Patterico's Pontifications

8/22/2017

President Trump On Afghanistan: In The End We Will Win

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:54 am

[guest post by Dana]

We will not be pulling out of Afghanistan:

“My original instinct was to pull out — and, historically, I like following my instincts. But all my life I’ve heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office. In other words, when you’re President of the United States. So I studied Afghanistan in great detail and from every conceivable angle. After many meetings, over many months, we held our final meeting last Friday at Camp David, with my Cabinet and generals, to complete our strategy.”

A lasting and real “victory” seems to be elusive, or perhaps unachievable thus far. Maybe we need a new definition of what that means, and what it would look like:

Trump Called For Victory. This is nothing new — and it’s the most controversial thing about Trump’s speech. That’s because Obama also called for victory as did George W. Bush, but none of them actually defined victory — and neither did Trump. Trump stated, “First, our nation must seek an honorable and enduring outcome worthy of the tremendous sacrifices that have been made, especially the sacrifices of lives. The men and women who serve our nation in combat deserve a plan for victory. They deserve the tools they need, and the trust they have earned, to fight and to win.” This last point is crucial: Trump wants to build up the military where Obama wanted to tear it down. But there’s still no point at which victory can be declared. Trump tried to define victory thusly: “From now on, victory will have a clear definition: attacking our enemies, obliterating ISIS, crushing al-Qaeda, preventing the Taliban from taking over Afghanistan, and stopping mass terror attacks against America before they emerge.” But that’s exactly the same definition Obama and W. used, to little avail.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

159 Responses to “President Trump On Afghanistan: In The End We Will Win”

  1. Good morning.

    Dana (023079)

  2. if we’re doubling down on the hapless US military’s glorious failure in Afghanistan, that means there’s no way the tranny generals are seriously thinking about a military solution in North Korea

    so this speech brought a lot of certainty with it, which is good for planning purposes i think

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  3. At least he stayed on the teleprompter when he reversed himself. Will he stick with the plan? What’s the length of his attention span?

    As usual, it’s all about him. Should we be happy he has a hands off rule of civilian control of the military? In his case, absolutely!

    Ben burn (ae7a29)

  4. “We’re using Provincial Reconstruction Teams of military and civilian experts to help local communities fight corruption, improve governance, and jumpstart their economies. We’re using Agricultural Development Teams to help Afghan farmers feed their people and become more self-sufficient … In all these ways, we’re working to ensure that our military progress is accompanied by the political and economic gains that are critical to the success of a free Afghanistan.”

    – President George W. Bush, 9/9/08

    i don’t think it’s even conceivable anti-semitic tranny-general H.R. McMaster’s silly war will be as stupid as this guy’s

    granted that’s a low bar

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  5. It will be very difficult for Mr. Trump to improve upon the successes of the great General Obama.

    Colonel Haiku (15b793)

  6. The great helmsman cironello who was to busy lobbying the Olympic committee, to see general mccrystal, who used that lush Hastings to sandbag then then used jeh to get rid of petraeus.

    narciso (d1f714)

  7. Trump’s Afghanistan plan is to keep our NATO partners onboard and put more pressure on Pakistan to help, or at least not to sabotage our efforts. In that, he is continuing the Bush and Obama policies exactly, but hopefully he and the military will be able to build on what the past Administrations did.

    There really is no other choice unless Trump is prepared to carry through on his instincts/campaign promises to get us out of Afghanistan, but the generals clearly convinced him his instincts were wrong.

    DRJ (15874d)

  8. It’s not surprising that Trump is trusting the generals’ advice. They are the only people who seem to be able to deliver good results. Of course, if/when that stops and public support changes, then Trump will change course. He embraces public opinion. He doesn’t shape it.

    DRJ (15874d)

  9. Can we give it back to Russia? That’s what started this whole thing. We chased out the godless Communists and let the Muslims take over. This is what Afghanistan looked like under Khruschev.

    nk (dbc370)

  10. Good writeup in the NY Times, which actually treats this fairly:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/21/world/asia/trump-afghanistan.html

    President Trump’s skepticism about America’s involvement in Afghanistan was no secret to his staff. But his top national security officials were still taken aback at a meeting in the Situation Room on July 19, when an angry Mr. Trump began ripping apart their latest proposal to send thousands of additional American troops to the country.

    “We’re losing,” the president declared, according to a person who was in the room. The plan, he complained, was vague and open-ended, with no definition of victory. “What does success look like?” he asked.

    The day before that meeting, Mr. Trump had invited four soldiers who had served in Afghanistan to the White House for lunch. His exchanges with these enlisted men, an official said, left him sober about the prospects for turning around a war that has dragged on for nearly 16 years. He showed up the next day determined to ask hard questions.

    On Monday night, Mr. Trump finally put forward a broader strategy for Afghanistan, one that would require thousands more American troops but place more conditions on the Afghan government. His decision, several officials said, was less a change of heart than a weary acceptance of the case, made during three months of intense White House debate by the military leaders who dominate his war cabinet.

