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Passions in Poetry

Obama's Vietnam

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Huan Yi
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0 posted 09-05-2009 06:09 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.

Conservative George Will wants us to get out of Afghanistan
and solve any problems there with drones, air strikes
and special teams.  Some Democrats have made it
known they don’t want to stay either much less
give any green light to a “surge”.   Seems to me
that would mean we lose . . . now and later.

Welcome to the real world
of hard choices instead of speeches
Mister President.


.


[This message has been edited by Ron (09-08-2009 12:04 AM).]

Mistletoe Angel
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1 posted 09-06-2009 12:45 AM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Hi everyone! As many of you are well aware, I recently took a hiatus from Passions In Poetry, but returned in mid-summer and even then was very busy with volunteering and so, needless to say, I haven't had time to contribute to discussions here and elsewhere, even while my news junkie inclinations haven't evaporated.

Eerily enough, I do believe Obama's foreign policy in Afghanistan is quite similar to Bush's foreign policy in Iraq, in that nation-building was and is a primary component of both policies and, moreover, Obama has not offered any exit strategy or plan for victory in Afghanistan just like Bush failed to do so for Iraq.

Moreover, Obama in late February of this year had proposed adding two brigade-sized forces in Afghanistan, one being a Marine Corps unit in the spring and the other an Army one for the summer, that numbered approximately 12,000, even going so far as to suggest the force would eventually be double the 38,000 already stationed there.............all while repeatedly insisting that it was time for a "new strategy" in Afghanistan despite being unwilling to go into detail over what the "new strategy" might be............which bears stark similarities to Bush's "surge" late in his second term as president and his reluctance to elaborate on a new strategy, as well as Obama using "progress" as a buzzword for how we determine success in Afghanistan despite lacking any system of measurement.

Unlike Iraq, which was never the central front of terrorism to begin with, it's understandable why most feel we have to do something in Afghanistan since, after all, that is where the Taliban's main concentration of forces and Osama bin Laden's allies were based in the first place. And yet, it is utterly frustrating that the Obama Administration seems to be just as oblivious as many previous administrations over the history of foreign policy in the Middle East..........including the Soviets once having half a million troops in Afghanistan and even then failing to bring peace to the nation.

I knew, regardless of who would be elected, that we wouldn't have any significant seismic shift in terms of foreign policy, but I did believe that Obama would provide a more pragmatic tone to our foreign policy............and if how he is operating Afghanistan is any indication, even that doesn't seem to be the case, and regardless of how much he promotes himself as an agent of change, Obama, Bush and many of their predecessors are joined much more closely at the hip than Obama will ever admit.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
Ringo
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2 posted 09-06-2009 12:47 AM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

Campaigning is easy... ruling is an entirely different ball game.
Wars, unfortunately, have never been won by a few small units and some technology. Regardless of the drones, and air strikes, it takes a substantial amount of feet on the ground in order to effect a win. The American people know thta, and that is why they line up either for a surge and all out butt-whoopin' or an all out retreat: Get it done as quickly as possible, or lose as few men as possible...
President Obama, regardless of his decision, loses.

Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting, "WHAT A RIDE

Huan Yi
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3 posted 09-07-2009 07:28 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


So what long term good
does anyone imagine would happen
if we just up and left?


.
Ringo
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4 posted 09-08-2009 06:54 AM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

Long term good? None.
This is a case where people need to realize (some will like it, some won't. Some will agree some, some won't) that Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 definitely applies.
quote:
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; 3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6 A time to get,  and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

While I do not believe we need to bring every third world nation into the light of democracy and industrialism, we do need to fight those who started this war with us. President Obama has stated that we are at war with Al Qaeda... well, NO ONE is stating that they are not in Afghanistan. The liberal Democrats in Washington, who vilified the previous administration (and continue to do so, to their own detriment) have not come out and said any different.
Fine, then... if we are, truly, at war with Al Qaeda, and Al Qaeda are in Afghanistan, then let's get in there, let the military do its job of locating, closing with and engaging the enemy and get this over with.

We are never going to erradicate Al Qaeda, or similar organizations. We would have a better chance of ridding the world of cockroaches. What we need to do is to locate, close with, and engage the particular cockroaches that are behind the attacks on the US and Americans around the world, and exterminate them without prejudice, and then allow the people of Afghanistan to keep track of themselves in the way they feel best.


Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting, "WHAT A RIDE

[This message has been edited by Ringo (09-09-2009 07:14 AM).]

Huan Yi
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5 posted 09-08-2009 08:51 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


Why do I hear crickets
on this topic?


