Worth It?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by bobg4400, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. bobg4400

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    So apparently the Times intercepted a "highly classified" report saying the Taliban are going to move back in and take over Afghanistan again in 2014 when NATO leave.

    Sorta seems like NATO should either stay and finish what they started.
    Not least because of all the Afghan kids who thought they were gonna grow up with a better future or something and that probably won't happen.


    BBC Story

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Jason

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    No.

    I do (sort of) understand the intellectual argument made for going to war in Afghanistan - in terms of denying terrorists a safe haven - but I find it convoluted and unconvincing, even a justification after the event. IMO both the second Iraq war and the war in Afghanistan were wrong.

    For the UK, the second Iraq war raises issues around legality. For the UK to go to war needed the backing of cabinet and parliament, both of which were presented with information which we now know to be false, and which it appears was known by the PM and others to be false. This is in my view grounds for a criminal prosecution.

    The war in Afghanistan does not have a comparable legal issue. It does however have issues around common sense and lack of credible justification. When most people in the UK cannot express in a sentence why we are at war in Afghanistan then I'm inclined to think it has failed a common sense test around justification. (For comparison it is easy to set out the reason why the UK went to war over the Falklands - whether you agree or disagree with it is a different matter.)
     
  3. bobg4400

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    I understan your point but lately the efforts by NATO have been more geared towards giving the Afghan National Army(ANA) the tools to fight the taliban themselves and building the infrastructure the country needs to develop,eventually resulting in another economically developed country to contribute to the world.
    Given that it doesn't look like they'll accomplish this by 2014 then all the efforst will be wasted. I think they should stay to ensure the ANA can deal with the Taliban themselves.
     
  4. dandelion

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    Ask winston Churchill. In 1890 odd he was in afghanistan as a soldier fighting Afghans. Of course some Afghans were on our side too and we aimed to keep peace to our benefit by picking our preferred side and helping them. Nothing much seems to have changed. The Taliban is just a modern variation on a very old conflict.

    On the basis of history I would expect the country to fall to pieces as soon as we all leave. This is not simply the history of afghanistan, but of just about every country colonised by troops and then abandoned, anywhere. they do not stay the way we impose order.

    I dont know what afghans really think, so I cannot tell whether it would be worth keeping troops there, even for decades, as a peacekeeping force. But again history says that NO ONE likes an invading army, and the longer it stays the more they hate it. So I cant even answer the question of whether there is anything to fight for.

    After that, there is the question of cost and blood. 10% of the british army has been injured in the recent wars, thats rather a lot. Not to mention the steady death toll. I'm sure its good training in what it really means to fight a war, but can we justify all this maiming in the context of ordinary British life?
     
  5. lucky8

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    Considering a very large portion of Taliban funding comes from the US government, no. The Taliban will always exist, this war on terror is a fucking joke propagated to dismantle our Bill of Rights. We are no safer than we were in year 2000. I could make a very strong argument that the world is now more dangerous due to the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq; deep inside, we all know this is bullshit, most people just don't want to admit it. We gave the "terrorists" exactly what they wanted...
     
  6. ConanTheBarber

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    I'm not so sure we gave the terrorists exactly what they wanted. Bin Laden apparently expected Arab nations to rise up as one against the west and was outraged when it didn't happen. However, who knows ....
    But I do agree that the whole thing was bullshit, probably doomed to, at the end of the day, accomplish very little, after significantly draining the American treasury and killing and maiming a lot of American soldiers, as well as those of several other nations.

    But lucky: You say an intriguing thing: "...a large portion of Taliban funding comes from the US government." What do you have in mind? And what sources?
     
  7. cruztbone

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    SECRETARY OF DEFENSE PANETTA (my former congressman from the beautiful 17th district of the CA coast) announced today that the US would remove its combat troops by the middle of next year. i suspect it will be moved back earlier than that in a few months. the troop level is scheduled to be reduced from 90,000 to 68,000 by september of this year. WE ARE GETTING OUT OF AFGHANISTAN. ACCEPT IT AS FACT.
     
  8. Hoss

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    Clearly we have to put in good appearances and besides we have to get ready for our next war and have already laid groundwork towards that. Troops are already starting deployment to Kuwait.

    US stations 15,000 troops in Kuwait — RT The first 15,000 have shipped out and more will go.

    So we leave 1 place and go to another. That's not really an improvement.
     
  9. bobg4400

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    From the Article

    Sounds depressingly familiar.
     
  10. lucky8

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    A large portion of Taliban funding comes from US military contracts. Our military pays Afghan and/or US contractors, and the contractors in turn pay the Taliban to ensure the work gets done aka they don't blow them up. The contractors don't take a loss, they mark up the price 20-30%. If our government signs a $1 million contract, $800,000 goes to the contractor, while $200,000 goes to the Taliban.
    United States Military Funding the Taliban in Afghanistan - ABC News
    U.S Funding Taliban? | Fox News

    " It is an accepted fact of the military logistics operation in Afghanistan that the US government funds the very forces American troops are fighting. And it is a deadly irony, because these funds add up to a huge amount of money for the Taliban. "It's a big part of their income," one of the top Afghan government security officials told The Nation in an interview. In fact, US military officials in Kabul estimate that a minimum of 10 percent of the Pentagon's logistics contracts--hundreds of millions of dollars--consists of payments to insurgents." - The Nation
    How the US Funds the Taliban | The Nation
     
  11. lucky8

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    Ya, we're getting out of Afghanistan...so we can go to Iran...
     
