The red coats are coming

Obama's rationale for spending another fifty or so billion dollars more in Afghanistan reminds me of the proud British red coats fighting and losing to a ragtag army of colonists in the American revolution. He is fighting a war from another century.

In his speech tonight, Obama used a different analogy, saying his plan is focused on eliminating the "cancer" of terror in two countries ... sort of like radiation therapy on your liver and lungs. That's all fine and good, except for one thing: the cancer has already metastasized.

The country of Afghanistan and the leaders of the Taliban did not attack the U.S. on 9/11. We were attacked by a small band of religious extremists who happened to be from the same part of the world. They could have been from anywhere, and the next time they will be. Obama's war assumes that terror is and will continue to be geographically bound. That seems like a flawed strategic assumption.

Will his plan produce some value in Afghanistan? Probably so. It could give the country some breathing room to get its act together, and maybe even build some good will. Along the way we'll produce a mixed bag of results, followed in 2012 by a declaration of mission accomplished.

Sound familiar? You bet. It's the old surge play, and it might just help to stabilize a sketchy region for awhile.

Will it make America safe from terrorists? Are you kidding?

Comments

The Video

I was glad to see this bit "We will remove our combat brigades from Iraq by the end of next summer, and all of our troops by the end of 2011" & "taken together, these additional American and international troops will allow us to accelerate handing over responsibility to Afghan forces, and allow us to begin the transfer of our forces out of Afghanistan in July of 2011." I agree that the time to end the wars is sooner rather than later, but a part of me is glad to at least see some kind of end in sight even if it is 18 months away.

Just another 'continuation' of the Bush Admin!

Seems like whatever Obama wants to do, it's directed at pleasing the Republicans. The same gang who drummed up support for the Iraq invasion under false pretenses, want us to be tied up in some corrupt place named Afghanistan. The only difference was that Obama wants an 18 mo timeline. The Republicans want to make it a colony! Of course the military should do the job, while the rest of us continue shopping. A month ago, an ex-marine named Hoh resigned from our diplomat service over there. He has spent a lot of up front time in that war zone, so I do trust his judgment, when he said that more troops will only inflame the tribal reactions in Afghanistan, which has never had a centralized government.
http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/world/10/27/09/us-diplomat-resigns-over-afghan-war-report
Naturally, his exposure was quickly limited by our controlled media, and we went back to the usual dribble about 'how to WIN the war'!

Telling it like it is...

My real concern is the continued misguided use of the word "war" to apply to both Iraq and Afghanistan, years after the "wars" in both places were over. When we start calling the reality of what is going on an "occupation," then we can begin thinking in terms of bringing civil order to the civilian population and allowing the governments to stand up. As long as we insist on calling this a "war," the longer it will take for us to get out.

To be sure, there will be necessary combat operations to pursue, but those should be like police SWAT operations, not the major focus of our involvement.

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The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

You just hit the nail on the head

I didn't realize it, but this has bothered me all along. We're a "war happy" country. War on drugs. War on poverty. War on whatever.

Occupation is a good alternative term. So is quagmire.

But the truth is, the most accurate descriptor would be something like "The Afghanistan Forced Stabilization Project."

War?

We may be war happy as a country, but our Congress sure isn't based on what the Constitution says.

ARTICLE 1, SECTION 8

The Congress shall have Power:

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

They all seem to avoid taking the responsibility that comes with actually voting on a formal declaration of war.

Not only on the war

but on the funding for the war.

Healthcare has to be budget neutral. The occupation of Afghanistan? A blank check.

Priceless.

Is this what you really want?

I hope that we don't get to the point that our congress actually votes on a declaration of war against, well, I guess it would be radical Islamists or Islamic extremists or, uh, who knows what.

I'm personally for limiting our involvement and I think some kind of "war declaration" (which I doubt would pass anyway) would lead to a forever battle of "good over evil" so to speak.

I think I know what you are saying in that a lot of our commitment of manpower and resources in a quasi-war effort really has no involvement by anyone (with the exception of funding) except the executive branch.

I think we just need to keep it as limited as we can for as short a period as we can. I know there are beliefs different than mine on this one, but it's just my opinion.

Count 'em

Has today been declared "Void of All Critical Thought Day?"

First we have:

I'm personally for limiting our involvement and I think some kind of "war declaration" (which I doubt would pass anyway) would lead to a forever battle of "good over evil" so to speak.

A few keystrokes later:

I think we just need to keep it as limited as we can for as short a period as we can.

So 2001 - 2009, 2010, 2011 not long enough for ya?

US was in WWII 1941-1945, right?

Or has reading this nonsense screwed up my historical memory as well.

 

What day is it?

Has today been declared "Void of All Critical Thought Day?"

Apparently you think it is National e-thug day.

Heresy!

It doesn't have Christmas colors for the season all Americans must embrace.

Make that headband red and green!

Put the Christ back in blogging at this time of year!

What will your school board friends think?

 

Now now

Politeness is just another form of thuggery.

You guys behave. I have to go do some real work.

Funny

We all go postal one way or another. I'll take yelling online over blowing shit up any day.

Just as long as people don't use all caps. That makes me crazy.

You make my point for me

I hope that we don't get to the point that our congress actually votes on a declaration of war against, well, I guess it would be radical Islamists or Islamic extremists or, uh, who knows what.

If they cannot nail down who they are going to war against, then they will have a more difficult time doing it. At this point, they don't have to define it, they can just funnel money into the 'Congressionaly recognized conflict' on whatever terms they define.

While I would guess that a rigid Constitutional interpretation isn't something many here cling to, I do think that the major points (responsibilities of each branch, declaration of war and so on) should be followed as closely as possible. I think that the war provision is a good one because it can make military action more defined.

Ha-ha-ha!

Very true. Kind of like judicial activism. When the ruling is in one's favor, it is never judicial activism.

Pretty much Apex.

I'm not sure if there's really a lot of disagreement on this issue here between any of us. Aside from questioning of some "quoted statements", I haven't seen anything we're feeling so different about. Seems to me that we're all saying this Afghanistan involvement is nebulous.