.
Huan Yi
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6 posted 09-11-2009 07:14 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


“In an extensive June 22, 2009, interview with the network, Mustafa Abu Al-Yazid, general commander of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, prayed, “With the grace of Allah, the Muslims will gain control of these [Pakistani nuclear] weapons and we will use them against the Americans.”  . . .


Dr. Al-Nafisi went on to explain, “The WMD is a problem. The Americans are afraid that the WMDs might fall into the hands of 'terrorist’ organizations, like al-Qaeda and others. There is good reason for the Americans’ fears, because al-Qaeda used to have . . . laboratories in north Afghanistan. They have scientists, chemists, and nuclear physicists. They are nothing like they are portrayed by these mercenary journalists — backward Bedouin living in caves.”


http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NmI3NjhiN2E2NWJmNDM2NWM1ZmY5MGUwOGI4NjFjY2E=&w=MQ ==


.
Huan Yi
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7 posted 09-21-2009 08:24 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


.


“He also says that coalition forces will change their operational culture, in part by spending "as little time as possible in armored vehicles or behind the walls of forward operating bases." Strengthening Afghans' sense of security will require troops to take greater risks, but the coalition "cannot succeed if it is unwilling to share risk, at least equally, with the people." “

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/20/AR2009092002920_pf.html

No General, with all respect  . . .
Afghanistan is not even Iraq much less Vermont;

it’s Somalia.

.

Huan Yi
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8 posted 09-22-2009 07:13 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.
“Last spring, the president handed McChrystal an impossible mission: Turn Afghanistan into a prosperous, rule-of-law democracy cherished by its citizens. The general's doing his best. But we have zero chance -- zero -- of making that happen.

Meanwhile, we've forgotten why we went to Afghanistan in the first place. (Hint: It wasn't to make nice with toothless tribesmen.) . . .

What we really need is just a compact, lethal force of special operators, intelligence resources and air assets, along with sufficient conventional forces for protection and punitive raids. More troops just mean more blood and frustration.

Those who suggest pulling out completely and striking from offshore don't understand the fundamentals, either: We still need some boots on the ground, within grabbing distance of Pakistan's wild northwest, to strike fast to kill or capture elusive targets. And cruise missiles can't bring back prisoners, DNA samples or captured documents.

Our hunter-killer task forces should be deployed on a limited number of strategically positioned bases supported by air. Don't worry about the Afghan government -- Afghans don't.

The other alternative -- sending still more troops to die for Washington's fantasy of a Disney-World Afghanistan -- is disgraceful. Stop building sewage systems. Take scalps”

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/afghan_agony_more_troops_won_help_DILbepkOZbQIHAyOXRocAM


.

Denise
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9 posted 09-22-2009 10:01 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Ralph Peters makes a lot of sense. Targeting Al Qaeda, making that the strategy instead of nation building, seems like the way to go.

But whatever strategy we adopt it needs to be done quickly. The foot-dragging has gone on long enough.
Huan Yi
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10 posted 09-23-2009 11:22 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


“On July 2, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, issued a directive restricting the military's use of airstrikes and artillery bombardments…

As military operations intensified in Afghanistan this summer, the number of times that coalition troops came under fire increased more than 30 percent compared with the summer of 2008, but the number of air munitions used fell by nearly 50 percent, according to Air Force data. When troops are in firefights, warplanes often shoot flares or fly low in a "show of force" to temporarily frighten insurgents away. . .

Collins asked Mullen, in particular, to respond to a letter she received in July from retired Marine Corps 1st Sgt. John Bernard, whose son was serving in the restive southern province of Helmand. In the letter, Bernard criticizes McChrystal's rules of engagement, calling them "nothing less than disgraceful, immoral and fatal for our Marines, sailors and soldiers on the ground."
"The Marines and soldiers that are 'holding' territories of dubious worth like Now Zad and Golestan without reinforcement, denial of fire-support and refusal to allow them to hunt and kill the very enemy we are there to confront are nothing more than sitting ducks," Bernard wrote. He denounced "the insanity of the current situation and the suicidal position this administration has placed these warriors in."

A month after Bernard wrote to Collins, his son, Lance Cpl. Joshua Bernard, was killed by a rocket-propelled grenade when Taliban insurgents ambushed his platoon. Bernard said that in one of his last phone calls from Afghanistan, his son had complained that his unit had been denied supporting fire and that Marines had been wounded.

"They are in between a rock and a hard place, with minimal support and maximum exposure," Bernard said in a telephone interview. "With 175 guys there and then to be denied fire missions is inexplicable," he said, describing his son's company, stationed near the Taliban sanctuary of Now Zad in Helmand. "We've hamstrung ourselves in fear of angering a population that hates us anyway."

