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-   -   We're getting out of Afghanistan. (http://www.insidehoops.com/forum/showthread.php?t=287154)

KevinNYC 01-12-2013 11:46 AM

We're getting out of Afghanistan.
 
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-20993047

Quote:

US troops in Afghanistan will end "most" combat operations this spring, US President Barack Obama and Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai have agreed.

American forces are expected to switch to a support role, slightly earlier than originally scheduled, as Afghan troops take the security lead.

The two leaders also backed the holding of talks between the Afghan government and Taliban leaders in Doha, Qatar.

Most of the 66,000 US troops in Afghanistan are due to leave in 2014.

"Starting this spring, our troops will have a different mission - training, advising, assisting Afghan forces," Mr Obama said in remarks at the White House on Friday, as Mr Karzai stood alongside.

Both leaders gave the impression that they have secured something tangible from their latest encounter. President Obama clearly feels he'll be able to accelerate the withdrawal of American forces in the coming months.

For his part, President Karzai has secured the withdrawal of coalition forces from villages and the rapid handing over of prisons and detainees to his authority. This, he says, will make it easier to convince his own people that any American troops who remain after the end of the Nato-led mission in 2014 should be granted immunity from Afghan prosecution.

It's an important indication the two sides are thinking ahead to a bilateral security agreement beyond 2014. But when President Karzai side-stepped the question of the size of America's long term presence (saying, rather implausibly, that "numbers are not going to make a difference"), he avoided the question that's been debated all over Washington this week.

"It will be a historic moment and another step toward full Afghan sovereignty."

The presidents also agreed that the US would hand over custody of prisoners to the Afghan government, a step Mr Karzai said was critical for his country's sovereignty.

I guess Obama realized most Americans want done with this war.

Also check out this photo


What's going on here?

Actually the page where I saw the article explains. Trying to make it look we achieved something. Obama is literally trying to put his best face forward.
Quote:

If there were any doubts, President Obama’s press conference today with Afghan president Hamid Karzai should dispel them: We are so out of there, at least as a full-bore fighting force, and sooner than previously scheduled.
NATO had planned, with Karzai’s assent, to pull out all Western combat forces from Afghanistan by the end of 2014. But Obama said today that he will scale back U.S. troops to a “support role” starting this spring—that is, sometime in the next few months. From then on, he said, Afghan forces “will take the lead,” while “the nature of our work will be a training, assisting, and advising role.”
Obama spun the news as a victory lap. “It will be a historic moment,” he proclaimed, “another step toward full Afghan sovereignty.” That’s one way to put it.
When one reporter asked if our accomplishments in this war had been worth all the bloodshed, Obama recalled the reason we intervened in Afghanistan in the first place—the 3,000 Americans killed on Sept. 11, 2001, as a result of an attack that al-Qaida had planned on Afghan soil. Our “central goal” ever since, he said, has been to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al-Qaida while also bringing Osama bin Laden to justice. Mission accomplished.
But this answer was misleading. It sidestepped the fact that, at the end of 2009, Obama sent an additional 33,000 troops to Afghanistan, a surge of nearly 50 percent above the 68,000 already there—and that he did so not to go after bin Laden and al-Qaida (a task that could have been handled with far fewer forces) but rather to pursue a counterinsurgency strategy, at least in the cities, particularly in the southern districts. This strategy involved not only killing and capturing bad guys but also helping to reform the Afghan government and providing the people with basic services—in short, nation-building.
What Obama didn’t mention is that this surge and this strategy were not a success. He’d treated the strategy as an experiment; he gave it 18 months to work, and his generals assured him that would be enough time for the Afghan military to take the lead in a majority of the country’s districts, even though some of them knew very well it would take longer. They gambled that enough progress would be made to convince the president to give them more time and more troops. They gambled wrong. After 18 months, almost to the day, Obama announced that he would start pulling out all 33,000 surge troops—and not replace them with any new ones. This too he publicly presented as a victory, and by the same rationale: bin Laden had been killed, al-Qaida decimated, Taliban foot soldiers routed. But the goals of the surge—the goals of the counterinsurgency strategy—had not been accomplished. Obama simply—and wisely—rejected them; the experiment was over; he wasn’t going to double down.

He goes on to argue that during the debates on what to do with Afghanistan, Biden got it right and Obama, Clinton and Petraeus got it wrong. Biden argued counterinsurgency wouldn't work in the near term in Afghanistan. The author points that Afghanistan represents pretty much the classic, textbook situation where an insurgency will suceed.
Quote:

Prerequisites for a Successful Insurgency.”
They include a corrupt government, a largely rural and illiterate population, a bordering state that serves as a sanctuary for insurgent fighters … from top to bottom, it’s a portrait of Afghanistan.

