India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Johann
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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby Johann » 10 Mar 2009 12:46

I had said on this and other threads, that you can expect the Obama administration to simultaneously pursue a number of different approaches before settling on one. This is one of a number of balloons that are going to drift up.

There is absolutely no national level 'moderate Taliban' movement in Afghanistan.

What does exist are a number of local, and in a few cases regional commanders who joined the Taliban because the Taliban offered the most, and who are open to negotiations. Buying them off can improve things in some areas, dampening the growth of the insurgency.

That is what was done in 2001 and toppled the Taliban in the south. Unfortunately it was abandoned. In the interests of promoting Karzai and a national Afghan government, the needs of the Iraq war and a number of other theatres around the world what hapened was that only the biggest warlords were engaged. The rest of the commanders went back on the market and the Taliban snapped them up.

There are a significant number of counter insurgency and Afghan specialists who argue strongly that the approach is far more sustainable (both politically and strategically) than pumping in ever larger numbers of troops, given the size of Afghanistan, the question of when the Afghan state would ever be able to exercise full authority at the grassroots level, the logistical challenges, and the potential intensity and length of the war.

I tend to agree that the decision to give up the original model, to conventionalise the nature of involvement in Afghanistan in 2002 onwards was a mistake. The conventional military component (especially the non-Afghan conventional military) in this conflict has to play the supporting role, not the lead role. Anything else is unsustainable. Its simply too much easier to put together and pay for a guerilla unit than the three conventional units needed to deal with them.

America by the end of the Obama first term I believe will still be committed to Afghanistan, and still deeply involved. Its just that it's involvement will no longer be spearheaded by infantry platoons. Its going to be civilian guys with secure satellite phones and suitcases of money, and A-Teams living and patrolling around villages with commanders who accept those suitcases, making sure they're earning the next suitcase, and providing JDAM back up.


Shaurya,

NDA or UPA, I dont believe the GoI will start to use force overtly until the cracks in Pakistan are wide enough to drive through safely on the nuclear front.

No one ever believed that Palestinian internal conflicts would be so great that Israel and Fatah would one day become serious partners against Hamas. Yet that has been the situation since Hamas won the elections in 2006.

Pakistan's national consensus is not going to survive as it exists today- the internal and external pressures just keep mounting. It must either splinter or change, and that is when the really attractive opportunities will emerge.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby Raja Ram » 10 Mar 2009 13:44

Things are churning and gentle readers, I thought I should share some thoughts and views here. For what it is worth of course.

The return of the Democrats under Obama has heralded the "Empire Strikes Back" syndrome with Cold War veterans and State Department Status Quoists making a comeback. But, gentle friends, that is but a side show.

A morally, financially heamoraging US/West and their fatigued military are trying their best to configure the rules of the game to their benefit yet again in different theatres yet again and Afghanistan is no exception. What I believe we need to watch out for VERY VERY carefully is the bringing into the equation of the PRC by the US/West.

The US/West knows that their rentier state in Pakistan is no longer only rented out by them, they dont have the money for it and they are going to get others in to pay and benefit as well. Bill Clinton and his Clintonite democrats (kleptocrats really) have always been open to the idea of sharing Asia with China. They want to provide the pre-eminent power position to China.

It is not coincidence dear readers, that People's Daily is now publishing articles that the US and China should discuss India and Pakistan in the context of Afghanistan. The Chinese gameplan is to ensure that India is kept out and its influence curtailed. They want to secure their isreal, Pakistan and at the same time get themselves in. They believe that they have two aces to offer to the US. One, they can step in and pay up to keep Pakistan going as well as provide them arms to keep India under check. Second, they can also help US derisk its position in Afghanistan by being the go between between US and Iran. Iran has been helped in its endeavours in developing some missiles, there is also proabably a supply of nuke know how through AQ Khan network earlier. So there is some goodwill that they can cash on with them.

Both are vital for the US/West plans to get out of harm's way in Afghanistan. It is also apparent that the depression in the US is causing it to collaborate with China in a strategic way across the board so that they both come out of the depression relatively smoothly with a power sharing agreement that positions China as the numero uno in Asia. Sort of agreeing to a new bi polar type power structure.

