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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-10 05:22 AM
Original message
U.S. troops face Afghan enemy too young to kill
U.S. troops face Afghan enemy too young to kill
By Jonathon Burch
ARGHANDAB | Sun Jul 11, 2010 9:47pm EDT

Afghanistan (Reuters) - U.S. Staff Sergeant Aaron Best made no apologies as his soldiers escorted 14-year-old Ahmad, blindfolded and handcuffed, onto their outpost in southern Afghanistan for questioning.

"Don't be fooled," said Best, "I have detained so many teenagers. These fighters are getting younger and younger."

Ahmad, whose real name has been concealed to protect his identity, was picked up by a U.S. patrol along with a 15-year-old boy in Arghandab, in southern Kandahar province, one of Afghanistan's most volatile regions, because they were behaving suspiciously.

Ahmad and his friend were hiding in vegetation, observing the soldiers, when they were spotted. The boys scurried away and when Best's men finally caught up to them they tried to resist arrest, making the soldiers even more suspicious.

Both boys, along with several older detainees picked up on the patrol, tested positive for traces of ammonium nitrate on their hands, a chemical found in gunpowder and explosives. Ammonium nitrate is also found in certain fertilizers and, although they are banned in Afghanistan because they can be used to make homemade bombs, they are still used by some farmers. The detainees could simply have been farm laborers.



unhappycamper comment: I continue to be amazed that the discussion is about whether we can 'win' or not. The answer is 'not'.

Read your history.
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howard112211 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-10 05:34 AM
Response to Original message
1. I think we are about to whitness the maturing of a new generation of insurgents.
The ones who grew up under the occupation. It is likely that we will soon face an enemy whose hatred of US troops surpasses anything that was seen before in Afghanistan.
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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-10 05:42 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I don't think so.
Did you ever read "Retreat From Kabul"?

It's about the first British invasion and attempted occupation of Afghanistan and it's a sobering look at the culture of Afghans.
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howard112211 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-10 05:51 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. No I haven't.
What is the implication?
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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-10 05:53 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Afghans do not like invaders.
And they do what is necessary to push them out.
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Chan790 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-10 05:43 AM
Response to Original message
3. As a student of history...
I can tell you the Soviets were kicking Afghani ass and decisively winning until Charlie Wilson armed the Mujaheddin...not that I have a problem with us arming anybody against the Soviets. (That's not entirely true, I wish we had been more discriminating in who we armed. Still, arming people against the Soviets wasn't something I'd generally have opposed.)

Still...the history does not say what you think it does, because you fail to view it more than topically. If Wilson had not armed them, the Soviets would have won...through attrition if not sooner. Wars are frequently won against insurgent populations through attrition, we just don't have the stomach for it as a nation.
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howard112211 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-10 06:11 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. Same argument was made during the Vietnam war.
If we just torch everything that walks for the next ten years, eventually the resistance will wear down.

Two questions:

1. Is it worth it?
2. Who is saying that someone else is not supplying the Taliban? Pakistan or Iran come in mind.
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hobbit709 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-10 06:26 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. The Soviets found out the same thing we are now learning.
Edited on Mon Jul-12-10 06:27 AM by hobbit709
It's easy marching in and taking over. It's a lot harder occupying. Even the Soviets with their ruthlessness only went out in large heavily armed convoys, or stayed in their heavily fortified bases. They didn't dare go out into the city in ones or twos.

That is the history of Afghanistan, they've been conquered and invaded more than once but the occupation always ran into great difficulties. Their culture takes the long view. If it takes generations to get rid of the invader they are willing. And in their culture a 15 year old male is considered an adult.

I remember a video during the Soviet occupation of a 12 year old field stripping and reassembling an AK-47. His comment was that if his father is killed fighting the invaders, it is his job and then his childrens job to continue the fight.
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-10 07:50 AM
Response to Reply #3
10. "Would have won" is a completely specious argument, countered by the provable REALITY of LOSS.
Edited on Mon Jul-12-10 07:54 AM by WinkyDink
And, to repeat my post from further down:

NO-ONE IS AN "INSURGENT" AGAINST AN INVADER. ONE IS A PATRIOTIC DEFENDER OF ONE'S "HOMELAND."
INSURGENTS ARE REBELS AGAINST THeiR OWN GOVERNMENT.

And what have you been studying? The Alice-in-Wonderland version of "How the US Could Have Won VietNam"?

"Have the stomach for it"? Nice euphemism for "Why don't YOU go die, and I'll watch."
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avaistheone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-10 02:39 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. +1000
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conspirator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-10 07:23 AM
Response to Original message
8. Well when you are doing an ethnic cleasing eventually you run out of adults to shoot n/t
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-10 07:47 AM
Response to Original message
9. These are NOT "insurgents". They are ALL patriots fighting the INVADERS. WE ARE NOT THEIR LEADERS.
HENCE, THEY ARE NOT INSURGENTS.
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PacerLJ35 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-10 08:40 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. The Taliban are patriots...right. Got it.
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