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Mission creep in Afghanistan

Mission creep in Afghanistan
by John Pratt

The International Institute Strategic Studies has just released a Strategic Survey 2010: The Annual Review of World Affairs

Dr John Chipman Director-General and Chief Executive The International Institute for Strategic Studies, London reports:

Strategic Survey 2010 does not seek to lay out a new comprehensive strategy for Afghanistan. It does however argue that for Western states to be pinned down militarily and psychologically in Afghanistan will not be in the service of their wider political and security interests. The challenge of Afghanistan must be viewed and addressed in proportion to the other threats to international security and the other requirements for foreign-policy investment. With economic, financial and diplomatic activity moving at such a pace and with such varied outcomes internationally, military operations in general have to be all the more carefully considered. Precision and adaptability will be essential watchwords. For heavy, large, military deployment, the longue durée will be seen as an attitude for other times, other centuries.

The Afghan campaign has involved not just mission creep but mission multiplication; narrowing the political-military engagement to core goals as described will allow for proper attention to be paid to other areas posing international terrorist risks, and indeed to other matters affecting international security.

Australian troops fighting in Afghanistan deserve better political leadership. It is coming up to ten years since we joined the US and invaded this war torn nation. The reason given for this invasion was to defeat al- Qaeda and capture or kill Osama Bin Laden. Now we are involved in nation building and the support of unpopular and corrupt war lords. It is classic mission creep. Australian troops are among the best in the world and will go wherever our politicians ask and do what is ordered. This puts an enormous obligation on our politicians to make sure they do not abuse the power that the nation places in their hands. When we ask young Australians to sacrifice their lives we should at least be brave enough to debate the pro and cons of war in the Australian Parliament.

Is this the best use of our limited resources and the ADF?

Terrorists operate without regard to national boundaries. To counter terrorists effectively, we should strengthen our regional and transnational partnerships and increasingly operate in a regional context.

As this report from the Council on Foreign Relations says:


The Sulu/Sulawesi Seas Littoral. Southeast Asia includes a safe haven area composed of the Sulawesi Sea and Sulu Archipelago, which sit astride the maritime boundary between Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. The geography of the thousands of islands in the region made the area difficult for authorities to monitor. Worker migration, tourism, trade, and other non-terrorist activities, both licit and illicit, that occur in this maritime region pose another challenge to identifying and countering the terrorist threat. Although Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines have improved their efforts to control their shared maritime boundaries, this expanse remains difficult to control. Surveillance is partial at best, and traditional smuggling and piracy groups provided an effective cover for terrorist activities, such as movement of personnel, equipment, and funds. The Sulu/Sulawesi Seas Littoral represents a safe haven for the Jemaah Islamiya (JI) terrorist organization and the Philippine Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).

The Southern Philippines. The southern Philippines, specifically the Sulu archipelago and Mindanao, serve as terrorist safe havens. The government’s control in this area is weak due to rugged terrain, weak rule of law, poverty, and local Muslim minority resentment of central governmental policies. In addition to a few Jemaah Islamiya (JI) fugitives and the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), the area hosts several terrorist and insurgent groups including the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s Army and the Rajah Solaiman Movement.

While we have a large proportion of the ADF operating in Afghanistan we are ignoring the threats much closer to home:

Captain Rudy Lupton, commander of the USS Blue Ridge, the command and control ship of the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet based in Japan, said earlier this month China should act "responsibly" in the South China Sea.

Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, China and Taiwan all stake claims over territory in the South China Sea, which is rich in energy and a major shipping route. All except Brunei have a military presence in the area, and the boundary claims have sparked deadly naval clashes.

Southeast Asian states have become worried by China's increasingly aggressive stance on the complex set of disputes. In late July, Chinese naval forces carried out drills in the disputed southern waters amid tension with Washington over security on the Korean peninsula and in the South China Sea.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton upset China when she raised the issue of territorial claims at the ASEAN regional forum in July, and supported a multilateral approach to resolving them.

Australia is a small country and we cannot afford to waste lives or resources. We have growing threats much closer to home than Afghanistan and we should be concentrating on these threats. We should be fighting real terrorists, not chasing ghosts or nation building in distant countries that are no threat to Australia.

