Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Military News and current conflicts. Middle East, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.
Bgile
Senior Member
Posts: 3658
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:33 pm
Location: Portland, OR, USA

Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Post by Bgile » Wed Jan 06, 2010 12:55 am

Good post, and I pretty much agree entirely.

User avatar
hammy
Senior Member
Posts: 288
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 6:52 pm
Location: by the Norfolk Broads , England .

Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Post by hammy » Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:36 am

lwd wrote: Very early on they may have been anti drug. However they quickly turned a blind eye to it as long as they were getting their cut and most of it left the country. However that's the past. Currently drugs bankroll the Taliban.
Please define what you mean by Taliban . Please cite your source that says an avowedly Islamist fundamentalist group is using drug income to fund it's activity , because that tale does look awfully like a black disinformation story .

Also , note that you are implying that in the case of Afghan Poppy cultivation , the producers and local processors of this Agricultural product are the ones making the money out of it , a situation unique in the Global agricultural market .
FairTrade Heroin ?

hammy wrote: My personal view is that islamic terrorism exists in the style of you watching a lot of fluffy cumulus clouds on a breezy warm summer's day . The whole scene is continously changing , merging and melding in front of your eyes in chaotic fashion , and the truth is that there is no pattern to it , just temporary accumulations of little clouds into bigger ones for a while , before these disperse again .
That may be a very accurate model. Of course there is a a pattern to it if you can watch it on the right scale and or have the insight(s) to see it.
Well I dont claim to be anything more than an interested bystanding skeptic , so please reveal this pattern .
What is the linkage to the PLO/Hamas/Black September/Hezbollah/Islamic Jihad/Ingush+Chechen terrorists ? There isnt one really , except another lot of crazies arises out of other developments at random intervals and that having common aims , may run together for a while .
Well there is some central direction it's just that it has little power to compell.
Sorry , but I'm not convinced . Its like looking for the source of all the lights on one of those Disco mirror-fragment covered ball things going round on the ceiling in a dancehall .
There's been no declaration of war that I've heard of and no sudden problem. Indeed things are looking up in Yemen in many ways at least for those interested in suppressing terrorism. Maybe to the point where something may be acomplished with a reasonable expenditure of resources.
I trust you are having a laugh here . Things looking up in the Yemen ? The inhabitants are mostly homicidal savages , and always have been . The Arabs say that when God created the Sudan , He laughed . He must have had a migraine when He created the Yemen .
" Relax ! No-one else is going to be fool enough to be sailing about in this fog ."

Bgile
Senior Member
Posts: 3658
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:33 pm
Location: Portland, OR, USA

Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Post by Bgile » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:17 am

hammy wrote:What is the linkage to the PLO/Hamas/Black September/Hezbollah/Islamic Jihad/Ingush+Chechen terrorists ?
Those groups have little in common except they all feel they are patriots. They also mostly disavow attacks on the USA. That makes them different from Al Qaeda, and the Taliban have provided Al Qaeda with a place of sanctuary so that makes the Taliban our enemies as well. Lately the Taliban have been making money from the Poppy trade in Afghanistan. Previously they suppressed it, but I guess lately they have become more pragmatic.

In any case, I doubt our continued presence in Afghanistan helps to prevent attacks on our people, and I'm coming around to the point of view that we should leave that place.

User avatar
RF
Senior Member
Posts: 7519
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Post by RF » Wed Jan 06, 2010 9:19 am

hammy wrote:
The West needs to either get much harder , or get out altogether . As I posted elsewhere , earlier , there was a golden opportunity to get hard in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks , to tell the assembled Islamic world that they then had an immediate straight choice - to become civilised and progressive nations willingly , or to declare their emnity and see their states and civilisations destroyed , their governing establishments removed or made helpless , their personal riches stripped away , and their resources ( oil ) taken over by armed force and the future earnings arising disbursed soley under the control of the occupiers .
I do not think such an action is possible now .
This is exactly my view - and why you need to properly plan and control your response, so you retain the initiative and are on top of the consequences of your actions. That is also why I think it was wrong to halt Desert Storm without, to put it bluntly, clearing Iraq of Saddam and all the other problems there; if the Arab states in the Coalition were against that they were in the wrong, and again to be blunt, if the job had been finished properly they would have had to go along with it - and quite likely in private they would agree, its just that in public they cannot be seen to agree.
What is needed is a tough, no nonsense conviction politician as leader, single minded in purpose but at the same time politically savvy. What the US needed was not George Bush, but another Theodore Roosevelt, to speak softly and use the big stick to do the real talking to the people that matter.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

lwd
Senior Member
Posts: 3810
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 2:15 am
Location: Southfield, USA

Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Post by lwd » Wed Jan 06, 2010 9:33 pm

hammy wrote: ...
Please define what you mean by Taliban .
A bunch of religious fanatics mostly in Afganistan and Pakistan employing violence to enforce their vision of the future.
Please cite your source that says an avowedly Islamist fundamentalist group is using drug income to fund it's activity , because that tale does look awfully like a black disinformation story .
It's pretty widley reported here and pretty much taken for granted. For instance it's mentioned in most of the articles at:
http://www.strategypage.com/qnd/afghan/2009.aspx
In particular at
http://www.strategypage.com/qnd/afghan/ ... 90918.aspx
Also , note that you are implying that in the case of Afghan Poppy cultivation , the producers and local processors of this Agricultural product are the ones making the money out of it , a situation unique in the Global agricultural market .
FairTrade Heroin ?
Not really. Local producers and processors make money on most Agricultural products. If they didn't they couldn't stay in business. Profits are also made up stream. This covers the drug trade as well as conventional agriculture.

hammy wrote: My personal view is that islamic terrorism exists in the style of you watching a lot of fluffy cumulus clouds on a breezy warm summer's day . The whole scene is continously changing , merging and melding in front of your eyes in chaotic fashion , and the truth is that there is no pattern to it , just temporary accumulations of little clouds into bigger ones for a while , before these disperse again .
That may be a very accurate model. Of course there is a a pattern to it if you can watch it on the right scale and or have the insight(s) to see it.
Well I dont claim to be anything more than an interested bystanding skeptic , so please reveal this pattern .
[/quote]
Even in chaos there are patterns. That doesn't mean that they are necessarily easy to discern. In this case it's pretty clear that the Islamic terrorist are sharing information, techniques, and tactics as well as guided by a similar if not uniformly consistent consistent ideology. Many share at least some goals as well and are willing to assist others in at least some cases.
What is the linkage to the PLO/Hamas/Black September/Hezbollah/Islamic Jihad/Ingush+Chechen terrorists ? There isnt one really , except another lot of crazies arises out of other developments at random intervals and that having common aims , may run together for a while .
Well most of the above are obviously linked by a belief in fundamentalist Islam. Many are linked in other ways but not all by the same ones.
Well there is some central direction it's just that it has little power to compell.
Sorry , but I'm not convinced . Its like looking for the source of all the lights on one of those Disco mirror-fragment covered ball things going round on the ceiling in a dancehall .
I'm not at all sure what you wanted to imply by your analogy. Clearly there are certain figures that encourage certain types of acts vs certain players. They would be very happy if all accepted their word as law but it's pretty clear that the various groups pick and choose what they wish to act on.
There's been no declaration of war that I've heard of and no sudden problem. Indeed things are looking up in Yemen in many ways at least for those interested in suppressing terrorism. Maybe to the point where something may be acomplished with a reasonable expenditure of resources.
I trust you are having a laugh here . Things looking up in the Yemen ? The inhabitants are mostly homicidal savages , and always have been . The Arabs say that when God created the Sudan , He laughed . He must have had a migraine when He created the Yemen .
On the other hand the Yemeni government is cooperating with the west now and actively trying to suppress the terrorist factions and is being aided in this by the Saudis. That's good news for us if not for at least some of the inhabitants of Yemen. Although in the long run it's probably a good sign for them as well.

User avatar
Karl Heidenreich
Senior Member
Posts: 4808
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: San José, Costa Rica
Contact:

Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:06 pm

Bgile:

In my opinion it is impossible for the USA to perform such a brutal act. For the most part our citizens are taught from an early age that such things are immoral, and our government and our military just don't work that way. Such a thing is unlikely to happen, at least in my lifetime, so for you to wish for it is probably an exercise in futility for yourself.
It doesn´t have anything to do with moral. War is outside any moral approach. It´s just what´s practical and what´s not. Exactly there is where the US lost it´s post WWII wars. William T. Sherman didn´t address the morality of burning Atlanta or Savannah down. He knew it was inmoral but still did it because it was practical military necesity. Curtis Le May knew that he was killing hundred of thousands japanses inocent civilians at Tokio or with the nukes at Hiroshima or Nagasaki. He care, personally, on that but as a military commander he saw no other option in order to win.

