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11 June 2010


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Clifford Kiracofe

Yes the little boxes...I sympathize with Karzai.

I recall the old
song Pete Seegar did so well:

"Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky tacky,
Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes all the same.
There's a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same...."

Tacky people make tacky policy.


Karzai kicked out the CIA mole in his government, Amrullah Saleh, the head of the Afghan secret services NDS. He has replaced him with a brother in law. He also kicked out the head of the interior ministry, Atmar, an MI-6 tool who controlled the police, and replaced him with a General from a clan that is favorable to the Karzai clan.

This moves also fulfill demands Pakistan made. Saleh, a Tajik, was pro-India and fiercely anti-Pakistan.

Karzai is now clearly striving for independence from the "west" and towards compromise with the Taliban and Pakistan.

I wonder how long he will survive his revolt.

Would the U.S. replace him with Saleh?

This Guardian piece from yesterday may be of interest: Afghan president 'has lost faith in US ability to defeat Taliban'

RAISER William

Thanks for bringing us back to this point. We have short attention spans, and the media, the military and the administration don't want us to see the fallacy of our COIN operation in Marja and now in Afghanistan in general.

It's important to bring us back, over and over again, to this central point -- the tactic is NOT working.

Rather boring to have to say the same thing over and over again, but important nontheatrical. Thanks.


Great comment Col Lang, your school of american policy ought to be represented more aggressively.

neoconsim sucks. neocon light is more of the same.

what has happened to america?
who are these policy radicals the keep winning the battles for foreign policy?

at an IAEA meeting an american ambassador actually did this.

"US officials reacted angrily today at the inclusion of Israel’s nuclear arsenal as a topic of discussion for the IAEA meeting, insisting that it was “untimely and uncalled for.”


N M Salamon

Off topic, Sorry:

Please watch movie from the M [freedeom flottila] the rest of video will be relased later today:


Stanley Henning

Our efforts in Afghanistan appear a little like the BP oil spill "solutions".

N M Salamon

Secretery Gates interview, 2 parts [22 min]:



Norman Rogers

Wasn't General McChrystal supposed to pull a General Abrams and really turn this thing around and start sticking it to the Taliban?

And wasn't the Obama Administration supposed to ape the Nixon Administration and yank the troops and funding out from under McChrystal just as he was to start winning the war, just like Abrams was winning the war?

Maybe General McChrystal should have aimed a little higher.


NM, thanks for the video linkage.

James Peak

I'm betting the Colonel is right on Marjah. To paraphrase the old song, if Marjah ain't happy, ain't nobody happy," but the quote of the day came in the story on the slipping schedule of the Kandahar offensive. Stanley is quoted as saying, "When you go to protect people, the people have to want you to protect them."
It seems to you can put that one in your COIN bank.
Kandahar offensive will take months longer than planned, U.S. says:


Patrick Lang


Abrams did win the war. pl

Norman Rogers


Yes, but all of my hippie friends look at me funny when I try to explain that to them.

N M Salamon

the raw footage 1hr, 2 min od the real attack as opposed to Israeli Propaganda

It is bloody!


FB Ali

Hope this ends the bold type.


Karzai * * * knows that Stanley's government building efforts are doomed and he does not want to be doomed as well. Stanley can go home and retire in Florida. Karzai would look silly in Florida.

I am reminded of the Soviets' Afghan puppet president, Babrak Karmal. This from Wikipedia:

The regime ruled only the city of Kabul, the provincial capitals, and those strategic areas where the Soviets and the Afghan Military had stationed military contingents and militia units. Despite high casualties on both sides, pressure continued to mount on the Soviet Union, especially after the United States brought in Stinger anti-aircraft missiles which severely reduced the effectiveness of Soviet air cover.

Moscow came to regard Karmal as a failure and blamed him for the problems. Years later, when Karmal’s inability to consolidate his government had become obvious, Mikhail Gorbachev, then General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party, said, "The main reason that there has been no national consolidation so far is that Comrade Karmal is hoping to continue sitting in Kabul with our help."

Additionally, some Afghan troops who had fought for the Communist Government began to defect. In May 1986 he was replaced as party leader by Mohammad Najibullah. In November 1986, under increasing pressure from Moscow, he stepped down from the presidency, saying that he had heart trouble. Karmal then moved to Moscow, reportedly for medical treatment. He returned to Kabul in 1991 and then spent a few years in Hayratan (Afghanistan). He eventually died in Moscow in 1996.

Sounds kinda familiar, doesn't it?

Charles I

Sweet, Clifford, I can hear him sing.


According to the LSE : "interviews with insurgent commanders indicate the agency* is even represented on the Afghan Taliban's main leadership council."



... let's boldly kill the bold type: ... Works?

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