Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Afghanistan Program Needs A Tune-Up

The “good war” that Barack Obama touted in 2008 became his war in 2009. What was going to be done in Iraq was largely done, so after a few big jabs at George Bush's war, Obama moved on to his good war. He never used the unfortunate words “mission accomplished” that Bush used referring to Iraq, but Obama says things are going pretty much as planned, including our scheduled retreat exit.

Though Obama will never say so directly, it's clear he thinks that his good war is going well, particularly now that he has killed Osama bin Laden and ended the Al Qaeda threat forever. Wer're doing lots of things to bribe the war lords and their Taliban thugs into becoming our BFFs. We're giving them great military advice on how to protect war supplies coming in from Iran and Pakistan. We watch as the little rascals burn down embassies and consulates and murder the ambassador and three of his staff in Benghazi, Libya. When the slimeball president of Afghanistan calls the whole thing the result of an offensive anti-Muslim video trailer which nobody has seen, our State Deparment rushes to agree. Hillary Clinton hasn't quite agreed with Hamid Karzai that the producer of the video should be beheaded for defaming Islam, but she's not entirely averse to the idea either.

Meanwhile, the number of dead American military men and women in Afghanistan just passed 2,000. Fortunes of war? Surely, in many cases that's true. But what is with this pacification program in which American officers train Afghan primitives to become the nation's security force/national police? It's an Obama idea (along with his liberal advisers) that is turning out to be about as smart as Fast & Furious, but much deadlier for Americans. And it has become very deadly.

Frequently, there will be an awards program in which the American trainer hands over a spanking new automatic rifle to the Afghan graduate of the training school. Not quite as frequently, but far too often, the Afghan soldier will return the honor by murdering his American trainer with the newly-acquired weapon. The State Department is not just about to admit that a major part of the problem is that these new recruits are largely Taliban sympathizers and America-haters. They simply trust these people to be telling the truth about their background.

But gosh, how can this be? We have gone out of our way to prove that we are their friends, and we trust them implicity. We've taught them skills they lacked, and provided them with modern state-of-the-art weaponry. These are not the men who will be going out to defend Afghanistan's borders from foreign invasion. These are the police who will ostensibly be maintaining civil peace along with law and order. Did it ever occur to our administrations that you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. The only lesson these recruits want to learn is how to kill, quickly and efficiently.

Dozens of American officers have been murdered by Kabul's Finest. It is only recently that the administration has curtailed meetings and ceremonies held at the headquarters or camps of the Afghans. They're a little slow at figuring out cause and effect.

At least one important general officer in the American Army has had enough. Possibly risking his commission and his job, Top Commander General John Allen expressed his frustration publicly. “I'm mad as hell” says Gen'l Allen. Unlike facing an enemy in the field, this is dirty, dishonorable insider work. "The enemy recognizes this is a vulnerability. You know, in Iraq, the signature weapon system that we hadn't seen before was the IED. We had to adjust to that. Here, I think the signature attack that we're beginning to see the -- is going to be the insider attack."

Allen is a fine commander, and seems to have much better control of his temper publicly than certain of his predecessors in Iraq and Afghanistan. He would never openly criticize the Commander-in-Chief while serving under him. He doesn't condemn all Afghans as Taliban terrorists, and says that several Afghan commanders have rendered assistance to the American and NATO troops which are being murdered by their trainees. But he also knows that the corruption and deviousness go all the way to the top of the Afghan government.

Allen may or may not have jeopardized his military future without specifically calling out the Joint Chiefs and the President. He laid out his simple belief about what the pacification and training program is producing (and by implication, why it should be terminated). "You know, we're willing to sacrifice a lot for this campaign. But we're not willing to be murdered for it." Gen'l Allen made the comment on this past Sunday's edition of 60 Minutes on CBS. A very direct expression of sentiment which may not sit will in the White House.

24 comments:

Joel Farnham said...

LawHawk,

I don't think General Allen really is worried about his job.

In all of this, are these guys who attack our people actually being punished or are they just transferred out? I have yet to see anything about the punishment these murderers are getting. Just a tsk, tsk, mostly directed at our guys who are apparently insulting Afghans right and left, which is ridiculous.

We need to get out of there right now.

K said...

What I would like to know is how many Afghan and Paki refugees will be coming to the US to live in the near future? Now that Islamics are the latest Democratic party victim group I expect quite a few.

LawHawkRFD said...

Joel: No general is too big or too popular to avoid being fired if he displeases his Commander-in-Chief. A relatively unknown president fired Douglas MacArthur in the middle of a war. Truman had a temper, but he let MacArthur get away with a lot until the general started making public statements about foreign policy which contradicted the president's. So Truman fired him, and justifiably so. Obama is a lot thinner-skinned than Truman, and makes decisions about his image based on politics first, national security second. Allen took a pretty good slap at the administration's policy in Afghanistan, and I'm pretty sure it didn't go unnoticed. Whether it's firing squad time or not remains to be seen. LOL

LawHawkRFD said...

K: That's so foolish, so dangerous, and so contrary to sound logic that I'm pretty sure you're right. This administration is willfully blind to the dangerous realities of life.

tryanmax said...

Not particularly on topic, but I just thought I'd mention that media has barely batted an eyelash at crossing the 2000-mark in regards to US casualties in Afghanistan, whereas I recall something of an outrage from the same when the number of dead in Iraq reached 1500.

rlaWTX said...

There are days when I really wonder if a giant glassy sea of fused sand isn't an excellent idea...

