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Afghanistan
UK may need 20 years to defeat Taliban
2006-03-19
Classic flag set to 'yes'.
THE objectives of the British mission to Afghanistan could take as long as 20 years to achieve, according to a confidential Ministry of Defence briefing seen by The Sunday Times. The assessment by senior military officers highlights the risks to the 3,300 British troops to be deployed to the lawless Helmand province and warns that even in five years the best that can be hoped for in terms of security and stabilisation would be “interim status”.

The disclosure contrasts with assurances given to the Commons by John Reid, the defence secretary, that the mission will be completed in three years.

Questioned last month about the danger that British troops could end up bogged down in southern Afghanistan, Reid told MPs: “We will make our judgment on the basis of changes on the ground: extension of central government control, a reduction in insurgency, growth of the Afghan security forces and economic development.

“The exit strategy involves one of the entrance aims: the achievement of a degree of success in all those respects in a relatively short time — three years — in the south.”
Posted by:Dan Darling

#80  Rafael, what happened to Canada? My history books discussed the glory of the Candian Armed Forces in both World Wars as well as Korea. As they say, Canada fought "above it's weight".

Everything is as it always was. Canada was never a military super power, and it always leaned left. Compare Canada's military strength just before both WW1 and WW2. It wasn't exactly anything to write home about. But men and women of that era stepped up and did what they had to do with what was available. Whether that can be repeated again is a good question, but it doesn't apply only to Canada. Such are the times we live in.

And as far as I can recall, the US also has its share of political "third rails". Socialized health care is our version of it. Thought admittedly it's in dire circumstances.
Posted by: Rafael   2006-03-19 23:22  

#79  What makes you think that wasn't an option after the 2nd plane hit the WTC?

What is astounding is that you think questions like that actually help your cause.

Good God people. You're going to be responsible for your own demise. When are the next elections in the US? Watch them closely and take note. If I'm wrong I'll be the first to admit it.
Posted by: Rafael   2006-03-19 23:07  

#78  Rafael, what happened to Canada? My history books discussed the glory of the Candian Armed Forces in both World Wars as well as Korea. As they say, Canada fought "above it's weight". Now it's subs don't float well, it has no airlift and has to look to the USAF or the freaking Ukrainians, the Army is so underfunded it will take years to recover. Sad, so sad. And all for the glory of...ummmm, what? Government-rationed healthcare? Government-mandated gay marriage?

I sure hope the new leader ship in the GWN succeeds in moving Canada even a bit to the right.
Posted by: Brett   2006-03-19 21:39  

#77  --In Canada, you can visit Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, China, and scores of other different parts of the world, all in one day.---

Like I said, you don't get US.
Posted by: anonymous2u   2006-03-19 20:54  

#76  --elief #2: Current tactics (which include the War on Iraq) hurt the terrorists so little that we must start considering possibilities (like nukes and/or genocide) altogether more drastic rather than proceed as we are currently doing.---

Aris, welcome back.

What makes you think that wasn't an option after the 2nd plane hit the WTC?

Posted by: anonymous2u   2006-03-19 20:47  

#75  Rafael, I was interpreting, not asserting.
Posted by: lotp   2006-03-19 20:47  

#74  Ta 3dc for the link.
These comments show the moral ascendency of the western way of thought and make me confident for our childrens future.
The education of the disadvantaged will take longer than two decades.
We are all born equal and hold these truth's to be self evident.We just carry the torch/meme
Posted by: pihkalbadger   2006-03-19 20:44  

#73  Where we part ways is that I believe the f*%$ing evil ones deserve a speedy inquiry or trial followed by a short drop.
Posted by: whitecollar redneck   2006-03-19 20:43  

#72  Sort of Arisified, but less filling...
Posted by: Darrell   2006-03-19 20:33  

#71  Canukistan indeed. I know the danger will never be completely eliminated. I simply don't think we should tolerate asshats treatening to nuke us and Israel. Canned goods in the basement? LOL

You focus. Like dhimmitude? Your choice.
Posted by: SR-71   2006-03-19 20:33  

#70  It's not clear you can recognize the f*%$ing evil ones, perhaps.

Perhaps, it's not clear that you can recognize your friends.
Posted by: Rafael   2006-03-19 20:18  

#69  lotp, you're serious??? I had a high opinion of you until that last statement.
Posted by: Rafael   2006-03-19 20:15  

#68  It's not clear you can recognize the f*%$ing evil ones, perhaps.
Posted by: lotp   2006-03-19 20:12  

#67  People are all the same. Some are good, some indifferent and some just plain f*%$ing evil. You have to be able recognize the differences.

Careful. You're getting awfully close to nuancing. Besides, how's that different from what I said, in an indirect way?
Posted by: Rafael   2006-03-19 20:09  

#66  I gave up on Raphael months ago
Posted by: Frank G   2006-03-19 20:04  

#65  Since my nom de guerre threw you off. I've known a "diversity" of people too. I have lived in Central America, Asia, and of course many places in the US. People are all the same. Some are good, some indifferent and some just plain f*%$ing evil. You have to be able recognize the differences.
Posted by: whitecollar redneck   2006-03-19 20:00  

#64  why do we need a wet noodle conscience that leans toward the enemy?

