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03:55 PM on 08/24/2009
All proper military operations should have defined objectives and a timetable to accomplish those goals. It's irresponsible to members serving to leave them in hostile operating areas, with little idea of the overall plan on what we are trying to accomplish. I'm glad to hear Senator Feingold is asking for the accountability of the Obama Administration.
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04:16 PM on 08/24/2009
Hear! Hear!
05:51 PM on 08/24/2009
I don't get this. The Revolutionary War didn't have a timetable, nor did the Civil War nor World War II. By definition, war is unpredictable. A timetable seems like something only an MBA could imagine would work for a war.

I certainly agree with the need for objectives.

The Bush administration's original objective in Afghanistan was to overthrow the Taliban government that knowingly created a safe operating zone for Al Qaeda and thereby directly facilitated 9/11.

Once that was accomplished, the objective should have been to stabilize the situation with a non-Taliban government so we could leave. Instead we fell victim to the insane invasion of Iraq.

Stabilizing the situation with a non-Taliban government, so we can leave, is once again the objective -- except that six years of festering inattention, lack of resources, and uncertainty have created a holy mess that has drawn in a nuclear state (Pakistan), making this objective far more difficult than it would have been back in 2003-04 when it should have been achieved. Bush's legacy is bitter and ugly, but it is what we have to deal with.

Walking away was idiotic last time (when American-armed mujahiddeen, including Osama bin Laden, overthrew the Soviets). It created a vacuum soon filled with anarchy followed by the Taliban, leading not only to September 11 but broader regional and international problems. We just can't do walk away heedlessly again. We have to learn from our mistakes.
06:30 PM on 08/25/2009
Nobody is walking away. He's asking for a plan, seeing as how unlimited war does not promote our way of live nor add to our need for peace. If anything without clear and defined objectives, this just becomes another recruiting tool for terrorists.

The problems with your example regarding the last military events in Afghanistan, is that we had no reason to be there in the first place. Vietnam and Afghanistan during the Soviet war would be a great parallel. Now here we are funded by the very people we wanted to defeat. Cleaning up more messes caused by, "The enemy of my enemy, is my friend."

Apparently we have yet to learn about that mistake. I suppose as we beg for more Chinese money with one hand, as we can decry the evil Reds by shaking a fist with the other.
03:51 PM on 08/24/2009
I agree with you Senator. We to not need to be in Afghanistan. Let's draw up a withdrawal time table.