Karl`s PC Help Forums

Make your mind up time?
giron - 24-11-2009 at 16:07

Obama's delay in troop decision 'hitting UK public support for Afghan mission'.

Isn't it about time Britain made it's own mind up about this, rather than acting as lapdogs to the Americans?


The delay has held up attempts to secure further commitments from other allies amid concerted efforts by Prime Minister Gordon Brown to rally flagging public support for the UK presence.

scholar - 24-11-2009 at 16:37

I think Britain's plans with respect to the military actions are, realistically, contingent upon American commitment and resolve. If Obama were to decide that he is not willing to commit enough to win there, but instead that he wants to turn tail and run like Clinton did after "Blackhawk Down," Britain would have to decide whether its goals could be achieved without help from its unreliable friend. The size of the American forces makes them an important factor, even if the quality of their leader does not commend them.

The anti-war wing of Obama's political party commands an important number of votes, and he needs every vote he can get to pass the unpopular government domination health care bill. This may be why it took him three months to make a decision that a better man would have made in one or two weeks.

It is perhaps worth noting that some political thinkers in the US who supported the war in Iraq think that Afghanistan is different in ways that make it unwinnable with conventional military fighting. Some also think corruption in the present government make it a losing cause.

I have not embraced a position. I do hold to the opinion that a half-hearted commitment without enough troops to do a proper job is a very bad choice.

If Obama commits a significant increase, he will have shown real courage. If he does not commit enough to do the job, he will have shown political cowardice. If he commits a lesser amount, and finds a way to accomplish the important goals, he will have shown wisdom.

marymary100 - 24-11-2009 at 16:40

I'd just like them to tell us unequivocally why we're there, what they want to achieve and the projected timescale for the operation. They have changed the goalposts several times already and the arguments to stay are unconvincing imo.

scholar - 24-11-2009 at 17:10

Marymary, the timescale for any military operation must be, "As long as it takes to get the job done," which depends upon conditions which have not yet been established (e.g. whether the enemy is killed, or retreats, or has successes).

What could be more foolish than to say, "We'll fight for three years. Even if we accomplish our goals in two years, we're gonna fight for three years."

Or how about, "We're gonna fight for three years. That's it. If two more days of effort would bring us success, no matter. Three years, then we are done."

One of the worst ideas proposed by opponents of the last President was to publicly establish when we would withdraw troops, so as to alert the enemy that they only had to wait us out and attack after the withdrawal date to achieve success.

John Barnes - 24-11-2009 at 17:44

Why send troops to fight and kill Muslims when he is Muslim himself jmb

marymary100 - 24-11-2009 at 18:50

That's a spurious argument scholar. A timescale doesn't necessarily mean that there is a fixed point in time after which nothing would be done. A timescale can be "until x is achieved which we currently estimate to be y months".

We can't be expected to commit our military to an open-ended conflict that has no clear objectives. We need SMART objectives.
1. Specific Objectives should specify what they want to achieve.
2. Measurable You should be able to measure whether you are meeting the objectives or not.
3. Achievable - Are the objectives you set, achievable and attainable?
4. Realistic Can you realistically achieve the objectives with the resources you have?
5. Time When do you want to achieve the set objectives?

I don't feel that the citizens of this country knows why we're there - recent surveys agree with me here. It might be that those in power are failing to get the message across or more worringly they might not actually know themselves.

We need more transparency and accountability. Now. There's no point in waiting until the next public enquiry after everying is over.

delanti - 28-11-2009 at 05:10

If you don't do as we say, we will renounce our independence and become British subjects again, that way we get NHS on your nickle. waveysmiley

scholar - 28-11-2009 at 11:06

The Islamic terrorists have been making war on the U.S. since at least President Carter's time (when the hostages were taken). We have two of options:

1. Fight back, on a war footing.
2. Close our eyes and pretend that there is no war (while the other side continues to make war against us).

Recent history shows how well the second option works. During the Clinton administration, the Word Trade Center was bombed. Clinton handled it as a criminal matter, and some arrests were made and prosecuted (as if it were someone holding up a gas station). In war, enemy forces attack again and again. The second time, both towers were brought down, other buildings in the area were destroyed, and the Pentagon was hit.

George Bush responded on a war footing, and went on offense. He had a pretty good record of protecting the US, and keeping illegal enemy combatants from our shores.

Sadly, Obama confers on the enemy fighters the rights of American citizens accused of crimes. Those blowing up Americans are told they have a right to remain silent and a right to an attorney.

Why are our troops in combat in Afghanistan? To fight the bad guys. There are many things which might be said about goals which might be set in addition to this, but then they might be changed or even discarded, because they are not the main point. The bad guys are making war against us--so long as they are, we had better fight back. We don't know how long it will take, or what all we might accomplish on the way. But we'd better not decide to quit and let our enemies destroy us.

Can you imagine Churchil saying, "We won't fight in an open-ended conflict"?

marymary100 - 28-11-2009 at 11:27

Churchill was a drunken boor, who had moments of inspiration but he should not be held up as the ideal leader.

On the negative side he allowed Harris to run an extremely costly war without let or hindrance. He was prepared to delegate but chose second rate commanders and had little understanding of working class people.

On the plus side, as far as America was concerned at any rate, he was pro-American - due to his family of course - and was pugnaciously prepared to fight Nazism"whatever the cost".

