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Afghanistan Still Costing Us $45B / Year


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#21 LFC

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Posted 17 August 2018 - 04:37 PM

We're losing ground in Afghanistan. Where's is Trump's big beautiful plan that's going to make us soooo happy? Does he even have a plan? Does he even have a clue?

Quote

Remember the war in Afghanistan? It never ended, and now President Donald Trump faces harsh questions about what appear to be serious military setbacks in that perennially troubled nation.

At least 200 to 300 Afghan security forces have been killed by Taliban insurgents since Friday, awith the lower number reported by ABC News. (Other sources have reported greater numbers of casualties.) The first attack was an intricately coordinated effort by the Taliban to capture the city of Ghazni, 75 miles south of Kabul, the Afghan capital. Since then, U.S. military “advisers” and airstrikes have been deployed to flush out Taliban fighters from Ghazni’s residential neighborhoods, with the violence only seeming to subside on Wednesday.

After the skirmish in the city of Ghazni, another Taliban attack occurred some distance away in Ghazni Province. This time the battle took place in Arjistan, a western district of the province, and 50 members of the security force were reported killed. Taliban casualties appear to be unknown.


The piece reports on more attacks and then explains a little.

Quote

None of this bodes well for Trump, who promised a swift conclusion to the Afghan war when he discussed it during the 2016 presidential campaign. His administration had publicly suggested that his strategy in Afghanistan was working and would open the way toward peace talks that could end the 17-year war in that country.

“To me, it simply means a continuation of their willingness to put innocent people in harm’s way,” Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said about the Taliban attacks, speaking during his visit to South America. “There’s nothing new. It’s the usual endangering of civilians, part and parcel of what they’ve done for the last 20 years.”


So another promise broken. This wasn't "we're going to work to bring the conflict to and end" type of promise but a big, bold, braggadocious promise. The reality of the Trump "policy" is that the military is doing exactly what they did under Obama. Of course if you say that to Trump he'll change the policy instantly and definitely make it even worse.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#22 JackD

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Posted 17 August 2018 - 04:49 PM

"Trump's big beautiful plan that's going to make us sooooo happy" is on the shelf next to Nixon's secret plan to end the war and likely to be just as successful.

#23 Sinan

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Posted 17 August 2018 - 05:10 PM

At some point a person with any knowledge of history has got to admit the obvious, never get involved in a land war in Asia....Sicilian wisdom.
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#24 andydp

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Posted 17 August 2018 - 05:29 PM

Not to worry: Eric Prince will do it under contract with his boys from Xe.

Problem solved.
Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

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Obamacare took my guns away and put me in a FEMA reeducation camp.

Anonymous

If you've got public schools paid for by taxpayers, you're in a socialist nation. If you have public roads paid for by taxpayers, socialist nation. If you've got public defense (police, fire, military, coast guard) paid for by tax dollars, socialist nation. If you're in a nation that has nationalized or localized delivery of services that are not paid for by users alone, you're in a socialist nation- the only question is how socialist. As I see it, we have the military pay to protecting the shipping lanes for our fuel needs which makes up very socialist. In a capitalist nation, the people supplying the oil would pay for their own defense force.


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#25 LFC

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Posted 17 August 2018 - 05:30 PM

View PostJackD, on 17 August 2018 - 04:49 PM, said:

"Trump's big beautiful plan that's going to make us sooooo happy" is on the shelf next to Nixon's secret plan to end the war and likely to be just as successful.

Is that on the same shelf as John McCain's secret plan on how to get Osama bin Laden? (That's what he said he knew how to do IIRC.)
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#26 JackD

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Posted 17 August 2018 - 10:37 PM

Same shelf.

#27 andydp

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Posted 18 August 2018 - 05:35 AM

View PostSinan, on 17 August 2018 - 05:10 PM, said:

At some point a person with any knowledge of history has got to admit the obvious, never get involved in a land war in Asia....Sicilian wisdom.

Here you go:


Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

Rev Martin Luther King Jr.


Obamacare took my guns away and put me in a FEMA reeducation camp.

Anonymous

If you've got public schools paid for by taxpayers, you're in a socialist nation. If you have public roads paid for by taxpayers, socialist nation. If you've got public defense (police, fire, military, coast guard) paid for by tax dollars, socialist nation. If you're in a nation that has nationalized or localized delivery of services that are not paid for by users alone, you're in a socialist nation- the only question is how socialist. As I see it, we have the military pay to protecting the shipping lanes for our fuel needs which makes up very socialist. In a capitalist nation, the people supplying the oil would pay for their own defense force.