In Afghanistan, some U.S. commanders and troops say insurgents are taking advantage of the new rules, fighting from Afghan homes and moving unarmed between fighting positions. As thousands of Marines pushed into Taliban-held regions of Helmand in July soon after McChrystal issued his directive, Lt. Col. Christian Cabaniss, commander of 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, remarked that the Taliban "know the directive better than we do."

  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/22/AR20090922042  96.html?hpid=topnews


This must be great for morale . . .
What next, dress ‘em up in red ?


.

Bob K
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11 posted 09-23-2009 05:01 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Huan Yi,

quote:

Welcome to the real world
of hard choices instead of speeches
Mister President.




quote:

So what long term good
does anyone imagine would happen
if we just up and left?



quote:

Why do I hear crickets
on this topic?



Huan Yi post # 6 is a verbatim post from the National Review, without comment.

quote:

No General, with all respect  . . .
Afghanistan is not even Iraq much less Vermont;

it’s Somalia.



Huan Yi post # 8 is a verbatim post from The New York Post, without comment.

quote:

This must be great for morale . . .
What next, dress ‘em up in red ?




     I understand from the above at least a few things that you dislike.  I do not feel that I could specify them with any certainty.  I have no sense what your opinion on these matters may be, or what plans you may advocate.  Insofar as I understand, 1) nobody has suggested that red is a good color for desert camouflage;2) Ralph Peters is still a pretty good writer of military fiction; 3) we remain unclear of our mission in Afghanistan and the Middle East in general, and we may be working at cross purposes to some of our own interests.  The primary victims of this at present are our own troops, and you are right to call attention to this.  

     If it was General Petraeus who literally wrote the book on counterinsurgency, it would seem that he should be a part of this discussion.  If we are not fighting this sort of war, then what sort of war are we fighting there?  And is the reason actually policy-sufficient to justify itself in terms of national self interest and in terms of lives and treasure?  Does General Petraeus feel that we are doing a proper job of counterinsurgency, and what options would he recommend, given that this sort of warfare is highly specialized?  

     And are you upset because the warfare is under a Democratic administration (I find this especially distressing, by the way, but for reasons that might be different than those you might feel, should you in fact feel that way.  I don’t know, not being privy to your thinking on the matter.) and you might have something against actions performed by Democrats (not knowing enough about your opinions, I am certainly able to take this position, simply because you do give the appearance of partisanship).  Or do you have a different strategic and tactical take on how counterinsurgency should be fought?    Perhaps you believe this is not a counterinsurgency struggle between asymmetrical forces and should be fought along more traditional lines?

     Even though 4) Somalia was a counterinsurgency struggle as well. And so is Iraq.  What is the point you are making here?

     If you believe that we should stay in Afghanistan, under what terms should we do so?  What felt need do the Afghanis have, as a people, for us to remain?, and if we want to remain, how can we convince them that they’ll feel any good about it?  As an American, we should share some understanding of business.  The question I’m asking here is, if the Afghanis wanted to check out our references among their friends who’ve previously employed our services, would they hire us or Acme?

     Or are we like Microsoft:  You’ve got to deal with us because everybody uses our operating system?

     And what are your opinions on Afghanistan, anyway?  And
quote:

Why do I hear crickets
on this topic?



Sincerely, Bob Kaven  
Grinch
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12 posted 09-23-2009 05:42 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

I think non-US NATO forces should pull out of Afghanistan and let the US carry on with Operation Enduring Freedom on their own. Running two separate operations with two distinct and contradictory aims under the banner and command of the ISAF and NATO is a recipe for disaster in my opinion.

.
Huan Yi
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13 posted 09-23-2009 07:51 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.

I think anyone who enlisted without being fully informed
and consenting as to the limitations that would be put
on support of his surviving combat should be able to apply for
and receive a full honorable discharge from military service.

The original military mission was to go and kill bad guys before they
through their organization with its allies could come to the U.S. and kill us.
If the mission now is to turn Afghanistan into some Disney democracy at
the expense of more American lives then send in Peace Corps or Obama Corps
not Marine Corps volunteers.

.

  
Ron
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14 posted 09-23-2009 10:14 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
I think anyone who enlisted without being fully informed
and consenting as to the limitations that would be put
on support of his surviving combat should be able to apply for
and receive a full honorable discharge from military service.

Limitations, John? The limitations haven't changed.

Marines still have to follow lawful orders, often with little or no understanding of why those orders were given. They still have to trust the officers above them to weigh the costs and benefits of each battle with both compassion and courage. They still have to maintain faith in the integrity of their leaders, in the mission and ideology of their country, and in the dedication of their fellow grunts.

