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Saddle up for Syria? Or Op Deny Christmas '13

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1 hour ago, jice said:

I understand the sentiment, but is having an enduring presence in an “unconquerable” land that borders China in the West worth (some) blood and treasure? Maybe even some embarrassment in negotiations? 

Are you volunteering as tribute to be the next casualty in a "mission" that has no objective other than to maintain a presence?

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22 minutes ago, jice said:

I think anybody who grew up playing Go would disagree. 

I think anybody who lost a son, daughter, father, mother, brother, or sister for no purpose or benefit to national security would disagree. 
 

An Afghanistan presence isn’t even close to a deterrence for major powers in that part of the world, and certainly has no real quantifiable objective or reasoning behind it. People’s children who weren’t even born when this shit started are going off to get killed and kill people in Afghanistan who weren’t alive when it started either. We shouldn’t have a single American in that place. 

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53 minutes ago, Clark Griswold said:


I’m more familiar with Chess than Go so does one pawn moved well forward with no pieces behind it and in an exposed portion of the board really do anything other than provide a convent point of attack for your opponent?
 

(Funny you should say that; lots of folks saying the Chinese play go while we play chess).

 

The Chinese know we’re all more familiar with chess than go. They’re playing a very different game. I’d say that if it forces the adversary to consider a wholly different axis than the one they’ve been absolutely dominating (the Western Pacific) that it isn’t a waste. They are clearly facing East WRT the US, currently and aspirationally.
 

43 minutes ago, uhhello said:

Are you volunteering as tribute to be the next casualty in a "mission" that has no objective other than to maintain a presence?

No (though we’ve likely all already played that game before). I’m saying that ceding influence and control in the ‘Stans forces us to look at China from the direction they’d like us to see them from. I’m not saying that we need to continue combat operations in Afghanistan at all. I’m saying that the pressing problem of our time is a rising China.  We should make decisions based on what we need in 2040, not what would have been prudent in 2003. 

39 minutes ago, Hawg15 said:

I think anybody who lost a son, daughter, father, mother, brother, or sister for no purpose or benefit to national security would disagree. 
 

An Afghanistan presence isn’t even close to a deterrence for major powers in that part of the world, and certainly has no real quantifiable objective or reasoning behind it. People’s children who weren’t even born when this shit started are going off to get killed and kill people in Afghanistan who weren’t alive when it started either. We shouldn’t have a single American in that place. 

No disagreement with the first point here. Losing people senselessly is a horrible thing.
 

Again, not advocating for continued combat operations or any aspiration of fixing Afghanistan. Fock ‘em... I just need to be able to plop aircraft, weapons, tanks, tankers, and Americans with Rifles in a place that lets me get to China’s western frontier quickly.  If we’re doing distributed basing in your country from MOLs in Afghanistan, your pacific A2AD becomes a neat prize at the end of the war.

Unpopular, I know, but being in Afghanistan doesn’t have to be about Afghanistan.

Edited by jice
Swear words missing

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7 minutes ago, jice said:

(Funny you should say that; lots of folks saying the Chinese play go while we play chess).

 

The Chinese know we’re all more familiar with chess than go. They’re playing a very different game. I’d say that if it forces the adversary to consider a wholly different axis than the one they’ve been absolutely dominating (the Western Pacific) that it isn’t a waste. They are clearly facing East WRT the US, currently and aspirationally.
 

No (though we’ve likely all already played that game before). I’m saying that ceding influence and control in the ‘Stans forces us to look at China from the direction they’d like us to see them from. I’m not saying that we need to continue combat operations in Afghanistan at all. I’m saying that the pressing problem of our time is a rising China.  We should make decisions based on what we need in 2040, not what would have been prudent in 2003. 

No disagreement with the first point here. Losing people senselessly is a horrible thing.
 

Again, not advocating for continued combat operations or any aspiration of fixing Afghanistan. Fock ‘em... I just need to be able to plop aircraft, weapons, tanks, tankers, and Americans with Rifles in a place that lets me get to China’s western frontier quickly.  If we’re doing distributed basing in your country from MOLs in Afghanistan, your pacific A2AD becomes a neat prize at the end of the war.

