Captured US Soldier

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  • Thread starter zomgwtf
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  • #1
zomgwtf
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I'm not sure why but I was under the impression that the USA currently didn't have any soldiers captured by Taliban forces. I was thinking about it and so I looked it up... it seems to be the contrary and the story behind it seems kind of shocking in my opinion.

Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan last summer, how exactly he was captured is not clear.

Here's a recent article about it:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34590212/ns/world_news-south_and_central_asia/

The thing that I find most revolting about the situation is that during an 'interview' a Fox Analyst continually implies that the soldier is a deserter and goes on to say that the Taliban should save America legal bills/troubles and just execute this man. He says that this man clearly co-operating with the Taliban and is making anti-American remarks and that's against being a soldier and blah blah blah.

Can this be true? People honestly think this kid deserves to be executed by the Taliban? I mean like regardless of his current situation he still went there and fought for 5 months, it's his first tour and he got captured. I don't care what type of training you go through to be a soldier in the American army, I think that 90% of all people would be scared to death in that situation. Especially considering this enemy loves making videos of beheadings and executions to put on public display.

So let's assume even that this soldier did desert... WHY DOES THAT MATTER??? He is a freaking American CAPTURED by the Taliban!!! He should be rescued by force or other means an investigation should be conducted and if he is found guilty he should be tried by AMERICAN LAWS not tried by some group of nuts interpretation of the Qu'ran.

I honestly could not believe it when I heard about this occuring it's sickening to my stomach.

As well sorry if this has been posted before I did a search for Bowe and only one match came up and it was in the biology forums.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Gokul43201
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The thing that I find most revolting about the situation is that during an 'interview' a Fox Analyst continually implies that the soldier is a deserter and goes on to say that the Taliban should save America legal bills/troubles and just execute this man. He says that this man clearly co-operating with the Taliban and is making anti-American remarks and that's against being a soldier and blah blah blah.
This needs a link.
 
  • #3
BobG
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A link to Michelle Malkin's blog, which includes several links referring to the interview - http://michellemalkin.com/2009/07/20/questions-about-the-reported-abduction-of-pfc-bowe-bergdahl/

One note: Malkin included a quote from a Lt. Col. Ralph Peters - the person calling a Bergdahl a liar on Fox News. He's actually a retired Lt Col that would have no first hand knowledge of the details of Bergdahl's desertion/capture (whichever). Peters is currently a novelist and has some rather interesting ideas about warfare.

In a 2009 article for The Journal of International Security Affairs titled "Wishful Thinking and Indecisive Wars" Peters' advocates the ruthless use of United States military power, declaring "If you cannot win clean, win dirty." Peters' also raises the controversial possibility of directing the United States military to attack journalists. Peters writes, "Although it seems unthinkable now, future wars may require censorship, news blackouts and, ultimately, military attacks on the partisan media."

In other words, Peters's opinion is not remotely close to mainline thinking about the incident and not worthy of a great deal of public outrage (except perhaps at Peters).
 
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  • #4
MotoH
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I hope that when this young soldier is found, the terrorist scum that captured him die a slow, painful death.

Best of luck to him and pray to God he stays strong and alive.
 
  • #5
DanP
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Can this be true? People honestly think this kid deserves to be executed by the Taliban? I mean like regardless of his current situation he still went there and fought for 5 months, it's his first tour and he got captured. I don't care what type of training you go through to be a soldier in the American army, I think that 90% of all people would be scared to death in that situation. Especially considering this enemy loves making videos of beheadings and executions to put on public display.

I wouldn't be surprise at an attitude like the one you describe. Many humans are able of outrageous deeds and statements if it serves their agenda. Im pretty sure that many humans wont even blink if the guy is executed by Taliban, as long as they profit from this directly or indirectly. And what other cover do you want than "patriotism and heroism". You can call for murder and get away with it hiding under notions like patriotism.
 
