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17 September 2012

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The Moar You Know

The 2014 date is a coldly calculated move on the part of the Obama administration to help remind the Dem base (I'm one, just so we're all clear) that not re-electing him will have consequences.

I don't think the guy who called for "double Gitmo" - like it's an ice cream cone or something - would get us out. At all.

So, message received, Mr. President. Hopefully there will still be troops and gear to pull out of the country by then.

mbrenner

The actual commitment is to 2024. We will try to keep our air bases, a strategic reserve off Special Forces, Embaasy and consulate defense forces, support personnel, etc. that's exactly what we wanted and expected in Iraq but Maliki took Petraeus and Crocker to the cleaners. The same is likely to happen in Afghanistan - unless we locate to the territory that will held by the Northern Alliance. The advantage of the latter location is that it's closer to the Silk Roads of Central Asia.

Thw 2014 date is for political purposes; the 2024 date for military planning purposes. Never the twain meet.

walrus

Run, don't walk, for the exit.

The history of Afghanistan is replete with betrayals. Current events look to me as if we are rapidly heading for a repeat of what happened to Elphinstone and his army - except that it won't be British families that are murdered along with the troops, it will be thousands of "contractors" - the modern day camp followers.

The penny may drop if an Afghan attack causes casualties at General Officer level, or Karzai is assassinated. If that doesn't happen and the idiots decide to "stay the course" then the crunch will come when the Taliban sense that our own forces are too thin to protect our remaining footprint.

I say "own" forces because the Afghan Army will switch sides and betray all of us in a microsecond once they determine the Taliban are going to be the final winners. The tempo of "green on blue" attacks will intensify as individual Afghan soldiers decide on which side their bread is really buttered.

It will happen very fast when it does. I would counsel getting every contractor, civilian and non essential soldier out now. I would then be dusting off my withdrawal plan and pray I'm lucky in its execution.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Anglo-Afghan_War

walrus

And by coincidence today an article on our orderly withdrawal...

http://news.yahoo.com/troops-pack-gear-ship-afghanistan-175355721.html

bth

The squadron Lt. Col. was killed in the attack.

Gorgon Stared

Kissinger was the only strategic thinker of our time. I think the Decent Interval strategy should be the default Phase IV plan for every future US conflict.

GregB

Even though President Obama campaigned on bolstering and winning in Afghanistan, the best thing he could have ever done was to tie the withdrawal in Iraq to that of Afghanistan.

Better to make it look like you are heading for the exits on your own terms.

Besides Clint Eastwoods ramblings about Afghanistan, has Romney ever made any suggestions as to what he'd do?

Babak Makkinejad

No, Nixon was.

Tunde

Sir,
I have been following the Af-Pak campaign recently and it has been surprising how corrosive to the mission the 'green on blue' attacks have been. These, in conjunction with complex suicide attacks as this assault and the attacks on Camp Salerno and multiple attacks in Kabul seems to a symptom of coalition fatigue with the campaign. Even reading the reports of Talib successes, however transient, has a psychological effect and I'm not even involved !
My hunch is that ISAF's rosy assessments are generally inaccurate or not reflective of the facts on the ground, and that the model of training the ALP to stand up as a counter-weight to the inevitable return of the Talibs is a waste of time and resources. Afghans, it seems, do not understand the 'military art' in quite the same way as practiced in the West. That is not the same as saying they have no martial spirit. They are experts in UW and it does seem pointless to try to train them in anything else. As you suggested many moons ago, SOCOM missions and direct aid to the Northern Alliance elements should prove disruptive enough to keep the Talibs perpetually of balance.

John

Who will be the last to die? And why?

At the tail end of a war nearly four decades ago, two who lived next to us were killed just before the sunset of that war.
http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/usn-aircrew-01101973.htm

I wish this on no others.

Charlie Wilson

Raggedy Assed Guerillas invariably win. I knew we were in trouble way back in 2001 when I saw a picture of a GI entering a town in Afghanistan wearing knee protectors. Like these quarterbacks with their cute hand warmers.

jr786

I read this elsewhere:

"In 2010, following a spate of such attacks, the Pentagon ordered the Army to begin treating stocks of uniforms as “sensitive”and remove them from “pilferable” ground resupply convoys moving through Pakistan. “There is evidence that the enemy is using pilfered out-garment uniform items to gain a tactical advantage,” the Pentagon warned."

You could probably hire a tailor in Quetta for 2 dollars a day, have the material done up in one of the trillions of sweatshops that dot the sub-continent and outfit an army of not-soldiers in a fraction of the time that message got through Pentagon channels. Cloud-cuckooland

turcopolier

jr786

I would imagine that the uniforms were made in just the way you suspect. They may have hand printed or painted the camouflage pattern. The rest they could have hand made with no problem pl

Walrus

There is an article somewhere on the web that explains the psycology of Buzkashi - the Afghan horse riding goat grabbing game.

The players are not playing in their own right, they play for their patrons.

It seems that some Afghan soldiers have decided that the Taliban are more attractive long term patrons than we are.

turcopolier

CW

in re "raggedy assed guerrillas," I am sure you understand that this was an ironic statement. I would add that the RAG do not always win. pl

Fred

Rest assured not a son of any of our political leaders.

Fred

Seems like they spent quite awhile planning this one. How long have they had to 'infiltrate' the Afghan army, ten years?

Cal

Afghanistan is where other countries go to die.
Since the day the US went into Afghan I have had visions of Putin laughing his ass off.

Fred

Well the British did win the second time out:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Anglo-Afghan_War

We, unlike them, don't have any colonies or possessions out that way.

kao_hsien_chih

Well, the lesson from the previous "conquests" of Afghanistan, I think, is that, if you look to defeat the locals in a short campaign, achieve your short term goals, and leave things mostly as they were (which the Brits did after their second war there), it's very doable. But, if you look to stay and change the place, it's a rotten deal.

Fred

I think that is true. The neo-cons in charge for the first 7-8 years didn't understand it's not 'our' place and they don't want to be like us.

bth

http://www.khaama.com/over-1000-taliban-militants-attack-afghan-police-in-kunar-244/
this article says that in Kunar there was an attack involving 1000 Taliban. Now a few years ago a US outpost was virtually overrun by 400 attackers. So 1000 is quite a force to have concentrated given that we have total air superiority. Are Taliban attack sizes getting bigger?

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