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Can we discuss the alternatives here?


4 or 5 insurgents dead.

alternative: 4 or 5 males (age unspecified) dead.  Labeled insurgents by virtue of the fact that they are males (age unspecified) and we killed them.  Kinda like defining torture as "something we don't do", thus any torture we do cannot be torture, since that makes it definition, not torture.  "Insurgent" has kind of be redefined as "a guy we killed".

there is no point in discussing how the enemy was born, that is a thing of the past.

It strikes me as emminently important to know how the enemy was born (if there even is an enemy).  Understanding the enemy - what he wants and why - present options for what victory can look like.  It does not necessarily have to be the death of one or the other of us.  If all he wants is US soldiers out of his valley, then I see a win-win opportunity.

"If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles"
“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
- Sun Tzu

It seems to me we have never known or understood our enemy.  Or at least, never had a clear idea of what "victory" was or when we could stop fighting.  Are we supposed to fight as long as someone on the planet uses the name "al qaeda" for himself? 

Objective: Contain the enemy

That's vague.  I don't know what that means.  If you mean "prevent all attacks on the US forever", you are shit out of luck.  That is as achieveable as preventing all car accidents.  Given the proliferation technology successful attacks are inevitable.  Kill everyone else in the world and we would still have domestic terrorists.  Perhaps after we hit peak petroleum and travel for the masses becomes economically unfeasible, that will help curtail foreign non-state attacks.  If they cannot get out of Swat Valley, they cannot hurt us.

Until I know what you mean I cannot accept or reject your options, though I do find them limiting on face value.

If you are in charge, what would you do Quesi and Screwtape? We don't have a time machine to undo the past

Exactly whom are we talking about?  Afghanistan?  Pakistan?  Yemen?  Somalia?  Al qaeda (whatever that means)?

Generally speaking, our ME problems are of our own making.  As a start I would...
  • severely curtail the assassination-by-drone program
  • pull all our troops out of iraq, afghanistan, etc.
  • Stop trying to have puppet governements.  In the long run, they hurt us.  See Iran.
  • stop trying to promote democracy.  most people don't have it because they are not ready for it.  heck, I hardly think the US is ready for it anymore.
  • revoke corporate personhood
  • cease torture
  • cease covert operations
  • try to reform the monolithic intelligence community to make them actual intelligence gathering entities
  • cease all financial and military support for Israel
  • broker a fair resolution for the palestinians.
  • de-garrison the planet.  we have expensive military bases everywhere.  Why?  To "project power".  That seems unnecessarily hostile to me.

Changed Change Reason Date
ParkingPlaces Yep! February 13, 2013, 11:15:24 PM
Quesi I embrace the list wholeheartedly February 13, 2013, 06:52:48 PM