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Obama's plans on Iraq and Afghanistan Options
kisholoy mukherjee
Posted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 3:49:10 PM
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Well, president Obama had said that he will pull the troops out by 2011. What is the current state of affairs in the two aforementioned places? And what are the new plans/strategies that are being made with respect to the war?? What does it look like, can he achieve his target in time?? What do you make of this plan to pull out the troops?
Is it true that a negotiation might be sought with the Taliban? To put taliban in power in Afghanistan? And then the troops are going to pull out of there?
Is it also true that Taliban doesn't have that many links with the Al Qaeda? Or rather that the two groups have different if not conflicting ideologies??
Investigator
Posted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 5:03:40 PM
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kisholoy mukherjee wrote:
Well, president Obama had said that he will pull the troops out by 2011. What is the current state of affairs in the two aforementioned places? And what are the new plans/strategies that are being made with respect to the war?? What does it look like, can he achieve his target in time?? What do you make of this plan to pull out the troops?
Is it true that a negotiation might be sought with the Taliban? To put taliban in power in Afghanistan? And then the troops are going to pull out of there?
Is it also true that Taliban doesn't have that many links with the Al Qaeda? Or rather that the two groups have different if not conflicting ideologies??


Prior to the US invasion into Afganistan the Taliban and Al Qaeda were thick as thieves. The Taliban did not like the heat brought down on them by Al Qaeda's 9-11 attack and have since shunned them.

When Obama said he would pull the troops out by 2011 I think he meant only from Iraq. He has always said we need to concentrate on Afganistan and not Iraq. He could be right but probably is not. Announcing a firm date for the withdrawal of troops in any conflict is not good strategy.
subrshan
Posted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 9:36:36 PM
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Obama's plan on Afganistan & Irag are different, he strongly beleives that "war on Afganistan" is not lost and he does not want to loose, because the attach on america was planned there and executed from there. But are NATO & America on the right track to end the militancy in afganistan after fighting for almost 8 years? whatever the money spent to the border countries with afganistan to avoid spreading terrorism would really helped? or the border counties used the money for some other purpose? I would strongly feel that america should account each tax payer dollar spent for this mission. what are the actions america is going to take for the growing corruption in Karzai government?



Irag war should be viewed totally in a different angle. stable and able goverment should be installed and pull the troops ASAP.

thrustae
Posted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 9:59:08 PM
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Afghanistan has been a base for al qaeda since the taliban is actually brutal enough to share al qaeda's ideology. Al qaeda is really a franchise though, and you can open up shop anywhere, including the US. (Note: I'm not saying you should do that; I'm only clarifying how it works.) We've seen enough terror plots in other parts of the world, beyond the Middle East, to realize that there is an infectious ideology at work that needs to be extinguished.

The President said we'd start pulling people out in 2011 but that could mean only a very small number at first. There should be, IMO, a balance: we need to commit to finishing, and at the same time the Afghans need to become self-sufficient and know that we will eventually be out of the area. I think ostensibly we need to be fully committed for as long as possible. The reason is because we are engaged in guerrilla warfare, where the weaker party (al qaeda/taliban) tries to wear down and outlast the stronger opponent (the free world, led by the US). We are fairly impatient in the US (understandably so) but the terrorists will hold out as long as possible. We have been capturing and killing a lot of terrorist leaders in the last few months (with help in Pakistan, whose leadership suddenly is going after these guys).

This is what I think we need to succeed in Afghanistan and Iraq:

-Human Intelligence. Found out who's who, where, and when so that we can find and kill or capture terrorist leaders. Capturing is desirable as we can interrogate them and get further information.
-Foreign Internal Defense. We need as many Army Special Forces A-teams on the ground as possible. SF is highly proficient in training people. With good training, the people of Iraq and Afghanistan will become more and more adept at fighting the badguys on their own.
-Integration with the People. We have to be friendly with the people so they will be friendly with us. If we achieve this then we will get good intel from them on where the badguys are.

There has been talk of trying to offer hired guns in the taliban positions in the Afghan government but who knows if it will succeed. Trying to reason with the hardliners is silliness.

As far as current policy, IMHO the president seems fairly committed and sensible to our situations in these two countries. Max Boot and George Friedman both favor heavy increases in our deployment level in Afghanistan in order to cover more ground and weed out more badguys, and the President is following this course. He has not been hasty and impulsive in pulling out of Iraq, too, which is good, IMO. I do, however, wish that this presidency had not scrapped and declassified the highly effective and humane interrogation program that we had previously (they canned the program against the advice of the CIA).

There you have it: my humble opinion.
HWNN1961
Posted: Thursday, April 22, 2010 9:56:34 AM
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Status:

1. Iraq: the troop withdrawl is on course. The current Iraqi government seems to be getting a handle on security. Corruption and manipulated elections? Another story indeed! The last election was something of a farce, with large numbers of candidates banned on the flimsiest of charges.

Prediction: this will come full-circle. As the current government becomes more corrupt and power hungry, there will be a renewal of civil war. It will be put down. There may still be a parliament/assembly as a sham....heck, even Saddam had an assembly. But, in the end, there will be a new dictatorship.


2. Afghanistan: the war is not lost, nor is it won. The big test is the up-coming battle in and around Kandahar. The problem is, NATO can win all the tactical battles it wants, and if the Karzai gov't remains corrupt, and the people in the rural regions to don't buy into it, the effort will be doomed.

Prediction: not hopeless, but, likely a quagmire. In the end, NATO leaves a fractured failed state, and the US continues to tamp down the terrorist threat using airstrikes and predator drones, but not with large standing armies on the ground.

kisholoy mukherjee
Posted: Thursday, April 22, 2010 10:45:15 AM
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HWNN1961 wrote:
Status:
2. Afghanistan: the war is not lost, nor is it won.



What exactly is winning or losing in this case?
Also, shouldn't we focus on making developments in the concerned regions?? I think two major factors for any kind of unrest (some of which give birth to terrorism) are often poverty/need/disorder and religion. In this case, both, I guess. So, can this present 'war' solve either of these problems?
thrustae
Posted: Thursday, April 22, 2010 9:12:36 PM
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I hate to think HWN's prediction for Iraq will come true but it's certainly plausible. For this reason I believe it is important to stay committed long enough to establish a stable government and prevent a reversion to a vile regime like the one that we went there to destroy in the first place.
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