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The US "Officially" Ends War in Afghanistan

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by rocketsjudoka, Dec 28, 2014.

  1. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    At least technically but US forces will still be involved indefinitely in Afghanistan.

    http://time.com/3648055/united-states-afghanistan-war-end/

    U.S. Ends Its War in Afghanistan

    But the flag-lowering won't end the bloodshed

    The U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan ended its combat mission Sunday, marking the formal—if not real—end to the longest war in American history.
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    American warplanes began bombing the country on Oct. 7, 2001, less than a month after the 9/11 attacks. Their goal was to drive the ruling Taliban from power, after they had given sanctuary inside the country to Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, which had plotted the terror strikes.

    That was accomplished on Nov. 13, 2001.

    The U.S. and its allies have remained since then, trying to build up Afghan military and police forces sufficient to defend their country without outside help. Despite Sunday’s bowing out, the U.S. will remain involved in Afghanistan’s fight against the Taliban for years to come.

    “In the wake of the Taliban’s defeat in 2001, Afghanistan possessed no standing, professional security forces,” Army General John Campbell, chief of the International Security Assistance Force, said. “Over the course of a decade, our Afghan partners and we have built a highly capable Afghan army and police force of over 350,000 personnel.”

    Sunday marked the formal handoff to that largely U.S.-trained Afghan military. “The road before us remains challenging, but we will triumph,” Campbell told a small gathering at ISAF headquarters.

    “For more than 13 years, ever since nearly 3,000 innocent lives were taken from us on 9/11, our nation has been at war in Afghanistan,” President Obama said in a statement. “Now, thanks to the extraordinary sacrifices of our men and women in uniform, our combat mission in Afghanistan is ending, and the longest war in American history is coming to a responsible conclusion.”

    The new, slimmed-down allied mission, Campbell said, will be called Operation Resolute Support. Back in Washington, the Pentagon said its piece of the new mission will be called Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

    “We will work with our allies and partners as part of NATO’s Resolute Support mission to continue training, advising, and assisting Afghan security forces,” outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said. “And we will continue our counterterrorism mission against the remnants of al Qaeda to ensure that Afghanistan is never again used to stage attacks against our homeland.”

    The number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, which peaked at about 100,000 in 2010, will fall to 10,800 in January, aimed at helping the Afghan government hold on to power, even as Taliban units occupy territory increasingly close to the capital. Nearly 1 million U.S. troops pulled at least one tour in Afghanistan.

    Yet during 2002 and 2003, the average number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan never topped 10,400. That means the U.S. forces left in country following the war will top the number fighting there during its first two years.

    A total of 3,485 allied troops died in Afghanistan over the past 13 years, including 2,356 Americans. The war cost U.S. taxpayers, past, present and future, about $1 trillion.

    “We will never forget your sons and daughters who have died on our soil,” Afghan National Security Adviser Mohammad Hanif Atmar said at the flag-lowering ceremony Sunday. “They are now our sons and daughters.”
     
  2. Cohete Rojo

    Cohete Rojo Contributing Member

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    War "in" Afghanistan. Al-Qaeda and terrorists are still out there; of course the magnitude of their acts has been suppressed by 10+ years of this war. We also see that the war in Iraq has officially ended but it looks like Obama could be sending "boots on the ground".
     
  3. Mr. Brightside

    Mr. Brightside Contributing Member

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    We won right? I can finally collect my Betfair winnings.
     
  4. Air Langhi

    Air Langhi Contributing Member

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    And the Taliban is probably going to back to ruling that country. What a waste. Wish they had a strategy to make the country self sufficient.
     
  5. K-Low_4_Prez

    K-Low_4_Prez Member

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    thousands dead... trillions spent... and the American public still doesn't know why we were there. Seems like a win to me!
     
  6. Dairy Ashford

    Dairy Ashford Member

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    You might be referring more to Iraq, Afghanistan initially had the same multi-national support as Desert Storm and the Taliban's enabling of AQ at the time of 9/11 made them a necessary target.
     
  7. K-Low_4_Prez

    K-Low_4_Prez Member

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    so what exactly did we accomplish?
     
  8. Dairy Ashford

    Dairy Ashford Member

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    Doesn't matter. We lost 3,000+ on 9/11 and they harbored the group that did it. If you can think of a better way to capitalize on global sympathy than to respond militarily with a multi-national coalition, spill it.
     
  9. g1184

    g1184 Member

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    "Capitalize" suggests we benefited in some way.
     
  10. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    Pouhe has a good point but the US failed to fully capitalize on the international good will there was following 9/11. If the US had kept the focus on Afghanistan and used the international goodwill to actually deliver on promises of security and better infrastructure things might've turned out differently. Instead the we took our eye off of Afghanistan and launched an ill thought out invasion of Iraq that wiped out much of the goodwill that we had after 9/11.
     
