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Independent Voter | Old Soldier View | Afghanistan Pt II Dec 09

Updated on December 3, 2009
Lest We Forget
Lest We Forget

Back in September, I wrote about the crossroads our country is at with the War in Afghanistan (link below). Last night we heard from President Obama on the planned ‘surge’ of troops to the Afghanistan area of Operations. Back in September I cautioned that this is a War of Generations, and at this point I don’t see it any differently. I also reminded folks about why we are there and that the Taliban as well as Al Queada are regional and world purveyors of terrorism and no matter if the Taliban were not our enemies before 9/11 when they refused to turn over AQ and we invaded, and removed them from government, they will be now or at least until they get tired of dying. I also outlined several differences from Viet Nam Operations and some of the similarities as well.

President Obama confirmed much of what I said in his speech last night. So to all those who want to keep trying to hang the Viet Nam tag on this one it’s time to put that away and start supporting what we’re trying to accomplish over there. He also mentioned how we have to recognize and get serious with Pakistan. These folks have finally seen what the Taliban and AQ bring to their country and have rejected it. We now must coordinate more closely on operations in both countries and do hammer and anvil operations against these guys. I repeat here we do not have an option to do any thing but defeat these folks.

I congratulate the President on recognizing this, and I think he should have more clearly stated that July 2011 is a start point to withdraw some forces if the status on the ground permits. It does have the benefit of starting at least a smoldering fire under the butt of Hamid Karzai and that may not be a bad thing. This guy needs to clean up his governments act. But the American people should also know that trying to hold his government to the standards we place on government workers here is not going to be possible.

There is rampant low level corruption throughout the developing world and its’ reasonable to try to bring them to a standard higher than most of their peers in the next couple years. But is not likely to be even close to the standards we use here in the States or the West in general.

Since I try not to comment unless I have something to offer as a solution, I think this is one area the State Department has to get rolling on. I would humbly suggest the State Department assemble ‘Governance’ Teams for every level of government, teams of retired or experienced Government Officials both elected and bureaucrats to show them how it’s done. Much the same as the military has their training assistance teams. All aid and infrastructure projects and contracts initially go through them and as the Afghans learn, hand responsibilities over to them. Then audit, audit, audit and when you’re tired of auditing them audit them again. This is the NationBuilding we need to do over there even more so than the military assistance. This is what will build the structure of trust between the locals and their Government. It will also lead to a more lasting appreciation of all of our efforts over there. This was the missing element in Viet Nam and Iraq. If Sec Clinton really wants to help win this thing she should have her staff working in overdrive to come up with some kind of plan.

This is the time now that we must as a nation reconfirm to all the world that we are in it to win it. There is just no alternative. If we do not defeat them there we will have to fight them here. The potential for harm far exceeds 9/11 if they somehow get hold of one of Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons.

As for all the fuss about the ‘delays’, I think it could have been worked out sooner, but from Sec gates on down I take their no issues with it statements at face value and think we should too. The fact is the time taken has not led to any discernable delays, and may well have given the logistics professionals’ a little more breathing room on gearing up for this. I stress again that the logistical challenges in Afghanistan far exceed those of Viet Nam, Iraq, or even the China India Burma Theater in WWII. To accomplish the mission outlined by the President the military and civilian logisticians are going to be hard pressed. I wish them Gods Speed and success on their efforts as I do our soldiers that face a tough enemy under difficult conditions..

Finally a couple of personal things Mr. President. The country needed some motivation last night not a college lecture. When are you gonna start motivating people instead of whining about the past? It’s been thirteen months since the election and nearly eleven since you were inaugurated. The past is done; your job is to lead us into the future with a clear plan that’s in our national interest and provide the motivation for the public to get behind it. Politically, you pissed off the far right and far left, last night (and I suspect that’s a good thing) but you miserably failed to motivate any one that is not bound by the Constitution to do so. You need to tighten that crap up.


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    • Hmrjmr1 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Granny's House - Much Thanks for stopping by!!

    • Granny's House profile image

      Granny's House 

      8 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

      Thank you this hub. I have learned a lot from the comments.

    • Hmrjmr1 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Georgia, USA

      sweetie 1 thanks for stopping by and commenting. While we will for now have to agree to disagree in Iraq. I am heartened to know you recognize the difference and the necessity for our mission in Afghanistan. Though I would point out that the operations in Iraq were never about the oil, since if it had been we were in the position to take what we wanted. We never did. Still haven't. I'll be doing a hub about Iraq soon.

    • sweetie1 profile image


      9 years ago from India

      For me USA did need to step up in Afghanistan so i do support UN troops there but in Iraq i donot as it was just a war on innocent country by a president who was looking to control oil there. Of all the secrets reports told to world for attacking iraq none found to be WMD or chemical weapons.. and such a beautiful country was bombed to ground

    • Hmrjmr1 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Georgia, USA

      AIM always glad to read your view thanks for stopping by! It seems the current Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) are not getting the job done. State Dept needs to take a hard relook on those assets and missions. Just as Gen McChrystal did on the Military side.

