Afehganistan strategy

This is a discussion on Afehganistan strategy within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; How does the USA currently sees the war in Afghanistan in terms of the international cooperation? I'm a very critic ...

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    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Afehganistan strategy

    How does the USA currently sees the war in Afghanistan in terms of the international cooperation?

    I'm a very critic of EU lack of true commitment to this war (and frankly I'm ashamed), which is in my opinion the most important war in the turn of the century. I fear USA risks loosing this war and yet I'm appalled at the complete absence of news concerning a clear political commitment on behalf of European countries.

    It seems to me, despite NATO presence in the field, USA is doing this pretty much alone in the strategic and political playground. I hear of no meeting between states, no formal representation, nothing. Just USA, NATO and a big hot potato that seems is going to blow in Obama's hands and everyone around here will wash theirs of it.
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    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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    Reverse Engineer maxorator's Avatar
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    Actually quite many European countries have sent troops to Afghanistan. Not as many as the US maybe, but it's still something. I'm wondering what news you are expecting though - US makes the strategy, EU helps. If they would be both heavily involved in strategy, then deciding anything would take double the time and could cause serious disputes.

    According to this document (23rd of July, 2009), the amount of troops in Afghanistan (as NATO troops) per 1 million people by country should be around this:

    Code:
    United Kingdom            146.02  | Slovakia                     42.49
    Denmark                   126.82  | Slovenia                     39.08
    Estonia                   111.91  | New Zealand                  36.97
    Netherlands               106.89  | Czech Republic               32.45
    Norway                    100.17  | Hungary                      30.90
    United States              97.30  | Iceland                      25.06
    Republic of Macedonia      80.54  | Finland                      20.57
    Canada                     79.82  | Luxembourg                   18.24
    Latvia                     73.20  | Spain                        16.97
    Croatia                    66.52  | Greece                       12.88
    Bulgaria                   61.79  | Turkey                       10.21
    Lithuania                  59.70  | Azerbaijan                   10.12
    Poland                     52.49  | Portugal                      8.47
    Australia                  49.65  | United Arab Emirates          5.44
    Germany                    49.39  | Singapore                     1.60
    France                     48.56  | Ireland                       1.57
    Romania                    47.68  | Jordan                        1.11
    Belgium                    47.42  | Bosnia and Herzegovina        0.53
    Italy                      46.46  | Austria                       0.36
    Sweden                     46.16  | Georgia                       0.23
    Albania                    44.16  | Ukraine                       0.22
    US also has non-NATO forces there (both in total about 78000(corrected)), so the real value for US should be around 254.

    By the way, Estonia doubled the number of troops, so the new value for it will be around 215.
    Last edited by maxorator; 10-27-2009 at 05:09 PM.
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    Devil's Advocate SlyMaelstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxorator View Post
    US also has non-NATO forces there (both in total about 60000?), so the real value for US should be around 200.

    By the way, Estonia doubled the number of troops, so the new value for it will be around 215.
    The US has, including the 30,000 in the ISAF about 78,000 troops in Afghanistan. That represents about 254 per million citizens (exceeded currently only by the UK in per capita numbers) and excludes the 120,000 on that other country that borders Iran who are only a signature and a four hour helicopter ride away from being in Afghanistan if they needed to be. The US forces represent about 64% of what's in Afghanistan excluding their local forces. The United Kingdom represents another 14-15%. The fact is, there are a whole lot of disappointing numbers on that list from a lot of very, very big countries in terms of influence in Europe. All of which insist that something needs to be done in the area... they just don't want to pony up the man power, or more importantly, the dough. Strategy and manpower are two different things.
    Last edited by SlyMaelstrom; 10-27-2009 at 04:26 PM.
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    Reverse Engineer maxorator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlyMaelstrom View Post
    The US has, including the 30,000 in the ISAF about 78,000 troops in Afghanistan.
    It is sometimes annoying to try and find correct figures from news articles. Thanks for the correction.

    It's interesting that Germany, France and Italy all have between 45 and 50 ISAF troops per million citizens.
    Last edited by maxorator; 10-27-2009 at 05:08 PM.
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    Devil's Advocate SlyMaelstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxorator View Post
    It is sometimes annoying to try and find correct figures from news articles. Thanks for the correction.

