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The Afghanistan troop surge begins

Tech

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New U.S. troops in Afghanistan see combat

LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan — Close to 3,000 American soldiers who recently arrived in Afghanistan to secure two violent provinces near Kabul have begun operations and already are seeing combat, the unit's spokesman said Monday.

The new troops are the first wave of an expected surge of reinforcements this year.

U.S. commanders have been contemplating sending up to 30,000 more soldiers to bolster the 33,000 already here, but the Obama administration is expected to initially approve only a portion of that number. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday that the president would decide soon.



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Tech

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Extra forces could stay in Afghanistan 5 years

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/02/18/mckiernan.afghan.troops/index.html

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Gen. David McKiernan, commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, predicted Wednesday that the additional 17,000 U.S. military forces to be sent to Afghanistan will remain there for as long as five years.

"This is not a temporary force uplift," McKiernan said. "It will need to be sustained for some period of time, for the next three to four to five years."


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WillTheThrill

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Thanks for that "change" you we're talking so much about Mr. President
 
Ironslave

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to tell you the truth, I expected all of everything Obama has been doing, but not so soon... this is going to be a rough 4 years.
 
Bulkboy

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great news, offc troops alone wont solve the situation on the ground in afghanistan. that can only come about by winning the civillian population over to our side. but this is already happening, people in afghanistan are extremely frustrated with the taliban, just recently the taliban assasinated a very popular local politician in a village, the whole town went out, hunting the two men down and beat them to death. these so called "freedom fighters" are in afghanistan, like in iraq, digging their own grave by so brutally attacking the civillian population. its only a matter of time before the situation in afghanistan starts improving, like we have seen in iraq.
 
Tech

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great news, offc troops alone wont solve the situation on the ground in afghanistan. that can only come about by winning the civillian population over to our side. but this is already happening, people in afghanistan are extremely frustrated with the taliban
A tough decision - one of many - made by the new president these days, especially when you consider the public may not be behind escalating our military effort in Afghanistan. Recent polls shows 34% of Americans think the U.S. should send more troops there. 29% call for a decrease. Also, only 18% of Afghans think we should step up our presence - not exactly a warm welcome.
(source)

The overwhelming majority of Afghans do not want more US troops in their country. So....I doubt sending thousands of new troops will win them over.

But I guess this whole situation is good news for the companies that make bodybags, caskets, and American Flags.
 
Bulkboy

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^^politics isnt just about making popular decisions.

this surge may be unpopular now, but if it results in a decrease of violence like the surge did in iraq, then this temporary increase of troops will lay the foundation for a larger withdrawal later.
 
Tech

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^^politics isnt just about making popular decisions.

this surge may be unpopular now, but if it results in a decrease of violence like the surge did in iraq, then this temporary increase of troops will lay the foundation for a larger withdrawal later.
If you're bored and want to read an interesting article...

http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0217/p09s01-coop.html

Even as they request more troops, US generals have acknowledged that an Iraq-style "surge" won't work. "Afghanistan is not Iraq," said Gen. David McKiernan, who leads US and NATO forces in Afghanistan. General McKiernan, who led ground forces in Iraq in 2003, has described Afghanistan as "a far more complex environment than I ever found in Iraq." Today, the Pentagon talks of achieving not victory or lasting democracy but merely progress against militants.
 
Ironslave

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great news, its only a matter of time before the situation in afghanistan starts improving, like we have seen in iraq.

:doh:


hoever wins the US presidential election tomorrow will inherit not merely economic chaos, but the ongoing war in Iraq. While Barack Obama favours a timetabled withdrawal, John McCain parrots President Bush's claim that his 'surge' of troops to Iraq has restored security, and even suggests copying the strategy in Afghanistan. This would be a disaster because, in truth, the surge has failed in every respect.

The aims of the surge were to disarm sectarian militias, integrate Sunni forces into the predominantly Shia government, and buy time for Iraq's communities to agree on the distribution of oil revenues.

Instead of disarming sectarian militias, the US has actually strengthened and empowered them. The very Sunni militiamen America has been fighting since invading Iraq in 2003 were offered arms and $300 a month each to form 'Awakening Councils' (or sahwa) and fight al-Qaeda cells in Iraq on America's behalf.

The 'surge' of 21,500 more US troops was simply a political stunt to mask this tactic: Washington already had 520,000 US and Iraqi troops at its disposal and was already shifting them from combat and patrol duties to 'enduring bases' for 'logistical support' by the time the surge happened.