He did manage to hold the nation together but this was at a time where instant access to the news was only a dream. The problem for today's leaders is that we can see that what they claim to be true often isn't and therefore every decision that they take is raked over by those who do not agree that we belong in their wars.

LSemmens - 28-11-2009 at 14:27

If Bush was as good as you claim, why is he not still your president?

marymary100 - 28-11-2009 at 14:30

Presidents are allowed a maximum of 8 years in office under normal circumstances I think.

delanti - 28-11-2009 at 22:40

Originally posted by LSemmens
If Bush was as good as you claim, why is he not still your president?

Because 2 terms is the limit. Unfortunately in the last election we had to choose who we got our haircut from, Jack the Ripper or Sweeney Todd. You can't go wrong with choices like that.waveysmiley

scholar - 29-11-2009 at 04:07

If you don't have high regard for Churchil, Marymary, would you think ANY World War II leader in Britain would say, "We won't fight in an open-ended conflict"?

I think the conflict between good and evil will continue until the end of this world as it now exists. It is, by nature, an open-ended conflict.

marymary100 - 29-11-2009 at 10:35

Good and evil - arguments often used by both sides to justify the conflict.

Radical Musilms, for example, think that those in the West are evil and use that to justify their open ended conflicts.

scholar - 29-11-2009 at 12:32

Originally posted by marymary100
Good and evil - arguments often used by both sides to justify the conflict.

Radical Musilms, for example, think that those in the West are evil and use that to justify their open ended conflicts.
Well, let's consider whether there is an equivalency there.

Muslim extremists killed thousands of people when they captured planes to crash into the World Trade Center. They deliberately sought to maximize the death and destruction they caused, including even small children.

When America and its allies responded militarily, we sought as much as possible to capture or kill those who actively opposed us, and preferred to get them with the smallest number of innocent casualties possible. A rocket or bomb into a building thought to hold an enemy might kill others in the building with him, but no buildings were destroyed just for the sake of killing as many innocent people as possible, and no bomb killed as many people as when the Word Trade Center was brought down.

Are evil and good just a matter of perspective? Or, did those who deliberately killed thousands of non-combatants in non-military buildings do evil? There is a difference.

marymary100 - 29-11-2009 at 13:59

You're the Great Satan according to the leaders of millions. What are you doing to address than perception? Invading their territory - that'll work because...

scholar - 30-11-2009 at 00:06

Marymary, perhaps you've heard the joke. . .

"What are you doing, down on the floor?"

"Well, I lost my contact lense between the couch and the end table, and I'm looking for it."

"But, why are you looking for it here? Shouldn't you be looking around the end of the couch?"

"I'm looking here because the light is better." :jester)

Of course, that's silly. If you drop something at the end of the couch, that is where you must look.

Osama and his people attacked us from Afghanistan. Would it make sense for us to stay in America and wait for the next attack? No, if we want to fight against this evil, we need to attack where the bad guys are.

waffler - 30-11-2009 at 02:02

Originally posted by scholar
If you don't have high regard for Churchil, Marymary, would you think ANY World War II leader in Britain would say, "We won't fight in an open-ended conflict"?

Well said Scholar Mary mary is Scottish and it's a well known fact that the scots dont like the English

giron - 1-12-2009 at 18:47

After a long wait Obama has finally made up his mind.

No doubt he'll get criticised for sending in more troops.

marymary100 - 1-12-2009 at 19:05

The Scots don't like the English? Really? Another sweeping generalisation.

It would be more accurate to say that some Scots do not like some English people, or even all Scots do not like some English people but to say that all Scots don't like all English is incorrect.

The people I dislike fall into categories which are not determined by their country of birth.

Anyway. Obama has spoken. 100,000 troops and counting. The UK has also increased its commitment. Yeh? Boo?

No-one on here had any say in the matter - nor ever will as an individual.

scholar - 1-12-2009 at 21:53

He is reportedly going to tell the world (including our enemies) that he intends to withdraw before the end of this presidential term.

This does harm in a few ways:

1-It tells our enemies our plans--generally a bad idea in war.

2-It specifically tells our enemies that they need not beat us, they need only hang back a few years and so outlast us. They know they can do this easily.

3-Every native will be unwilling to help us, because those we are fighting will still be around to kill them after we leave, as punishment if they help us.

4-It demoralizes our troops, who get the message: "Now that I've told the enemies our plan, and they can easily win, you will suffer for it. Any local in a position to choose sides will go with the enemy, because he is committed to stay, and we are not."

5-This undercuts whatever influence we have with the corrupt president, since he too knows we won't be around much longer.

scholar - 2-12-2009 at 06:20

Obama has given his speech.

I am of the opinion that Obama sincerely wants to achieve the objectives he has named, and thinks they are achievable. His position agrees with his campaign position, that Afghanistan is important and the fighting there is necessary and must be successful. Moreover, Obama has involved himself in planning and implementing the policy he has chosen (his lack of involvement in crafting the economic stimulus legislation and the health care legislation is something for which I have faulted him, because neither legislation agrees with the wished-for legislation he describes. Here, he has stepped up to take the responsibility himself.)

For Obama to be faithful to his word (the position he campaigned on), and to personally learn about, think through, and involve himself in the policies and their implementation--this is a better Obama than any I have seen. If he is true to his speech, he is making a better effort than he has made on any previous issue.

I'll hold back, at this point, on my criticism. He appears to be trying to grow into the job.smokin:smokin:smokin: