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Obama weighs request for more U.S. troops in Afghanistan

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Send everyone home. Don't get caught up. This escalating commitment will be the death of us. It will be another Vietnam. The Soviet union couldn't topple Afghanistan and we can't either.

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More U.S. troops in Afghanistan?! Heck, we've got more than our fair share of troops there already! How about getting the Chinese to send a few thousand troops there to help out? After all, we've got other priorities now, like socialized health care.

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It will be another Vietnam. The Soviet union couldn't topple >Afghanistan and we can't either.

No it won't be another Vietnam. We lost and got out but the Vietnamese don't hate us. Can't say the same for Afghanistan.

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I think there's no question that the request will be granted. Obama will listen to the generals if they say more troops are needed. The US is not there to "topple Afghanistan" by the way, but to topple Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan ... at least that was the goal at one point. If that plan is held to, it's doable, and would have sufficient support.

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Send in more troops. It the 8 years of the Afghan conflict, this McChrystal dude seems to be the first US commander to actually appreciate the situation regarding the fighting of a low intensity conflict. While keeping the army on a rather short leash overall, the President should give McChrystal his head to see if he can actually make a difference.

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This is Bush's stupid war passed on to Obama who ought to have the sense to get out while the getting is good. Most Americans oppose this war. Finally.

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You cannot stamp out insurgency. It will just move to another country. This is a win-less war. These tribal people are scattered all over the place. A sleeper cell here a sleeper cell there. I suggest using reverse psychology. Build schools and housing on both sides. Air drop food and supplies. Maybe than the " LIZARD BRAIN will switch into the LOGICAL BRAIN. Maybe a turkey sandwich will change their hearts and minds.

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OBL is in Pakistan...hahahahahahahaha yeah right.If he ever really existed as described to us,I am certain he certainly doesn't exist now. Even if the Taliban were finally rooted out of Afghanistan then some warlord is guaranteed to pop up that would again arm everyone to the teeth,pump out the Opium and coerce the people into some kind of war. Afghanistan was put into the 'too-hard' basket by the USSR for a reason. Now the Taliban and Al Qaeda big names are in Iraq,Pakistan,South-East Asia and the horn of Africa and has as many heads as the hydra.Modern military might has been found out again by guerilla tactics as it has been used effectively in so many other wars..by the Mau mau,the Viet Cong,the ANC and Fedahiyeen etc etc etc The only way to beat guerilla fighters is to be as dirty and conniving as they are and etiquette doesn't allow that in the case of most 'Western' nations.

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I think that Afghanistan would be another Vietnam. Think how many young American soldiers died for nothing in Vietnam for many years. It does not matter whether Vietnam people like Americans or not today. Think how many US soldiers will be died for nothing in Afghanistan in the future. I just wonder how long and how many there. Your number will be up sooner or later.

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could be perceived by Afghan civilians as an occupation army

Could the Taliban be perceived as "an occupation army" since many are not Afghanis? Hmmmm. Either s#%t or get off the pot. Either use overwhelming force or go home. Don't send our boys to cower behind static bunkers as the Taliban rain down fire. Defense never won a war.

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Obama himself said that Afghanistan is the "war of neccessity" and 61% of Democrats agree. 74% of all voters agree that more troops are needed. (Rassmusen polls of 18 Aug) But I agree, just like going to see the dentist, "most" Americans are not crazy about it..........but then some things just need to be done eh?

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Could the Taliban be perceived as "an occupation army" since many are not Afghanis?

Absolutely. And that's how many Afghans perceived them.

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But what of Bin Laden? Live and let live?

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They're not talking about the real issue which is body bags. More troops = more targets = more deaths. That's what the US learned from the Russians.

More troops are needed, but my guess is Obama is thinking about the headlines in 2010. Even if he is successful in pushing the Taliban back he knows the headlines will be on increased US casualties. That's going to turn part of the public against him even though it may well be the right strategy overall. That's the future he can't really escape from, and my guess he's trying to plan out a way to handle that future right now.

He knows Europe has the luxury of dumping the problem in our lap. They won't help more because Europeans see no link between Afghanistan and global jihad no matter how many of their trains are blown up. The war was sold to them as Bush's war from the beginning and that's a mindset that's too entrenched to be changed. Canada has contributed more than their fair share and I expect they'll be by our side in the future.

In the end the US needs to create a strong, central government in Afghanistan with well trained forces to fight the Taliban on their own. We also need to form more of a relationship with the people and try to raise living standards and eradicate opium crops by giving farmers an alternative. And US forces will be needed to kill those who have crossed the point of no return into the Taliban mindset. So it will take a mix of Afghan self-determination and soft and hard US power.

