Should we send more troops to Afghanistan?
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I don’t think this question should be answered in this context, because it doesn’t matter what I think. I don’t have the right status to be taken seriously, nor am I confident in the credibility of the limited knowledge I have about the Afghanistan War. We need to ask our self,” Who has the most credible knowledge to fully (and hopefully honestly) answer this question?” The answer to that, in my opinion, would be the Afghani people and then the U.S. Military. And guess which voice has been kept quiet by the American media/Military? (I'm saying this on the basis of the war as I know it, of course... which isn't much). The Afghanis precisely. I wonder why. It is our militaries responsibility to be informed of the opinions of those being reformed. Either we can uphold this responsibility or we can be FASCISTS and force them to live the way we see fit, which would defeat the purpose of spreading world peace, I think.
After choosing very specific key words for the search engine I was using, I DID come across some opinions of a few Afghani citizens. An article was written in the L.A. Times by Mark Magnier, which illustrated what some of the Afghanis thought. In a nutshell… this is what the Afghanis said. They don’t want us to leave, because they are afraid of the Taliban getting stronger, but they want us to get smarter about what we’re doing. They think we should work more closely with Afghani police and military; to help boost the training and equipment for them so they won’t be so dependent on us for security. In fact, all they REALLY want is security. They aren’t worried about us setting
up “free elections” for them, partly because their leaders are STILL corrupt, free election or not. One Afghani, Wader Safi, said something very profound. He says,” If you pile more bricks onto an unstable house, the whole thing will collapse.” We are trying to build and promote all these things, but there are basic, fundamental cornerstones that this society needs before we can even consider to start “promoting democracy” or whatever. If we are going to stay in Afghanistan, we need to make it our top priority to promote security independence for the Afghani people. We need to stop bombing innocent people. We need to stop fighting in places where the Taliban aren’t even located. We need to drive out foreign militants who are using Afghanistan as a battle ground (that is, of course, saying that our decision to stay is concrete). Afghanistan has suffered thirty years of non stop war. I believe they deserve justice from outside forces.
Now this is all honky-dory… but before we can consider doing this, we need to ask, “Are we in a position to fulfill these wishes?” The answer to that would be “No”. There was an article written by Christopher Drew in the New York Times that elaborates on how much it would cost to send more troops to Afghanistan. If we were to send 40,000 more, (as recommended by Gen. McChrystal) the Afghan war effort would cost an estimated 40 to 54 billion dollars more a year, which would ultimately cost 1.57 billion dollars a year for the Afghan (or should I say Taliban?) war effort. Our national deficit is currently over 12 trillion dollars. I believe that we are not in a position to help anybody. We are barely standing on our own feet. I believe our money should go towards stimulating our own well being, not Afghanistan’s.
So taking all this into consideration, I think we should pull out as soon as possible. We need to address the problems in America before we counter Afghanistan’s. We need to be in a position of helping others. But the minute we do have the funds, I would gladly support sending troops to help secure less fortunate countries.
If the Taliban take over they will inevitably gain power in neighboring Pakistan as well. Pakistan has nukes. Allowing Al-Qaeda to acquire nuclear weapons is simply not an option. (Yes, I know the Taliban and Al-Qaeda are not the same group -- but they're closely aligned.)
As you say we need the Afghans to be able to protect themselves, and we need them to be able to do that as quickly as possible so that we can pull out and stop spending money and lives. And the quickest way to get there is with more troops.
Our national debt is a serious problem, but it's not the existential threat that the popular imagination would have you believe. The idea of being bajillions of dollars in debt frightens people more than it should because they tend to look at it from a personal perspective, rather than as a nation. We can pay down our debts after Afghanistan is stabilized.
"If the Taliban take over they will inevitably gain power in neighboring Pakistan as well. "
Am I missing something?... because as far as I know, Pakistan has an overwhelmingy large army http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/
Regarding our current deficit... I totally agree with you that some people freak out more than they need to. But what worries me the most is the fact that we are showing little signs of any responsible spending or saving... right now or any time soon... instead, we're raising the National Debt cap... and this trend has been continuing for quite some time now. I think we should stop procrastinating and tackle the problem right now. Better now than never. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/
i would be yes if we had the money to stage an other "war on terror" assault. but seeing we don't, it would again be an other economic suicide if we did send more, not for the gun companies of course, but for the average person who most of us are. i am a bit confused, you said AL Qaeda is willing to negotiate? they are a terrorist group, and even if they were willing, i would not talk to them. so what if bin laden could of been handed over, an other would take his place. the only time i see any reason to negotiate with terrorist is if American lives or property is at stake. as for us trying to stabilize peace in Afghan so the terrorist groups are annihilated, it isn't all that effective if the foreign helper does all the calls. the Afghans need to be encouraged and reminded change will only happen when they do something. we need more schools then outpost, more hospitals then ammo depots in Afghan, as said by a former activist and enlightened person in the 18 century, ignorance governs the simple, and knowledge governs the ignorance. a lot of the people live in a medieval state of mind you could say, they don't know more then what the local militant groups tell them or the promises UN soldiers tell them.