Who is your enemy? Islam or Muslims? My enemy is islamofascism. There are many Muslims who agree.

Posted by: Rafael   2006-03-19 20:00  

#63  Oh and Rafael there is This little gift from Islam that has not been properly returned
Posted by: 3dc   2006-03-19 19:54  

#62  Oh, since we are the Great Satan anyway... why do we need a wet noodle conscience that leans toward the enemy?
Posted by: 3dc   2006-03-19 19:45  

#61  1000 years ago my family members put on the skins of wolfs and bears, gave their offerings to their beloved god Thor, ate their mushrooms, put on the aspect of a zerker and raided.

Rafael, it would be a great dishonor to my ancestors to have your conscience.

The same for the generations of my ancestors who have fought in this nation's wars. Even the first who were the Hessians who Washington crossed the Delaware to defeat on Christmas night.

Face it Islam has become a mad dog cult.
When the dog has rabies you put it down.

Posted by: 3dc   2006-03-19 19:43  

#60  AHHH, yes. Nuance. How simple of me. I see now. Thank you.
Posted by: whitecollar redneck   2006-03-19 19:40  

#59  Resistance is futile Rafael. Bow quietly and accept your station.
Posted by: Besoeker   2006-03-19 19:30  

#58  What you miss, Rafael, is that at least some of the commenters here have dealt with these issues for many years and have reflected on them at length....and people who have direct experience living and working in the middle east and amid other cultures.

In Canada, you can visit Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, China, and scores of other different parts of the world, all in one day. I have close friends who are Pakistani, Afghan (Tajik, to be precise), Indian, and Bangladeshi. These are friends...not acquaintances, co-workers, or what have you. One of them is a retired Indian Air Force general. Another is a retired police chief. Up until recently, my line of work put me in direct contact with immigrants from all over the world. I've heard it all from them, believe me. Not to belittle the experience of the people you mentioned, but it is not unique.

I don't judge people's experiences, just their comments.
Posted by: Rafael   2006-03-19 19:27  

#57  What you miss, Rafael, is that at least some of the commenters here have dealt with these issues for many years and have reflected on them at length. Rantburg regulars include military, intel, law enforcement veterans with decades of experience. Some policy analysts and academics, too -- and people who have direct experience living and working in the middle east and amid other cultures.

I won't claim it for all, but for a number of people I know here the comments you see are based on a whole lot more than some sort of knee-jerk emotional basis. Don't be misled by seeing only the surface result.
Posted by: lotp   2006-03-19 18:49  

#56  Whatever happened to the Canucks? You guys used to be good cousins, now you just sound french.

It's called perspective, vantage point, etc. Sometimes it's good to step back and examine your conscience, if only to confirm that you are on the right track. Haven't seen any of that from most people here.
Posted by: Rafael   2006-03-19 18:38  

#55  I'm dense!
Posted by: Dense Matrix   2006-03-19 18:29  

#54  
#44.

#46.

#48.

#49.

#50.
Posted by: Griper Phulet7709   2006-03-19 18:18  

#53  It was your "point".

Ok then, kindly mention to what you were refering. Perhaps I owe you an apology.
Posted by: Rafael   2006-03-19 18:16  

#52  See # 50, dude. You're not clever, you're fatuous. Focus, indeed.
Posted by: Griper Phulet7709   2006-03-19 18:14  

#51  Dude, the context was foreign policy. I know it's hard, but try to focus.
Posted by: Rafael   2006-03-19 18:12  

#50  It was your "point".

LOL. Whatever.
Posted by: Griper Phulet7709   2006-03-19 18:10  

#49  you don't confine them to foreign policy.

LOL. Whatever.
Posted by: Rafael   2006-03-19 18:09  

#48  I've read your comments here - you don't confine them to foreign policy.
Posted by: Griper Phulet7709   2006-03-19 17:51  

#47  I like the way you think SOP.

Whatever happened to the Canucks? You guys used to be good cousins, now you just sound french.
Posted by: whitecollar redneck   2006-03-19 17:51  

#46  I think you mean US foreign policy, right?
Posted by: Rafael   2006-03-19 17:48  

#45  A timely and interesting discussion. Of course, Alaska Paul went right to the heart of the issue.We know full well who is feeding coal into the furnace. Have you noticed how much Condi is traveling ? The consensus building thingy, you know. We've allowed the Euros to play out their theme on Iran. Result ? Utter failure. And they know it. Now even Chirac is talking about using nukes. We all know the next lesson for these nutcakes will be Iran. We're just allowing everyone else to get comfortable with the idea/outcome. We're not going to invade. We're going to use these poor bastards as a lesson for the loons. The attack on their facilities will be missiles only. A VERY decisive lightening strike. There will be loss of life, so the intellectual consensus must be reached first. That is what's going on now between governments. Talking is almost over. These will still be conventional weapons only, but potent. If this lesson still cannot be absorbed, then there will be a time for more complete destruction later. Reserving Pakland for this lesson, just like Hiroshima before was saved from the fire bombing campaign.
Posted by: SOP35/Rat   2006-03-19 17:47  

#44  I love being lectured on US policy by foreigners. Makes me feel all gushy and warm inside.

Craftsman. Snap-On. Black & Decker...
Posted by: Griper Phulet7709   2006-03-19 17:42  

#43  I wonder why you seem not to realize that. They've been quite clear about it. Do you not take them seriously?

