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As the war in Afghanistan rages on, Al Villanueva and other Pittsburgh veterans watch and question
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ^ | December 21, 2019 | Bill Brink

Posted on 12/22/2019 4:02:37 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Al Villanueva was 12 when the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center prompted the U.S. to invade Afghanistan in 2001. Eighteen years, three tours of duty and five NFL seasons later, the war continues.

Mr. Villanueva, the Steelers’ left tackle and locally perhaps the most well-known veteran of the war in Afghanistan, belongs to a large Pittsburgh community of post-9/11 veterans, a portion of the nearly 800,000 who have deployed to Afghanistan with the initial mission of hunting down Osama bin Laden and the Taliban who protected him. Bin Laden is dead, but the Taliban, once nearly vanquished, continue to replenish their forces.

The U.S. reached a peace agreement in principle with the Taliban in September before President Donald Trump called it off. Mr. Trump announced a resumption in negotiations during a surprise Thanksgiving visit to troops in Afghanistan, but last week, after Taliban suicide bombers attacked Bagram Air Base, the talks paused. Those talks still do not include the Afghan government.

“The reality is that just like it happened in Vietnam, nobody will care, we will not learn any lessons, and we will continue to make the same mistakes,” said Mr. Villanueva, a former Army Ranger. “The unfortunate part is that for many families and service members, including myself, the questions regarding what we did, why we did it, and who we lost, is always going to haunt us.”

No good solution exists for ending the conflict. Leave, and risk a complete Taliban takeover, lost ground in civil liberties for women and the re-spawning of terrorist cells; stay, and pour millions more into the longest war in U.S. history while adding to the roughly 2,300 U.S. soldiers killed there.

(Excerpt) Read more at post-gazette.com ...


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; US: Pennsylvania; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 911; adamzaffuto; afghanistan; airborne; alqaeda; alvillanueva; army; dia; karensudkamp; nickgrimes; pakistan; pittsburgh; rangers; taliban; troops; trump; tweets; veterans; waronterror
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1 posted on 12/22/2019 4:02:37 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
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To: 100American; 3D-JOY; abner; Abundy; AGreatPer; Albion Wilde; AliVeritas; alisasny; ...

PING!


2 posted on 12/22/2019 4:05:46 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Show me the people who own the land, the guns and the money, and I'll show you the people in charge.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

“Bin Laden is dead, but the Taliban, once nearly vanquished, continue to replenish their forces.”

Of course the Pittsburgh Post Gaz6ette doesn’t care who ran foreign policy between 2009 & 2016. Nope. Can’t do that.


3 posted on 12/22/2019 4:08:18 PM PST by Tallguy (Facts be d@mned! The narrative must be protected at all costs!)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
What are the goals of this 20 year blood letting?

I understand that originally we wanted the guy that brought down the towers, but what are we trying to do now.

If our geniuses can't figure it out after 20 years, it's time to nuke'm and call it a day for 10,000 years until the glass cools and the radioactivity is passed.

4 posted on 12/22/2019 4:10:47 PM PST by USS Alaska (Nuke the terrorist mooselimb savages, today.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

We should leave Afganistan but make sure that everyone has a sat. cellphone. Our intel could monitor all calls. Anyone would be able to call in the location of Taliban leaders in real time. We could then assassinate them one by one.


5 posted on 12/22/2019 4:11:59 PM PST by HChampagne (Cruz supporter but I will support and vote for Trump.)
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To: USS Alaska
If we had paid attention to the Russian experience in Afghanistan, we might have avoided this quagmire.

I don't give a rat's ass about what happens to Afghanistan. If they want freedom and democracy, let them figure out how to get it.

Not our circus; not our monkeys.
 

6 posted on 12/22/2019 4:17:39 PM PST by Governor Dinwiddie (Guide me, O thou great redeemer, pilgrim through this barren land.)
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To: USS Alaska
If we had paid attention to the Russian experience in Afghanistan, we might have avoided this quagmire.

I don't give a rat's ass about what happens to Afghanistan. If they want freedom and democracy, let them figure out how to get it.

Not our circus; not our monkeys.
 

7 posted on 12/22/2019 4:19:27 PM PST by Governor Dinwiddie (Guide me, O thou great redeemer, pilgrim through this barren land.)
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To: Tallguy

“Bin Laden is dead, but the Taliban, once nearly vanquished, continue to replenish their forces.”

Of course the Pittsburgh Post Gaz6ette doesn’t care who ran foreign policy between 2009 & 2016. Nope. Can’t do that.

_____________________________________________

It would be interesting if The One’s foreign policy was regularly criticized by this paper. I highly doubt it. Regardless, who is more anti-interventionist? Trump or Obummer?


