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Obama seeks new approach in Afghanistan: report


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http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081111/pl_nm/...ama_afghanistan

 

Obama seeks new approach in Afghanistan: report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) ? President-elect Barack Obama plans to try a more regional approach to the war in Afghanistan including possible talks with Iran, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday, citing national security advisers to Obama. The president-elect also intends to move ahead with a planned deployment of thousands of additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan and refocus on the hunt for al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, the newspaper reported.

 

However, the Obama team is far from working out how to bring bin Laden back to the forefront of the U.S. counter-terrorism agenda, The Washington Post reported.

 

Obama received his first high-level intelligence briefing as president-elect last week.

 

While emphasizing the importance of continuing U.S. operations against Pakistan-based Taliban fighters who attack U.S. forces in Afghanistan, the incoming administration intends to remind Americans about the fight against Islamist extremists and the September 11 attacks, the newspaper said.

 

Advisers told the newspaper that Obama plans to underscore that al Qaeda remains the nation's highest priority.

 

"This is our enemy," on Obama adviser told the newspaper, referring to bin Laden "and he should be our principal target."

 

Iran, on Afghanistan's western border, has been kept at arm's length by the Bush administration, but should be considered in formulating a new Afghanistan strategy, a senior U.S. military official was cited as saying.

 

"As we look to the future, it would be helpful to have an interlocutor" to explore shared objectives, the official told the newspaper. The Iranians "don't want Sunni extremists in charge of Afghanistan any more than we do," the official said.

 

(Writing by Joanne Allen; Editing by Patricia Zengerle)

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So, you'd rather go fight in Iraq?

 

Dumbass.

No genius. And you go ahead and give me a call when Barack announces that he wants to close the 14 bases we've been building over there or the Vatican-City-Sized embassy we are building in Baghdad. Oh wait, that's right, Obama's not planning on actually leaving Iraq...

 

Some of us actually realize that it shouldn't be the job of the US government to prop up governments like we are doing in Afghanistan & Iraq. If our goal was simply to hunt down Al Qaeda leadership and either arrest or kill them then we would be talking about reducing the number of troops out there.

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I have no problem with them going after Al-Qaeda wherever they are. I think it should be a small scale operation though, special forces and the like. Shouldn't need to be massive amounts of troops.

 

 

 

It's also been reported that they plan to explore the dialogue between the Afghan government and "reconcilable elements of the Taliban" (read into that what you will).

 

As for Iraq, it's not like he's got 100% backing on that either. Even a steady withdrawl of combat forces at this point many disagree with. You've got some military leaders calling it "dangerous".

 

I at least do not think there will be unrealistic goals of democracy/nation building in these places. Which I realize sounds stupid even to have to mention. If anything, you work on a stable nation that rejects al-Qaeda and Islamic extremism. That's the best you can hope for right now.

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I have no problem with them going after Al-Qaeda wherever they are. I think it should be a small scale operation though, special forces and the like. Certainly doesn't need to be massive amounts of troops.

Exactly. The massive amounts of troops that we put in end up working as policemen and peacekeepers to prop up governments, and that should never be the job of our military.

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I have no problem with them going after Al-Qaeda wherever they are. I think it should be a small scale operation though, special forces and the like. Certainly doesn't need to be massive amounts of troops.

Exactly. The massive amounts of troops that we put in end up working as policemen and peacekeepers to prop up governments, and that should never be the job of our military.

 

Yet that's exactly what we're doing in Iraq, but somehow you think we shouldn't in Afghanistan? We have more standing to do that in Afghanistan and Waziristan than we do in Iraq, but it's not OK? What ARE your standards? Remember that your President remarked that he doesn't give a damn where Bin Laden is.

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I have no problem with them going after Al-Qaeda wherever they are. I think it should be a small scale operation though, special forces and the like. Certainly doesn't need to be massive amounts of troops.

Exactly. The massive amounts of troops that we put in end up working as policemen and peacekeepers to prop up governments, and that should never be the job of our military.

 

Yet that's exactly what we're doing in Iraq, but somehow you think we shouldn't in Afghanistan? We have more standing to do that in Afghanistan and Waziristan than we do in Iraq, but it's not OK? What ARE your standards? Remember that your President remarked that he doesn't give a damn where Bin Laden is.

I'm sorry, do you think I like President Bush or something? Maybe you believe the rest of us are confined to that "two-party" thinking, but we aren't. I don't think we should have a single base in Iraq and I don't think we should have any more troops there than would be necessary to protect an average sized US Embassy. Barack Obama supports a policy of maintaining 14 permanent bases in Iraq along with the biggest embassy in the world.

 

We have standing to go after Al-Qaeda, because they attacked us. We had standing to topple the Taliban because they were harboring Bin Laden and Al-Zawahiri & co. But we don't have any standing to prop up Hamid Karzai & co and effectively decide who should be in charge of a foreign government. If we ever did have standing for that, at what point do we say that the government in Kabul has to start sustaining itself? When are they grown up enough that they don't need US soldiers working as policeman in their country? 5 years? 10 years? 50 years? 100 years?

 

While we certainly have legitimate reason to be active inside of Afghanistan and no reason to be in Iraq, the fact is that somethings are wrong to do no matter where you do them, and using our troops as a police force to protect foreign governments half way around the world is wrong.

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I have no problem with them going after Al-Qaeda wherever they are. I think it should be a small scale operation though, special forces and the like. Shouldn't need to be massive amounts of troops.

Dude, that's not the case at all. There is no hope in Afghanistan, and running small scale SF missions to target a select few high profile leaders will accomplish nothing. We killed a countless number of upper level Taliban leaders and senior officers, and the second they're killed there's always someone else who immediately takes their place.

 

More than 75% of the country has been completely untouched by coalition forces for over 7 years now and you've got cities that are taliban strongholds with 5,000+ taliban. The army is over there simply as a defensive/occupying force and the other 33 nations over there as part of ISAF NEVER leave the wire, only ones who are proactive in hunting the enemy on a massive scale are the Marines, and right now there's only one battalion over there.

 

We killed 1,200 taliban and liberated the entire Helmand Province... the British relieved and took over for us and the taliban came back and started wiping out the brits left and right and the brits retreated back into a single FOB.

 

You need to get the politicians and news cameras out of the country and let the military win this war. Unless you put at least two battalions of Marines in each province, there is zero hope for any sort of legitimate military or political victory in Afghanistan.

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You need to get the politicians and news cameras out of the country and let the military win this war. Unless you put at least two battalions of Marines in each province, there is zero hope for any sort of legitimate military or political victory in Afghanistan.

I'm only curious, what exactly would victory mean in this case?

 

Let me be clear: I don't really care about democracy in Afghanistan. After 9/11, we demanded the Taliban turn over the Al-Qaeda leadership we believed were responsible, like Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, and Osama Bin Laden. It was Mullah Omar's refusal to do so (not their style of government) that justified our invasion (IMO). So we went in and toppled the Taliban and still haven't gotten all our guys.

There really still should only be one goal in Afghanistan, and that one being the apprehension or death of those luminaries on our list. And and all resources we commit there should only be set towards that goal, rather than fighting a bunch of Taliban who have basically nothing to do with 9/11. And once we scratch off the names on our list, we should be gone. If the Taliban want to keep their country in the 13th Century, they will be the worse off for it.

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Are you saying massive amounts of troops are necessary to hunt down top AQ leaders and Bin Laden? That's my only point.

 

It all depends on what you're trying to accomplish there. I'm not particularly interested in the Taliban.

 

You need to get the politicians and news cameras out of the country and let the military win this war.

 

Huh?

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