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About Bigduke6

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  • Birthday 06/24/1960

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  1. Haven't heard from you in a while. Hope you're all right.

  2. John, Cool Breeze and Mr. Emrys: It's pleasant to be remembered, unless it's by the tax people. Thanks guys. I can say this: I'm in Donbass. I've been there since early last year. Nothing secret, nothing clandestine, but my employers want me to to avoid making anything like a public comment on the conflict. Hence the lurking. You've been having some really great arguments in here and it's been all I could do to keep from jumping in. So far my self discipline is holding. But JK is different - the man is an institution.
  3. I haven't posted in this forum for years as an employment change a while back forced me to into lurking. This forum is, as it ever was, a place where strong opinions are traded regularly, and weak arguments are slammed down mercilessly. May it stay that way forever. My opinion, this forum is much the richer for John Kettler's participation. He is an asset, he is imaginative and he is loyal. I don't tolerate his posts, I look forwards to the next one.
  4. We weren't arguing, we we exchanging points of view. *sniff*
  5. Yep, that is enough evidence to exclude option three. Even if you assume the military had an interest in feeding the story to the WP, and that what he did was heroicized at least somewhat, it seems pretty impossible that he was on the Taliban target list. Seems like a brave guy, RIP.
  6. Yeah, I doubt we're going to come to a common opinion on this one. As for me, collapse of the Karzai regime and Afghanistan's return to a hothouse for violence and extremist groups, would be a failure of US policy. Although, come to think of it, the both of us seem to think the Taliban are going to improve their position in the coming chaos, but neither of us see the Taliban as a dominant force capaple of ruling the country effectively. In other news, did any one see the report on who the raiders killed? One of them was the squadron commander, a major. He's identified as Lt. Col. Chris
  7. If those few thousand can keep the Karzai regime in place. Otherwise the whole thing comes down like a house of cards. Considering the work it takes to keep that government propped up with more than a 100 grand NATO types in country, and the less-than-sterling performance of the ANA so far, I'd call that a pretty big "if".
  8. http://afghanistan.blogs.cnn.com/2011/01/03/cnn-poll-u-s-opposition-to-afghanistan-war-remains-high/ It is data like that that makes me suspect that, once the US troops substantially leave, they will not return. Two out of three Americans is pretty difficult to overcome. But if there's any evidence out there that the US population and politicians would support a re-commitment of force to Afghanistan, symbolically or materially, I'd be interested to see it.
  9. Vanir, Of course the Taliban will be welcomed by many as liberators. As your link makes clear, Dick Cheney was talking about invading another country. The Taliban, among others, are defending their country from foreign invaders. They are fighting a jihad. Karzai's death or flight abroad will not solve the basic problem that the regime we have installed in Afghanistan is corrupt and is so unpopular, that compared to that regime, for many people living in the country, the Taliban seem like a better alternative. Getting rid of the foreign invaders and tossing out the Karzai regime i
  10. Vanir, Anders Fogh Rasmussen is the Secretary General of NATO. He has held the job since 2009. Before that he was Denmark's Prime Minister, and a key player in pushing NATO participation in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Here is the key phrase from his comments, which are in the link you provided: "The goal is unchanged, the strategy remains the same, and, eh, the timeline remains the same." This begs two questions. 1. If the Secretary General of NATO is not some one to whom you look for the "blue" position on Afghanistan war strategy, then who is? 2. Why do you think the h
  11. If I am obtuse, it is an unintentional accident. You and I agree a critical approach to information coming out of Afghanistan is important. Further, you and I agree NATO is one of the sources of that information. So I'll repeat the question: Do you believe Rasmussen when he says the security handover plan is still on track? If you do believe him, even in general terms, why? As you have probably gathered, I have concluded (not assumed from the get go, concluded, as in "after weighing the evidence available and making a considered judgement)" that NATO has little idea of the situati
  12. I would say: NATO probably does not fudge numbers that can be checked relatively easily by an independent agency. This would normally be the media but it could be the political opposition or citizens' groups or the lower levels of the military itself. The obvious example would be soldiers killed; it is a very sensitive issue and even though it certainly would be in NATO strategic interest to put out lower casualty figures, than actual, it would be almost impossible to do without getting caught, and getting caught would be a huge PR disaster. So those numbers I believe. Numbers like "ANA per
  13. Well I must have misunderstood you, because I thought you accepted the NATO assertion that 1 out of 4 green-on-blue incidents was Taliban-related, and the others not.
  14. No, you misunderstand me. I say we should not take NATO statements at face value and accept them uncritically. I can't tell you what the "true ratio" is, but again, green-on-blue incidents have tripled and NATO has stopped most joint operations with the ANA because of that. We can take as a fact that, on an individual basis, relative cultural sensitivity on the part of ANA and NATO personnel has not changed overnight. But the amount of green-on-blue incidents has, in a big way. The Taliban have said they have been infiltrating the ANA for some time and that instigating green-on-blue incide
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