As more Australian blood is spilt in Afghanistan it makes it harder for us to withdraw. Our troops justifiably say that we should not ignore the sacrifices that have already been made.

The reality is that we will withdraw from Afghanistan – just as we have in Iraq and Vietnam – when the US withdraws. To waste more blood is futile.


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Wombat Warrior - I like that

Not even Hitler needed anyone over 60 until March 1945. 

"Ridiculous" as described in the Wombat Dictionary reads:

adjective - homo sapiens

By March 1945 Hitler needed more than 60 year olds - he needed 20,000 Chris Parsons to argue the enemy to death (although I have a sneaky suspicion just one would have been enough).

Now had Hitler taken my advice by conscripting and training all and sundry when he really needed them (circa 1936) then he would have won WW2 by 1942 - trust me. 

Anyway we defeated Hitler's might in under 6 years. After 8 long years in Afghanistan we are still pretending to fight, and losing to a poorly trained and ill equipped bunch of hillbillies - sheesh, how bloody embarrassing.

Now, that's homo sapiens.


Justin, in case you missed it a reply is the thread starter up top.

Wombat Pride! Respect!

The Warriors are out,
Out of control.
Out team is hot,
We're on a roll.
We're coming fast,
no power can stop
That Wombat pride
that puts us on top.
We won't slow down
Until we win.
That time will come,

For Queen and Country

We expect our soldiers to be prepared to die in the defence of their country, and this places a great responsibility on us. Two current news items brings home the price they are paying.

One is of three Aussie elite soldiers facing manslaughter charges.

The other is about our treatment of Afghan prisoners, which could easily cross the line into torture - sensory deprivation, sitting in excrement, forced positions, four days to get a confession... And 90% are innocent?

If anyone is unsure about what we are doing to our soldiers, this article is quite clear.

And, at the end of it, all we would have achieved is a new generation of terrorists. If anyone should face manslaughter charges, it's us.

Bludgers and that "C" word...

“When plunder has become a way of life for a group of people living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it, and a moral code that glorifies it.” – Frederic Bastiat

Forget I posted the above quote.

Sadly, my earlier call to arms, on this very web site on 12 September last, has been a total failure.

According to a Colonel Blimp at the ADF recruitment tent, the only mug to front up was a guy named Parsons who claimed to have had previous experience in the art of war over in the Holey Land. Unfortunately Parsons failed the medical when he could only raise a squeak after being asked to bend over and cough.

Apparently, another joker by the name of Pahoff fronted up but was only interested in playing poker, drinking whisky and singing something about dying in your sleep. Pahoff was considered far too intelligent for the ADF thus was disqualified from service, without having to bend over and cough.

In our noble quest to assist the Yanks in maintaining "full spectrum dominance" it would appear we have failed in the superlative.

We are, my fellow Australians, a mob of bludgers (Parsons & Pahoff excepted).

The Aussie ethos should now read: I'm alright Uncle Sam, pull up the ladder.

Statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception. -Mark Twain

Forget I posted the above quote.

OK now it's time to get serious. If you lot of bludgers are toooo afraid to do the right and join up in our noble crusade then it leaves Bluey Gillard no other option.

I know the "C" word should never be uttered in pubic places or amongst salubrious company – but we are at war, after all. And if we lose this war, er wars, then our babies will be thrown out of their incubators by the nasty Jews, er commies, er Muslims, no terrorists, er whoever we decide to hate this century. Anyway it doesn't really matter who we hate so long as we HATE; and we always do so for all the correct reasons I might add.

As such on the 11th November 2010 "C" will be introduced to all and sundry between the ages of 17 to 70 years. Either front up at your local recruiting tent or expect a thousand white feathers in the mail and cancellation of your subscription to Sports Illustrated for life.

Man is the only animal that deals in that atrocity of atrocities, War. He is the only one that gathers his brethren about him and goes forth in cold blood and calm pulse to exterminate his kind. He is the only animal that for sordid wages will march out...and help to slaughter strangers of his own species who have done him no harm and with whom he has no quarrel. ..And in the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood off his hands and works for "the universal brotherhood of man"--with his mouth. Mark Twain

Forget I posted the above quote.

