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    Joe Mazello (Tim) now attends the pretigious USC film school, studying to be a filmmaker. Rumor has it Steven Spielberg himself wrote a letter of reccomendation to help him get in. (From: SeanArcher)
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    On 12/11/2011 at 3:42:57 PM, Compy01 started the thread:
    Does anybody know why US and British troops are in Afghanistan? I've never really cared much about the conflict, but just out of interest I borrowed a book (about British military failure in the Helmand and Basra) and it bascially said no one, even those high up the chain of command, could give a solid answer.

    Here are some excerpts:

    -No one seems to know why the Western powers are even in Afghanistan. British MP and former soldier Adam Holloway said: “The Government seems to give a different strategic goal every few months depending on the political mood in Britain. Last year it was to provide security so development could take place, then it became ‘fighting the terrorists there’ and now we are focused on ‘protecting the people’ ”. The UK Foreign Affairs Select Committee reported in early 2011 that between 2002 and 2008 many reasons have been provided to justify the presence of troops in Afghanistan, but in 2009, “partly in a bid to stem dwindling public support for the war effort”, the government began telling us that Al Qaeda were on the brink of returning to Afghanistan unless we did something about it.

    - The problem is there is no, or minimal Al Qaeda threat in Afghanistan. Journalist and expert on Afghan foreign affairs James Fergusson said of this: “There is absolutely no evidence that al-Qaeda even want to come back or that the Taliban would have them back if they did. [There isn’t one] Afghan who gets this justification for our presence there at all. They do not believe it”. So far not a single ‘Al Qaeda’ activist has been captured in Helmand, and intelligence agencies have estimated there may be at most 50 – 100 of them in Afghanistan. In contrast, Britain is said to be host to the largest presence in the Western world.

    So... what do you guys think? I'm particulary intested in the opinions of the military folk around here.

    Msg #1: On 12/11/2011 at 5:49:51 PM, Ostromite replied, saying:
    As far as I can tell, all available intelligence said that al-Qaeda had numerous hiding spots in Afghanistan. Turns out - gasp! - the Pakistani military loves al-Qaeda and was just shuffling them across the border, but I don't think most people in the U.S. government knew that for a fact in 2002.

    I was also under the impression that one of our main goals in Afghanistan was to prevent the Taliban from taking over the country again.

    Msg #2: On 12/12/2011 at 6:44:51 AM, Trainwreck replied, saying:
    What makes this post hilarious is that you posted it the very day I arrived in Afghanistan (for a second time).

    Last year it was to provide security so development could take place, then it became ‘fighting the terrorists there’ and now we are focused on ‘protecting the people’

    It is all of these things, and to almost equal degrees. I'm not going to go into any detail about the operations in which I am now participating, but I wouldn't always trust what random reporters say. I'm not the most optimistic person in the world about the future of this beautiful country, but we are highly effective in what we are doing as long as we stay here.

    Like Iraq, I think the only real hope for a stable Afghanistan is a permanent US/coalition occupation, which of course is a silly and undesirable idea. We're literally trying to fast-forward their society through 1300+ years of progress in less than 15 years.

        Replies: 3
    Msg #3: On 12/12/2011 at 12:25:13 PM, Ostromite replied to Msg #2, saying:
    One of the main problems is that Afghanistan's economy is so dependent on the cultivation of poppy for the international heroin market. Not only is it an illicit substance practically everywhere, but it also requires basically an agrarian society built around massive plantations. I know a lot of educated Pashtun people and Afghan Persians who were forced to leave their country not because of political oppression but because there is literally no job market for someone with higher education.

    I assume what you meant by "fast-forward their society," Trainwreck, is trying to introduce the kinds of governments and economies that we're used to in the post-industrial era, while they've been living in an essentially medieval farming economy for the past three centuries.

        Replies: 5
    Msg #4: On 12/12/2011 at 4:50:13 PM, elementry replied, saying:
    Not to mention the natural resources that haven't been tapped in the Hindu Kush region and the massive Chinese military buildup right across the border from it.

    Oh wait...did I say that out loud?

