Obama To "Finish The Job" In Afghanistan


President Obama said on Tuesday that he will announce his decision on how many more troops to send to Afghanistan next week, and that it is his intention to “finish the job” that began with the overthrow of the Taliban government in the fall of 2001.

As a longtime proponent of "finishing the job" in Afghanistan (and President Obama's positions on Afghanistan), I look forward to being joined by the Obama blogs in my position next week when President Obama announces he is sending in more troops to help "finish the job."

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    Wonderful... (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by kdog on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 05:16:54 PM EST
    "finish the job"...still wondering what that means exactly, 8 years later.

    A stable US-friendly Afghanistan?  Please...I can't believe anybody buys that sh*t, especially smart cats like BTD and ChiTownDenny.  I don't even think a stable Afghanistan-friendly Afghanistan is possible.

    All we can hope for is minimal casualties while we prolong the inevitable.

    I'm with you on this (5.00 / 4) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 05:35:37 PM EST
    I need an Obama definition of what this job we finish is.  Then I have something to measure progress or defeat with.  Will we get the definition when he gives us the speech?

    Me, three (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 06:16:57 PM EST
    what does "finish the job" really mean?

    Haven't heard much of anything about Iraq. Do we still have troops there, and, if we do, what are they doing?

    I sure would be grateful if Obama would display through actions how his superior judgment for these wars plays out. Since the Commander in Chief opposes the Iraq war, how's morale for the troops over there? I haven't a clue what his beef with Afghanistan is. Didn't that get re-evaluated as an extension of the war on drugs?


    Iraq? We finished that job! (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by Cream City on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 06:32:48 PM EST
    Sorry we forgot to tell you.


    Your Gummint


    Just see to it, that doesn't (none / 0) (#37)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 07:26:53 PM EST
    happen again :)

    We're finished allright... (none / 0) (#39)
    by kdog on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 07:27:48 PM EST
    finished talking about it...only around 50k troops I believe.

    NPR story tonight about return to (none / 0) (#55)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 09:00:06 PM EST
    Camp Lejuene with several members parents there to welcome home their kids' unit, even though their kids didn't make it back.  Very, very sad.  

    We are fully into Iraq still (none / 0) (#23)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 06:31:54 PM EST
    Our President wants to leave a peaceful Iraq and they just won't comply.

    Feh (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 08:20:27 PM EST
    he's not going to get us out of Iraq and has broken his promise of 16 months. He reminds me of Nixon and Vietnam. He keeps telling everybody he's getting out but somehow never does.

    Exactly, MT (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 09:16:43 PM EST
    I have no family with actual skin in the game, as you obviously do, but as far as I'm concerned, it entirely depends on the strategy whether this is a good idea or not, so I'm waiting to hear whether they've come up with some new angle on it that has any more likelihood of doing something worthwhile over there.

    Even if Bush is the one who did it, I don't think we can shatter a country like that and then just say bye-bye when we're tired of dealing with it if there's any alternative with at least some chance of patching things up.


    At least one of those troops... (5.00 / 13) (#7)
    by Dadler on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 05:20:22 PM EST
    ...won't be my little brother, he's finally out for good (after ten years and four tours in Iraq/Afghanistan), got back this week. Tidying up matters back on base in North Carolina, then he starts his new civilian life.

    A big relief for our family this Thanksgiving. It'll make it a more special one, for sure.

    Awesome news Dadler.... (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by kdog on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 05:28:06 PM EST
    that is something to be thankful for...now once  Mr. MT gets home we can all breathe that much easier 'round here.

    So (none / 0) (#20)
    by lentinel on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 06:18:33 PM EST
    so true.

    I honor him for his service. (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by steviez314 on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 05:28:57 PM EST
    Happy Turkey Day!

    Fab news! (none / 0) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 05:36:18 PM EST
    Very happy for you and yours.

    It is incumbent upon those who want to (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by BobTinKY on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 06:08:01 PM EST
    "finish the job" to define what that is.

    To me it is dismantling Al Aquiada [sic, no doubt].  And it is done, bring 'em home.

    I do not support sending, or keeping for that matter, any US troops there.  It is foolhardy.