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#28 Rich T Bikkies

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Posted 18 August 2018 - 06:51 AM

View Postandydp, on 18 August 2018 - 05:35 AM, said:

Here you go:



Not funny, which seems fatal for a "comedian", and seems a nasty piece of work. I listened to him for only a minute and a half, so this is just a gut reaction. But the program hosts and the studio audience apparently love him, so where do I come in?

So who is he? Please tell. I'm ready to look a fool, and for the shock of my life.
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#29 andydp

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Posted 18 August 2018 - 09:29 AM

View PostRich T Bikkies, on 18 August 2018 - 06:51 AM, said:

Not funny, which seems fatal for a "comedian", and seems a nasty piece of work. I listened to him for only a minute and a half, so this is just a gut reaction. But the program hosts and the studio audience apparently love him, so where do I come in?

So who is he? Please tell. I'm ready to look a fool, and for the shock of my life.

This clip has been around for a lot of years. Its a takeoff on Goodfellas, Godfather, Sopranos and a bit of Jersey Shore.

Having lived in the Vailsburg section of Newark, NJ, this is a typical exaggeration of the "tough guy"
Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

Rev Martin Luther King Jr.


Obamacare took my guns away and put me in a FEMA reeducation camp.

Anonymous

If you've got public schools paid for by taxpayers, you're in a socialist nation. If you have public roads paid for by taxpayers, socialist nation. If you've got public defense (police, fire, military, coast guard) paid for by tax dollars, socialist nation. If you're in a nation that has nationalized or localized delivery of services that are not paid for by users alone, you're in a socialist nation- the only question is how socialist. As I see it, we have the military pay to protecting the shipping lanes for our fuel needs which makes up very socialist. In a capitalist nation, the people supplying the oil would pay for their own defense force.


DC Coronata

#30 Rich T Bikkies

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Posted 18 August 2018 - 09:41 AM

View Postandydp, on 18 August 2018 - 09:29 AM, said:

This clip has been around for a lot of years. Its a takeoff on Goodfellas, Godfather, Sopranos and a bit of Jersey Shore.

Having lived in the Vailsburg section of Newark, NJ, this is a typical exaggeration of the "tough guy"

Ah, right, it's a take-off. I see I'd have to live in New Jersey for ten years or so, or something equivalent, before I'd even begin to get it. This is one of those American cultural things that make me feel completely foreign!

So, a Like.
Reality is a hallucination caused by alcohol deprivation.

Only Satan can rebuke sin. The righteous don't know enough.

God is not dead. He was merely voted out of office.

You can do anything with anybody if you just save them the trouble of thinking.

#31 golden_valley

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Posted 18 August 2018 - 10:04 AM

View PostRich T Bikkies, on 18 August 2018 - 09:41 AM, said:

Ah, right, it's a take-off. I see I'd have to live in New Jersey for ten years or so, or something equivalent, before I'd even begin to get it. This is one of those American cultural things that make me feel completely foreign!

So, a Like.

Rich, I'm an American but a Midwestern (and now Western) one. That New Jersey culture you noticed was just as foreign to me in my younger days.

#32 LFC

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Posted 18 August 2018 - 10:17 AM

View Postandydp, on 18 August 2018 - 09:29 AM, said:

This clip has been around for a lot of years. Its a takeoff on Goodfellas, Godfather, Sopranos and a bit of Jersey Shore.

Having lived in the Vailsburg section of Newark, NJ, this is a typical exaggeration of the "tough guy"

As small a state as it is this is definitely North Jersey. I grew up in South Jersey and it's a whole different culture.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#33 andydp

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Posted 19 August 2018 - 08:08 AM

View Postgolden_valley, on 18 August 2018 - 10:04 AM, said:

Rich, I'm an American but a Midwestern (and now Western) one. That New Jersey culture you noticed was just as foreign to me in my younger days.

Since we've drifted off on a tangential course, I'd like to relate a personal observation on North East Vs the rest.

In college,(Seton Hall Univ) I was a member of the Pershing Rifles, a Military fraternity. The rest of our Regiment was located in the Tri State (NY CT NJ) area. Looking back, I'd say we were the equivalent of Delta House at Faber College. When we traveled to other states: GA, OH, NE, etc we would encounter other Riflemen who acted as if they were the equivalent of the Omegas from Faber. Maintain a certain GPA to march, well behaved, etc etc. They tended to look at those crazy "New Yorkers" with trepidation and some amusement.

Just my two cents worth. Back to our normally scheduled diatribes.

I spoke to a co worker who was a TKE President at his CT College. Same thing: Northeastern schools "Deltas" everyone else Omegas.
Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

Rev Martin Luther King Jr.


Obamacare took my guns away and put me in a FEMA reeducation camp.