    Msg #5: On 12/12/2011 at 8:53:43 PM, Trainwreck replied to Msg #3, saying:
    Not only their economy, Ostro, but pretty much their entire culture.

        Replies: 6
    Msg #6: On 12/12/2011 at 9:22:10 PM, Ostromite replied to Msg #5, saying:
    I don't get how you can fast-forward an entire culture. I'm not trying to sound like a pedantic dick, but that would include language, music, folklore, shit like that, and I really don't think that's what you mean. My guess is that you're referring to the broad range of human rights violations that are accepted in places like Afghanistan, which couldn't possibly be the result of Islam, though, no sir.

        Replies: 8
    Msg #7: On 12/12/2011 at 9:39:07 PM, elementry replied, saying:
    From personal experience Ostro, large sections of Afghanistan are downright medievel, in more ways then just human rights violations. Like TW said, their world is eons behind ours.

    Msg #8: On 12/12/2011 at 10:15:13 PM, Trainwreck replied to Msg #6, saying:
    Actually, Ostro, I *was* mostly speaking about their music, folklore, and especially fashion. Dishdashes are *so* out of style this season. Somebody deploy the fashion police now!

    In other words: yes, you are correct to assume I meant things like human rights, governance, etc.

    Msg #9: On 12/12/2011 at 10:18:36 PM, Ostromite replied, saying:
    We must not violate the prime directive.

        Replies: 11
    Msg #10: On 12/12/2011 at 10:47:21 PM, QuickComment replied, saying:
    "Does anybody know why US and British troops are in Afghanistan?"


    Seriously, though, the phrasing on that first sentence rubbed me wrong. We're there because it was the staging ground for the 9/11 attacks, regardless of Pakistani or any other government complacency, and because we don't to allow it as a staging ground again. The statement that Al Qaeda isn't in Afghanistan and/or they wouldn't like it back is false.

    That being said, continue the military insider talk I have no business contesting or supporting.

    Msg #11: On 12/12/2011 at 10:49:15 PM, QuickComment replied to Msg #9, saying:
    Yeah, if the Ba'ku set off some bombs in the middle of San Francisco, Insurrection would have had a decidedly different ending.

    Msg #12: On 12/13/2011 at 7:03:56 AM, Compy01 replied, saying:
    Forgive me if I seem ignorant (I am) and if I say anything idiotic... but al-Qaeda is a terrorist organisation right? Meaning they don't have a home nation. I'm sure this is a well established point and everyone knows this, but right now the West are fighting the Taliban. The Taliban and al-Qaeda aren't the same are they, so how did we end up fighting those guys?

    So what if Afghanistan was the staging ground for the attacks, couldn't they just have easily been staged elsewhere? Weren't the majority of the September 11th hijackers Saudi Arabian?

    I would also like to say to QuickComment - how can you just say the statement about al-Qaeda's absence in Afghanistan is false? Are you saying you know more than the author of this book I'm reading (his name is Frank Ledwidge; he is a navel reserve intelligence officer)?

    If part of the occupation of Afghanistan is to protect the people then the West (maybe cheifly the British army) isn't doing a very good job. In fact it is so bad that the civillians are convinced we are deliberatly failing them for revenge from a century old colonial battle.

        Replies: 14
    Msg #13: On 12/13/2011 at 9:23:41 PM, elementry replied, saying:
    Al-Qaeda is less of an organization and more of a banner at this point. There have been multiple groups, (AQ in the Arabian Peninsula, AQ in Africa) that are all 'off-shoots' to an extent of the original parent org. Much of the original Al-Qaeda hierarchy has been terminated or are in our custody.

    That being said, most of the AQ groups all desire the same end-goal: The elimination of western "Christian" society and the establishment of a world-wide Islamic caliphate. That is not to say that every AQ fighter seeks these goals. Many are bought and paid for, other seek personal gain, and others are forced to fight.