You see, my fellow patriots, war is an intrinsic part of human nature. OK, some of you may be a little apprehensive about wearing the uniform and killing babies, but hey, that's what we do, we have been doing it for as long as Paris Hilton has been flashing her "C" in pubic, and that's been forever.

I'm sure, after you all do your basic training and front up on the front line you will find that killing is like learning to ride a bike: a little wobbly at first but in no time flat you'll be raping 14 year old girls, murdering their parents and just for sport setting the bodies on fire.

Of of course you could just blow innocent civilians up with hand grenades and cut up their corpses for trophies.

Who said war brings out the worst in man – those human trophies must be worth a bloody fortune.

Anyway, I'm sorry it had to come to this, I mean having to force you bludgers into actually getting involved in the fun bit, but if that's what we have to do then that's what we have to do – such is life.

Besides, once you get the hang of the rape and murder thing you'll love it, and you'll be thanking me for having made it all possible – trust me.

Probably, no nation is rich enough to pay for both war and civilization. We must make our choice; we cannot have both. Abraham Flexner

Abraham is dead right – let's forever hold our peace and choose:


PS. If you want to know why yours truly is not getting involved in the killing bit, then that's because (these days) I'm a wombat, and wombats are protected by law, unlike humans who are fair game. That's what us wombats like about you lot – you know your priorities, thanks.

Wombat Warrior

Don't be ridiculous Justin. We don't need everyone between the ages of 17 and 70. At least not immediately anyway. Not even Hitler needed anyone over 60 until March 1945. 

Who needs enemies?

Australian troops are dying for what?

So when the people are faced with a choice between supporting a corrupt, local thugocracy, and the Taliban, who bring swift justice to lawbreakers and keep out unwanted foreigners, it's no wonder Australian troops continue to suffer casualties.

One of the many roles Australian troops have is to mentor and train the Afghan security forces. Yet any effect we are having is being undermined by the Afghan President's systematic dismantling of anti-corruption processes.

We thought we had an awful choice - dumb or dumber - when we went to the polls. In Afghanistan it is the choice between thugocracy or the Taliban.

Why are Aussie troops being asked to support thugs in Afghanistan?

Afghanistan now produces 90 percent of the world’s opium. And one way or another the opium trade supports an estimated 1.4 million households in the country, which has a population of 25 million to 30 million. It also provides enormous amounts of money to the Taliban,

After nine years of war, why do we still allow opium to be grown and sold to support the Taliban? Are our troops there to protect the opium crops?

It may be hard to find and destroy Al Qaeda but poppy fields should be a little easier to find, especially with satellite technology.

Spuds & Daffodils

John, if you google: "CIA drugs trade", or "banks drug trade" then it may help a little.

Of course, if the powers that be wanted to stop the Afghanistan opium business then why not pay the farmers to do something else.

Apparently opium accounts for around 50% of Afghanistan's GDP of 32 billion (purchasing power parity - 2006).

It currently costs the Yanks around 1.5 billion a week to fight the war (and increasing) . In around ten weeks they could pay off all the farmers to grow spuds or daffodils or whatever. In twenty weeks they could pay them twice as much. Now if some one offered to double your income simply by growing a different crop what would you do?

Of course the numbers are rough, but what's a few billion when thousands of lives could be saved.

The war on drugs, the war on terror; all part of the same game. 

Are these my brains?

A 3-year-old boy examined his testicles while taking a bath.

'Mum', he asked, 'Are these my brains?'

'Not yet,' she replied.

I'm not sure what the above joke has to do with this thread, but if we use our brains then we may be able to salvage something - I hope.

Geoff, OK big fella, I'lI see your Munich, raise you a Nagasaki and throw in a Gettysburg and Gallipoli for sentimental reasons....

Which came first? The sellout or the massacre?

Cards face up now Justin.  I'm putting the whole bank on the table. The fall of France, the occupation of Poland, the battles of Normandy, Anzio , the Ardennes ... the lot. I'll even throw in the eastern front.  Kursk, Stalingrad, Leningrad,  Warsaw, the battle of Prussia ...  None of these would have happened if it hadn't been for Munich. Therefore I win. I declare me the winner. Why shouldn't I?  I'm still standing.

OK Geoff you win, time to fold...

...and the best that you can hope for, is to die in your sleep.