  • #6
MotoH
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I wouldn't be surprise at an attitude like the one you describe. Many humans are able of outrageous things and statements if it serves their agenda. Im pretty sure that many humans wont even blink if the guy is executed by Taliban, as long as they profit from this
directly or indirectly. And what other cover do you want than "patriotism and heroism". You can call for murder and get away hiding under notions like patriotism.

Oh the God damn irony.
 
  • #7
One note: Malkin included a quote from a Lt. Col. Ralph Peters - the person calling a Bergdahl a liar on Fox News. He's actually a retired Lt Col that would have no first hand knowledge of the details of Bergdahl's desertion/capture (whichever). Peters is currently a novelist and has some rather interesting ideas about warfare.



In other words, Peters's opinion is not remotely close to mainline thinking about the incident and not worthy of a great deal of public outrage (except perhaps at Peters).

Yeah, those are definitely unconventional ideas, considering that countless wars have been won through the use of ruthless military force, which often included such far-fetched notions as propaganda and control of battlefield intelligence. But that was from a period in history where the U.S. actually won it's wars.

I don't know the soldier or his situation, but if it is indeed true that he deserted his unit and wandered off into enemy hands, then I really see no reason why any thought should be given to his fate. He made his choice. If it is not true, then he is a prisoner in enemy hands and I hope they show him mercy, though I don't think that our military can accede to any demands by his captors to secure his release.
 
  • #8
zomgwtf
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Yeah, those are definitely unconventional ideas, considering that countless wars have been won through the use of ruthless military force, which often included such far-fetched notions as propaganda and control of battlefield intelligence. But that was from a period in history where the U.S. actually won it's wars.

I don't know the soldier or his situation, but if it is indeed true that he deserted his unit and wandered off into enemy hands, then I really see no reason why any thought should be given to his fate. He made his choice. If it is not true, then he is a prisoner in enemy hands and I hope they show him mercy, though I don't think that our military can accede to any demands by his captors to secure his release.

So if you and your family were to travel to say Afghanistan and you were captured by the Taliban you'd be cool with people going on American news channels saying that the Taliban should save America troubles and that they should just kill you? Since you know, Afghanistan is a dangerous country and you made your choice to travel there. That's stupid, regardless of a person decisions in life we should never just give up on them to save legal troubles... to save any kind of troubles actually.

As well all this soldier would have had to have done to be considered a deserter was leave his post for a few seconds to take piss or have a lap in judgement. I always thought that a motto of the American military was that no one gets left behind? Clearly that's not the case.
 
  • #9
Cyrus
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This woman is a moron, just google her name on youtube to see her in the media. She gets out classed by smarter people left and right. She just wants the limelight.
 
  • #10
MotoH
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Yeah, those are definitely unconventional ideas, considering that countless wars have been won through the use of ruthless military force, which often included such far-fetched notions as propaganda and control of battlefield intelligence. But that was from a period in history where the U.S. actually won it's wars.

I don't know the soldier or his situation, but if it is indeed true that he deserted his unit and wandered off into enemy hands, then I really see no reason why any thought should be given to his fate. He made his choice. If it is not true, then he is a prisoner in enemy hands and I hope they show him mercy, though I don't think that our military can accede to any demands by his captors to secure his release.

First of all, the United States has never lost a war.

Second of all, if he was a deserter, the United States Military would still want him back because he is an American, and he also needs to be court martialed.

Just like the people on the Iranian(?) border who got captured. No matter how stupid they were to be there, the US still wanted them home.
 
  • #11
So if you and your family were to travel to say Afghanistan and you were captured by the Taliban you'd be cool with people going on American news channels saying that the Taliban should save America troubles and that they should just kill you? Since you know, Afghanistan is a dangerous country and you made your choice to travel there. That's stupid, regardless of a person decisions in life we should never just give up on them to save legal troubles... to save any kind of troubles actually.

As well all this soldier would have had to have done to be considered a deserter was leave his post for a few seconds to take piss or have a lap in judgement. I always thought that a motto of the American military was that no one gets left behind? Clearly that's not the case.

