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News Afghanistan OEF. Why wait to leave?

  1. Jul 6, 2013 #1

    mheslep

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    The DoD reports total US KIA in Afghanistan since the US entry there at 2,113, wounded at 18,886. Four were killed a couple weeks ago. At this point, to what end are US soldiers, marines and airmen remaining in the theater? Why not accelerate the major US withdrawal to the end of this year (at least) instead of the end of 2014?
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2013
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  3. Jul 7, 2013 #2
    Vice has a great documentary on what's currently going on in Afghanistan. This is what winning looks like:



    So why are we still there? It's pretty obvious we aren't doing any good.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  4. Jul 7, 2013 #3

    mheslep

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    The Commander in Chief is responsible for more than platitudes.

    As for the interviewed guest on the video, I disagree with part of his discussion when he says, "...not leaving because we've achieved these goals." That kind of comment focuses myopically on the nation building aspect, which will always fail to a degree in any war, though not entirely, and support corruption. The comment baffling overlooks the fact that AQ leadership and sanctuary in Afghanistan has been largely destroyed, that there is a significant local Afghan force in place, corrupt or otherwise, that is capable of opposing the Taliban. Also, the treatment and education of women has greatly improved.

    Now, I suspect he's correct that little more can be done at this point, at least given what I know about the situation. So, again, why continue to sacrifice US troops there?
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2013
  5. Jul 8, 2013 #4

    Dotini

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    Here are a handful of obvious reasons:
    Afghanistan is historically a great crossroads, and strategically located right among our erstwhile enemies Iran, Russia and China. Across the Khyber pass lie Pakistan and India, important to US interests as is Afghanistan to theirs. Much if not most of the worlds heroin and opium comes from Afghanistan. The place is potentially rich with mineral deposits of many kinds. With a handful of well-defended but lightly garrisoned fortresses and airbases continuing on after the end of formal war and nation building, our long-term [STRIKE]national[/STRIKE] global interests will be served and troop losses, if any, will drop off the public radar screen.

    I personally am not in favor of this or most wars, but I'm trying to arrive at a plausible justification for a continued presence in Afghanistan, as has been hinted by the media.
     
  6. Jul 8, 2013 #5

    MarneMath

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    Last time I checked Americans are preparing to leave, but it isn't just a matter of "ok pack your bags and hop on the bird out of here." You have to inventory bases, transfer the authority, move units from smaller COPS to larger FOBS, and arrange for local forces to take over security. Heck, we TOA FOB Apache within this month, which is a rather large FOB in RC-S.

    *Unless you want to just JDAM the bases all at once and call it good.


    Edit: Posted a bit early. The fact is I don't think it's truly feasible to simply pull out before 2014 or at the end of this year. That would give 4th ID in the South, and 101st in the East 6 months to close all remaining COPS and FOBS, remove all firing assets (mortars, artillery) and Fighter Jets from KAF and BAF. Not include packing tricons and transporting them to Kuwait, along with gathering the cargo flights to remove any MAXPRO or MRAP that need to return home or Bradley's for that matter. While, I don't think it's impossible to get all this done in 6 months, I think unless you're willing to scorch earth the process, it won't happen.

    Glossary:

    TOA: Transfer of Authoriy
    KAF: Kandahar Airfield
    BAF: Bagram Airfield
    FOB: Forward operation base
    COP: Combat outpost
    RC-S/E: Regional Command - South/East
    MAXPRO/MRAP-Large military patrol vehicles.
    JDAM: Joint direct attack munition (GBU - 31)
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2013
  7. Jul 8, 2013 #6

    lisab

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    TFTG!

    TFTG: thanks for the glossary

    :tongue2:
     
  8. Jul 8, 2013 #7

    morrobay

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    In 2002 there was a three way peace agreement with Afghanistan government, U.S. and the Taliban.
    That would have had the U.S. out of there in 2002 under better conditions than 2014.
    But Sec of Defense Rumsfeld blocked that agreement because he refused to have an agreement that included
    the Taliban, that he labeled as terrorists.
     
  9. Jul 8, 2013 #8

    MarneMath

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    Do you have a source for this agreement because as I recall as of December 2001, the Bonn Agreement ensured the establishment (or essentially created) the idea of ISAF (later approved by UN resolution somethingsomething) and an obligation of support for the AIA until a more permanent government formed.


    *
    ISAF = International Security Assistance Force
    AIA = Afghanistan Interim Authority.
     
  10. Jul 8, 2013 #9

    lisab

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    I must admit, when I've seen stories lately about negotiating with the Taliban, I was taken aback - "How the hell can we do that, they're terrorists!!"

    Then I thought about it and realized it's good, it's progress. In fact, it's the way it has to be. I'm not a military scholar but I think most military actions don't end the way Grenada did. It's usually a lot messier.
     
