Archive for the ‘Afghanistan News’ Category

Background Information; Analysis; preparing for the Afghan Plan Debate to start Next Week

September 5, 2009

During the next week, the Magic Plan for Afghanistan that has been presented to President Obama will be put out for our consumption and for Congressional action. It is important to see what we’ve done in the past EIGHT years, what mistakes were made, and what options are open for President Obama and our country.

[SUNDAY MORNING UPDATE AT THE BOTTOM]

Figure I: Annual DOD Spending on the Iraq and Afghan Wars (in billions)

Figure I: Annual DOD Spending on the Iraq and Afghan Wars (in billions)

In searching for the inside information, I came to The Center for Strategic and International Studies section entitled “Resourcing for Defeat”. Here, you will find a report:

The Critical Failures In Planning, Programming, Budgeting And Resourcing The Afghan And Iraq Wars
By Anthony H. Cordesman, Erin K. Fitzgerald
Sep 1, 2009
(FROM THE REPORT:)
The United States is now losing the war in Afghanistan, and is failing to consolidate its victory in Iraq. Reversing this situation requires changes in strategy, but it also requires significant additional resources. It may be tempting for the Obama Administration and the Congress to deny this reality, but any failure to provide the additional funds and forces needed to win, and to correct seven years of under-resourcing the Afghan conflict, may well lead to eventual defeat.

…Pay More or Lose

These years of underfunding the Afghan conflict have created a dilemma for the Obama Administration where it must now pay far more to compensate for a past Administration’s grand strategic failures or risk losing the war in Afghanistan. Moreover, neither DOD nor the State Department budgets now fund an adequate or well-defined plan for the civil side of either war, and it is unclear that the Department of Defense plans to sustain the US military advisory effort in Iraq at anything like the level required. The US finds it easy to announce “strategies” and concepts; it has yet to show that it can back them with efficient and effective plans, programs, and budgets.

The end result is that President Obama must now deal with two badly managed and budgeted wars. In the case of Iraq, he must deal with the withdrawal of US combat forces from a war with no clear plan or funding for making the transition to a civilian-dominated nation building effort or supporting the development of Iraqi security forces. It the case of Afghanistan, he must either make unpopular and costly decisions to compensate for seven crippling years of underresourcing the war, or risk losing it.

* * *
My thoughts: The closing words “…or risk losing it”. There’s no mention of what is “Winning It?”. Pour more money in so we don’t lose it means we keep pouring money and our soldiers into a death zone for how long? It’s time for us to GET OUT OF CENTRAL ASIA.

Also, read Joey Galloway’s “Afghanistan isn’t worth one more American life”, and the Powell Doctrine and answer the eight questions it poses. Can’t answer one in the positive now regarding Afghanistan.

Write your Congress Member and your Senators right now at this link. It is easy to do. Please do it now. No more troops, no more money, End the War(s) Now.

SUNDAY MORNING UPDATE The Afghanistan Abyss, written by Nicholas Kristof as an OpEd piece for the NY TImes reports on interviews with top Afghan experts in the military and ex-CIA:

  • “Our policy makers do not understand that the very presence of our forces in the Pashtun areas is the problem,” the group said in a statement to me. “The more troops we put in, the greater the opposition. We do not mitigate the opposition by increasing troop levels, but rather we increase the opposition and prove to the Pashtuns that the Taliban are correct.

    “The basic ignorance by our leadership is going to cause the deaths of many fine American troops with no positive outcome,” the statement said.

  • ***
    Thank you Mr. Kristof and the NY Times for this great OpEd piece. END THE WAR(s) NOW.

    Life on Stonecutter Street: One Family’s Story

    August 14, 2009

    C.M. Sennott and Seamus Murphy- GlobalPost text and photos READ HERE will make your heart ache. Look at the neighborhood. Imagine that you are one of them. This is your Uncle’s family. Who can help them? YOU and ME. Stop the Funding. Bring the Troops Home NOW.

    Murphy brought his soulful gift and dogged determination for storytelling to a 15-year body of work that captures the darkness and the light of Afghanistan. It is chronicled in his book, “Afghanistan: A Darkness Visible” (Saqi Books).“What hooked me and brought me back to the family again and again was that they represent more than just the family themselves. They are symbolic, a metaphor for the condition of the Afghan people,” explains Murphy.
    View and purchase Seamus Murphy photos

    IN THE U.S.: PLEASE CALL YOUR CONGRESSPERSON:  NO MORE FUNDING. NO MORE TROOPS. BRING OUR SOLDIERS HOME. NOW. NOW. NOW.

    Taliban Support Areas, Drone Attack it all?

    August 8, 2009

    NWFP_redmap_04142008

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     Taliban presence, by district and tribal agency, in the Northwest Frontier Province, Punjab, and the Federally Administered Tribal Agencies. Information on Taliban presence obtained from open source and derived by The Long War Journal based on the presence of Taliban shadow governments, levels of fighting, and reports from the region. Map created by Bill Raymond for The Long War Journal. Last updated: April 24, 2009. (Please visit their site: www.longwarjournal.org)

    It will take 600,000 Troops to put a counterinsurgency to work and make it work and will take years to accomplish.  The U.S. is not going to do that, so let’s get out now.  Please go and re-read the story “Col. Timothy R. Reese, Chief, Baghdad Operations Command Advisory Team “OUT OF IRAQ NOW”.  Please pass this around.

    DRONES:  This is a Terror Weapon.  Once an area is hit with missiles fired from the Drones, the total population lives in fear of it happening at any time, any place.  Just think if you are sitting in your home in America or any country, and Drones are flying above, silently, so high you can not see them with the naked eye, 24 hours a day, and missiles have killed people in their homes in your town.  You can’t go outside, or stay inside, no place is safe.  Drones kill one “Enemy”  and 20 civilians, that is the average per firing of a missile from a Drone.  STOP THE KILLINGS.

    Kurds and Iraq, the Elephant in the Room

    August 4, 2009

    This is a good capture of what has been transpiring in Iraq about the Kurds lands. The Kurds have passed their own Constitution.  They have even made Oil Deals with oil companies independently of Iraq Oil Ministry.  This will be a blood bath once the issue can not be avoided as it is being avoided now.  The Kurds want their own Kurdistan, not only the little area within Iraq, but a good chunk of Turkey, a small part of Syria, and a part of Iran, home of the 40,000,000 Kurds, the largest nationality without a country.  Read Ahmed Janabi’s story that appeared in AlJazzera.net under ABOUT on the right of this page.  Here’s a portion of his article:

    Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region has been at the centre of rising tensions with the federal government in Baghdad following a number of disputes over power sharing, land, oil contracts and drilling. 

    Nouri al-Maliki, Iraq’s prime minister, made his first trip to the region in more than two years on Sunday in a bid to resolve key disputes over land and oil.

    Both al-Maliki and the Kurdish leaders tried to downplay their long-standing differences in public, with al-Maliki telling reporters: “Differences of opinion are very normal because we are building a state on the ruins of dictatorship … I think we largely agree, and if there are disputes, they are small.”

    Massoud Barzani, the region’s president, said a high-level Kurdish delegation would visit Baghdad to “resolve problems”.

    The rising tensions had triggered speculation of an eventual armed clash between Baghdad and the region, which won its autonomy with US backing, after the 1991 Gulf War.


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