Anyway, let's all rejoice, I've got the solution to the Afghanistan problem, don't know why nobodie didn't think of it before.

You see all we have to do is transport the population of Afghanistan to Tasmania, they'll love the place, but best not show them Tassie's map. Anyway our dear Afghani friends should feel quite at home with all that (medicinal) opium, mountains and snow.

And the Tasmanians?

Transport them to Afghanistan, they'll never know the difference, and they'll feel quite at home with all that opium, snow and mountains.

By Khyber, I reckon we should pass that motion.

Now that wasn't hard at all.

What a waste!

He seemed oblivious to the origins of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and their consequences. Most Americans have had a rethink about these wars and whether military might and adventurism is the best way to defeat terrorism. The latest polls show a clear majority, almost 60 per cent, believe the Iraq war was a mistake - 43 per cent think the same about invading Afghanistan, which was harbouring al-Qaeda - and more than half thought it a failure. The US gave oxygen to the radical belief that Islam is at war with the West, and has lost 5697 soldiers and its allies 1110 in conflicts fought on the terrorists' terms, while weakening itself. The cost exceeds $US1.1 trillion, fuelling record deficits....................................

This is how the struggle against extremism will be won; not on the mindlessly bloody scale of the ''war on terror'' battlefields, but in the commonsense arena of daily co-operation among people of goodwill. Their insistence upon a peaceful, free and tolerant society is the response that terrorists fear most.

This extract from an editorial piece in this morning's Age.

It is obvious that opinion has changed and we will be withdrawing our troops in the next year or so.

Let us have the debate in Parliament and get this mess over and done with.

We can hope we have learnt our lesson and never again will we follow the US into unwinnable wars.

Afghanistan is more dangerous now

The Afghan NGO Safety Office - an independent organisation financed by Western governments and agencies to monitor safety for aid workers - says Afghanistan is more dangerous now than at any time since 2001. Four years ago, the insurgents were active in only four provinces. Now they are active in 33 of 34.

The number of insurgent attacks has also increased significantly; in August 2009, insurgents carried out 630 attacks. This August, they initiated at least 1353, according to the Afghan NGO Safety Office.

The reality in Afghanistan is that after 9 years of fighting we have only made it more dangerous.

One point only - WINNING - but do we really want to?

Geoff, I'm with you mate:

It would be something so shameful we may never fully recover.

So lets all pull together and get the job done:


How does one win a war? Supposedly the only way one can win a war is to kill; or neutralise your opponent to such an extent they will retire from the field, sue for peace and give you all their valuable stuff (including their daughters) so long as you don’t hurt them anymore.

What made the japs surrender? Yep, a bloody atom bomb did the trick nicely, and did we care about the thousands of innocent lives we snuffed out – nah, the bastards had it coming. Besides, they weren't human like us.

Did the crouts care about the innocent women and children they slaughtered in London, Coventry, Birmingham and elsewhere? Nah. And did we care when we gave it back to them in spades? Not a bit, they had it coming. Besides they weren't human like us.

You don’t win a war with one arm tied behind your back. Wars are won best with callous calculations, brutal haste, with no quarter given to the enemy’s civilian population. In fact, the fall of Carthage is an example of how to deal with the enemy in an efficient, permanent and (somewhat) profitable manner.


Probably the best example of winning in Afghanistan was set by Genghis Khan some years back. The manic Mongol simply killed all his enemies and their families, piled their bones into pyramids, swiped all their goodies, then pissed of as quick as he could (with the best looking daughters) – voila. It didn’t take him nine fucking years.

If the US and the countries supporting this war want to win then why haven’t they after 8 long years?

Probably because we are only fighting a pretend war; sheesh, one or two of our lads get killed and it’s a disaster, when a few bad guys get killed it’s a wonderful victory. But when we destroy a wedding party or a few innocent bystanders then we cop a whole lot of shit from lefty types – it’s war for Christ’s sake, and in a war civilians get killed.

During the battle of the Somme some 432,000 British soldiers were killed and wounded, while the German count was around half a million. Not a bad effort for a few days of war.

After eight years in that graveyard of empires it must be obvious to all and sundry we are not winning, rather, we appear to be losing. Being nice to the home team is not working, they support the bad guys, or at least won’t assist us.