Afghanistan is key to this. There are other important flash points, but the democratic world view seems to settle for a multipolar world with US as the only power that has its presence in all of Caroe's 7 power circles and a selection of strategic power partners with the US in each of them. For Asia, the new administration is likely to reverse the choice of the previous one as to which country will be the partner - they may want to move from India to China.

Why you may ask? Well there are a number of reasons for this, but not germain to this thread, so wont go through it here. My essential aim of this post is to bring to the notice dear readers, the Chinese Checkers part of the modern Great Game.

It is vital for India to take note and ensure that China is kept out. Chinese cards have to be countered. Our objectives are important to the survival of India as well. More later

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby RajeshA » 10 Mar 2009 15:51

It has become relatively clear, that the US is drastically changing its stance towards India. Instead of India becoming the centerpiece of American strategy in Asia to checkmate the rise of China, the financial hemorrhaging has pushed America into the Dragon's embrace, and gives China the ultimate say in Asian affairs.

America has also reached a new entente with Russia, and is trying to warm up to Iran. This policy however seems to be more of a transitory nature, in order to allow for a smoother US withdrawal. Probably in the long run, the US thinks that the Chinese, who happen to be Pakistani friends should take care of this terrorism in the heart of Asia.

The strategic shift means the US is withdrawing from its wars around the world, from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and leaving China in charge of Asia, a China with whom USA plans to have very good relations in the future. It is a major strategic shift. It signifies a handover of keys from USA to China.

The problem with the keys to the Asian door with China is, that China will continue to pressurize America to part with more and more of American technology and other spheres in which America still holds a competitive advantage.

Those who think, America cannot leave the region, because of its vital strategic interests and security considerations here, would find out that Obama's greatness lies in enacting a smoother withdrawal than the one in Vietnam, and masquerading American defeat at the hands of the Chinese in a war that had yet to start by calling it the establishment of the great new strategic relationship between USA and China.

In the end, it is American defeat at the hands of Al Qaida and China, plain and simple! India would just be collateral damage, in wars fought with the jingoist stupidity of George W. Bush and sophisticated defeatism of Barack H. Obama.

The shift is probably going to take India by surprise, when it is completed within the next four years.

These coming Indian elections become all the more important, because they will probably decide how the Indians will fight for space in the Asian theater with the US gone for good, instead of being mere spectators of changing of the backdrops in that theater.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby RajeshA » 10 Mar 2009 17:52

The trade-off season begins on Afghanistan by M K Bhadrakumar: Asia Times Online

With the likelihood of the United States engaging Iran in the near future and with Washington "resetting the button" in relations with Moscow, the air is thick with rumors of trade-offs. This is almost inevitable, given the interlocking cross-currents swirling around the three-way US-Iran-Russia equations.


Least of all, Russia returns to Afghanistan in a big way after an absence of two decades. The seemingly contradictory impulses in the Russian policy - whether Moscow actually seeks that the US-led war succeeds, fails or remains a stalemate - might just be dissipating. It seems Russia might have no problem if NATO manages to avert a defeat in Afghanistan.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby ramana » 10 Mar 2009 20:45

I dont know under what delusion (Macaulayite) folks are still laboring under. The US never had plans to use India to check PRC, as PRC is their reluctant munna. Its Indian hamartia to think they are a vital cog in the West's plans. A cog yes, as source of intellectual labor and out of adverserial allainces, but not vital even there.

It was to flatter the Indian elite that they are important that all those spin tales were floated. And with flattered ego Indian elite signed up for the nuke deal which is a self imposed restraint.

It is to Shyam Saran's credit that he realised the sucker punch of Clinton's visit to PRC after the meltdown and scrambled to layout the intellectual case for India. UPA boosters in US are quite flummoxed at Saran's quick about turn without realizing that he piloted the deal thinking it was in India's best interests to end the nuke isolation but doesnt mean that India has to tie a noose around her neck with US reacors and constraints. Look at the ididot who chose US turbines for the ADS which are under embargo. If the turbines are released they will have end use clauses to ensure the ADS are for show and naval parades.

Actually with the PRC anointment India can refuse to buy any US reactors for starters. there is no pro quid quo. Onlee pro.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby NRao » 10 Mar 2009 21:20

In all these relationships, all these countries held their ground - Russia, Iran and China and even TSP to some extent.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby RajeshA » 10 Mar 2009 21:28

There are different gradations of Indian 'Hamartia'.