    In the end, these officials said, Mr. Trump accepted the logic that a “big military” approach was needed to prevent Afghanistan from again becoming a launching pad for terrorism against the United States. Persuaded there were no other options, Mr. Trump became the third American president to send young men and women into the longest war in American history.

    Again, Trump’s complaint: ‘The plan, he complained, was vague and open-ended, with no definition of victory. “What does success look like?” he asked.’

    Read the whole thing.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  11. the CIA helped

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  12. Mr. Trump became the third American president to send young men, women and non-binary individuals into the longest war in American history.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  13. The competing plans were:

    A. Pull out.
    B. Use mercenaries exclusively.
    C. Double down.

    Bannon and his buddies at Blackwater and Cerebus Capital wanted B. Both those firms field mercenaries. One of the reasons Bannon had to go was he would not accept losing on this. And the moment Bannon goes back to Breitbart they run an interview with the Blackwater boss about how wrong the President is.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  14. War is too important to be trusted to generals.

    nk (dbc370)

  15. Of course whoever the designated Carlos slims chimp, couldbt deign to find out what the soldiers complaint was, likely command had prevented them from taking out high value targets

    narciso (d1f714)

  16. 14.Mr. Trump became the third American president to send young men, women and non-binary individuals into the longest war in American history.
    happyfeet (28a91b) — 8/22/2017 @ 8:10 am

    Since we’re not at war that is not possible, happyfeet.

    Rev.Hoagie® (630eca)

  17. nk, The Soviets were doing nothing but influence-peddling until 1978. Afghanistan was a non-aligned monarchy until 1973, then a republic until 1978. Then a Marxist revolution which led to civil war within months as the Godless part became a problem. That revolution might have been Soviet-inspired but they got heavily involved a year later when a spetsnaz team assassinated the then-president and a Soviet puppet was installed.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  18. Hoagie–

    Yes we are, according to the War Powers Resolution. AUMF = Declaration of War for all legal purposes. Politically it has some ass-covering properties, but the AUMF is Congress signing off on the war effort.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  19. Even less than generals, war should not be trusted to Navy washouts.

    nk (dbc370)

  20. You have to admit the rules of engagement previously were impossible. JAG dominance.

    Ben burn (ae7a29)

  21. Supporting or departing Kabul became a “Too big to Fail” decision leading to the inevitable evolution of existing policy. Enlarging the problem to a regional one in need of a regional solution and lifting onerous ROE’s might yield the diplomatic solution Trump seeks. For that to work the belligerents are going to have to decide they won’t be able to wait US out which depends more on our internal politics than Trump’s intestinal fortitude to stay engaged. Short of a near-term diplomatic resolution victory remains an ill-defined and distant outcome. Once the Pentagon and IC went all-in Trump had little choice other than to say “OK, I got your back. Now go win.”

    crazy (11d38b)

  22. True, DRJ. He has got to let the military fight and win. They all say they will do that, but then they chicken out.

    Like Saul said in Homeland, “This is not a 15-year war, this is a one-year war fought 15 times.”

    Patricia (5fc097)

  23. do these general people know that pakistan holds all the opium made from afghan poppies and then is transferred to iran to be exported around the world. 16 years of watching our country get hooked on afghan heroin and not one effing thing done about it? gtfoh.

    mg (31009b)

  24. The one-year war line was a chestnut back during VietNam.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  25. I can see it now ivanks and cindy sheehan burning candles together.

    mg (31009b)

  26. Heroin is a feature of Afghan economy. A healthy military-industrial complex needs freeeeee markets.

    Ben burn (ae7a29)

  27. There is truth in that, remember the isi was ubls moving service for 12 years, they fund the top which in part has attacked Pakistani nuclear facilities, the taliban the lashkar the Indian mujahadeen are their proxies

    narciso (d1f714)

  28. we may not be at war war Mr. Reverend but I bet you everyone over there’s getting combat pay

    anyone know how that works?

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  29. One of the reasons Bannon had to go was he would not accept losing on this.

    all these tranny generals and the rest of the sleazy pentagon piggies, including their sniveling pimp John McCain, need this silly notional war to continue for so they can extort money for their sad hapless can’t-win-a-war loser-assed dysfunctional (yet goldplated) military

    they’re the ones what can’t accept losing Mr. M

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  30. Rank and file troops, not snowflakes like sniwden cosplayer winner. Want to the job and get back home.

    narciso (d1f714)

  31. So, pick sides.

    Team Bannon or Team Trump?

    Kevin M (752a26)

  32. Or, will the refrain be forevermore “Trump didn’t fail. Real Trumpism has never been tried!”

    Kevin M (752a26)

  33. “Victory” would mean completely purging Afghanistan of Taliban influences. Which means not merely nationbuilding, but culture building, and usually takes a couple of centuries at a minimum.

    Short of that, settle in for low level perpetual warfare trying to keep the Taliban from growing.

    And the moment Bannon goes back to Breitbart they run an interview with the Blackwater boss about how wrong the President is.

