The Instigator
neutral
Pro (for)
Tied
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The Contender
gh000st
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

We should leave Afghanistan immediately

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/26/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 600 times Debate No: 55444
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (0)

 

neutral

Pro

The previosu attempt was snatched up by someone who now openly admits that he is both ignorant of the topic and engaged for personal reasons. I'd like someone who actually has knowledge of the subject and believes we should stay the course on Afghanistan.

For 13 years now we have been fighting the same fight over and over again without any discernable improvement despite hundreds of billions, and thousands of dead and wounded, in expense. The cycle is the same every year. The Spring Offensive of the Taliban brings in the recruits from the Pakistani Tribal Areas who slaughter a bunch of innocents and bunch of Afghan Police/Soldiers and then are themselves practically decimated in return. The next year, a fresh set of previously 17 year olds who are now 18 year olds floods across the border and the same pattern repeats itself. There is little doubt that the full weight of the US military is wrecking the battle formations of the Taliban, but, from their safe havens, they simply rebuild and send more formations the next year. Its not like its terribly expensive to find a bunch of AK-47's, and fertilizer and wood to make IED's with. We are not in a situation where military force can produce a tangible result. Even if we kill every member of the Taliban that sets foot in Afghanistan, the next year there will be more Taliban crossing the border.

There is a perverse logic to the Pashtu and their code of Pashtunwali that intense poverty and unemployment are feeding into this vicious cycle. Every year, more young men come of age with no real prospects of employment or otherwise gainful means of production.

http://www.rediff.com......

What do you do with these mostly illiterate excesses of young men? If you are tribal leader, the last thing you want is a bunch of pissed off, unemployed young men sitting around waiting for an excuse to start fighting. It makes far more sense to send them off with the Taliban. If they do not come back, such is the will of Allah. If they do? They come back a proven warrior, a position of honor in Pashtunwali, and they have developed connections and prestige that the Tribe can exploit. There is an incentive to send as many, particularly ‘unable’, young men off to war. The more that return with honor, the stronger the tribe. And the undesirables? They tend to sort themselves out.

http://nypost.com......

What would you do with a man who was so stupid he would turn himself in to collect a reward? I will submit that this man being in such a position was no accident – with tribal leaders essentially hoping the Darwinian aspect of war would solve the problem for them. And it did.

The horrific violence we visit upon the Taliban is not actually damaging them. It is perversely entrenching the very power base of the Taliban. The only way to stop it is to invade and pacify the tribal belt – that would require the invasion of Pakistan. Clearly that is not going to happen. If we are not willing to take the military action necessary to change the dynamic, then it makes no sense to pretend that the military needs to be engaged here.

We can begin building the strategic outlook for this as well. Pakistan, under Zia Ul Hac, created a strategic vision in which, rightly or wrongly, Afghanistan is critical. Despite mounting evidence that the interference of Pakistan in Afghanistan has created problems for Pakistan rather than solved them, the dogmatic vision on Afghanistan continues. Our military actions have not changed this dogma. Pakistan is well aware that its northern border essentially bifurcates what is nominally Pashtunistan. With the rise of the Pakistani Taliban, there is little doubt that the young men currently being slaughtered in Afghanistan will simply be aimed south once the US leaves. In fact, there is mounting evidence that the central government we are establishing in Kabul is eyeing the same tactic in reverse.

http://www.longwarjournal.org......

We are on one side of blood feud in which the two sides will raid the tribal belt for Soldiers to inexhaustibly send against one another. We support one side, while all almost all logistical support flows through the other side who routinely uses it to exact leverage on a process that increasingly inimical to our desired end state in Afghanistan. No one is even talking about how to manage or shape this reality. We continue to send combatants and equipment for no discernable reason whatsoever.

Even projecting enough force into the situation to be relevant is extraordinarily expensive in cost of both treasure and blood. What do we have to show for it?

http://blog.foreignpolicy.com......

A government rife with corruption and cronyism? A government unable to provide basic services to the vast majority of its citizens? A government distrusted by its own people and largely dependent upon the real or perceived threat of US military violence to stay in power? A government that is adversarial to our interests? Is there any point in spending billions of dollars more in delaying the rivalry that is coming?

Make no bones about it, the regional players see the end game coming.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com......

India wants to ensure that the tit for tat between Afghanistan and Pakistan continues as long as possible. That protects Kashmire from the same processes that wrecked havoc there prior to 9-11. The fighting keeps a Pakistan focused north, and away from the Line of Control where fighting erupts with regularity. If anyone in Washington grasps this realpolitik reality, they are staying mum on it in a case of abrogating national interest.

