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  • 8th anniversary of the Afghanistan war...

    Today is the 8th anniversary of the Afghanistan war...Is the war going as expected?...When it 1st kicked off how long do you think we would be there in Afghanistan?...Osama Bin Ladin still loose or buried somewhere...How do you think the Obama administration should handle the war?...


    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091007/...us_afghanistan

    Eight years: Obama, war council weigh Afghan shift

    By JENNIFER LOVEN, AP White House Correspondent Jennifer Loven, Ap White House Correspondent – Wed Oct 7, 7:46 pm ET

    WASHINGTON – The Afghanistan war reached its once-unthinkable eighth anniversary Wednesday as President Barack Obama, seeking a revamped strategy for the increasingly unpopular conflict, focused more closely with his war council on neighboring Pakistan's role in the fight against al-Qaida.

    The White House also revealed that Obama has in hand — and has for nearly a week — the troop request prepared by the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal. It is said to include a range of options, from adding as few as 10,000 additional combat troops to — McChrystal's strong preference — as many as 40,000.

    White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Obama asked for McChrystal's request last Thursday, before he flew to Copenhagen where he lobbied for Chicago's bid to host the Olympics and met with the general on the sidelines. The numbers could become the focus of concentrated White House attention as soon as Friday, Gibbs said.

    When former President George W. Bush launched the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan less than a month after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the country's Taliban government was providing safe haven for Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaida terrorists. Eight years later, the Taliban regime is no more and al-Qaida is scattered and weakened. But the Afghan government is considered corrupt and ineffective, Taliban insurgents hoping to retake control are gaining strength and terrorists continue to plan attacks.

    This uncertain progress has come at a cost of nearly 800 U.S. lives.

    With this and Americans' dwindling patience in mind, Obama is engaged in a methodical review of how to overhaul the war.

    Wednesday's nearly three-hour meeting in the Situation Room between Obama and more than a dozen of his top advisers on the war was the third of five currently scheduled. The next is Friday, concentrating on Afghanistan — though it could also include McChrystal's report. The final discussion is slated for next week, though aides have said more could come.

    Gibbs said Obama's decision is still weeks away.

    Wednesday's focus on Pakistan, the suspected hiding place of bin Laden and other al-Qaida terrorists as well as Taliban leaders, could provide a hint into the president's leanings.

    Obama and some of his key aides are increasingly pointing to recent successes against al-Qaida through targeted missile strikes and raids in Pakistan but also in Somalia and elsewhere. Obama said Tuesday that al-Qaida has "lost operational capacity" as a result.

    Also, serious doubts about the Afghan government that only deepened with the questionable Aug. 20 presidential election make a true counterinsurgency mission there difficult. Intense poverty and other troubles in the "graveyard of empires" make it an even more complicated pursuit.

    In Pakistan, though, the government has shown new willingness to battle extremists, with most believed to be operating from the largely ungoverned terrain along the border with Afghanistan. But these operations, as well as the strikes by unmanned U.S. aircraft, continue to stoke fiery controversy throughout the country — causing problems for the already weak U.S.-backed civilian government.

    Further, the vast majority of the U.S. aid to Pakistan is believed to be diverted from its intended purpose of battling militants. A bill awaiting Obama's signature would triple U.S. aid to Pakistan to $1.5 billion a year while attaching conditions aimed at stopping that diversion. Those protections, however, have prompted fresh complaints in Pakistan about Washington meddling — including a rejection by the country's powerful military of links between aid and increased monitoring.

    All this makes the U.S.-Pakistan relationship fraught, and asking for additional cooperation extraordinarily delicate. Regardless, U.S. officials believe they can neither win in Afghanistan nor succeed more broadly against al-Qaida without it.

    Wednesday's White House meeting began with intelligence and political assessments from key players. The ensuing discussion focused on possible ways to gain additional help from Pakistan, said a senior administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to reveal details. That includes efforts on diplomatic and civilian fronts, as well as military.

    A senior government official, also talking on condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the talks, said the discussion continued a genuine debate among advisers in which Obama remains undecided.