    He was also on Tucker Carlson last night, pre-speech, complaining that Trump was now receiving input only from “conventional” generals. Personally I am dubious that privatizing warfare this way would be beneficial to the US in any fashion.

    John Bolton was on Fox this morning, and made the point that China is very influential in Pakistan–among other things, the source of their nuclear program–and a true solution would need to include getting China to pressure Pakistan into good behavior regarding Afghanistan. He may be right, but again I am dubious, since it would require convincing both the Chinese and the Pakistanis to abandon goals they see as beneficial to themselves.

    kishnevi (bb03e6)

  34. Team Bannon or Team Trump?

    Mr. Bannon’s a good pickle but my heart belongs to President Trump

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  35. Recall that Pakistan and Romania were the back channel to Mao, the Indians got their nuclear prigeam through the Canadians of all things, they helped build up the young byon which is their oak ridgr

    narciso (d1f714)

  36. a true solution would need to include getting China to pressure Pakistan into good behavior regarding Afghanistan.

    Well, they’ve been so helpful with the Norks.

    This is going to be a big problem for the Chinese. They want to be a player in world affairs, but that requires them to be willing to put the world’s interests before narrow parochial concerns. Near as I can tell, the Chinese Party is laden with traps for the insufficiently strident (much like any other fringe party) and no one can be seen as willing to give up on even the most insignificant of local concerns. They’ve used the Norks as a convenient anti-West catspaw for decades and can’t let go yet.

    Hard to see them giving up in Pakistan, or their other fine clients like Zimbabwe and Angola.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  37. Hard to see them giving up in Pakistan, or their other fine clients like Zimbabwe and Angola.

    Which is why I am dubious. Bolton may be right, but

    這不會發生

    [Google says that’s “it’s not going to happen” in Chinese]

    kishnevi (bb03e6)

  38. Out on Their Ears Dept:

    Ross Levinsohn is named the new publisher and CEO of the L.A. Times as top editors are ousted

    In a dramatic shake-up at the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago-based parent company has installed new leadership and plans to invest more resources in the news organization to move it more quickly into the digital age.

    Ross Levinsohn, 54, a veteran media executive who worked at Fox and served as interim chief of Yahoo, was named publisher and chief executive of the 135-year-old news organization. The move was announced Monday by Justin C. Dearborn, chief executive of Tronc, the parent company of The Times and eight other daily newspapers.

    Jim Kirk, 52, a veteran Chicago news executive, who was publisher and editor of the Chicago Sun-Times until last week, was named interim executive editor of The Times.

    The two men replace Davan Maharaj, who served as both editor and publisher since March 2016. Maharaj was terminated Monday morning, along with three senior editors: Managing Editor Marc Duvoisin, Deputy Managing Editor for Digital Megan Garvey and Assistant Managing Editor of Investigations Matt Doig.

    Levinsohn headed digital operations for Rupert Murdoch at Fox, formerly known as News Corp., as president of Fox Interactive Media, where he oversaw a diverse group of digital properties, including MySpace, Fox Sports and Rotten Tomatoes. He played an integral role in creating the online video streaming site Hulu.

    He spent a little less than two years at Yahoo, including serving as interim CEO. He also served as chief executive of Guggenheim Digital Media, where he managed such assets as the Hollywood Reporter, Billboard and Adweek, before a change in direction there.

    Most recently, he has been co-founder and a partner at Whisper Advisors, a consulting firm. Dearborn said Levinsohn, who also served on the board of television station owner Tribune Media, has been consulting with Tronc for about a year. When it became clear that Tronc leaders wanted to make a switch, Levinsohn told them he was interested in the job.

    In an email to the staff, Levinsohn, a New York native who has lived in L.A. for nearly two decades, said: “I have long admired what the Los Angeles Times stood for — its voice and impact, the world-class journalism that is produced day in and day out, the challenges you tackle and the importance of what you do.”

    Kevin M (752a26)

  39. Obama had a plan, it just disappeared in the face of reality.

    But notice Obama wasn’t saying he had a plan for victory. He had a plan for getting American troops out of there.

    kishnevi (bb03e6)

  40. Would you charge up a hill if Bannon or Betsy DeVoss’s brother told you to?

    nk (dbc370)

  41. more to the point, nk, would you frag them if you could get away with it?

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  42. Incidentally, what does success look like in Afghanistan?

    We had little interest in the place before the 9/11 attacks were launched out of it.

    A question for the group here: would you define as “success” a state of affairs in which we don’t have to worry about 9/11 attacks anymore that we do, say Zimbabwe or Chad or any other developing nation?

    If so, what is the minimum US cost in lives and money and effort and years that could result in that sort of “success”?

    I am asking, being genuinely interested to know what the commenters here think.

    Frederick (64d4e1)

  43. Incidentally, what does success look like in Afghanistan?

    I remember my business partner on 9/11, probably not in the best frame of mind since he had to meet with Bill Gates that day (despite it all), asserting that we should just drop a crowd-pleaser on Kandahar and call it victory.