    AQ is not a nation so much as it is a broad ideal. But it is heavily financed, trained and capable to strike at will, where ever it pleases and can do considerable damage if allowed to. Every day, we fight, monitor or find AQ groups everywhere from Afghan to Iraq to Somolia to Nigeria to Phillipines to Russia. Their ideals and our nation are at war. This is what you hear when you used to hear the 'War on Terror'.

    But, AQ is not the end-all group that we are in conflict with. There are many nameless homegrown groups within Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, India, Malaysia, Burma as well as established (and very powerful) groups such as Al-Shabaab in Somalia, Eritrea and Ethiopia.

    These groups, while formadable and a definite threat, are also used as political tools that other nations use to fight proxy wars with us. Many of our enemies (not going to name who) finance and protect these groups for the only purpose of to fight us, much like we did with the Mujahadeen in Afghan against the Soviets. These organization and umbrella countries hate each other but are willing to 'work' with one another, to varying degrees, to the same goal: Weaken the global reaching power of the United States.

    In summary, every day behind the scenes, Americans (civilian and military) as well as our allies, hunt these people down. Some are killed, some are captured, and some are monitored for the purpose of collection, much like following a bread crumb trail. We don't have an end-game plan because, simply, there is no end-game. We have been involved in conflicts like these since our inception. It was only different groups or different peoples. The only reason this 'war' is any different and viewed as such, is because this one is played out in broad daylight to the media with 500lb GBUs, guided-missile destroyers, SEALs and all of these fancy toys that the media love to cover and the opponents of war love to hate.

    Msg #14: On 12/13/2011 at 9:54:57 PM, QuickComment replied to Msg #12, saying:
    We're fighting the Taliban because they were the closest thing to an organized government that Afghanistan had back before we went in and they allowed Al Qaeda, the original Al Qaeda, free reign and shelter. They refused to hand over Bin Laden after 9/11 as well.

    "Are you saying you know more than the author of this book I'm reading (his name is Frank Ledwidge; he is a navel reserve intelligence officer)?"

    If that's what he is saying, then yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. You're going to learn that something being in a book doesn't really mean anything. For every person who says something, there's someone else who says different. I can point you to a half-dozen books easily that express how serious the continued guidance (however loosely) of Afghanistan is.

    Hell, elementry or to a lesser extent TW by virtue of their positions are just as qualified as your author and I don't take what either of them say as the correct point of view automatically either. Also, from a policy perspective, even objective facts on the ground don't necessarily dictate a specific path because there are any number of different political and ideological goals that someone can consider or support.

    Msg #15: On 12/13/2011 at 10:13:15 PM, Trainwreck replied, saying:
    Compy01, the author does want to sell books, and like everyone else in the world, has a certain point of view and wishes to promote it. That doesn't mean everything he says is wrong, it's just helpful to know his bias.

    That said, I guarantee that this guy doesn't have the most current intelligence. He wrote a book, which leads me to believe he's no longer in the military; so how long has he not had access to classified material? On the other hand, I am now participating in operations against various groups and individuals in the country and thus know on a daily basis what's going on.

    That said, is everyone who calls themselves AQ part of the same network that felled the towers? No; does that mean we should not fight them? Also no. And we must continue to keep the Taliban at bay at least until we can get the ANA at least halfway proficient, otherwise Afghanistan will certainly revert back to the medieval terror staging ground it was a decade ago. It may well do that anyway, but it's up to the Afghan people to determine that after we leave.

    Msg #16: On 12/15/2011 at 6:39:58 PM, Compy01 replied, saying:
    Ah! Interesting thoughts from you guys; thank you.

    One last question -though it may be impossible to give an accurate answer- but how long do you think our troops will be in Afghanistan? I say this as the Americans are formally leaving Iraq. I hear the ANA in the Helmand province are mostly 'foreign' (as in they are from the north of the country). I've even heard a story of one jailed member of the Taliban mistaking them for Russians. Would a 'foreign' national army be any more effective/ supported by the local population as much as the current Western armies?