Actually, yes. In my opinion, being an American citizen implies not only rights but responsibilities, and one of those responsibilities is to not be so foolish as to allow yourself to be used by your nation's enemies as a propaganda tool due to your own idiocy. As I said, I don't know with any reasonable certainty what happened in this particular case. If he was captured while serving honorably then I hope he somehow makes it home safely. If he was indeed a deserter, then he brought this fate upon himself. Sure, you can call it a lapse in judgement, but who deserves to pay for this lapse of judgement—the deserter or the soldiers who would be lost attempting a rescue? Or would you rather hand over money to his captors, never mind the inevitable use that money would go to, most likely resulting in the loss of other American soldiers?
 
  • #12
First of all, the United States has never lost a war.

Second of all, if he was a deserter, the United States Military would still want him back because he is an American, and he also needs to be court martialed.

Just like the people on the Iranian(?) border who got captured. No matter how stupid they were to be there, the US still wanted them home.

Right, both of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are glowing successes. And we can definitely mark Vietnam down in the "America is Awesome" column. Please don't tell me that they weren't technically wars, because no one cares about semantics.

Sure, we want them home—but at what cost? What should our country pay to bring them home? I vote no more than a free plane ticket for the each of them.
 
  • #13
MotoH
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Right, both of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are glowing successes. And we can definitely mark Vietnam down in the "America is Awesome" column. Please don't tell me that they weren't technically wars, because no one cares about semantics.

Sure, we want them home—but at what cost? What should our country pay to bring them home? I vote no more than a free plane ticket for the each of them.

When the United States left Vietnam, there was a treaty with the US and China that said no external help will be provided to the north or the South. China did not listen to this and backed the NVA until it took over South Vietnam in 1975 (the fall of Saigon). South Vietnam was a free country when the United States pulled out far before this.

You think a war on an unconventional "army" is going to be in and out? I hate to insult your intelligence, but come on. The operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have been extremely successful. The fall of the Ba'ath party, Iraq has a near fully functional army and air force again, there is democracy. That seems pretty successful to me. We have caught countless Taliban and Al Qaeda leaders, and have liberated countless towns and provinces.

Do some homework before you make such blasphemous claims.
 
  • #14
When the United States left Vietnam, there was a treaty with the US and China that said no external help will be provided to the north or the South. China did not listen to this and backed the NVA until it took over South Vietnam in 1975 (the fall of Saigon). South Vietnam was a free country when the United States pulled out far before this.

You think a war on an unconventional "army" is going to be in and out? I hate to insult your intelligence, but come on. The operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have been extremely successful. The fall of the Ba'ath party, Iraq has a near fully functional army and air force again, there is democracy. That seems pretty successful to me. We have caught countless Taliban and Al Qaeda leaders, and have liberated countless towns and provinces.

Do some homework before you make such blasphemous claims.

Actually, I fought in Afghanistan, and many of my former comrades are in Iraq at this very moment fighting. We've been embroiled in a petty war for 8 years and have accomplished little. We've placed weak puppet governments in both nations at extraordinary cost in American treasure and prestige, all because we fought two wars essentially using an utterly worthless military doctrine that's no different from the old "fighting for hearts and minds" we tried in Vietnam. We've gained nothing in eight years we couldn't have gained by simple invading both countries, destroying their respective governments, and spent a month or so conducting aggressive action against insurgent forces. We could quite literally have done it numerous times at a fraction of the cost we've paid for our current operations. Eventually, the people of Afghanistan and Iraq would have been broken, and a peaceful, constitutional government could have then been built in both countries.
 
  • #15
MotoH
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What is your MOS and unit?
 
  • #16
What is your MOS and unit?

I was an 11B in 2ID.
 
  • #17
BobG
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When the United States left Vietnam, there was a treaty with the US and China that said no external help will be provided to the north or the South. China did not listen to this and backed the NVA until it took over South Vietnam in 1975 (the fall of Saigon). South Vietnam was a free country when the United States pulled out far before this.