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More troops does not necessarily mean more body bags. If you read some of McCrystal's ideas, he seems to have a firmer grasp of the tactical realities of the situation than some of his predecessors. Specifically, rather than trying to bring overwhelming force to bear against the enemy (a tactical mistake that General Westmoreland made repeatedly in Vietnam), McCrystal is more in favor of throwing out such interdiction strategies and replacing them with a lower intensity approach. This does not necessarily mean that more allied service people are going to get the chop. What it does mean, however, is that the enemy (the Taliban) are going to get a lot less time to do the runner (the time that has traditionally been required to collect together overwhelming force). Indeed, I don't why some of McCrystal's predecessors did not try such tactics previously. A number seem to have been more concerned with fighting a more conventional enemy.

Moreover, what is so wrong with taking a few hits. Although the next of kin don't like it, one of the occupational hazards of being a soldier is buying the farm. So what, if US soldiers are going to blanch at the risks, they might as well join the Salvation Army. Anyway you cut it, war is about killing and dying. The US public needs to wake up to this fact. They cannot have it both ways. If you are going to "get some" and invade countries like Afghanistan (an action I support by the way), people are going to die because there is only so much indiscriminate bombing can do before you send in the infantry.

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When will Obama learn that that this is a war of attrition and cannot be won?

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Another huge bush mistake, why invade a country when 9-11 was set up from an apartment in Germany. Obama is being sucked into this one since if he pulls out the republicans will savage him as being soft on terrorism. So he is in trap.

This whole effort is a wet dream fantasy that will end up in more deaths for locals and the country hick suckers who are in the volunteer US military. In the end, like Russia and every other invader of Afganistan, the USA will leave and things will be worse for it. The USA is not safer now that it was on 9-10-2001. Most reports say the USA is more at risk today that even then.

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Zurcronium, a pretty good effort there.But I must respectfully disagree.With Barack Obama in office we are safer.Everybody loves us.His Cairo speech wowed the Muslim world.His Ramadan address to the Muslim world was one for the ages.The other day was the Iftar Ramadan Dinner at the White House,attended by all kinds of important Muslim Americans.You need to broaden your mind,get beyond your parochial American views.

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"With Barack Obama in office we are safer"

How do you reckon?

"Everybody loves us"

Hee hee!

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timorborder: Specifically, rather than trying to bring overwhelming force to bear against the enemy (a tactical mistake that General Westmoreland made repeatedly in Vietnam), McCrystal is more in favor of throwing out such interdiction strategies and replacing them with a lower intensity approach.

It's not that they'll be engaging the enemy more, which they will be, but with things like IED's more troops bring more targets and more headlines of US troop casualties.

Moreover, what is so wrong with taking a few hits.

I'm talking about how Obama will sell it to the public. Even if his plans are successful, every single US death will be on the front page of every newspaper worldwide. Every success he has will be, to some extent, muted by body counts, but it's probably going to take those body counts to get the success. it's a double edged sword, but I think Obama is smart enough to know the right path to take, and if anyone can sell it to the public, it will be him.

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zurc: if he pulls out the republicans will savage him

Sure, zurc, because we all know Obama stands no chance against the mighty, mighty Republicans and all their clout these days. That's why he's staying in Afghanistan and increasing the troop numbers. He really wants to pull out, but he's just too afraid of what the Republicans will do to him.

Triple spot bang on, amigo.

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Sarge,

It's not too farfetched, according to ABC News, through friendlier international cooperations:

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2009/08/abc-news-exclusive-national-security-adviser-says-president-obama-is-having-greater-success-taking-t.html

The former Marine General didn't provide any specific numbers to back up his claim, but he said “there is an increasing trend and I think we seen that in different parts of the world over the last few months for sure.” He added that he was not “making a tally sheet saying we are killing more people, capturing more people than they did -- that is not the issue.”

But the numbers are going up, he said. “The numbers of high value targets that we are successfully reaching out to or identifying through good intelligence” from both the CIA and intelligence agencies from US allies has made the difference, he said. “We have better human intelligence; we know where the terrorists are moving. Because of the dialogue and the tone of the dialogue between us and our friends and allies...the trend line against terrorism is positive, and that’s what we want. If we have a positive trend line we have a safer country.”

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"if he pulls out the republicans will savage him (Obama)."

Man up,zurcronium.Democrats control the House,the Senate,the WH,the SCOTUS, the print media,academia and the 3 major networks.

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