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22 August 2017

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ISL

pardon me, Bandolero, but why do you assume those nations have an interest in peace in Afghanistan, or that Afghanistani's have an interest in a peace that maintains the status quo of winners and losers?

Or that any of the countries in the region have an interest in the US not being in a war that bleeds our economy? Why do you assume the US has an interest in peace either? Why do you assume the US wants the Silk Road to succeed? Have you seen any evidence of a reversal of Brzenski?

Other than GTFO (which removes the US from the equation), I see a confluence of interests against the US's interests.

I would add, maintain intel assets in country and return periodically hit any group that gets too far out of line. Or better, hire other Afghani's to do the smashing. But cut out the drone war.

turcopolier

Cortes

I am not in favor of hiring a security company's private army. IMO they are uncontrollable as we found in Iraq when the PSD's of State Department started killing people at will, pl

1664RM

I personally maintain my view that the maintenance of Western Military Forces in Central Asia has EVERYTHING to do with the proximity to Iran, Iranian, Turkmen & Azeri Gas & its future supply to Europe & the developing OBOR project.

It also conveniently aligns with Mackinder's concept of a pivotal area based around the natural seat of power in the Central Asia region.

To state that no timelines or details will be published or released to maintain 'OPSEC' tells me that the new plan is just the old plan in a new shiny folder. Nothing new there then.

DT has obviously been shown the '20 minute movie' & then during one of his planned moves no doubt he as suddenly found himself alone somewhere without any Secret Service Protection, all of course innocently blamed on a shortage of staffing due to illness. All of a sudden they nickel has dropped & he has realized he could be 'fired' at a moments notice, lest he comply with the Deep States demands.

Thus .....

More blood will be spilled & more treasure will be squandered.

SRJB

Per Mare Per Terram

turcopolier

Greco

I know of no evidence that DJT and the 3 Amigos have any plan such as that. pl

turcopolier

FB Ali
I have rummaged around in the US government for years seeking evidence that the US Government created, assists or coordinates its actions with IS. I have found none. AQ linked groups? Yes. Under the influence of neocons like McCain and L. Graham some AQ affiliated groups were supported but NOT IS. There was s rumor a week back that the US had bombed the Tiger Forces at al Kadir in support of an IS attack. I checked on tihs with sources with good access and such an attack never happened. pl

paul

@ Dave Schuler.

but we don't need to be there for counter terrorism.

there is no cell hiding out in some village plotting attacks against america.

we are there to fight an insurgency that will eventually replace the current government with one that will not accept any American presence.

blowback

I think one of the reasons that Flynn got canned was because of a public statement he made earlier that the Obama government willfuly turned a blind eye to the activities of certain allies intent on “establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in Eastern Syria, ....., in order to isolate the Syrian regime.” In the eyes of the Washington Borg that would be a mortal sin, far wrse than turning a blind eye to the growth of ISIS.
The 2012 DIA report obtained by Judicial Watch under FOIA.
http://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Pg.-291-Pgs.-287-293-JW-v-DOD-and-State-14-812-DOD-Release-2015-04-10-final-version11.pdf
Further analysis:
https://levantreport.com/2015/05/19/2012-defense-intelligence-agency-document-west-will-facilitate-rise-of-islamic-state-in-order-to-isolate-the-syrian-regime/
About Michael T. Flynn interview on Al Jazeera:
https://levantreport.com/2015/08/06/former-dia-chief-michael-flynn-says-rise-of-islamic-state-was-a-willful-decision-and-defends-accuracy-of-2012-memo/

Kooshy

Is not too difficult for Iranians to arm the shia and Tajiks in Afghanistan and create HA or PMU they have done that before, Northern Alliance. IMO, Iran will not directly enter any war with it's neighbours unless attacked inside her borders.

plantman

PL: "What would a wise policy be?"

How about regionalizing our efforts at peace?
Get Afghanistan's neighbors more deeply involved in ending the conflict.
Once we decide that we need to withdraw and our strategic aims cannot be achieved, we need to find a face-saving way out.

Russia could be very helpful here. My understanding is that they have a open channel of communication with Taliban leaders. Let's fob this one off on some other country why we reduce our commitment on the ground.

