George Will on Afghanistan: Get Out

Image
    Abandon all sanity, ye who enter here!

Moderators: ᴶᵛᵀᴬ, Omphalos, Freakzilla

User avatar
SandRider
Watermaster
Posts: 6163
Joined: 05 Oct 2008 16:14
Location: In the back of your mind. Always.
Contact:

George Will on Afghanistan: Get Out

Postby SandRider » 04 Sep 2009 13:21

Thought I was losing my mind.
Considered calling my doctor.
Thought my local paper had just fucked up the by-lines again.

George Will in the Washington Post wrote:Time to Get Out of Afghanistan

By George F. Will
Tuesday, September 1, 2009

"Yesterday," reads the e-mail from Allen, a Marine in Afghanistan, "I gave blood because a Marine, while out on patrol, stepped on a [mine's] pressure plate and lost both legs." Then "another Marine with a bullet wound to the head was brought in. Both Marines died this morning."

"I'm sorry about the drama," writes Allen, an enthusiastic infantryman willing to die "so that each of you may grow old." He says: "I put everything in God's hands." And: "Semper Fi!"

Allen and others of America's finest are also in Washington's hands. This city should keep faith with them by rapidly reversing the trajectory of America's involvement in Afghanistan, where, says the Dutch commander of coalition forces in a southern province, walking through the region is "like walking through the Old Testament."

U.S. strategy -- protecting the population -- is increasingly troop-intensive while Americans are increasingly impatient about "deteriorating" (says Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) conditions. The war already is nearly 50 percent longer than the combined U.S. involvements in two world wars, and NATO assistance is reluctant and often risible.

The U.S. strategy is "clear, hold and build." Clear? Taliban forces can evaporate and then return, confident that U.S. forces will forever be too few to hold gains. Hence nation-building would be impossible even if we knew how, and even if Afghanistan were not the second-worst place to try: The Brookings Institution ranks Somalia as the only nation with a weaker state.

Military historian Max Hastings says Kabul controls only about a third of the country -- "control" is an elastic concept -- and " 'our' Afghans may prove no more viable than were 'our' Vietnamese, the Saigon regime." Just 4,000 Marines are contesting control of Helmand province, which is the size of West Virginia. The New York Times reports a Helmand official saying he has only "police officers who steal and a small group of Afghan soldiers who say they are here for 'vacation.' " Afghanistan's $23 billion gross domestic product is the size of Boise's. Counterinsurgency doctrine teaches, not very helpfully, that development depends on security, and that security depends on development. Three-quarters of Afghanistan's poppy production for opium comes from Helmand. In what should be called Operation Sisyphus, U.S. officials are urging farmers to grow other crops. Endive, perhaps?

Even though violence exploded across Iraq after, and partly because of, three elections, Afghanistan's recent elections were called "crucial." To what? They came, they went, they altered no fundamentals, all of which militate against American "success," whatever that might mean. Creation of an effective central government? Afghanistan has never had one. U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry hopes for a "renewal of trust" of the Afghan people in the government, but the Economist describes President Hamid Karzai's government -- his vice presidential running mate is a drug trafficker -- as so "inept, corrupt and predatory" that people sometimes yearn for restoration of the warlords, "who were less venal and less brutal than Mr. Karzai's lot."

Mullen speaks of combating Afghanistan's "culture of poverty." But that took decades in just a few square miles of the South Bronx. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, thinks jobs programs and local government services might entice many "accidental guerrillas" to leave the Taliban. But before launching New Deal 2.0 in Afghanistan, the Obama administration should ask itself: If U.S. forces are there to prevent reestablishment of al-Qaeda bases -- evidently there are none now -- must there be nation-building invasions of Somalia, Yemen and other sovereignty vacuums?

U.S. forces are being increased by 21,000, to 68,000, bringing the coalition total to 110,000. About 9,000 are from Britain, where support for the war is waning. Counterinsurgency theory concerning the time and the ratio of forces required to protect the population indicates that, nationwide, Afghanistan would need hundreds of thousands of coalition troops, perhaps for a decade or more. That is inconceivable.

So, instead, forces should be substantially reduced to serve a comprehensively revised policy: America should do only what can be done from offshore, using intelligence, drones, cruise missiles, airstrikes and small, potent Special Forces units, concentrating on the porous 1,500-mile border with Pakistan, a nation that actually matters.

Genius, said de Gaulle, recalling Bismarck's decision to halt German forces short of Paris in 1870, sometimes consists of knowing when to stop. Genius is not required to recognize that in Afghanistan, when means now, before more American valor, such as Allen's, is squandered.

georgewill@washpost.com



now while I happen to (sort of) agree with George here,
I have to wonder : what would this column have said if
John McCain was president ?