If we are going to win this war then we are going to have to behave like we are fighting a war, a real war – you never win a fight when your heart and soul is not in it. We have to be committed.

So let’s kill the bastards, let’s do a Ghenghis of a job on the bad guys and get this war won, otherwise we should piss off quick. Of course winning is going to take heaps of flesh, blood and treasure, but if a war is worth starting then we must ALL make sacrifices (if we want to win). Yep ALL of US, otherwise we are going to retreat from this battle looking like dills – and of course all those on the left will say: I TOLD YOU SO!!!!!

At the moment Australia has around 1,500 troops in Afghanistan. I think the Yanks call us “operation token” or something like that – they are correct. Anyway if were are going to commit to this war then a troop level of around 300,000 would go a long way to assist the Yanks in winning, after all they have other wars to take care of – wars fought not only in their defence but ours as well – right?

We are also going to need heaps of helicopters, armoured vehicles, bullets, bombs, doctors, nurses and all sorts of military stuff – but it will be worth it when all the bad guys have been killed or neutralised.

Oh, and all pensions, the dole and handouts should be reduced by at least 20% (will help create cannon fodder) to finance our efforts, while taxes should be raised 20% accross the board. We should all pay until it hurts to get this over ASAP.

Of course getting the extra troops may be difficult, but if we can’t get enough volunteers then conscription will fix that – a stint in the army does wonders for undisciplined 16 - 70 year olds. In the land of the fair go we should all share the risk.

And if we die, then we will die with honour and a flag on our coffin.

So there’s the rub, fellow Australians: we can (in general) ignore this war and lose, or we can all play a part and win (I think), as long as we are prepared to fight like mad (but clever) dogs, kill the enemy, and all those who show comfort to the enemy - and if we are a little bit careless or unlucky in this crusade then an early but heavenly retirement shall reward us.

Please find below the contact details for the ADF:


I shall contact the ADF in a week or two – if there has not been a dramatic influx of applicants then all good patriotic Australians should write to Julia Gillard and insist she introduce conscription immediately, otherwise we’re fucked, and Afghanistan will simply be another big “I TOLD YOU SO”.

So let’s all put our hearts, minds, gonads, blood and treasure into a glorious and noble victory – half-heartedness will be our undoing, you can be sure of that – we could have won in Nam if we nuked the bastards – I think.

Of course Sun Tzu would argue that we have already lost in Afghanistan – can we prove him wrong, and do we really want to?

PS. We could however take the democratic approach – ask the Afghan people if they want us there, or not. Now, that would be democratic, would it not?

Oh Geoff, I'll meet you at the recruitment office - then we can march into the ghan together and get our balls blown off in bloody glory - but only if you want to.

Dead Man's Bluff

Alright Justin. I'll call. I'll see your Somme and raise you one Munich.

The nature of propaganda

I suspect that we often fail to realise that propaganda still works even when we know it is untrue. It gets into our subconscious and hard wires us. It also creeps by with half-truths. And violent denunciation of anyone who questions their ideology: Non-patriotic; traitors; criticising our troops in a time of war.....

Alternative realities we fail to voice loudly and often enough:

  • Terrorists are often localised groups rebelling against repressive regimes, attracting intellectuals, idealists, criminals and thugs.
  • Bin Laden is a Saudi, who originally attacks the US because it is supporting a regime in his home country widely recognised as repressive.
  • The number of people who died on 9/11 is comparable to the the number who die every month in the US from gunshots, smoking or car crashes. The same is true of Bali victims and Australian mortality statistics. And Bali wasn't an attack on Australia. Rather, a large number of Australians got caught up in an overseas war. Indonesia is a Muslim country.
  • If one looks at groups or regimes currently labelled terrorists, one often finds that in the not too distant past, they were supported by the US.
  • Yes, the US sometimes gets involved in other countries for purely humanitarian reasons. But, it is often also to safeguard US interests (such as oil) - and the US openly acknowledges it.
  • Australia got involved in Afghanistan and Iraq purely to show solidarity with the US. These countries represented zero threat to Australia.
  • Saddam was in several ways a nasty man. On the other hand, he ran a reasonably competent secular government, that established strong education systems and significant rights for women. There is some evidence to suggest that the wars he fought were initially encouraged by the US.
  • It is in the interest of terrorism experts for terrorism to be a big issue.
  • Terrorism ignites our fear, particularly our fear of the unknown. The hormones it triggers may be somewhat addictive - there is an enjoyment to it (like watching a horror movie or going on a roller coaster); and we need larger and larger fixes to get the same kick.
  • Fear gets us into a fight or flight mode. It stops left cortex logical thinking. It stops right cortex engaging, collaborating, developing bonds of affection.
  • A short victorious war is very useful for winning an election. It also helps an economy in the doldrums. Afghanistan and Iraq were expected to be short victorious wars.
  • If we walk out now we lose face.
  • We are, however, morally bound to clean up our mess (and I think we have walked out of Iraq without cleaning up our mess).