    McChrystal's recommended approach calls for additional troops in Afghanistan for a counterinsurgency campaign to defeat the Taliban, build up the central government and deny al-Qaida safe haven. McChrystal, whose plan is somewhat reminiscent of Bush's Iraq troop "surge" in 2008, says extra troops — preferably at the higher end of his option range — are crucial to turn around a war that will probably be won or lost over the next 12 months.

    On roughly the opposite end of the spectrum, an alternative favored most prominently by Vice President Joe Biden would keep the American force in Afghanistan at around the 68,000 already authorized, including the 21,000 more troops Obama ordered earlier this year, but increase the use of surgical strikes with Predator drones and special forces.

    Shrinking the number of troops in Afghanistan and turning the effort into a narrow counterterror campaign is not on the table, and neither is drastically ballooning the footprint.

    In weighing whether to follow McChrystal or Biden or land somewhere in between, Obama faces a stern test and difficult politics.

    Many lawmakers from his own Democratic Party, aware of rising anti-war sentiment in their ranks and the war protests that have dotted Washington this week, do not want to see additional U.S. troops sent to Afghanistan. According to a new Associated Press-GfK poll, public support for the war has dropped to 40 percent from 44 percent in July.

    Republicans, meanwhile, are urging Obama to heed the military commanders' calls soon or risk failure.

    In giving McChrystal's request to Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates bypassed the commander's direct bosses in the military chain of command who would ordinarily have a chance to add their own comments first.

    Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell denied the unorthodox move provides evidence of a divide between the uniformed military and its civilian bosses over management of the war. He said Gates and Obama wanted to prevent a leak to the news media, as McChrystal's underlying war assessment was last month.

    And though Gibbs had said previously that Obama didn't want to see the request until he had decided strategy, aides said the president decided it had simply become absurd to wait to read it.

    Attending the White House meeting Wednesday was a now-familiar cast of characters including Biden; Gates; Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton; Afghanistan/Pakistan special envoy Richard Holbrooke; Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Gen. David Petraeus, commander of the region including Iraq and Afghanistan, and McChrystal by videoconference.

    ___

    Associated Press writers Anne Gearan and Pamela Hess contributed to this report.

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  • #2
    Seems like a long time ago.

    I was in Isolation this time 8 years ago. Waiting to go in and start landscaping Afghanistan.

    M-11
    “All men dream...... But not equally..
    Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it is vanity;
    but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men,
    for they act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible.....”

    TE Lawrence

    Comment


    • #3
      Yeah, it does seem like a long time...Is it true that they say Al Qaida is leaving Afghanistan and setting up in Africa and other places in the Middle East?...The only people staying are the Taliban...
      sigpic

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      • #4
        Did they have SF in country, prior to this date?

        Comment


        • #5
          Not sure. I just know what I was up to.

          Al Q are roaches. They will scatter wherever they can

          M-11
          “All men dream...... But not equally..
          Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it is vanity;
          but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men,
          for they act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible.....”

          TE Lawrence

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Southflaguy View Post
            Yeah, it does seem like a long time...Is it true that they say Al Qaida is leaving Afghanistan and setting up in Africa and other places in the Middle East?...The only people staying are the Taliban...
            AQ, from its inception, was a flat organization with many 'cells' across the world. There is no real leadership as we think of it (i.e. hierarchical organizations like PDs, military,etc..) which makes it easier to 'branch out.' What you see now is many groups tacking themselves onto the AQ to get their names out there ( look at Al Shaabab in Somalia...)

            AQ has a vast reach and has set up shop in every continent but, they started that long before we went into Afghanistan. I could go into the detail but, I will spare you all from that.

