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REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS
Taliban winning in Afghanistan
Saturday, October 16, 2010 12:29 PM
Quote:THE Taliban have ''overwhelmed'' foreign troops and cannot be defeated by military means, one of Australia's top combat soldiers has warned.
Brigadier Mark Smethurst says securing Afghanistan could take decades, but success is uncertain without a fundamental change in strategy.
His critical assessment comes in a report that contrasts sharply with federal government claims of progress in Afghanistan.
While the key role of Australian troops is mentoring local forces, he says the Afghan army cannot operate independently, despite seven years of training, and the police are even worse.
The Afghan government is ineffective and has failed to deal with corruption, human rights abuses and a non-existent justice system. Aid distribution, he says, has been ''wasteful, ineffective and insufficient''.
Brigadier Mark Smethurst implicitly criticises the Howard government's approach, and poses questions about the present government's agenda.
While successive governments have stated we are in Afghanistan to deny al-Qaeda terrorists a base, the brigadier says the key reason is to maintain the US alliance.
In a paper that makes uneasy reading for MPs before this week's parliamentary debate on Afghanistan, he implies that if we haven't achieved our primary aim by 2012 - training Afghan troops - we should pull out.
''Compared with other counterinsurgency campaigns, the chance of a solution in the short term appears remote,'' he says. ''Even with the strongest possible action and co-operation at the national level, it is difficult to see solutions emerging in less than 10 years unless proactive action is taken now.''
Brigadier Smethurst is a highly regarded special forces officer, with service in East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan in a 28-year career. At present deputy commander of Special Operations Command, he is tipped for a key coalition post in Afghanistan.
While his paper was written last year, he told The Sunday Age the basic tenets held true.
Called Creating Conditions for the Defeat of the Afghan Taliban: A Strategic Assessment, it was recently published online by the Australian Defence College.
He describes the Taliban as a ''very capable adversary'' who are winning the propaganda war and whose tactics had ''overwhelmed the coalition''.
The insurgents ''cannot be crushed by a conventional military campaign'', he says. As public support for the nine-year-old war in the West wanes, foreign efforts have made limited progress.
He calls for a co-ordinated military and political strategy aimed at providing security, building Afghan forces and creating a functioning Afghan government. Yet all three aims face massive obstacles, he writes.
The number of troops in Oruzgan, where Australians are based, is less than half the number recommended.
If Australia fails to reach its 2012 target, ''any further commitment should be questioned, as Australia could be drawn into a greater security dilemma as the Taliban and al-Qaeda networks expand their control further into Pakistan and the region''.
While Australian and Dutch troops in Oruzgan had made substantial achievements, creating ''ink spots'' of security, ''there is little real security beyond the areas of operations''. The lack of security means Australian aid workers and police trainers have had limited impact and ''struggle to maintain a presence''.
Greater progress could have been made if Australia had adopted a ''whole of government'' approach when the Howard government sent reconstruction troops to Oruzgan in 2006.
The nature of Australia's commitment also raises ''many questions'' about the agenda of Labor governments, with the defence white paper issued by the Rudd government last year declaring conflict in the Middle East was not the ADF's principal task.
He warns the coalition must not be seen to fail in Afghanistan, because of the boost it would give to the Taliban in nuclear-armed Pakistan. A solution lies between the extremes of defeating the Taliban and reconciling with them.
He says walking away from Afghanistan risks allowing the country to flourish as a breeding ground and haven for Islamic extremism.
Saturday, October 16, 2010 1:50 PM
Saturday, October 16, 2010 4:43 PM
Quote:Marilee sat down with the abruptness of a gun returning to battery. She laughed as she looked out the window through which she could see nothing but sky from her present low angle. "Well," she said, "Danny, I suppose you'd better explain that. I hadn't expected to hear from a mercenary that force doesn't accomplish anything."
"Ex-mercenary," Pritchard corrected. The smile was back. "And force accomplishes a lot of things. They just aren't the ones you want here. Bring in the Slammers and we kick ass for as long as you pay us. Six months, a year. And we kick ass even if the other side brings in mercs of their own—which they'll do—but that's not a problem, not if you've got us." Unit pride lasted even after the unit's work became a matter of distaste. Pride beamed now from Danny Pritchard's face, and his hand caressed a tank that only his mind could see.
"So," the man went on. He got up without thinking about the action because he was focused on plans, on possibilities. "There's what? Three hundred thousand people on Tethys?"
Marilee's eyes narrowed. "On the Council Islands, about. There's a lot more in little holdings on the unclaimed islands, but I don't think anyone can be sure of numbers."
"So," Pritchard repeated. The word was his equivalent of the Enter key when his mind was computing possibilities. "You want to kill fifty kay? Fifty thousand people, let's remember they're people for the moment."
"I don't want to kill anybody!" the woman snapped. She swung abruptly to her feet again. Her boots rapped on the inlaid floor over which her visitor's heels had glided unheard. "I don't even want to kill Bev Dyson. I grew up with him, after all, I . . . maybe he did kill my husband. But I don't want to know that for sure. And I don't want him killed."
"You see," said Danny Pritchard, as if he had not heard his companion expose a part of herself that she had not known existed, "if we go in quick and dirty, the only way that has a prayer of working is if we get them all. If we get everybody who opposes you, everybody related to them, everybody who called them master—everybody."
"They aren't all dangerous!" Marilee shouted. She turned to the wall of trophies and went on in nearly as loud a voice. "They aren't any of them dangerous, except maybe a few. What are you talking about?" She spun back to Pritchard.