Jay walking!

Jay, your list of points was very interesting. You walked through the issues with a swagger!

Your list put things into perspective. It cuts across some of the indoctrination that we Australians receive (although, compared with the Americans, it is minuscule).

We were taken to war by John Howard who, like Julia, believes that Australia must follow in America's ponderous, wayward footsteps. To continue to do this is ridiculous. Why do we need to ape a serial warmonger? Why do we need to become as hated as America is? After all, we are not an imperial country.

We do need a Parliamentary debate on this issue, one that should be followed by a referendum where Australians can opt for more war or instead seek peace.

Better for Australia to lose face than to continue to follow the Americans and become as hated as they are and as much in debt.

Iraq is a mess. It demonstrates just how misguided the Americans are (although they have secured a lot of oil), and how grossly incompetent and naive they are. Afghanistan will suffer a similar fate.

Australia needs to align itself with nations that are peaceful.

War is for fools!

Two points

Two points:

One: A Taliban victory in Afghanistan would be a disaster for Australia and the rest of the world. This is a no brainer.

Two: It is the greatest and most dangerous intellectual fallacy of our time to blame British, US or Western "foreign policy", past or present, for "what is going on in the Islamic world". That is not to excuse Europe or the West of idiotic and at times immoral policy. It is however intellectually and morally vacuous to excuse violent Islamist depravity by claiming it is somehow our fault. It is not our fault.

Three: To refuse to confront vicious fascistic aggression with military force might be "pacifism". But it is certainly not peace loving. More likely it is sheer cowardice or worse. Same difference  really. There is nothing moral about pacifism. Usually it is just preachy sanctimonious humbug.

Four: That there are other threats, including terrorist threats, in our region, is not a  reason to withdraw from global coalitions confronting the menace elsewhere.  We're lucky to have the support.  We couldn't survive without it. We take it for granted at our peril.

OK, that four points. That's because it's a weekend special. Four for the price of two.

Still no sale? Here's a fifth point. The Australian forces on the ground in Afghanistan have no doubt that they are making a huge difference for the people of Afghanistan. To withdraw them would not only betray those people. It would also betray the Australian troops. It would be something so shameful we may never fully recover.

Talking to the Taliban

The US is already talking to the Taliban. There will be no victory over the Taliban, more likely a negotiated peace.

The Guardian has learned that while the American government is still officially resistant to the idea of talks with Taliban leaders, behind the scenes a shift is under way and Washington is encouraging Karzai to take a lead in such negotiations.

"There is a change of mindset in DC," a senior official in Washington said. "There is no military solution. That means you have to find something else. There was something missing."

That missing element was talks with the Taliban leadership, the official added.

So Geoff what does victory over the Taliban look like?

Difference between reintegration and reconciliation

Thanks John.

I was struck by the careful use of words:  '...distinguished between "reintegration", which the US supported, and "reconciliation" or negotiating with senior Taliban. Holbrooke said: "Let me be clear. There is no American involvement in any reconciliation process.'

My interpretation is that reintegration is the US simply saying, "I am right, and if you lay down your arms, and accept my way, I am prepared to forgive you". Reconciliation is both parties saying: There were rights and wrongs on both sides, let's forge a solution together. 

Has anything really changed? 

Without money there would be no terror

Geoff, why would "a Taliban victory be a disaster for Australia or the rest of the world"?

A broad statement with little or no justification.

