Waste 0

The pointless waste of life and resources that now characterizes the Afghanistan war continues, while the corrupt and impotent Afghan government considers “talking” – which is to say capitulating –  to the Taliban.

The Washington Post reports:

As the U.S. military sets out to secure cities including Kandahar, it is relying far more heavily on Afghan forces than at any time in the past nine years, when the American mission focused mainly on defeating the Taliban in the countryside, rather than securing the population. But the Afghan forces are proving poorly equipped and sometimes unmotivated, breeding the same frustration U.S. troops felt in Iraq when they began building up security forces beset by corruption, sectarianism, political meddling and militia infiltration. …

The United States and other Western allies still plan to inject hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands more troops into Kandahar and surrounding villages this year to try to wrest control of Taliban strongholds and allow breathing room for the expansion of government services in an area that has been effectively lawless for decades.

But the beginning of summer in southern Afghanistan has been ominous. In June alone, at least 53 NATO troops have been killed in the country, most in the south, where the Taliban has increasingly resorted to roadside bombings and ambushes to thwart the U.S.-led international force’s efforts.

The report includes anecdotes which luridly illustrate how the efforts of the American forces’ efforts to train Afghans to fight in their own interest are being constantly frustrated.

They strongly imply there is not the remotest chance that Afghans will put up any sustained resistance against the Taliban when American troops are withdrawn next year.

Posted under Afghanistan, Islam, jihad, Muslims, NATO, News, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Monday, June 21, 2010

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Defeat, actually 0

There is no longer any question of whether an American victory in Afghanistan is possible. It is not.

It becomes plainer every day that what lies ahead is defeat.

The only uncertainty is whether America – aka “the coalition forces” – will manage withdrawal without the appearance of ignominy.

After an initial victory the war has dragged on for eight years. In that time the mightiest military power on earth has been unable to defeat a bunch of primitive, lightly-armed terrorists. Not because it couldn’t, but because it tied its own hands with unrealistic aims, political correctness, and, under Commander-in-Chief Obama, a preference for losing.

At Canada Free Press, Alan Caruba expresses a similar opinion. Here’s part of what he writes:

The war in Afghanistan has been going on for more than eight years as of this writing. Over that period of time I have been against it, for it, against it, for it, and now I return to what my instincts and experience told me all along. It’s over.

That war is lost. Once the Taliban acquired surface-to-air missiles, the primarily advantage our military had was removed. In the past month, the Taliban have shot down two of our helicopters. Any low-flying aircraft will be vulnerable along with all our front-line forces. …

You cannot win a counterinsurgency with local forces if:

you don’t have a significant portion of the population on your side and

those forces do not want to fight.

Afghans don’t like anyone who is not an Afghan and, in many cases, they do not like other Afghans from other tribes. …

The other factor that is a key to the situation is our “ally”, Pakistan. The U.S. has poured billions into Pakistan and they have been supporting the Taliban the whole time; more specifically, the Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence Agency [has been doing so].

An article in the UK’s Times was picked up by the Washington Post on June 14. The Times article was headlined “Pakistan puppet masters guide the Taliban killers.” It reported that “Pakistan’s own intelligence agency, the ISI, is said to be represented on the Taliban’s war council, the Quetta shura. Up to seven of the 15-man shura are believed to be ISI agents.”

The former head of Afghanistan’s intelligence agency, Amrullah Salah, recently resigned. He concluded that Afghan forces of the government under Hamid Karzai, the US hand-picked president of Afghanistan, would not and could not prevail. Afghanistan has never been a nation by any standard definition. It has always been a nation of tribes.

The Afghanistan conflict has cost the West billions and hundreds of lives. …

When word leaked about Obama’s “rules of engagement” in Afghanistan that essentially put every one of our soldiers and marines at risk, the die was cast.

The combined US-UK force failed to loosen the Taliban’s grip on Marjah, the most recent military engagement. The Afghan forces refused to fight much of the time. The Taliban continue to control the whole of southern Afghanistan.

The Kandahar offensive has been postponed. It was to be waged by American, British, Canadian, and Afghan forces. If that doesn’t tell you that the war in Afghanistan is over, nothing will.

If there is no will to wage war vigorously to bring about victory, nothing can be done for now. This is not to say we will not have to return at some time, but as long as President Obama is in office, that is not an option.

