Tag Archives: Fox News

Questioning the reliability of Afghans

President Obama issued an apology and is amazed that the violence in Afghanistan against U.S. and the coalition didn’t suddenly stop (By the way, why are we apologizing for destroying something the enemy is using to pass inflammatory, if not coordinating, information against us?). 

The GIRoA Ministry of Interior is conducting an investigation into the most recent killings perpetrated by ANSF personnel against coalition forces.  No doubt that’ll shed light on the situation.

ISAF leadership repeatedly asserts that infiltration and/or impersonations of Afghan Security Forces is not a problem even while “Green on Blue” violence increases. 

Now Fox News has stumbled onto something “new:” New violence stokes questions about reliability of Afghan partners in war.  For NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan (NTM-A), it is no big stretch to say that ANSF forces are the number one cause of death yet only now we are beginning to wonder if the Afghans are reliable.

Last year, an Afghan airman opened up an killed nine–and the Afghan Air Force is supposed to be among the most affluent groups in the ANSF.  Recently, the French suffered several dead due to the Afghans security forces. Short of an exhaustive search, it is safe to say these are fairly regular events.  Unfortunately, they have been treated as isolated and unrelated events and regarded as irregular which, coincidently, helps to preserve the illusion of progress.

Can there be any conclusion other than to question the reliability of the forces we’ve poured billions into over the last decade?  Maybe the solution is just to spill more blood and treasure.

All the world’s an asylum

The Associated Press exposes an interesting leading indicator in the report posted at FoxNews.com, Afghan asylum bids hit 10-year high.  “More Afghans fled the country and sought asylum abroad in 2011 than in any other year since the start of the decade-long war, suggesting that many are looking for their own exit strategy as international troops prepare to withdraw.”

The announced end date for our presence in Afghanistan is going to suck more than just troops out of the country; anyone with the means and sense to leave will probalby not delay much longer (i.e. the people needed here if this country is to have a chance).  The quotes from the ‘man-on-the-street’ in the AP report likely reflect the dominant perspective of the al-Gaeda (see Confessions of a Mullah Warrior, Masood Farivar, p. 290) but will certainly be discounted by Washington as anecdotal.

Regarding the “progress” the coalition is making:

“I don’t think anything will improve in three or five years, so it’s better to leave now,” said Ahmad, who expects to leave for Iran within a few weeks. He asked to be identified only by his first name for fear of being arrested.  “If foreign troops leave, the situation will only get worse, not better,” he said.

 Regarding the influence of the Taliban:

Some Afghans fear that once most foreign troops leave, the Taliban will take over more territory and civil war could erupt along ethnic lines, as it did in the 1990s.

[Esmat Adine] says he left his wife and infant son at home in Afghanistan and paid $5,000 to travel to Australia after the Taliban threatened to kill him for working with American aid workers.

Regarding the economy:

Others worry the Afghan economy will collapse if foreign aid dries up.

There is little doubt that the coalition demand for goods and services has inflated prices in Afghanistan.  Many planners assume a decrease in such costs when the ‘big money’ leaves which will stretch the foreign aid dollars provided.  I’m not an economist but this may not happen as hoped; rapid deflation will result in a decrease in purchasing power leaving merchants unable to sell their products, unable to buy new product, unable to pay their employees.  The result is a downward spiraling economy (F.A. Hayek is rolling over in his grave after that analysis).

Another common perception is that the Afghans that assisted the U.S. and Coalition in any way will be the first targets when security decreases and the Taliban or Haqqani Network moves to restore their prominence in the country.  The one silver lining of announcing a withdrawal date is that those friendly (or at least neutral) to the U.S. have a chance of survival by preparing now. 

In any case, while the numbers in Afghanistan of those that like us will decrease significantly after we leave, the number of people that don’t like us will probably remain unchanged.

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.

–Shakespeare, As You Like It

New weapons clearing procedure

You think seeing U.S. Marines urinate on Taliban corpses was disturbing?  Check-out the U.S. Army’s new (unofficial) weapons clearing procedure:

From “The Big Picture” at http://www.boston.com (December, 2009)

Wait until the Marines find out about this. 

It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye!

Law school comes to Afghanistan

NTM-A’s own MAJ Bob Roughsedge is making headlines stateside in taking a stand against a idiot lawyer (but I repeat myself–no offense Bob) for objecting to sending care packages to the troops this Christmas Season. 

When a staff member sent off a junk email to everyone at Suffolk Law School, Professor Michael Avery decided to reply and kick himself in the teeth repeatedly (in all likelihood, Avery only thinks he flossed).  The original story was initially reported by radio talkshow host Michael Graham via his blog, The Natural Truth:  Suffolk Law School Prof On US Military: They’re “Killers,” Sympathy For Them “Not Rational In Today’s World”

 As an adjunct professor not wishing to be affiliated with the professor and the Law School any longer, Bob tendered his resignation.  The resignation letter is posted at Michael Graham’s website as well:  Suffolk Law Prof Resigns Over School’s Handling Of Military-Bashing Faculty.

The local Fox affiliate picked-up the story which includes a video and interview with Bob from Afghanistan:  Professor, Army Reservist quits Suffolk job after colleague calls troop care packages “shameful”

And Fox News has joined the chorus:  Professor Quits Job After Colleague Calls Care Packages for U.S. Troops ‘Shameful’

It amazes me that a professor can call sending care packages to the troops a political statement and think that his insult of the troops and their supporters is not political.  You think we only need Tort reform?  Sounds like the whole legal system is going down the drain. 

Equally confounding is how Bob Roughsedge, a lawyer and Bruins, Red Sox, and Patriots fan, could have any sense.

The emperor has no clothes

. . . but does where a Karakul hat. 

Peter Fuller Fired:  Senior U.S. Officer in Afghanistan Relieved of Duty

According to the HuffPo, “[GEN] Allen said the ‘unfortunate comments’ don’t represent the solid U.S. relationship with the Afghan government.  ‘The Afghan people are an honorable people, and comments such as these will not keep us from accomplishing our most critical and shared mission – bringing about a stable, peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan,’ Allen said.”

According to FoxNews.com and many other sites, “Fuller called Karzai’s statements ‘erratic.'”  A Google search of “Karzai” reveals on the first page these two headlines:

  • “Hamid Karzai: Afghanistan would back Pakistan in U.S. War”
  • “Karzai accuses Pakistan of supporting Terrorists.” 

Perhaps not clinically sufficient to call the man crazy, but sufficient enough to characterize him as ‘erratic.’

Note to troops:  Honesty will get you nowhere (except, maybe, sent home–hopefully with some clothes).

Bingo Fuel — Pop Smoke — Scuttle the Ship

Doesn’t matter what language you speak (fly-boy, grunt, or swab), the weather guessers are announcing winds of change:  U.S. Exploring Faster Switch to Advisory Role in Afghanistan.

More “Hope and Change” on the way.

FIRE IN THE HOLE!

 

Reducing waste in wartime

The Commission on Wartime Contracting has published “Transforming Wartime Contracting:  Controling Costs, Reducing Risks” in which the bi-partisan legislative panel reports that there is waste during wartime. 

This profundity is all over the news and therefore gets attention of the stars at ISAF and, in particular, NTM-A, the organization responsible for building the ANSF.  Here is a sampling of the scandal from  CNN, Fox News, and Washington Post, if you are curious.

Given that the U.S. Congress can’t seem to find waste within its own ranks, you know the waste here in Afghanistan must be bad.