Anonymous

If you've got public schools paid for by taxpayers, you're in a socialist nation. If you have public roads paid for by taxpayers, socialist nation. If you've got public defense (police, fire, military, coast guard) paid for by tax dollars, socialist nation. If you're in a nation that has nationalized or localized delivery of services that are not paid for by users alone, you're in a socialist nation- the only question is how socialist. As I see it, we have the military pay to protecting the shipping lanes for our fuel needs which makes up very socialist. In a capitalist nation, the people supplying the oil would pay for their own defense force.


DC Coronata

#34 pnwguy

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Posted 19 August 2018 - 10:43 AM

View PostLFC, on 18 August 2018 - 10:17 AM, said:

As small a state as it is this is definitely North Jersey. I grew up in South Jersey and it's a whole different culture.
I probably drove right past you whenever we were going "down the shore".

We always saw North Jersey residents as arrogant and narcissistic. The cultures of Philadelphia and NYC were radically different, and the two halves of NJ took on the ethos of the cities where most people commuted for work.
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#35 Bact PhD

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Posted 19 August 2018 - 02:19 PM

View Postpnwguy, on 19 August 2018 - 10:43 AM, said:


I probably drove right past you whenever we were going "down the shore".

We always saw North Jersey residents as arrogant and narcissistic. The cultures of Philadelphia and NYC were radically different, and the two halves of NJ took on the ethos of the cities where most people commuted for work.

Likewise, LFC’s, yours, & my paths could have crossed on trips to catch a charter fishing boat at one coastal location or another.

When Chem PhD & I were dating and he would describe heading to his grandmother’s “in Jersey” (specifically, North in view of NYC), we might as well have been talking about Ohio and Florida, the environments were so dissimilar.
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#36 LFC

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Posted 21 August 2018 - 09:33 AM

And yet if you go to the northwestern part of NJ (High Point State Park, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Stoke's State Forest) it feels like you a loooonnnngggg way from NYC. That corner of the state is gorgeous.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#37 LFC

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 04:15 PM

H.R. McMaster, considered to be an "adult in the room" when working for Trump, shows that this was true only in the relative sense. In a building filled to the brim with emotional children he did appear to be an adult. Once he left he dusted off his childish, full-blown neocon credentials and is all in for more war in Afghanistan. The comments on this piece are brutal.

Quote

Former national security advisor H.R. McMaster lamented the lack of public support for the war in Afghanistan last week. The American public, he complained, has succumbed to “this defeatist narrative” of “war weariness.”

This view, which evokes a familiar Vietnam War trope, is common among the foreign policy establishment in Washington, which sees the voting public as children and itself as the “adults in the room.” The way they see it, they’re there to make the hard decisions on war and peace for a population that just doesn’t understand.

Nothing could be further from the truth. McMaster’s speech laid bare Washington’s ignorance of what’s at stake: it’s up to the people, not a few so-called elites, to decide which wars are worth fighting. And after almost two decades in which no war has ended on terms beneficial to America—or ended at all—it is clearly the war-weary people, and not the elites, who understand the situation better.

After leaving the White House, McMaster became chairman of the new Center on Military and Political Power at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. FDD is a Washington-based neoconservative outfit that’s been promoting U.S. wars of choice since the Iraq invasion in 2003.

One might say it’s McMaster’s job now to ensure that the United States maintain its military investment in Afghanistan. His recent remarks before a think tank forum, which included the comments above, certainly don’t suggest otherwise.

But since it effectively achieved all of President George W. Bush’s initial operational objectives by early 2002, the war in Afghanistan has descended into an open-ended, losing debacle with no sign of stopping. The war in Iraq resulted in a corrupt government that can’t secure itself without U.S. military support and that’s heavily influenced by Iran. The 2011 regime change operation in Libya sparked a civil war that has raged for almost eight years.

Added to these major conflicts are permanently open-ended fights in Pakistan, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and Niger, plus scores of other active military operations elsewhere in Africa. Not one of these wars has so much as a quantifiable set of objectives whose accomplishment would signal a successful conclusion. Each and every one is to be conducted for its own sake, forever. Few of them have so much as a tangential security benefit for our country; many have no relation to U.S. security at all.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#38 Traveler

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 09:19 PM

Do these foreign misadventures have any beneficial effect here? I am thinking of intelligence on one hand, and keeping them occupied on the other. But then there is the argument that we motivate more than we kill.

So if we did bail, no big deal on the home front? Somehow, I feel there is a linkage. Whether positive enough is what I ask here.
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#39 baw1064

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 10:44 PM

Maybe we should just make it our policy objective to turn countries we find problematic into failed states. That would work much better, because we really suck at the whole nation building thing, but we're really proficient at blowing stuff up. If we play our cards right we can probably turn the entire Middle East into one giant failed state.
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