      You're doping a great job fostering the support for the Guys over there Keep it up Gal! Hoooah!

    • Army Infantry Mom profile image

      Army Infantry Mom 

      9 years ago

      I'm with you a 100% of everything you said. I sure in hell don't want my son in harms way or anyone else, but the enemies must be delt with, no if ands or buts, they are not going to go away on their own. I know the Troop's grow weary sometimes and keeping moral up in tough, but I hear the same thing from almost all of them,..their in it to win !!! They are not the type to cut and run when the going gets tough,..thats why they wear the boot's. I Really Really like your suggestion regaurding ‘Governance’ Teams and especially the Auditing !!! I am just really hoping and praying the people here at home, gets involved with supporting our Troop's and getting them carepackages and letters of Thanks sent out to them.

    • Hmrjmr1 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Georgia, USA

      CM - Thanks for stopping by my friend,,,

    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 

      9 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Thanks for your very interesting perspective!

    • Hmrjmr1 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Celia - Canada has been a proud partner in this since the beginning, and God Bless all who serve. My condolences on your loss. It's a telling sign that the folks who put the most at risk recognize the need for not only for our presence but the need to win. Thanks for your service and for commenting. God Bless you.

    • Celia Myers profile image

      Celia Myers 

      9 years ago from Canada

      Canada has been in Afghanistan for several years now. I have many friends who've been over, some more than once.

      Last month I lost one of them; last year one lost his legs. Both were reservists.

      I have yet to hear even one soldier say we aren't needed. They all believe in the mission. Many want to go back. I have no doubt we are making a difference, but it will take many years. We need to be in it for the long haul.

    • Hmrjmr1 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Georgia, USA

      50 cal

      As always my friend, you add a significant element to the discussion. I concur with you that if folks need to see all that a fire fight entails then they should hop on a plane and head for Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Philippines, or Somalia, to name a few. They can watch the first 10 mins of Saving Private Ryan and learn what they need to know. If not leave it to the professionals and support them to get the required results.

      It's a tough fight we must support and win.

      God Bless my Friend and say hey to your buds from me when you get the chance.

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 

      9 years ago from Arizona


      I read your hub and went back and read the older one. I'll not repeat the comment here.

      Well done and thought out analysis in both accounts. AND as you say the 'Nam experience has very limited similarities here and I would wish people would put that behind them and whole kindheartedly support the task at hand.

      In the '60s and '70s we had nightly footage of combat operations from embedded reporters, that in it's self led to a divisive state of the American society. With limited views of combat operations this time it has not tainted the US as before. I believe it was a fine choice to limit what comes on the evening news. While it is widely available on line to view, most have to seek it out and most sites will take a leaked video of the gore down in just a few short hours. I consider that a good thing. If one feels the need or demand the right to see it, I say volunteer and catch a flight so they can smell and taste it first hand.

      Like you I have friends serving in the sandbox and they all are of multiple tours, until I hear them tell me it's not worth while I will continue to send those packages and correspond with them at every opportunity. Most are of age to retire and come home, but they are staying the coarse and all Americans need to support them, Period.

    • Hmrjmr1 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Tammy - Glad to be of help! Thanks for stopping by..

    • profile image

      Tammy Lochmann 

      9 years ago

      I don't know enough about politics and war to state an opinion. I just wanted you to know that I read this and this information helped me to understand what is going on regarding this subject.


      Tammy :-D

    • Hmrjmr1 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Great American Thanks for stopping by, There are far more differences than there are similarities. As for The President, like all of them I trust them as far as I can throw them. Right left or in between...

    • greatAmerican profile image


      9 years ago

      I suppose there are similarities between Vietnam and Afghanistan, but the major diff is we never were attacked within our land by Vietman. As for Obama, I don't know if I could ever believe anything he has to say!

    • Hmrjmr1 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Lorlie - thanks Glad it was helpful!

    • lorlie6 profile image

      Laurel Rogers 

      9 years ago from Bishop, Ca

      What an instructive Hub, Hmrjmr1-I must admit I was not terribly educated regarding the situation in Afghanistan, but since the president's decision came down, my ears opened. I am so glad to see you address this not as another Vietnam, etc., but as a unique situation demanding our involvement.

      I was also impressed with your instructions regarding low-level corruption in developing nations which necessarily leads to alienation between the people and their 'leaders.' I studied language and medicine in the PRC back in the 1980's and this was ridiculously evident even to me. The lack of trust leads nowhere. Only to more corruption.

      Thanks for such an amazing Hub.

    • Hmrjmr1 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Georgia, USA

      William - Thanks for Stopping by we'll see how it goes.

    • William R. Wilson profile image

      William R. Wilson 

      9 years ago from Knoxville, TN

      LOL at the last point about motivation. BO is capable of making a good speech - I hope he starts doing so again.

      I'm glad to read your opinions about this, and I agree with you.


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