Those are the same limitations, Johns, the Corps has faced for some 234 years. Mostly, I think, without a whole lot of complaining.


Huan Yi
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15 posted 09-24-2009 02:36 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


“In Afghanistan, our leaders are complicit in the death of each soldier, Marine or Navy corpsman who falls because politically correct rules of engagement shield our enemies.

Mission-focused, but morally oblivious, Gen. Stan McChrystal conformed to the Obama Way of War by imposing rules of engagement that could have been concocted by Code Pink:

* Unless our troops in combat are absolutely certain that no civilians are present, they're denied artillery or air support.

* If any civilians appear where we meet the Taliban, our troops are to "break contact" -- to retreat.  . .

And what has our concern for the lives of Taliban sympathizers accomplished? The Taliban now make damned sure that civilians are present whenever they conduct an ambush or operation.

So they attack -- and we quit the fight, lugging our dead and wounded back to base.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/the_rules_murderi    ng_our_troops_u935ECKNWXpLK8C5D96pdN

.

Ron, I disagree.  The Corps never knowingly left
anyone behind and it had no problem doing whatever
was necessary to make sure as many as possible
made it back.  These rules are killing men who otherwise would be going home not in a bag.

Leaders can’t tell them to waste a village and everyone in it, nor  
set them up for a box and a flag and expect faith or loyalty.  That’s
not how it works

They’re Marines, soldiers, not sheep; even the French made that point to their leaders in 1917.
Theirs is but to do or die?  BS!

.
Bob K
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16 posted 09-24-2009 03:22 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Huan Yi,

           I'd be interested in knowing how you disagree, and where.  While I feel that the magazine's thoughts are interesting, I'm not clear exactly the point you are using them to illustrate, and without that context — the how, the what, the where and the why of your disagreement — I don't know how to connect the chunk of data you've presented in the quotation and what I actually care about — your thoughts on the matter.  What you think and what you say can make me think or re-think because I can actually talk with you and you sometimes have ideas that are outside the usual talking points I hear on the radio or tv.  I respect your committment to honor and to the military spirit, though I'm not sure how much of that I share, and I know I learn things when I can talk and listen to you in my own fumbling fashion.

     I'm grateful that you saw fit to make the expanded comments that you did a few postings above.  I didn't see how the logic of them necessarily fit together, but I saw the sense of outrage and, I think, betrayal of the men on the ground clearly enough.  That is, if I understand what you're saying as well as I think I do.  I may not.

     I believe that the actual mission was originally clear when we went into Afghanistan.  That we were going after people who had given refuge to the people who claimed responsibility for the World Trade Center.  We had said that the Taliban's offer to turn Binladen over to  a "neutral" third party was not acceptable to us because, I think, we didn't believe such a party could have been found.

     Therefore, the mission was to topple the Taliban government, capture Osama Binladen, hold free elections and get out.  I thought the mission was acceptable and fair, the goals were limited and specific, and we had a causus belli.  I hated the notion of war, but if we needed to accomplish these goals, this would have been a rational application of forces.

     Just before these goals were in sight, the forces were retasked.  The situation in Afghanistan was allowed to degrade.  NPR has been running steady reports on the subject during the intervening time detailing the growing corruption, the decline of trust among the people of the current government, its growing corruption, and the increase in the influence of the Taliban.

     We once had the trust of the locals, and we've blown that at this point.

     The man that apparently wrote the book on counterinsurgency warfare, General Petraeus, needs to be consulted about a counterinsurgency plan.  A straightforward battle plan such as might have been useful in symmetrical warfare may work here, or it may not.  I like to think I understand strategy at some very basic level, but I probably do not.  What seems to me to be a logical approach toward warfare in one time and place or another, may be completely wrong.  I'd be interested in knowing what your understanding is of the strategy folks are now following and why, and what the strategy is that you believe we should follow and why.  

     Because my understanding is that for asymmetrical warfare, they seem to be following the correct strategy, though it would not be the correct strategy for winning a battle fought along traditional lines.  I don't know, though, Huan Yi.  I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on the matter.

Yours, Bob Kaven

Denise
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17 posted 09-24-2009 03:24 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

They don't have a fighting chance under those rules of engagement. If those rules stand, then they should just bring everybody home. We shouldn't allow our people to be sitting ducks for political correctness.
Grinch
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18 posted 09-24-2009 03:58 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
Gen. Stan McChrystal conformed to the Obama Way of War by imposing rules of engagement that could have been concocted by Code Pink


Sorry John but I think you're getting a little confused.