Unpopular, I know, but being in Afghanistan doesn’t have to be about Afghanistan.

But I don't think our presence in Afghanistan influences them in anyway and building it up to a potential that could would be difficult to say the least.

Iran to the West, Pakistan to the South and Russia to the North and last but not least China to the East, all while inside of Afghanistan where the Taliban and other VEOs will be forces either to be reckoned with or the government of Afghanistan.  Pakistan is getting closer and closer to China and could be pursued to close air routes into country as China has the means to immediately fill the void that estrangement with the US would leave them.  

All places in the world we have made a stand and kept a long term mission to deter aggression and keep watch on the other side were defensible and connected to allies via land or sea routes with air access available.  Guantanamo Bay and West Berlin being obvious enclave exceptions to that but you get my drift. 

No disagreement giving China a problem on it's Western border would be beneficial to us, I just don't think Afghanistan is the place to do it.  

Reasonably courting a better relationship with India and the nations of SE Asia who have legitimate concerns of intimidation by China is a better place IMHO along with getting the Islamic nations to finally push back on their genocidal treatment of the Uighurs. 

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36 minutes ago, jice said:

Unpopular, I know, but being in Afghanistan doesn’t have to be about Afghanistan.

Out of curiosity, have you spent any time in Afghanistan?

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1 minute ago, FourFans130 said:

Out of curiosity, have you spent any time in Afghanistan?

Over, not in. 

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5 minutes ago, jice said:

Over, not in. 

So you probably don't recognize that the forces in place in Afghanistan pose a threat to a VERY limited region...namely...Afghanistan and it's very immediate neighborhood.  Nothing in that country provides an ability to threaten China.  At all.  Moreover, the country is so unstable that we would never place forces there that could pose any form of threat to China.  It would be wasteful and stupid on a plethora of levels.  

If you are going to apply geopolitical strategy games, make sure you also apply real world analysis to them.  The underlying part you missed: logistics

Amateurs study tactics.  Experts study logistics.

Edited by FourFans130

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50 minutes ago, FourFans130 said:

So you probably don't recognize that the forces in place in Afghanistan pose a threat to a VERY limited region...namely...Afghanistan and it's very immediate neighborhood.  Nothing in that country provides an ability to threaten China.  At all.  Moreover, the country is so unstable that we would never place forces there that could pose any form of threat to China.  It would be wasteful and stupid on a plethora of levels.  

If you are going to apply geopolitical strategy games, make sure you also apply real world analysis to them.

[Last post from me in this derail, I really do appreciate the contrasting view and recognize that it’s an unpalatable and unpopular view]:
 

We don’t have to actively threaten now with a massive buildup; a long term presence is the threat.  Well aware that the current posture doesn’t provide options in a peer threat war. But! When we leave, Beijing will be there ($50 says Xi or his successor shows up for a high profile visit within 24 months after the last US troops are out) and they’ll have zero concerns about immediate instability. They will be looking 50 years down the [belt and] road and won’t harbor any illusions of helping the people or government of Afghanistan.  (Except as required to manipulate the people and government of Afghanistan). Not leaving means we tell China that we recognize their game and aren’t going to let them walk East and west simultaneously. 
 

Here’s a picture of the Shanghai Cooperation organization. Members in Green, Observers in Blue (Afghanistan included). It isn’t getting any smaller. It contains most of the people on earth and by 2040, potentially most of the GDP on earth.

image.png

Edited by jice

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1 hour ago, jice said:

[Last post from me in this derail, I really do appreciate the contrasting view and recognize that it’s an unpalatable and unpopular view]:

Fair enough

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8 hours ago, FourFans130 said:

So you probably don't recognize that the forces in place in Afghanistan pose a threat to a VERY limited region...namely...Afghanistan and it's very immediate neighborhood.  Nothing in that country provides an ability to threaten China.  At all.  Moreover, the country is so unstable that we would never place forces there that could pose any form of threat to China.  It would be wasteful and stupid on a plethora of levels.  

