Tag Archives: Washington Times

Cod’s on the menu (finally)

Nine months ago, it resulted in a two-star getting fired.  After the media learned we’re spending nearly $100 million on an Afghan National Army Headquarters in Kabul, it’s a battle cry: 

“Cod’s on the menu.”

It was a good idea then and it is a good idea now–you just can’t keep a good idea down.

Perhaps it was just MGen Fuller’s politically incorrect way of saying “Afghan Good Enough” (we are indeed a more sensitive military now).  While still yet unable to employ the impactful brevity of a two-star, COL Andrew Backus, Director of Engineering for NTM-A, was able to construct the right combination of words to sell the concept to the Washingon Post:

“What we’re going to do is finish the project with strict change control and turn it over to the Afghans. And if they want to change it, then they can change it.”

While it may not change the “19 true things generals can’t say in public about the Afghan war,” it does provide hope that a good idea has a chance in Afghanistan–even if the Afghans don’t like it.

Afghans: Obama wasting time talking to terrorists

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):

  1. 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.
  2. U.S. says Pakistan’s ISI is supporting terrorists (former CJCS says the Haqqani Terrorist Network is a “veritable arm of the ISI.”
  3. Pakistan says any U.S infiltration of Pakistan is a violation of their sovereignty.
  4. President Hamid Karzai says they will stand with Pakistan against the U.S.
  5. 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.”

Been there, done that. . .

Just a few billion dollars more to go before we can claim the t-shirt. 

That is just one of the several cliches that come to mind when reading a paper circulating NTM-A by Mr. Lester W. Grau.  Like “One Tribe at a Time,” Breaking Contact Without Leaving Chaos:  The Soviet Withdrawal from Afghanistan is an easy and enlightening “must read” for anyone that has any interest in the U.S. and NATO involvement in Afghanistan.

Some random musings. . .

I never thought of the coalition in Afghanistan as occupiers.  But the Soviets were in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989 and were called occupiers with a force of 100,300.  With the U.S. and coalition troops have been in Afghanistan since 2001 with 130,000 troops in country–it’s tough to call us anything other than occupiers. 

Even though we’ve been in Afghanistan longer than the Soviets, I still don’t think of us as occupiers.  I’m fairly certain Hamid Karzai is not ‘our man’, but the coalition does support his election (even if of questionable validity:  The Telegraph, The Washington Times, and CNN).  Regardless, I recognize the apparent duplicity of thinking that our presence here is something different than an occupation. 

The Soviets trained, armed, and built an army;  We are training, arming, and building an army.

The Soviets put in place political leaders that supported their objectives;  We are supporting political leaders (although I’m not sure that they all support our objectives).

The Soviets built schools, hospitals, roads, and infrastructure; We are building. . . well, you get the idea.

The Soviets withdrew physically and then crumbled effectively withdrawing support.  The supported government fell shortly thereafter and Afghanistan erupted into a bloody civil war.

I have no personal interest or affection for Afghanistan and think we are wasting billions of dollars and thousands of lives by being here.  But when we leave, I hope it doesn’t crumble into another civil war.

To paraphrase the movie Charlie Wilson’s War, I hope we don’t screw-up the end-game.