I've never understood why we are so hostile towards the Taliban when we allow the equally-brutal warlords to rule vast swathes of the country.

William Fitzgerald

To Whom it May Concern,

The American objective driving our several strategies over the course of this 16 year old campaign has always been to prevent Afghanistan from launching, or being used to launch, terrorist operations against the United States and her allies.

I should like to point out that Afghanistan is not required and could be one of the worst places in the world for organizing, coordinating, recruiting, and financing such operations. The Arabian Peninsula, the countries of North Africa, and the cities of western Europe are much better in terms of access to communications, money, recruits, and transportation. The attack on September 11th, 2001, despite all the pronouncements to the contrary, was not "launched" from Afghanistan. It was, in large measure organized, trained for, and paid for in the United States, by way of Saudi Arabia and Europe. The ideological impetus and some of the planning originated with OBL and his cohorts, but that could just as well been done from elsewhere.

My conclusion, and I'd be interested in comments to the contrary, is that the 16 year war has been a waste.

WPFIII

1664RM

A wise & ethical policy perhaps? ...

https://youtu.be/aCi-P2j0G5E

Say what you wish ... Jimmy Dore & his contributors have an ability to add sarcasm & irony to this ridiculous farce & it makes me smile.

SRJB

Per Mare Per Terram

sid_finster

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/trump-surrenders-to-the-generals/

The comments are brutal.

LeaNder

I have rummaged around in the US government for years seeking evidence that the US Government created, assists or coordinates its actions with IS. I have found none.

Did he? Or are you reading him that way only? Could one read Trump's statements, without checking, that Obama indirectly created ISIS by leaving Iraq that way too? I wondered at the time.

Strictly I wonder about the genesis of the topic. Why not as related to the genesis of ISIS via the hyped up, it definitively felt that way, Al-Zarqawi?

*****
rather superficial check on the comments. But given recent decades a little hesitant about Bandolero's optimist comments. Not that I wouldn't like to be an optimist, and not that I cannot grasp something along the lines of "you broke it, you own it" as far as the US and Afghanistan is concerned, verus TTG's get the fuck out.

As military/political science and related issues nitwit: Could a pure counter-terrorism strategy have worked post 9/11? And how? And why exactly didn't it happen. No one realized that some "tribes" terrorist might be other's "freedom fighters"? How much did the context change since then?

Further nitwit questions: to what extend did US reactions intensify the problem without solving it? To what extend did it create the WOT for decades to come it declared?

As other's here I almost instinctively felt the urge to challenge Bandolero optimism via Trump's campaign promises concerning Iran. They were purely populist theater given the established US context or had a deeper meaning? Remember: The ultimate sponsor of terrorism after all.

*****

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Musab_al-Zarqawi

*****
that said: Would RangerRay be so kind to give the more curious nitwits among us some further insight? Filling up our mental lacunae. For instance about this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afghan_civil_war

Personal reminiscences are always appreciated.

turcopolier

LeaNder You misunderstand me. IMO it is true that we caused the existence of IS by invading Iraq and then failing to pacify the country after a massicve CT campaign in which we weakened the non-jihadi rebel forces. That is quite different from deliberately creating IS and using it as an instrument of US state power as I believe FB suggested. pl

Castellio

And what is that supposed to accomplish?

sid_finster

@turcopolier: except Russia was much friendlier then.

turcopolier

blowback

I have discussed that DIA document several times and given my opinion, as the former head of intelligence production at DIA for the ME, that this is a document received from a foreign liaison service by a DAO. Everything about the format and content tell me that. DIA by virtue of its charter would not comment on US policy. If Flynn chose to use that foreign liaison as a tool in an argument over policy, that is understandable but that would be the kind of thing that got him fired. Derek Harvey, then an SES at DIA may have had something to do with that decision to use the foreign document that way. When I was there one of my SES coleagues very nearly caused a Director of DIA to be fired by causing him to take an unreasonable position over Glaznost. pl

turcopolier

sid_finster

Not really, WE were more friendly to Russia then. Nevertheless, cooperation takes place every day in Syria. pl

DH

From a Realpolitik viewpoint, keeping in the middle of things, throwing a soft wrench into the Silk Road project, ongoing negotiating with Russia-Iran-China, extracting rare earth metals from Afgh, and ceasing idiotic nation building seems expedient. Over many, many years, as we all get cozy, I can foresee Afghans slowly absorbed into the modern age.