1. US believes India will be the ultimate bulwark against PRC.
2. US believes India can be one component of the hedging strategy against a rising China.
3. US believes in a multi-polar Asia.
4. US believes India is of no use against China.
5. US believes India should be deliberately kept out of the loop, and be ignored.
6. US believes India should be left to the whims of China.
7. US believes India should be kept down using China.

8. Indians believe, that US believes India will be the ultimate bulwark against PRC.
9. Indians believe, that US believes India can be one component of the hedging strategy against a rising China.
10. Indians believe, that US believes in a multi-polar Asia.
11. Indians believe, that US believes India is of no use against China.
12. Indians believe, that US believes India should be deliberately kept out of the loop, and be ignored.
13. Indians believe, that US believes India should be left to the whims of China.
14. Indians believe, that US believes India should be kept down using China.

15. USA visibly undertook some actions to make India believe, that US believes India will be the ultimate bulwark against PRC.
16. USA visibly undertook some actions to make India believe, that US believes India can be one component of the hedging strategy against a rising China.
17. USA visibly undertook some actions to make India believe, that US believes in a multi-polar Asia.
18. USA visibly undertook some actions to make India believe, that US believes India is of no use against China.
19. USA visibly undertook some actions to make India believe, that US believes India should be deliberately kept out of the loop, and be ignored.
20. USA visibly undertook some actions to make India believe, that US believes India should be left to the whims of China.
21. USA visibly undertook some actions to make India believe, that US believes India should be kept down using China.

22. India should offer herself for American strategic plans for a hedge against China.
23. India should act as if she is offering herself for American strategic plans for a hedge against China, allowing America to do most of the bulwarking.
24. India should reject any such wishes of America to act as a hedge against China.
25. India should not acknowledge such an American strategy.
26. India should do all it can to checkmate Chinese ambitions in Asia at the cost of India's national interests, regardless of US's plans.
27. India should play neutral.
28. India should act with China to bring about a decrease in American power.

My opinion
In Bush's time: 3, 9, 17, 23
In Obama's time: 6, 12, ~19, 26

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby Satya_anveshi » 10 Mar 2009 21:31

>>>It has become relatively clear, that the US is drastically changing its stance towards India.

It has everything to do with the old hag getting into SD. China is the beneficiary of this economic turmoil in regard to FP issues. We could also have been benefiting but for the old hag.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby Johann » 10 Mar 2009 21:44

Rajesh,

That's the thing - the Americans arent retreating. What they are doing is changing their preferred means of operation in conflict zones.

The Bush Administration's instinct was to chose the military option first, but that is not politically or strategically sustainable in the 'long war'.

What we are seeing is the same evolution of policy that took place in the Cold War, the shift from 'military solutions' to a mix of other methods.

Nixon for example withdrew the US from a ground combat role in South Vietnam by 1971, but he also refused to abandon South Vietnam to the communists - every NVA offensive that followed was defeated by the RVN with US support. What ended American support to the South was not a change in strategic policy, but the fallout from Watergate. Everyone expected that the US abandonment of support to the South signaled a US retreat from East Asia. We know today that it did not.

The US will not retreat from the Middle East, or any area that is part of the Middle East's conflicts as long as the region remains the world's energy hub.

Re. China,

The US and China chose to make their economies mutually dependent in the early 1990s. Both saw huge economic growth potential, but both also saw a way to restrain the other from doing aggressive things. Both the Americans and the Chinese hope to change each others thinking and behaviour.

The result has been that both have been relatively cautious on the flashpoint of Taiwan, and both have made a lot of money from trade and investment.

The Republicans are fine with trade, but suspect that the PRC has not changed, that it is still a subversive, disruptive and expansionist power who needs to watched and checked. The Democrats are sure the process is working, and that with more of the same China can be turned in to a predictable and reliable partner.

Neither the US nor China share core geopolitical interests - but they are both very keen to avoid conflict between each other. There are still strong memories on both sides about what confrontation from 1948 to 1968 cost.

