General Question

dannyc's avatar

Can the battle in Afghanistan be won?

Asked by dannyc (5228points) July 6th, 2009

As another Canadian soldier has died today, along with 7 Americans, I want to know if this battle is worth it and can be won. And remind me again why we are all there. What say you?

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26 Answers

syz's avatar

Without being facetious, I’d have to say that depends on what your definition of “winning” is. Can it become a democratic nation of some sort? Probably. Will it be a peaceful, stable society? Probably not.

Afghanistan has an appalling history of invasion and conquest and seems destined to exist in a state of flux.

dannyc's avatar

@syz . My definition of winning is that certain goals are achieved. I am unsure exactly what they are, as we are destroying lives on both sides. That, in essence, is the question.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

I don’t think there’s a winner to be had there.
All these people have lost too much.

mzdesigns's avatar

lets send GWB there and find out?

Grisaille's avatar

Apparently, there was a huge battle last night. Some 1400 Marines and Afghan Police staged an attack with a bunch of Army helicopters providing backup and air support.

The plan is to clean areas and remain in the safe zone until the Afghan Gov’t can support it on its own. From there, we move to the next area, sweep, clean house and repeat the process, not unlike what we started to do at the end of the Iraq war (except this time, we’re making sure there are minimal friendly/civi casualties). I’m far from being a military or tactical expert, but this sounds like the right way to go about it, and could work.

Are there going to be deaths? Yes. But this is a much better solution than just giving hell and getting out. In order for a Government to gain foothold in their war-torn country, there needs to be time for them set up local militia, logistical support, temp bases, etc.

As for our “goal”? I’m under the impression we are fighting extremist groups in the area, including but not limited to Al Qaeda, eventually giving the country back to the Aghanistan Government in a state of relative peace – free of religious zealots and terrorists. I do think that’s possible, especially with the Afghan people more than willing to help out, provide support and remain active in the areas that we clean out.

War isn’t pretty, and death is an unfortunate outcome. But, as it stands, allowing the Afghan Government (and let’s not forget – people) to fall into a state of disarray, waiting for extremist groups to take hold would be a far more dismal outcome.

mzdesigns's avatar

its just sad and a waste of time over something that will never be solved. no disrespect to the troops but it really is and has been for years.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@mzdesigns never say never, there is always hope. The Afghan people want the extremists gone, but they need help. Hopefully, we don’t fuck them over like they have been fucked over so many times before. I’ve spoken with veterans and soldiers that have been there, and the also have hope for the best in that country, as well.

dannyc's avatar

The Russians failed, what makes us think we will succeed? Obama seems hell bent on this one, which surprises me a bit.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Watch “Charlie Wilson’s War” and send money to the Afghan School Project. This is a war that can only be won with investment in infrastructure. It would have taken a lot less time if we had sent money in the 1980’s.

mzdesigns's avatar

What about helping our own country??? I believe there is millions go everyday here homeless and without food. And what about Africa & places like such they are in far far worse situations. again watch this : “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y06NSBBRtY” still is our problem.

Grisaille's avatar

@mzdesigns That’s a fair question, but completely off-topic.

mzdesigns's avatar

well actually its all related to if you just sit and think about it, perhaps that is the reason why its still happening

PandoraBoxx's avatar

I have a facebook friend who lives in Afghanistan. This is a small sign of progress. of course, I’m probably on every CIA list there is because of it

mzdesigns's avatar

ya it is but alot of people are missing the big picture. *hence why are we even fighting to begin with. actions are not without motive.

Bluefreedom's avatar

I’m leaning toward calling it a conflict as opposed to a battle itself. I may be heading there next year with many of my fellow squadron members so I’m trying to pay close attention to what is going on. Quite frankly, it has many of us concerned.

As far as if it can be won, you’re always going to have persons and groups who are opposed to western cultures, thoughts, and ideals and that’s going to always be a hindrance to an all out victory in a conflict like this. The Taliban is a potpourri of religious zealotry, terrorism, hatred, cynicism, and other elements that make them not only dangerous but unpreditable and scary also. It’s not easy fighting an enemy like this.

I’m not inclined to make direct or indirect comparisons between situations in Afghanistan and Iraq but in my honest opinion, I think there is more merit to be in Afghanistan than Iraq. The Taliban is known for, among other things, suppressing the rights of and mistreatment of women along with being cruel and overzealous in their administration of power in Afghanistan. I have to say that I think it would be quite detrimental to a significant portion of the population of Afghanistan if we didn’t make serious attempts to obliterate the power structure and nefarious influence of the Taliban. Unfortunately, to do this, it could very well mean that American troops will have to stay in Afghansistan for a long time to come and we already know how unpopular and perilous that can turn out to be. Iraq is a good example of that.

Bobbydavid's avatar

Nobody wins a “war”. Too many deaths, too much money is spent and when you fight against peoples beliefs how can you win?

mzdesigns's avatar

exactly, but morons like to think they are more powerful by boosting with this macho war belief hence missing the big picture. people simplly dont get it.

sap82's avatar

Do chicken’s have lips?

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@mzdesigns you are entitled to your opinions, as I am to mine. Like @Bluefreedom said, this is a conflict worth fighting for. Whether you support the situation in Afghanistan or not, we have thousands of our troops there, doing what they can to rid the country of the Taliban, and to help the common folks there that are just like you and me. They want to live in peace, to raise their families, and to enjoy life without having some extremist nut jobs telling them what to do.

Opposed to it or not, our troops are there to do a job, and I for one am deeply indebted to the men and women who put their lives on the line to do a job that is important. If we don’t stop the Taliban’s extremeist influence, who knows where those filthy bastards will show up next?

You can argue against it all you want, but you had damn well better show some gratitude to our people in uniform, or you can just denounce your citizenship in America, in my opinion. Those who fight and serve their country deserve every accolade and reward and the gratitude of our nation. They deserve life on a silver platter, even though they would never ask for nor expect such a thing. Without the men who fought and died in WW2, we’d all be speaking some variant of German or Japanese. Freedom isn’t free, and that is something we should never forget.

If I had my way, people that have served and sacrificed for their country wold be treated with the utmost respect by everyone, and it would be the politicians that try to cut funding to our troops that would be on the dole. What the politicians receive in benefits, i.e. free health care, lifetime retirement package, etc., is what our troops deserve, not the limited VA budget that they are given, like scraps to a dog.

Any politician that tries to cut funding to the military as far as taking care of our returning and often horrifically wounded veterans, should be given a gun and dropped into the conflict to fend as best they could.

Sorry for the rant, but I get pretty pissed about people treating our fighting men and women as thugs and automatons of an evil war-mongering govt. Some people just don’t get that freedom is worth fighting for, and ridding the world of extremists sometimes takes the ultimate sacrifice.

CMaz's avatar

Wars are never “won” anymore. An agreement is made and hopefully before the infrastructure of that country is not totally destroyed.
Though that is not a bad thing. Then the banks come in. Lend out a shit load of money. And basically take control.

mzdesigns's avatar

military industrial complex.

mammal's avatar

No it cannot be won….

but i sincerely hope that the battle against American hypocrisy and the vicious imposition of their capitalist ethic upon disparate and disadvantaged regions of the globe will be decisively won, for the betterment of humanity.

Grisaille's avatar

Seems people hate us.

mzdesigns's avatar

Id hate someone coming into my town blowing it up too..

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

That depends what constitutes victory. What’s the objective in Afghanistan? Is the goal a reasonable one?

If the goal is “to stop the spread of terrorism” I don’t think that fight is going to be won in Afghanistan the way it’s going now.

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