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.
Apparently, the slide below is not a joke about Afghanistan.
According to the UK Daily Mail and the New York Times, when General Stanley McChrystal, the former ISAF commander, saw the slide he stated, “When we understand that slide, we’ll have won the war.”
When I first saw it, I thought it was the organizational chart for ISAF.
With news reports indicating the U.S. is financially committing to Afghanistan until at least 2024, we’ll have time not only to figure it out but to fully implement it.
Mixing religion, politics, and engineers in one motion, below is some Afghanistan-related engineer humor for which I make no excuse if you find it less than funny:
Which way do you face, with your mug in a book?
Where do you look, when you sit in a nook?
Is it easier or harder to adjust the seat,
or turn the foundation, when you pour concrete?
Or do you not care and just say, “oh, hecka,”
when you consider direction and ponder of Mecca?
When muslims do their business, they cannot face or have their back to Mecca. So the facilities built in Afghanistan must have the toilets oriented such that they can be used without violating this tenent. The Afghans will absolutely not use the facility if this is not correct.
NTM-A or IJC did install an LSS (Life Support System–toilets and showers prefabricated in a connex) near Kabul International Airport with the toilets oriented improperly (which could have been fairly easily fixed by just rotating the connex’s 90 degrees) and remain untouched to date.
The below drawing submission reflects an engineered evaluation of the direction to Mecca from the jobsite and the recommended solution.
The challenging decisions engineers must make. . .
I wonder if the up-armored Humvee ‘porta-potties’ were oriented properly. . .
If you learn something from the experience, it wasn’t a failure–at least not a complete failure.
In the wake of MG Fuller’s firing last month, The Best Defense, a blog at www.foreignpolicy.com, provides a helpful list of things best left unsaid when facing the media.
My favorite items to remember not to say are captured below:
- We don’t know why we are here, what we are fighting for, or how to know if we are winning.
- The strategy is to fight, talk, and build. But we’re withdrawing the fighters, the Taliban won’t talk, and the builders are corrupt.
- Karzai’s family is especially corrupt.
- But the problem isn’t corruption, it is which corrupt people are getting the dollars. We have to help corruption be more fair.
- Even non-Taliban Afghans don’t much like us.
- The ANA and ANP could break the day after we leave the country.
If you can’t say something nice about Afghanistan, don’t say it at all.
Pay attention, it’s tought to keep up with all the twists and turns in this plot:
Afghans: Obama wasting time talking to terrorists – Washington Times.
A brief recap (which admittedly probably includes many more subplots not captured here):
- President Obama wants to talk to terrorists. According to Secretary of State Clinton, this is ‘to test whether the terrorist groups “have any willingness to negotiate in good faith.”’ Negotiating with Terrorists.
- U.S. says Pakistan’s ISI is supporting terrorists (former CJCS says the Haqqani Terrorist Network is a “veritable arm of the ISI.”
- Pakistan says any U.S infiltration of Pakistan is a violation of their sovereignty.
- President Hamid Karzai says they will stand with Pakistan against the U.S.
- Mr. Hamidzai, chairman of the Afghan parliamentary committee on internal-security affairs, says we
This ought to be interesting. The Afghans have caught up to the previous administrations’ policies of not negotiating with terrorists. In another 5-10 years, the Afghans will embrace the current administration’s policy of negotiation. In the meantime, President Obama wants to accelerate the turnover of security responsibility to the Afghans and the removal of forces.
Sounds like we have a surefire plan for success or failure — depending on your definitions of “success” or “failure.”
It’s always wonderful when an illustration truly clarifies organizational structures and processes. Unfortunately, that is not the case with the ANA logistics system. Instead, this looks more like a Family Circus comic strip.
If this truly does illustrate the functionality of the ANA logistics system, the good news is that the Taliban can’t figure it out either.
John 15:13, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
Donkeys are extremely valuable in the remote areas of Afghanistan and are even common on the streets of Kabul. Being so common, it only makes sense that terrorists would think they can launch attacks with these animals against unsuspecting targets.
For some ANSF projects, donkeys and horses are the primary source of transport for construction materials
Here is a war story you won’t likely find on Oliver North’s show: The Tale of the Donkey-Borne IED. Like any war story, documentation is often sketchy and the teller’s enthusiasm often over-the-top. However, knowing what Afghans do to man’s highly-trained best friend, it isn’t to surprising that this beast of burden would be asked to give the ultimate sacrifice.
DBIED owners don't stand this close to "live" animals
Proverbs 12:10, “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.”