    Mission Accomplished!! (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by kidneystones on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 06:09:58 PM EST
    All over the web I'm now reading that Obama is promising to 'Finish the Job' in Afghanistan. What exactly is the job? And considering that nobody sane believes there will be anything resembling stability in Afghanistan for years even with a much more robust presence, what exactly is the metric for success.

    I don't see how this turns out well for anyone, if numbers under the minimum set by the military are dispatched. Who could imagine?

    Originally, my recollection is that (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 09:25:58 PM EST
    we went into Afghanistan to find Osama bin Laden. Then, GWB said he didn't think about OBL anymore and we didn't hear much about it. The battle there was retalliation against 9/11.

    So, my question is, "how much does Afghanistan have to take from us?" Seems 7 years isn't enough battering, so how much more will satisfy us?


    Not enough info (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by andgarden on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 07:16:54 PM EST
    BTD, I'm hoping you'll tell us what you think "finishing the job" means.

    I predict Police Riot outside 2012 D Convention (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by Ben Masel on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 09:21:57 PM EST
    as the dogs are sicked on anti-war protesters.

    I doubt it Ben... (none / 0) (#85)
    by kdog on Wed Nov 25, 2009 at 11:38:04 AM EST
    if we had a draft, then definitely...but absent a draft not nearly enough people care, or have enough skin in the game, to face the dogs and billy clubs.

    Besides...who needs dogs and clubs when you've got "free-speech zones" and protestors lame enough to accept them.


    "Finish the Job" (5.00 / 3) (#61)
    by KeysDan on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 09:26:12 PM EST
    would make more sense if it referred to some new job program to attack our unemployment problem.

    Somehow, I can't help thinking that when (5.00 / 3) (#70)
    by Anne on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 10:34:58 PM EST
    Obama says he wants to finish the job, I hear a couple more words tacked onto that phrase...as in "finish the job of bamboozling the American public into thinking I have more of a clue what to do about this quagmire than the last guy who had the job."

    Or..."finish the job of bleeding so much money out of the Treasury that health care reform will have to consist of a box of bandaids in every medicine cabinet...the smallest box."

    Or..."finish the job of making it HD-quality clear that we weren't smart enough to learn the lessons of the Russians or the Brits: that Afghanistan is not fixable."

    Please, the idea that Obama can finish the job in Afghanistan is ludicrous.

    Same song, different singer (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by BDB on Wed Nov 25, 2009 at 06:48:24 AM EST
    Via a Tiny Revolution:

    Barack Obama today:

    "I will be making an announcement to the American people about how we intend to move forward [in Afghanistan]...it is my intention to finish the job."

    George W. Bush on June 18, 2005:

    "We're moving forward [in Iraq]...When America says we'll do something, we are going to do it and finish the job."

    But why limit yourself:

    In October of last year...we determined upon a course of settling the Afghan question. The goal which we raised was to expedite the withdrawal of our forces from Afghanistan and simultaneously ensure a friendly Afghanistan for us. It was projected that this should be realized through a combination of military and political measures. But there is no movement in either of these directions. The strengthening of the military position of the Afghan government has not taken place. National consolidation has not been ensured mainly because [the Afghan leader] continued to hope to sit in Kabul under our assistance. It has also been said that we fettered the actions of the Afghan government."

    -- Gorbachev, 1986

    there is no "job" (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by pitachips on Wed Nov 25, 2009 at 08:43:55 AM EST
    how are you going to convince an afghan to fight against his cousin in order to prop up a government that is filled with people from ethnic groups that both of them were fighting against only a few years ago, and that neither of them believe has their best interests at heart?

    And we claim to be against corruption (none / 0) (#92)
    by Cream City on Wed Nov 25, 2009 at 07:30:42 PM EST
    as defined in our terms.  It is not necessarily corruption in terms of the way that tribal government works.  (Think "the Chicago Way.":-)

    He, of course, took the middle position, (none / 0) (#1)
    by tigercourse on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 04:58:10 PM EST
    sending in fewer troops then the Generals wanted, but obviously more then the anti-war people want.

    Here's hoping it's enough. But I doubt it.

    McChrystal wanted 40,000 (none / 0) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 05:02:03 PM EST
    Obama says 34,000 but does not mention how many "support" troops will be going with them.  The numbers are nothing but a big smoke screen and it is a big game.  I have absolutely no doubt that McChrystal is going to end up with 40,000 weapon weilding troops at the end of this additional deployment. I should probably just stop saying so though because it only chaps people.