While this might sound quite clever, Iraq's government subsequently refused to integrate more than a tenth of the sahwa into the Iraqi army, which is dominated by the Shia militias of the ruling coalition's parties. The sahwa, armed and funded by the US, thus became an independent force in their own right, crow-barring their way into local administrations, facing down elected provincial governors over sectarian issues.

Meanwhile, attempts in spring 2008 to disarm the Medhi Army, the militia of Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, failed completely, with al-Sadr's men seizing control of most of Baghdad. The sahwa simply stood aside.

Real power in Baghdad, like Iraq itself, is now divided between hostile factions: the Shia-led government, al-Sadr's forces, and the sahwa. A superficial calm prevails not because Iraq is safer, but because these groups have purged the areas they control of their respective enemies.

A University of California study recently measured the decrease in night-time lighting in Baghdad using satellite data. This is a standard method of monitoring ethnic cleansing, since emptied houses emit no light.

The study found that nightlight in historically mixed, Shia-Sunni neighbourhoods had fallen by over half. Professor John Agnew, the principal investigator, concluded that "the surge has had no observable effect" except to "provide a seal of approval" for ethnic cleansing.

In other words, Iraqis are no longer being blown up in the streets because they have been forced into segregated neighbourhoods policed by sectarian militias, often separated by high concrete walls.

Refugees International reports that nearly three million Iraqis are displaced within the country. With the Shia-dominated government largely restricting its assistance to Shias, displaced Sunnis have nowhere to turn but the sahwa, driving more Iraqis into the arms of sectarian militias. Two million people have fled Iraq altogether.


The situation is inherently unstable. Indeed, the Iraqi army recently began to attack sahwa in Diyala province, north of Baghdad, illustrating the total failure of the surge's goals of political reconciliation. Amid the reality of ongoing civil conflict, unsurprisingly, Iraq's leaders are no closer to agreement on oil revenue distribution, either.

America's divide-and-rule strategy has merely empowered the combatants in Iraq's civil war, reinforced Iraqi society's fracture lines, and sown the seeds of future instability. Only an end to external meddling can create the conditions necessary for Iraqis to work through their own conflicts and finally determine their own futures – however painful this process might be.
 
Adam23

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well, i got one thing to say, Obama is going to make shit worse :no:
 
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:doh:


hoever wins the US presidential election tomorrow will inherit not merely economic chaos, but the ongoing war in Iraq. While Barack Obama favours a timetabled withdrawal, John McCain parrots President Bush's claim that his 'surge' of troops to Iraq has restored security, and even suggests copying the strategy in Afghanistan. This would be a disaster because, in truth, the surge has failed in every respect.

The aims of the surge were to disarm sectarian militias, integrate Sunni forces into the predominantly Shia government, and buy time for Iraq's communities to agree on the distribution of oil revenues.

Instead of disarming sectarian militias, the US has actually strengthened and empowered them. The very Sunni militiamen America has been fighting since invading Iraq in 2003 were offered arms and $300 a month each to form 'Awakening Councils' (or sahwa) and fight al-Qaeda cells in Iraq on America's behalf.

The 'surge' of 21,500 more US troops was simply a political stunt to mask this tactic: Washington already had 520,000 US and Iraqi troops at its disposal and was already shifting them from combat and patrol duties to 'enduring bases' for 'logistical support' by the time the surge happened.

While this might sound quite clever, Iraq's government subsequently refused to integrate more than a tenth of the sahwa into the Iraqi army, which is dominated by the Shia militias of the ruling coalition's parties. The sahwa, armed and funded by the US, thus became an independent force in their own right, crow-barring their way into local administrations, facing down elected provincial governors over sectarian issues.

Meanwhile, attempts in spring 2008 to disarm the Medhi Army, the militia of Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, failed completely, with al-Sadr's men seizing control of most of Baghdad. The sahwa simply stood aside.

Real power in Baghdad, like Iraq itself, is now divided between hostile factions: the Shia-led government, al-Sadr's forces, and the sahwa. A superficial calm prevails not because Iraq is safer, but because these groups have purged the areas they control of their respective enemies.

A University of California study recently measured the decrease in night-time lighting in Baghdad using satellite data. This is a standard method of monitoring ethnic cleansing, since emptied houses emit no light.

The study found that nightlight in historically mixed, Shia-Sunni neighbourhoods had fallen by over half. Professor John Agnew, the principal investigator, concluded that "the surge has had no observable effect" except to "provide a seal of approval" for ethnic cleansing.

In other words, Iraqis are no longer being blown up in the streets because they have been forced into segregated neighbourhoods policed by sectarian militias, often separated by high concrete walls.