Sure I take them seriously but my response is far more tempered. That's because you will never be rid of the threat completely, no matter how well you shape the battlefield. In fact, there's nothing you can do to outright win against islamofascism. You can only hinder and delay. The change has to take place from within, and on that point it seems I am far more optimistic than most people. Or at least, it's not too late.

Unless of course, you start talking about killing everyone in sight, including your friends. But that is up to you.

If there are enough people like Raphael in our country, then we will dither until our cities begin to be destroyed.

*rolls eyes* I don't know what to say to that except maybe...start building a bunker underneath your house... store up on canned food and rice...???

230 years and you still don't understand.

I understand probably more than you realize.

But we do get you.

Oh? And what do you get?
Posted by: Rafael   2006-03-19 17:36  

#42  Darrell, you may be right. I was using the term in the manner that neo-neocon uses it. Aris tries to argue from principle, not only from emotion.
Posted by: SR-71   2006-03-19 17:34  

#41  "principled leftists" -- those would be Marxists. Aris isn't that principled.
Posted by: Darrell   2006-03-19 17:22  

#40  Strawmen beware!
Posted by: Nimble Spemble   2006-03-19 17:21  

#39  Good to see you again, Aris. One of the few principled leftists that posts here.

If you don't rejrct all force, how would you employ it?
Posted by: SR-71   2006-03-19 17:14  

#38  And that, ladies and gentlemen, was a lecture on American conservative thinking and military strategy by a Greek, liberal, twenty-something conscript who has never even set foot in the United States.
Posted by: Darrell   2006-03-19 17:12  

#37  ROFL!

Your #2 is total bullshit. It's a strawman you created to make your idiotic "argument" work.

What a pretentious ass.
Posted by: Griper Phulet7709   2006-03-19 17:08  

#36  The modern American conservative needs to keep two contradictory belief in his mind at all times, in the best example of doublethink:

Belief #1: The War in Iraq (same as the war in Afghanistan) is a huge success that has all the terrorists on the run and has hugely diminished their ability to hurt the West.

Belief #2: Current tactics (which include the War on Iraq) hurt the terrorists so little that we must start considering possibilities (like nukes and/or genocide) altogether more drastic rather than proceed as we are currently doing.

---

Above all else the modern American conservative must refuse to contemplate the possibility of a third scenario: that it's not any lack in amount of force used that's the problem, but rather the stupidity in the specifics of its usage.

That idea might after all actually make them start *thinking* about said specifics, rather than simply have them holler the infinite variations of the "Just hit them harder!" slogan.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris   2006-03-19 17:01  

#35  --BTW, 'shaping the battlefield' includes the homefront.

...and if there are enough of people like me in your country, you will lose this battle as well. --

You can't afford to have us lose it, Raphael.

Especially if you don't have the vote.

You don't get US. 230 years and you still don't understand.

But we do get you.
Posted by: anonymous2u   2006-03-19 16:52  

#34  Raphael's a professed Canuck
Posted by: Frank G   2006-03-19 16:44  

#33  Raphael does point another path that things might take. The Left are true believers that the proper course is to keep their own hands clean at - at ANY cost. The cost includes our lives. Indeed, they cannot admit the possibility that their non-action will lead to the death of the West, but they feel it strongly.

If there are enough people like Raphael in our country, then we will dither until our cities begin to be destroyed. Does anyone want to guess what happens then? Civil War II that .com wrote about a while back. I believe that part of the population will not submit to the Left's program.

If you want to know what know what that will probably be like, read about Marion and Tarleton in South Carolina during the Revolution: a war with NO quarter, prisoners executed, civilians murdered in retaliation, people hanging from lamp posts.
Posted by: SR-71   2006-03-19 16:07  

#32  you seem like a group that already has conceded victory to the other side. How else can you explain this ratcheting up of rhetoric on your part?

"The enemy always has a vote" in any plan. We did not seek an armed conflict nor a cultural battle. But the Islamacists have repeatedly made it very clear that they INTEND both. And they are prosecuting that war with all the resources and rigor they can muster.

I wonder why you seem not to realize that. They've been quite clear about it. Do you not take them seriously?

I absolutely do not cede victory to these barbarians. What I will debate here and elsewhere are the means to fight back. And those range widely, with heavy weapons or military force only the smallest part of it IMO.
Posted by: lotp   2006-03-19 15:30  