    I must have been mistaken, I'd thought (none / 0) (#13)
    by tigercourse on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 05:36:11 PM EST
    McChrystal wanted more then 40,000.

    Well, do you mean when he said (none / 0) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 05:50:02 PM EST
    60,000? That was awhile ago wasn't it?  And isn't that like the very last available combat troop we have?  I thought the new McChrystal benchmark to deny was 40,000 :)

    Ha (5.00 / 3) (#77)
    by dissenter on Wed Nov 25, 2009 at 02:53:50 AM EST
    The general wanted 80K. The Pentagon told him to cut it in half as they fully understand what the reaction was going to be to a request like that (never mind we don't have 80K more troops to deploy at the moment. It looks like Obama is going with 34K.

    Now the 64,000 question is this: WTF is this going to accomplish and how does it get us out? You better believe I will be listening closely to his speech. I will almost bet the farm that he talks for a long time and says almost nothing.

    Maybe I'm jaded but I would like to know what I will be potentially dying for if I go back.


    I did hear a rumor from an (none / 0) (#89)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 25, 2009 at 03:17:59 PM EST
    aide to a Pentagon General that we do have 80,000 though I'm not sure where they are.  Maybe they are  sitting in the Fort Rucker holding pattern in between flight school and learning their airframe.  We have those guys and girls stacked up like cord wood with like a year and a half wait.....but 40,000?  It is true I can't see everybody around here because of all this forest.

    How do you know? (none / 0) (#5)
    by CST on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 05:03:46 PM EST
    From the first sentance of the article:

    "President Obama said on Tuesday that he will announce his decision on how many more troops to send to Afghanistan next week"

    Sure they talk about how 30,000 was mentioned in the white house, but the last paragraph states:

    "While Mr. Obama is expected by several of his advisers to announce sending more than 20,000 new troops -- perhaps closer to the 40,000, as recommended by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal"

    I like the fact that they are not just talking troop numbers, but also cost and exit strategy - as well as the fact that they will not be going it alone.


    Dithering eroded enthusiasm among allies (none / 0) (#25)
    by kidneystones on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 06:34:01 PM EST
    Japan has already canceled its limited military commitment, France refused already to send more troops, Canada won't and Britain is close to maxed out. Where exactly are these new troops coming from?

    Stunning doesn't half describe the 'clap harder' approach of this administration and its minions to McChrystal's request for 80,000 troops. President 10.2 unemployment and not enough stimulus looks to now be doing to US troops in Afghanistan what he did to America's poor and un-employed.

    Get it? Any proposal involving less than 80,000 troops reduces the slim chances of stabilizing Afghanistan. Making do, and doing more with less, is precisely the sort of 'down-sizing' crap that's worked so well for the last decade. Meanwhile, the military is likely to continue to use Blackwater mercenaries to pick up the short-term slack.

    Call it a win for Bush free-enterprise! Afghanistan is a big country, physically, and getting this country on its feet in five, fifteen, or even fifty years is going to be an enormous challenge.

    The administration is kicking the can down the road because the mission will collapse without some action. The thirty-thirty-five thousand can't do what forty can or what fifty, sixty, seventy or eighty might.

    There isn't going to be any victory. And there certainly isn't going to any victory over an meaningful challenge with a level of commitment this administration has yet to demonstrate.

    The only thing that appears to matter to this administration are their chances for a second term, and perhaps the 2010 elections. That's not the way to run a country and not the way, frankly, to win elections.

    Unless the numbers exceed or meet the minimum set by McChrystal the administration is going to, once again, be seen as doing just enough to quell complaints, but not enough to 'finish the job', as promised.

    This administration is turning into a profound disappointment, and my own expectations were very, very low.

    Get the troops out or do the job right.


    Dithering did not dampen the (none / 0) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 06:42:57 PM EST
    Caucasus or Baltic support.  Everybody who wants to be anybody in NATO is sending troops.

    Nonsense (none / 0) (#34)
    by kidneystones on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 07:07:30 PM EST
    Poland sent most of its troops while Bush was in office and raised its contingent by just 400 more than six months ago to 2,000. Lithuania sent troops: at least 120. Then there are the 300 Estonians, no increase in those numbers either, apparently. Add in Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan and you get almost 1,000 more. That makes about 3500 in total.

