Afghanistan

The Never-Ending War in Afghanistan and Against Al-Qaeda

The war in Afghanistan is going to be over, says Obama, except not

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to 2014 and beyond
U.S. Army / Foter.com

“America will complete its mission in Afghanistan,” President Obama promised Congress and the American people at last night’s State of the Union address. That mission’s objective: “defeating the core of Al Qaida.” The war, then, Obama said, would be over in 2014. But America’s “commitment to a unified and sovereign Afghanistan” (read: active military presence, or war in Afghanistan) will continue beyond that. One of the reasons for the open-ended commitment is to train Afghan security forces. But as Congressman Walter Jones told us in the February issue of Reason, “you can train a monkey to ride a bicycle in less time.”

The president’s other reason for the U.S. to remain in Afghanistan is the same reason the war on terror is set to continue indefinitely, fighting Al-Qaeda, an organization that, according to Obama , “is a shadow of its former self.” Nevertheless the campaign against it, and its associated forces or “affiliates,” acts as the government’s justification for continued military operations in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and elsewhere. “It’s true, different Al Qaida affiliates and extremist groups have emerged, from the Arabian Peninsula to Africa,” the president admitted, without tracing America’s hand in those groups’ evolution. Al Qaeda was a virtual non-entity in Qaddafi’s Libya. Today its presence there is by all accounts stronger than America’s. Somalia’s Islamist militants didn’t set up franchise with Al-Qaeda until just last year, years after America’s intervention in Somalia began. The president even looped the French intervention in Mali into America’s war against Al-Qaeda; “[we] help allies who take the fight to terrorists.”

 And he gave an empty nod to “enlist[ing] our values in the fight.” Without mentioning drones or targeted killings specifically, he said his administration has created a “durable legal and policy framework” for its counterterrorism efforts and that he’s kept Congress informed of it. He’s going to keep informing Congress of it, too, he says, because “no one should just take my word for it.” Unfortunately, all we have are the president and his men’s word, and even that at great resistance. The targeted killing memo that vaulted Obama’s drone policies into the forefront of the news cycle was leaked. While Jay Carney tried to use it being made public to burnish the administration’s reputation for transparency, the Obama administration actually rejected a FOIA request for the very same memo. The president only provided the actual memos justifying targeted killings to select members of Congress last week, when it became an issue in John Brennan’s confirmation hearings. Brennan’s answers on the procedures behind the White House’s targeted killings policies, by the way, boiled down to “trust us”.

No indications, then, that the war that never ends is anything else.

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  1. The Forever War

    We fight them so long, we end up becoming them.

    1. Are you suggesting the President drone himself?

      1. Well, he is dedicated to fighting Muslims bent on destroying America…

    2. Then they’ve already won?

      1. You can never win as long as you kept re-defining the threat. We’ve had our measure of revenge and justice for 9/11. At this point we are fighting our own shadows on the walls. Which would be funny if it didn’t cost so much and resulted in so many dead people.

        1. Dr. Girlfriend’s aunt is over in AF right now, helping to, no shit, build a national health care system in Afghanistan. This is what we are risking our military reservists’ lives on now.

          1. In Afghanistan, I dug wells, built schools and a district government center (thanks taxpayers of America!). Not really sure what that had to do with soldiering. I joined in 1985, expecting to face off 8 kajillion T-80 tanks someday. Well, I did got shot at a few times, so I guess that counts.

            At least in Iraq I did straight up combat type chores.

            1. In Afghanistan, I dug wells, built schools and a district government center

              …meanwhile, the afghan men pointed at him and laughed, smoked some hash and went off to beat their wives.

          2. rim shot

            really, I do kinda get a kick out of the people who rely on a narrative of “Obama as evil soviet/muslim mole who, along with his fellow Anti-American jihadists are hellbent on subverting our culture by normalizing the Gay, letting Mexicans overrun the country, and sending weapons to our Islamic enemies overseas so they can overthrow Israel as well…”

            I think its much scarier to contemplate that he’s just a regular asshole progtard liberal. Par for the course.

            1. p.s. this was reply to

              “SugarFree| 2.13.13 @ 4:02PM |#

              Well, he is dedicated to fighting Muslims bent on destroying America…

        2. The long, hard war.

          1. Especially in Lyle’s case. He wants it good and hard and long, like only a real man in a uniform can give it to him.

            1. Go on…

              1. It’s $3.99 for the next 1000 characters, and $0.99 for each additional 500 characters. Operators are standing by.

        3. Like I’ve said before, the AUMF for terrorism is, in my opinion, possibly an illegal delegation of Congress’ inherent war-making power.

    3. We’re almost to the sequal, Forever Aid.

    4. *****SPOILER ALERT*****

      that book was hilarious at the end when everyone was gay.