"i am a bit confused, you said AL Qaeda is willing to negotiate? they are a terrorist group, and even if they were willing, i would not talk to them."
Yes... they have proved in the past that they are willing to negotiate. I doubt the fourth estate would tell you anything about it though (because America failed pretty miserably at negotiating with Al-Qaeda)... try looking in BBC if you dont believe me. And you don't need to talk to Al-Qaeda if you don't want to.
"so what if bin laden could of been handed over, an other would take his place"
We did not want him handed over simply because he heads some organization... we wanted him because of his criminally insane choices.Osama Bin Laden is the man the US accuses of masterminding the 11 September suicide hijackings and other attacks on US interests. He has been indicted for the 1998 US embassy bombings in East Africa and the attacks on the USS Cole. Can we just let this go unpunished? I mean... the evidence is overwhelmingly directed towards him. Yes... somebody else will probably take his place... but that does not change the condition of the choices Osama bin Laden made.
"the only time i see any reason to negotiate with terrorist is if American lives or property is at stake."
Opinion... which I respect... but disagree with.
"as for us trying to stabilize peace in Afghan so the terrorist groups are annihilated, it isn't all that effective if the foreign helper does all the calls. the Afghans need to be encouraged and reminded change will only happen when they do something."
Agreed. It is the Afghanis responsibility to stabilize themselves... but we can help them achieve that stability. Look at history... it was Gorbachev who decided to tear down the Berlin Wall... but Reagan was hugely influential in that decision. American intervention was totally appropriate then, and I believe, to an extent, it is now. Hopefully we can be in a position to intervene on a bigger scale in the future.
30,000 MORE troops... R U KIDDING!!! that is 30,000 families left without a mother, father, brother, sister, grandparent, or other relative.. NOTHING CAN COMPARE TO THE LOOK IN A MOTHER'S EYES WEN SHE IS SAYING GOODBYE TO HER HUSBAND FOR GOD KNOWS HOW LONG OR IF SHE WILL EVER SEE HIM AGAIN Bring these troops home
I would figure the best way to defeat an enemy is to hit him with everything you got. If we half-ass a war, we should expect half-ass results (higher troop casualties, less successful missions, etc.)
Perspective brought up Afghan people. Sure, there are plenty of people who are tired of the war, but it was Al-Qaeda (who they harbor) who attacked us in the first place (if you believe in Zionist conspiracies, obviously this is not the debate for you). Iraq is a different story, but Afghanistan is a must for us. If we send more troops, we will be more successful in eliminating the enemy and getting us closer to victory, if we don't or even pull out some, we will only harm the troops and get us closer to failure.
I meant dispute... dont know why I did that.
This is great... but I dont think Gen. McChrystal has the intention of "eliminating the enemy single-handedly" persay when he suggests we send more troops to Afghanistan. I think he wants something more along the lines of "security independence for the Afghani people", so it TOTALLY concerns the Afghanis, and most CERTAINLY more than it does Al-Qaeda!
Al-Qaeda is too secretive and thinly spread to be taken out with force. McChrystal understands this, so he intends to train Afghani security forces to withstand Al-Qaeda forces as opposed to us attempting (and inevitably failing) to wipe out a hostile organization in one fowl swoop.
Personally... I think we should negotiate with Al-Qaeda. It seems to be the only realistic option if we want Afghanistan to become peaceful by the work of outside forces (us). They have proved that they are willing to negotiate. When we demanded that Al-Qaeda hand over Osama bin Laden and associates, they vascillated, they indicated, they even CONSIDERED it! Only one problem. WE PROVIDED NO EVIDENCE for the alleged crimes that we were accusing osama bin laden of. WE FAILED TO NEGOTIATE REASONABLY! It was our fault, so don't tell me Al-Qaeda is just a bunch of brainless zealots who would be unwilling to negotiate. They have proved they are willing to negotiate. It is a feasible option, and a diplomatic, non-violent one at that.
"If we half-ass a war, we should expect half-ass results"
This is undoubtedly true, but I'm not sure sending more troops is the best way to "whole ass" this war if you will. I'm sure that you have heard the plethora of connections made between the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Vietnam war. The goals in all those situations is to set up a stable government, and even with all the troops that were sent to Vietnam, the government there was not stable enough to hold off the communists. I think that sending more troops will only make Afghan and Iraqi forces more dependent on us instead of letting the stand on their own two feet. The war in Afghanistan is definitely well founded assuming what our government told us is true, but there comes a time when you need to look to the locals to take care of themselves. Sending more troops is only sending more people to do their jobs for them. Sometimes you need to look ahead to where the war is headed, and pull your hand out of the meat grinder.
It's not about the locals taking care of themselves, first of all, it's about us making sure that shit like 9/11 never happens again.
And Vietnam had many problems that are unrelated to the war on terror. Yes, it was unfamiliar territory, but the main problem lied within our military. We had a drafted military which Bush believed results in a less intact fighting force. This is why Bush never called for the draft, he believes it only hurts the military (especially when so many people are against it). And look at the casualty rates in comparison. The current war has the lowest casualty rate (besides the first Gulf War) in American History.