    Sure would have changed Saddam’s tune, I betcha.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  44. @Kevin M: You know there are a lot of countries in bad shape, afflicted with warlords and corrupt governments, trafficking in humans and various illegal commodities, which are a general pain to their immediate neighbors.

    Afghanistan was once such a place, and some time between 1990 and 2001 turned into a place that could be used to stage attacks on us. How do we turn it back into what it once was? Surely we have no obligation to turn it into Switzerland or even Costa Rica.

    Frederick (64d4e1)

  45. One thing to keep in mind about 9/11, which I think is not kept in mind enough, is that almost all of those terrorists were in this country legally. It’s pretty cheap to deny visas, though I freely admit denying visas won’t stop anyone swimming the Pacific. Similarly, my home security system won’t deter Arsene Lupin but that doesn’t mean I leave my door unlocked, and I do attempt to be selective in whom I invite in to make themselves at home.

    Frederick (64d4e1)

  46. There was one idiot passport officer shayna stanger who signed off on all of the visas, shockingly she wee promoted to several peter principle ranks

    narciso (d1f714)

  47. @15 Kevin M

    B. ANTIFA Foreign Legion Suicide Squad. Your country needs you. There’s Nazis in them there hills.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  48. @narcisco: That visa waiver program was still in effect more than a year after 9/11. An equivalent could very well be in place now. I mean, no pundit who talks about immigration seems to know that we have something like a dozen guest worker programs in place, or knows that E-Verify explicitly allows for the legal employment of illegal immigrants, so why would they know about it this or acknowledge it if they did?

    But that’s a distraction, really.

    What SHOULD Afghanistan look like, from the perspective of American interests?
    What is the minimum that could get us there?

    Frederick (64d4e1)

  49. @18 Rev Hoagie

    Occupy: Afghanistan.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  50. I wouldn’t doubt it, may e we need more general dostun and less the touchy feely news of Ghana, his the analog of haftar who has been cleaning up eastern Libya.

    Now Co these players likes Al hazmi and al midhar had been in Bosnia and chrchnya, (thatscwhere the mujadeen went next after afghanistan) so you could see the foreign iminstry
    Their American counterpart let then go

    narciso (d1f714)

  51. @41 Kevin M

    Must have steered into an oil tanker.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  52. “What SHOULD Afghanistan look like, from the perspective of American interests?”

    A loose collection of very well armed tribal conclaves (think Southside) engaged in low level conflict (think Southside) in perpetuity would be acceptable. Even more so if xenophobia could be encouraged to the point where no sane outsider would consider meddling.

    Rick Ballard (656c55)

  53. who even cares what afghanistan looks like

    c’mon be honest

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  54. @43 nk

    Anyone willing to sell Amway doesn’t need much prompting.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  55. http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/22/trump-afghanistan-strategy-impact-details-241898

    Are BRIBES the carrot behind the sanction stick….hell yes..

    Ben burn (ae7a29)

  56. 55, your last sentence would seem more indicative of Baltimore, which repels even the most desperate and opportunistic of immigrants from even thinking about it.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  57. @55 Rick Ballard

    So how about we build an El train?

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  58. “From now on, victory will have a clear definition: attacking our enemies, obliterating ISIS, crushing al-Qaeda, preventing the Taliban from taking over Afghanistan, and stopping mass terror attacks against America before they emerge.”

    Preventing the Taliban from taking over Afghanistan is what we’ve been doing for 16 years, but that it seems, is not voiictory.

    So it has to be preventing the Taliban from taking over Afghanistan without any U.S. troops in combat

    Stopping mass terror attacks against America is what we’ve been doing – maybe he wants to stop them before they emerge.

    Besides that, he wants to obliterate ISIS, but only to crush al-Qaeda. al Qaeda will continue ti exist but be too weak to casuse problems.

    What is interesting in that speech is that he says something about Pakistan. I think he’s too optimistic.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  59. Trump said he’s not giving any dates. The end of something will be determiend by what the conditions are. He’s not givinmg any numbers of troops.

    And he’s not telling – telling who? – Pakistan! – when they will attack.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  60. Jordan has the best system of controlling the nutsacks of Islam. HUMINT detailed on informant uses individual’s personal agenda and enhances it by rewarding good behaviors he/she values. An apartment/redrigerator=tv for beloved mother works every time.

    Ben burn (ae7a29)

  61. nk @11. Under Khrushchev, Afghanistan was somewhat like Finland.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  62. They aren’t telling anyone Sammy so success will be retroactive.

    Ben burn (ae7a29)

  63. 45. Frederick (64d4e1) — 8/22/2017 @ 10:20 am

    We had little interest in the place before the 9/11 attacks were launched out of it

    There was plenty of interest in the 1980s. But we allowed Pakistan to decide who got the money and they supported only islamists. Then later we (or the governme t) thought it was a success.

    They began to notice Afghanistan around 1996.

    A question for the group here: would you define as “success” a state of affairs in which we don’t have to worry about 9/11 attacks anymore that we do, say Zimbabwe or Chad or any other developing nation?

    That’s fair enough.