If you are going to apply geopolitical strategy games, make sure you also apply real world analysis to them.  The underlying part you missed: logistics

Amateurs study tactics.  Experts study logistics.

This is absolutely true. You aren't going to forward deploy any meaningful strategic assets in Afghanistan with legs into China because the security situation. 

There is also a massive assumption here that Afghanistan would let us prosecute against China from their territory.

Edited by FLEA

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On 10/18/2020 at 11:24 PM, FourFans130 said:

If you are going to apply geopolitical strategy games, make sure you also apply real world analysis to them.  The underlying part you missed: logistics

Amateurs study tactics.  Experts study logistics.

 

Speaking of real world analysis and logistics.  A conversation with your bros that have been there (not just over) in the last few months may help focus the lens a bit.

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Making buddy-buddy with India and not encouraging them to ally with China would probably be a better strategy.  
India wants to make their own path, but we can certainly benefit from friendly relations, and it boosts them for any issues with China. 

...sadly our support of everyone's best friend Pakistan probably ruined that. 

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9 hours ago, raimius said:

Making buddy-buddy with India and not encouraging them to ally with China would probably be a better strategy.  

have you been watching the news the last few months? 

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12 hours ago, raimius said:

Making buddy-buddy with India and not encouraging them to ally with China would probably be a better strategy.  
India wants to make their own path, but we can certainly benefit from friendly relations, and it boosts them for any issues with China. 

...sadly our support of everyone's best friend Pakistan probably ruined that. 

Seems like India and China are doing fine sabotaging that relationship themselves.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-53062484#:~:text=In August%2C India accused China,of firing into the air.

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4 hours ago, pawnman said:

Seems like India and China are doing fine sabotaging that relationship themselves.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-53062484#:~:text=In August%2C India accused China,of firing into the air.

Exactly. There is not a lot of love lost there, and India would not be a bad ally to have.  If you want to talk alternate flanks against China, that is probably the best choice.  Unfortunately, our relationship with Pakistan and India's desire to avoid third party issues makes it less likely.

Edited by raimius

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8 hours ago, raimius said:

Exactly. There is not a lot of love lost there, and India would not be a bad ally to have.  If you want to talk alternate flanks against China, that is probably the best choice.  Unfortunately, our relationship with Pakistan and India's desire to avoid third party issues makes it less likely.

I really wouldn't be sore if we just left Pakistan. They were a Cold War convenience but that is long passed. 

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So you probably don't recognize that the forces in place in Afghanistan pose a threat to a VERY limited region...namely...Afghanistan and it's very immediate neighborhood.  Nothing in that country provides an ability to threaten China.  At all.  Moreover, the country is so unstable that we would never place forces there that could pose any form of threat to China.  It would be wasteful and stupid on a plethora of levels.  
If you are going to apply geopolitical strategy games, make sure you also apply real world analysis to them.  The underlying part you missed: logistics
Amateurs study tactics.  Experts study logistics.

There is no strategic advantage to invading a country from Afghanistan.

It does not create anything of a “two front war” in a fight with Iran. There is literally nothing in eastern Iran worth worrying about. All it does is plant a strategically difficult place to resupply and sustain using high density low force protection nodes like BAF within the easy range of Iranian Ballistic Missiles.

If anything getting our exposed troops and assets out of Afghanistan sets us up better for a conflict than we currently are. As it stands any hostile that wanted to be actively belligerent and make the craps roll of “inflict enough immediate pain and there won’t be a long response and they won’t go nuclear” has a big free chicken target to eliminate a lot of strategic asset in a single series of attacks without much we can do to stop it. We are banking our whole game on “F around and Find Out!” And after 2 solid decades of war fatigue I could see the logic and outside threat would have in thinking we won’t back up that threat.