The strategic effects for the US go well beyond the typical regional players. With Russia getting snitty over Ukraine, we must bear in mind that Russia is the only other logistical input aside from Pakistan into Afghanistan. The Russians clearly have no qualms about exercising that influence, knowing full well that cutting off that stream will had Pakistan virtual control of the situation – and we know Pakistan will use it. THis gives Russia, not us, tremendous strategic advantage.


Additionally, Afghanistan continues to be a drain on military intellect and resources all precariously engaged with little to show from the expense. China acting out in the Pacific Rim is precisely because they recognize the how thinly spread our forces are, and for every Soldier actually engaged in Afghanistan, there are two more in training to replace the rotational units. It still requires the entire fleet of planes and ships to sustain the effort. Were we to withdraw from Afghanistan, we would instantly free up an incredible amount of military power. Not only that, but the other Nations at play would clearly see that we are capable of accurately gauging strategic realities and able to put reason before pride to achieve real strategic effect where it actually matters to our Nations bottom line.

Wait Al Qaeda you say? That relationship has definitely soured and remains complicated at best.

http://www.thenation.com......;

In fact, the Taliban blame Al Qaeda for what happened after 9-11. Prior to that, the Taliban controlled 90% of Afganistan in a fulfillment of their messianic vision. Then, along came the B-52's.

"After being ousted from power in 2001, he wrote, the Taliban "openly derided the Arabs of al Qaida and blamed them for the Taliban's misfortunes".

http://www.commondreams.org......

There is nothing to prevent us from again sending B52's to rain destruction on the Taliban. To be an insurgent force is one thing. To control and govern another, and wth the Taliban out of the proverbial shadows, they become vulnerable to our military advantages. The Taliban are not so stupid that they don't realize this. Al Qaeda being allowed to provolk that response again? Not likely for a group interested in controlling Afghanistan.

Simply put, we are achieving nothing at great expense in Afghanistan. No ones son or daughter needs to die for the sake of vainglorious national pride. Its time to end the sunk cost fallacy of Afghanistan that is doing nothing but feeding off the orgy of money and bodies we have dumped into it.

gh000st

Con

It is shown that Obama Has been sending more troops to afghanistan. http://www.cnn.com...

Now, fact of the matter is, right now.. Afghanistan is the only war zone available for troops. We can't just send troops home, what would the point of that be? If there is a war, you cannot leave in the middle of it, otherwise you risk losing the war. (No source needed, this is common sense that you will lose a war if you leave in the middle of it.)
Debate Round No. 1
neutral

Pro

As usual ... my opponent is wrong on every count:

1. It is shown that Obama Has been sending more troops to afghanistan. (Wrong)

http://www.nbcnews.com...

As we see, the number of US troops slowly dwindling. Unfortunately, there really isn't much of an opportunity for humor there ... as math is a pretty humorless subject. If anyone knows a good addition/subtraction joke, please send it our way. I've generally found math so dreadfull boring that I would attempt to stab myself in the eye to either stay awake or provide an excuse to leave and go see the nurse. For the record, its considered a valid reason to see the nurse because you have a pencil stabbed into your eye.

2. Now, fact of the matter is, right now.. Afghanistan is the only war zone available for troops. (Wrong)

There are all kinds of places we could be sending our Soldiers. Somalia! The haven that 'less government' fanatics have always wanted, with adventure pirate land as a boon. Iran and/or Saudi Arabia for all the religious right wingers who demand theocracy and can have it! With plenty of oil too boot! North Korea for all those atheistic left wingers who demand the removal of all religion ... not anything like oil however to sweeten the deal ... just some nucs to play God with, which I figure is something of an inducement in this case. There is Canada, because, lets face it, its just ripe for the picking. There is Russia we could be invading, because the neo-cons NEED a good Russian dictator to re-ignite the Cold War! We have an entire Ocean to sail around and claim as our own with giant air craft carriers, why let China do it with friggin oil rigs? Its not like an oil rig can launch a bunch of super cool jet fighters anyway - why let a third rate oil rig steal the show?

No, there are plenty of places to sent our troops.


3. We can't just send troops home, what would the point of that be? If there is a war, you cannot leave in the middle of it, otherwise you risk losing the war. (No source needed, this is common sense that you will lose a war if you leave in the middle of it.)

My con protagnost clearly failed to understand the meaning of middle. Middle requires the mid point in what has been the US's longest war. So clearly, in a historical sense we are near the end. Yet, if the ultranationalists get their way, then why settle for erely the US record? Why not take on the Hundred Years War? Why settle for the domestic record, when the International record of stupid, pointless wars is beckoning? Only 87 more years until we are at a tie! If that is the goal, then clearly we have at least 37 more years to the "middle" phase. If we are looking to smash the record? I mean we want a record that is going to last ... so the 200 Year War seems fitting. So clearly we aren't even close yet to the Middle.

The goal obviously isn't winning or even losing, its just to make sure that we get that record come hell or high water or the Taliban Zombies we've already killed before. We CAN do it!