  2. I was initially supportive of the war in Afghanistan after the Taliban said “no you can’t have Bin Laden. Go away or we shall taunt you some more”. This seemed like a reasonable plan to go after the folks who just completely shocked the entire world. But by 2007 it appeared that we not only were not going to find Bin Laden there, but most of al-qaeda had scurried off to other countries such as Iraq or Pakistan or Yemen. After watching Restrepo I became firmly entrenched in the “fuck this place, bring the boys home” camp.

    I can’t see what justification we have left for remaining there.

    1. What the fuck is so hard about “declare victory. Then come home.” Are there Taliban there still? Yep. Are they hiding al-Qaeda leaders? Nope. Mission Accomplished. Let’s GTFO. If necessary, with the promise that we will bomb the shit out of everything built with American funds if Afghanistan is used as a base to attack America again.

      1. Yep, exactly. There is absolutely no reason for us to still be there. The majority of Afghanistan will remain stuck in the middle ages for a long long long time. It’s terrible the way they treat women and children over there (friends of mine who served over there have told me horror stories about man-boy stuff that would make NAMBLA look like pikers) but we aren’t going to be able to do anything about it.

        Bring ’em home.

        1. I’d add that I think India will fill the vacuum, and probably do a better job. America should go home and Karzai should have an accident.

    2. Of all the things Obama did, his failing to leave after Bin Laden’s death is one of the worst. That was the perfect moment to declare victory and go home. It would have been hugely popular among like 75% of Americans.

      This guy probably needs instructions to jack off. He’s just so incompetent.

      1. This guy probably needs instructions to jack off. He’s just so incompetent.

        We need to get this into the Wiki article on Obama.

      2. No, I’m sure it comes naturally whenever he sees a mirror.

    3. I’m ambivalent but lean your way.

      If necessary, there is nothing wrong with indeterminate low-intensity war. America basically fought the Injuns that way. But that had a purpose and cost a hell of a lot less than this crap.

      1. It was also in North America, specifically inside the borders of the United States, not the other side of the planet. The whole history lesson of the post-colonial era is eventually the foreigners with guns will go home. All you have to do is outlast them.

        1. The whole history lesson of the post-colonial era is eventually the foreigners with guns will go home.

          Not true. The USSR annexed parts of Finland and America won in the Philippines. Insurgencies are totally vincable.

          1. Post-colonial is the key term there.

      2. “America basically fought the Injuns that way”

        And that’s a good example of nothing being wrong with a indeterminate low-intensity war?

        1. Yep. All those forts protecting settlers and their property were bastion of Liberty.

          1. None of that property was someone else’s property before the settlers moved in?

            1. Not really since the native American concept of property wasn’t the same as the European/American concept of property.

              And who cares what the native American thought. America needed settling. Wealth needed creating. Liberty needed to spread from sea to shining sea.

              USA! USA! USA!

              1. See? Now, you played your hand too hard there. No one could faux-troll better than Cesar did.

        2. Since we won and civilized America, yes. There were…errors, but the big picture remains.

          1. Ends don’t justify the means. Don’t get me wrong, I realize I wouldn’t exist if it didn’t happen, but that doesn’t make it morally right. It’s like saying slavery was justified because African-Americans wouldn’t otherwise exist

            1. Look. You didn’t kill any redskins. I didn’t own any negroes. Our ancestors could be brilliant, our ancestors could be evil.

              The end result was the freest, most prosperous society ever to grace this rock. Perfect, no. Better than anything else humans came up with? Yeah.

              1. You misunderstood the point of my post. I wasn’t saying anyone alive today should feel guilty about it or that we should (or even could) “give it back.” I’m just saying that the fact that the end result was a prosperous, relatively free society (though even on those terms, it’s inconclusive, as it’s not like we’re at the end of history or anything. For all we know America could become a more successful version of Nazi Germany or the USSR in the future. Or it could destroy the whole world. No one knows what will happen) doesn’t mean the individuals who perpetrated the acts I’m talking about (killing Natives and/or taking their land, kidnapping and enslaving Africans, etc) were morally justified in doing so.

      3. The lesson colonists learned from America that they never quite brought to bear anywhere else is that the natives weren’t going to integrate, so their choices were to be forcibly emigrated outside of the colonialist borders or die. I’m not advocating it, but let’s not gloss over it.

        1. Except that even when they did do everything they could to integrate and be compatible with the new settlers, they still had their land stolen and were relocated by force.

          I’m not saying that the Indians were pure and perfectly in tun with nature and all that, but the US has some pretty ugly shit in its history of dealing with Indians.

          1. Yep, is Liberty is a one ugly bitch to create and defend.

          2. Most of the natives did not have any ‘property’ in the proper private sense of the word.

      4. Anyone who compares the WOT to the war against the Indians needs a lesson in logic. The Indian Wars were against a small population spread thinly over a huge land area and (this is the really key part) coincided with the mass colonization of that region. We’re not going into other countries and replacing their population with ours. We’re invading and then occupying indefinitely through military means to fight terrorists

        1. You make a really good case for it being quite comparable to Indian removal. We aren’t trying to make an exact comparison, but trying to point out how it is similar. And it is very similar to Indian Removal.