Cangri 01-12-2013 11:55 AM

Re: We're getting out of Afghanistan.
 
OBAMA OBAMA OBAMA!!!! :cheers:

Give him a second Nobel Peace Prize!!!!! :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown:

KevinNYC 01-12-2013 11:58 AM

Re: We're getting out of Afghanistan.
 
No decision on how many troops to remain. Zero to 10,000 were the estimates.

Also the Slate writer who wrote analysis above, that has a new book out on Petraues and counterinsurgency. Looks good. He wrote a great book on the ideas that got us into the Iraq War.

kNIOKAS 01-12-2013 12:05 PM

Re: We're getting out of Afghanistan.
 
Pulling it out

CeltsGarlic 01-12-2013 12:17 PM

Re: We're getting out of Afghanistan.
 
Oh shit, judging from body language obama is getting hulluva dominated by that other guy. that guy with the hat hand is a little bit on top, and his hand is from our side so thats even stronger domination. Not even mentioning the stance.

RidonKs 01-12-2013 01:43 PM

Re: We're getting out of Afghanistan.
 
Quote:

No decision on how many troops to remain. Zero to 10,000 were the estimates.
lol @ zero

the us will want a permanent military establishment in afghanistan the same as it wanted -- and got -- in iraq. they aren't going to up and leave for good and turn a dozen years of regime change and subsequent 'counterinsurgency' into a giant waste of time and resources. they went in for a reason and they stayed for a reason, and while its hard to completely remove obl from either, he and his cronies are nowhere near as substantial a factor as us rhetoric would have you believe

american military influence is in afghanistan to stay. we'll understand something of the exact nature of that influence once the details of the bilateral security arrangement are worked out. but the us are there to stay. if they don't, they might well lose the afghans to chinese influence, in the same vein they've steadily lost pakistan. china's always been supportive of pakistan, perhaps mostly because of their shared indian threat (pakistan militarily, china economically).. it was mostly the chinese that gave pakistan support for their nuclear program. the chinese are overwhelmingly more popular in the region than the americans. popular opinion isn't even close.

if the us were to completely withdraw, they'd forfeit one of the most strategically placed countries in the world (not least of which because it buffers iran) which would almost inevitably wind up at least partly under taliban control, in a multilateral security arrangement with russia, china, and almost all the other -stans, and just potentially

no the us isn't going anywhere. it doesn't matter what the white house might announce or how they'll eventually play the wording of their endgame in afghanistan. it would be complete folly to their real interests to abandon the country completely. as for leaving the country in the hands of "afghan forces" under us "training and advice", well, those are just obvious pseudonyms. it's not called advice if you're compelled to follow it.

KevinNYC 01-12-2013 02:20 PM

Re: We're getting out of Afghanistan.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by RidonKs
lol @ zero

Zero might be a trial balloon or a leveraging position with the military. Apparently, Petraeus and the military boxed Obama in when he did his first Afghan policy review. Obama said he was going to listen to his general's advice on how could end the war responsibly and they gave him three options. One option was the one they wanted and the other two were shitty bogus options, they knew he couldn't approve. They wanted to kick the can down the road and then decide based on "conditions on the ground." Afterwards, Obama realized they played him and that's why he made 2014 a hard date. Anyhow about the zero, here's what the article said.

Quote:

Obama did not say today—probably because he hasn’t yet decided—how many troops, if any, the United States will keep in Afghanistan after 2014. The military wants at least 10,000. Some in the White House are reportedly talking about 2,500 to 6,000 or perhaps even zero. The more basic question is what the president wants the troops to do.

MMM 01-12-2013 02:29 PM

Re: We're getting out of Afghanistan.
 
Afghanistan has been a mess and the region is less safe now after this decade long war. Pakistan is now far more destabilized and Iran can now assert its influence over Afghanistan as it has in Iraq

KevinNYC 01-12-2013 02:45 PM

Re: We're getting out of Afghanistan.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by RidonKs
the us will want a permanent military establishment in afghanistan the same as it wanted -- and got -- in iraq. they aren't going to up and leave for good and turn a dozen years of regime change and subsequent 'counterinsurgency' into a giant waste of time and resources. they went in for a reason and they stayed for a reason,


I think the reason we stayed is it's extremely difficult for any American general or president to admit we didn't unequivocably win the war. How you can anyone say we've lost when we're still fighting? (Would anyone know who Lindsay Graham is if not for the fact, this kind of thinking is very popular with the US media?)