    Support for the war among nations with the largest troop commitments is waning. The enthusiastic hand-clapping from wanna-be Nato members isn't going to get the job done. The psychological boost is a welcome and a factor.

    But the real battle may have already been lost and that's a terrible thing to say to someone like you with skin in the game.

    I'd like to see all troops in Afghanistan get the support they deserve or be withdrawn.


    Turkey, Armenia, and Georgia are all (none / 0) (#36)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 07:18:20 PM EST
    increasing their troop numbers and not by small proportions.  Claims being made that they can't miss the opportunity to train their own troops on the problem that is Afghanistan. This commitment also comes with "connections" for the future. Georgia wants at least a 1,000 of their special forces used.

    Turkey Isn't Sending combat troops (none / 0) (#41)
    by kidneystones on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 07:37:34 PM EST
    And other Nato nations have yet to step up to the plate, except the UK:

    Canada, Finland and the Netherlands have either pulled troops out or set withdrawal dates. Other countries, such as Denmark, Italy, Germany, Norway and Sweden, say they will maintain current troop levels but have no immediate plans to increase them. Only Britain and Turkey have made significant pledges, and Turkey - a Muslim country - has committed noncombat personnel only.

    Turkey has immense regional ambitions and donates large amounts of cash to countries in the region. I've a better link somewhere, but Turkey's donations to immensely mineral-rich Kyrgyzstan match or exceed those of all countries but the US and Japan.

    1000 Georgians helps, but is still a drop in the bucket. Georgia seems interested only in receiving live-fire training in counter-insurgency warfare, not nation-building in Afghanistan.

    There is little support for this 'war of necessity' among the Dem base, that much is clear. Allies rightly question America's ability to commit to the project and are unwilling to extend any more 'credit' to an un-certain, poorly-formulated policy.

    Can anyone say with certainty that the US won't just abandon the project in a year or two, should the polls dip? That's the difference between this president and the last. And its telling.


    I just can't please you (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 07:54:59 PM EST
    1,000 troops only to fight, I'm so excited that Georgia doesn't want to nation build.....isn't almost the whole of the ISAF forces outside of U.S., U.K., Cananda, and Australia only willing to do that?  As my dad always said kidneystones, you'd b*otch if we hung you with a new rope.  Does France fight or not?  I still don't know.  They sent a bunch of fresh forces too but I don't know if they fight or not.  I know they sent Special Forces.

    Actually (5.00 / 2) (#78)
    by dissenter on Wed Nov 25, 2009 at 02:58:27 AM EST
    The Japs just promised 5 billion in aid. They don't fight but they are the best reconstruction organization over there. In my book that does count for something since I do reconstruction and they actually have some real success stories to report. I can't say the same for the rest of us.

    UK Defense MInister blames Obama for collapse (none / 0) (#44)
    by kidneystones on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 07:57:04 PM EST
    of UK support for Afghanistan. Plain as day.

    Bob Ainsworth, the defence secretary, has blamed Barack Obama and the United States for the decline in British public support for the war in Afghanistan. Ainsworth took the unprecedented step of publicly criticising the US President and his delays in sending more troops to bolster the mission against the Taliban.

    A "period of hiatus" in Washington - and a lack of clear direction - had made it harder for ministers to persuade the British public to go on backing the Afghan mission in the face of a rising death toll, he said.

    Opposition to both the Iraq and Afghanistan adventures is extremely high in the UK. And Labor opponents of these wars, unlike their US Dem counterparts, have not backed off one iota in their criticism of the prosecution of the wars and the criminal charges they wish to see leveled against Tony Blair et al.

    In this climate it would be extremely difficult to convince the British public to send more troops to Afghanistan. The UK Defense Secretary, America's key ally in this war, is now publicly rebuking the President of the United States for making this war harder to fund, support, and fight.

    The war in Afghanistan is extremely unpopular in many circles and it isn't at all clear this President has the heart for the fight.

    Scary for all concerned.


    The USA (none / 0) (#45)
    by Steve M on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 08:04:47 PM EST
    will always be a convenient scapegoat for the world.