#31  Heavy thread and thanks to all.
I have a different slant on these times. This WOT is a character builder. To date, we have witnessed some of our leaders standing atop debris, promising to retaliate. We have witnessed sucessful military operations and single acts of heroism. We have witnessed the worst cruelity possible from our enemies, and our own traitors acting and speaking against us. Through it all, we have identified slanted news outlets, and misguided politicians. We have witnessed a continent at the brink of chaos. It's as if a play has been written with the goal to lead the audience to arrive at the same conclusions. The left has no stomach for war. Political correctness is non-functional drivel. Freedom of speech and freedom of religion cannot protect the masses of evil doers from retribution. We need to identify the problem and effect a solution. Our Congress has not grasped that fact, to date. If they have, then, they are not up to the task. We wait, and as we do, the world changes. Tipping this way and that, tsunamis, hurricanes, higher oil prices, street riots all lead us and all help us grow in character. Yesterday, there were many sleeping Americans, content with the nightly news. Today, there are countless agitated Americans, aware of the ports, the borders, the first response, security, the internet, and most importantly, the opinions of others. We are once again becoming one people.
Whether this WOT goes on for decades is not of importance. How we fight it, who we save, who we sacrifice; these are the important things. Those who seek to diminish us during these times will be remembered as the last of the fools. Tomorrow, we will spit upon the Harry Reids, the Murthas and Schumers, the Carters and Gores, the Clintons and Rockefellers. And especially, those who have fallen the furthest, the Kennedys. The likeness of those wise enough to lead us will be cut in granite.
Ladies and gentlemen, to your character, a mighty HOOAH.
Posted by: wxjames   2006-03-19 15:20  

#30  glad to see you support the pushback lotp. I've been for it, but apparently, misjudged your position. Agreed too that we are not yet domestically ready for the big bash. Maybe some more cartoons, or, Allan forbid, animated GIF's????
Posted by: Frank G   2006-03-19 15:18  

#29  BTW, 'shaping the battlefield' includes the homefront.

...and if there are enough of people like me in your country, you will lose this battle as well. The reason is that right now you guys are looking like the very same extremists that the rational people of this world are fighting against. If you lose, it will be as much your own fault as your enemy's.

Quite honestly, you seem like a group that already has conceded victory to the other side. How else can you explain this ratcheting up of rhetoric on your part? Pitiful.
Posted by: Rafael   2006-03-19 15:13  

#28  One of the most illuminating books I've read lately. is "Lincoln: A Life of Power and Purpose" by Andrew Cawardine." I'm not sufficiently well-informed to assess the originality of all the points he makes, but what it helps one gain some perspective on how different perceptions at the time of and after a great struggle can be. Lincoln's missteps in Missouri, for example, sabotaged a truce with pro-secession forces, leading to open warfare, missteps traceable to a division in his cabinet (pp 175-6). Lincoln's early military defeats were severely criticized, but Lincoln had little desire to destroy the South. Rather, the North's military policies evolved from a war of conciliation to a "hard war" against Southern whites(p. 251). I cannot help but detect the love and mercy that Lincoln demonstrated (while doing all he could to preserve the Union) in the policies that the Bush Administration now pursues. Mistakes are certaintly inevitable -- who among us is perfect? -- but, in my mind, there is no question that Bush is pursuing the most humane, LEAST costly, most effective one possible.
Posted by: Perfessor   2006-03-19 15:01  

#27  And taking Iran out should do a lot to reduce the Saudi problem. But it's going to be tough without that oil for a while. Especially for Japan.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble   2006-03-19 14:58  

#26  If you really want to win this war, end the money that is financing it. That leads to Iran and Saudi Arabia. The rest is small potatoes. I will leave the details to others, heh.
Posted by: Alaska Paul   2006-03-19 14:54  

#25  As this continues on I get more and more frustrated. First, I agree that just tossing nukes is not the best idea. In a western mind diplomacy is the best option. Lots of civ casualties, fall out etc... Also, Iraq and Afghanistan are great example of removing sanctuary and peace takes over. Being transnational our enemy has some great tactics. Running to neighbor countries and then returning. If we were fighting the people of Iraq and Afghanistan out tactics would be sound, but we're not. The peace we, and our soldiers, see is just a ruse as our enemy bounces from nation to nation for support, and gets it. Next on our list is Iran, then when AQ moves to Pakistan we go there, then to Somalia, Palestine, Sudan and on and on and on. They are using the same tactic angainst us they used against the Russians in Afghanistan, except on a global scale. We can not sustain this war for another twenty years, our economy as great as it is will not sustain it. We have to let the nations that are friendly to the AQ know that it will cost them everything to go against us. They know we will invade Iran and remove the government, then we will get dragged down even further, they know sooner or later we will lose the will to continue on and our economy will fail. This is there victory, how they see it, and it may not make sence to us but it's how it is.

This leads us to the total war philosophy. Iran is hosting AQ at this time. Let them know we are going to destroy their infrastructure in total on a given date if all the AQ are not handed over. On that date execute the plan. Just like Hiroshima they have the option to leave. If they stay, it was by their own choice. Next turn to the Paks and give them the option. Fighting a PC war just is not going to work.

Posted by: 49 Pan   2006-03-19 14:34  

#24  Great discussion, folks. Great thread.

We are definitely in a two-front war, and both fronts need equal attention. The home front would keep us busy enough, with over 40 YEARS of twisted values, government handouts, and lack of responsibility have created a large subset of the population that see themselves as victims with no sense of responsibility for their situation and their destiny. It has been a systematic destruction of this country's sense of values by the Left.

The only thing that has kept this country from going down the drain is the core group of loyal, dedicated Americans willing to take the heat and to keep alive the sense of values that has kept this country alive.

Well, the country is beginning to wake up. The MSM is starting to be on the defensive. People are starting to question the Left. The issue is whether we can turn the tide and steer a good course in the time we have. We have a lot of internal work to do. This is a race with time. I am optimistic, but I am not assured so far of the outcome.