    If so, what is the minimum US cost in lives and money and effort and years that could result in that sort of “success”?

    Whatever it takes to make a change in the government of Pakistan, and remove the influence of Pakistan’s “deep state” which is quite real there, plus the cost between 2001 and 2004. And it would useful for other reasons as well to make a change in the government of Pakistan. You might get peace with India and in Kashmir, too.

    I think what we really need is better intelligence. with goopd intell;igence very little is neeeded. Without good intelligence this can go on and on.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  64. Pakistan has the awan bros, they know when and how.

    mg (31009b)

  65. The taliban and all these other groups could easily be taken care of, if there wasn’t support for these groups from Pakistan’s rogue military intelliegnce agency, the ISI (Inter-Services agency.

    These people don’t want to officially take over but they prevent anyone from stopping them. The reason is probably corruption. I wouldn’t be surrpised to learn they are being bribed by China.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  66. 67. Yes, Pakistan may not have a great army, but it has a world class intelligence agency. And they were probably giving orders to Osama bin Laden whjo was merely the “director.”

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  67. I hate seeing Trump strap on the knee pads, he is heading to his knees to serve the establishment.

    mg (31009b)

  68. 69- How’s the navy?

    mg (31009b)

  69. At least Trump can change his mind…lol!

    We did not know that.

    The good news is his genius in military matters is not the last word, thank the gods.

    Ben burn (ae7a29)

  70. Heroin is gluten free so it has that going for it.

    Are there any other cash crops that are suitable for their climate? Trophy hunting? Can we get them an eclipse? A film commission? An international Buzkashi Bowl in Kabul?

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  71. Cotton o. Think but the salt content in the soil prohibits it.

    narciso (d1f714)

  72. The CSI is the whole shwarma:
    http://www.historycommons.org/entity.jsp?entity=s_wing_1

    narciso (d1f714)

  73. if you take this whole thing at face value

    that blah blah blah afghanistan “in the end we will win”

    that’s fine I guess

    it won’t be like woo hoo we won

    but it’s better than that faceplant we did in Iraq

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  74. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Afghanistan

    Rule Britannia.

    From Khyber Pass to Charlie Wilson’s War, Afghanistan is where modern world powers go to die.

    Madness.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  75. DC:

    I take some comfort in the fact that Donald has reached a milestone.

    It dawned on him he’s not a military genius. At 7 decades of delusion, that’s YUGE!

    Ben burn (ae7a29)

  76. Kishnevi… the Chinese would rather 擰緊狗 than let that happen.

    Colonel Haiku (15b793)

  77. “May you live in interesting times” is a Chinese curse, not be blessing.

    Ben burn (ae7a29)

  78. the jihadis in Europe are way way way more of a threat to us than the ones in afghanistan

    the stupid generals know it too

    they’re just being gay

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  79. Apples and Cannabis suit the climate

    mg (31009b)

  80. 83.happyfeet (28a91b) — 8/22/2017 @ 12:46 pm

    the jihadis in Europe are way way way more of a threat to us than the ones in afghanistan

    They seem to have ahard time crossing the Atlantic.

    Right now Afghanistan is not a problem, because there’s a war going on. If there wasn’t awar going on, it would be a different story, maybe. We have had terrorists come from Pakistan. Quite a few. Sponsred by the government, in all probability. Not the official government but its rogue miitary intelligence agency.

    The jihadists in Europe don’t have the ability to build bombs, and still less suicide vests, but thhey nevertheless treated the suicide vests as real. Killing the terrorists is what the terrorist organziations want. That way they don’t have to worry they might say something. They should have known that the suicide belt worn by the fugitive Barcelona driver wasn’t real. All the others weren’t and the same thing was ablke with the lkast batch of terrorists in Britain. The police are acting stupid in treating the suicide belts as real.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  81. 72. Ben burn (ae7a29) — 8/22/2017 @ 11:49 am

    At least Trump can change his mind…lol!

    He can change his mind.

    What’s very hard for him to do is to admit he was wrong about a fact.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  82. @20 happyfeet Yes, they get ‘imminent danger’ pay.

    peggy (b0a672)

  83. Patricia (5fc097) — 8/22/2017 @ 8:47 am

    He has got to let the military fight and win.

    They’ve got to fight Pakistan, in a limited way, and ignore the fact it has nuclear weapons. It has them but no delivery system, and say that if they did try to use them they will be met with fire and ice like the world has never seen etc. Confronting Pakistan is going to be tough but maybe easier than North Korea. The first thing is stop believing their lies and letting them know the United States does not believe their lies, and no we’re not going to tell them why we don’t.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  84. Indeed, Sammy. Sarcasm is my weak side.

    Ben burn (ae7a29)

  85. ‘imminent danger’ pay thank you

    i hadn’t even heard of that

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  86. 15. Kevin M (752a26) — 8/22/2017 @ 8:12 am

    . One of the reasons Bannon had to go was he would not accept losing on this.

    bannon had to go immmmediately, and not around Labor Day because he gave an interview that was undermining Trump’s North Korea policy by saying there is no nilitary solution and they got us.