You think a war on an unconventional "army" is going to be in and out? I hate to insult your intelligence, but come on. The operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have been extremely successful. The fall of the Ba'ath party, Iraq has a near fully functional army and air force again, there is democracy. That seems pretty successful to me. We have caught countless Taliban and Al Qaeda leaders, and have liberated countless towns and provinces.

Do some homework before you make such blasphemous claims.

By the standards you're using for Viet Nam, all the United States has to do to win in either Iraq or Afghanistan is to withdraw before either government collapses. In that case, the sooner we leave, the better.

And, actually, there might finally be some realistic signs that Iraqi sects could resolve their differences politically instead of by civil war. The real test will come when they finally resolve how to divvy up oil money - an issue that's still too contentious to address. On the other hand, the sheer amount of money makes it hard not to find a way to stop fighting and to start selling oil.

If they succeed, it will be the second time since World War II that an ethnic civil war was resolved by sharing power peacefully in a democratic government (South Africa being the other; over 120 civil wars in the world since World War II).

It might take a while to really know, though. Three other ethnic civil wars where power sharing stopped the fighting for at least five years: Lebanon, Sudan, Zimbabwe.

And there's good news even in previous failures. Of the four successes or near successes, three occurred in the 90's or later. Plus fighting in another civil war was stopped via cease fire (Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo, etc). One could say that only a rare leader such as Nelson Mandela could bring a peaceful solution to an ethnic civil war. Or, one could say the world is getting better at resolving civil wars.

While you can't say success in Iraq, yet; at least you can say success is definitely possible.
 
  • #18
DanP
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I don't know the soldier or his situation, but if it is indeed true that he deserted his unit and wandered off into enemy hands, then I really see no reason why any thought should be given to his fate. He made his choice.

The right thing to do is to be judge the defector on home-soil by a military tribunal for his deeds. Im not saying that you should send a commando to rescue him and judge him. Im saying that no officer of the armed forces, retired of not, should say that the alleged defector is better off executed by Taliban.

No officer should dismiss the laws of his own realm and put justice in the hand of terrorists.
 
  • #19
zomgwtf
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The right thing to do is to be judge the defector on home-soil by a military tribunal for his deeds. Im not saying that you should send a commando to rescue him and judge him. Im saying that no officer of the armed forces, retired of not, should say that the alleged defector is better off executed by Taliban.

No officer should dismiss the laws of his own realm and put justice in the hand of terrorists.

That was exactly the point I was attempting to address. I guess it's different when you're a soldier and you can just easily say 'well I served and I never did that! Of course we shouldn't bother with him!'
 
  • #20
The right thing to do is to be judge the defector on home-soil by a military tribunal for his deeds. Im not saying that you should send a commando to rescue him and judge him. Im saying that no officer of the armed forces, retired of not, should say that the alleged defector is better off executed by Taliban.

No officer should dismiss the laws of his own realm and put justice in the hand of terrorists.

I agree, that would be the right thing to do. If he were to be freed, I would wholeheartedly support such an action—I just don't think we need to spill American blood or give American treasure to our enemy in order to free him. I'm also not really going to take offense at someone who shrugs their shoulders and says that he got what he deserved, just like I wouldn't take offense if someone was just as unsympathetic to criminal who was killed by a would be victim. Yes, it is undoubtedly better to let our own system of justice do it's work, but it is also perfectly understandable for a person to despise criminals and traitors and to take satisfaction at their demise.
 
  • #21
zomgwtf
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I agree, that would be the right thing to do. If he were to be freed, I would wholeheartedly support such an action—I just don't think we need to spill American blood or give American treasure to our enemy in order to free him. I'm also not really going to take offense at someone who shrugs their shoulders and says that he got what he deserved, just like I wouldn't take offense if someone was just as unsympathetic to criminal who was killed by a would be victim. Yes, it is undoubtedly better to let our own system of justice do it's work, but it is also perfectly understandable for a person to despise criminals and traitors and to take satisfaction at their demise.