    I wonder why :)? (none / 0) (#49)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 08:28:35 PM EST
    It couldn't be because we are forever doing that projection of force stuff all over the place :)

    Well (5.00 / 3) (#54)
    by Steve M on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 08:57:46 PM EST
    as a card-carrying liberal I sometimes feel inclined to blame America for stuff.

    But really my point is that just because some nation blames its own conduct on that mean ol' Barack Obama, really doesn't tell you one way or the other if it's true.  A lot of folks would like the luxury of extricating themselves from Afghanistan while bearing no responsibility for whatever ensues.


    Spoken like a grown up with (none / 0) (#90)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 25, 2009 at 03:31:13 PM EST
    life experience.

    This is going over like a lead (none / 0) (#2)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 04:58:23 PM EST
    balloon at Orange.

    Really? You think? (5.00 / 5) (#11)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 05:34:47 PM EST
    You'd be surprised how much the place has changed I think.

    There's some guy or gal who posts pretty pictures of the Obamas which are the equivalent of vallium and for those who can't be calmed down when Obama does something they don't like they have a band of posters who will beat the hell out of anyone who complains.

    I am finding it fascinating really.  Three years ago the place would be up in arms about Bush's doings and now when Obama does the same thing - not so much.  These days the recommended list is populated with "pooties"; Obama pretty pictures; and when a complaining diary gets too much attention - another complaining diary about the original complaining replaces it in short order explainging that Obama is actually perfect or pragmatic - take your pick - and the masses are becalmed.  I am completely entertained by the proliferation of anti-HuffPo commentary as well.  FireDogLake = Evil.  Glenn Greenwald is a demon and, of course, Krugman is considered a "hack".  Amazing what's been happening over there since the Obama wave took hold.

    The bottom line is that they won't call for less or more troops - they will claim that it is "just right" because the great god Obama is all-knowing and no doubt so perfect and smart that he couldn't ever get anything wrong.


    Well I did find out today (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 06:22:00 PM EST
    that even though every other American citizen can get on any base or post with a vehicle and I.D. check, that Sarah Palin must be banned from all military bases and posts because she is polarizing and political (I don't know how much longer I can expect to be able to get on a base or post with these guys running this show now).  When I got tired of pointing out that that is discrimination and probably illegal and I said that people were acting stupid there, they did threaten to take away my trusted user status.........pfffft.....bawhahahahahah

    My biggest cracking up (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 06:50:35 PM EST
    was when someone said that Michael Moore wouldn't be allowed to do a book signing at a PX.  I said that wasn't true.  Then someone said that he wouldn't because it is the military and all that horrible terrible dangerous stuff.  Didn't we all just not too long ago watch Michael Moore attempt to enter Gitmo?  And Gitmo is a detention facility and isn't an "open" base like every other place....whew....it gets deep and wide

    I don't know. (none / 0) (#33)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 07:02:24 PM EST
    I work in a profession where I am interned often by the people who hire me and when I am at work during those weeks, I am really not allowed to live my life as a private citizen.  I am certainly not allowed to poltick - if I want to keep my jobs going that is.

    You want to ban Palin from a (none / 0) (#40)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 07:31:39 PM EST
    book signing?

    Nope. (none / 0) (#46)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 08:16:10 PM EST
    I do not.

    Really that is not what I was saying.

    But I do think that there is a time and place for everything.


    She had very tight restrictions (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 08:26:49 PM EST
    I'm no wild fan of the PX and as I said at Orange, Tom Clancey was here for a book signing and I didn't go.  My husband wanted to but was busy with work and I had something else going on, didn't want to try to fight my way into a Tom Clancey signing because I don't care about Tom Clancey like he does.  But if other authors are allowed on posts and bases in the book stores then she has to be allowed too. Just no political speaking......and she did not personalize one single signature either along with making no public comments.

    Originally, she was to hold a rally and (none / 0) (#71)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 10:37:09 PM EST
    speak.  That was the problem until the military brass apparently decided that might be too controversial on base.  Tom Clancy is not a political figure lining up support for a 2012 presidential run - and as far as I know he doesn't go around talking about real live death panels - even though there may be some fictionalized version of them in his books.

    In any case, censorship is alive and well in this country and political activity is limited especially within the realm of government operations for good reason.  The corporate interests that I've worked for don't have nearly as good reasons, but I am grateful that I don't have to do the political thing in order to have a job most of the time - so I'm generally okay with living without that when I am working.