            What it boils down to is AQ is a global insurgency and Afghanistan was a mere training ground for them...not a base of operation. With the war in Afghanistan all we did was step on a spider and watch the babies on her back spread...
            "Against the machinations of your enemies you can take defense, but against the stupidity of fools, the very gods themselves fight in vain" ~ Johann C.F. Von Schiller


            "Man once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind. With such persons, gullibility, which they call faith, takes the helm from the hand of reason, and the mind becomes a wreck."
            --Thomas Jefferson

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by GrndPnd0311 View Post
              AQ, from its inception, was a flat organization with many 'cells' across the world. There is no real leadership as we think of it (i.e. hierarchical organizations like PDs, military,etc..) which makes it easier to 'branch out.' What you see now is many groups tacking themselves onto the AQ to get their names out there ( look at Al Shaabab in Somalia...)

              AQ has a vast reach and has set up shop in every continent but, they started that long before we went into Afghanistan. I could go into the detail but, I will spare you all from that.

              What it boils down to is AQ is a global insurgency and Afghanistan was a mere training ground for them...not a base of operation. With the war in Afghanistan all we did was step on a spider and watch the babies on her back spread...
              I'd love for you to go into detail. If you want, PM it to me. I like to read about this stuff.

              Comment


              • #8
                So the FBI (and similar law enforcement agencies around the world) have a bigger responsibilty now then before 9/11, and their tranning camps were destroyed, since they're setting up shop where they can?...The latest one they caught up w/ was that guy from Colorodo...
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Southflaguy View Post
                  So the FBI (and similar law enforcement agencies around the world) have a bigger responsibilty now then before 9/11, and their tranning camps were destroyed, since they're setting up shop where they can?...The latest one they caught up w/ was that guy from Colorodo...
                  I wouldn't say they have a bigger responsibility now, per se, I would argue that they have always had this large responsibility - they are just now catching on to it.

                  And now for a short tangent - Now is the time for local law enforcement to step up to the plate and be proactive instead of making the federal mistake which is being blind and unprepared. It is my belief that local PDs (especially the larger municipalities) should be equipped and prepared to the federal LE if not more so. There are way to many AQs and the like out there for the federal government to handle. If you look at all the terror cases thwarted in the states thus far, I would say more than half were generated from local LE leads turned over to the government.

                  I could, again, go on and on, but you get the jest of it. Its a big responsibility for the LE community at large.
                  "Against the machinations of your enemies you can take defense, but against the stupidity of fools, the very gods themselves fight in vain" ~ Johann C.F. Von Schiller


                  "Man once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind. With such persons, gullibility, which they call faith, takes the helm from the hand of reason, and the mind becomes a wreck."
                  --Thomas Jefferson

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yeah, I know what you mean, but for local LE would it be hard, it's not like they're dealing w/ a gang, where they dress in a certain color or way...This topic intrest me so much, if I go fed I'd love to work counter-terrorism...Before Mohamed Atta and a few other highjackers went up North they didn't stay to far from where I live...When I found out where they were staying I couldn't believe it...

                    Originally posted by GrndPnd0311 View Post
                    I wouldn't say they have a bigger responsibility now, per se, I would argue that they have always had this large responsibility - they are just now catching on to it.

                    And now for a short tangent - Now is the time for local law enforcement to step up to the plate and be proactive instead of making the federal mistake which is being blind and unprepared. It is my belief that local PDs (especially the larger municipalities) should be equipped and prepared to the federal LE if not more so. There are way to many AQs and the like out there for the federal government to handle. If you look at all the terror cases thwarted in the states thus far, I would say more than half were generated from local LE leads turned over to the government.

                    I could, again, go on and on, but you get the jest of it. Its a big responsibility for the LE community at large.
                    sigpic

