Ok, so this is mostly about Pakistan, but it illustrates the absurdity of the entire region: Over 20 killed in Pakistan’s violent demonstrations | The AfPak Channel.
Jay Leno couldn’t put together a better gem than this. . .
Pakistan’s official “Day of Love for the Prophet Muhammad” turned into a day of deadly protests on Friday. . .
Doesn’t that say it all? Yet there is more. From the “say it ain’t so” stack. . .
A senior Chinese official, domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang, made China’s first high-level visit to Afghanistan in almost 50 years on Saturday, speaking with President Hamid Karzai on a range of economic and security issues (Reuters, AJE, CNN, Tel, BBC). While in Kabul, Zhou signed a security agreement that includes a pledge to “train, fund, and equip Afghan police” among other things, as analysts say China is looking to increase its presence in Afghanistan ahead of the withdrawal of NATO combat troops in 2014.
Imagine that, we borrow billions of Yen to spend billions of Dollars so the Chinese can come in and take over. Sounds about right.
As leaked by the White House, Congress, and/or the National Intelligence Council, the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) has uncovered a gem: The Taliban (not to be confused with the girls at Kabul’s Raba-e-Balkhi High School) want to create their own utopia in Afghanistan.
McClatchy’s Washington Bureau released this information earlier this month in the report, “Intelligence report: Taliban still hope to rule Afghanistan.”
Given that the smartest President in the history of the United States can only assemble a National Intelligence Council capable of producing the obvious, it is fitting that he would think it’s possible to negotiate peace with the Taliban:
Obama has said repeatedly that the longest war in U.S. history can be settled only through negotiations between the Afghan government and the insurgents — not by force.
The report also states that the CENTCOM and ISAF Commanders and the U.S. Ambassador believe that the NIE is overly pessimistic. But with car bombs still exploding during the “off-season” and Commanding Generals’ poor track-record in assessing conditions in Afghanistan, it’s hard to object to the leaked reports.
Perhaps U.S. policy should adjust to the intel report accordingly. But in an election year, that wouldn’t appease the political base.
After spending $18.1 million on a 56,000 square meter strategic airlift apron, 790 square meter passenger terminal, and 1,200 square meter cargo terminal, the U.S. Air Force can’t wait to. . . leave?
That’s the essence of a recent NTM-A blog, South District turns over Shindand strategic airlift apron, cargo and passenger terminals. The Shindand Air Base Commander, Col. John Hokaj stated at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, “This facility will play an important role as the coalition begins to move equipment and personnel out of theater.”
The good news is that without those ostentatious C-17’s hogging all the ramp space, the Afghan Air Force will be able to park their entire fleet of C-208B’s, Cessna 182T’s, C-27’s, and Mi-17’s in one place (if they can get them across the airfield).
Recalling a previous post, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finished a separate aircraft apron several months ago; a 112,000 square meter apron at at the same location. From reports (a retracted post at www.NTM-A.com and a USACE press release) one would think that all these projects directly support the AAF. According to Lt. Col. Michael Kinslow, the 838th AEAG Deputy Commander, “This apron marks a significant milestone in the expansion of Shindand Air Base as it grows to become Afghanistan’s premier training base for the Afghan Air Force.” However, both of these projects were built for U.S. aircraft (18 UH-60 Blackhawks, 14 CH-47 Chinooks, 10 AH-64 Apache helicopters, and three C-17’s–not a single one used by the AAF) and are located on the opposite side of the airfield from the Afghan Air Force facilities.
Who’s kidding who? Shindand is the only training base for the AAF and none of these improvements were designed to support anything other than Coalition Forces!
An “Afghan good enough” solution with the Taliban?
That’s what the United States is negotiating. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Obama Administration is attempting to trade five Afghans at Guantanamo Bay for a “public renunciation of international terrorism” by the Taliban.
“We’re not looking for nirvana,” said a second [Obama] administration official. “We’re pretty sanguine about Afghan ‘good enough.’ That’s the framework” for current strategy discussions, this official said. “That’s why we’re working so hard on reconciliation.”
The Vice President doesn’t think the Taliban is an enemy; there is no “Global War on Terror.” Apparently an ‘Afghan good enough’ peace treaty is appropriate in this situation.
Does the Afghan good enough strategy include poor air quality, car bombs, and culturally-accepted pedophilia? Since when did a third-world country ever become the U.S. standard for anything?
Welcome to the new “normal.”