    I'll bet that her "ideas" (none / 0) (#86)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 25, 2009 at 02:52:31 PM EST
    of a rally took them completely by surprise.  I bet they had no idea she had that planned until it was announced and then there was a freak out and a decision about who has the best most polite yet firm phone voice to call her and tell her, "No you won't!"  I bet it took her by surprise too because she seems to me to have the BushCo sense of what is legal and illegal to do on military soil :)  It is illegal to have political rallies inside the gates.  The President can show up and give a speech but he is the Boss.  Some would argue that it is impossible for a President to not be political, me being one, but the Boss gets a pass and only the Boss.

    OMG you are right (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 06:56:01 PM EST
    Count me as dumbstruck!  First there was upset, then there was a quiet, and now he is a genius who has "a strategy".  Can I be popular now, or as a evil dependent will I always suck without the guiding hand of the blessed Obama?

    I think you have to be a true believer (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 10:48:40 PM EST
    all the time or else your record of being "uneven" will make even the most ardent support of any Obama policy on your part suspect.  lol

    Some newish freaks to the dkos party were jumping into every healthcare thread explaining how "great" everything was in recent months; and I finally called one out at a paid operative - which I still believe he/she was.  A week or two later I made a comment about something completely unrelated and one of his/her buddies linked my accusation and used it as "evidence" that my comment about that something completely different was totally invalid.  It made no sense at all.  Now I think they are both paid operatives.  lol

    Most of the people who think for themselves have either moved on or are there only sporadically so folks like the ones I described above tend to have the run of the place.  They yell indignantly about how Obama is not getting his due and then deride those who are genuinely indignant about various and sundry Obama policies - accusing them of being "reactionary", "impatient" and even at times accuse them of being trollishly traitorous.  Sadly, there are plenty of sheep around the place now to support that view regardless of the fact that it is often invalid.


    I had a conversation with my father about (none / 0) (#3)
    by ChiTownDenny on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 05:01:08 PM EST
    Obama's coming decision to send troops to Afghanistan.  My very Republican father thought Obama should not send additonal troops to Afghanistan.  I then reminded him that "Bush" won Afghanistan; the Taliban and Al Quaeda were sent scurrying.  Then Bush dropped the ball; Iraq was the new war.  
    Like BTD, I think Obama needs to send troops.  

    We won the Viet Nam War (5.00 / 4) (#26)
    by Cream City on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 06:35:21 PM EST
    many times, too.  Until we didn't anymore.

    Wes Clark (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 07:51:07 PM EST
    testified before Congress late last (?) week; as I recall, he supported leaving Afghanistan and implied that to stay there is to ignore one of the lessons of Vietnam.  It seems to me that Prez Obama, who spent much of the campaign dissing the "old battles of the 1960s", missed the debate over the cost/benefits of waging war in a land we do not understand, where we have not been invited to support a popular movement, and where we, as "the ugly Americans," only serve to stir up move anti-American sentiment.

    And, at what cost?  I think the billions we spend in Afghanistan in a month could fund healthcare for all uncovered Americans for some time -- not to mention proper healthcare for returning Vets; and I think the added deficit we are running up there every day is digging a deeper whole we may never climb out of.  Yes, I am very worried about our future as a viable nation.  


    Really? (none / 0) (#50)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 08:33:06 PM EST
    Interesting, anyone have a link?  I'm very interested in listening to a Clark analysis.

    Found a link (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 08:42:13 PM EST
    here, just my opinion but this really sucks Wes.  You give me this whole schpiel about sucking it up and not breaking ranks and then just when he goes again, now you want to break ranks and everybody out,  no fricken memo....nothin.  How long have you been sitting on these observed realities of yours Wes?

    When was last (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 09:26:47 PM EST
    time anyone asked for Wes's opinion?  Can he be accused of "breaking ranks" when he's long since left the service?

    I'm always interested in your opinion, but I'm not sure exactly what you are faulting Wes for.  
    It's my understanding that our troops have successfully routed Al Queda from Afghanistan, but by changing the mission to "making Afghanistan safe for...." we don't know what, is tantamount to expecting our troops to change the history and nature of another country.  The Soviets failed, and some think the lost $ sunk into the mission in Afghanistan helped fell the FSU, and we are following suit.  
    If the Admin were to say that it wanted to move all or some of the troops from Afghanistan to the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in order to ensure that Al Queda does not return, I might not agree, but the decision would make sense.