8 posted on 12/22/2019 4:27:24 PM PST by Bishop_Malachi (Liberal Socialism - A philosophy which advocates spreading a low standard of living equally.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Let the Taliban take over Afghanistan. Get our troops out of there. There is NOTHING in that mountainous, arid, useless country but more war. The Afghanis have been fighting with each other since the beginning of time.
It is HOPELESSLY tribal.

WE are the losers.

9 posted on 12/22/2019 4:30:52 PM PST by cloudmountain
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To: Governor Dinwiddie
If we had paid attention to the Russian experience in Afghanistan, we might have avoided this quagmire. I don't give a rat's ass about what happens to Afghanistan. If they want freedom and democracy, let them figure out how to get it.
Not our circus; not our monkeys.

AMEN to everything you wrote!

10 posted on 12/22/2019 4:32:14 PM PST by cloudmountain
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To: Tallguy

> Of course the Pittsburgh Post Gaz6ette doesn’t care who ran foreign policy between 2009 & 2016. <

I don’t think that matters all that much. Consider Vietnam. Who should be blamed for that terrible tragedy? Nixon? Ford? I would say neither of them. LBJ owns the Vietnam debacle, entirely.

The same goes for Afghanistan (and Iraq as well). It’s all on George W. Bush. Obama just played the bad hand that was dealt him. And that’s also true for Trump today.


11 posted on 12/22/2019 4:37:02 PM PST by Leaning Right ( I have already previewed or do not wish to preview this composition.)
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To: USS Alaska

When something akin to 9/11, or maybe a Pearl Harbo(non nuclear)happens, we go in and do a number on them. Total war; I don’t care about collateral damage, I don’t care about so called “innocent” civilians. If they aren’t in open rebellion against something like Bin Laden or the Taliban, then I see them as complicit. Tear the country apart, bomb it into the Stone Age, then LEAVE. When we have accomplished what we went in for, pure and simple retribution we leave. We don’t rebuild, we don’t nation build, we leave. If Russia, China, or some European country wants to spend money to rebuild, fine they can do it. If the people stay the same and can’t learn from the first mistake and attack us again, we do it all over. And leave again. There isn’t a damn thing in Afghanistan that I care for or worry about. Let them fear us and what we will do. Respect? Hell, they can’t even respect themselves, so who cares if they respect us. Just fear us and what we will do in retribution.


12 posted on 12/22/2019 4:38:00 PM PST by rustyboots
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

We can’t fix Afghanistan without also fixing the pest-hole next door - Pakistan. And we can’t fix Pakistan, either. The US can’t fix all the problems of the world. We got Bin Laden, and we can tell Pakistan that if they don’t stop sponsoring the Taliban they can forget about sucking on Uncle Sam’s teat. That’s the best we can do - we can’t go on wasting more American blood and money. Bring the troops home and the hell with Afghanistan.


13 posted on 12/22/2019 4:39:49 PM PST by AnotherUnixGeek
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
No good solution exists for ending the conflict.

Honestly, I have wondered for years ... what is our end goal in Afghanistan? Is the plan just to stay indefinitely, fighting a war of attrition, and keeping the Taliban from returning to power? If so, say so. Otherwise, the only alternative I see is to start at one end of the country and work to the other, killing everything in between.

P.S. Ali Villanueva graduated The Academy two years ahead of Rummyfan Jr. He played wide receiver while at West Point.

14 posted on 12/22/2019 4:57:48 PM PST by Rummyfan (In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel.)
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To: rustyboots

I agree.


15 posted on 12/22/2019 5:00:11 PM PST by Rummyfan (In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel.)
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To: AnotherUnixGeek
We can’t fix Afghanistan without also fixing the pest-hole next door - Pakistan. And we can’t fix Pakistan, either.

Yes, Pakistan is a basket case too. Thank you Mr Jinnah!

What is common to these countries? Hmmm....

16 posted on 12/22/2019 5:02:22 PM PST by Rummyfan (In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

We can’t get a “do-over” when it comes to “war” (for which we never declared since WWII). 9/11 “War on Terror” is a complete waste. Islam has won. Imagine Nazi in the same result as a result of WWII.


17 posted on 12/22/2019 5:36:43 PM PST by shanover (...To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.-S.Adams)
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To: shanover
As my veteran brother says: it will always be a great place for "Taliban practice".


18 posted on 12/22/2019 6:53:50 PM PST by Theophilus (Ich bin ein Hong Konger)
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To: shanover
As my veteran brother says: it will always be a great place for "Taliban practice".


19 posted on 12/22/2019 6:54:10 PM PST by Theophilus (Ich bin ein Hong Konger)
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To: Theophilus

oops I double tapped!


20 posted on 12/22/2019 6:55:26 PM PST by Theophilus (Ich bin ein Hong Konger)
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