    His departure was a long story.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/20/us/politics/steve-bannon-fired-trump-departure.html

    Tump had been losing confidence in him and had downgraded him. When Kelly came in he wanted Bannon to leave.Bannon agreed he would leave. In Aug 7 he subitted his resignation would not be announced until the day he lkeft. He was supposed to leave or resign effective Aug 14. Charlottsville postponed it. Bannon argued it would look Charlottsville was the reason.

    So they discussed moving the date to around Labor Day weekend, although two administration officials said Mr. Bannon sought to entirely renegotiate the terms of his departure.

    Then came Mr. Bannon’s unguarded comments to The American Prospect, published on Wednesday evening. He denigrated some colleagues, specifically identified one that he was going to see fired and said of striking North Korea, “There’s no military solution here, they got us” — a direct contradiction to the message Mr. Trump had been sending. Mr. Bannon could buy no more time.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  87. A former Army intelligence officer said President Donald Trump’s speech outlining his strategy for Afghanistan was “effective” for a number of reasons, chief among them proving he’s “listening to the military.”

    Andrew Peek told Fox News on Tuesday that by doing that, Trump has set a sort of red line with his own generals.

    “By giving the generals what they want, he set himself up in two or three years to be able to say, ‘OK, you had the opportunity; if things aren’t better . . . you’re all fired. We’re gonna pull out, we’re gonna do it my way,'” Peek told Fox News.

    “He made it clear he’s listening to the military, that any withdrawal would be based on conditions on the ground,” Peek told Fox News.

    Peek also praised Trump’s decision to give ground command the ability to set rules of engagement.

    Sounds about right… I got your back for now, Go win

    crazy (11d38b)

  88. Amusedly, it’s the other countries legally producing opium poppies for various medical markets (and all the opium-derivatives out there) that won’t let Afghanistan in. It’s a controlled-by-the-WTO market and they don’t want anyone flooding them out and lowering their prices. Otherwise they could give Afghanistan a perfectly legal market for all that stuff.

    Ingot (e5bf64)

  89. Just heard an ad…

    https://www.classaction.com

    A call for whistleblowers to call out fraud and ‘mismanagement. My first reaction is positive, but then I remembered why civil service needed protection.

    Ben burn (ae7a29)

  90. The heroin in the United states, though, is actually coming from Mexico. And drug dealers have been substituting the moire concentraed fentanyl. Drug policy has just made things worse since 2010.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  91. Yes sammeh I made the point earlier:
    http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a46918/heroin-mexico-el-chapo-cartels-don-winslow

    The jalisco cartel out if guadalajara are the new playets

    narciso (d1f714)

  92. You can’t kill only all of the terrorists there now; you have to kill enough of the boys who will grow up into fighting-aged men so that the survivors are completely cowed.

    That’s what we did in World War II, the last war we actually won. We killed and killed and killed, until there was no more room in Hell for all of the Germans and Japanese we sent to their eternal rewards. We killed the soldiers in the fields, the sailors in the ships, the pilots in the aircraft, but we also killed the civilians in the factories and rail yards and farms, we killed old men and women and children, until there was nothing more they could do against us, and until the survivors were so beaten down by war that there were no serious thoughts about an uprising.

    Like it or not, that is how you win a war.

    The coldly realistic Dana (c20fa4)

  93. I don’t agree with his view of saddam he raised a crew of scorpions many of them became Islamic state leadership, Kyle proton has the highlight

    narciso (d1f714)

  94. terrorists we smite thee in the name of blessed stripper daughter ivanka, that you will be damned to a vapid and half-dressed afterlife wearing painful ill-fitting shoes

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  95. Dana: have you read Lone Survivor? Afghanistan is a little more complex unless scorched earth is your default.

    Ben burn (ae7a29)

  96. It also helped that he laid out an actual goal – not Afghan girls’ education, as it was when Laura Bush was running things, but victory. And he tied that victory not to a generalized “we’re number one” sentiment, which might have worked, but to the more elemental reality that despite the bad leadership in this war, men and women have sacrificed their lives for it, and those sacrifices should not have been for nothing. Only victory will ensure that, so he called for the real thing: victory.

    oh for the love of martha stewart’s pistachio cannoli cake that ship has sailed, pooper

    we made all those people die for nothing, and it’s very disgusting

    but you can’t cover the sun with one finger so don’t even try

    it is what it is

    and these luckless tatters you’re sending to their deaths

    these deaths will not be brimming with meaningfulness; they will be lives tragically wasted

    just so we’re clear on that

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  97. U.S. Imperialism?
    16 years

    mg (31009b)

  98. Too complicated/labor intensive. Bananas Foster bangs the drum without the cleanup.

    Ben burn (ae7a29)

  99. I want to hear the back-channel. Is there an alliance behind Trumps back? I find he is truly like a drowning person grasping at the air for a hold.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news-other-administration/347542-trump-wont-pardon-sheriff-joe-arpaio-at

    Ben burn (ae7a29)

  100. The U.S. bombed Japan until the more sensible people were brave enough to take on the militarists. Now bravery is probably needed now in Pakistan.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  101. Actually it’s easy to define victory. When one side quits fighting because they can’t any more the other side wins.

