When Senator Barack Obama was running for president back in 2008, he accused the Bush administration, his opponent Senator John McCain, and their supporters of taking their eyes off the ball by fighting a war in Iraq and ignoring the "necessary war"--the war in Afghanistan. Well, four short years later, by Obama's lights, Afghanistan is no longer the necessary war but a war to be ignored, a war to be "ended" regardless of the strategic consequences of doing so precipitously.
None of this should come as a surprise. Since early in his presidency, when deigning to speak at all about Afghanistan, President Obama has said little about why defeating the Taliban is important. When he does make reference to Afghanistan, it's invariably to talk of timelines for bringing the troops home or, as he said at the U.N. in September, ending the war "on schedule in 2014." Of course, saying the war will end on schedule doesn't make it reality -- a fact Afghans know all too well.
With the Taliban on their heels but not defeated, Pakistani intelligence releasing incarcerated Taliban back onto the streets, roadmaps being drawn up for "peace talks" that would allow hardcore Taliban officials into Afghan governing posts, and Obama administration plans to eliminate funding for some 100,000 Afghan security forces after we leave, it's no wonder arms sales in Afghanistan are booming--not only for warlords who control local militias but also for ordinary citizens. The tragedy is that this needn't be the case.
As limited an effort as the surge in Afghanistan has been, it's had real success. In Helmand and Kandahar, previously key Taliban strongholds, American, Afghan, and allied forces have cleared insurgent bastions and defeated every attempt by the Taliban over the past year to regain their lost territory. But because the administration was determined to go "light" on the number of surge troops and then draw them down more rapidly than had been recommended by commanders, the original plan to tackle simultaneously the insurgent presence in Afghanistan's eastern provinces was never executed. Now, with the anticipated drawdown of the remaining troops over the next year, a full-on counterinsurgency effort in that region will never take place. Nor is it the case that Afghan security forces have not stepped up their game. When partnered with American and allied combat forces, Afghan troops have learned their trade and begun to fight well. However, they still lack the logistics, intelligence, and mobility capabilities needed to go it alone. Sustaining our combat and support efforts for just a few more years would ensure that when our combat teams do leave Afghanistan, there is a force in place that can effectively defend its own homeland.
Critics of the war like to point out that the Afghan conflict is the longest overseas war in American history--implying that it's a hopeless case. Yet, for much of that time, the effort in Afghanistan was a holding action, with the war in Iraq eating up time, resources, and energy until the American surge and change in strategy in 2006-07 turned that conflict around. The nation might well be tired of war, but it's only been a little over three years since President Obama announced his own surge and new strategy. When it comes to counterinsurgencies, a little patience goes a long way.
But this is not a patient president. The pattern for Iraq, Libya, and now Afghanistan has been basically the same. End American military involvement as soon as possible, and damn the consequences.
I don't think the admin is aiming toward a complete withdrawal.
The plan is, to have about 10k troops at a base near Kabul to keep the Taliban from overrunning that part of the country (at least until Nov 2016), to coordinate drone strikes and, if possible, to support ops of the Afghan army.
Posted by: lord garth ||
It seldom works Lord G.
Paris, Berlin, and Saigon to name but a few examples.
"On the evening of 23 April, General Weidling took command of the city and that same night moved the troops of the 56th Panzer Corps into Berlin. The divisions were immediately committed at crucial points in the battle lines. Remnants of the 20th Panzer Grenadier Division went into action in the southwest, Panzer Division "Muenchenberg" in the southeast, SS
Panzer Grenadier Division "Nordland" and remnants of SS Panzer Grenadier Division "Nederland" in the east, and the 18th Panzer Grenadier Division in the northern and southern parts of the Zoo sector. This indication of the distribution of
forces can serve only as a general guide, since the position and composition of the units changed daily and even hourly.
The Panzer corps and the SS units under Mohnke now carried the burden of the stiffening resistance to the uninterrupted Russian attacks, which were concentrated in the southeast, east, and north. In the west, Berlin was attacked by comparatively weaker forces, but they were still far superior to the defenders. The forces advancing from the south behind the 1st Ukrainian Army Group had to divert elements against the Ninth Army, Potsdam, and later the Twelfth Army.
In the course of heavy fighting, the German troops were pushed back to the city circuit railroad and even beyond it. By 30 April only the government sector, the immediate vicinity of the Tiergarten and a strip extending westward from the Zoo sector to the Havel River were still held by the defenders. The Russians employed a planned and methodical procedure
of attack. Bombing and heavy artillery and mortar fire preceded every fresh assault. The infantry was supported by tanks advancing singly or in group formation and by engineer troops with flame-throwers and demolition equipment. Advances
were made by small sectors - street by street and house by house. The infantry took every opportunity to infiltrate through back yards, cellar passageways, subway tunnels, and sewers. In this way many of the defense positions were
stormed from behind or below."
Saigon is a reasonable comparison, but the Taliban with some Pakastani support is weaker than the North Vietnamese army combined with the Viet Cong with stronger support from China and Russia. So, even though the Karzai government is weaker and even more incompetent and corrupt than the South Vietnamese government, they may have a better chance to hold with some American support because their opposition isn't as strong.