Clearly my opponents grasp of the process is unimaginative and just basely wrong. I mean who starts out with a math joke anyway?
gh000st

Con

Your source shows what is predicted to happen, not what history has shown. Therefore my first claim stands.

My second claim stands because those places are not our business to get involved in. Afghanistan makes the most sense for where our troops should be placed. It is the only available war zone for the United State's strategies.

I cannot remember my third claim honestly, but you need to do a little more research. We aren't discusses what is predicting to happen. We are discussing whether or not troops should leave afghanistan immediately.

The answer is no, we should stay there so that we have something to do. If the troops leave afghanistan, they will be sitting dry and stale, doing no good for the time being. They need to be doing what they were trained to do - and the only plausible place is in afghanistan.
Debate Round No. 2
neutral

Pro

Unfortunately, my opponent appears to lack a sense of humor, which is a shame. Con is also still wrong, and, unfortunately no humor, does not understand how the military works.

1. "Your source shows what is predicted to happen, not what history has shown."

I think my opponent needs to go back to the first round and read why Afghanistan is called the graveyard of empires. He would do well acknowledge the tribal rifts and the history of dangerous blood letting that have happened time and time again in Afghanistan's history. The claim that this dynamic has changed? Is an empty claim.

My position is not without support:

http://www.nytimes.com...

Con has yet to demonstrate any tangible benefit from leaving troops there other than more US deaths.

2. "My second claim stands because those places are not our business to get involved in. Afghanistan makes the most sense for where our troops should be placed. It is the only available war zone for the United State's strategies."

Again, please reference the first post and explain how the strategic vision is wrong.

This is also the point at which my opponent fails to understand the US military. When not actively employed in war, the force doesn't just sit - it trains. It modernizes. It is employed under other regional commanders. The military exists as tool to be employed WHEN NEEDED. To keep it in a pointless war simple because war is the tool of warriors entirely misses the point.

It also misses strategic reality. Forces committed to Afghanistan CANNOT be committed elsewhere. For every Soldier in Afghanistan, there are two in training to replace him, and another recovering from the tour. Keeping 10,000 troops in Afghanistan requires, just for teh ground component, 40,000 Soldiers as the forces are managed through the ARFORGEN process. That says nothing of the air power needed to respond at a moments notice, and the massive naval expenditure to supply those forces (plus NATO and a good chuck of the Afghan National Army), and a literal Army of contractors needed to move the supplies through Pakistan to Afghanistan, and the provision of services.

Those forces CANNOT be employed elsewhere and are a massive strategic drain.

Worse, even with the continued expenditure, the future that Afghan History predicts remains with no sensible policymaker even predicted that this massive expenditure will avoid the looming failure predicted. It is a prediction with enough certainty that the regional players India and Pakistan are already manuvering for positions of advantage.

#3 "I cannot remember my third claim honestly, but you need to do a little more research."

I need to do more analysis to counter a point con cannot remember? Interesting debat tactic ;-)

#4 "We aren't discusses what is predicting to happen. We are discussing whether or not troops should leave afghanistan immediately.

And that hinges precisely upon what is likely to happen with US forces remaining or withdrawing. Not making any case whatsoever for any benefot at all is hardly a convincing case. In fact, its the utter abscence of a case.

We should leave Soldiers to die, and ask famililes to bear the gut wrenching reality of a lost son or daughter, because .... we just should. That is exactly the kind of reasoning that should drive us to exit immediately. If we cannot think of good reason to stay to achieve something that justifies the deaths of our family members? Enough said.

#5"The answer is no, we should stay there so that we have something to do. If the troops leave afghanistan, they will be sitting dry and stale, doing no good for the time being. They need to be doing what they were trained to do - and the only plausible place is in afghanistan."

We should stay at war because that is what warriors do - they fight. It apparently doesn't matter that they are employed in a pointless fight. A sword must stab mentality? So what if the sword is stabbing the innocent? Or oneself? Force is the continuation of politics by other means, as Clausewitz notes, and the game is afoot in the region, and we are pouring blood and teasure in a game of politics we do not understand, or even care to.

Time to end the game and save the sword for an opponent in need of being stabbed, as opposed to chasing shadows indefinitely.
gh000st

Con

gh000st forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by ArcTImes 2 years ago
ArcTImes
tl:dr but I agree.
Posted by ararmer1919 2 years ago
ararmer1919
This was extremely well put together and has given me a lot more to think about on this subject. Your absolutely right in just about everything you said, but even still I don't think that necessarily means we should pull out completely and I still think we need to maintain a presence there. I'm
Thinking about taking this, just trying to figure out how I'd come at it first.
Posted by revic 2 years ago
revic
You are a genious and have won this debate even before it started.
No votes have been placed for this debate.