The tens of thousands of classified military documents posted on the Internet Sunday confirm what critics of the war in Afghanistan already knew or suspected: We are wading deeper into a long-running, morally ambiguous conflict that has virtually no chance of ending well.
It's that last part that has to sink into Obama's head. "This war has virtually no chance of ending well." I would delete the "virtually" and replace it with "absolutely".
Escalating the war will be Obama's biggest mistake in his first term. It will likely be the reason why it will be his last term. It's a real shame since he has made huge contributions to pushing the US into being a true leader of nations. Obama, by any measure, has had the most successful first term of any modern era presidency. A real shame that he is going to be taken down by his predecessors mistakes.
Obama can still recoup. He has the time. He needs to do two things. Get out of Afghanistan now, this minute, admit the buildup was a mistake. He also needs to start slashing the military budget without hurting the economy. We cannot keep spending in the range of 280 billion dollars each year on something so fruitless. We pay for half of the military spending of the entire world. This is how the Roman Empire went down the tubes. The only way to keep us from being next down the tubes is to start acting sensibly.
Stop invading countries and killing people to wipe out terrorism. It does not work. It only makes more and more terrorists. Terrorists who have a real good reason for wanting us dead.
Loc: Alexandria, VA
Well, *so far* there hasn't been anything really earth-shattering revealed in the papers -- perhaps something will be as people go deeper into the collection. But Mr. Robinson is right: these don't tell anything we didn't already know ...
Perhaps the mere fact that the papers are out and represent concrete examples of what we already know will have a galvanizing effect, though, so there's hope in that at least ...
I'm all for getting out of Afghanistan but I'm not sure just completely pulling up stakes and getting out of dodge is a practical answer at this point -- I would have liked to see the administration go with Biden's plan when they had a chance. At this point, though, it's a matter of choosing the least-worst way to leave ...
We've known all along that friendly fire and killing civilians has occurred but having it all catalogued and described by the Pentagon could be a watershed moment. The Pentagon Papers really did not have any blockbusters either but only described how cynically that Johnson and Nixon lied about what we were doing in Vietnam.
Biden's plan was certainly a better one that Obama's. These wikileaks can be copy and pasted now and might give him enough of a wedge to ignore the chicken hawks and get out.
think of the war on Drugs . . . similar in that the end is relatively unachievable ... like the War on Poverty. . . and this is a War on Terrorism... these things will always exist in the world... and no matter how many we kill there will always be more who hate the US. As many rise as fast as we eliminate others. You can never totally eliminate drugs, poverty, or terrorism... might as well try to exterminate all the roaches in the world.
With this in mind , we fight the war on drugs not by invading Columbia or Mexico, but at the borders and in the cities ... invasion and occupation are not the answers, especially when it comes to terrorism.. Yes we lost ~3000 on 9-11, but how many are we losing in Iraq and Afghanistan and what is the cost !!?? It's like substituting one tragedy for another bigger one.
Those are some of the wackiest comparisons I have heard. Does not compute.
War on Drugs: should not exist. Drugs should be regulated and taxed. The war disappears, Columbia and Mexico can have their countries back.
War on Poverty: We should be relentless. Find poverty and stamp it out wherever it is found.
War on Terror: stop making terrorists. Stop invading countries, stop spending so much money on bombs and drones.
They are all completely achievable. The war on drugs we could achieve a victory in weeks. Make drugs legal, tax them and regulate them. Criminal element suddenly is out of a job. End of the story.
The other two are a little tougher but completely achievable. We have to understand that the population explosion has to be handled by education. That kills poverty. This is actually working.
The war on terror will take longer but only because the United States has an industry which creates 280 billion dollars worth of war. That industry has a lobby. Eisenhower warned us of that lobby. We break that lobby, stop invading and killing people and terrorists will stop finding reasons why they should kill us. End of story.
So really none of your comparisons work. Winning a war in Afghanistan is a sure bet to non ending. The others can be ended very simply.
Obama could call for an end to the Afghan War next year as he has already planned a phased draw-down of troops. But I fear it's mostly political. Wikilinks will give the GOP something to attack Obama on right now, so his decision might be made easier by calling their bluff.
Maybe I should have been a little more clear... I don't think you can truly achieve any 100% ...
yes make drugs legal, but then you have addiction to deal with... is that truly a "win" ? I think there are many drugs that should be sold OTC and taxed to death, but are you going to sell crack and heroin ? acid ? I don't think that'll be as successful as you think. Just like booze, older teens will give them to younger teens. Do we want that ? create a drug addict you create poverty and ignorance.
poverty, how do you stamp it out ? give them $ and subsistence and you make them dependent... oh you can offer training and that's the way to go, but what will they do? manufacturing ? accountants, lawyers, ? plumbers, carpenters ? we have 10%+ unemployment now. We've (GOP) has sold away many middle class jobs in this country. I'm not saying not to try - reduce it as much as you can, but you'll never eliminate it totally, unless you could change human behavior. Some will always be lazy and take the easy way out... many don't have the skills for even beginning college work.
Terrorism... we'll we know that one and I think we're on the same page.
I don't think we're that far off on the others however, I realize that if we could reduce them to 10% their current levels - it'd be a great victory.
What you are saying mostly makes sense. You sound like a libertarian. LOL Sorry. That just strikes me as funny to say about you.
Anyways, TPTB (the powers that be - including both parties, btw) in charge seem to disagree with this approach. Too much at stake with the political and financial infrastructure that is their power base for them to risk it. At least in their minds.
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