Kipling?

"If you can make one heap of all your winnings,
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss..."

turcopolier

paul

You don't know that a plot is not being hatched in a village. The 9/11 plot was "hatched" that way and then prepared for execution in Europe. pl

Stephanie

Dreher is mistaken. Everybody who voted for Trump hoping that he would reduce the US military’s involvement in foreign wars was made a fool as soon as he or she cast that ballot. Trump was never against any foreign war before the war actually started, he has no use for diplomacy, and he stated that he was going to let the generals have their heads. There's more, but you get the picture. All this was evident while the election was still in progress.


Castellio

Off topic on this thread, but related to current US - Russian relations. Taken from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

"The United States has sent its first shipment of anthracite coal to Ukraine from the U.S. port of Baltimore under a deal designed to increase Ukraine's energy security.

Pennsylvania-based XCoal Energy and Resources signed a contract with Ukrainian state energy company Centerenergo on July 31 to provide 700,000 tons of anthracite coal in the next few months.

The deal followed talks between Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and U.S. President Donald Trump's administration in June. The first shipment of 62,000 tons is expected to arrive in Odesa's Yuzhnyy port in three weeks, Voice of America reported.

At a launching ceremony in Baltimore on August 22, Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States Valeriy Chalyy emphasized the importance of the deal for Ukraine's energy security. [...]

Exports to Ukraine are part of Trump's plan to turn the United States into an energy-exporting superpower, putting it in direct conflict with Russia in Eastern Europe, where Moscow is currently the dominant energy supplier. [...]"

For Eastern European states such as Lithuania and Poland, which are heavily dependent on Russian natural gas, Trump has offered to ship liquefied natural gas (LNG) by tanker. This week, Lithuania is expected to receive a first tanker delivery of LNG from the United States."

FourthAndLong

Agree. Thought so for some time now, but after last nights rantings with threats to shut down the US Government, he is clearly deranged IMO. Crazier than Mussolini, and quite similarly grandiose. No one's interests in mind other than his own and his easily threatened self image. A threat to the United States. And everything on the planet.

Concrete thinking ever on display. No abstract reasoning. Belligerence his default setting. Along with outright lies and demagogic sloganeering.

FB Ali

Col Lang,

I fully accept your statement that you found no evidence of the US government creating or supporting IS. However, that would not rule out some local US commander turning a blind eye to Afghan military command elements supporting IS in an anti-Iran operation.

The facts are that the US enemy in Afghanistan is the Taliban. It is fighting the Taliban by supporting the Afghan government and local anti-Taliban warlords. The IS is also fighting the Taliban. It is not at all inconceivable that some local US commanders would believe that the US war aims are furthered by occasionally (and secretly) assisting the IS against the Taliban (or Iran, another enemy of the US).

Much has been written in the comments on this thread and others recently on Pakistan's policies and actions in Afghanistan. In my view, these are mainly governed by the following:

- Pakistan will not allow Afghanistan to become an Indian satellite. This is the main reason for its support of the Taliban in Afghanistan, even as it has ruthlessly rooted out the Taliban within Pakistan.

- Pakistan has switched from the US sphere to the China sphere. Even though it receives significant monetary assistance from the US, its policies are much more responsive to Chinese interests and wishes than those of the US.

Ante

Richardstevenhack

Afghanistan's Shia population is small and mostly isolated. There is not possibility for truly sectarian conflict, only survival or extermination. This is about the ideological and physical inertia of incompetent military and civilian leadership.

COIN, coin rocks and rolls, coin is the champion, we'll keep on fighting til the end. It took a friend of mine a year plus to get a single well sunk for the village he was supposed to be COINING, he left right afterwards, COIN.

Now the mission in Afghanistan is, whatever, just do whatever you did before, whatever. Embarrassing

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