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Eshoo opposes Obama's Afghan troop surge

Original post made on Dec 7, 2009

Calling Afghanistan "the graveyard of nations," Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, announced last week her opposition to President Barack Obama's plan to increase the number of U.S. military troops in that country.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, December 7, 2009, 4:19 PM

Comments (17)

Posted by Special Agent CERT, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 7, 2009 at 5:06 pm

I'm not suprised. However smarter minds are now in place.

No one is siding with anyone, The Marine knows what lies ahead.

Posted by Old Ben, a resident of Shoreline West
on Dec 7, 2009 at 10:51 pm

Afghanistan is known as "the boneyard of Empires." Any country can get its butt kicked in Afghanistan, and many countries have. Every country that ever invaded it, as a matter of fact. But we bombed the moon, maybe we're special...

Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 8, 2009 at 10:08 pm

USA is a registered user.

If Eshoo is against it, it must be a good idea.
She was wrong about the Iraq surge and is wrong about this one too.

Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 8, 2009 at 10:12 pm

USA is a registered user.

BTW, we are not attempting to conquer and subjugate Afghanistan as others have. The "bone yard of empires" references are not apropos.

Posted by dfb, a resident of Shoreline West
on Dec 9, 2009 at 2:26 pm

The boneyard of empires is relevant. So are comparisons to Vietnam. Those comparisons should remind us what others have done wrong.

We need to either put the resources necessary to do the job correctly or get out. Doing things half-assed will only make things worse and the Afghani people hate us, if they don't already. If we lose support of the general populace, this will turn into another Vietnam-like campaign that we have little chance of winning. For that reason, I think Eshoo is wrong. We can always continue to reassess what is going right and wrong, but we can't sit still and continue to half-ass it. If it takes more resources, it takes more resources.

We're already in the hole. We have 8 years in with little to show, we are propping up a corrupt government, and we continue to have issues dropping bombs on wedding parties and other civilians. But it does not seem that we've lost control as happened in Vietnam.

I do think the new administration has supported the military leaders in coming up with a workable plan that changes the focus of how we operate on the ground and improving relations with the people. In contrast, the Bush Administration ignored the advice from military brass and forced some like Gen. Sesheki to retire. If the military brass say it will take more troops, then it will take more troops. It is worth a try. Good thing we no longer have a draft.

Posted by usa, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 9, 2009 at 3:44 pm

usa is a registered user.

dfb -- It was Bush who listened to the generals about the surge. It was the Democrats like Eshoo who did not.

Posted by usa, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 9, 2009 at 3:47 pm

usa is a registered user.

The morning I happened to dust off a copy of Art of War written around 500 BC. These passages popped out --

2. When you engage in actual fighting, if victory
is long in coming, then men's weapons will grow dull and
their ardor will be damped. If you lay siege to a town,
you will exhaust your strength.

3. Again, if the campaign is protracted, the resources
of the State will not be equal to the strain.

4. Now, when your weapons are dulled, your ardor damped,
your strength exhausted and your treasure spent,
other chieftains will spring up to take advantage
of your extremity. Then no man, however wise,
will be able to avert the consequences that must ensue.

5. Thus, though we have heard of stupid haste in war,
cleverness has never been seen associated with long delays.

6. There is no instance of a country having benefited
from prolonged warfare.

7. It is only one who is thoroughly acquainted
with the evils of war that can thoroughly understand
the profitable way of carrying it on.

8. The skillful soldier does not raise a second levy,
neither are his supply-wagons loaded more than twice.

10. Poverty of the State exchequer causes an army
to be maintained by contributions from a distance.
Contributing to maintain an army at a distance causes
the people to be impoverished.

13,14. With this loss of substance and exhaustion
of strength, the homes of the people will be stripped bare,
and three-tenths of their income will be dissipated;
while government expenses for broken chariots, worn-out horses,
breast-plates and helmets, bows and arrows, spears and shields,
protective mantles, draught-oxen and heavy wagons,
will amount to four-tenths of its total revenue.