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On 10/23/2020 at 6:36 AM, Lawman said:

It does not create anything of a “two front war” in a fight with Iran. There is literally nothing in eastern Iran worth worrying about. All it does is plant a strategically difficult place to resupply and sustain using high density low force protection nodes like BAF within the easy range of Iranian Ballistic Missiles.

Tehran is 550nm from Herat, 400nm from Kuwait, and 650nm from AlUdeid and Dhafra. Also, the route is significantly less defended. Maybe not worth the logistical expense, but it’s certainly not inconsequential.

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Tehran is 550nm from Herat, 400nm from Kuwait, and 650nm from AlUdeid and Dhafra. Also, the route is significantly less defended. Maybe not worth the logistical expense, but it’s certainly not inconsequential.

If Al Assad and Erbil didn’t fully demonstrate the stupidity of basing key nodes within range of SR/IRBMs without associated PAC-3 coverage you really aren’t gonna get the severe risk of exposure all of Afghanistan is.

Herat can’t be protected, neither can BAF or KAF or any other place in Afghanistan. There aren’t enough Patriot units to cover everybody, in fact even if there were that’s banking a lot on the countermeasure working 100% of the time.

That doesn’t even begin to go into the discussion of just how convoluted and self licking an ice cream cone the movement of combat power necessary to sustain offensive ops in for example an Iran scenario would be. Just for sake of example... you can drive supplies and sustainment from ports in the Med to key nodes in the typical Middle East footprint far easier than you can move them either via ground route or air route into Afghanistan. That places is a logistical black hole when people aren’t trying to kill your supply lines.


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7 hours ago, Majestik Møøse said:

Tehran is 550nm from Herat, 400nm from Kuwait, and 650nm from AlUdeid and Dhafra. Also, the route is significantly less defended. Maybe not worth the logistical expense, but it’s certainly not inconsequential.

Not enough of a reason to stay there or in Syria.  Leave the ME, empower allies and partners to keep Iran in check with the price for support being accepting the existence of Israel.  Look the other way when they do things we find in poor taste (to a degree).

There's just so much Schliz in the cooler, we can't waste it in areas we don't have a vital interest necessitating a direct military presence.

4 minutes ago, Lawman said:

If Al Assad and Erbil didn’t fully demonstrate the stupidity of basing key nodes within range of SR/IRBMs without associated PAC-3 coverage you really aren’t gonna get the severe risk of exposure all of Afghanistan is.

Herat can’t be protected, neither can BAF or KAF or any other place in Afghanistan. There aren’t enough Patriot units to cover everybody, in fact even if there were that’s banking a lot on the countermeasure working 100% of the time.

That doesn’t even begin to go into the discussion of just how convoluted and self licking an ice cream cone the movement of combat power necessary to sustain offensive ops in for example an Iran scenario would be. Just for sake of example... you can drive supplies and sustainment from ports in the Med to key nodes in the typical Middle East footprint far easier than you can move them either via ground route or air route into Afghanistan. That places is a logistical black hole when people aren’t trying to kill your supply lines.

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Damn genius Gump.

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10 hours ago, Majestik Møøse said:

Tehran is 550nm from Herat, 400nm from Kuwait, and 650nm from AlUdeid and Dhafra. Also, the route is significantly less defended. Maybe not worth the logistical expense, but it’s certainly not inconsequential.

Spoken like a stereotypical (thankfully it's a stereotype that the vast majority don't fall into) strat airlift pilot.  You are ready for TACC.

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5 hours ago, FourFans130 said:

Spoken like a stereotypical (thankfully it's a stereotype that the vast majority don't fall into) strat airlift pilot.  You are ready for TACC.

Was responding to the idea that there’s nothing strategic in Eastern Iran by pointing out that the distance to the heart of Iran is similar to everywhere else.

Never been a strat airlift pilot, so you’ll have to fill that TACC job yourself.

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The Pentagon, Congress, and the White House, literally paid this guy to tell them to leave the ME, and we are still there. 

Really good discussion though on terrorism and occupation.

 

 

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