    I'm reminded of a book by Barrington Moore, Jr. called "Social Origins of Dictatorship & Democracy" which makes the case that historically, nations undergo revolutions according to their own socio-economic development and culture.  The book covers the English, French, U.S., Russian and Chinese revolutions.  Sorry for the soap box, I just think there are limits to what a country and its military, no matter how well trained or intentioned, can or should do to force an entirely different nation and culture to support foreign, i.e., inherently different, ways of doing things.


    I'm sorry if I wasn't clear (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 25, 2009 at 03:12:39 PM EST
    I'm so often not clear in type.  The only thing I fault Clark on is that he did not send me a memo before I said that my spouse could go to Afghanistan.  My spouse could retire if he wanted to and he most likely has a GS teaching job even if the military contractors seeking him dry up.  He did not have to do Afghanistan, he chose to do Afghanistan.......and then about six to eight weeks after his departure Wes gives me his opinion.  Tongue in cheek.....I think he should have at least emailed me long ago :)

    MT (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 11:04:59 PM EST
    please forgive the soapbox tonight.  Have a great Thanksgiving.

    Did you see the recent AP article (none / 0) (#53)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 08:57:26 PM EST
    about former military officers making big bucks giving their opinions?

    Philip Carter Resigns (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by kidneystones on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 09:07:49 PM EST

    A key official in the Obama administration's effort to remake detention policy and close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay has resigned.

    Phillip Carter, who was appointed deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee policy in April, said in a brief telephone interview that he was leaving for "personal and family reasons" and not because of any policy differences with the administration. He tendered his resignation Friday, Pentagon officials said.

    Carter, a lawyer and Iraq veteran, was responsible for coordinating global policy on detainees.

    This strikes me as a very big deal. Carter was one of the good guys and his resignation does not bode well for those of us hoping for an end to the practice of grabbing 'suspects' off the street and holding them indefinitely in secret locations.

    I much prefer the up front stake your ground and defend it approach to warfare. Carter's departure is extremely troubling.


    Not fair (none / 0) (#57)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 09:11:38 PM EST
    to call Wes out for this.  He was giving testimony before Congress.

    Well that's the same old same old (none / 0) (#87)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 25, 2009 at 03:08:03 PM EST
    when fresh wars are afoot.  I like to pick my Generals that I take opinions seriously from though and my biggest criteria for making that choice is success.  Wes Clark knows success and James Jones knows how to milk the bureacracy for every star and dollar and board seat he can get.

    we could still win:) (none / 0) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 06:43:42 PM EST
    Vietnam? (none / 0) (#52)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 08:55:27 PM EST
    Well, I was too young to know (none / 0) (#29)
    by ChiTownDenny on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 06:44:07 PM EST
    about Viet Nam, even though I have read plenty.  Our Afghanistan "war" is no comparison, and I am old enough to know about that.

    Actually, the similarities are eerie (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Cream City on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 09:40:54 PM EST
    if you look at the early years. . . .

    Ah, and I read that before reading below (none / 0) (#64)
    by Cream City on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 09:41:48 PM EST
    that Wes Clark agrees.

    Think about not the LBJ years but the JFK years.


    I'm not certain anyone who isn't well-versed (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 09:47:38 PM EST
    in the history of Vietnam, even before U.S. got involved, should get a say in what U.S. does in Afghanistan.

    Why? (none / 0) (#67)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 10:06:25 PM EST
    Those of us who marched against Viet Nam weren't well-versed in the subject of previous war.

    But, those of us who marched (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 10:11:45 PM EST
    weren't making the decisions re deploying U.S. military.  

    Does that include (none / 0) (#81)
    by CST on Wed Nov 25, 2009 at 08:34:18 AM EST
    the people currently fighting in Afghanistan?

    Because they might have some valuable insight.  Even the ones under 50.


    I hope the input our military in Afghanistan (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 25, 2009 at 10:44:20 AM EST
    reaches the President, who is the decider.  