The wild cards here are a rising generation of ambitious PLA officers, and the global economy. If the Chinese and US economies become decoupled, common ground shrinks and conflict *will* become more intense. Geithner's remarks on Chinese currency manipulation reflected that. However, both the US and China (and others) have agreed that economic cooperation is needed if the global economy to recover quickly. If it does not, and international patterns and structures of trade and finance see massive changes - a reversal of free trade for example, everything can change.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby surinder » 10 Mar 2009 22:10

Johann wrote:Rajesh,
...
The US and China chose to make their economies mutually dependent in the early 1990s. Both saw huge economic growth potential, but both also saw a way to restrain the other from doing aggressive things. Both the Americans and the Chinese hope to change each others thinking and behaviour.
...
Neither the US nor China share core geopolitical interests - but they are both very keen to avoid conflict between each other. There are still strong memories on both sides about what confrontation from 1948 to 1968 cost.


What you say is not wrong, but that surprises many, but is perhaps unsaid, is that we are talking of PRC & US on equal-equal terms. PRC was a 3rd world nation not more than a decade or so ago, which could not miltarily invade and take Taiwan, nor make a fighter plane, lived on borrowed technology from USSR, unable to feed its population. US was the greatest power that ever lived. That the situation would deteriorate to such an extent in such short time that US has to deal with PRC on terms that seem ==, is surprising. If US==PRC, then the shift in the power equation in favor of PRC is unmistakable. That this would happen so rapidly, is still surprising.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby namit k » 10 Mar 2009 22:15

gurus

before you continue analyzing the implications and strategic development of sending troops to afghanistan

is there any proof that GoI is serious in this matter, any official statements??

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby Johann » 10 Mar 2009 22:48

Hi Surinder,

China's leadership has been considered a serious factor at the global level ever since Chiang Kai Shek marched on Beijing. They were part of the 'Big 5' in WWII, and not much has changed in that regard since then. China tied down the bulk of the Japanese Army despite spending most of its energy fighting a civil war.

Life in Mao's China was extraordinarily cheap, and talk of economic repercussions marked you out as a class enemy. Between fervour and terror there were no shortage of bodies to throw in to the meat grinder of warfare. The military stalemate with the US 1951-53 in Korea, the role the PRC played in determining the outcome of the war in former Indo-China through its support to North Vietnam and Cambodia, etc, all made sure people continued to take Chinese power very seriously.

The Americans in particular have for a long time now expected the Chinese to catch up very quickly once the country was united under modern leadership - that was part of the rise of popular fear and lots of talk in the teens (now almost a century ago!), twenties and thirties of 'The Yellow Peril'. The original Buck Rogers comic strip for example was set in the 24th century when the Han had conquered America not just with numbers, but superior technology.

The American response has been consistantly to seek to engage China (or some part of it), and particularly its leadership with the message that America does not wish to keep China down -in fact they have always taken pains to attempt to demonstrate the opposite- but that the US will not back out of East Asia either.
Last edited by Johann on 10 Mar 2009 22:59, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby surinder » 10 Mar 2009 22:58

Hi Johann,

Based on what you write, it seems to me that the Americans had held the Han in much light than us Indians. Indians have a poor view, a dismissive disregard for the Chineeze. We have always regarded ourselves to be civilizationally, culturally, religiously, far superiour to them. It is a cognitive dissonance to see the rise of PRC and what seems like wimpy accommodation of its rise by US.

Thanks for the insights.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby surinder » 10 Mar 2009 23:00

Johann wrote:Pakistan's national consensus is not going to survive as it exists today- the internal and external pressures just keep mounting. It must either splinter or change, and that is when the really attractive opportunities will emerge.


While no one can predict the future, do you want to speculate on possible scenarious may emerge?

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby Arjun » 10 Mar 2009 23:21

Johann wrote:Re. China,

The US and China chose to make their economies mutually dependent in the early 1990s.


The American economy is now totally mortgaged to China, and the Americans actually 'chose' that route as far back as the early 90s ?! I wonder who the sucker in this 'great game' really is !!

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby Atri » 11 Mar 2009 00:57

If US goes down, will china go down too? ( I am speaking not only in terms of economy all the other factors which come related to the economy)

Is it the case that just like Britain chose USA to be its successor in post WW2 world, US is choosing (or rather, has chosen) China as its successor?

Will it slowly hand over all its strategic assets to China and retire like Europe did to live off its Karma and enjoy the life?

