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26 July 2013


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Alba Etie

Col Lang
Amen - we do not need to be in Afghanistan -unless we are there to destroy training camps of organizations that have directly attacked us . Khalizad and his ilk are mad men intent on Empire as long as it is someone's elses blood being shed .
BTW - some of the usual neocon suspects have been sited in Austin Texas recently fluttering around the soon to be announced Perry 2016 campaign (think Sarah Palin on steriods ) ! -Its remarkable how much several taxi drivers can see & hear any given day in Central Texas.
And by the way I predict Democratic darling Wendy Davies will challenge Senator John Cornyn for seat this cycle. And its likely that Cornyn will have a Tea Party challenger in the primary . And to many of we moderate GOP voters if we do get a Senator Davis - it would not be that horrible of an outcome -as Sen Cornyn supports most of the neocon agenda . Our national Overton Window badly needs a more centrist reframing that refelcts commonsense Burke style conservative governance . We need to defeat & discredit all NeoCon - to include Samantha Powers and the Wilsonian wannabees .

different clue

Was that the "To Secure The Realm" paper?

Charles I

Thanks for the ringside seat at lunch.

What a mess. Imagine the equipment repatriation without an agreement - every convoy, every container a target, unless its already been refilled with rocks and sand. How many will be killed defending those?


Good. As the Neo-Cons say, "Faster, please."

As the Chinese are proving, you can trade with anyone. If the other side of the transaction wants to remain in the Middle Ages, that's their business. I don't believe in murdering other people's children to make them free.

The Twisted Genius

Didn't this grifter toy with the idea of running for president of Afghanistan at one time?

different clue

Someone needs to throw a brick through the Overton Window. It would have to be just the exactly right kind of brick.

different clue

I read somewhere he and a relative(s) of his had interest in prospective oil and/or gas projects in Afghanistan too.

Alba Etie

A third party brick ? Which brick might we choose? Former Senator Hagel perhaps? I am not advocating a third party necessarily - but it might be a conversation worth having here at SST .

Medicine Man

Pity he didn't.

It could be him that the US is leaving behind in Afghanistan next year and wouldn't that be a shame.


Khalilzad and associates already have made a bundle cutting dubious energy deals in Iraqi Kurdistan - after brokering a the terms of a Baghdad-Erbil constitutional compromise that opened a convenient loophole. At that time, he was 'our' man in Iraq and the Kurds' well-paid man on the side.

Alba Etie

What is the definition of war profiteering ? And would Khalilzad or others fit that definition in their actions ? It defies imagination that these Imperial Fools line their pockets with tax payers dollars , at the direct expense & sacrifice of the American Service men & women .


The trouble with the Neocon dream - as described in the "Project For The New American Century" document, is that there is no understanding of the economic limits of power.

The best example of the economic stupidity is the Centurion C-RAM point defence system - you can see it in action at Balad airfield on Youtube. Great technology - minigun shoots incoming mortar rounds out of the sky. However the cost of the system and its ammunition is at least a thousand times more than an 82mm mortar tube and a mortar round.



There is also self-enrichment on Khalilzad's part. He is the president of Gryphon Partners, a consulting firm that seeks contracts in Afghanistan. He would certainly be in position to gain financially by the U.S. staying in country.
He even wrote an article in Foreign Policy complaining about losing contract in Afghanistan to a Chinese firm, due to a purported disadavantage of private companies.


On a different point: there is still good reason to believe that Obama et al are bluffing when they talk about a unilateral pull-out. After all, the United States has spent nearly 12 years and untold resources in Afghanistan because, it was argued, the country had a compelling, vital national security interest in preventing the return to power of the Taliban - the people who were accessories to 9/11. Now, we cannot credibly take a laissez-faire attitude toward what happens there since 'they' remain anything but subdued. Such a suggestion makes a mockery of everything that we have done until now.



I guess you actually believe that there will be a SOFA in Afghanistan. You will see. pl

Babak Makkinejad

I think cut-and-run, in Business as well as in Politics and in Love - is always an eminently sensible position when things are not going as hoped for.

The Twisted Genius

And General Dempsey has stated that there will be no U.S. troops in Afghanistan without a SOFA.


Soldiers, even raw grunts, are expensive to replace.


I know too little to even guess. What I wished to emphasize is the utter fecklessness of our leaders. To simply say now that the stake isn't that important after all is the ultimate expression of contempt for all of us - and to offer no explanation. It's companion to tonight's story that the Pentagon has officially declared that the names of our enemies on the war-on-terror is highly classified information.



What does "raw grunts" imply? Some lower form of life? THE hardest thing to be in the armed forces is an infantryman. There is nothing "raw" about a well trained infantryman. It is not an accident that all marines consider themselves to be infantry first and then whatever. pl


Khalilzad is not a real neocon. He is the afghan version of McCain

The neocons are smart. They keep a diverse pool of idiots from every ethnic group in the world on their roster and then promote these guys to highly visible roles, and often have them act as spokespersons for their movement.

To identify the real neocon, you need to find out who discovered this guy and appointed him to the positions he held. Without that guy, Khalilzad would have probably end up working as a new york cabbie.

Babak Makkinejad

To your point: if a group of individuals outside of US Government meet regularly and plan and execute that plan for gaining the control of the Office of Secretary of Defense; will that be considered a form of sedition and subversion under US Law?

William R. Cumming

After the US withdrawal some President in the future will authorize a "Cambodian style" incursion with carpet bombing IMO!


Spot on- perhaps two-three centuries ago, an infantryman didn't require a lot of training- other than discipline (as compared to an artilleryman). But now, an infantryman has to be adept in a large group of military skillls, as well as be highly fit. Infantrymen have the most physically exhausting task in the military.

And indeed, without a SOFA, there is no way U.S. forces can stay in Afghanistan. None whatsoever.

David Habakkuk


Light infantry in the British Army – the kind of troops featured in the Richard Sharpe novels and the television adaptations of these – required intensive training, from their origins as a locally recruited force in the wars against the French in North America. From the website of today’s Light Infantry regiment:

“There have been 'light troops' in the British Army since the 1740s, such as the Highlanders at Fontenoy (1745), it was the colonial war between France and England in North America, which established the concept of 'Light Infantry' in the British Army. Prompted by these experiences General James Wolfe (1727-59) and Lord Amherst (1717-97) realised there was a need for a new approach in the Infantry. A small corps of 'Light' troops, recruited from the settlers, was formed in 1755. It consisted of specially trained men, carefully selected for their toughness and intelligence, able to scout and skirmish, concentrating and dispersing with great stealth and speed. Their dress, equipment and tactics were adjusted to meet this new role.

“So effective were these 'Light' troops that steps were taken to increase the number available. Regiments formed 'Light Companies' of soldiers specially selected for their toughness, intelligence, military skills and ability to act on their own initiative, within the framework of a broad tactical plan. The bugle horn, which subsequently became the emblem of light troops, replaced the drum as the means of communication for the often widely dispersed Light Companies.”

It was the ‘Shorncliffe System’ developed by Sir John Moore which created the light infantrymen who – as the Sharpe series brings out – were so valuable in the Peninsular War. From the regimental site, again:

“Sir John Moore has been described as ‘the greatest trainer of troops that the British Army has ever known’ and ‘the father of the Light Infantry’. He discarded the then existing disciplinary system, largely maintained through fear and brutality which, in his view, also stifled individual initiative, and replaced it with a system based more upon self-discipline, mutual respect and trust. Sir John Moore died at the battle of Corunna in 1809, but his influence and the concept of the ‘thinking soldier’ have been fundamental to the conduct of Light Infantrymen ever since.”

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