    Bang Gunley (5a4596)

  102. luckless tatters

    What happened to “tatted up trash” like you used to refer to the military? Didn’t like getting called out for it, you pretentious, unclever twit?

    Jack Klompus (f1f212)

  103. @80. OTOH when McMaster’s shows him a pix of an Afghan woman in a mini-skirt to persuade him they once dabbled in ‘western’ culture and can be ‘westernized’ again, there’s little comfort in knowing he’s being Westmorland-ed. The stink of perpetual war is starting to have that ‘sweet smell of success.’ It speaks volumes when a general admits it’s been sixteen years of one year plans.

    Next comes the hotel and casino deal pitch; Afghan vacation packages– The Trump/Khyber Pass Doral. Or maybe mere hydroelectric plants— as if a TVA could placate an NVA.

    Been there tried that…

    “Old Ho can’t turn me down.” LBJ attempting to buy off North Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh, 1965.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  104. “The stink of perpetual war is starting to have that ‘sweet smell of success.’ ”

    That’s why Eric Prince was salivating like a rabid weasel. Powerball @$600m wouldn’t impress him but perpetual paydays for warlords.sells itself .

    Ben burn (ae7a29)

  105. don’t be grumpy Mr. Klompus

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  106. @112. Yep.

    Sort of like The Crusades– when Popes hired armies to spread the ‘good word’ at spear and sword point.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  107. Sort of like a clown show, with the Democrat Operatives With Bylines aaallllllllll in… https://static.pjmedia.com/instapundit/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Screen-Shot-2017-08-22-at-9.41.47-AM-600×187.png

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  108. 97.You can’t kill only all of the terrorists there now; you have to kill enough of the boys who will grow up into fighting-aged men so that the survivors are completely cowed… Like it or not, that is how you win a war.

    Still, stragglers fought on in the islands for decades and Nazism remains and regenerates.

    You cannot kill an idea. Terrorism is merely a tactic; and you cannot kill a tactic; only render it a disadvantage. But it will always be w/us.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  109. @112. Postscript. $700 million now. $2 buys you a chance w/odds of 292,000,000 to 1 of a win.

    “Roger! Pay the two dollars.” – Clara Thornhill [Jessie Royce Landis] ‘North by Northwest’ 1958

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  110. Of course you can, the algians did it well enough they were able to lecture the Iraqis and the Syrians twenty years later.

    narciso (d1f714)

  111. The other Dana @97 is exactly right. If you’re going to fight a war you have to destroy the enemy’s will to fight or you’re wasting lives. The problem with our never-ending effort against terrorists who happen to be muslims is we deceive ourselves into believing they’ll abandon the fight without ever changing their beliefs. You don’t have to kill their ideology, you have to destroy their willingness and ability to act on it against you.

    After 16 years of battle the wizards of smart don’t get it, but the warriors on the line do. Trump may have backed off his campaign promise but he there’s no mistaking the fact the Af-Pak problem is a failure that McMaster, Mattis and Tillerson assured them they had the answer to so he’s giving them an opportunity to prove it.

    crazy (11d38b)

  112. @119.The other Dana @97 is exactly right. If you’re going to fight a war you have to destroy the enemy’s will to fight or you’re wasting lives.

    That’s crazy. See Vietnam for details– and not just the American ‘involvement.’

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  113. You’re missing the point, but what’s your solution?

    crazy (11d38b)

  114. @121. No, you are– crazy.

    It’s pretty much on every can of Raid.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  115. You can kill everyone in Afghanistan, and it won’t make any difference because their cousins from Eastern Iran, Pakistan and Kashmir will move in.

    The solution is to seed the whole place with radioactives so that it’s uninhabitable.

    nk (dbc370)

  116. @123. Howzabout a parking lot instead. You know, for regional sales.

    Toyota is the terror-truck of choice; Mercedes as well. And– always, Exxon-Mobil might be interested.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  117. “winning in afghanistan” is pretty much about as meaningful to my life as kaepertwat taking a knee

    or not taking a knee

    or getting a tattoo of malcolm x’s knee on his knee

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  118. The Other Dana’s “solution” is sophomoric. We didn’t just kill a whole bunch of Germans and Japanese and then went home.

    In the first place, the whole world except the American continents was devastated. 100 million died. In the second place, we did not leave a vacuum behind. We occupied the Pacific and Western Europe and the Soviets occupied Eastern Europe and and Western Asia. We still have troops in Germany and Japan for crying out loud.