So, any moral bla bla bla is just for diplomats and hipocrites. If the US nukes the Taliban aside from condemnation from the UN bums what´s going to happen? Is Mexico, Iceland or Nigeria don´t going to buy more Chevrolets?
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

User avatar
RF
Senior Member
Posts: 7519
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Post by RF » Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:58 am

Karl, using wholesale ''nukes'' on the Middle East is a totally different ball game to burning Atlanta, Savannah or Tokyo. And it still wouldn't wipe out the Taliban or Al Qaeda, in their mountain underground hideouts, indeed the fall out from such an attack won't just be in terms of radiation - it legitimates the ''jihad.''
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

User avatar
Karl Heidenreich
Senior Member
Posts: 4808
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: San José, Costa Rica
Contact:

Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:32 pm

RF:

There is already a jihad and it will only get worse. In order to win the conflict escalation is necesary. The West cannot and will not win the hearts and minds of the muslims involved. There is no chance of an unconventional warfare to win here.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

Byron Angel

Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Post by Byron Angel » Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:09 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote:RF:

There is already a jihad and it will only get worse. In order to win the conflict escalation is necesary. The West cannot and will not win the hearts and minds of the muslims involved. There is no chance of an unconventional warfare to win here.

I disagree with your appraisal. Military efforts will play an essential role, but this is not a military conflict and it will not be won with guns and bombs alone. We are really engaged in a cultural struggle between a resurgent islam and a morally uncertain west. The true battlefields do not lay in Afghanistan or Iraq or Yemen; they lay in the global news media and in the hearts and minds of both the western public and the world islamic community. As such, the most powerful weapons will be effective propaganda - an area in which the west IMO has not yet properly mobilized its considerable resources.

This struggle will not be a short one. The last time the west was confronted with this sort of instability was the great Mahdist uprising in the late 19th century. It took Great Britain twenty years to stamp it out.

User avatar
Karl Heidenreich
Senior Member
Posts: 4808
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: San José, Costa Rica
Contact:

Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:10 pm

Byron Angel:

We are refering to two different scenarios of the same conflict. One is, indeed, in the West, where the goverments must win the hearts and minds not of the common population, which I do believe is identified enought with their own survival, but of their weak politicians. The other front is the one that requires that the western powers (i.e. USA) must unleash unlimited violence in order to anihilate all oposition in the mountains and valleys of the conflict areas.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

Byron Angel

Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Post by Byron Angel » Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:26 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote:Byron Angel:

We are refering to two different scenarios of the same conflict. One is, indeed, in the West, where the goverments must win the hearts and minds not of the common population, which I do believe is identified enought with their own survival, but of their weak politicians. The other front is the one that requires that the western powers (i.e. USA) must unleash unlimited violence in order to anihilate all oposition in the mountains and valleys of the conflict areas.

You make a fair point about weak-kneed and cynical western politicians, but the vast majority of the western public is already firmly in the anti-terror camp. Prosecution of an intensive hearts and minds campaign within the islamic nations is IMO far more important. Extremist islamic ideologies must either be publicly discredited or moderated out of existence; It won't be an easy process, but then we haven't been trying very hard on the propaganda front. Propaganda is a very powerful weapon over time when properly deployed.

Prosecuting this struggle by brute military means will play right into the hands of the terrorists, who will gleefully paint us once again as baby killers and oppressors. We need to take to heart the hard-earned lessons derived from the days of the British management of their empire, during which they exercised control by making careful alliances and playing off various parties against one another. The original and wildly successful intervention into Afghanistan should be a lesson for us as well. A minimum of intelligent men armed with suitcases of money arrived in Afghanistan and hired enough tribesmen to drive the Taliban out of power in very short order.

