President Barack Obama on Wednesday nominated Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford as the top allied commander of NATO troops in Afghanistan, replacing Gen. John Allen. Dunford will be in charge of ending America’s longest war. Not sure if he has any tricks up his sleeve that will change the course of events that has led to Americas defeat in the “graveyard of empires”.
Mission not Accomplished!
The Australians are leaving this December. The French are not behind. By the time we celberate the new year, most of the Europeans will be back home–ending the face that this is a NATO occupation.
John Kerry was the presidential opponent against George Bush: He was a decorated war veteran. The one Newly-returned-from-Vietnam solider–John Kerry asked the crucial question in from of the Senate Foreign Relations committee: “How do you ask a man to be the last man to die because of an arbitrarily and pointlessly chosen withdrawal date?”
The same question is being asked by politicians, generals and journalists across these United States.
The next US soldier that dies in Afghanistan would have died a useless death. A majority of the American people are against the war in Afghanistan and most of them don’t give a hoot about Kabul or the Talibs.
Arianna Hiffington an influential journalist reminds us about the following “milestones”:
In late September, the 33,000 additional soldiers that President Obama ordered to Afghanistan in late 2009 came home, leaving 68,000 troops in the country as part of the 108,000-person NATO force.
- Also last month, the number of U.S. soldiers killed reached 2,000.
- And this past Sunday marked the 11th anniversary of the longest war in American history.
She then asks the seminal question “Unfortunately, one milestone the U.S. has not yet hit is the answer to the question:
Why on earth are we still there?”
The war in Afghanistan is not a matter of a debate. Mit Romney, who is now leading the polls has not said that he would stay. The Generals, including the latest one appointed in Afghanistan want to get out of the “graveyard of empires”.
Arianna makes some powerful points about the state of the union, and how insignificant the war in Afghanistan is to the political landscape of America:
“Maybe it’s because, in addition to being America’s longest war, Afghanistan is a contender for being America’s least-talked-about war. In President Obama’s weekly radio address, delivered the day before the 11th anniversary of the war, the word “Afghanistan” wasn’t spoken a single time. Nor did we hear it once during Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech at the Republican convention. Even though our presence in Afghanistan is a big drain on America’s budget, in the first presidential debate last week the word came up exactly once, in the context of President Obama boasting about how he’s willing to “take ideas from anybody,” which is “how we’re going to wind down the war in Afghanistan.”
She gives us more statistics to think about:
In addition to the 2,000 American dead, there have been over 1,000 coalition forces killed.
- Over 17,000 American soldiers have been wounded.
- As of October, 2012 ranks as the 4th deadliest year for American troops.
- There have been an estimated 20,000 Afghan civilians killed.
- Over 3,200 American troops have been diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injury.
- And as our senior military correspondent David Wood writes, these numbers “necessarily fall far short of the true cost of young lives cut off, of grieving families, of children without a parent.”
- Factoring in the war in Iraq, another war waged on a false rationale, the U.S. has spent around $1.4 trillion so far — a fact one would think might come up in a presidential debate devoted to the economy.
The ICC (International Crisis Group) says the Afghan government a “far from ready” to assume security responsibility when U.S. and NATO forces withdraw in 2014.
The ICC says the government in Kabul could collapse, especially if the next round of the country’s elections is fraudulent.
Huffington discusses the failed surge.
- Spencer Ackerman writes, “according to most of the yardsticks chosen by the military — but not all — the surge in Afghanistan fell short of its stated goal: stopping the Taliban’s momentum.”
- For instance, in August 2009, shortly before the surge began, there were 2,700 attacks on U.S. and allied troops. In August of this year there were almost 3,000.
- In August 2009, there were nearly 600 homemade bombs used against U.S. and allied troops. In August 2012? Over 600.
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey is still making the noises that were made during the defeat in Vietnam. Puget Sound and described the “enduring presence” he sees for American forces in Afghanistan after the planned 2014 drawdown of most Western troops.
In plain English the “enduring presence” does not sound “enduring” or a “presence”. Dempsey said, there will be “discussions” with Afghan officials about the scope of support that will be provided once the U.S. combat troops are gone. Karzai is already whining about the presence which wont’ support his wishes.
“What we have agreed on is the missions. We have agreed that we will provide training, advice and assistance at some level. We haven’t determined what level.”
In reality that is the same level of support that was given to the Generals in South Vietnam. The Vietcong took over Siagon within weeks and renamed it Ho Chi Minh City.
I Corps Commander Lt. Gen. Robert Brown and 7th Infantry Division Commander Maj. Gen. Stephen Lanza is preparing for the homecomings of two Lewis-McChord Stryker brigades between December and March. Another Stryker brigade expects to arrive soon.
“Lanza does not foresee major missions in Afghanistan – the kinds that draw on thousands of troops at once – after the return of Lewis-McChord’s last Stryker brigade from the war some time next summer”.
In an article published in the News Tribune the important question was asked–So what does an “enduring presence” in Afghanistan mean for Lewis-McChord?
U.S. leaders envision that presence as 10,000 to 15,000 troops, mostly special operators and support units. Their mission would center on preventing Afghanistan from again becoming a safe haven for international terrorists and keeping their eyes on threats that keep U.S. leaders up at night – loose nuclear weapons in Pakistan or other challenges in the neighborhood (Iran).
I met a Mengal Sardar in Quetta two years ago. He said that the US would never leave Afghanistan. One of my best friends on the planet has made me a bet on Thai food, that the US will remain in Afghanistan “forever”. I think, that we at Rupee News have been right all along. The US will leave Afghanistan next year, and within a few years, the Kabul government will collapse. When the Neo-Talibs finally take over, the Pakistani border will extend to the Amu Darya!