Tennessee Jed said...

thanks, Hawk. I know it is hard to think so many of our military may have died in vain, but the culture in that country is so tribal in nature, so shifting in allegiance, and so anti-outsider that we may have to look back at this sorry episode and conclude the following: 1) we did hit back well against Al Quedah and the Taliban. 2) we killed a lot of bad guys, showed there ARE consequences for letting bad guys use your country as a terror base. However, as for trying to make Afghanistan into a reliable ally with a western style democracy? Not in the cars. Probably time to bring them home while hopefully leaving some good intelligence assets in place.

T-Rav said...

I wonder. On the one hand, surely, for every instance of an Afghan policeman turning on our troops, there's fifty cases of things going just fine. I imagine there are still a lot of people in Afghanistan who are supportive of what we've done for the country, or at least of being rid of the Taliban.

On the other hand, this can't go on. We are going to have to hurt--and I mean really hurt--the insurgents if we want to secure even a chance of a lasting peace over there. I'm talking punitive expeditions, fire-on-the-mobs tactics. If we're not going to do that, we need to pack it in.

K said...

Hawk: Count on it. In Britain, it has been established that the immigration doors, particularly to the Paki's were held wide open and subsidized by Labor with the actual intention of skewing the demographic more their way and changing the culture.

Of course THAT would never happen here.

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: I doubt that surprises anyone who has been following the MSM over the past few decades. When the count reached +/- 2,000 in Iraq, the left did its moral equivalency thing and obnoxiously pointed out that we had now lost more military in Iraq than civilians in the World Trade Center. They simply have no shame. That's like saying that after Pearl Harbor, we should have declared peace with Japan when we hit 2,000 casualties. It makes no sense whatsoever.

LawHawkRFD said...

rlaWTX: Everybody loves a big boom! LOL

LawHawkRFD said...

Tennessee: I have trouble thinking in terms of them "dying in vain." The war has been badly conducted, and now we're wide open to deadly attacks from our supposed friends. I too think it's time to fish or cut bait. But those brave men and women who died, died for our liberties, our rights, and our Constitution, and were attempting to assure that the violence there didn't land on our shores. I honor them, even with my doubts about their leaders.

AndrewPrice said...

This is a mess, but what is the alternative except leaving? I've been saying for a while that we should leave, but few people agreed with that until recently.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: Certainly, not every Afghan recruit is going to murder an American. The question is, why do we continue to put our people in harm's way when we know the concept isn't really working. If a current Afghan police trainee isn't Taliban now, he's very likely to be shortly after we leave. Instead of arming potential murderers, we should either go full bore on a victory over the Taliban and their allies, or get the hell out, as quickly as possible. Our current policy approaches suicide.

LawHawkRFD said...

K: The Brits wanted cheap, docile workers and unskilled labor likely to vote for the Labour Party to get their free goodies. Instead, they got violence, defiance resentment, forced sharia law, outrageous welfare dependency and streets more dangerous than ever. All the while Islamists abound, bent on the destruction of all Western civilization including England's. A nearly perfect example of the doctrine of unintended consequences.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: It's not easy being Kassandra--able to predict by not to do anything about it. I decided on a hasty exit the first time Karzai started negotiating with the Taliban, but you were way ahead of me. I agree that leaving is probably the only alternative, since Obama will never agree to fight a real war that might offend his friends in Jihadistan.

T-Rav said...

rla, it is awfully tantalizing at times. Unfortunately, the aftermath would probably be an improvement.

Patriot said...

LawHawk........we leave now. We take only those loyal Afghanis who have been working with us and repatriate them in another Mid-East country and we tell Karzai that he now gets to deal with Mullah Omar as he always figured he would. Call it retreat, call it surrender, call it reality, call it whatever we want, but our current position in Afghanistan is untenable and needs to be ended now!

Our soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen can handle getting out with our tail between our legs. They did their job in this most political of wars and always knew that we wouldn't win the hearts and minds of a cavelike misogynistic society.

Screw 'em......give them back their country. We came and did what we said we would do and now we should get out. If the politicians won't let our warriors fight a winning war, then it's over.

notawonk.com said...

"The enemy recognizes this is a vulnerability. You know, in Iraq, the signature weapon system that we hadn't seen before was the IED. We had to adjust to that. Here, I think the signature attack that we're beginning to see the -- is going to be the insider attack."


Words that (upon tweaking the weaponry)could be mistaken for our current administration.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: I think it's time.

LawHawkRFD said...

Patriot: I think that's a pretty good summation. The honor of the military remains intact. As long as al Qaeda or its successors don't use it as a base to attack us, we can leave the Afghans to their own devices.

LawHawkRFD said...

notawonk: Good thinking.

Individualist said...

Lawhawk

I think this is the result that happens when you fight a war but refuse to take sides.

Originally we had the northern Alliance (a group of tribes at odds with the Taliban) and when it was hunt them the H E double hockey sticks down the war was working.

but,... in our rush to be "tolerant" and "inclusive" we have tried to bring all the tribes together.

The fact of the matter is that this is still war. That enemy is someone who may have had family dead because of bombs you dropped and people you have killed. The only way to control that enemy is to defeat him. If that enemy is a zealotous fanatic then the only way to defeat him is to kill him.

May sound cold but then again War is about the coldest endeavor Man can find himself in. What we are doing is trying to referee a pack of wolves fighting a bear and her cubs.

LawHawkRFD said...

Indi: It's unlikely that Afghanistan will be anything but warring tribes for decades or centuries to come, just like the past. The sooner we're out the better. Our sole legitimate goal is to keep al Qaeda and its ilk from re-forming training camps to attack us in other parts of the Middle East. Beyond that, the only thing of value in Afghanistan is the opium crop. Nothing worth more American lives.

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