The Goldilocks Principle and Afghan War Options

Goldilocks

Maybe the Iraq debacle has dulled our senses but there should be something stunning about a general at this late date requesting 40,000 to 80,000 more American soldiers to be sent to Afghanistan.

Afghanistan: War Theatre of the Absurd

Photo from The Onion.

Now, paying off the opposition does seem to have calmed things down in parts of Iraq (recent Baghdad bombings notwithstanding), and thereby provided us with an opening to carry through with the agreement we made with the Iraqi government to get our troops out of there. Maybe it can work in Afghanistan too.

Is Adulation of the Military Really Patriotic?

Soldier-color

And the American public, still feeling guilty over the admittedly terrible treatment of returning draftees from the Vietnam War, has retained its awe of the now voluntary military as an institution, even as it has soured on the Iraq and Afghan Wars.

The Only Way Out of Afghanistan Is to Leave. Here’s a Realistic Way to Do It

We won’t solve Afghanistan’s social or political problems by continuing to wage a cruel and apparently endless war. Our soldiers will never be able to change Afghanistan’s social behavior or end tribal customs that go back thousands of years. They are too busy defending their own bases from angry Afghans and it’s time to leave them alone.

To Escalate the Escalation?

Obama-middle-east

The debate rages among experts on whether to escalate the escalation of Barack Obama’s “war of necessity” in Afghanistan—seemingly oblivious to American public opinion at home that has turned against waging the conflict at all.

When the Dead Have No Say

soldiers

Apparently, escalating the warfare is much more attractive to Washington’s policymakers than actually challenging the main supporters of the Taliban in Afghanistan — the Pakistani government.

Was Rummy Really Wrong?

Donald Rumsfeld & George Bush

If the U.S. gives up fighting such ill-advised wars of choice and concomitant occupations, Rumsfeld’s concept of fewer ground forces and a heavier reliance on airpower can be viable. The concept is not the problem, but it’s not going to work if the United States continues such drawn-out imperial quagmires.

The March of Folly, Continued

tuchman

To understand what’s up with President Obama as he escalates the war in Afghanistan, there may be no better place to look than a book published 25 years ago. The March of Folly, by historian Barbara Tuchman, is a chilling assessment of how very smart people in power can do very stupid things – how [...]

Obama Expands America’s Warfare State

dollar-soldier

Although the U.S. is not in imminent danger of attack from any country, President Obama’s first budget further expands the Pentagon’s already dominant global operations. Not even the prospect of a $3.1 trillion combined budget deficit for this year and next deters him. Let them chop the budget for black colleges and police officer death [...]

This Week in the LA Progressive: March 2 to 8

Budget Obama Rescuing Capitalism: That’s a Lot of Weight for One Brother. Obama is present at the re-creation of the global economic system. “It is a challenge he has to take up,” Like I said, that’s a lot of weight. –Carl Bloice Is Obama Responsible for Wall Street’s Meltdown? Where Populist Rage Is Heading. The [...]

Afghan War Haunted by Bush’s War Crimes

michael haas

While additional American troops are being deployed to Afghanistan, George W. Bush’s misdeeds continue to handicap combat effectiveness there. Past disrespect to the country must be reversed by an immediate apology to the Afghan people and new orders to field commanders to follow the Geneva Conventions on the battlefield. The U.S. war in Afghanistan began [...]

Remembering Nobel Laureate Harold Pinter–Is Our Conscience Dead?

ann_wright

by Ann Wright – On the news today of the death of Harold Pinter, the winner of the 2005 Nobel Prize for Literature, I remembered hearing his Nobel Laureate lecture/acceptable speech. I was in London in December 2005 speaking at the annual “Stop the War” conference when Pinter delivered his speech—not in Oslo, as Pinter [...]

Obama Should Drop Plans to Escalate Afghan War; Send Peace Corps Instead

taliban1

by Sherwood Ross – President-elect Obama should drop his plans to escalate the war in Afghanistan, a country that never attacked America, out of pity for a helpless civilian population that will only suffer increasing misery from an expanded fight against the Taliban and its allies.

Obama’s Nixonian Dilemma with Iraq

vietnam-copy

by Brian R. Robertson With several public commentators and scholars comparing President-elect Barack Obama to Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy, it has surprised me that there has been little attempt to compare Obama’s election with Richard M. Nixon’s election, exactly forty years ago. Both inherited divisive wars from the previous administration and both campaigns [...]

Reaching Out to Returning Veterans

by Charley James – Since neither the Pentagon nor the Veterans Administration seems to show much real interest in the plight of returning Afghan and Iraqi vets beyond a few discredited talking points spouted during interviews, organizations such as the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America are taking the lead.

The War Comes Home

Walter Reed Cartoon

Dick Price: The Iraq-Afghan War has taken on a sad new face as stories of shoddy health care given returning veterans began surfacing lately. Newsweek brought us up short with its coverage last month of the Minnesota veteran suffering from depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts whose runaround at the local Veterans Administration hospital ended only when he managed to hang himself.

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