  12. ConanTheBarber

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    Well, they won't be getting American money after the withdrawal, I assume.
    So the insurgents WILL blow everything up.
    I'm guessing, anyway.
    I'd love to be wrong, but I expect the American involvement in Afghanistan to be one of the greatest exercises in futility in American history.
     
  13. Phil Ayesho

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    How about we take a lesson from the past 10 years (not to mention the past 2,000 ) and stop wasting our blood and treasure trying to fix a culture that is backwards, misogynistic, violent, and intractable?

    The Afghans can not be helped because they refuse to abandon the 8th century beliefs and mores that CAUSE their problems...


    And we, here, have enough trouble with the large percentage of our OWN people who are still too stupid, fearful, and backwards to accept evolution and global warming.

    OUR culture is in more danger than is theirs... because unlike their's, OUr culture utterly depends on our people being more sophisticated than they have been trending of late.

    Having an iPhone doesn't mean you are a technological member of this technologically dependent culture... it just means some other folks were smart enough to make technology so simple a moron could use it.


    Time to invest in This country... Not waste more money and lives turning a nation full of un-electrified piles of rubble, into piles of rubble made of smaller chunks
     
  14. dandelion

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    You might think so, but history is full of empire builders. The theory is that exploiting others usually leaves you better off than doing it yourself. And when it comes down to it, isnt that exactly what you wanted your elected representatives to do on your behalf? Make you rich?
     
  15. Phil Ayesho

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    Yeah... well they ain't doing very well at that this past 30 years, are they?

    Making a few folks veeerry rich... at the expense of most of us.


    Empire building only makes you richer if the places you take over HAVE something worth a buck.

    Given that heroin is not a resource we can sell, legally, how is afghanistan gonna enrich us?


    Further... the very rich in this country did not get that way thru empire- they got that way by TAKING all that money OUT of the pockets of Americans.

    Thru tax laws that transfer the burden of paying for their empire onto the lowest income strata.
    Thru offshoring production to labor that costs 1/8 of US labor, to sell products that only folks making US wages can afford in the quantity they need to sell.

    And thru de-regualting lending and getting the government to help sell the idea that Americans should prop up their standard of living thru increasing availability of Debt... from usurious credit cards, to flat out underhanded mortgage lending.

    People keep glossing over that, thru the Bush years, over 3 trillion dollars of public moneys just plain vanished into the black hole of private hands.

    Taxes uncollected, regulations unenforced, markets de-regualted and manipulated, no-bid contracts to Corporations elected officials had stock in, and all done KNOWINGLY....

    All these illicit profits were absolutely "Private"... and when the music stopped and there weren't enough chairs... who was left without a chair? And who got all their Losses made "Public"...

    Seems to me, that every erg of energy we spend focusing on folks we really can't control and who don't even want what we are selling, is time we lost trying to stem the tide of corporate plutocracy that is overwhelming our own nation.

    The problem is the US outward focus on defense... Bin Laden knocked down two buildings... and that's ALL he did...
    It wasn't terrorism that fucked our economy and allowed the robber barons to rape the middle class...

    We did all that damage to ourselves.


    The price of freedom is eternal vigilance... NOT aimed at others.... but at ourselves.

    It is what we do, here, to our fellow citizens, that makes us strong or weak.

    And no nation on earth ever fell to terrorism...
     
  16. dandelion

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    there are two separate issues, the making of money and who gets to keep it. In the US and the UK in the last few years there has been more money going to the rich rather than the middle or the poor. A significant portion of the personal debt has been piling up with the middle and poor. Who knows how we should apportion the national debt, it rather depends on who is making the rules.

    I assume the US invaded Iraq because it wanted the oil and could not get it so long as sanctions continued. The only other possible reason I see is thast the US wanted a war, and Iraq was handy. I think all the wars the US is fighting abroad are the consequence of its own foreign policy. No country on earth has threatened the security of the US for 100 years. It has always used its military might to fight wars on other peoples territory. This is eminently sensible if you mean to fight wars at all, but doesnt really explain why those wars were fought. Whether or not the current wars are showing a credit or debit on the national accounts, all the other wars aimed to boost the economic position of the US, and they succeeded. Although it is probably true the american empire was founded on the US home economy, as was the British empire.

    I looked up some figures. The US owes more money to foreigners than any nation on earth. It owes more than the EU taken as a whole, which in fact owes only half as much per head, and about 20% less as a proportion of GDP. The UK owes about 2/3 as much as the US, or 3x as much per person or 4x as much as a proportion of GDP. On the whole the Us has done well over the last 100 years, whether because of its foreign policy or despite it, I cant say.

    By and large the US public sees itself as propsperous and better off than most people anywhere. So as far as that goes, the politicians claim to have succeeded. However, the world is changing, There are fewer and fewer underdeveloped areas all the time which can be exploited.
     
  17. houtx48

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    You knew the United States could not keep our noses out of there even with the track record of the rest of the world there. Look at it this way, somebody made a shit load of money off the war.
     
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