    It's interesting that Germany, France and Italy all have between 45 and 50 ISAF troops per million citizens.
    Well... don't take my numbers as a fact... I don't send the guys out there... my information is just what I can get for the internet.
    Last edited by SlyMaelstrom; 10-27-2009 at 05:12 PM.
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    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    That table indeed confirms my concerns. Were it given out of context and I would mistake that for some list of country presence in a peace-keeping scenario like Bosnia. It's definitely not the list you would expect as the result of an open and clear political commitment to the situation in Afghanistan.

    As always there's a clear European look-the-other-way attitude. This ........es me off greatly because when it comes the time to rightfully criticize USA for some reason, I have to hear all sorts of accusations that while totally unrelated to the matter at that time, are no less true.

    I'm however curious as to whether this has been a matter of debate over there or not.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    I'm amazed by the fact that if one President wants to go to Afghanistan they are a war monger but if another one wants to go they win the Nobel Peace Prize.

    Very odd.

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    Devil's Advocate SlyMaelstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    I'm however curious as to whether this has been a matter of debate over there or not.
    Debate about what? Europe's lack of involvement? We're pretty used to it by now... Europe has a history of sitting back and judging while others do the heavy lifting. Not to blame the people of Europe or even any individual country... it's just the sad effect of 50 or so countries caught in bureaucratic deadlock by trying to act as one unit while still trying to maintain their own individual economic status. It's like a bunch of college kids hovering over a pint glass full of what they were able to funnel off of the bar top after last call all pointing to each other saying "You do it... no you do it..."
    Last edited by SlyMaelstrom; 10-27-2009 at 08:19 PM.
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    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
    I'm amazed by the fact that if one President wants to go to Afghanistan they are a war monger but if another one wants to go they win the Nobel Peace Prize.
    Afghanistan was never a point of discord. Iraq was.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    Afghanistan was never a point of discord. Iraq was.
    In the later portions of the previous administration everything was a point of discord.

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    >> In the later portions of the previous administration everything was a point of discord.

    Sure, but there were reasons for that. If Bush was considered a war monger it was because he invaded Iraq preemptively (and under false pretenses at that). He was criticized for Afghanistan only a little, and most of that criticism was for largely ignoring that war in favor of Iraq.

    So, there is nothing odd about how the previous administration was considered war mongers and the current one is not.

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    As to the original topic, I've often wondered why there wasn't more of an attempt to get other countries involved in the war in Afghanistan. It seemed they were actively engaged at the outset, but perhaps the "go it alone" strategy on Iraq soured many to the idea of helping out the U.S. Either that or it just changed the way the realities were characterized in our national discourse.

    I'd like to see more international involvement, especially with regards to the nation building and security that needs to be done but lends itself to an unending involvement that the U.S. doesn't want by itself. If we could get more help from other countries, we could focus on Al-Qaeda and try to actually finish what started the war in the first place.

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    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    It's definitely not the list you would expect as the result of an open and clear political commitment to the situation in Afghanistan.
    Paying lip service to commitment, and actually being committed are two different things. Europe isn't committed to maintaining stability in the region, but it's not popular to say they aren't committed and lying costs nothing.

    Personally, I think its great that Europe isn't sticking its nose into Afghanistan, They would just screw things up with their assumptions and hyperbole.
    Last edited by abachler; 10-28-2009 at 03:51 AM.
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    Woof, woof! zacs7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlyMaelstrom View Post
    Debate about what? Europe's lack of involvement? We're pretty used to it by now... Europe has a history of sitting back and judging while others do the heavy lifting.
    I agree, however take a big fat look at World War Two. Although you could argue that it was Europe's problem.

    I don't see Afghanistan as winnable by conventional means, just as all other similar wars/conflicts have failed. That being said, go coalition . I'm just sad Australia isn't doing more.

    How about the involvement of "private security contractors"? Seems like the business to be in.

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    Guest Sebastiani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
    I'm amazed by the fact that if one President wants to go to Afghanistan they are a war monger but if another one wants to go they win the Nobel Peace Prize.

    Very odd.
    Ouch.

    Well, without going into the possible roots of the war, I do think that there needs to be a greater sense of urgency among the leadership. My advice would simply be to quickly reorganize and then move in swiftly for a decisive battle.

    To quote Sun Tzu:

    "Thus, though we have heard of stupid haste in war, cleverness has never been associated with long delays"

    Beats milling around, anyway.

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