Two trends which encourage me are the events presently unfolding in Iran and in Pakistan. The Iranian theocracy has completely destroyed its credibility with the Iranian nation and is effectively dead; the only question is exactly when it will finally disappear into political oblivion. Once gone, a very great deal of the support and finance which has been sponsoring global islamic terror will evaporate with it. In Pakistan, the Taliban's indisciminate terror campaign against the civilian population is steadily turning the Pakistani public against them, even in the autonomous tribal territories. Furthermore, their efforts to destabilize the Pakistani government has marked them as a clear threat to the present Pakistani leadership and its power base, who are now undertaking active measures to neutralize them. Without civilian support and government toleration of their activities, the position of the Taliban inside Pakistan will rapidly become completely untenable. Fanatics can almost always be relied upon to overplay their hands; that is their weakness.

Byron

User avatar
Karl Heidenreich
Senior Member
Posts: 4808
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: San José, Costa Rica
Contact:

Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:32 pm

Byron:
Prosecution of an intensive hearts and minds campaign within the islamic nations is IMO far more important. Extremist islamic ideologies must either be publicly discredited or moderated out of existence; It won't be an easy process, but then we haven't been trying very hard either on the propaganda front. And social propaganda is a very powerful weapon over time when properly deployed.
There is logic in your argument. But I think there is a glitch there, if I may, of considering that the islamic masses behave as the western ones to the propaganda or public campaigns. I really will not trust the power of such an approach and can only give the enemy more time to organize their final assault.

Just a thought.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

User avatar
RF
Senior Member
Posts: 7519
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Post by RF » Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:40 am

Byron Angel wrote:
This struggle will not be a short one. The last time the west was confronted with this sort of instability was the great Mahdist uprising in the late 19th century. It took Great Britain twenty years to stamp it out.
This example is misleading. The Mahdi only operated in Sudan, and posed threats only to Egypt and to Abyssinia. It didn't threaten anywhere outside that area at all. The British government didn't take twenty years to stamp it out - at first they decided to withdraw from Sudan, sending General Gordon to do it, only he had his own agenda. After the fall of Khartoum the Mahdist forces were fully engaged in a tribal war with Abyssinia which went on for the period you mention. Only then did the British as an Empire building operation go back into Sudan to remove the ''fuzzy wuzzy'' and used avenging General Gordon as the excuse.

Today with globalisation the problem is very different. The problem is at home, not at the far corner of empire.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

Byron Angel

Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Post by Byron Angel » Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:51 pm

RF wrote:
Byron Angel wrote:
This struggle will not be a short one. The last time the west was confronted with this sort of instability was the great Mahdist uprising in the late 19th century. It took Great Britain twenty years to stamp it out.
This example is misleading. The Mahdi only operated in Sudan, and posed threats only to Egypt and to Abyssinia. It didn't threaten anywhere outside that area at all. The British government didn't take twenty years to stamp it out - at first they decided to withdraw from Sudan, sending General Gordon to do it, only he had his own agenda. After the fall of Khartoum the Mahdist forces were fully engaged in a tribal war with Abyssinia which went on for the period you mention. Only then did the British as an Empire building operation go back into Sudan to remove the ''fuzzy wuzzy'' and used avenging General Gordon as the excuse.

Today with globalisation the problem is very different. The problem is at home, not at the far corner of empire.


..... I get the sense that you view it as a relatively isolated and inconsequential event. If so, I disagree. The Mahdist phenomenon, originally germinated in the Sudan in the second half of the 19th century, spread and engulfed the region from Ethiopia to Nigeria in warfare, industrial scale slave trade, and political instability for more than twenty years. Over that period, Great Britain participated in a number of Anglo-Egyptian military expeditions into the Sudan seeking to re-establish (titular Egyptian) control over the region. Kitchener's final victorious expedition was only the culmination of a series of such ventures.


Byron

User avatar
hammy
Senior Member
Posts: 288
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 6:52 pm
Location: by the Norfolk Broads , England .

Re: Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Post by hammy » Fri Jan 08, 2010 5:58 pm

The mention of the Mahdist movement in the Sudan in connection with the Taliban is an interesting one for the two movements have very much in common , focussed on a charismatic leader , based around a fundamental and violent Islam , a personal commitment by way of a jihadist type of vow , and a lifestyle based on a symbolic monastic poverty ( hence the Oblong dark patches stitched on the Dervishes clothing ) .
Had the western leaders ever read a history of that conflict then some of the grosser stupidities of the last quarter century might have been avoided .
" Relax ! No-one else is going to be fool enough to be sailing about in this fog ."

Post Reply