Berlin isn't a match at all. The German position had been hopeless for years given the huge allied advantage in production capability (USA!), manpower (Soviets), and with England as an unsinkable aircraft carrier.
As Badanov says, mobile defense no longer has the the room to succeed when your back is against the wall. However, it even has trouble working, even with a genius like Manstein in command, when the commander-in-chief insists on micro-managing, preventing quick decision-making based on local conditions (which had been a hallmark of Prussian success over the centuries), and holding lines to the point of encirclement.
The Taliban in charge of Pakistan's Govt. = espec its NucProgs.
All thats missing is a de facto local "Muslim Brotherhood" chapter for AFPAK to counter the "militant/militarist" Taliban + Qaeda.
AYMAN, I'M A'LOOKIN AT YOU.
QUANDRY OF 2013 = EVEN IFF A US-NATO PULLOUT, THE RISE OF A OWG ISLAMIST NUCLEAR CALIPHATE, SHIA ANDOR SUNNI, WILL BE ALL BUT UNSTOPPABLE NO MATTER HOW PCORRECT = MEDIA, PR WHITE-WASHY THE US-NATO/ALLIES WANNA DESCRIBE IT.
Iff the US does nothing + pulls out, the Jihad expands + goes "legally" Nuclear - iff the US still wages a GWOT e.g. makes war on Iran, the Jihad expands + still goes Nuclear [violently] save in response to alleged US "aggressionism/
belligerence/imperialism" agz Islam.
lest we fergit, as the "NATIONALIST" US IS THE "TIP OF THE SPEAR" IN ESTABLISHING "POST/
EXTRA-NATIONALIST = "GLOBALIST" OWG-NWO, THE US IS GOING TO GIVING UP IMPORTANT SOVEREIGN NATIONAL POWERS-N-AUTHORITY TO THE FUTURE NAU, E.G. WHERE THE US MAY NOT BE ABLE TO WAGE WAR [GWOT] ANYMORE WIDOUT THE CONSENT OF THE NAU + HIGHER OWG POLITIES.
The NAU-centric US, whom by its own NIC may not be a "Sole" Superpower, or even a Superpower, by 2030, will need the permission of Mexico, Canada, + Greenland to go to war includ fighting the Hard Boyz. Washington, DC will be suborned to a NAU Leadership which may or may not be led by an American [Obama "Birther" Controversy].
ADVANTAGE: NUCLEAR RADICAL ISLAM = GOVTS + HARD BOYZ.
And thus, Virgina, we learn once again why God wanted the US Marines + Airborne to invade Greenland.
TO PARAPH GEN. MACARTHUR [Gen. Curtis Lemay over at FREEREPUBLIC this AM] > "TIMIDITY IN WAR IS IMBECILIC ... THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR VICTORY"!
'Tis fine to be pro-Peace + anti-War in Peacetime, but its absolutely stupid + moronic to be Anti-Imperialist, anti-Destruction/
Violence, + anti-Victory once war is declared or made.
And the Muslims will have brought it on themselves. If non muslim countries were smart, they wouldn't allow muslims entry.
Posted by: Secret Asian Man ||
The problem is that the Euro governments CAN'T shut off Muslim immigration...it's their taxes that barely keep the socialist system working because the Euro states mostly have negative population growth. Somebody has to work to keep the goodies coming, and even with as many are on the dole enough are working to keep the system functioning, albeit in a downward spiral.
Posted by: Mike Kozlowski ||
Agree wid #4 - Muslims = EuroZone's "Hispanics" whose utility to the horribly oversized Welfare-Nanny State is overwhelming.
Just as in the US, its more important for Big Govt-centric Lefties + Socialists-Govtists to make sure that illegals stay illegal and keep coming over the border - MORESO NOW IN THE AGE OF PRO-OWG/GG "GLOBALISM" + MULTI-STATE REGIONAL + TRANS-REGIONAL "GLOBAL FEDERAL UNIONS" OR "UNIONS".
One way to empower + entrench OWG "Unions" is via [intentional]"SHARED/MUTUAL CHAOS" - ECONNOMIC, POLITICAL, MILITARY, CULTURAL, ETC. - WHERE MULTIPLE SOVEREIGN STATES ARE FORCED TO BE DEPENDENT ON ONE ANOTHER, IFF ONLY JUST FOR THE SAKE OF SIMPLE EXISTENTIAL NATIONAL, HUMAN SURVIVAL.
IOW, THE MORE WORSE OR CATASTROPHIC THE "PROBLEM(S)", THE BETTER FOR OWG + OWG "UNIONS".
National + Global Anarchy, by + for the sake of Anarchy - YOU KNOW, WORLDWIDE aka GLOBAL SOCIALISM.
[SPRINGFIELD'S KRUSTY THE KLOWN = "YOU'RE ALL W-A-A-AY OFF - THINK SMALLER ... MORE LEGS"! here].
Given that while the rest of the country is in the economic doldrums or sinking, the area around DC is gathering ever more wealth. The ruling class and its apparatchiks are certainly the Prince John and the Sheriff of the old story. They are not Robin.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.