From 2009, an authentic Afghan-style Christmas Carol:
If you couldn’t keep up, here are the lyrics:
Merry Christmas from Afghanistan, oh man, it’s that time of year,
and the birth of Jesus doesn’t seem to please the terrorists down here;
I’d like to take a moment for you folks at home to make it clear;
Merry Christmas from the Eastern Hemisphere.
Merry Christmas from Afghanistan, way back in the USA,
You’ve got mistletoe and falling snow, we’ve got sandstorms and grenades
But what the hell, it’s just as well we celebrate it anyway,
Merry Christmas from 5,000 miles away.
And I remember many Decembers, sitting ’round that tree,
And now I’m in an outer cordon sitting ’round an IED,
I’ve traded yams and roasted ham for a chicken noodle MRE,
Merry Christmas from out here in the middle east.
So merry Christmas from Afghanistan, from our AO to yours,
I’ll be watching illegal DVDs and defecating out of doors,
Put my pedal to the metal man, I’ll settle for that medal of honor when I win the war,
Single-handedly from my armored driver’s door.
Yuletide salutations from our vacation in the sand,
from this E-3 Lance Coolie and up the whole chain of command
Between Al Qaeda, Al Jazeera, Mujahadeen, and the Taliban,
It’s a very merry Christmas in Afghanistan.
From south Montana, to northwest Indiana, to the shores of North Caroline,
From NYC to LA’s beaches and down the Mason-Dixon Line,
It’s that season where we’re freezing, but all in all, we’re doing fine,
So merry Christmas from Afghanistan tonight.
It’s that season where we’re freezing, but all in all, we’re doing fine,
So Merry Christmas down the Final Protection Line!
Nothing says unity like the boss’s dry erase board:
Of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas at the DFAC without reindeer and a Sewage Pump Truck.
In Afghanistan, you should worry about Santa “poppin’ a cap in ya.”
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good Overseas Contingency Operation!
If you thought President George Bush was an idiot, what would you call Vice President Joe Biden? From The Daily Beast:
Look, the Taliban per se is not our enemy. That’s critical. There is not a single statement that the president has ever made in any of our policy assertions that the Taliban is our enemy because it threatens U.S. interests. If, in fact, the Taliban is able to collapse the existing government, which is cooperating with us in keeping the bad guys from being able to do damage to us, then that becomes a problem for us. So there’s a dual track here:
One, continue to keep the pressure on al Qaeda and continue to diminish them. Two, put the government in a position where they can be strong enough that they can negotiate with and not be overthrown by the Taliban. And at the same time try to get the Taliban to move in the direction to see to it that they, through reconciliation, commit not to be engaged with al Qaeda or any other organization that they would harbor to do damage to us and our allies.
Isn’t the enemy of our friend our enemy too? Perhaps the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan really isn’t a friend. . .
Then there are the defenders: Why Biden Isn’t Necessarily Wrong About the Taliban. The writer of this OpEd, Mr. Kerry Patton, states that a lazy American culture has rushed to label everyone and in so doing has wrongfully labelled everyone (isn’t ‘lazy American’ a label?). The grave injustice? The word “taliban” simply comes from the Arabic word Talib meaning “student” so to call anything “Taliban” is indifinitive, spurious, and reckless.
Mr. Patton then admits what everyone else knows, that there is indeed a real Taliban militant group (maybe that is the one the lazy Americans are referring to). No one in the Coalition countries–except for Vice President Biden–is thinking of the little girls at Bibi Mahru High School in Wazir Akbar Khan when they speak of the Taliban.
Anyone paying attention knows that every warlord in Afghanistan is not a friend of the Taliban. But this Presidency is so much smarter than us doofuses that put them in office. Just make sure to get them on the same teleprompter:
“Our troops and our NATO allies are performing heroically in Afghanistan, but I have argued for years that we lack the resources to finish the job because of our commitment to Iraq. – I will make the fight against al-Qaeda and the Taliban the top priority that it should be.”
– President Obama, July 15, 2008
“The fight” to which the President refers must be synonymous to the fighting between two brothers arguing over their Tonka trucks while throwing sand on each other during the family vacation to the beach–except for the water.
With all the clarity of a person not limited by logic, gravity, or planetary motion, Mr. Patton begins wrapping up his drivel with this gem: “In Afghanistan, our enemy may or may not be the Taliban.” Time to update the map of COIN Dynamics.
Then again, we botched the whole World War II thing; Nazis may or may not have been bad guys.