Progress in Afghanistan: International Support, Articulated Plan?

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  • #1
mheslep
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Main Question or Discussion Point

Since the invasion in 2001, I count 27 countries that have sent troops to Afghanistan at one time or another. But I'm finding it difficult to determine which nations are still involved? There are news reports over the years about who has left, though that's long way around to arrive at today's state of affairs.


With regards to the plan ahead, I would like to see more articulation by the President as to what the US hopes to accomplish by keeping ten or twenty brigades in country until 2014. If nothing else I'd like to see him visit the troops.
 
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  • #2
Astronuc
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What is at stake -

"Parwana means butterfly in Dari, . . . " Parwana was among several children killed by a suicide bomber.

"At 8 years old, with freckles and a penchant for frilly dresses and soccer cleats, Parwana was just as I was at that age: equal parts tomboy and little princess. In the last few weeks, she had begun to wear a head scarf, but she clearly was not willing to grow up completely just yet. She was the undisputed ringleader of the little girls, and enough of a spitfire to give the bigger boys as good as she got. Along with her dark-eyed sisters Basira and Salmah, and young Samir, with the grown up shoes he was so proud of, I had a small clique of children who followed me everywhere I went."

http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/13/the-death-of-a-butterfly-in-kabul/


Eleven Years After 9/11, Afghanistan Still Matters
http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/11/eleven-years-after-911-afghanistan-still-matters/
 
  • #3
mheslep
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If the intent of the bomber was to provoke rage he was successful.
 
  • #4
mheslep
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Four more soldiers or marines killed by "insider" forces, i.e. coalition trained Afghan soldiers. That's 60 this year from insiders according to this source.
http://video.msnbc.msn.com/msnbc/49053662/

It seems to me in such a circumstance one of two things are required for continued support of the war effort and expense of lives: 1) a demonstration that the trend is getting better, or 2) a plan to turn things around.

I see far too little by way of response from the US administration. As of July:
Sec Clinton said:
“We are not even imagining abandoning Afghanistan,” she said.
along with declaring Afghanistan a "non-Nato" ally? A couple days ago the WH released a statement that the President had called Karsai to help insure the Libyan/Egyptian violence would not spread, but no mention of any reaction at all to events on the ground, with 68,000 US troops plus other coalition troops on the ground.
 
  • #5
mheslep
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At the UN today the US President said
We have begun a transition in Afghanistan, and America and our allies will end our war on schedule in 2014.

Al Qaida has been weakened and Osama bin Laden is no more.
Which is the one and only reference to the US role in Afghanistan in the entire speech.

On schedule? Is the goal of war and the military to go home on schedule?

http://www.defense.gov/news/casualty.pdf
1670 US KIA, 17,644 US WIA
 
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  • #6
Gokul43201
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If nothing else I'd like to see him visit the troops.
How often?
 
  • #7
mheslep
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How often?
I do not mean periodically, I'm aware media reports have him there last in May.

I mean immediately (or soon) to address the current condition on the ground since Bin Laden was killed: articulate the US mission there given continued US KIA, much of which lately is due to Afghan government troops, against a scheduled goal of continuing there though 2014. Why not pull out immediately (~3-4 months), or, if the argument can be made that the mission is indeed critical yet uncompleted, stay until it is completed or at least 3-4 years.
 
  • #9
Alfi
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I like the comedy show 'The Daily Show' because it offers some good interviews that are not laughable.
 
  • #10
mheslep
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  • #11
mheslep
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The President just announced he intends to accelerate the pull out from Afghanistan to this Spring instead of next Fall, a decision which I applaud.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/11/us-obama-afghanistan-idUSBRE90A0ZT20130111

I don't trust that Obama has fairly evaluated the risks of leaving early in public, i.e. a return of AQ or similar. Maybe the risks are small compared to the benefit of staying. If that case can not, or will not be made publicly then yes the US should do everything possible to minimize any more US troop fatalities. Get them out as soon as possible.
 
  • #13
mheslep
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