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Afghanistan,what is the answer?


Gastines

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Perhaps I should have put what is the question as it seems few are really sure of the reasons behind this conflict.Listening to the many politicians and forces top brass telling us what a good job is being done, I have yet to hear anyone mention the local source of income which appears to be the drug trade from the poppy crop. Perhaps the local tribal chiefs are just trying to protect their income and use the religious banner for a rallying point? Whilst it seems that if the crop was destroyed another country would soon fill the void, would an answer be to purchase the crop so avoiding it entering the illegal market and use it to supply the need in medical use. An alternative cash crop being offered with a guaranteed market also being on offer. I'm sure these days of G.M. crops there are plenty of alternatives available that would grow in the terrain. At the moment Billions must be being spent with the seemingly end result of more terrorism and destruction mostly inflicted indiscriminately on the general populace locally and abroad.
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The 'Party line' for the conflict seems to be the idea that we can defeat the 'terrorists' over there rather than defeat them over here. That concept, IMHO, seems pretty flawed. The continuation of the conflict appears to be seriously polarising opinion in the Arab / Muslim world and is seen (by some) as a war against Islam and, as such, is potentially leading to more anti-west terrorism not less.

The situation is also (again my opinion only) complicated by the feeling that the Afghan fighters (Taleban ???) are actually freedom fighters who are defending their homeland / culture / religion from an invader.

I am not totally sure that the poppy crop is a major factor, although it must be a factor in that if we destroy the farmers source of income we, in fact, drive them into the arms of the Taleban who will claim to defend said farmers by driving out the invaders.

A further, added, complication seems to be the desire by NATO forces to effectively secure the Pakistan border region to stop the Taleban gaining access to the nuclear weapons of Pakistan.

Overlying the whole situation is of course the tribal Warlord tradition.

I believe it is a fact that, under Taleban control, the opium poppy production was considerably less than it is now.

What is the answer? ...................I have no idea.

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To be honest I've no idea what the answer is but I don't think it is to carry on as we are doing.

This is a war of attrition and the Taliban can wait as long as they like. They won't fold, or go away but if the pressure gets too great they'll maybe hibernate for a while only to re-emerge later. The west will not continue to have the stomach to carry on with this indefinitely... the Taliban will.  Just my opinion of course but if I was an American I'd be thinking of it as another Vietnam.

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Know your enemy is a fundamental rule of war and it is abundantly clear to me that none of the warmongers on either side of the pond had the slightest notion of what they were actually taking on and now how to extract themselves from this completely unwinnable tragic fiasco.

Far from making the world a safer place it has made it an immeasurable more dangerous one.

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[quote user="AnOther"]Know your enemy is a fundamental rule of war and it is abundantly clear to me that none of the warmongers on either side of the pond had the slightest notion of what they were actually taking on and now how to extract themselves from this completely unwinnable tragic fiasco.

Far from making the world a safer place it has made it an immeasurable more dangerous one.

[/quote]

Agreed, and yet you would have thought that there was no excuse not to know... the history of the area makes it very clear along with the most recent the Russian experience.

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A couple of years ago a film, "Charlie Wilson's War" was released. This film, purportedly telling a true story, told of the campaign by an American congressman to secretly provide the Afghan mujahideen with American weapons to repulse the Russian invaders. When this was accomplished Charlie Wilson tried to get the American government to invest in a social and physical infrastructure for the ravaged country. His idea was firmly rejected.

I have no idea how much of this story was factual, but the author of the book on which the film is based, George Crile, wrote that the mujahideen's victory opened a power vacuum for bin Laden. "By the end of 1993, in Afghanistan itself there were no roads, no schools, just a destroyed country -- and the United States was washing its hands of any responsibility. It was in this vacuum that the Taliban and Osama bin Laden would emerge as the dominant players. It is ironic that a man who had almost nothing to do with the victory over the Red Army, Osama bin Laden, would come to personify the power of the jihad."