The fact is the US is already planning to withdraw from Afghanistan victory or no victory. The US no longer has the will or money to maintain its troops in Afghanistan.

US president Barack Obama has talked about beginning the pull-out of American soldiers from July 2011.

The reality is that the average Australian will notice no difference. Certainly no disaster.

There will still be a terrorist threat, there always will be. Terrorism cannot be defeated by a standing army.

Warlords will still be in charge in Afghanistan and the conditions on the ground will be the same or worse than when the troops invaded.

We should learn that we cannot impose western democracy by force.

I have never excused violence - Islamic or otherwise.

Having spent most of my life in the Military I hardly call myself a pacifist.

I just think politicians need to learn a military reality.

You do not change minds at the point of a gun.

We should use the ADF for defence rather than fighting unwinnable wars in foreign countries that pose no threat.

We should fight terror with police forces and international cooperation.

Follow the money trail.

Conservative analyst and pundit Ehrenfeld contends that our image of terrorism is all wrong. Rather than shadowy cells of young, religious martyrs, the true face of terror, she says, is an international network of corrupt state leaders, superwealthy contributors, and drug and crime kingpins. Without money, especially laundered U.S. dollars, there would be no terror,and this lively, well-documented primer reveals the sources, the amounts and the armed terror organizations they support. Not surprisingly, the author of Narco-Terrorism is at her best on the ironies of the West's appetite for drugs, which terror groups exploit for funding, arms and recruiting those who would undermine a degenerate Western society.

History of the Taliban

Heavens Geoff you are a well brainwashed boy.

The so-called Taliban are just Afghans defending their own country against the marauding hordes. And the day we stop demonising and jailing those men, women and children who escape from Afghanistan will be the day I might conclude we actually give a flying fuck about them.

The Taliban

Marilyn Shepherd , Why do the Taliban kill hundreds of their own people (Afghans) I assume they don't give a flying fuck about them.

Get into the real world.

Finally a debate on the floor

Let's hope more sensible brains willl look at the reality instead of the mindless drivel they spout now after 9 years of achieving nothing at all.

but who are the real "terrorists"?

John Pratt, if we were fighting the real terrorists, you would not find these in Palestinian refugees camps, Baghdad slums and bombed out Afghani villages. They would not be wearing Arab clothing or at prayer five times a day, referencing the Koran.

They would be here in the west, at coorporate HQ, Wall St or City of London, or some anonymous defence intelligence building near Washington or Tel Aviv, or dreaming up lies to explainball the violence away,  working for some reactionary think tank somewhere.

Blow back

Good question Paul. A lot of what is happening today in the Islamic world is a result of bad foreign policy from the British and now the US.

What the U.S. faces now are new enemies that it multiplies each day through its behavior.

This is true in Pakistan too. Indeed, the U.S. by its bombing of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border (the “Durand Line” legacy of British colonialism ignored by the Pashtuns who straddle it) midwifed the birth of the Pakistani Taliban movement. That has produced huge problems for the Pakistani state and its military for which U.S. officials show little understanding or empathy.

From the point of view of the former, India occupying over half of Muslim Kashmir rather than their former Talib allies constitutes the primary threat to Pakistan’s national security. But the real issue is not the legitimacy of Pakistan’s claim to all of Kashmir or Indian counter-claims but the arrogance of a foreign power preaching to the Pakistanis where the real threats to themselves reside and demanding cooperation in confronting those threats. The Bush and Obama administrations have paid lip-service to the idea that “the Kashmir problem must be resolved,” much as Obama has insisted, in words, that Israeli settlers must be withdrawn from the occupied West Bank where they remain comfortably. ......

You cannot deliberately cultivate hatred through your actions and expect it to just dry up and blow away. Human beings don’t operate that way. They react. Until there’s real change (not in the face on the system, but of the system itself) the cycle will continue.

Would be funny if not sad...

... that the current Coalition-suppoted Afghan administration finds itself enjoying similar control  levels as the previous administration of the sovereignty, the Taliban. One third of the country directly under admin, the rest done via agreements with local warlords ... seems to be the only way the place can run.

Someone had better hurry up and get the lithium mining going, not just for the laptop batteries but also to medicate the US Republicans. Somehow though, I don't see Afghanistan trying to tax international mining companies in too much of a hurry...

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