On the external front, we have made progress, but at a great cost. We are fighting a PC war, and that has hurt us. The enemy does not look at our surgical strikes and efforts to protect civilians as a sign of strength. They look at it as a weakness to be exploited.

We are not willing to impose our will with our full strength. We are not willing to take those big terrorist fish we caught, interrogate them, try them by military tribunal, and execute them. Not doing so brings us the Great Escape at Bagram. For whatever reason, we do not go into the NWFP of PakLand and send them an airborne message that if they mess with us in the neighborhood, they will get their neighborhoods messed up. Iran has had NO major acts of sabotage yet. They need to understand that their meddling in Iraq will cost them dearly at home.

We are fighting a war PC because we are fighting the Left at home. The sooner the war at home is decided, the sooner that we can defeat the external enemy.

Posted by: Alaska Paul   2006-03-19 13:23  

#23  The civil war at home started a few years ago.

The net and Rush have helped tremendously.

Timing is everything, where would we be if the net as we have used it the past few years were still about 10 years away?

Think about what we'd really be getting fed by the MSM.

I have a close friend who grew up in a dem household, became conservative (and is the poorest of the family - oddly enough) who said around the 2004 election, Where would we be w/o Rush? Whether you agree or not, he jumpstarted a badly-needed dialog.
Posted by: anonymous2u   2006-03-19 13:08  

#22  While discussion of glass parking lots is good emotional release, I can conceive of no circumstances except response to a nuclear attack where the U. S. would employ nuclear weapons. Can you describe any? To do so would be nothing more or less than genocide.

Agreed, NS, and I generally fall into the category that .com would call "huffies and puffies". I have a pretty good idea, I think, of what using nukes would do to us as well as to the target country and the world economy. It's not something I would choose except in extreme circumstances. In addition to a nuclear attack on us, those might include a successful biological or chemical attack that could be traced with some likelihood to a country government or to a group that a country harbors and won't give up.

But no, I'm not anywhere near the point of thinking we have justification to use them. One of the outcomes of successfully shaping a battlefield is that the enemy may well choose to avoid the fight or to delay long enough to allow overwhelming force to be assembled, so as to avoid a real slaughter.

But "the enemy gets a vote too", as I know you know. Neither I nor the person I mentioned above wants to see a successful attack on us. But we both recognize the possibility - and we've read our history. Such an attack would unleash a fury in enough Americans to make use of massive force in response highly likely.

One last point: I agree with .com that the time has come to make an overt push back against Islamacism in all its forms. I've been saying for a while that we all here need to be out pushing back against idiotarians in Congress, against the ACLU/CAIR nexus, against California schoolbooks written by Islamacists and slanted against Jews, Israel and Christians, against all this crap. The close we verge on the use of more military force the more important that kind of pushback becomes IMO. And every one of us is already armed for that struggle here at home. The big weapons - missiles, bombs, aircraft carriers, whatever - arent aren't the only or even the best weapon against the Islamacist enemy. It starts with a clear determination to protect our country and our civilization against this aggressive barbarism and a willingness to oppose them at every step.
Posted by: lotp   2006-03-19 11:24  

#21  I'm enjoying the positives I'm hearing here. More optimism than I've heard in a long time. Thanking the protesters is hysterical, but accurate.

Iran is dead-ahead. We should all let our congresspeople know what we think about it. Keep it simple - the first point of contact will be some staffer who probably makes peanuts and is there for the resume and thinks they should "protect" their boss. Do the O'Reilly routine - keep it pithy. If it's sharp and to the point, without sounding crazed, it'll probably be passed along to become a data point in their "position". If you've donated, don't fail to mention it, LOL.

After Iran, assuming we don't fail right there and set ourselves back 20 years or more, things will change so much that we'll be laughing hysterically over what seems inevitable now and just went *poof* - along with the Mad Mullah regime and their nuclear program.

BTW, I'm jealous, Classical_Liberal. You went to a Common Sense Revival! The warriors aren't the problem, they steal a 30 IQ point march on the Average Joe regards being informed and cognizant.

Here's hoping old Joe knows (or suspects, finally) that he's only getting a heavily-filtered version and wants to know more. One look at the faces of the troops when Bush or Rummy or Condi comes by to see them should make him wonder aloud...
Posted by: Griper Phulet7709   2006-03-19 11:15  

#20  lotp, I am shocked. While discussion of glass parking lots is good emotional release, I can conceive of no circumstances except response to a nuclear attack where the U. S. would employ nuclear weapons. Can you describe any? To do so would be nothing more or less than genocide.

Mass civilian deaths will happen once a general war starts and world trade stops. I'll start googling, but does anyone know which countires are net exporters of food and which importers? It's going to hurt to be an importer. Especially if you're not on the U. S. side.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble   2006-03-19 11:14  

#19  BTW, 'shaping the battlefield' includes the homefront. If and when we use tactical or strategic nuclear weapons it will be incredibly important that a majority of Americans consider that step justified. That's true of the troops as well as of civilians.

We're not there yet as a country. My own estimate - and it's just my own, yours may be better informed - is that any use of strategic force right now would lead to impeachment and possibly civil war here. But more likely impeachment, because the country is near but not yet at the point of seeing a need and justification for such a major step.

