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Thoughts Online Magazine
Collected Articles on Culture & Politics
War on Terror Update 
27th-Jun-2008 06:29 am
We are doing well for where we are. Nice news for someone who got us into the situation.

Next, of course, comes the problem we are still working on: how to get the mired millions out of thinking that progress is going forward to the seventh century.
27th-Jun-2008 08:35 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I've got to disagree.

The Afgan War is not a success. It's barely a war. We're trying to control a territory larger than Iraq with about 1/5th the troops. The national government of Afganistan only controls the area around the capital. Everywhere else, local tribal chieftans and warlords, who happen to be friendly to us at the moment, control.

The Taliban controls about 5 to 10 percent of the country, also.

We're not losing in Afganistan, because what we're doing can't properly be called waging a war. It's more like a continuous string of small-unit combat operations in various places. Deploying a company of Rangers here, an Action-Team of SF there, a platoon of SEALs here... that isn't fighting a war. That's just a bunch of surgical strikes. There is no large-scale invasion and occupation of territory, no institution of new civil structures.

Afganistan is a counterinsurgency op, not a war. If we really want to win it, it's going to take alot more men. Used intelligently, of course. You can't just flood an area with troops and except it to work. But you do have to have men to hold ground, and we don't have enough.
27th-Jun-2008 09:20 pm (UTC)
Afghanistan/Pakistan certainly has its ups and downs. But then, it's usually been without a central government, and creating one that's not there is harder than replacing one that was.
18th-Jul-2008 02:24 pm (UTC)
Understanding Afghanistan appears to be a problem for Obama, rather than McCain. We will see how important getting it right vs feeling good about doing the wrong stuff is in November.
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