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby NRao » 11 Mar 2009 01:23

A little off topic for this thread, but even a year ago - when the US eco was supposedly doing very well - no one had a bad word to say (in fact there was a NRI Eco prof who stated that India should follow this borrow-spend model!!!!!!!!). The problem is not the US eco - it is those yahoos who did not follow the banking rules (Canadians followed them and so did a LOT of smaller US banks and they are ALL doing just fine).

On US going down, not likely to happen. The US has plenty of idiots (like perhaps all other nations) that are at the head of politics and some corporations, but that is not true of most of them. The US will survive, BUT the cost would be humongous. Future gens will pay for that.

China is not ready to take over. China has no infrastructure to do that. China cannot exist at this level without the US - even though it has a large middle class (same problem in India too). For China - or for that matter any other nation - it will need a few things, which it does not have as we post.

And, I very much doubt if the US is even dreaming of letting anyone else take over. IF at all it will be because of some stupid thing that the US does, not because it is a planned process.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby ramana » 11 Mar 2009 01:26

Maybe support Rush Limbaugh?

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby NRao » 11 Mar 2009 01:34

I think you have a thought there R. :)

Rush is another China - plenty of gusto and backing, but no ability/infrastructure to lead/implement. But enough stuff to talk big and make it count.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby Lalmohan » 11 Mar 2009 16:32

Chiron, not sure where you get the logic that GB selected US as its successor. my read is that the US assumed command and control of the world based on its inherent strengths and power. it began post WW1 or even mid WW1 and then through WW2 accelerated to full super power status. the european powers crumbled during WW2 and their only option was to befriend the US or face subjugation by the USSR. it is not logical that the US will select China as its successor, or anyone else for that matter

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby namit k » 11 Mar 2009 17:38

India not invited to send troops to Afghanistan: US commander


Meeting at the residence of US Ambassador to Pakistan Anne W. Patterson, the Pakistan MPs, he said, wanted to know if the United States has invited India to send 1,000 troops to Afghanistan by Christmas.

"A couple of the questions I got were why you Americans came to Afghanistan when it was so peaceful. Before you got there. So I have long tried to answer that and, a long way and then another one was we understand that you've invited a thousand Indian soldiers to serve in Afghanistan by Christmas. Some of you are looking at me like you believe that. But no, that's not true," the general said.

The issue was forcefully raised during the visit of Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony to Washington in September. The proposal was politely but firmly rejected, with India apparently arguing that this was not in its long-term national and geo-political interests.

Sources said the issue is believed to have briefly occurred raised during the meeting of US President George W Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the White House in last week of September. However, on all occasions, whenever such a request has come, India has out rightly rejected it, informed sources said.
http://news.in.msn.com/international/article.aspx?cp-documentid=1703799

finally this happened
Obama orders 17000 more troops in Afghanistan

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby NRao » 11 Mar 2009 19:50

namit k wrote:finally this happened
Obama orders 17000 more troops in Afghanistan


That happened on Feb 18, 2009!!

Old news.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby NRao » 11 Mar 2009 19:56

India not invited to send troops to Afghanistan: US commander

Either internal pressure or reluctance to work under an unacceptable flag.

It would be very interesting to track how other nation's interests actually push Indian interests.

On TSPian "change of heart" .......... I would not be surprised if Obama and Biden have given them a silent ultimatum. The way Kiyani treats 10% should be a give away.

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby namit k » 11 Mar 2009 20:15

NRao wrote:It would be very interesting to track how other nation's interests actually push Indian interests.

On TSPian "change of heart" .......... I would not be surprised if Obama and Biden have given them a silent ultimatum. The way Kiyani treats 10% should be a give away.


nrao sir please elaborate what u mean by that^^

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby Nitesh » 12 Mar 2009 08:36


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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby Lalmohan » 12 Mar 2009 13:57

at the start of this thread we discussed logistics... lets remind ourselves once again why India would not want to send large troop numbers to Afghanistan. Also, think of the 'inflamatory effect' it will have in the jeehad... the jehadis will rally to the pak fauj. better to keep them at each other's throats no?

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Re: India to consider sending 120,000 troops to Afghanistan

Postby NRao » 12 Mar 2009 20:37

With the "India not invited" report the topic of sending or not sending should be "officially" closed.

However, the topic of "US withdrawal ...........", "Good Taliban ..........", "Obamaese" still remains.

Perhaps we should close this thread (since there is really nothing to post about the 120K troops, etc) and revive the Shiv thread on "After US withdrawal .............".


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