Hence the desireability of shaping international relationships (India, Japan, whatever we can do in Afghanistan and Iraq, whatever the EU3 decide they can / want to do). We need operational support of the kind Dubai is giving, the technical and economic contribution of Japan, the geopolitical help of India in containing Pakistan and China. Not for any single strike or even a short air campaign, but for the long haul. Those, plus growing awareness at home, will set the stage for us to do whatever it turns out we need to do.

The old saying that professionals focus on logistics while amateurs study tactics has some applicability here. We took months to get supplies stockpiled, equipment shipped and units ready to go into Iraq. Few people outside of places like Rantburg had a very clear picture of just how much was going on in the runup to March 02. My own take is that the same thing is happening now, only it's at the strategic level rather than the operational level because we are not interested in US boots on Iranian ground. Or Egyptian ground or any other Islamacist ground, except as it serves us i.e. with SOCOM.
Posted by: lotp   2006-03-19 11:03  

#18  Europe has certainly screwed itself. If Dar es Islam is the big loser in the coming war, Europe will be a close second. No wonder they are so close to the Paleos. They have developed the same knack for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. I hope the Brits, Danes and New Europeans can escape the coming destruction.

And the Euros are certainly making the Pacific Century happen a lot faster than it might have. It is astounding to watch a civilization implode. Helps me understand why no one lives in Chaco Canyon any more.

At what point does NATO become a liability as opposed to a non-entity?
Posted by: Nimble Spemble   2006-03-19 11:02  

#17  Nuclear weapons are, before the huffies and puffies get themselves all lathered up, primarily a metaphor for deciding to, decisively and in one go, defeat this pathology before it defeats us. Not during the lives of our great grandchildren, but here and now while the will still exists and the means are many. What we use, the methods, means, timing, everything, will be decided by those who are best qualified

Metaphors and resolve I can get behind. Keeping an open mind on means I can also get behind: nukes if necessary, but not necessarily nukes. That's pretty much where I am too.

Comment from someone close to me who worked the strategic intel side during the cold war: "I figure it will take losing 10,000 or 100,000 before Americans will take real action. And then millions of Muslims will die." That's about how I read it too.

One reason for some patience - not denial, but patience - is that I hear the same things from troops returning from Afghanistan and Iraq that Classical Liberal does. We're in the tactical skirmish stage of a major, longlasting world war. Dividing the enemy territory and controlling Iraq and Afghanistan is a classic way to set the battlefield. Relations with India is another. So too is the growing support in Japan for changing their constitution to allow offensive military action, and their joint participation with us in ballistic missile defense.

Taking the war seriously means, among other things, shaping the battlefield the way we want it. Not riskfree to take time do that, but then last I looked there really weren't any riskfree solutions out there. I see a lot of strategic moves being made while the enemy is making tactical, classic barbarian raider attacks. His presence in Europe is a serious threat, though, especially given the nuclear and other arms present in western Europe. Let's hope enough people wake up to neutralize that over the next few years. I'm not optimistic, but I'm not convinced it won't happen either. Like .com said, the cartoon furor was a major miscalculation on their part -- even if the idiots in the UN issue proclamations, a whole lot of eyes have been opened in the last few months.

Battlefield. Shaping thereof.
Posted by: lotp   2006-03-19 10:46  

#16  Nukes if necessary but not necessarily nukes. Nuclear blackmail actually worked on one occasion. Ironically, US diplomats chased invading Soviet troops out of Iran during the US nuclear monopoly period. I strongly suspect that US diplomats are cultivating Russian support for similar threats designed to de-nuclearize the Ayatollahs. If, on the other hand, diplomats are sitting on their hands and waiting for the fait accompli of an Islamic Republic nuclear jihad, damn them all.

I have avid admirers of Osama bin Laden in both my workplace and my neighborhood, and I am required to tolerate their free exercise of conscience. And I am required to respect the democratic wishes of Palestinians, who elected the same types who carried out the 9-11 massacre, and imposed almost one half trillion dollars in counter-terror costs, with benefits that are no where near consummate. A fortune can be spent stabilizing an area, only to have it destabilized by some bearded freak who shouts, "jihad," to a crowd of compliant morons. Something is terribly wrong there.
Posted by: Listen To Dogs   2006-03-19 10:22  

#15  Been away a few days. Thought it might be an easy like Sunday morning catch up with the 'Burg, but this is looking pretty heavy...

I'm more optimistic than you lot. Perhaps it's because I had the privilege this past week of spending time with a few of the guys (and their gals) who are at the very sharpest point of the tip of the spear. These men aren't cartoon or video game super heros, they are good citizens who have chosen to take on extraordinary responsibilities on our behalf and are immeasurably heroic for doing so. Their wives and girlfriends are every bit as committed as their men and are integral to the mission and to their purpose. Together, they are the very best of what a free people produces. It is humbling and inspiring to be in their presence.

Shortly after 9/11 my best friend summarized the conflict as tribal warfare between his tribe and an opposing tribe: freedom loving motherfuckers versus slave holding sons of bitches. I am confident that we will prevail--and with our values intact--because our love of freedom is more potent than the other side's love of tyranny. Will it take 20 years or 200? Will it involve nukes? I've no idea. I am merely placing my faith in the fundamentals.