    It is all so confusing. (none / 0) (#10)
    by KeysDan on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 05:30:58 PM EST
    I thought we won the war in Afghanistan with Bush's swift elimination of the Taliban government, and the end of safe harbor for Al Qaeda. Yes, we did have to turn our attention to get the WMD and avoid a mushroom cloud, but we still thought about that first war. We did instal our man Karzai to keep it all going. But then, Secretary of Defense Gates more recently has said that the war may be perceived as "un-winable".  Obama sent more troops in last winter while he studied if he should send in more troops. Also, we would be working on a mission and objectives, and be looking for "an off ramp".  Karzai's election was fraudulent and he and his pals are corrupt, but we will be giving him "benchmarks" to meet, or else.   Dick Cheney scared everyone about not sending in even more troops.  And now, it looks like we will be doing just that.  Guess we need to apologize to Cheney, he was right after all. Oh, we still need an exit strategy, and I have one:  An Afghanistan War-surtax on all incomes on a progressive basis (up to 7 %) no more free wars, no more use of our Chinese credit cards. Otherwise, it would not be fair to our grandchildren.  I need to hear a fine speech, pronto, so as to have the situation clarified.

    Ho Chi Minh explains it all to you. (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by Cream City on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 09:45:12 PM EST
    As he said, he knew that the Viets would win -- because we would go home, and they still would be there.

    We could defeat the Taliban again, and we would go home -- and the Taliban would be back in an Afghani minute.


    Specifically... (none / 0) (#18)
    by lentinel on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 06:16:52 PM EST
    what is the "job" that needs to be finished?

    To (none / 0) (#30)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 06:48:38 PM EST
    smoke them out of their holes? or whatever it was that Bush said.

    perhaps just (none / 0) (#76)
    by coigue on Wed Nov 25, 2009 at 01:09:56 AM EST
    "smoke them out"?

    Who? (none / 0) (#79)
    by lentinel on Wed Nov 25, 2009 at 03:38:39 AM EST
    Smoke "who" out of which caves?

    Supposedly, we were going there in the first place because Osama was the mastermind in the cave. And the plot was hatched there.

    Now the mastermind is KSM and he will be shortly in the Empire City. And the plot was hatched in Saudi Arabia.

    The only smoking that's going to be happening in Afghanistan is of the funny cigarette variety.

    And they're ingesting something or other in Washington DC that is making them very very stupid.


    sorry. stupid pot joke. (none / 0) (#84)
    by coigue on Wed Nov 25, 2009 at 11:30:29 AM EST
    Obama's "Finish the Job" Reminds Me of (none / 0) (#22)
    by Dan the Man on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 06:30:58 PM EST
    Instapundit when he said the goal of the Iraq War was to "win".  Perhaps Obama's channeling his inner Instapundit.

    Did I miss it? (none / 0) (#38)
    by Lora on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 07:27:02 PM EST
    I thought BTD was working on a post or two about Afghanistan and why he supports the war there.

    What "project," though? (none / 0) (#73)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 10:54:48 PM EST
    McChrystal claims he can stabilize Afghanistan with 80,000 troops. I'm not sure the project is worth it and as my own time to serve has passed, I'm not going to demand others pick up the spear.

    Afghanistan wasn't a "project," it was supposed to be an approriate response to 9/11. Get in, get Osama, put him on trial if we got him alive. We didn't go there to liberate them, control their poppy farms, or hang around unwelcome for nearly a decade.

    What is it that Obama is going to "finish"? I haven't heard him ever mention bin Laden -- not ever, not even once.

    Sorry about the delay (none / 0) (#91)
    by kidneystones on Wed Nov 25, 2009 at 06:24:53 PM EST
    in replying. Fair question. The Afghanistan project is the re-building of a country that served as the battle ground for a proxy war between Soviet Russia and the US, and then as training ground for anti-India terrorists and Islamic extremists.

    My own priority would be to distribute 'free', AIDS blockers to HIV positive pregnant women in poverty, but that's not the kind of hot and sexy issue that attracts much attention.

    Poverty and illiteracy cripple a large majority of Afghans and that's reason alone to extend a hand.

    I don't think the sky is going to fall if the west walks away from Afghanistan. I don't see any reason, however, to stick around and screw it up at great loss of blood and treasure.


    And finish the job means??? (none / 0) (#75)
    by coigue on Wed Nov 25, 2009 at 01:09:10 AM EST
    Anyone? Bueller?