        Replies: 17
    Msg #17: On 12/15/2011 at 8:04:24 PM, Trainwreck replied to Msg #16, saying:
    I do believe the bulk of American and coalition forces will be out by 2014 as stated, and I understand the plans and milestones to get us there as well. Hell, the Canadians have already withdrawn their forces (it wasn't reported very widely in the news, but nothing about Canada is). There are still some 40+ nations here, but most of them don't do that much so it shouldn't be a problem for them when it's time to pack up and go. Only the English speaking nations seem to really be engaged in this war. The problem isn't so much getting to where we want to be before we leave as it is what the Afghans will do once we cross that bridge.

    Msg #18: On 12/19/2011 at 4:34:39 PM, QuickComment replied, saying:
    Leaving either country completely is a mistake if we are serious about preventing them from falling back into almost openly radical friendly regimes. Still, bin laden may have been right when he said we don't have the stomach for long conflict.

    Msg #19: On 2/6/2012 at 8:39:08 PM, Trainwreck replied, saying:
    Over the past couple months, I've become more certain about the fate of Afghanistan, and the morality as well as chance of success of the US/Coalition mission over here. None of it is positive, and I'll just leave it at that.

    I think our best option is to negotiate with the Taliban to restore power to them (as we are doing), cut our losses (as we plan to do, shortly), and withdraw all forces from this Allah-forsaken region (as pretty much only Ron Paul says). Furthermore, I think the deep cuts Obama is planning to the military are right on point, and the US should, if anything, reduce its capability to export warfare.

    Defense is important, don't get me wrong; and taking care of our military should remain paramount.

        Replies: 20
    Msg #20: On 2/8/2012 at 10:29:49 AM, Ostromite replied to Msg #19, saying:

        Replies: 21
    Msg #21: On 2/8/2012 at 9:43:59 PM, Trainwreck replied to Msg #20, saying:

    Msg #22: On 2/9/2012 at 1:06:33 AM, Carnotaur3 replied, saying:

        Replies: 23
    Msg #23: On 2/9/2012 at 7:36:04 PM, QuickComment replied to Msg #22, saying:

    Msg #24: On 2/12/2012 at 10:29:02 AM, elementry replied, saying:
    The sad thing is....I agree with TW.

    We do not need a standing military of the current size at this time in our history. But the largest cuts need to be made, not in personnel, but in contracted civilian spending within the military. Most people (outside the service) don't realize it but civilians run nearly EVERY aspect of the warfighter to some degree. And they don't do it with the nation or soldier in mind: They do it for themselves. They consistently implement new policy that guaruntees themselves a lucrative salary and a certain job. I cannot count how many overpaid, civilians I have encountered that care absolutely NOTHING about this country, and will jeapordize ANY trooper's career if it guaruntees that they get to keep their federal job.

    Maintain a sizeable Navy and Air Force. Maintain a ground force capable of defending our current assets.
    ELIMINATE the exorbant amount of civilian oversight that has been thrust upon us in the wake of 9-11.

        Replies: 25
    Msg #25: On 2/12/2012 at 7:30:47 PM, Trainwreck replied to Msg #24, saying:
    Exactly. The plane I'm flying here is maintained entirely by civilian contractors. They make approximately $650 per day to do what I did as an A1C (E-3 pay grade) in the exact same location five and a half years ago. They make more than any of us actually flying on the damn plane and so are not subject to the risks we take while they fatten themselves off the government teet. There is something really fucking wrong with that. I now see civilians at evey level of control out here and it drives me infuckingsane. They do not act with professionalism or pride. Know what I would make if I got out tomorrow and did this job as a civilian? $30,000. Per month.

    It's no better at home station. We continue to pay shitbag contractors to clean our bathrooms and floors when it plainly should be our shitbag Airmen doing the menial daily tasks.

    Oh, and like elementry said, we increase the number of lucrative contracts while denying good officers and NCOs the chance to retire by making the separate from the service early after nearly two decades of solid service.

    And things have certainly changed since I was here the first time. I still like the Army and working with them as often as I do, but DAMN they sure have been ghettoized over the course of this past decade. I hope they get rid of the trash during the upcoming troop cuts.

