They can't win. Certainly not after they've made an illegal attack on Iraq (where there still is no proof that Saddam worked with al Qaida). They could've focused on Afghanistan first, complete it and then go to Iraq.
Besides, I think they wouldn't even be able to complete their mission in Afghanistan, because the Taliban keep coming back. They're endless, and each action of the US is seen as an action of imperialism, that what the Taliban despise. They get new recruits from all over the world, so it's quite unlikely that America will win the war in the Middle East. They made a ("calculation") error by entering Iraq, and now can hardly pull their troops back because of the attacks...
So I'm not sure if they'll win the war over there.
Wanna go Double Dutch?
9th December 2003
Win? Unlikely, depending on your definition of "winning". At best the allies can succee in somewhat stabalizing most of the country, but I don't forsee the Tali's giving up their struggle any time soon, neither do I see the widespread corruption and fraud (and with that, a not so smooth running democrazy) being fixed in the next few years, dare I say decades, either.
Having said that, "you break it, you bought it", so the US and any allies that supported the war, have a commitment to atleast try and support the nation from spiraling down even further. This means supporting the Afghan authorities with training police, militairy etc. in order to give them a chanche of improving the country. ANd sending aid/support in the form of money and various goods. It's all quite costly, but that's the bill you (we) have to pay for deciding to go in there in the first place.
It's a shame for the general population though that they have to deal with rather backwards fanatics (Talis).
Snipes With Artillery
22nd March 2005
It´s not really the sort of thing that you ¨win¨. Did the USA win the occupation of Japan? Ideally we can stabilize the country and make it friendly to secular democracy, but it really doesn´t seem like the sort of thing that´s winnable.
Red_Fist;5342355Now that they found about an estimated value of a trillion dollars in minerals, lithium, gold, everything will be fine.
I bet right about now some people regret promising to withdraw from Afghanistan and setting up a corrupt government.[/COLOR]
Heaven's gonna burn your eyes
16th April 2005
The Tragedy of Afghanistan (excerpts), 1842"Thirteen thousand men we had been, When our outset from Kabul was seen - Now soldiers, leaders, women and bairn They are betrayed, and frozen and slain.
"Dispersed is the entire host, Who is alive, in the darkness is lost. A God to me salvation has sent - To save the rest you may make an attempt."
Those who should hear, they'll hear nevermore, Destroyed, dispersed is the proud host of yore; With thirteen thousand their trail they began. Only one man returned from Afghanistan.
Afghanistan has a particular ability to resist foreign invasions (Alexander the Great, Arab-Islamic, Mongols [2x], British Empire [2x], USSR, USA+), and the corruption and religious fundamentalism of the Karzai government means that even if the Taliban all surrender tomorrow, Afghanistan will not have peace, democracy or freedom.
MrFancypants;5342420 [COLOR=black]I bet right about now some people regret promising to withdraw from Afghanistan and setting up a corrupt government.[/COLOR]
Don't quite understand you, but what gets me is why everybody always say everything is so corrupt. That Karside? guy came from Pakistan near the border minding his own business running a church or whatever, and volunteered on his own, right when things where really bad. I just find it hard to think anyone could tame the country and not be shot without what everyone calls corruption. USA has pretty much nothing to do with it, other than trying to settle the country down. I duno.
I don't like the idea of troops dying for nothing, so if that's truly the case then US should consider withdrawing. However, the long term consequences of doing so should be considered.
I'm under the impression that the purpose of the US being there was 1. To capture/kill Bin Laden 2. Dismantle the Taliban 3. Prevent Afghanistan from being a staging area for terrorists. #1 was a failure though he has been forced into hiding and apparently doesn't have any day to day hand in Al Qaeda operations, #2 I would say was a partial success considering that the Taliban was hit pretty hard although they have rebounded to an extent, and #3 I would say is successful but only because of the ongoing military presence preventing any large Taliban training camps.
The US hasn't been hit with another attack on the scope of 9/11. Obviously it's impossible to say whether or not that would have been the case regardless of the war but at the least we can say that there hasn't been an attack in spite of the war.
But if the US leaves it will be more costly in the long run if they end up having to go right back in again because there was another attack that was planned and trained for there.
Also, the specter of a large scale Taliban force the size of a conventional army seems like it would be a gift to the US. If they amass in any considerable size I imagine it would be a turkey shoot with US air power raining down fire on the Taliban while coalition ground forces sit safely at a distance while waiting to mop up what's left. The US isn't operating Hind gunships with huge heat signatures nor are they still selling stinger missiles to the Afghans. I'm not an expert so correct me if I'm wrong but I'd guess that the US can pretty much attack from the air with impunity at this point.
It's when ground forces try to search out Taliban in remote caves and mountains that they are most susceptible to guerrilla tactics which sap morale and make the war unpopular in the states. I'd say the amount of troop losses we're seeing is sustainable militarily but perhaps not politically as the US president and congress feel pressure to show results. The US has lost a bit over 1100 killed and the coalition as a whole a little over 1800. Historically that's a really low figure and the US isn't in danger of running low on troops through casualties.
The other factor is money of course. That could make the war unsustainable for the US given the high cost of maintaining troops for such an extended period of time.
All in all I'm not sure if the US can win in the sense that the Taliban suddenly turn into capitalist christians eager to eat McDonald's and watch reality tv but I don't see the US suffering a defeat to the degree the Russians suffered (Of course neither did the Russians). To me it's just a cost/benefit analysis. How much is it worth to continue marginalizing the Taliban and doing what you can to stabilize the country versus the cost of not doing so?
17th June 2002
When the Coalition pull out of Afghanistan, they will leave behind a semi-stable government with Western-trained security forces capable of holding their own against the inevitable Taliban remnants. This semi-stable government will, for a few years at least, succeed in keeping the Taliban at bay, though never defeating them entirely, and will enjoy a few years of Western-supported growth and modernisation.
After a while, though, the government will collapse - be it through a lack of strength, Taliban attacks, or political intrigue - and the country will gradually deteriorate into the violent, oppressive backwater it has always been. The Taliban will gradually claw back territory as the government becomes buried in treachery and civilian dissatisfaction, before ultimately the Taliban will end up back in power.
The Western world will not intervene directly. Public sentiment will be strongly against any kind of return of troops to Afghanistan once they have pulled out.
Within two decades, everything will be right back where it started, and a lot of people - some good, some not so good - will have died before their time for no good reason whatsoever.
Many have tried, and just as many have failed, to bring some sort of sanity to Afghanistan over the years. This is but the latest in a long line of ultimate failures.
Afghanistan - Earth's cesspool. God help the innocents who are unfortunate enough to be stuck there.
"""After a while, though, the government will collapse - be it through a lack of strength, Taliban attacks, or political intrigue - and the country will gradually deteriorate into the violent, oppressive backwater it has always been. The Taliban will gradually claw back territory as the government becomes buried in treachery and civilian dissatisfaction, before ultimately the Taliban will end up back in power.""" I must agree %100 you are spot on. mabye not the taliban but it will be one or another.
afghanistan has always been a volatile area almost impossible to control. the british failed in the first anglo-afghan war of 1839-1842, had a hollow victory in the second anglo-afghan war of 1878-1880. the russians failed in the 1980s and the coalition forces are failing now. there's a reason Bin Laden was in Afghanistan beyond the taliban's power here. it's an uncontrollable area. the coalition can try and can probably make a semi-stable government, but eventually, it'll recede into civil war and finally collapse of the government. however, recent findings of mineral wealth in Afghanistan could give them a bit of strengthening if they can maintain control long enough to create a mining-based economy. however, i question whether this is possible.