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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-10 12:00 PM
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Saving Face in Afghanistan
Saving Face in Afghanistan
by John Grant | May 9, 2010 - 9:52am

In the documentary film "The Most Dangerous Man In America," Daniel Ellsberg tells about a fellow Rand Corporation war planner circa 1968 who described the US commitment to the war in Vietnam this way:

"We are 10 percent concerned about the Vietnamese; we are 20 percent concerned about the Chinese; and we are 70 percent concerned about saving face."

The United States has now clearly arrived at the same insidious predicament in Afghanistan.

~snip~

Besides having no impact on the effort to defeat al Qaeda, supporting 100,000 very expensive US troops and a massive military infrastructure in Afghanistan is actually playing into al Qaeda's hands, since the tremendous cost of supporting this military bootprint in such an inaccessible, rugged place furthers Osama bin Laden's clearly expressed desire to drive the US to bankruptcy.

We can quibble about the percentages, but it's clear the US government and the US military are, again, in the costly face-saving business. The face they are saving has to do with US military prestige and the policy, at a time of great domestic economic stress and need at home, of escalating war in Afghanistan and Pakistan instead of doing everything possible to ratchet hostilities down and pull the troops out.
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-10 12:06 PM
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1. And practice in use of weapons from to the 3 kills from 1 mile and drones thousand of miles away.
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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-10 12:09 PM
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2. Sacrificing cannon fodder for good PR.
We just can't have the politicians and generals embarrassed.
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-10 12:10 PM
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3. how many lives have been lost to 'face saving'?
more than echoes of Vietnam
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tekisui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-10 12:14 PM
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4. knr.
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amborin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-10 12:26 PM
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5. k&R
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