Refugees International reports that nearly three million Iraqis are displaced within the country. With the Shia-dominated government largely restricting its assistance to Shias, displaced Sunnis have nowhere to turn but the sahwa, driving more Iraqis into the arms of sectarian militias. Two million people have fled Iraq altogether.


The situation is inherently unstable. Indeed, the Iraqi army recently began to attack sahwa in Diyala province, north of Baghdad, illustrating the total failure of the surge's goals of political reconciliation. Amid the reality of ongoing civil conflict, unsurprisingly, Iraq's leaders are no closer to agreement on oil revenue distribution, either.

America's divide-and-rule strategy has merely empowered the combatants in Iraq's civil war, reinforced Iraqi society's fracture lines, and sown the seeds of future instability. Only an end to external meddling can create the conditions necessary for Iraqis to work through their own conflicts and finally determine their own futures – however painful this process might be.





"US troop and Iraqi civilian fatality rates are at their lowest points since the war began in 2003.
Today Iraq has legitimate elections, a constitution and a functioning parliament. It is considered more politically free than virtually any country in the Middle East, including Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Kuwait.
Gross Domestic Product has almost tripled, from $20.5B (US dollars) in 2002 to $60.9B in 2008.
Oil production in each of the last three months (May-July 2008) has exceeded the peak pre-war estimated rate of 2.5 million barrels per day. Oil exports now bring in about $7 billion per month, and rising.
Pre-war, only 4 to 8 hours of electricity were available per day nationwide, on average. In July 2008, electricity was available an average of almost 12 hours per day, an improvement of 50% to 200%.
There are more than twice as many registered cars, more than 10 times as many telephone subscribers and more than 50 times as many internet subscribers.
Under Saddam, Iraq had no commercial TV or radio stations and no independent newspapers or magazines. Zero. Today it has dozens of TV stations and hundreds of radio stations, newspapers and magazines.
More children are in school, and more doctors, judges and security personnel have been trained and are being trained."



u can say whatever u want about the surge IS, but what is listed above IS REAL PROGRESS! fair enough, lets give the iraqi people some honour too, they are the ones denying extremism, holding elections, training soldiers. but the surge, and the subsequent change of tactics that meant, made it possible. the sunnies realized one thing, they understood that killing civillians by the thousands only served to weaken their position in a future iraq, so instead they opted to be part of the solution. general petrayeus and his counter insurgency tactics is a success, and the numbers and the facts listed above speaks for itself.
 
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If you're bored and want to read an interesting article...

http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0217/p09s01-coop.html

Even as they request more troops, US generals have acknowledged that an Iraq-style "surge" won't work. "Afghanistan is not Iraq," said Gen. David McKiernan, who leads US and NATO forces in Afghanistan. General McKiernan, who led ground forces in Iraq in 2003, has described Afghanistan as "a far more complex environment than I ever found in Iraq." Today, the Pentagon talks of achieving not victory or lasting democracy but merely progress against militants.

interesting article for sure, afghanistan may not be iraq, but still that doesent make up for the fact that afghanistan have not been prioritized much at all during this war on terror. most of the focus has been on iraq. for that reason i think a larger number of troops will have a great impact. theres no doubt that the present day number of troops is not even remotely enough to secure alot of areas in afghanistan. that gives the taliban the opportunity to settle down and take control in certain provinces and use such bases as a springboard for attacks against coalition forces. more troops will enable us to not only secure areas, but to hold them, just like in iraq. also the border against pakistan is almost wide open, and more troops will lead to better control with this border, and again opportunity to engage extremists trying to make their way into the country. this is just the military tactic viewpoint, but lets not forget that the people of afghanistan truly hate taliban, and alot of their hate towards coalition forces, comes from the coalitions inability to protect them. with more troops we will be able to protect the civillians and therefore win them over to our side. again, political progress can only be made for real in a safe and stable environment. that is what we have seen happend in iraq, and i think the same is possible in afghanistan.

no matter what we owe it to the afghan people after all they have been through, to make a real effort in order to stabilize their country. the article u posted tech also said that leaving the afghans to themselves would be a disaster.
 
