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Thursday, June 24. 2010
COIN, the abbreviation for counterinsurgency operations, is hotly debated as applied in
Those most blindly in favor on the Left think it a way to be nice and avoid many of the harshnesses of war. Others think it’s a way to make foes like us and avoid creating more foes.
Those most angrily critical are either conservatives, experienced in war, or those whose lives are actually at risk on the front lines.
They are all partly correct, that far. Where many go off the rails is in not understanding what COIN actually is, or in taking it to absurd or counter-productive excess, and in not confronting the quagmire of Obama and his chosen meddlers.
Let’s re-visit the
President Kennedy’s “best and brightest” were enamored of their theories of guerrilla warfare and thought that would be enough to rely upon in countering the Viet Cong, its North Vietnamese masters, and their Soviet and Chinese backers. When that didn’t work, and they lashed out in frustration to blame President Diem out of their arrogance and ignorance, they participated in his murder and destroyed his hard-won control of the South. The
That ignorance and lack of integrity and regard for the actual lives and national security interests at stake continues in the Left.
President Obama is the child of those and more dangerous ideological fools and connivers against the primacy of US interests, with whatever it takes. The mantra is be accommodating and our foes will come around to cooperation.
That’s written large in President Obama’s failed foreign policies: ignoring and undermining allies and rewarding adversary nations directly and indirectly via their taking advantage of his weakness and weakening of ourselves and our allies.
Back to COIN.
Despite some lapses, grossly exaggerated by the Left, we had fairly strict rules-of-engagement in
Going forward to
There’s more of them below the top, schooled in the real world by living in it at the front, thankfully. To them we owe everything.
General Petraeus is lauded as the primary author of the "new" COIN. Dig below the fancy words and it’s just the re-realization that our forces have to be among the people, first fighting and providing security and then building their own defenses. There is no strict dogma that US forces have to be recklessly endangered. In
Fast forward to
That would have required a larger force structure than the Congress or the President was willing to face up to spending for and building, after the “peace dividend” reckless spending and severe drawdown of our forces after the fall of the Soviet empire. But, nevermind that reality, said the Left and most Republican spendthrifts.
President Obama definitely inherited a mess heading toward defeat in
General McChrystal struggled mightily, accomplished much, but also took COIN to extremes in rules-of-engagement that weakened our mission, endangered our troops, and, together with the encouragement given the Taliban by President Obama’s artificial time-limit for staying, encouraged the Taliban to not fear us as they should and Afghanis to fear the Taliban more.
Now that General Petraeus is in command, there are dreams that he will pull the bacon from the fire.
First, as any and every knowledgeable observer recognizes, the civilians that President Obama put in place in Afghanistan and Washington, who have hobbled and botched everything they’ve come near, have to go, and fast, replaced by a national security and diplomatic team from the real world. But, Obama asserts, "I'm confident that we've got a team in place that can execute," despite the clear evidence to the contrary.
Second, the time limit must be reversed, and the
Third, COIN must be reined in from a rigid dogma to a tactic to be adapted and applied in achievement of the mission, rather than an end in itself. You know you’re dealing with an evasive cover-up of inanity when ridiculously endangering your life is remarketed, as it was by McChrystal, as “courageous restraint.”
This third may be realized by General Petraeus, if this report in the London Telegraph is to be believed:
Now, President Obama must start to actually do his job as Commander-in-Chief. Anyone believe that?
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At the end of the day, the problem in Afghanistan is the same one as in Korea, Vietnam, Bosnia, and Iraq: how do you know when you’ve won?
At minimum: When the US vital interests are no longer at grave risk, and can be managed without resort to large US armed forces at battle.
Bruce, what do you think are the vital US interests now at grave risk in Afghanistan?
1. Once committed, as we are, and there's no use playing what ifs or could have beens, the US must not bug out or leave the field too soon before some more level of recedence of the Taliban is accomplished. Maximally, though not to be expected for a looong time, and I'm not advocating decades of the current levels of US forces, would be a reasonably effective government throughout the country. More reasonably would be a federation of the tribes, they not allowing the Taliban to operate. That is doable. Otherwise, the US would be rightly seen, moreso than already, a worthless ally or projector of power, and that would be encouragement to adversaries throughout the globe, as it was after the US Congress cut-off the promised aid and support to South Vietnam.
2. You say "now", and "now" we know that there are potential $trillions to be mined. China has been buying up such resources around the globe, and the rest of the West and US may find itself, in effect, cut off from the ores we need to be advanced economies.
3. An instable Afghanistan encourages the radicals in Pakistan, and in India, both more directly in US security interests. Increased instability, and havens for terrorists, is not in the US national security interests.