Those rules of engagement aren't Obama's - they're Nato's - they're dictated by the ISAF in Brunssum in the Netherlands. McChrystal reports to them as head of the ISAF.

Your confusion is probably caused because as head of the OEF McChrystal also reports to Washington - but they haven't changed the American OEF forces' rules of engagement at all as far as I know.

NATO should pull out of Afghanistan and let the OEF get on with whatever they're trying to achieve, there'd be far less confusion and Obama would be forced to either ship in another 40-60 thousand troops or pull the plug on the whole shebang.

.
Huan Yi
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19 posted 09-24-2009 07:11 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


“On July 2, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, issued a directive restricting the military's use of airstrikes and artillery bombardments…”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/22/AR2009092204296.html?hpid=topnews
.
Bob K
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20 posted 09-24-2009 09:49 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Huan Yi,

           You have not addressed the question.  You have simply cited a source without attempting to explain the point you are trying to make with the source.  You may believe the connection to be obvious, but it is not.  Was the direction issues to bring his command into compliance with NATO authorities or as a result of direct orders from the white house against the advice of the Joint Chiefs?  Were The Joint Chiefs consulted?  What is the interaction among the three and what other force vectors apply?

     Make your point, please, Huan Yi.  I really would like to know what your thinking is on this.  Your quotations don't really make much sense without the organizing principle of your own thinking to give them structure and intent that even people like myself can understand.

     Only at that point is an actual mutual exchange of views possible.  Otherwise, it's simply not quite the same thing.

     Sincerely, Bob Kaven
Ron
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21 posted 09-25-2009 08:45 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Ron, I disagree. The Corps never knowingly left
anyone behind and it had no problem doing whatever
was necessary to make sure as many as possible
made it back.

Really? I wonder where I was, John, when they nuked Vietnam? Dropping The Bomb, after all, would have been "doing whatever was necessary" to bring back "as many as possible" live Marines. You got an enemy? Boom. Enemy gone.

Is that what you're advocating, John? The complete nuclear annihilation of Afghanistan? Because unless that's what you're arguing, then you've already agreed that the safety of American soldiers is not always the sole concern of war. Unless you're willing to kill wantonly and without conscience, you have to be willing to put some Marine somewhere in some danger.

If, on the other hand, you believe as most people do that unnecessary killing should be avoided, it appears your only real complaint is with the current definition of "unnecessary." Is that an accurate assessment of your position?


Huan Yi
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22 posted 09-25-2009 12:54 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.

* Unless our troops in combat are absolutely certain that no civilians are present, they're denied artillery or air support.

* If any civilians appear where we meet the Taliban, our troops are to "break contact" -- to retreat.  . .


Is beyond “some danger”.  It means unnecessary KIAs.   My position is you don’t back your troops
pull them out, let them go home.   I advocate leaving.


.
Grinch
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23 posted 09-25-2009 03:06 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Huan,

McChrystal issued those rules of engagement to ISAF forces.

The American OEF forces are not bound by the same rules.

There are two wars being fought in Afghanistan, one is the ISAF mission to secure, rebuild and develop trust with the Afghan population - a security and hearts and minds mission centred on the populated areas. The other is OEF a mission to send Special Forces and regular combat troops out into the boonies looking for terrorists - they're on a seek and destroy mission.

Either mission is valid, depending on what you're trying to achieve, but in Afghanistan they're mutually exclusive.

The ISAF are building trust, that's shot down every time the OEF carpet bomb a village to wheedle out two terrorists armed with AK47's. That's why the Americans can't drum up any support and extra troops from other countries - everyone recognises that you have to do one thing or the other and if America is dead set on the seek and destroy mission the hearts and minds mission is seen as untenable.

McChrystal knows that too, his suggestion to Obama regarding the OEF is almost word for word the orders that McChrystal is getting from NATO. The presumption must be that of the two conflicting tactics he prefers the NATO option and is trying to convince Obama to rein in the OEF and produce one hymn sheet that everyone can sing from.

Personally I think it's too little too late, America has lost international support because of the gung ho tactics of OEF forces. Obama will have to either increase the number of troops in Afghanistan as NATO countries withdraw or admit defeat and hand Afghanistan back to the Taliban.

.
Huan Yi
Member Ascendant
since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


24 posted 09-25-2009 06:33 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.

Well Grinch,
if staying means some Marine NCO would have to live
with the death of Marines under him because they weren’t
given the artillery and or air support that would have saved
their lives in any other war I’m all for leaving.  And if  that
means that 3,000 more die later in NYC or DC I can live with it.
There are some things past word games and for me personally
this is one of them.

Semper Fi


John

.

 
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