  11. Dairy Ashford

    Dairy Ashford Member

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    And your lack of an alternate strategy suggests we should have done nothing after losing 3,000+ Americans in an attack planned by an identifiable organization harbored by an uncooperative entity, despite having cooperation and support from a multitude of nations.
     
  12. Dairy Ashford

    Dairy Ashford Member

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    I agree and would stipulate that I qualified the dubiousness of our second Iraq invasion in my first post.
     
  13. Air Langhi

    Air Langhi Contributing Member

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    The US spent a trillion bucks trying to build up Afghanistan . It just didn't work. Even if they focused all their efforts on Afghanistan I doubt it would have worked.

    There is a great piece done by vice where they show all the waste that happened in that country. They built this power plant, but the fuel to run that plant was so expensive it was better not to run the plant.
     
  14. g1184

    g1184 Member

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    ... non sequitur ...

    Why does it "not matter" whether the US gained anything after risking and losing thousands of sons and daughters? Are you saying that just being able to punch back is justification enough?
     
  15. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    That is possible that no amount of effort on the US's part would've helped Afghanistan but at the same time we can't overlook how many resources were taken out of Afghanistan when things were still far from settled there to invade and occupy Iraq. We don't really know how things might've been different if following the fall of the Taliban the US had focused the efforts on maintaining security and infrastructure how things might've turned out different. If the Afghans had seen from the beginning the US delivering on some of their promises that might've dried up support for the Taliban later.

    Also this wouldn't have just been the US but resources from countries in the coalition including countries that later soured on the US because of Iraq.
     
  16. Dairy Ashford

    Dairy Ashford Member

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    Are you suggesting we shouldn't have responded at all? If not, what would your alternative strategy have been?
     
  17. g1184

    g1184 Member

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    Wow. Two chances to present some accomplishments from the Afghan war, and "well we just had to do something" was your best answer. It NEVER "doesn't matter" when we commit the lives of our brothers and our sisters, and unless there's a substantial, achievable result, we should never choose to go to war as a nation.

    facepalm x1000.

    Besides deposing a cruel and oppressive regime, and ruining an Al-Queda safe haven, here's a list of accomplishments that were made possible due to the US incursion into Afghanistan:

    Now, the individual merits and worthiness of each of those points can be argued ... but god damn man - "it doesn't matter" is such a piss poor position to take when you're talking about sending someone's child to be maimed, killed and emotionally disabled for something you believe in.
     
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  18. Dairy Ashford

    Dairy Ashford Member

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    You initially implied that we didn't accomplish anything when you cynically put "capitalized" in quotes. Responding to the largest foreign attack on domestic soil, when we know who did it and who enabled their organization, doesn't require validation or a significant amount of explanation after the fact; not to the point of K_Low's skepticism or your contradictory indignation.
     
  19. g1184

    g1184 Member

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    Yes, it does. If we are to respond, to what degree and to what end will we respond? A single seal team? 1,000 troops? 10,000 troops? Nuke'em? Will we stop when we kill a couple "Talibs", or level the entire nation? Somewhere in between? How do we know when the threat ceases to exist?

    Understanding what we accomplished is the main thing that matters, especially after the fact. It's what makes you more effective (or keeps you from repeating the same mistakes) in the future. It's how we determine whether that maroon that sends our kids into harm's way is fit to lead or not.

    Sending American lives literally into the line of fire should be subject to the highest level of criticism and skepticism. Man, imagine if the words "it doesn't matter" came out of General McChrystal or Obama's mouth. Would you be up in arms then, even though you feel it's acceptable now?
     
  20. The Beard

    The Beard Contributing Member

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    This is an impossible situation to realistically debate. None of us know what would have happened if we never invaded Afghanistan. Maybe Al-Quaeda would have stayed strong and pulled off another, even bigger attack. Maybe they wouldn't have. We don't, and will never know

    The one thing i'd certainly agree on is we shouldn't have gone back in to Iraq. Whether or not that has anything to do with how Afghanistan turned out will never be known. My guess is it really had no effect.

    I'm not sure anything we could have done would have really changed the long term course of Afghanistan, but by going in and attacking the Taliban and AlQuaeda might have saved us from another attack.

    It also might change the thinking of a group like isis. Yes, they are horrible and have committed some horrible crimes against our people and our allies. But, maybe they won't be willing to try and pull off a huge event like 9/11 because of our response to 9/11. Again, we will never know what would have happened had we not gone in to Afghanistan

    Personally, I think we did the right thing going into Afghanistan, but not Iraq
     

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