Criminals and traitors? This guy is an American soldier and he went to Afghanistan to fight for America which he did do for 5 months while there.

I'd like for you to cite your sources of this soldier ever being a criminal or a traitor.

As well the Taliban seem to be taking care of the soldier and there demands are not for money. They want America to release some prisoners including a female Dr. at the request of the doctors family to the Taliban. This doctor was detained for attempting to murder US soldiers.
 
  • #22
Criminals and traitors? This guy is an American soldier and he went to Afghanistan to fight for America which he did do for 5 months while there.

I'd like for you to cite your sources of this soldier ever being a criminal or a traitor.

I'm not saying that he is—I've mentioned twice that I don't know for sure what happens, and that if he was innocent of the allegations, that I wish him the best. I believed we were discussing the appropriateness of his fate if he was indeed a deserter—was I wrong? I may have misunderstood the direction the discussion was going.
 
  • #23
DanP
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I agree, that would be the right thing to do. If he were to be freed, I would wholeheartedly support such an action—I just don't think we need to spill American blood or give American treasure to our enemy in order to free him.

This is reasonable, for the case of a defector. Is there any solid indication the guy was defector, or only "questions"

perfectly understandable for a person to despise criminals and traitors and to take satisfaction at their demise

I wont cry for any executed criminal. I wont shed tears for a guy killed while he is breaking entry into a home. I don't like the crybay crowed who begs for mercy for ppl schedule for legal homicide.

But I also dont like retired officers to make a show from serious matters, and even try to use them to gain spotlight for promoting his books or his image through shock-value. Shock-value is a form of violence and shouldn't be tolerated by civil society.
 
  • #24
zomgwtf
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I'm not saying that he is—I've mentioned twice that I don't know for sure what happens, and that if he was innocent of the allegations, that I wish him the best. I believed we were discussing the appropriateness of his fate if he was indeed a deserter—was I wrong? I may have misunderstood the direction the discussion was going.

I think so, the point of discussion is the 'Fox News Strategic Analyst' in an interview live on the air saying that the Taliban should just execute this soldier.

The story by Bergdahl is that he fell behind during a patrol, that's what he said on TV. The version by the Taliban discribes him being ambushed off base while he was drunk. The US military version is only that the Taliban version is a lie.

As well, my mistake Dr. Siddiqui is not an actual 'doctor' but a Pakistani scientist.
 
  • #25
BobG
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I'm not saying that he is—I've mentioned twice that I don't know for sure what happens, and that if he was innocent of the allegations, that I wish him the best. I believed we were discussing the appropriateness of his fate if he was indeed a deserter—was I wrong? I may have misunderstood the direction the discussion was going.

No, you didn't. In fact, I'd say you directed the direction of the discussion very well.:rofl:


But I do agree he deserves no sympathy if he's a deserter. In fact, if turns out the true story was that John McCain was a deserter, then I think he deserves what he got during Viet Nam. Just like if the stories of the Swift Boaters had turned out to be entirely truthful, then Kerry would have deserved the scorn of voting Americans.
 
  • #26
No, you didn't. In fact, I'd say you directed the direction of the discussion very well.:rofl:


But I do agree he deserves no sympathy if he's a deserter. In fact, if turns out the true story was that John McCain was a deserter, then I think he deserves what he got during Viet Nam. Just like if the stories of the Swift Boaters had turned out to be entirely truthful, then Kerry would have deserved the scorn of voting Americans.

Lol, I can agree, except I find it unlikely that John McCain chose as his method of desertion being shot down.

Then again, I had heard somewhere that he had crashed his plane a couple of times before...
 
  • #27
mheslep
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We've been embroiled in a petty war for 8 years and have accomplished little. We've placed weak puppet governments in both nations
That's trivially false. The US and other coalition members did not place a puppet government in Iraq, the Iraqi people have turned out in vast numbers at multiple elections at no little risk to themselves to choose their own officials.
 