The ex-soldier nodded in agreement. "They're not dangerous now, but they will be after the killing starts. Believe me—" he raised a hand to forestall another protest— "I've seen it often enough. Not all of them, but one in ten, one in a hundred. One in a thousand's enough when he blasts your car down over the ocean a year from now. You'll see. It changes people, the killing does. Once it starts, there's no way to stop it but all the way to the end. If you figure to still live here on Tethys."
"M—Danny!" the woman said. "I told you, I don't want killing. Why do you keep saying that?"
"What do you think the Slammers do, milady?" asked Danny Pritchard. His grin was wide as a demon's, as cruel as the muzzle of the guns he remembered using so well. "Work magic? We kill, and we're good at it, bloody good. You call the Slammers in to solve your problems here and you'll be able to cover the Port with the corpses. I guarantee it. I've done it, milady. In my time."
Saturday, October 16, 2010 4:53 PM
Saturday, October 16, 2010 4:58 PM
"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)
Saturday, October 16, 2010 6:36 PM
Saturday, October 16, 2010 6:38 PM
Saturday, October 16, 2010 10:17 PM
Saturday, October 16, 2010 10:24 PM
Sunday, October 17, 2010 1:57 AM
Quote:Originally posted by CatPirate:
That is bullshit. Look the taliban what is left is in Pakistan. We the USA as always is building up huge in Kabul. Nobody is gonna invade like Russia and China so they can have a jumping off point into the gulf. The stinky French and gay ass liberals of England get there oil from Iraq so we are gonna stay for a long time. Cut the oil off to your Europe see how quick they come to Uncle Sam for help. Please Please Mr America.
Sunday, October 17, 2010 2:33 AM
Sunday, October 17, 2010 7:45 AM
Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...
Quote:Gee, don't you wish you hadn't funded, trained and armed them?
Quote: Would-be conquerors come and go, but end of the day, Afghanistan, is Afghanistan.
Quote:provoke us to doin more damage to ourselves in our panicked flailing than they could ever hope for - not to mention our stupidity at sending our guys over there to be pop-up targets for folks who have EVERY DAMN REASON to hate our guts.
Quote:As you read below it will become blatantly obvious
Quote:since 9/11, there have been numerous false "terror" alerts and lies leading to the capture and torture of hundreds of innocent individuals - and the heinous treatment we have all witnessed to from Abu Ghraib. Additionally, we are supposed to believe that multi-war criminal, Colin Powell, was "fooled" by faulty intelligence so much so that he paved the way for the invasion of Iraq by his false testimony at the UN but we are also supposed to unquestioningly believe the US intelligence apparatus when they lie about others such as Dr. Siddiqui.
Monday, October 18, 2010 5:45 PM
Monday, October 18, 2010 8:36 PM
Tuesday, October 19, 2010 3:20 AM
Tuesday, October 19, 2010 3:28 AM
Keeping order in every verse
Quote:Originally posted by kaneman:
With the crock of barak running things I'd be suprised if they don't take us over.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010 2:45 PM
Tuesday, October 19, 2010 3:16 PM
Quote:Originally posted by CatPirate:
Kwicko you are a dumbshit. Strike base idiot. But I'm sure you know all about military operations. What's going on right now. Oh if ya talk to soldiers you would know. The airbase is getting huge. No war in that area. We will be there a long time. Protecting the Gulf Region.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010 3:37 PM
Tuesday, October 19, 2010 3:52 PM
Quote:Originally posted by dreamtrove:
Let them win.
The more we fight, the stronger they become. This is because there are more powers on this Earth with a vested interest in us losing than there are with an interest in us winning. These powers will pour resources into the Taliban and anyone else fighting us until we lose. Hence, the longer we fight, the stronger they become. Ultimately, we lose.
Think about it:
Russia and a number of European country oppose a US-dominated middle east. Add that together, and that's most of Europe.
The communists and the muslim world wishes us to fail, that's most of Africa, and ultimately, when you add in the drug lords who also want us to fail with the communists, that's most of Latin America as well.
China, Russia, Pakistan, Iran, other muslim nations are dead set against our victory, and India has doubts. That's almost all of Asia.
So, add it up. It's the US, with the support of Israel, and now it's really losing or lost the support of the UK. That means up to 95% of the world is against us.
And it gets worse: Apparently, WE are arming the enemy ourselves, because elements within our own govt either seek to profit from it, want to undermine the mission, or claim it for themselves, or are just too hopelessly disorganized to know who they are helping...
So, almost 100% of the world is helping the enemy. So, the longer conflict goes on, the stronger the enemy becomes.
So let them win. Better today than tomorrow, and better tomorrow than the day after...
Tuesday, October 19, 2010 5:55 PM
Wednesday, October 20, 2010 5:08 AM
That post is exactly why the Coalition is losing the war and it has nothing to do what you say.
Russia and the E.U. might not want a US-dominated Middle East, but they sure as hell don't want a fundamentalist regime that will just as likely kill them than deal with them.
Thursday, October 21, 2010 6:59 PM
John Lee, conspiracy therapist at Hollywood award-winner History Channel-mocked SNL-spoofed PirateNew.org wooHOO!!!!!!
Friday, October 22, 2010 5:28 AM
Quote:Originally posted by Fremdfirma:
... every civvie who gets killed as "collateral damage" from our ineffective thrashing... every relative they have then becomes a potential threat to us, this also I warned of going into the situation.
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