          It was a clash of civilizations. West versus East. It was violent. It was necessary. And it seemed to be a perpetual conflict.

    4. All along–from the first until now–I’ve thought we should’ve gone in, toppled the Taliban, dealt with any al Qaeda remnants, then taken off.

      To the Great White North–it’s the beauty way to go.

      1. Sorry, don’t know what happened there, hosers.

    5. Tman| 2.13.13 @ 4:00PM |#

      I was initially supportive of the war in Afghanistan after the Taliban said “no you can’t have Bin Laden.

      pppt.

      I was all for invasion and mass killing of taliban after they blew up the Buddhas

      Dont fuck with Buddha

      9/11? Never liked the trade center anyway. But fuck, you want to start a fight with a New Yorker…? ITS ON BITCH~!!

      I became disillusioned after the battle @ Qala i Jangi & the whole mass killings of the guys in shipping containers. After that, I knew the fun part was over, and it was just going to be like ‘vietnam, but with shittier music’.

      I felt like we should at that point unloaded our entire inventory of Daisy Cutters on the country in a giant “I [heart] NYC” pattern that you could see from space….and then split. I think that would really send a message to would-be terrorists: “Dear Jihadist: The 21st Century has Really Big Bombs.”

  3. Aww… Ed Krayewski doesn’t have what it takes to stand up for Liberty. That’s really outstanding for someone who writes for Reason.com.

    Liberty Ed! Learn to love it, cherish it, and mostly understand it.

    1. Fuck off, retard.

      1. The libertarian national anthem.

        1. I thought it was “Fuck off, slavers”?

          1. That’s the second stanza.

            1. So, is “No, fuck you, cut spending” in the refrain?

              1. THATS THE CHORUS

                Rob Halford does my favorite version

    2. Lyle, wtf are you even talking about?

      1. Ed, I’m talking about Ed.

    3. That’s right. Liberty means eternal war. Doesn’t matter why. Just do what Lyle says.

      1. What Liberty has ever not been created and defended with war and violence?

        Why be anti-gun control if we don’t need guns to defend ourselves?

        1. Depends on how exactly you define “Liberty” but their have been various examples of independence and relative increases in liberty without war. And arguing that being anti-gun control is analogous to being pro-WOT (as it is currently being fought) is asinine. Which is par for the course for you.

          1. Why do you think the Czech Republic wanted membership in NATO Calidissident? Do Czechs just have a special affinity for tanks or something?

  4. So almost 2 more years of pointless war in that hellhole – then many years more of blank checks to Karzai crime syndicate.

    1. They are NOT a “crime syndicate”…. they are a “crime family“!

  5. Ed Krayewski doesn’t have what it takes to stand up for Liberty.

    I didn’t know they had Starbucks in Afghanistan.

    1. No Starbucks, rather, Green Beans Coffee.

  6. This reminds me of that VOY episode where Chakotay gets shanghaied into a neverending war and is psychologically conditioned to hate an enemy he has never met.

    1. The real uh…real fake…original, authentic Hugh Akston knows Voyager sucked. Of all the Star Teks, all of which suck, Voyager sucked the most.

      1. That reminds me of that episode of that Star Trek series where one of the characters looked completely normal, but acted really weird and turned out to be an alien or a robot or a space ghost or something.

        1. Was that the one where the plot complication was resolved using technobabble? Possibly involving a tachyon field?

          1. No dumbass, it was the one with the sentient energy field.

            1. Why the hell do I have to keep reminding you double-dumb asses that it was planet where Riker nailed a hermaphrodite?

    2. Like you against your back acne?

      1. We have me the enemy, and he is pus.

        1. That missing “t” makes all the difference, Hugh.

          1. There’s no such word as “pust,” Epi. God you’re a dumbass.

  7. If we’re going to stay there indefinitely, we might as well annex it.

    Or better yet, not stay there indefinitely.

  8. “America will complete its mission in Afghanistan,”

    I’m still waiting for those dumb fucks to define the mission in a way which can be even remotely described as credible.

    1. “I’m still waiting for those dumb fucks to define the mission in a way which can be even remotely described as credible.”

      to show the russians that “we suck as bad as you, but dammit, we have *staying power*”
      its like the boxer who wants to go to deccision even though they’ve lost every round

  9. Green Beans Coffee.

    As long as they have free wifi for badass mercenaries like Lyle, so they can critique the patriotism of others while they’re waiting for their next search and destroy excursion.

    1. Have I questinoed Ed’s patriotism? Where are you getting patriotism from?

      1. not gamboling enough

  10. It’s good to know that war will end next year. must be why my uncle ships out next week for year long deployment.

  11. Let’s go fuck with something easier, Haiti maybe.

    1. Has Haiti still not recovered from that earthquake several years ago?

    2. dude, the marines have run Haiti off and on through the 20th century… we are going to need somebody easier like Mali, or maybe Newark

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