        Replies: 26
    Msg #26: On 2/13/2012 at 11:59:33 AM, Ostromite replied to Msg #25, saying:
    One of the most disappointing things about the Obama administration for me is that he hasn't put much effort in trying to get rid of this wasteful military contract spending. I still consider it the single biggest scandal of the Bush administration, but the Obama administration seems content to simply let all of Bush's worst decisions simply continue to drain our coffers (if we still have those things; I don't know much about economics, so I assume we run our wars with dungeons full of gold and spoil).

        Replies: 27
    Msg #27: On 2/13/2012 at 12:33:58 PM, Trainwreck replied to Msg #26, saying:
    I just so happened to find a gold-filled treasure chest on one of my scans the other night.

    Seriously though, I empathize with your disappointment in Obama, but is it really that surprising? Obama is just like Bush in that he's a big guvmint/bigger waste politician.

    Sometimes contractors actually can be a boon to the military and government; I was trained for this gig in large part by retired Air Force and Naval pilots and aviators, as well as Reserve/Air National Guard/civilian (prior active duty) special operators of every branch. The wealth of knowledge and experience they provided us was truly invaluable and is largely what separates us from similar, but less effective, platforms, and it would've been impossible to replicate our level of success without them. But using contract services to retain decades of operational experience for the purpose of training new aircrew/operators is a world away from handing out obscene contracts to contract companies to deploy civilians while the much cheaper, equally qualified troops sits Stateside.

    We don't need to pay civilians $250k a year to do the job active duty troops would do for $50k a year or less. It's obscene, and anyone who isn't angered by it is either completely ignorant or is a parasite themselves. I could continue my largely incoherent ramblings for hours, but I'll sum it up by saying that the Obama administration's statements that the military doesn't deserve retirement pensions, free healthcare, and annual raises that outpace civilian sector growth is borderline criminal in light of a decade of war.

    Msg #28: On 2/18/2012 at 12:36:40 AM, Varan101 replied, saying:
    I don't think most people realize how much money the government wastes on things like that, Trainwreck. A lot of people just assume that if spending is military related, then its for a higher good and to question it is treasonous.

    Msg #29: On 2/18/2012 at 11:06:50 AM, Carnotaur3 replied, saying:
    Why we are spending money on bases around the world is baffling to me. Why do we even have stations there? Why are we poking our noses in others affairs when we have a country that has turned itself upside down.

        Replies: 30
    Msg #30: On 2/18/2012 at 5:46:27 PM, QuickComment replied to Msg #29, saying:
    LoL, thank you Dr. Paul. "Poking our nose" is protecting our interests.

    Msg #31: On 2/18/2012 at 6:06:39 PM, Carnotaur3 replied, saying:
    We have a lot of unnecessary interests. In my opinion, of course.

    Msg #32: On 3/12/2012 at 12:22:11 AM, Trainwreck replied, saying:
    ...and because of the actions of a single lunatic, the war may be lost. Fuck him. Send him to the Afghans for justice.

        Replies: 33, 34
    Msg #33: On 3/12/2012 at 1:55:21 AM, Ostromite replied to Msg #32, saying:
    This guy must be a legitimate sociopath or something equally crazy.

    Msg #34: On 3/12/2012 at 6:56:06 AM, raptor2000 replied to Msg #32, saying:
    I'm not in any way condoning the actions of this nut, but it is incredible how hypocritical the Afghani people are. An article on CNN, for example talks about how The people of Afghanistan are willing to tolerate many things but the one thing they don't tolerate is murder. Yet, they seem to have no trouble harboring the Taliban and allowing them to murder not only the thousands on 9/11, but all the other people before and after those events around the world (including Citizens of their own damn country). Even the Taliban themselves had the gall to release a statement about how American troops are "barbarians and murderers". How people can not only take these people seriously, but manager to get American media outlets to publish their filth is just beyond me.

    It is a terrible shame what happened, though, and the guy should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

        Replies: 35, 36
    Msg #35: On 3/12/2012 at 1:26:39 PM, Ostromite replied to Msg #34, saying:
    Don't lump "the Afghani people" in with the Taliban and those who allow their power to continue. Every Pashtun or Afghani Persian I know absolutely loathes the Taliban, and from everything I've read, the general population in Afghanistan doesn't exactly like being horribly oppressed.

