Originally posted by freedish
reply to post by nenothtu
I don't believe that, and neither do I believe that everyone there is an "innocent". It's not an all or none proposition, and I suspect THAT
peculiar misconception is actually where our problem lies.
And neither do I. Maybe you misread one of my comments? All I said was that there are troops killing innocents. Never did I say all were innocent.
Fact is, there ARE innocents being killed, as well as enemies. That's how every 'war' is. I don't see how that's difficult to
You're right. In every war there are at least two (some of the more entertaining ones have more) opposing sides. A third faction is always those
caught in the middle, who always get the short end of the stick, take the worst part of the damage. Every war. I don't know of a single one yet in
the entire history of mankind that has not produced what is euphemistically called "collateral damage". That sort of damage can never be eliminated,
but it can be minimized. Even the eradication of war will not eliminate it, for a number of reasons.
I see reports of exactly that sort of damage on the news, right here in my own neighborhood in the US, and we're not supposed to be embroiled in any
sort of war locally. The damage is still there, none the less. They don't call
it that, of course. Wouldn't want to scare the children, but
it is what it is.
We invaded to capture bin Laden and ERADICATE the Taliban.
Still haven't accomplished that. But I guess that doesn't matter to you and a lot of others. *shrug*
Sure it does, or I wouldn't be arguing the point, and I certainly wouldn't have posted the solution to that problem at ATS, or directly pitched it
to higher-ups. Nothing I can do if they won't listen other than keep on braying about it, just in case someone, somewhere, hears.
Right and since there are enemies hiding among the general populace innocents are being killed with the enemies. Thus the statement, 'our troops are
killing innocents'. (Not implying that all are innocent, however innocents ARE being killed.) >were going in circles here man.
OK, agreed. We can get past that now. Bickering over solutions is preferable to bickering over details.
If by "them" instead you mean civilians, there are guidelines (inadequate, imho) to deal with them properly, and they should NOT be treated just any
old way at will.
Too bad a lot of times they ARE. I respect our troops but fact is they are human and make mistakes too.
It's more a matter of training and leadership, which is where I find the faults. Yes, "mistakes" are made, and that could be minimized through
better training and leadership. A certain portion of ANY population is at best psychopathic. Those can and should be weeded out, the rest better
trained, and leadership make smart decisions in their employment rather than just throwing this bunch of guys at that bunch of guys and seeing who's
still standing when the dust settles.
In my opinion, far better results could be achieved by reducing raw numbers in the theater, increasing the quality of training for those still there,
and gearing both training and employment of the troops, and decision making of the higher-ups toward the sort of war being fought, rather than
thinking guerrilla wars are fought just like WWII.
That would mean fewer battles (although pound for pound they'd be more intense), fewer instances of "collateral damage", and a chance at success.
Guerrilla wars of this character are won by guerrillas. Conventional troops are just led around by the nose. They get worn out attacking what melts
away, throwing all that massive strength at smoke. During the Soviet war there, by the end of it we had them mostly buttoned up on their bases. Rocket
and mortar attacks on those bases, as point targets, were commonplace, and when they'd counter assault, we'd just sky out of the AO. The ONE real
danger - and challenge - was the Spetznaz guys they'd send out hunting. Small groups, harder to find and predict the movements of. I tell you, those
Spetznaz guys were GOOD at what they did. The Russians apparently had the same problem as the US does - not enough of them vs. "regulars", and
misemployment by the higher-ups.
In other words, we won by restricting movement of the massed troops, then demoralizing them where they sat. That demoralization filtered back to
Mother Russia to the civilian population (and the higher up decision makers, who started viewing it as "unwinnable"), and the combination directly
resulted in the 1988-89 pull out.
The Afghans were and are courageous fighters, but that alone was no match for the Soviets, nor is it any sort of match for us now. IF you beat a man
in his own MIND, however, his ass is sure to follow in the defeat. The same applies among nations.
As far as the elusive enemies goes, one MUST go looking for them, actively run them to ground.
And kill a bunch of innocent women and children and non taliban, non al-qaeda in the process. Okay that makes sense.
Not necessarily. That effect can be minimized, but it won't be by continuing to employ the same tactics. Small hunter-killer teams of guerrillas, who
don't create a huge signature on the landscape to track them with (dust plumes from mechanized columns and the like) sent out to hunt down and fix
the enemy, with reaction troops in reserve to concentrate force on those points Is what is needed. Guerrilla war is primarily viewed by conventional
generals as taking and holding area, land. For that, they have to have massive numbers of troops to occupy what they take. Guerrillas don't work that
way, and conventional troops can't win if they do, even if they win every single battle.
Guerrillas just melt away to somewhere else, and the problem is not solved. You then have to bring in MORE conventional troops to occupy the area they
just vacated, and there simply aren't enough troops on the planet to do that to saturation and completion. In practice, they pull conventional troops
out of one "pacified" area to occupy the newly won ground, and the guerrillas then have a brand new base in the old occupied area. It's like a
constantly stirred pot that never finishes cooking.