You all are great Americans. (That includes you too Shep.) The debate and discussion and resolve expressed here matters enormously. That I know for fact.
Posted by: Classical_Liberal   2006-03-19 10:11  

#14  First, welome back .com.

Lots of emotion, anger and philosophical discussion here. Let's get down to war and the perspective of survival from the animal perspective. Most animals run in herds, have stricture and strive to contribute to the herd, we are no different. When an animal attacks and challenges the herd he is attacked and beat down or killed. This is how the world is, too bad. We are not a higher specie, Hamas, Taliban, Bin Laden and the rest have shown they are determined to destroy the herd, western civ. Like a crazed dog they will attack and attack until we are gone unless we completely destroy them.

The only thing they understand is being dominated or destroyed. It was their choice, they made it not us, now it is up to us to either destroy them or let them slowly destroy us. The choice is ours.
Posted by: 49 Pan   2006-03-19 10:03  

#13  Seattle, when people chain themselves to things.

You've got a bunch of Paleos up there. Nail up a bunch of handbills with the dreaded cartoons on them and they'll start marching around and seething. Says so somewhere in the Koran, I think. Thou shalt make a pest of thyself. Something like that.

Maybe seeing their beloved Paleo neighbors show their true colors would help?
Posted by: Griper Phulet7709   2006-03-19 09:41  

#12  Unfortunately I dont think a single repeat of 9/11 will convince some people - it may take a couple or a cratered city. Believe me I work in the Peoples Republic of Seattle and I dont think even a airliner going through the Columbia Tower (tallest bldg in Seattle) will convince some of these people - they are that dense!

Posted by: CrazyFool   2006-03-19 09:27  

#11  Or more of the dreaded cartoons of blasphemy and humiliation.
Posted by: Griper Phulet7709   2006-03-19 09:23  

#10  the vrus that is militant Islam may have defied all cure in any event.

Yup. They've basically said, "This planet ain't big enough for the two of us."

Hokay, if that's the way they want it, that's the way they'll get it.

But it's going to take anohter 9/11 before the majority of Americans realize this.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble   2006-03-19 09:13  

#9  A growing recognition of this in the commetariat. Lowrey's tipping points in pubic opinion. NRO's "To Hell with Them Conservatives." I have suggested a number of times that America's Jacksonian nature will eventually come to the fore. I agree, it stinks to be there, but perhaps recognition NOW that the Islamists must be decisively defeated will avoid the destruction of American cities with massive loss of AMERICAN life. If we agree on their decisive defeat, we need only decide on what that defeat entails and on the means.

Perhaps GWB's noble experiment in Afganistan and Iraq would have succeeded with the support of a unified country. Ironic if the antics of our leftists have brought on the outcome they opposed. On the other hand (and probably more likely), the vrus that is militant Islam may have defied all cure in any event.
Posted by: SR-71   2006-03-19 08:43  

#8  Glad to see you could take a breather, .com.

Had to do something to lighten this thread up. It ain't over yet.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble   2006-03-19 08:22  

#7  Look, Zenster doesn't want to kill them all, either. He's just got to the point where he doesn't see any other way to end this thing that he sees as otherwise going on endlessly, until we lose by default. There are days when my optimism fails, and I agree that is where we'll be pushed to going, that all our efforts to separate the moderate Muslims from their passive support/non-opposition to the violent radicals ones is fated to fail, and the only answer will be to kill all those who adhere to what will have turned out to be an unredemably murderous fascist creed, that there just aren't enough of those willing to let Islam be a personal faith rather than a flag of conquest. But then, I've not lived in the heart of the beast, like .com, Mr. Wife and some others of you, and the Muslims in my circle are Westernized, and happy to be so. And I am admittedly not tough minded --- thus far it's not been required of me. On the days my optimism fades, I fear I will soon have to be, that we will have to choose between those actions that will destroy our souls that our children can live free, lest we end up living enslaved by the Salafi/Deobandi/triumphantly fascist Islam, our souls destroyed nonetheless, and those of all our descendents, forever. Well, you all anyway -- their pronouncements assert that me and mine won't be allowed to share that future.

That is the real question, the purpose of these experiments in Afghanistan and Iraq: can Muslims give up their need to for their religion to conquer the rest of the world, and live in peace and equality with others. Or, like Nazism/fascism, must it be that those carrying the meme be destroyed by iron and fire? And can we let the experiment continue longer or will that allow the nihilists within to destroy our ability to fight the enemy without?

I've no poetry summarize this, just thoughts that range between optimism and selfish despair -- I don't like making difficult choices, and I don't like hurting or harming others. Even though I know that sometimes the brutal way is actually kinder.
Posted by: trailing wife   2006-03-19 07:41  

#6  Great comments. Honest and heartfelt and hardcore correct. Shep, I'm there with you - and it sucks to be there, I agree - but we accept the facts: this is where it leads and how it will end. They will have it no other way. They're not smart enough to package it properly to get past our guard - and we're not buying.

Nuclear weapons are, before the huffies and puffies get themselves all lathered up, primarily a metaphor for deciding to, decisively and in one go, defeat this pathology before it defeats us. Not during the lives of our great grandchildren, but here and now while the will still exists and the means are many. What we use, the methods, means, timing, everything, will be decided by those who are best qualified. The civilian leadership will eventually get it, drop the ROE, and say, "Save us, please!" and the military leadership will take it from there, and save the world from this disease using the best tools available as the situation demands.

