us,

When America quit fighting wars to win, we settled for “police actions”, like Korea. If we are going to commit troops and money to a conflict, we should be in it to win. Otherwise, we should never get involved in the first place. Politics has always gotten in the way of settling a conflict when it was nearing it’s end. It happened in Yalta after WWII, Paris after Vietnam…. it continues to give us an out for making bad decisions that are supposed to “settle the matter”. Who suffers?…. the troops and their families who sacrifice for a nation who, for the most part, could care less about the outcome as long as it doesn’t interfere with their I Phone reception or make them wait in some gasoline line to fill up their SUVs. We have become a nation of quitters but most of us who spent a lot of time in the military had no choice but to work for these quitters who always seemed to have some excuse for not winning a conflict and settling for second best.

Joe Hussein Mama

February 2nd, 2012
9:40 am

R. Lee — “you forgot Lebanon”

I didn’t. I knew a young Marine who died there that morning.

Jay

February 2nd, 2012
9:41 am

When we pull out of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai and his government won’t last 6 months.

Kayaker, I fear that may be true. But I also fear that if we stayed there another 10 years and spent another trillion dollars and invested another 2,000 American lives, it would still be true then.

Do you disagree?

Granny Godzilla

February 2nd, 2012
9:43 am

Truth

Obama does say tax me more….Most of the rich “crats” (oh a cute new nickname!) say the same thing.

Romney and the chest beaters…..well I have yet to see them take up arms.

Hell Newt even refused to work while in school…..

Butch Cassidy

February 2nd, 2012
9:43 am

Mick – “Bone up on your history, war has devasted many an empire draining both blood and treasure.”

Yep, look no further than the Russion withdrawl from Afghanistan. By the time the pulled out, the Soviet Union was so broke that it could no longer remain a Superpower.

Lord Help Us

February 2nd, 2012
9:43 am

‘…nation who, for the most part, could care less about the outcome as long as it doesn’t interfere with their I Phone reception or make them wait in some gasoline line to fill up their SUVs.’

Add, and doesn’t result in higher taxes…

I agree, but still would like an answer to, ‘What now?’

mm

February 2nd, 2012
9:44 am

“We have become a nation of quitters but most of us who spent a lot of time in the military had no choice but to work for these quitters who always seemed to have some excuse for not winning a conflict and settling for second best.”

The disgusting righties act like we’re playing a video game.

Robert Lee

February 2nd, 2012
9:46 am

Joe HM, since I was Army I love giving Marines hell but the fact is those fine young men deserved better from their commander in chief.

Jm

February 2nd, 2012
9:47 am

We need to go “light footprint” in Afghanistan

10,000 troops to keep the bad guys in check

Drones to do some additional dirty work

I’m fine with a drawdown, as long as it’s not to 0 (or 0 plus a few training guys)

Butch Cassidy

February 2nd, 2012
9:48 am

kayker71 – “When America quit fighting wars to win, we settled for “police actions”, like Korea. If we are going to commit troops and money to a conflict, we should be in it to win.”

On that I 100% agree with you. The unfortunate reality of war is that you absolutely have to fight to win. If you go in with the intent of minimal loss of life and try to avoid collateral damage, then you will never achieve the objective. I don’t advovate the use of force, but unless you are prepared to commit completely to what needs to be done, then you shouldn’t go at all.

Robert Lee

February 2nd, 2012
9:49 am

Kayaker, I’m rather surprised but I have to agree with what you said

Truth

February 2nd, 2012
9:50 am

Really Granny??? Because I have friends that have been to war and they support taking out the Taliban. You dont get the same thoughts from you vets you know?

Joe Hussein Mama

February 2nd, 2012
9:52 am

R. Lee — “Joe HM, since I was Army I love giving Marines hell but the fact is those fine young men deserved better from their commander in chief.”

I was Army too, but I mourn the loss of any American servicemember, no matter what branch they served in (Coast Guardsmen included).

Peadawg

February 2nd, 2012
9:52 am

“we can keep the Taliban at bay as long as the United States “is willing to commit significant military and economic resources to a counterinsurgency effort.”

It isn’t the U.S.’s job to police/provide for the world. We have problems of our own to take off.

Granny Godzilla

February 2nd, 2012
9:53 am

Five GOP senators are trying to stop the automatic defense cuts triggered by the super committee’s failure to reach an agreement to reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion. Their bill, to be released today, is expected to be similar to a proposal by House Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon (R-CA), who introduced a bill to halt the first year of sequestration cuts by slashing federal jobs.

TPM

Would this properly be called welching?

Pat

February 2nd, 2012
9:53 am

Too many Republicans enjoy the macho exercise of American military power, paid for by the blood of other people’s children (in this “voluntary” military one populated largely by the underclasses, who have fewer options, the children of the people they’ve crushed economically.) The lower and lower-middle classes’ progeny do make useful cannon fodder – and there are an endless supply of them. This kind of phony “tough talk” costs GOP candidates nothing, and has the red meat crowd swooning. Pandering to crowds of people who will pay little to no price for war is easy.
But it’s only at the prospect of little Kevin being drafted out of Yale that this group suddenly decides what wars are actually worth fighting and spilling the blood of the people who “matter.” Detestable.

JKL2

February 2nd, 2012
9:53 am

Robert Lee- Who was it that ordered the mission to kill Bin Laden?