George Will is the new Pat Buchanan ?
................ I exist only to amuse myself ................
ImageImage

I personally feel that this message board, Jacurutu, is full of hateful folks who don't know
how to fully interact with people.
~ "Spice Grandson" (Bryon Merrit) 08 June 2008

User avatar
Freakzilla
Lead Singer and Driver of the Winnebego
Posts: 18160
Joined: 05 Feb 2008 01:27
Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Contact:

Re: George Will on Afghanistan: Get Out

Postby Freakzilla » 04 Sep 2009 13:23

Maybe Obama should go bow to the Taliban and offer them deals. Have a beer with them, maybe.
Image
Paul of Dune was so bad it gave me a seizure that dislocated both of my shoulders and prolapsed my anus.
~Pink Snowman

User avatar
A Thing of Eternity
Posts: 6090
Joined: 08 Apr 2008 15:35
Location: Calgary Alberta

Re: George Will on Afghanistan: Get Out

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 04 Sep 2009 13:44

I know not everyone agrees with me, but I think that when countries go into another country and ravage it they owe it to the people of that country to help them get back on their feet. You make the mess, you clean up the mess, I learned that in kindergarten. Not that I'm saying there's no such thing as the right time to pull out before the country is safe to live in - there are probably lots of situations where it might be better for that country for us to just leave before the fight is over - but we should only leave when it is in fact better for that country (read: not better for us) for us to leave.

I think we should up the presence in Afghanistan and give them a real chance to form a stable democracy. If we don't we're just setting up history to repeat itself, and maybe the next time they launch attacks on us they'll truly be justified.
Image

User avatar
Freakzilla
Lead Singer and Driver of the Winnebego
Posts: 18160
Joined: 05 Feb 2008 01:27
Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Contact:

Re: George Will on Afghanistan: Get Out

Postby Freakzilla » 04 Sep 2009 13:51

Doesn't the US always rebuild the countries we invade (when we win)?
Image
Paul of Dune was so bad it gave me a seizure that dislocated both of my shoulders and prolapsed my anus.
~Pink Snowman

User avatar
SandRider
Watermaster
Posts: 6163
Joined: 05 Oct 2008 16:14
Location: In the back of your mind. Always.
Contact:

Re: George Will on Afghanistan: Get Out

Postby SandRider » 04 Sep 2009 13:52

you know who George Will is, right ?
................ I exist only to amuse myself ................
ImageImage

I personally feel that this message board, Jacurutu, is full of hateful folks who don't know
how to fully interact with people.
~ "Spice Grandson" (Bryon Merrit) 08 June 2008

User avatar
Freakzilla
Lead Singer and Driver of the Winnebego
Posts: 18160
Joined: 05 Feb 2008 01:27
Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Contact:

Re: George Will on Afghanistan: Get Out

Postby Freakzilla » 04 Sep 2009 14:01

A Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper columnist, journalist, and author. That doesn't mean he's always right.
Image
Paul of Dune was so bad it gave me a seizure that dislocated both of my shoulders and prolapsed my anus.
~Pink Snowman

User avatar
A Thing of Eternity
Posts: 6090
Joined: 08 Apr 2008 15:35
Location: Calgary Alberta

Re: George Will on Afghanistan: Get Out

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 04 Sep 2009 14:04

Freakzilla wrote:Doesn't the US always rebuild the countries we invade (when we win)?


I didn't say America hadn't (and honestly I don't know the history of what happened to every country the US has invaded after the war was over)- alls I'm saying is that now isn't the time to stop that policy.
Image

User avatar
SandRider
Watermaster
Posts: 6163
Joined: 05 Oct 2008 16:14
Location: In the back of your mind. Always.
Contact:

Re: George Will on Afghanistan: Get Out

Postby SandRider » 04 Sep 2009 14:43

Freakzilla wrote:A Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper columnist, journalist, and author. That doesn't mean he's always right.



I actually think he is right, here.
Which is why I thought I was losing my mind.

I've just never known George to be a Buchanan-style isolationist.
He's not always a hard right-winger, either, like Bill Kristol,
I've always seen George Will as a mouthpiece for corporations & robber barons.

maybe that's it - Will can't see the profit-motive in Afghanistan
the way he could in Iraq. Yeah, that's it.
................ I exist only to amuse myself ................
ImageImage

I personally feel that this message board, Jacurutu, is full of hateful folks who don't know
how to fully interact with people.
~ "Spice Grandson" (Bryon Merrit) 08 June 2008

User avatar
Freakzilla
Lead Singer and Driver of the Winnebego
Posts: 18160
Joined: 05 Feb 2008 01:27
Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Contact:

Re: George Will on Afghanistan: Get Out

Postby Freakzilla » 04 Sep 2009 14:49

I have no problem with us being isolationist, in fact I'm all for it. Stop the bombing and the foreign aid money.

But we can't start a war and then just pull out, leaving the country in ruins.
Image
Paul of Dune was so bad it gave me a seizure that dislocated both of my shoulders and prolapsed my anus.
~Pink Snowman

User avatar
SandRider
Watermaster
Posts: 6163
Joined: 05 Oct 2008 16:14
Location: In the back of your mind. Always.
Contact:

Re: George Will on Afghanistan: Get Out

Postby SandRider » 04 Sep 2009 15:06

Freakzilla wrote:I have no problem with us being isolationist, in fact I'm all for it. Stop the bombing and the foreign aid money.