With the case of Afghanistan, do we get to choose to avoid the "giant waste of time and resources?" I also don't understand the word turn in this context. Are you telling me, it's not already as we speak a giant waste of time and resources? The best most pro-American guy we could find pretty much steals our aid money and trafficks heroin to our cities. I'm sure being there helped us go after Al Qaeda in the Tribal areas of Pakistan, but how much more of that do we currently need?

Quote:

Originally Posted by RidonKs
if the us were to completely withdraw, they'd forfeit one of the most strategically placed countries in the world


It might be strategically placed, but is it strategically useful? Or is it far more headache than it's worth? Even after we leave, the civil war will continue and it will remain a failed state for decades.

KevinNYC 01-12-2013 02:48 PM

Re: We're getting out of Afghanistan.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MMM
Afghanistan has been a mess and the region is less safe now after this decade long war. Pakistan is now far more destabilized and Iran can now assert its influence over Afghanistan as it has in Iraq

Afghanistan has been at war for three decades. Iran has some influence, but not much as most Afghan are Sunnis. Iran will have no where near the influence in Afghanistan as it does in Iraq. Pakistan will continue to have more influence in Afghanistan.

MMM 01-12-2013 02:55 PM

Re: We're getting out of Afghanistan.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KevinNYC
Afghanistan has been at war for three decades. Iran has some influence, but not much as most Afghan are Sunnis. Iran will have no where near the influence in Afghanistan as it does in Iraq. Pakistan will continue to have more influence in Afghanistan.


Yea that is right, Afghanistan has a long history of being at war and Pakistan will have influence. However, the instability of Pakistan is very concerning. As I've mentioned in another thread I don't believe the drone warfare is very effective in making the region safe as well. Overall, it doesn't seem like much was accomplished by a decade + of Nato involvement.

KevinNYC 01-12-2013 03:08 PM

Re: We're getting out of Afghanistan.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MMM
Yea that is right, Afghanistan has a long history of being at war and Pakistan will have influence. However, the instability of Pakistan is very concerning. As I've mentioned in another thread I don't believe the drone warfare is very effective in making the region safe as well. Overall, it doesn't seem like much was accomplished by a decade + of Nato involvement.


How is Pakistan more unstable?

MMM 01-12-2013 03:11 PM

Re: We're getting out of Afghanistan.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KevinNYC
How is Pakistan more unstable?


Are you asking how is it more unstable than Afghanistan??? Because it isn't

or

Are you asking how specifically is Pakistan more unstable now compared to a few years ago???

Nanners 01-12-2013 03:29 PM

Re: We're getting out of Afghanistan.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by RidonKs
lol @ zero

the us will want a permanent military establishment in afghanistan the same as it wanted -- and got -- in iraq. they aren't going to up and leave for good and turn a dozen years of regime change and subsequent 'counterinsurgency' into a giant waste of time and resources. they went in for a reason and they stayed for a reason, and while its hard to completely remove obl from either, he and his cronies are nowhere near as substantial a factor as us rhetoric would have you believe

american military influence is in afghanistan to stay. we'll understand something of the exact nature of that influence once the details of the bilateral security arrangement are worked out. but the us are there to stay. if they don't, they might well lose the afghans to chinese influence, in the same vein they've steadily lost pakistan. china's always been supportive of pakistan, perhaps mostly because of their shared indian threat (pakistan militarily, china economically).. it was mostly the chinese that gave pakistan support for their nuclear program. the chinese are overwhelmingly more popular in the region than the americans. popular opinion isn't even close.

if the us were to completely withdraw, they'd forfeit one of the most strategically placed countries in the world (not least of which because it buffers iran) which would almost inevitably wind up at least partly under taliban control, in a multilateral security arrangement with russia, china, and almost all the other -stans, and just potentially

no the us isn't going anywhere. it doesn't matter what the white house might announce or how they'll eventually play the wording of their endgame in afghanistan. it would be complete folly to their real interests to abandon the country completely. as for leaving the country in the hands of "afghan forces" under us "training and advice", well, those are just obvious pseudonyms. it's not called advice if you're compelled to follow it.


This.

Of course the US will set up a long term millitary presence in Afghanistan, I think this is obvious with just a quick glance at a map. Afghanistan shares borders with three of the US favorite countries: Iran, China and Pakistan.

MMM 01-12-2013 03:36 PM

Re: We're getting out of Afghanistan.
 
For a country that has such fiscal issues it surprises me that they spend money on things that are not cost effective while ignoring the crumbling infrastructure in their own nation. Doesn't really sound like a smart strategy for keeping America at the top spot.


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