4. Though China and Russia are somewhat capable of caring for themselves, increased terrorist havens on their southern borders affects their internal Moslem foes. Increased instability in China and/or Russia or the "stans" is not in the interests of the US. Also, there are large oil and gas fields in those areas, and pipelines through them, upon which Europe and the US have heavy needs.
5. I could go on, but that's enough for now. If anyone feels those are not US interests, then I suggest that withdrawal will prove them wrong, too late.
By the way, Bruce and other military observers who keep track of these things; don't we still have troops in Bosnia, and other former active combat areas? We even have some in Germany, I think. I was trying to assess how many troops were in various parts of the globe still on duty, in case our pacifying Prez said we couldn't find enough troops to deploy to support Petraeus. I came up with a figure of something like 70,000 in all. I hope you gentlemen and ladies who have better memories than I do, and who are in possession of more current information can help me here. Be sure to include troops deployed in various parts of the Pacific.
P.S. Since we are already paying these guys on duty, Mr. O can't claim poor-mouth.
At the end of the day there's no substitute for killing the enemy in large numbers and unfortunately collateral damage that goes with that.
You can't make friends with the enemy until you've beat the will out of them. Even then you'll probably not make friends but you'll have an even bigger asset in that you'll have their respect and fear.
If we're in Afghanistan with the belief we can build some sort of liberal decratic government overlaid on their tribal culture we're wasting lives and money. Best thing to do is pick the groups/tribes that we believe we can do business with and are least worse options, alter the field to advantage them and get out or at least only leave behind enough assets to support our chosen side.
Where the neocons get it wrong is their belief that culture can be shaped by the political structure. In reality the political structure is a reflection of the underlying culture. The culture will always win in the end.
Four days left in June 2010; 85 NATO Force personnel killed for stinkin' Muhammadans in Afghanistan.
USA should not be supporting Sharia law and it's regimes.
"Both Afghanistan and Iraq are Islamic states, as codified in their new American-supported constitutions. Sharia law is the law of Islam. Islamic law supersedes any laws in the constitution that are not Sharia law-compliant.
Any review of the implementation of Sharia law anywhere in the world (or of Sharia itself) shows it to be brutal, cruel, misogynistic, anti-homosexual, anti-free speech, supremacist, anti-democratic, and anti-freedom of religion among its many unpleasant qualities. Even in Afghanistan as late as 2006, a Muslim Afghan convert to Christianity was sentenced to death for leaving Islam. Only American outrage prevented the implementation of the Sharia death penalty.
Under Sharia law, leaving Islam is not permitted. It is considered a crime worse than murder and is punishable by death. A Sharia judge on the case commented at the time, "We are not against any particular religion in the world. But in Afghanistan, this sort of thing is against the law. It is an attack on Islam." The inherent contradiction between democracy and Islamic law did not go unnoticed by everyone, however."
D.L. Adams, February 07, 2010, War for Islamic Sharia Law, at American Thinker
Leag: We're not fighting for Sharia, any more than we were fighting for communism by allying with the Soviet Union in WWII.
Though involvement with both is distasteful and leads to some/many disliked outcomes, the other national security priorities are paramount in the circumstance.
See above discussion in Comments re: national security interests.
Further, the cross-cultural contact, unless murdered post-war as Stalin did, can open up some later avenues for reform. I'm not advocating that such transformation or modernization or nation-building is top of the agenda, but it may be a desirable result, to some extent.
Meanwhile, Sharia and jihadism in the US or West is something else entirely, furthered by many leaders' lack of grounding in and instinctual defense of Judeo-Christian values and institutions, their illiterate Marxist illusions.
Yall's, 'maybe... to some extent" in support of nation building certainly doesn't conflict with yall's weak position regarding security interest.
Yes, we are there and since, democrats are screwing the pooch superior USA interest is to get the hell out and leave the Muhammadan tribes to their own to get rid of or keep present "government in a box".
Obama goals are a joke.
US Forces personnel dying for a joke and for Islamic Sharia State is evil.
Use full idiots playing lesser evils benefit the Islamic fascists by continuing quagmire leaving hearty supply of targets to fill US and NATO body bags.
COIN is Hussein's baby and it and he are the problem.
McChrystal wisely, extricated his hide from Afghanistan and USA must get his comrades in arms out, too.
Isolationist, outdated twaddle.
You can run but can't hide.
Methinks, yall ought try to deal with issues, Msr.Kesler.
Supporting Sharia governments is a fool's game..
Brothers and sisters in uniform must follow Hussein as they are sworn to but all Americans free to speak and not under the tyrant's boot need resist his regime at every turn.
Your weak arguments' strongest point is we're already there.
Get USA out of Afghanistan and thousands of her vital interests will not be at risk.
What needs to be done to check Islam can be done without thousands of troops who are proscribed from fighting.
Yall's Rubicon, Msr. Kesler casts die for el presidente's and Kissinger's quagmire.