It's in that stirring where most of the civilians are hurt and killed. When that happens, all of the goodwill "hearts and minds" campaigns in the
world won't fix it. Better to prevent it through good planning and execution to begin with. The Soviet had the same problem, They had good troops,
but the decision makers were mis-employing them, using a "WWII European Theater" mindset. They got what they got. We also have excellent troops -
but piss-poor decision makers.
I think if we focused more on defense then attack we could have prevented 9/11. (But that is another matter of itself.)
I don't believe anything can ever entirely eliminate the possibility. The world is too big, has too many people in it. No way to watch them ALL at
the same time, although the repressive US regime is trying... that's exactly WHY it's getting more and more repressive.
However if we were able to go in, eradicate the taliban with minimal innocent afghan/US casualties then that would've been great, Unfortunately that
is not the case and we need to pull the plug.
They could have, and were on track to do exactly that. Then the dumbassed conventional generals and politicians got in on the act, and mucked it all
up. I personally am willing to erase every living thing in my line of sight to prevent allowing the enemy a "victory", but it shouldn't come to
that. They played the decision makers like a fiddle, and that ought to be where we look to to make changes and replacements first and foremost "by
any means necessary" to borrow phrase, not start out with Afghan villagers.
See, to my way of thinking, putting the hurt on the villagers guarantees the result the Taliban are after - changing out the decision makers to
EFFECTIVE decision makers kills several birds with one stone. It makes for a more effective war, more quickly concluded, and jerks the rug right out
from under the enemy. Their gripe (so they say) is against those decision makers, and they just take it out on us because they're afraid of them.
I'm all for settling accounts all around. That benefits everyone.
To be honest, I'm all for pulling home all the regular troops, for just the reasons I stated above. They've done a hell of a job considering the
generals and politicians they've been given to work with, and it's time for a rest back home. Line the borders with them if you have to, but bring
'em home. There are people who specialize in just what we need to be doing overseas to combat the threat, and they should be cut loose to do that job
I coiuldn't agree more, maybe you're not so ignorant after all!
Hush now, you'll make me blush!
Yeah unfortunately it's usually some teenage kid that was recruited by some traveling radical Islamic recruiters. They give him some weapons and tell
him to kill the infadel. He ends up shooting at our troops and then his whole family ends up dead. Were not fighting a war we can win. And like I
said. Innocents are dying.
It doesn't matter to me in the least WHO is shooting. If they're big enough to shoot at me, they're big enough to accept the results. A bullet
neither cares who launches it or who catches it, it just exists. Perhaps THEIR leadership needs to be swapped out, too, in order to prevent such
problems as the one you describe.
BTW when I say 'illegal searches' I'm not talking about the 'code' that our marines are supposed to follow when searching villages. I'm
referring to the fact that our troops shouldn't even be there in the first place. If you trespass on someone's property and there are warning signs
telling you trespassers will be shot. Don't expect not to be shot at. And don't think that after you kill the guy it's 'okay' to search his home.
That then is my problem. If someone says 'illegal' to me, they should be able to provide the statutes that make it illegal. Otherwise, I'm going to
ignore them and do what I want. Come to think of it, I might ignore them any ways, but if I do, they at least have a case against me, The key there is
the case. Making claims of what is not
will not win one.
"Illegal" has a very specific meaning to me. Not the rules that soldiers operate under, but the LAWS in place. If I go to a guy's house to deal
with him having come to mine and killed my kid, I'm not trespassing, I'm handling the problem. God have mercy on any one who tries to protect him,
because I won't. They made their decision and aligned themselves against me already.
Interesting, I didn't know that. I guess our troops don't either. And another reason why we should leave.
Not so much a reason to "leave" as it is a reason to employ fewer troops, but troops trained thoroughly in the intricacies of the situation. I sort
of enjoy meeting "foreigners" and learning about their culture. By the same token, I know that when I'm THERE, I operate by THEIR rules and
customs, not mine, for the most part.
Sorry that happened, but was the cause of the war worth having your friend die? For me, it would have to be a no. Unless, my people and I faced
imminent danger of being invaded and enslaved. I don't see al-qaeda taking over America anytime soon.
The cause of the war was NOT worth it, but the reason for our involvement WAS, for me. I took the same chances. We all drew from the same straw bundle
when we went in. It was just the luck of the draw as to who walked back out. Either way, it had to be done, and it could just as easily have been ME
bleeding out as him, Yes, it was worth even that. If it hadn't been, I'd have just stayed home. I'm not one to expose my mother's favorite son to
danger on a whim.
You're going to have to pay taxes no matter what. Even after the revolution they had to pay taxes to the government. The only difference I see is in
the first instance, a queen or monarch chooses where to spend it, and in the latter, elected officials get to choose where to spend it. The only
problem here is that both governments can easily be corrupt, look at the politicians that are in congress now. So again, I don't think all the
bloodshed was worth trading one tyrant for an even bigger one.
Yes, you have to pay taxes no matter what. It matters IMMENSELY to me who I pay them to. Keep in mind that we didn't trade "one tyrant for another"
at that point. It was the slackness of subsequent generations that allowed the new tyranny to creep right in and take over. Not the revolutionaries'
fault, it's OUR fault. That means, to my mind, that the Revolution was worth it, but we have what we have because subsequent generations didn't
think so enough to do it again as necessary.
Bunch of slackers we are.