    Msg #36: On 3/12/2012 at 3:35:28 PM, Trainwreck replied to Msg #34, saying:
    Yet, they seem to have no trouble harboring the Taliban and allowing them to murder not only the thousands on 9/11

    The Taliban weren't responsible for 9/11.

    Even the Taliban themselves had the gall to release a statement about how American troops are "barbarians and murderers".

    Umm, we're their enemy. What do you expect them to say?

    Anyway, yeah: most Afghans are being intimidated by the Taliban. It's not like they're all just hopping in line to swallow the oppression pill (though obviously, some of them are). Still others choose the Taliban because they see them as a more stabilizing and less corrupt force than the GIRoA. Meanwhile, the Taliban is (supposedly) struggling for more legitimacy and more moderation, as evidenced by their efforts to reach a ceasefire with us (again, take it with a grain of salt).

        Replies: 37
    Msg #37: On 3/12/2012 at 9:57:48 PM, QuickComment replied to Msg #36, saying:
    The Taliban provided a safe haven for Bin Laden and allowed him to develop the kind of insulated infrastructure to carry out something on the scale of 9/11.

    Edit: They also have sided with the Taliban because we've now made it clear we're not there for the long haul.

        Replies: 38
    Msg #38: On 3/12/2012 at 11:32:10 PM, Trainwreck replied to Msg #37, saying:
    None of this is news to me. I'm not saying the Taliban didn't make themselves legitimate targets when they refused to hand over Bin Laden/Al Qaeda; I'm merely pointing out that they were not the perpetrators.

    To whom are you referring in the edit portion of your post? The GIRoA? They're becoming increasingly critical of the US precisely because all we and especially our non-British, non-Australian allies (in other words, worthless non-contributors) ever talk about is speeding up withdrawal. So yes, I agree with you in that regard. The GIRoA sees its days as numbered and is hoping to either reintegrate former Taliban members into Afghan society, make something resembling a peace with them, or at least bargain for their own lives before an inevitable Taliban takeover of the country.

    But let's not pretend that the GIRoA is a shining bastion of freedom. They are either one of the most corrupt governments on the planet, or perceived that way by their own people, and would likely be that way even if we stayed here another 20 years.

        Replies: 39
    Msg #39: On 3/13/2012 at 6:45:28 PM, QuickComment replied to Msg #38, saying:
    Yes, I was referring to the GIRoA and to a lesser extent the rest of the Afghan people. When I see how the Iraq influence/security gains that were made in 2007 were so squandered by Obama with no strategic force agreement renegotiation and the damning political demonization games the Democrats played during Bush's term and the '08 election, Afghanistan is the good war and Iraq is just a distraction, it makes me sick. Unfortunately due to media bias, when a lie is repeated enough it becomes the truth. Now with a shrug and a whistle the same thing goes for Afghanistan, where I'm about ready to call it quits too. What was it, six months to decide on whether or not we would have a "surge" and he ended up going in halvsies? Then the leaks about accelerated withdrawals throughout the last three years and a bogus counter-terrorism focus shift? He's wasted everything. The people who live there have to side with the enemy because it's clear we are the paper tiger Osama painted us as. At least we bought domestic safety through 2011.

        Replies: 40
    Msg #40: On 3/14/2012 at 3:21:27 AM, Trainwreck replied to Msg #39, saying:
    I agree that the hypocrisy is maddening on the part of the Democrats and Obama.

    bogus counter-terrorism focus shift?

    Can you explain what you mean here? Maybe I missed something - and I'm not being sarcastic here - but we are heavily focused on counter-terrorism over here.

        Replies: 41
    Msg #41: On 3/14/2012 at 10:00:27 PM, QuickComment replied to Msg #40, saying:
    Sorry, it was phrased a little awkwardly. I was referring to the excuse Biden and others were using to oppose any kind of a troop increase. Their claim, which was oft repeated in the media, was that to be successful we needed to switch to a counter-terrorism quick strike posture without a heavy troop presence. They tried to say the same thing when they opposed the surge in Iraq. Same bullshit, different steer.