Bush. He ordered the one for Hussein too.

Cynic

February 2nd, 2012
9:54 am

Who was it that ordered the mission to kill Bin Laden?

OMfargingG! This proves O’ is the alpha male and INCREDIBLE decision maker. There is only 1 choice in 2k12.

kayaker 71

February 2nd, 2012
9:54 am

Bookman, 9:41,

No, I do not disagree. Karzai is a weak sister, bolstered by a very corrupt government of people on the take from drug money, political favors and graft. He will end up in some African country as an exile with gazillions of bucks in some Swiss bank, while the Taliban step in and re-occupy the country and the government. The Taliban will be emboldened by their success in defeating the Great Satan. It will not bode well for our future.

jconservative

February 2nd, 2012
9:54 am

The problem with “beating them” in Afghanistan is that a whole bunch of nations and leaders have been trying to do that since Alexander the Great failed to do so in 330 BC.

The Greeks, Indians, Persians, Parthians, Mongolians, British, and Russians all tried and all failed.

And now the US has been at it for 10 years. And after 10 years we have been no more successful than our predecessors.

What is the old saying about doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result?

Lord Help Us

February 2nd, 2012
9:55 am

JKLdeuce still loves him some Bush…

Robert Lee

February 2nd, 2012
9:56 am

Truth, the original mission was to take out Al Queda right? Then W pulled most of the troops and sent them to Iraq (who had previously been our ally that we sold arms to) to fight the evil Saddam Hussien and his nonexistant WMDs. Why W felt the need to stay and try to rebuild a stone age society is beyond me….

Jerome Horwitz

February 2nd, 2012
9:59 am

All this tough talk from a guy who stated his sons serve their country better by being in his campaign bus than in the military. Sorry Mitt Baby you lost all respect with that line. I’ll believe a tough talking politician when their son/daughter puts it on the line.

Remember in WW II most of the “elite” in this country served bravely – The Roosevelt boys, G.H.W. Bush, Kennedy’s, etc. Best way to end the war is to institute a draft – no exemptions. Be like Viet Nam, once the rich boys had to fight it was over.

Joe Hussein Mama

February 2nd, 2012
9:59 am

B. Cassidy — ” I don’t advovate the use of force, but unless you are prepared to commit completely to what needs to be done, then you shouldn’t go at all.

IMO, our misdirected efforts in Iraq were a critical failure when it comes to the Afghanistan campaign. We *knew* that OBL and Mullah Omar were in Afghanistan, yet we fiddled around and frittered away time and resources in Iraq. Had I my way, we’d have given the Talib leaders of Afghanistan an ultimatum and a date certain. If they didn’t turn over those two jerks, then we should have gone in like gangbusters and not stopped until we had both OBL and Omar, dead or alive.

Saddam Hussein was a dirtbag and I’m not sad to see him go. But the fact of the matter is that he didn’t have WMD (and the ‘evidence’ was scanty and ambiguous), whereas we KNEW that OBL was behind 9/11 and we had a pretty good idea where his goat-smelling behind was located.

Joe Hussein Mama

February 2nd, 2012
9:59 am

B. Cassidy — ” I don’t advovate the use of force, but unless you are prepared to commit completely to what needs to be done, then you shouldn’t go at all.

IMO, our misdirected efforts in Iraq were a critical failure when it comes to the Afghanistan campaign. We *knew* that OBL and Mullah Omar were in Afghanistan, yet we fiddled around and frittered away time and resources in Iraq. Had I my way, we’d have given the Talib leaders of Afghanistan an ultimatum and a date certain. If they didn’t turn over those two jerks, then we should have gone in like gangbusters and not stopped until we had both OBL and Omar, dead or alive.

Saddam Hussein was a dirtbag and I’m not sad to see him go. But the fact of the matter is that he didn’t have WMD (and the ‘evidence’ was scanty and ambiguous), whereas we KNEW that OBL was behind 9/11 and we had a pretty good idea where his goat-smelling behind was located.

JKL2

February 2nd, 2012
9:59 am

carlosgvv- Since the Talaban can be trusted about as much as Hitler, it seems we are conceding defeat and getting out

Guess you missed your hero’s entire foreign policy. We need to talk to our enemies because we don’t understand them. I’m sure if we just tell them “we love them” they won’t want to kill us anymore…

Granny Godzilla

February 2nd, 2012
9:59 am

Truth

Truth

Punkin, most everybody would like the Taliban to fall off the face of the planet. DUH.

How many more veterans do you want to see coming home in a box because the Taliban vexes you?

JF McNamara

February 2nd, 2012
10:00 am

We already beat the Taliban. Didn’t we? Frankly, I say reinstall the Taliban if thats what the people of Afghanistan want.

As long as they do not harbor terrorist, I do not care one iota about Afghanistan. Leave and kill the terrorist with the Taliban in power. The war is against terrorism, not the Taliban.

Robert Lee

February 2nd, 2012
10:01 am

Joe HM 9:52
R. Lee — “Joe HM, since I was Army I love giving Marines hell but the fact is those fine young men deserved better from their commander in chief.”

I was Army too, but I mourn the loss of any American servicemember, no matter what branch they served in (Coast Guardsmen included).

I’m not sure which part of my statement you felt offended by but it was entirely sympathetic and I too mourn the loss of any service member (which was implied by my statement)