  • #28
That's trivially false. The US and other coalition members did not place a puppet government in Iraq, the Iraqi people have turned out in vast numbers at multiple elections at no little risk to themselves to choose their own officials.

I'd disagree—while the government was elected by the iraqi people, they are entirely dependent on the U.S. largesse (both financially and militarily)for it's continued survival.
 
  • #29
mheslep
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I'd disagree—while the government was elected by the iraqi people,
Then consider editing your prior post accordingly and remove 'placed'

they are entirely dependent on the U.S. largesse (both financially and militarily)for it's continued survival.
Why continue to resort to the hyperbole ('entirely')? It simply discredits any point you're after.

The Iraqi's have some 300,000 troops in their Army, much of it trained under US and UK supervision. Iraqi troops have already had occasion to prove themselves independent of any help when they http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahdi_Army#March_2008_Iraqi_security_forces_crackdown"

Iraq is currently producing http://www.eia.doe.gov/cabs/Iraq/Background.html" [Broken] ($210 million per day), likely on its way to 11 million barrels per day within five years, and the US occupation has long since stopped all construction projects in Iraqi oil and gas.

Now, one could argue that this is all insufficient, that it will all fall apart as soon as the last US soldier leaves (they're already out of the cities), and I would still disagree, but at least that's arguable.
 
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  • #30
Then consider editing your prior post accordingly and remove 'placed'

Why continue to resort to the hyperbole ('entirely')? It simply discredits any point you're after.

The Iraqi's have some 300,000 troops in their Army, much of it trained under US and UK supervision. Iraqi troops have already had occasion to prove themselves independent of any help when they http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahdi_Army#March_2008_Iraqi_security_forces_crackdown"

Iraq is currently producing http://www.eia.doe.gov/cabs/Iraq/Background.html" [Broken] ($210 million per day), likely on its way to 11 million barrels per day within five years, and the US occupation has long since stopped all construction projects in Iraqi oil and gas.

Now, one could argue that this is all insufficient, that it will all fall apart as soon as the last US soldier leaves (they're already out of the cities), and I would still disagree, but at least that's arguable.

Fair enough, your points are well-taken. I admit my hyperbole was foolish, and I'm going to think about editing my previous post, though I think maybe that revision would be unfair—I posted something dumb and I shouldn't get to just erase it and move on.

I guess my real point, hopefully with much less hyperbole, is that we have supported foreign governments which I don't believe was a worthwhile use of our resources. We should've invaded, destroyed as many elements of the Taliban in Afghanistan and fanatical muslims in Iraq as we could, then withdrew and let them rebuild their own countries. If they created another government which supported terrorism, we could just destroy that one again. Basically, the whole "We broke it and now it's our's" idea is what I have an issue with. We CAN just break things, if we want too.
 
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  • #31
DanP
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I guess my real point, hopefully with much less hyperbole, is that we have supported foreign governments which I don't believe was a worthwhile use of our resources.

Dono, more territorial control in Middle East , directing resource flow, coupled with a relative regional stability (compared to the chaos which would have ensued without occupation) seem to me worthwhile goals. Probably someone in the government had the data to decide whatever this was a profitable enterprise.
 
  • #32
mheslep
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Fair enough, your points are well-taken. I admit my hyperbole was foolish, and I'm going to think about editing my previous post, though I think maybe that revision would be unfair—I posted something dumb and I shouldn't get to just erase it and move on.
Your call of course. When I post something, er, ill considered, I try to mark it with an 'Edit: revised version'

I guess my real point, hopefully with much less hyperbole, is that we have supported foreign governments which I don't believe was a worthwhile use of our resources. We should've invaded, destroyed as many elements of the Taliban in Afghanistan and fanatical muslims in Iraq as we could, then withdrew and let them rebuild their own countries. If they created another government which supported terrorism, we could just destroy that one again. Basically, the whole "We broke it and now it's our's" idea is what I have an issue with. We CAN just break things, if we want too.
Yep, a fair argument, that was more or less the old Rumsfeld policy I'd say, and probably that was the US military mindset well before him, e.g. with Tommy Franks. The problem is that doesn't really help US security (Edit: with Afghanistan/Iraq type problems) - the job the US military is hired to do. Remember 911 was carried out by twenty some guys. We don't need Brigade Combat Teams to take out 20 guys. We need BCTs to stabilize and hold territory so that civilization can takeover, because local civilization tends to notice camps of 20 wild eyed guys shooting up things long after troops have gone.