  11. Jul 8, 2013 #10

    morrobay

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    References on peace agreement with Taliban in 2002

    Aljazeera news from Doha last month had a two episode documentary on Afghanistan :
    The Price of Revenge.
    Also Fox news contributor , former CIA officer Mike Baker said independently on Fox news
    that the U.S. should have been out of Afghanistan in 2002.
    With a search you may find this documentary available.
     
  12. Jul 8, 2013 #11

    mheslep

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    The US pulled out of Iraq, with much more heavy equipment, slowly at 1-2 brigades per month, ( roughly 5,000 troops per brigade). If there are now less than 60,000 troops currently in Afghanistan, then six months could easily see all the troops home if logistics were the bottleneck.

    In any case, the 2014 deadline was set several years ago. It is not a logistics driven problem.
     
  13. Jul 8, 2013 #12

    morrobay

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    Afghanistan and Iraq are both disasters. Invading Iraq after 9/11 would have been like invading Finland after
    Pearl Harbor.
     
  14. Jul 8, 2013 #13

    chemisttree

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    Perhaps we're staying long enough for the Russian helicopters we purchased for the Afghanistan Air Force to arrive and for their pilots to learn to fly them.
     
  15. Jul 9, 2013 #14

    MarneMath

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    The key difference is that you can DRIVE out of Iraq, you need to FLY out of Afghanistan. No. I don't believe the 2014 deadline was set 'years' ago. In fact, at most 2 years ago, but more like just a year ago. In fact, RDOF was set in February for an increase in speed. Furthermore, I don't see how you can say Iraq has more heavy equipment than Afghanistan. In fact, Afghanistan has more MRAPS than Iraq ever had, that has to be flown in. Iraq you always could drive in and out. Afghanistan you always had to fly in and out.


    *RDOF : Reduction of Forces.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2013
  16. Jul 9, 2013 #15

    MarneMath

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    I don't see how I can find it*, since I have no idea what you're talking about nor do I consider the word of one CIA officer to be the bible**. YOU should be able to find this so called peace arrangement that apparently existed and present it here.

    *It refers to the so called agreement. As for the documentary, I have little faith in any documentary that starts with such a pretentious name.
    **Also, a lot of people believe we SHOULD have pulled out by 2002 and would have been able too. Hindsight is 20/20, but I don't think this implied that there existed an agreement that the US just haphazardly rejected, but rather the well accepted fact that the US had better leverage back then than it does now.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2013
  17. Jul 9, 2013 #16

    mheslep

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    President, December 01, 2009
    December 2010
     
  18. Jul 9, 2013 #17

    mheslep

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    Only fly? NATO does not supply overland through Pakistan? And does not supply via Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan? What's your basis for that comment?

    I base my statement mainly on the deployment of M1s and Bradleys; apparently 1100 M1s went to Iraq. By contrast, according to this source (for instance), the first US tanks were not deployed to Afghanistan until 2010, a total of 16 originally. US armor was involved in the beginning of the major operations ground war in Iraq, including the taking of Baghdad.
     
  19. Jul 9, 2013 #18

    MarneMath

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    My comments were in reference to personnel movement. Yes, supplies do travel from bordering countries but personnel have always only moved from Manas or Kuwait. We have never driven military personnel from any military base in Afghanistan to an operational base in Pakistan for Staging, unlike what we did for Iraq.*
    Yes, well aware that more Abrams deployed to Iraq than to Afghanistan for obvious reason. Nevertheless, you can drive an M1 or BFIST back to kuwait, and then onto a ship. You have to fly in a MRAP in a cargo plane that only takes 2 at a time. Again, completely different situation requires a completely different method.

    The key point to take away from this is Iraq is not Afghanistan. For example, in Iraq you had multiple high ways out of Iraq, in Afghanistan, you have highway 1, end of story.

    *It's noteworthy to mention entry from Pakistan to Afghanistan has been closed twice and weapons nor personnel have never moved from this route.

    **Out of curiosity, do you actually know how long an average base closure takes from initial assessment to final TOA? OR for that matter what assets are require to insure safety of the troops as they out process from the base?
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2013
  20. Jul 9, 2013 #19

    MarneMath

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    My bad I was off by a year, so sue me. I really don't see what you're trying to get at. Are you simply trying to argue that it is in theory possible to move out of Afghanistan in 6 months? I've already said that that would be possible, just highly irresponsible. The mission would require a massive amount of movement and destruction to occur within that time frame. So instead of doing that, why not just wait the extra year, do it slowly and responsibly with less strain on the forces currently deployed? To save lives? Every soldier who wore the uniform understood what it meant when they swore that oath. Let them end the mission the right and reasonable way, not haphazardly.

    *And hopefully in that year find our missing guy.
     
  21. Jul 9, 2013 #20

    morrobay

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    The U.S. went into Afghanistan 2001-2002 to get Bin Laden in the so called Tora Bora region.
    But instead of sending in excess special forces (the Rangers) to do the job, the U.S. contracted
    the task out to the locals. That did not work out very well. And training helicopter pilots and
    infrastructure projects in a fifteenth century country is not going well either.
     
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