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    afghanistan and troop escalation

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    andrewlin

    Posts : 35
    Join date : 2009-09-01

    afghanistan and troop escalation

    Post  andrewlin on Fri Oct 09, 2009 1:03 am

    Matters such as health care reform, the economy, and even the war in Iraq have caused the war in Afghanistan to take a back seat in the last couple years. However, a new report innocuously titled Commander’s Initial Assessment, delivered to the President for consideration on Sept. 30, could possibly so radically reinvent the war as to catapult it to the forefront of the public consciousness once again.
    Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the commander of the war in Afghanistan, stipulates in his report that the White House must send additional troops within the year or the war “will likely result in failure.” Gen. McChrystal lobbied for 40,000 more troops, in addition to the 68,000 already stationed in Afghanistan—that, keep in mind, entails a 59% increase. Proponents of the troop escalation often cite deteriorating conditions: that, according to the New York Times, the Taliban is now active in around 140 of the 368 districts in Afghanistan, as opposed to the no more than couple dozen a few years ago; that civilian deaths are up to 310 this year from 2007’s 138; and that the combined deaths of Afghan Security and Coalition forces are up to 176 this year from 2007’s 100. In short, the insurgency has gained momentum.
    Though still despised in many parts of the country, the Taliban is slowly accruing popularity in other places, and much of that has to do with the civilian population’s disenchantment with the arguably corrupt national government. Take for example the recent Afghan elections of Aug. 20 which were plagued by accusations of voter bribes, ballot stuffing, “phantom voters,” and voting irregularities combined with widespread voter intimidation from both Karzai’s supporters and the Taliban. For instance, in the Herat Province, warlords threatened villagers with “very unpleasant consequences” should they neglect to vote for Karzai, and in the ten days leading up to the election insurgents, including the Taliban, not only threatened to cut off the inked fingers of voters but also placed action to words by averaging 32 attacks a day and 48 a day in the last four days. In fact, security became such an issue as to prompt officials to withhold releasing polling locations until the morning of the election.
    Though the corruption does not stop there—the election was simply the tip of the iceberg. Stories such as those of judges ruling in exchange for bribes are manifold and only hint at the pervasive corruption.
    However, opponents of troop escalation believe that the primary focus of the campaign in Afghanistan ought to remain on hunting terrorists and Al Qaeda. After all, they argue, that was the reason going in, and to assume any other responsibility, such as fighting the Taliban, would be to make the Afghanistan war no different from the Iraq war. And as important as extending democracy and rule of law might be, the cost of overextending the nation’s military in two costly wars is too great, especially with the current host of domestic problems and global economy. In this school of thought, commonly quoted is Cold War Era scholar and diplomat George Kennan, who said, “Our country should not be asked, and should not ask of itself, to shoulder the main burden of determining the political realities in any other country. ... This is not only not our business, but I don’t think we can do it successfully.” Instead, these opponents advocate freezing or possibly lowering the military presence in Afghanistan and replacing troops with increased funding for counterterrorism and investment in precision bombing and Predator drones, which have shown a good deal of promise.
    Proponents of a troop escalation respond with the argument that fighting the insurgency and helping to stabilize the government go hand in hand with counterterrorism. Because the Taliban has historically been known to provide sanctuary for Al Qaeda in the days before 9/11, the best course of action would be to deny Al Qaeda respite by defeating the Taliban. Gen. McChrystal believes that the only way to eradicate terrorism and its toxic ideologies is by winning over the population’s trust and cooperation, and that would require a sweeping counterinsurgency and reconstruction plan.
    Opponents of the war advocate a complete withdrawal—historically Afghanistan has never been conquered, be it by the British or the Soviets, and, as far as they can see, “winning” is so vaguely defined as to be practically nonexistent.


    not quite done yet, obama still has to issue his decision. that will be sometime this month.