Posted by close reader, a resident of another community
on Dec 9, 2009 at 4:12 pm

"It was Bush who listened to the generals about the surge." Yeah, the *surge* -- seven years into the war, bub! Back when it counted -- the initial planning and execution -- he not only did not listen to his brass but retired them until he found enough yes-men to lead his (really Cheney and Rumsfeld's) ill-conceived war. As noted, Shinseki is the best example of a four-star who had his a** handed to him just for telling the truth.

The shame is that this was an essential war to get right, and BUSH failed to take the experts' advice in how to fight it. Had he done so, we'd have been there and gone already. So stupid.

The stupidity on your end is in conveniently ignoring this very recent and readily understood history. Quote Sun Tzu about draught-oxen all you like -- if you can't even bother to acknowledge today's simple realities you are hopeless in terms of strategy.

Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 9, 2009 at 5:18 pm

USA is a registered user.

close reader -- I am not defending Bush, just trying to get beyond the DNC talk points.

BTW, if you were a close reader, you would notice that that Sun Tzu quotes condemn Bush's policies.

Have a nice day.

Posted by Simon, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 9, 2009 at 5:19 pm

Eshoo is a communist period. For some reason a large swath of folks seem to think that if we are really really nice to the islamic radicals, then they won't be oh so mean to us. I suggest folks read "Joker One" to understand the psychology in play on the ground (plus it is a great read)

Posted by close reader, a resident of another community
on Dec 10, 2009 at 10:27 am

I'm glad you're not defending Bush, as that would be unconscionable. When I hear people say he was right about the surge, or that he "kept us safe" or whatever, it sounds like defending Bush to me.

You're right though, I didn't read the entire Sun Tzu quote. My bad. I tend to use these forums for reading modern people's comments, and when I want to read something a little heavier - something, say, 2,500 years old - I pull a book off the shelf.

Simon: Eshoo is not a communist period. Anybody who opens up their comments like that has a lot more thinking to do. Ironic twist: in recent history, it was the *actual* communists who got into a real quagmire in Afghanistan. As USA correctly pointed out earlier, we're currently being smart in not going down that road.

Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Dec 10, 2009 at 11:17 am

I happen to disagree with Eshoo on this, but I respect her for maintaining a consistant stance on this despite the change of leadership in the White House. I wish Republicans werent such mindless followers that they'd actually vote their principles instead of doing what their leaders tell them to once in a while. Leadership requires principles.

USA is right- the surge was an effective operational strategy in Iraq. Doesnt change the fact that the Iraq war was a huge mistake that will undermine our security for years to come.

I'm tired of the 'nobody can win in Afghanistan' chant. The Afghans didnt beat the USSR-- we did with our support of the opposition (and created Al Quaida in the process. Thanks to Reagan and Bush, Sr for that one)

Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 10, 2009 at 2:30 pm

USA is a registered user.

Eshoo: "maintaining a consistant stance"
GOPer: "mindless followers"

I guess the view depends on where you stand.

Posted by Eric, a resident of another community
on Dec 10, 2009 at 2:42 pm

I think you can look arbitrary quite objectively, USA. How often do you see Republicans vote against their party line? How many Republicans now distance themselves from bad policies they formarly supported? Do you think it's realistic that a group of politicians from across the country with such varying constituants could be that lock-step in their actual views?

On the other hand, Eshoo is voting against her president, the leader of her party. I know that you wish more republicans had stood up to bush.

Posted by Eric, a resident of another community
on Dec 10, 2009 at 2:43 pm

Weird typo. I meant to say "look at it objectively"

Posted by Thom Clark, a resident of Shoreline West
on Dec 11, 2009 at 8:58 am

It is long past time to get rid of this woman. She insults me as a veteran by what she stands for. Without taking a chance on raising my blood pressure I am willing to say the military doesn't need her kind of "support".

Posted by dfb, a resident of Shoreline West
on Dec 12, 2009 at 2:38 am

Thom, what is it that she stands for that insults you? That she's a woman? Or that she thinks that the military should not support a corrupt government? Or that she wants clearly defined goals before supporting an increase in troop presence? Contrary to your statement, the military needs people on both sides of an issue; otherwise we end up with another unending campaign like Vietnam where there are no clearly defined goals to the campaign and no reassessment to consider our position in respect to those goals. I think she's wrong but viewpoints like hers are necessary.

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