    Leaving a power vacuum in Afghanistan after the fall of the Soviet Union is what got us here. The Taliban and Al Qaeda were not homegrown. They came from Pakistan and the Arab nations. And if we don’t leave a strong ally in charge when we go, they or their new avatars will come back again.

    nk (dbc370)

  119. Now OT seems Europe is quite nearly carp:
    https://mobile.twitter.com/Debradelai/status/900122079584014337

    narciso (d1f714)

  120. @126. Echoes…

    “Ol’Ho can’t turn me down… Ol’Ho can’t turn me down…”

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  121. nk, we’re probably talking past each other at this point. I agree with your analysis @126. Unfortunately, unlike WWII where the nation went to war and our boys fought to come home now the nation shops while we send warriors to accomplish an impossible mission and micromanage their efforts while we debate whether it’s worth it. I thought that was the other Dana’s real point – fight to win or don’t fight at all.

    I’m skeptical that the new plan will be much better than the last new plan but with the lifting of onerous ROE’s and the involvement of other regional players like India perhaps it will.

    crazy (11d38b)

  122. R.I.P. Brian W. Aldiss, science fiction Grand Master

    Reading recommendation: “Hothouse”, from 1962; an intense, colorful, entertaining novel about what life on earth might be like for the remnants of humanity as the sun starts to die.

    Icy (f2b370)

  123. I saw the film based on thus one, well it was better than I frankenstein:
    https://www.amazon.com/Frankenstein-Unbound-Brian-Aldiss/dp/0755100697

    narciso (d1f714)

  124. ooh look

    he went to harvard Mr. narciso

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  125. He should have gone to inspect his ships more often, is what he should have done.

    nk (dbc370)

  126. He was a NC state grad (that includes km and Jesse Jackson)

    narciso (d1f714)

  127. Arizona bigotry on the march;
    ‘Bunker’ mentality on display.

    Archie kissed Sammy. Donnie-Jay, give Benny-C a sloppy wet one, too.

    “He’s crazy Lou, he builds toy airplanes.” – Frank Towns [Jimmy Stewart] ‘Flight of the Phoenix’ 1965

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  128. @140. Amendment; Archie was kissed Sammy. Donnie-Jay, do give Benny-C a sloppy wet one, too.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  129. Breaking- Public promise of intent at Arizona rally by the President of the United States to pardon Arpaio.

    Donnie-Jay is a racist.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  130. That so-called judge should not have held Arpaio in criminal contempt in the first place. It was petty and vindictive, once Arpaio was out of office and the court’s order was being complied with.

    nk (dbc370)

  131. Eric holder was in co tempt of congress over withholding far and furious documents, yet no judge fined or otherwise sanctioned him, this was payback fir sub q070.

    narciso (d1f714)

  132. I want sure if you were tongue in cheek nk.

    narciso (d1f714)

  133. Breaking with blog consensus on this one. Joe’s gotta take the steel toe that Pate Phillip and Mike Royko never got. My equivalent to what Jeff Sessions is to another frequent poster, if you will.

    urbanleftbehind (847a06)

  134. No, I’m serious. There’s a gray area in contempt, and good judges just let it slide when the penalty serves no purpose, either to enforce the court’s order or to vindicate the interests of justice.

    nk (dbc370)

  135. On the other hand the ethnocentric side of me may have spoke too soon (in Kaus-speak, beware the sellout): http://www.yahoo.com/news/democrats-nix-idea-trading-dreamers-191110573.html

    urbanleftbehind (847a06)

  136. Oh, I have no particular brief for Arpaio. I would have liked to have seen him on trial for the torture and death of prisoners in his jail. But if it didn’t happen under Obama ….

    nk (dbc370)

  137. I thought only happened at the black site on i forger what street.

    narciso (d1f714)

  138. Ooh, you said “black”.

    nk (dbc370)

  139. I ain’t saying where exactly, except it’s downstairs where I took the police physical exam in 2000, passing that (although I can run a lot faster now than then).

    urbanleftbehind (847a06)

  140. Phoenix rally in a nutshell:

    “He’s crazy Lou, he builds toy airplanes.” – Frank Towns [Jimmy Stewart] ‘Flight of the Phoenix’ 1965

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  141. Every guy who ever cranked his car and wondered whether it would start before the battery ran down could relate to the ending of that movie.

    nk (dbc370)

  142. Arpaio hired a private agent to investigate the wife of the judge who ruled against him. He brought this on himself. Maybe if he wasn’t such a piece of garbage he’d have gotten off.

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2015/04/23/joe-arpaio-apologizes-contempt-hearing-day-three-abrk/26240715/

    Davethulhu (3a2442)

  143. Not the date, three weeks before the attack, also he says he knows brithera in the states:
    https://exeintel.com/notices/red-notice-elint-intercept-of-terrorist-cells-in-europe/

    narciso (d1f714)

  144. I put the odds and ends together her

    narciso (d1f714)

  145. woo hoo VA DAY! We won we won!

    oh my goodness really?

    yes yes happyfeet! It’s on all the tv!

    oh frabjous joy! At long last a meaningful victory this is so splendid!

    We should go to Olive Garden.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  146. Trump’s sanity questioned by CNN host who previously posited that Malaysian Airlines missing flight 370 was swallowed by a black hole.

    “He’s unhinged. It’s embarrassing”

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/23/trump-lemon-cnn-news-241929

    harkin (74754c)


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