But we can't start a war and then just pull out, leaving the country in ruins.



sure we can.
Viet Nam & Cambodia. 1959-1975.

doing it in Iraq right now.
................ I exist only to amuse myself ................
ImageImage

I personally feel that this message board, Jacurutu, is full of hateful folks who don't know
how to fully interact with people.
~ "Spice Grandson" (Bryon Merrit) 08 June 2008

User avatar
GamePlayer
70mm God
Posts: 2993
Joined: 09 Feb 2008 11:26
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Re: George Will on Afghanistan: Get Out

Postby GamePlayer » 04 Sep 2009 15:36

I actually was supportive of the war in Afghanistan. But I'm not for the way it's being fought. I don't think there's much point in being there anymore if none of our goals can be achieved. More importantly, I don't think my country should be there if there were no realistic goals to begin with. I had assumed (perhaps wrongly or naively) there were plans and legitimate reasons for fighting. Now I'm not so sure. I'm just not seeing forward progress.
"They can chew you up, but they gotta spit you out."

User avatar
A Thing of Eternity
Posts: 6090
Joined: 08 Apr 2008 15:35
Location: Calgary Alberta

Re: George Will on Afghanistan: Get Out

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 04 Sep 2009 15:41

That's pretty much how I feel about it too. But as long as we stand a reasonable chance at helping I think we should stay and fight it out.
Image

User avatar
SandRider
Watermaster
Posts: 6163
Joined: 05 Oct 2008 16:14
Location: In the back of your mind. Always.
Contact:

Re: George Will on Afghanistan: Get Out

Postby SandRider » 04 Sep 2009 15:47

that's what the Soviets said.
And the Brits.
And the Hindus.
................ I exist only to amuse myself ................
ImageImage

I personally feel that this message board, Jacurutu, is full of hateful folks who don't know
how to fully interact with people.
~ "Spice Grandson" (Bryon Merrit) 08 June 2008

Nebiros
Posts: 315
Joined: 23 Apr 2008 01:55
Location: Cedon

Re: George Will on Afghanistan: Get Out

Postby Nebiros » 04 Sep 2009 19:53

You are all for isolationism? But you are all FOR war with Iran! As long as you are not busy elsewhere.

User avatar
Redstar
Posts: 1184
Joined: 25 Feb 2009 04:13

Re: George Will on Afghanistan: Get Out

Postby Redstar » 04 Sep 2009 19:57

Freakzilla wrote:Doesn't the US always rebuild the countries we invade (when we win)?

The Mouse That Roared

User avatar
SandRider
Watermaster
Posts: 6163
Joined: 05 Oct 2008 16:14
Location: In the back of your mind. Always.
Contact:

Re: George Will on Afghanistan: Get Out

Postby SandRider » 05 Sep 2009 00:24

Nebiros wrote:You are all for isolationism? But you are all FOR war with Iran! As long as you are not busy elsewhere.


who the fuck are you talking to ?
................ I exist only to amuse myself ................
ImageImage

I personally feel that this message board, Jacurutu, is full of hateful folks who don't know
how to fully interact with people.
~ "Spice Grandson" (Bryon Merrit) 08 June 2008

User avatar
Freakzilla
Lead Singer and Driver of the Winnebego
Posts: 18160
Joined: 05 Feb 2008 01:27
Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Contact:

Re: George Will on Afghanistan: Get Out

Postby Freakzilla » 05 Sep 2009 08:25

SandRider wrote:
Nebiros wrote:You are all for isolationism? But you are all FOR war with Iran! As long as you are not busy elsewhere.


who the fuck are you talking to ?



I'm sure he meant me.

I'm not FOR any war, but they are inevitable.
Image
Paul of Dune was so bad it gave me a seizure that dislocated both of my shoulders and prolapsed my anus.
~Pink Snowman

User avatar
SandRider
Watermaster
Posts: 6163
Joined: 05 Oct 2008 16:14
Location: In the back of your mind. Always.
Contact:

Re: George Will on Afghanistan: Get Out

Postby SandRider » 05 Sep 2009 11:52

we never went toe-to-toe with the Russians.

my whole life, I was told that was inevitable & we
might as well drop the First Bomb.

assholes were wrong then, too ...
................ I exist only to amuse myself ................
ImageImage

I personally feel that this message board, Jacurutu, is full of hateful folks who don't know
how to fully interact with people.
~ "Spice Grandson" (Bryon Merrit) 08 June 2008

User avatar
Redstar
Posts: 1184
Joined: 25 Feb 2009 04:13

Re: George Will on Afghanistan: Get Out

Postby Redstar » 05 Sep 2009 17:46

SandRider wrote:we never went toe-to-toe with the Russians.

my whole life, I was told that was inevitable & we
might as well drop the First Bomb.

assholes were wrong then, too ...

Hey, there's always hope for a second chance...


Return to “˱”