Truth is, it's all about timing, now. We should thank our lucky stars (and we seem to have a lot of them, despite the hand-wringing) that they went apeshit over cartoons. Great eye-opener, it seems, for the denser twits in the West. Blowing up buildings and ships and buses and trains and embassies and knots of passers-by - killing thousands upon thousands of truly innocent people - wasn't enough for the jaded morons. Even self-confessed lunatics driving an SUV into a crowd of people doesn't move some fools to even call it terrorism. Beyond stupid - that's willfully stupid. But those innocuous cartoons might be. Fucking Western idjits. It makes me wonder if a couple more big hits would've done anything to turn the tide. Cartoons. Boggle.

But once awakened...

This is what the Caliphatists, Islamists, whatever you want to call them didn't count on, didn't expect.

They didn't expect us to see where their terror leads, because they don't think that way, but we do.

They didn't' expect us to fight back, because they don't think that way, but we do.

They didn't expects us to realize the fact that we will have to go barbarian to defeat barbarians, because they don't think that way, but we do.

They didn't expect the emergence of the will to survive, first and foremost, because they don't think that way, but we do.

They didn't realize that we would see them clearly in spite of their tried-and-true taqiya, because they don't think that way, but we do.

We've been lied to by the best and this is just another commercial to us for a new and improved way to hell. We tune out the hype and go for the heart of it. We're the Cynical Skeptics of the West and these simple-minded (transparent) feints and lies are about as persuasive as "the dog ate my homework". Straight to the heart. And when it comes to threatening our families, our friends, our very Freedom, the heart of darkness.

Fucking Rubes.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

-Dylan Thomas

Thanks Dylan, and Shep, and LTD.

Let's get it on. Before they wise up.
Posted by: .com   2006-03-19 06:26  

#5  Wellcome to the club, Shep. I've been thinking this way since Intifada#I.
Posted by: gromgoru   2006-03-19 05:41  

#4  you know what, when i read stuff like this im honestly thinking why bother, why bother spending billions to defeat them, why bother letting the media have a field day every time one of our soldiers die, why bother trying to sort these hell holes out when your mocked by the press for every move you make, why bother when the media only wants to see the bad side of the situation. Now more importantly why bother fretting about the health and well being of these savages, why bother about feeling guilty if we kill them for no one is to blame when our people die but our goverments so surly thier goverments are also to blame by the same logic. Why bother giving them aid for that money could be better spent at home, why bother keeping bases all round the world lets pull our forces from all these shit hole places even from the likes of Germany and other so called allied nations as they deserve no assistence in war or peace. Why not consolidate out military at home and use nuclear weapons beacause if nuclear weapons where used against us it would be fair game to the eyes of the rest of the world so why not use them, why not use the nuclear power on pakistan and iran, do we really care if several million people and several whole cities are turned to glass parking lots? I can tell you honestly that it wouldnt make a differance to me one bit, I couldnt care a hoot for radiation left behind or for mutated kids twenty years down the line, i couldnt care less if innocent people die for because in to me thier all guilty by association just as we are in thier eyes - guilty because of what we are and who are leaders are, well screw them that works both ways. Americans killed by the thousand on 9/11 yet the eneamy just said well its tough because your countrys been horrible to us so you all deserved it even though those that died in the towers were civilians, by that same logic the people of these hell hole countrys are also guilty. Lets stop this fcking about playing nice to those who would rather kill us and do away with them before they do the same to us and fck what the media and the hordes of Koranimals say, if they want to start burning flags and screaming death to the UK and America then fckin drop a tactical nuke on them. Tough shit to all the leftys and the eneamy if we want to win we have to cripple the eneamy with no mercy what so ever!
Posted by: ShepUK   2006-03-19 04:27  

#3  I know how to defeat the Taliban in six months: blockade Pakistan.
Posted by: Rory B. Bellows   2006-03-19 03:30  

#2  And it would have cost an estimated 500,000 American lives to invade and capture Japan, but...

Folks, I am not aping Zenster - he denies the pliability of Muslims in accepting our secular state model if we asserted strength - but I will tell you that the growing concept of the cheapness of jihadi life, combined with limited success of inclusivist democraticization and the presence of terrorist financiers in our midst, not to mention the concept of our inflating counter-terror debt as a sort of indulgence, will lead to the use of America's nuclear stockpile as a means of final destruction of the terror menace.

Another 20 years of the same old s@#$ is as unthinkable as is nuclear-jihad thinkable to Iran's Mullah tyranny. Don't link me with Zenster, but nuclear-counter-terror has to be taken as a viable option and given the pre-emptive war doctrine, NCT is inevitable, and soon. Iran already has a Euro-missile capability. Next they meet the 3000 mile radius. Then 5000. Then...

I admit to the amusement value of the green banner/black flag morons, but: my future does not include jihadis, period.
Posted by: Listen To Dogs   2006-03-19 02:37  

#1  Much hand-wringing, little substance to support two-decade war theory. There is much work needed over an extended period in Afghanistan, but please.

There is absolutely no certitude with such projections. No contingency consideration for a regime change in Iran or PakiWakiland.
Posted by: Captain America   2006-03-19 00:30  

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