Tech

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interesting article for sure, afghanistan may not be iraq, but still that doesent make up for the fact that afghanistan have not been prioritized much at all during this war on terror. most of the focus has been on iraq. for that reason i think a larger number of troops will have a great impact. theres no doubt that the present day number of troops is not even remotely enough to secure alot of areas in afghanistan. that gives the taliban the opportunity to settle down and take control in certain provinces and use such bases as a springboard for attacks against coalition forces. more troops will enable us to not only secure areas, but to hold them, just like in iraq. also the border against pakistan is almost wide open, and more troops will lead to better control with this border, and again opportunity to engage extremists trying to make their way into the country. this is just the military tactic viewpoint, but lets not forget that the people of afghanistan truly hate taliban, and alot of their hate towards coalition forces, comes from the coalitions inability to protect them. with more troops we will be able to protect the civillians and therefore win them over to our side. again, political progress can only be made for real in a safe and stable environment. that is what we have seen happend in iraq, and i think the same is possible in afghanistan.

no matter what we owe it to the afghan people after all they have been through, to make a real effort in order to stabilize their country. the article u posted tech also said that leaving the afghans to themselves would be a disaster.
It's true that if the US military leaves immediately, the situation could become even more hectic. but in that same article, it says...

The regional powers who know their own neighborhood far better than Washington would quickly come up with a formula and the troops to stabilize the failed state. If there is no constituency among these neighbors to "fix" Afghanistan, then the US can no more go it alone than could the Russians.

It's true that if we would've focused all our military power on Afghanistan to begin with and captured the groups responsible for 9/11, in theory we could've been out of that country a long time ago. But right now, it's too little too late. The US economy is crumbling and the Iraq War depleted most of our funds and resources.

I think Ironslave posted a nice analogy a couple days ago. If you think of Afghanistan as a burning house, then the United States would be the arsonist. Would you really want the man who burned down your house to stay, put out the fire, then help rebuild it?
 
Ironslave

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"US troop and Iraqi civilian fatality rates are at their lowest points since the war began in 2003.


Oh wow, like that's saying much :umwtf:

Today Iraq has legitimate elections, a constitution and a functioning parliament. It is considered more politically free than virtually any country in the Middle East, including Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Kuwait.
Gross Domestic Product has almost tripled, from $20.5B (US dollars) in 2002 to $60.9B in 2008.

Of course it is, America destroyed it, and it needs to be rebuilt (using America's money no less!)...

Oil production in each of the last three months (May-July 2008) has exceeded the peak pre-war estimated rate of 2.5 million barrels per day. Oil exports now bring in about $7 billion per month, and rising.
Pre-war, only 4 to 8 hours of electricity were available per day nationwide, on average. In July 2008, electricity was available an average of almost 12 hours per day, an improvement of 50% to 200%.
There are more than twice as many registered cars, more than 10 times as many telephone subscribers and more than 50 times as many internet subscribers.
Under Saddam, Iraq had no commercial TV or radio stations and no independent newspapers or magazines. Zero. Today it has dozens of TV stations and hundreds of radio stations, newspapers and magazines.
More children are in school, and more doctors, judges and security personnel have been trained and are being trained."

I'm sure some short term good has been done, it was bound to happen eventually, with all the billions (maybe even trillions) of money poured into it. But at what cost? The deaths of tens of thousands of people? Millions fled in exile?
u can say whatever u want about the surge IS, but what is listed above IS REAL PROGRESS! fair enough, lets give the iraqi people some honour too, they are the ones denying extremism, holding elections, training soldiers. but the surge, and the subsequent change of tactics that meant, made it possible. the sunnies realized one thing, they understood that killing civillians by the thousands only served to weaken their position in a future iraq, so instead they opted to be part of the solution. general petrayeus and his counter insurgency tactics is a success, and the numbers and the facts listed above speaks for itself.

Why can you truthfully not understand the CAUSE of extremism?? America is as I mentioned, and bolded, literally paying and arming these extremists!!.. how much longer can this go on? More importantly, what's going to happen when it stops? The Taliban was on America's side for a while too, whoops, that turned out well....

America can't afford to be in Iraq much longer, and things are going to get a lot worse soon. Now you have multiple factions armed by America waiting in the wings.

I hope things DO go well.... but they won't. America is overstretched more than it has ever been, and eventually, it's going to realize that it can't keep it up. It will have to bring its troops home, or at least, seriously cut back.... this is economically inevitable.... whats going to happen then?
 
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Again ironslave lol I hate to be going back on this topic lmao.
But lives in the face of national powers are meaningless me and you can see lives, deaths the terrible covert wars all they see is statistics, it's sad but true.
 
Ironslave

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Again ironslave lol I hate to be going back on this topic lmao.
But lives in the face of national powers are meaningless me and you can see lives, deaths the terrible covert wars all they see is statistics, it's sad but true.

I agree.



 
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Im pretty ignorant on politics/etc... So is the main reason for Obama to send 17,000 troops to Afghanistan is to reduce or eliminate Taliban threat or some threat to U.S's security?
 
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