When responding to the atrocity of the World Trade Center, G W Bush did not take time to reflect on why the USA is perceived the way it is by so much of the world. Instead, it seems, he adopted the John Wayne approach to diplomacy. The rest is history.

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I wonder just how much better life could have been if we had spent our war contribution on defence of our island, education, welfare etc.

Not N.I.C.E. could have bought some expensive drugs that may have saved more people than have been killed, then again the world is over crowded and if you join the forces it is for the use of politicians.

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[quote user="Bugbear"]I stand to be corrected but I don't think, in the whole of history, that anyone has ever gone into afghanistan and won.

As said elsewhere, the Taliban have only to wait.

Pointless and stupid

.[/quote]

At this time of night I am not going to look up references but.....I think you will find that, ultimately, the British forces did in fact win, but only for some 30 years or so. My memory of military history may be playing false though.

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My first wifes Uncle Percy who was in his late 90s when I last saw him was in the British Army in Afghanistan in the 1880s. He told some great stories about his time there and going up the Khyber pass. He said in the long run the British army had no real chance of holding the territory.

Today it's not a war - it's not winnable - especially when the Afghans will change sides for just a few dollars.

It is sad - it is a beautiful country and is now just a weapons testing ground for the arms trade.

 

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Interesting to read the response.It seems the majority are of the opinion that it is basically serving no purpose to the Afghans or the rest of the world.Regarding the last British campaign,I suppose the main difference being that virtually every male occupant didn't carry an A.K or a rocket launcher. The Arms dealers of the world still keep churning the stuff out. When I worked in Iraq at the time when they were at War with Iran,it was common knowledge that the Israeli's were supplying both sides as while the Arabs fought each other , they weren't fighting the Jews. I suppose all these wars,occupations etc are all about oil/minerals and money and in the case of Mr. Blair, Mr Bush,a note in history now shown up for their own personal fame.
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[quote user="Mickie Hill"]

funny.

No ones mentioned the pipeline.

http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/forum/forumnew41.php

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afghanistan_Oil_Pipeline

So, it's back on again.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/2017044.stm

[/quote]

So that makes a great link to a Bond film, featuring a pipeline across said area which is bound to be shown at Christmas and features the beautiful Sophie Marceau who is of course French as is this forum [:)]

 

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The whole escapade is an absolute waste of money and resources.

If you thought it was getting expensive filling up your Rolls Royce just see what the cost of fuel is in Afghanistan.

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/63407-400gallon-gas-another-cost-of-war-in-afghanistan

Again I saw something in the news a politician blithley saying "Oh - 15 million is nothing" to which my answer is always "In that case you pay the bill then personally".

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[quote user="buelligan"]and also links to thoughts about this sort of thing..[url]http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8411261.stm[/url] [url]http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4888012.stm[/url][/quote]

Don't panic buelligan, it's only the plot for a new Bond film, just someone fogot to tell the Russians [:)]

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The Trans Afganistan Oil Pipeline is vital to feed the demand for Asia to grow . A pipeline direct to central China from vast oilfields in Kazahkstan avoiding Afganistan is too long . Chevron Oil Company want to see this pipeline built to keep the supply meeting the future demand. If it is not built I suspect we will not be able to afford to fill up our cars Asia will be taking what we use now .Thats what its all about and the country has to be tamed and the right governement in place before the pipeline can be built.
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The Afghanistanian tribes have never been tamed or successfully invaded in point of fact old mates.

Despite Britain in the days of the Raj successfully colonising the indian sub continent, they never tamed the wild Afghanistanian tribesmen.

And Soviet Russia, despite sending in their SpetzNaz elite troops, they failed too: mainly cos the tribes men are intensely proud, determined and simply vanish into the harsh and unforgiving mountains: which the Afghans know backwards and the invaders don't.

When such as Brown spouts forth about "Dying for your country" as yet more young men so sadly have their lives shortened, I tend to almost throw up with despair and anger.

Because these lads ar not dying for their country: once again, they are being slaughtered to serve the greedy interests of mainly US oil barons: as they were in Iraq.

 

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