        Replies: 42
    Msg #42: On 3/16/2012 at 11:02:18 PM, Trainwreck replied to Msg #41, saying:
    Thanks for the clarification.

    The calls for immediate withdrawal due to this massacre are disturbing to me. Whether you think we should stay another century or should have left yesterday, the psychotic rampage of one evil individual has no relevance.

    Msg #43: On 3/19/2012 at 11:55:22 PM, Varan101 replied, saying:
    When we leave Afghanistan, we need to make it perfectly clear that we have given control of the country to the Afghans. We have tried to give them a better life. If the country once again becomes a place where terrorists can find haven, they have no one to blame but themselves. We SHOULD (but never will) hold the entire country responsible if there is ever another attack coordinated in that country. They need to understand that the next time they see the U.S. army, we won't be there to be nice guys. Of course, we no longer have the balls to hold countries responsible for things like this anymore. I think its pretty clear that people in the middle east don't want our love.

        Replies: 44
    Msg #44: On 3/20/2012 at 12:45:42 AM, Ostromite replied to Msg #43, saying:
    Surely holding a country responsible for harboring terrorists and the like amounts to holding its government responsible, and, in that case, how do you do that when the government is unstable, undemocratic, and lacking the means to enforce its own laws? I'm speaking theoretically, because I have no idea what the Afghan government might look like in five years or so.

    Msg #45: On 3/20/2012 at 12:40:24 PM, Varan101 replied, saying:
    I believe we have removed the major barriers for the Afghan people to create a democracy. We cannot do it for them. Will there be obstacles? Of course. For instance, the current government is pretty weak. But I see no reason why they can't succeed if they really want to. The question is whether they want it enough to make the necessary sacrifices to accomplish it. That may mean some people are going to die in the process. Allowing the bullies back into power to avoid conflict is the easy way out.

    Msg #46: On 4/7/2012 at 3:40:08 AM, JPController replied, saying:
    Aghanistan just needs to be taken over by a Corporate entity. It's way too backwater to be considered worth a few minutes of time.... You'd think they'd want justice and freedom to reign supreme. But then again. The worlds Best hide n seek player was found in Pakistan..... Shows you how much he really cared about Afghanistan.

    Look at Sadaam at least he was discovered in his own Country. Instead of in a nieghboring one.

        Replies: 47, 48
    Msg #47: On 4/9/2012 at 11:45:53 PM, Trainwreck replied to Msg #46, saying:
    Bin Laden wasn't an Afghan.

    Msg #48: On 4/10/2012 at 10:23:14 AM, Ostromite replied to Msg #46, saying:
    Are you trolling?

        Replies: 49
    Msg #49: On 4/18/2012 at 5:20:26 PM, JPController replied to Msg #48, saying:

    First time doing it.

        Replies: 51
    Msg #50: On 4/19/2012 at 12:17:25 PM, raptor2000 replied, saying:

    Msg #51: On 4/20/2012 at 12:37:24 AM, Trainwreck replied to Msg #49, saying:
    So your uninformed, non-contributing post was, we are to believe, in fact a massively unsuccessful attempt at trolling?

        Replies: 52
    Msg #52: On 4/20/2012 at 1:26:30 AM, fordprefect replied to Msg #51, saying:
    ^^^^ the expert in uninformed noncontributing posts

        Replies: 53
    Msg #53: On 4/20/2012 at 2:06:51 AM, Trainwreck replied to Msg #52, saying:
    I seriously doubt anyone on this board could match your firsthand knowledge in the matter, ford.

        Replies: 54
    Msg #54: On 4/20/2012 at 2:14:58 AM, fordprefect replied to Msg #53, saying:
    bit mean tbh

        Replies: 55
    Msg #55: On 4/20/2012 at 9:36:09 AM, Trainwreck replied to Msg #54, saying:

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