    reginaliu

    Posts : 189
    Join date : 2009-09-03

    Re: afghanistan and troop escalation

    Post  reginaliu on Fri Oct 09, 2009 11:55 pm

    Matters such as health care reform, the economy, and even the war in Iraq have caused the war in Afghanistan to take a back seat in the last couple years. However, a new report innocuously titled Commander’s Initial Assessment, delivered to the President for consideration on Sept. 30, could possibly so radically reinvent the war as to catapult it to the forefront of the public consciousness once again.
    Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the commander of the war in Afghanistan, stipulates in his report that the White House must send additional troops within the year or the war “will likely result in failure.” Gen. McChrystal lobbied for 40,000 more troops, in addition to the 68,000 already stationed in Afghanistan—that, keep in mind, entails a 59% [59 percent] increase. Proponents of the troop escalation often cite deteriorating conditions: that, [you can delete either the colon or "that"] according to the New York Times, the Taliban is now active in around 140 of the 368 districts in Afghanistan, as opposed to the no more than couple dozen a few years ago; that civilian deaths are up to 310 this year from 2007’s 138; and that the combined deaths of Afghan Security and Coalition forces are up to 176 this year from 2007’s 100. In short, the insurgency has gained momentum.
    Though still despised in many parts of the country, the Taliban is slowly accruing popularity in other places, and much of that has to do with the civilian population’s disenchantment with the arguably corrupt national government. Take for example the recent Afghan elections of Aug. 20 which were plagued by accusations of voter bribes, ballot stuffing, “phantom voters,” and voting irregularities combined with widespread voter intimidation from both Karzai’s supporters and the Taliban. For instance, in the Herat Province, warlords threatened villagers with “very unpleasant consequences” should they neglect to vote for Karzai, and in the ten days leading up to the election insurgents, including the Taliban, not only threatened to cut off the inked fingers of voters but also placed action to words by averaging 32 attacks a day and 48 a day in the last four days. In fact, security became such an issue as to prompt officials to withhold releasing polling locations until the morning of the election.
    Though the corruption does not stop there—the election was simply the tip of the iceberg. Stories such as those of judges ruling in exchange for bribes are manifold and only hint at the pervasive corruption.
    However, opponents of troop escalation believe that the primary focus of the campaign in Afghanistan ought to remain on hunting terrorists and Al Qaeda. After all, they argue, that was the reason going in, and to assume any other responsibility, such as fighting the Taliban, would be to make the Afghanistan war no different from the Iraq war. And as important as extending democracy and rule of law might be, the cost of overextending the nation’s military in two costly wars is too great, especially with the current host of domestic problems and global economy. In this school of thought, commonly quoted is Cold War Era scholar and diplomat George Kennan, who said, “Our country should not be asked, and should not ask of itself, to shoulder the main burden of determining the political realities in any other country. ... This is not only not our business, but I don’t think we can do it successfully.” Instead, these opponents advocate freezing or possibly lowering the military presence in Afghanistan and replacing troops with increased funding for counterterrorism and investment in precision bombing and Predator drones, which have shown a good deal of promise.
    Proponents of a troop escalation respond with the argument that fighting the insurgency and helping to stabilize the government go hand in hand with counterterrorism. Because the Taliban has historically been known to provide sanctuary for Al Qaeda in the days before 9/11, the best course of action would be to deny Al Qaeda respite by defeating the Taliban. Gen. McChrystal believes that the only way to eradicate terrorism and its toxic ideologies is by winning over the population’s trust and cooperation, and that would require a sweeping counterinsurgency and reconstruction plan.
    Opponents of the war advocate a complete withdrawal—historically Afghanistan has never been conquered, be it by the British or the Soviets, and, as far as they can see, “winning” is so vaguely defined as to be practically nonexistent.

    andrewlin

    Posts : 35
    Join date : 2009-09-01

    next draft

    Post  andrewlin on Tue Oct 13, 2009 9:08 pm

    Matters such as health care reform, the economy, and even the war in Iraq have caused the war in Afghanistan to take a back seat in the last couple years. However, a new report innocuously titled Commander’s Initial Assessment, delivered to the President for consideration on Sept. 30, could possibly so radically reinvent the war as to catapult it to the forefront of the public consciousness once again.
    Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the commander of the war in Afghanistan, stipulates in his report that the White House must send additional troops within the year or the war “will likely result in failure.” Gen. McChrystal lobbied for 40,000 more troops, in addition to the 68,000 already stationed in Afghanistan—that, keep in mind, entails a 59 percent increase. Proponents of the troop escalation often cite deteriorating conditions: according to the New York Times, the Taliban is now active in around 140 of the 368 districts in Afghanistan, as opposed to the no more than couple dozen a few years ago; civilian deaths are up to 310 this year from 2007’s 138; and the combined deaths of Afghan Security and Coalition forces are up to 176 this year from 2007’s 100. In short, the insurgency has gained momentum.
    Though still despised in many parts of the country, the Taliban is slowly accruing popularity in other places, and much of that has to do with the civilian population’s disenchantment with the arguably corrupt national government. Take for example the recent Afghan elections of Aug. 20 which were plagued by accusations of voter bribes, ballot stuffing, “phantom voters,” and voting irregularities combined with widespread voter intimidation from both Karzai’s supporters and the Taliban. For instance, in the Herat Province, warlords threatened villagers with “very unpleasant consequences” should they neglect to vote for Karzai, and in the ten days leading up to the election insurgents, including the Taliban, not only threatened to cut off the inked fingers of voters but also placed action to words by averaging 32 attacks a day and 48 a day in the last four days. In fact, security became such an issue as to prompt officials to withhold releasing polling locations until the morning of the election.
    Though the corruption does not stop there—the election was simply the tip of the iceberg. Stories such as those of judges ruling in exchange for bribes are manifold and only hint at the pervasive corruption.
    However, opponents of troop escalation believe that the primary focus of the campaign in Afghanistan ought to remain on hunting terrorists and Al Qaeda. After all, they argue, that was the reason going in, and to assume any other responsibility, such as fighting the Taliban, would be to make the Afghanistan war no different from the Iraq war. And as important as extending democracy and rule of law might be, the cost of overextending the nation’s military in two costly wars is too great, especially with the current host of domestic problems and global economy. In this school of thought, commonly quoted is Cold War Era scholar and diplomat George Kennan, who said, “Our country should not be asked, and should not ask of itself, to shoulder the main burden of determining the political realities in any other country. ... This is not only not our business, but I don’t think we can do it successfully.” Instead, these opponents advocate freezing or possibly lowering the military presence in Afghanistan and replacing troops with increased funding for counterterrorism and investment in precision bombing and Predator drones, which have shown a good deal of promise.
    Proponents of a troop escalation respond with the argument that fighting the insurgency and helping to stabilize the government go hand in hand with counterterrorism. Because the Taliban has historically been known to provide sanctuary for Al Qaeda in the days before 9/11, the best course of action would be to deny Al Qaeda respite by defeating the Taliban. Gen. McChrystal believes that the only way to eradicate terrorism and its toxic ideologies is by winning over the population’s trust and cooperation, and that would require a sweeping counterinsurgency and reconstruction plan.
    Opponents of the war advocate a complete withdrawal—historically Afghanistan has never been conquered, be it by the British or the Soviets, and, as far as they can see, “winning” is so vaguely defined as to be practically nonexistent.

    not done yet. waiting for obama's decision.

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