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Why the US can't win in Afghanistan and what it would take to win

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posted on Sep, 23 2009 @ 05:01 PM
Many discussions have been had lately about the recent article by Dahr Jamail and his topic of empire thwarting in Afghanistan. It is discusses that Genghis Khan could not hold Afghanistan and that every other would be conqueror has also been turned back.

While I can not disagree with these fairly indisputable facts of history I had some thoughts about why the US was in far a worse position than even the previous would be conquerors were in to accomplish this feat.

One of these disadvantages is the suspected involvement of the CIA in the Afghan Drug Trade. This if it is true is a reason that the crisis might never be resolved since the influx of money from the trade would constantly fuel the Taliban.

Unlike other would be conquerors the United States is hampered somewhat by a civilian controlled population that has very tender hearts towards everyone even those we call our enemies. Torture, mass murder, ethnic cleansing, salting the Earth, Poisoning the well. These tactics are off the table for the US for the most part. We can not be seen to do such things in the modern world.

The problem is that Afghanistan is not a part of the modern world. With the Afghans there is really only 2 choices and neither is likely to be implemented by the US.

The first and most like the US to try and do is for the US to drag that most backwards of nations into the 21st century. Kicking and screaming if necessary. It would have to work much like the policies of the United States against the Native Americans in order to be effective.

The US would have to first forbid the Afghans firearms. Any firearms in fact. They would have to institute a broad weapons collections and destruction program. Further they would have to make the punishment for possession of a weapon the death penalty on the spot. This would include abandoning the idea of setting up an Afghanistan Army or Police force. We can forget that idea as they will simply use their weapons and training against the US in the end.

This would have to be followed on with a massive take over of education system in Afghanistan. The children would need to be required to learn English and their native dialects would have to be forbidden in school. Then the US would have to spread US culture throughout the nation starting with the children. Radical Islam would also have to be banned except in the most westernized and tolerant versions.

This is basically what was done in North America to the natives of that continent. It pretty much worked.

The second method of ending this would be the most unlikely. That is the scorched Earth, poisoning the well, ethnic cleansing method. Basically it would mean that the United States would be like Rome, and Afghanistan would be like Carthage. This method would leave Afghanistan basically empty.

Anything less than one of these 2 options will most likely end in failure. Neither way is likely for the United States to implement so in my view the entire exercise will have been for just about nothing.

If Afghanistan is allowed to remain the world's largest exporter of Heroin and one of the largest exporters of Hashish then it will continue to be a criminal empire and home to outlaws and radicals. The best way of course is to drag them kicking and screaming into the 21st century. If the world just lays back and lets things continue on the present course we are simply handing the problem off to the next generation. That might be a bigger mistake then having stirred up this hornets nest in the first place.

edited for numerous typos

[edit on 23-9-2009 by wayouttheredude]

posted on Sep, 23 2009 @ 06:49 PM
Let me ask you this: What is our objective in Afghanistan? Do we know what we are trying to achieve? Is it getting Bin-Laden, taking down taliban, liberating people, ending oppium export, etc.??? Obama needs to set a clear goal or we will never "win."

Here is an idea. We STILL have Al Qeada threatning us and plotting! Kill them all and do it fast.

Poppy? We need to worry about what comes in to our country but we do not have a right to make international laws. If they want to make and sell heroin to school kids that is their business no matter how much we may disagree.

Kill the Taliban, get Bin Laden, get our boys home.

posted on Sep, 23 2009 @ 07:00 PM
You can banter back and forth the politics of why we aren't winning. But you must also look at logistics. The American GI is a bogged down, undertrained, walking target over in Afghanistan.. We are STILL fighting a conventional war against an unconventional guerrilla enemy. We are making the same mistakes the Russians made. Look we don't need a 600 billion dollar defense budget, F-22s, big bombs, AC130 gunships and all the other useless technology in a war like this. What we need is better trained troops. We need MORE special forces, MORE Navy SEALS. We should be flooding Afghanistan with small, highly mobile, very well trained groups of SEALS, Delta, etc. They need to look like, live like, and fight like the Taliban.

Instead what are we doing? We send untrained, heavily hampered walking targets loaded down with elbow pads, knee pads, gloves, 60lb backpacks, goggles, tons and tons of unnecessary gear. For every 10-20 regular GI's or jarheads we could send in 2-3 highly trained and highly mobile special ops soldiers. Troops should be infiltrating every single tribe, every hide out, every river, every nook and cranny. It's ridiculous how we are fighting this war in Afghansitan. We don't need MORE troops, we need BETTER trained and SPECIALLY trained troops.

Read Lone Survivor and the story of Marcus Luttrell and how 4 Navy SEALs held back and fought off hundreds of Taliban by themselves. Those are the kind of guys we need over in Afghanistan. Not 40K more 21 year olds with 6 months of boot camp. Soldiers training will win this war not more troops, more bombs, and more equipment. I think our military relies way too much on bombs and equipment nowadays. And the Taliban proves this. These guys run around in sandals and dresses with AKs and IED's. Yet our over equipped troops with body armor, boots, pads, night vision goggles are having a hard time defeating them? Do we REALLY know the land? Do we REALLY know how these guys fight? Do we REALLY understand their culture? Their mindset? We've been there 8 years and seems like we've learned nothing. Like throwing money at the economy throwing more troops at the war isn't necessarily the answer.

