• FMFM-1A
    Draft: FMFM-1A
    Fourth Generation War
    August 2009
  • FMFM 1A-3A
    4GW Tactical Decision Games
    September 2008
  • FMFM 3-25
    How to Fight in a 4th Generation Insurgency
    July 2009
  • FMFM 1-3A
    A Tactical Handbook for Counterinsurgency and Police Operations
    August 2008
  • FMFM-2
    Light Infantry
    September 2008

« ON WAR #323: Milestone | Main | On War #325: How the Taliban Take a Village (Lind/Sexton) »



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j stuart

Lind said it perfectly. Obama is now a war president. I'll also add that the Norwegian fools that gave him a peace prize are stupider than he is if they thought he would do anything other than keep the wars going.

Peace=War Orwell was right.


The essential problem in Afghanistan, IMO, is that there is no facing-saving way for us to withdraw that does not involve egg eventually being on Uncle Sam's face. Members of the military whom I have debated and discussed the issue, often defend "our being there because were there," to paraphrase the old WWI song. They do not want, after Vietnam, the word "defeat" attached to their name.

So, this begs the question: is there a way home that gives us the appearance of victory, and allows us to save face?

Devil's advocate for a moment, Bill: Suppose Washington does a thumbs-down on the option you mentioned. What is the next best thing? Might it be time for the "Hama" approach? Would going very light and low profile work?


Hey, hey BHO
All the troops have got to go.

Que up the tape of Saigon, April 1975.
Karzai = Thieu.
Pointing out the obvious:
Frm: Wiki. Just prior to the Communist victory, Nguyễn Văn Thiệu resigned and left for Taiwan, handing power to his Vice President, Trần Văn Hương, who took over on April 21, 1975, nine days before South Vietnam unconditionally surrendered to the North Vietnamese on April 30, 1975.
Life in exile

Thiệu fled to Taiwan, finally he took up residence in Foxborough, Massachusetts, where he died in 2001.


O = W expanding terms...

BO = GW and rearranging


Very true, for performance as a Republican GW stunk. But of course also....

BO = BO And he stinks too.

Mike Ruff

Not only is the 30K a drop in the bucket, but spokesmen for the Army admit they can't get 30K troops there any time soon--and they're projecting they might, possibly, maybe, get 20K there by Fall of '10, and they say the '11 pull-out date is bunk.


Our all-volunteer military can not win the war in Afghanistan. They will be defeated by the Taliban no matter what President Obama does. If the Congress restores the draft then maybe we can win in Afghanistan. Maybe.

Thomas Peter

In Lind's 5th paragraph he mentions what could be the basis for negotiations w/ Mullah Omar/Taliban. As I recall, Geo. W. Bush was invited by the upper echelons of the then-ruling Taliban to participate in a Loya Jurga back in the Fall of 2001 and to negotiate for the extrication of bin-Laden and the Al Queda loyal to him, as well as other matters related to the Taliban's rule over Kandahar and Kabul. Naturally, there was no way the exalted President of the USA was going to Afghanistan, sit under flowing banners in a desert tent, and do a give-and-take with the medievalist Taliban. You mean to suggest that is where the West could possibly be after a decade and hundreds of billions of dollars, significant military and civilian casualties, and massive social dislocation? While that is but one possible outcome of the Obama surge, wouldn't it be a sick, ironic comment about the ignorance of war?


Total Victory in Afghanistan would require the complete and utter extermination of the Pashtun people, which would be an operational nightmare, and is a political impossibility.

Rob P

Roger, what makes you think that a bunch of people who don't want to be in the military and will do anything to get out of it after being drafted is the key to victory in Afghanistan?

I know today's military has the capability to defeat enemy forces in Afghanistan if we, as a nation, feel like paying the price in money and lives. Question isn't whether we can do it, but, as Bill alluded to, why should we?

Obviously, GWB didn't feel Afghanistan was worth it, which is why he short changed OEF and fully funded OIF, a country with a modicum of modern technology and the possibility to be something.

Really though, this is standard Democrat Party thinking since post-Desert Storm; mock the possibility of real victory in a 2nd world country while demanding the military pull off a miracle in a 3rd world hell hole.

Peter Principle

"If the Congress restores the draft then maybe we can win in Afghanistan. Maybe."

Great idea! Let's send hundreds of thousands of unwilling, resentful, undisciplined and poorly trained civilian semi-soldiers to stumble around in a remote, forbidding country filled with ferocious tribal fighters whose language they can't speak, whose customs they don't know, and whose religion they despise.

Yeah, that'll work.


Mr. Rob P, many thanks for your comment on my comment. I like it when someone challenges something I say or write. It makes me think more.

To answer your question in one word, numbers. To achive total victory in Afghanistan, the United States would have to field hundreds of thousands of troops, possibly half a million. There is no way our current military can supply troops to Afghanistan in those numbers. So there is only one other way, the draft.

As for draftees not wanting to be in the military, that is irrelevant to achieving victory. The draftees at Normandy, Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima did not want to be there. Yet they still achieved victory over the Nazis and the Imperial Japanese. I am sure twenty-first century draftees could handily deal with the Taliban, if there were enough of them. And assuring there are enough of them is the whole point to the draft in the first place.

As for standard Democratic Party thinking, I am not a Democrat. I despise the Democrats. I also despise the Republicans. I think the Democrats and Republicans are two arms of the same beast. And I have thought that since 1996 when the Democrats and Republicans conspired together to keep Ross Perot out of the 1996 Presidential debates.

Again, Rob p, thanks for your feedback.

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