I recognize it is still common for troops to voice a 'get out of our way and let us win' mentally (and sympathize), going all the way back to Patton's words: "I'm a soldier, I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight". I think some of the troops sometimes forget the first part of that motto.
 
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  • #33
BobG
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I guess my real point, hopefully with much less hyperbole, is that we have supported foreign governments which I don't believe was a worthwhile use of our resources. We should've invaded, destroyed as many elements of the Taliban in Afghanistan and fanatical muslims in Iraq as we could, then withdrew and let them rebuild their own countries. If they created another government which supported terrorism, we could just destroy that one again. Basically, the whole "We broke it and now it's our's" idea is what I have an issue with. We CAN just break things, if we want too.


I think that definitely would be the most efficient method of dealing with Afghanistan. Dealing with three major ethnic groups in Iraq, plus numerous other small groups, makes creating a unified government a nearly insurmountable task in Iraq. Afghanistan is worse.

The main ethnic group in Afghanistan is Pashtun (at nearly 40%), but that's divided into two major groups (Durrani and Ghilzai), with each major group being comprised of several major tribes, each. Additionally, you have the Taliban, whose members come from a diversified cross-section of Pashtun tribes (the Taliban is a religious, Islamic, based group rather than having tribal origins). In addition to the Pashtun groups, you have the Tajiks (25%), Hazaras (18%) and Uzbeks (6%), plus several other small groups. With Pahtuns so fragmented into tribes, the Tajiks are the single biggest semi-unified group in Afghanistan and even ruled Afghanistan for a very short time. That was an exception, as Pashtun tribes are almost always the only groups capable of establishing any type of real rule in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan is a perpetual civil war and will be for decades, maybe even centuries, to come.

What reason do they have to unify, anyway? To run a better poppy trade?
 
  • #34
Your call of course. When I post something, er, ill considered, I try to mark it with an 'Edit: revised version'

Yep, a fair argument, that was more or less the old Rumsfeld policy I'd say, and probably that was the US military mindset well before him, e.g. with Tommy Franks. The problem is that doesn't really help US security (Edit: with Afghanistan/Iraq type problems) - the job the US military is hired to do. Remember 911 was carried out by twenty some guys. We don't need Brigade Combat Teams to take out 20 guys. We need BCTs to stabilize and hold territory so that civilization can takeover, because local civilization tends to notice camps of 20 wild eyed guys shooting up things long after troops have gone.

I recognize it is still common for troops to voice a 'get out of our way and let us win' mentally (and sympathize), going all the way back to Patton's words: "I'm a soldier, I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight". I think some of the troops sometimes forget the first part of that motto.

When I was a soldier I certainly did fight where and when I was told, and only then. I'm just a regular old civilian now, so I no longer feel any compunction to keep my opinion private. I also wholeheartedly agree that the military should serve the civilian branch of our government—the military exists to protect the nation, not the other way around.

You're also right, we don't need BCTs to hunt down terrorist cells—they wouldn't be very good at it. Send the BCT's in to destroy any government which aids our enemies, and then make sure that those cells live in constant fear of assassination or missile strikes. I understand it's easier said than done, but I've never seen extensive foreign entanglements as an efficient way to safeguard our interests.
 
  • #35
MotoH
47
2
and then make sure that those cells live in constant fear of assassination or missile strikes. I understand it's easier said than done, but I've never seen extensive foreign entanglements as an efficient way to safeguard our interests.


Mossad.
 

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