It's not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog. Are our troops even motivated to fight anymore? I'd say probably not.

[edit on 23-9-2009 by Zosynspiracy]

posted on Sep, 23 2009 @ 07:43 PM
reply to post by Zosynspiracy

I agree with you for the most part. I have long thought that since the end of the cold war the US has not focused enough on tooling up for unconventional or asymmetric warfare.

I think we should scrap at least 1 armor division and replace it with 1 brigade of special forces distilled from the 10th and 25th mountain divisions. We could then replace those that have been further trained from the 2 mountain divisions with some of the troops that were in the dissolved armored division.

It would I think be better to have another SOF brigade in Afghanistan than for us to keep an old armor brigade we will likely never use in a conventional war again.

I think you are wrong on those AC-30 gun ship though. They have proven themselves as great in support missions for SOF units on the ground.

posted on Sep, 23 2009 @ 08:23 PM
reply to post by wayouttheredude

Yeah you're right about the gunships. I was just throwing out a plane I should have said something else.

posted on Sep, 23 2009 @ 09:32 PM
reply to post by Zosynspiracy

" American GI is a bogged down, undertrained, walking target over in Afghanistan.. We are STILL fighting a conventional war against an unconventional guerrilla enemy."

I can't argue ther....You have probably highlighted the core issue. I was eluding to that asking what our goals were but didn't look at it like you did. The entire war needs to be restructured or we need to pull out because doing what we are now is not helping.

posted on Sep, 23 2009 @ 09:41 PM
It's all about the black gold and the TAP pipeline; here's a previous post:

posted on Sep, 23 2009 @ 09:46 PM
Iranian revolt Explained - Wake Up!

Just a thought.



posted on Sep, 23 2009 @ 09:54 PM
We wont win in Afghanistan, if we dont defeat Pakistan first.

Its that simple.

posted on Sep, 23 2009 @ 10:00 PM
my personal thoughts on the afganistan war are breif and as follows.

Its is a war they cannot win, now , the us /uk are just playing for pride, and will stay their longer than the russians stayed their for... once they have fought longer than the russians did, they will admit defeat (or just say problem magicly solved and leave)

posted on Sep, 23 2009 @ 10:20 PM
Wars are just a logistical wet dream for the perpetrators. It's not every day you get to fleece the system with pens and pencils costing thousands of $$'s.

Haliburton must be creaming themselves with a perpetual and un-winnable war!

posted on Sep, 23 2009 @ 10:44 PM
reply to post by boaby_phet

Someone has been watching the Daily Show this week.

High score on the Empires against Afghanistan game goes to the USA.

posted on Sep, 23 2009 @ 10:45 PM
reply to post by wayouttheredude

we dont get that in the uk i dont think, at least not on my scabby freeview

lol, thats been my thoughts on the afgan war and when it will end for years now.

your right - its all about the high score now, as noones going to win.

posted on Sep, 23 2009 @ 10:53 PM
reply to post by boaby_phet

I have a issue with this whole thread.

The US Marines will do what's required. Make no mistake
I know it's not popular

[edit on 23-9-2009 by SLAYER69]

posted on Sep, 23 2009 @ 11:17 PM
The point of this thread is that the Afghans have never been beaten down by another nation or empire because no one would spend the resources for that bunch of crappy mountains and barely usable soil.

The resources we would have to commit to the fight are hard to rationalize for the potential pay off unless of course as one poster pointed out that winning for the Military Industrial Complex is a different thing from the conventional wisdom. Winning for them is making money and they are making tons and tons of it so just like Korea and Vietnam the MIC wins no matter if the US calls it a win/lose/draw. The longer it takes the more money they make.

In Afghanistan they have the nearly perfect intractable enemy that will never give up and has the drug funding and Muslim oil sheik money to keep going on for as long as it takes.

The only way to call it a win is if we destroy their primitive culture and replace it with one more suitable to being a trade partner with the West. That would also be costly and would require a ruthlessness that the US just can not muster.

The second option is worse but faster and requires even more bile from the US then is currently considered humane in this day and age.

This is just the lessons of history and the reasoned outcome in my opinion. Anything else I think is just profiteering and as others have stated racking up the score higher than the Russians. If you have read the links I had in the first post then you are familiar with the history of the place.

What is the real game plan is what I am wondering. It sure is not what we are being fed in the MSM. That is for certain. People are fighting and dying and for what exactly? 9-11 the Taliban, Osama, What? None of the original objectives have been met and now the US is broke and the Taliban have retaken 95% of Afghanistan. WTF!

posted on Sep, 23 2009 @ 11:21 PM
It's not about winning. It's about occupation.

Same with Iraq.

Guess who's in between Afghanistan and Iraq? Can you see now what this is really about?

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