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Southflaguy View Post
                      Yeah, I know what you mean, but for local LE would it be hard, it's not like they're dealing w/ a gang, where they dress in a certain color or way...This topic intrest me so much, if I go fed I'd love to work counter-terrorism...Before Mohamed Atta and a few other highjackers went up North they didn't stay to far from where I live...When I found out where they were staying I couldn't believe it...
                      I had the OSHI- feeling when I looked it up. A couple of them were only like 10 - 15 minutes from me.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Southflaguy View Post
                        Yeah, I know what you mean, but for local LE would it be hard, it's not like they're dealing w/ a gang, where they dress in a certain color or way...This topic intrest me so much, if I go fed I'd love to work counter-terrorism...Before Mohamed Atta and a few other highjackers went up North they didn't stay to far from where I live...When I found out where they were staying I couldn't believe it...
                        I would argue that it would be easier for local LE to thwart terrorism if they had the proper training and resources to do so simply for the fact that they know their areas like no other. That beat cop that patrols the same area some obscene amount of times, that builds a rapport with the community, with training, can spot a possible threat long before a Federal LE could, as they are at a disadvantage due to all the previous reasons stated.
                        "Against the machinations of your enemies you can take defense, but against the stupidity of fools, the very gods themselves fight in vain" ~ Johann C.F. Von Schiller


                        "Man once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind. With such persons, gullibility, which they call faith, takes the helm from the hand of reason, and the mind becomes a wreck."
                        --Thomas Jefferson

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Gotcha...Never thought about it like that, but then again, unless they're not criminals cops will have no idea who they are, even if they're new to town...


                          Originally posted by GrndPnd0311 View Post
                          I would argue that it would be easier for local LE to thwart terrorism if they had the proper training and resources to do so simply for the fact that they know their areas like no other. That beat cop that patrols the same area some obscene amount of times, that builds a rapport with the community, with training, can spot a possible threat long before a Federal LE could, as they are at a disadvantage due to all the previous reasons stated.
                          sigpic

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Southflaguy View Post
                            Gotcha...Never thought about it like that, but then again, unless they're not criminals cops will have no idea who they are, even if they're new to town...
                            There are quite a few examples...here are a few.

                            In July 2005, the Los Angeles Police Department caught a group of men who had been robbing gas stations in the area. While investigating, police uncovered something far worse: The gas station hits were bankrolling a terrorist plot to attack National Guard facilities, synagogues, the Israeli consulate and Los Angeles International Airport
                            Also see:
                            http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/ar...0310/10hez.htm

                            In January 2002, Maryland police released their "hijacker traffic stop"- video of Jarrah. Ziad S. Jarrah, one of the official hijackers, was stopped for speeding shortly after midnight September 9- only two days before the attack: "..Maryland State Police released a videotape Tuesday of a traffic stop involving hijacker Ziad S. Jarrah two days before the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.

                            The state trooper's dashboard-mounted camera did not capture any images of Jarrah, one of the hijackers aboard United Airlines Flight 93. But the officer was wearing a wireless microphone, and the audio track captured the driver giving simple "yes" and "no" answers to the trooper's questions. Trooper 1st Class Joseph Catalano stopped Jarrah for speeding on northbound Interstate 95 shortly after midnight on September 9. The policeman can be seen approaching the car, obtaining the driver's license and registration, and returning to the patrol car for a radio check of the credentials."
                            Sources: http://www.cnn.com/2002/US/01/08/inv...deo/index.html
                            http://www.dailynews.com/socal/terro...3/terror30.asp

                            The CIA claimed, that Jarrah (pilot of the jetliner that crashed in Pennsylvania) was not on a terrorist watch list, but according to motel records, a man by that name used a credit card to pay for a late August 2001 stay at the Pin Del motel in Laurel, Md., where Nawaq Alhamzi stayed in September. Alhamzi was on the CIA watch list. http://www.wbz.com/now/story/0,1597,311329-364,00.shtml
                            CNN reported in February 2002 on Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley, who said:
                            "Local law enforcement officials should have been told by the FBI that Jarrah was on a CIA watch list"
                            http://www.cnn.com/2002/US/08/01/cia.hijacker/
                            "Against the machinations of your enemies you can take defense, but against the stupidity of fools, the very gods themselves fight in vain" ~ Johann C.F. Von Schiller


                            "Man once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind. With such persons, gullibility, which they call faith, takes the helm from the hand of reason, and the mind becomes a wreck."
                            --Thomas Jefferson

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Good stuff, thanks Grndpnd0311...
                              sigpic

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