If ever America needs to go back and hit the Taliban again, it should do so swiftly, briefly, and decisively. Under the command of the present feeble, pro-Muslim, anti-American president, that would not be done.

The wrong war 0

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if somehow, between now and July 2011 when American forces are scheduled to withdraw from Afghanistan, the Afghans could be made over into enlightened, fair-minded, peaceable people, free of old tribal conflicts, filled with a thirst for righteousness, respectful of women, eager to become law-abiding free-marketeers, and enthusiasts for establishing the customs and institutions that embody and support true democracy?

It would be more than wonderful, it would be a miracle.

But if that miracle could be worked, wouldn’t the achievement be worth the cost in blood and treasure of the long war America has been waging against the Taliban?

Some think so.

But what is actually happening among these backward, feuding, misogynistic, deeply ignorant people is a continuation of what has always been happening: feuding, subjugation of women, and savage cruelty – of which this is a very recent example from Afghan sources:

Taliban fighters have hanged a seven-year-old boy, claiming he was passing information to foreign soldiers in the volatile southern province of Helmand.

(“Volatile” is good. We like “volatile”.)

And of what is about to happen we are being nervously forewarned by US military commanders, according to this report from the Washington Post:

The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said Thursday that the civilian-military offensive scheduled to begin in the southern city of Kandahar this spring would take months longer than planned. The Afghan government has not produced the civilian leadership and trained security forces it was to contribute to the effort, U.S. officials said, and the support from Kandaharis that the United States was counting on Karzai to deliver has not materialized.

When you go to protect people, the people have to want you to protect them,” Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, said … in explaining why the Kandahar operation has been pushed back until at least September.

“It’s a deliberative process. It takes time to convince people,” he told reporters at a meeting of NATO leaders in Brussels.

But time is short. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said this week that the U.S.-led coalition has until the end of the year to prove to the United States and its allies that their forces have broken a stalemate with the Taliban. …

In Marja, in western Helmand province, where Marines launched a major operation this year, U.S. efforts have been hindered by the absence or incompetence of Afghan officials and security forces and by the Taliban’s enduring resistance. …

Many  officials are despairing behind the scenes.

“Washington is making nice with [the corrupt President of Afghanistan] Karzai, but what good has that done?” a U.S. official in Afghanistan said. … “We need him to step up and take a leadership role, to get his government to support what we’re doing. But he’s either unwilling or unable to do it. …

In Kandahar, U.S. military officials said a complex web of official and unofficial power brokers stands to lose if efficient government and rule of law are imposed. “There are generations of families that have lived off corruption,” said 1st Lt. James Rathmann … who leads a platoon in Kandahar city …

The operational plan drawn up for Kandahar last spring began with U.S. Special Operations forces raids against individual insurgent leaders within the city and in the Taliban-heavy “bands” in surrounding districts. At the same time, U.S. civilians were to help organize shuras, or meetings of local leaders and elders, to offer development aid and encourage them to take political control. By June, more than 10,000 newly deployed U.S. troops were to begin clearing the Taliban from the outlying districts, up to 80 percent of which the military estimates is controlled by insurgents. …

McChrystal  … acknowledged that winning support from local leaders was tougher than expected. Some see the Taliban fighters as their Muslim brothers rather than oppressors; others are afraid of assassination by Taliban hit squads that target government supporters or see no advantage in challenging the existing political power structure.

“There’s no point in clearing an area until you have the capacity to do the hold, to bring governance” that does not now exist, one military official in Afghanistan said. “Without the Afghan government civilian capacity — without a district government that can provide some basic services — you’ll end up with what we’re experiencing in Marja right now.” …

Asked whether the delay leaves time for a decisive outcome by the end of the year, McChrystal was noncommittal. “It will be very clear by the end of the calendar year that the Kandahar operation is progressing,” he said. “I don’t know whether we’ll know whether it’s decisive. Historians will tell us that.”

Decisive? Changing Afghanistan forever? We don’t think so. Even if the Taliban fighters are wiped out in the forthcoming Battle of Kandahar, there will be no lasting change.

The war in Afghanistan is being fought for nothing.

The Taliban were whacked with the first offensive. The US should have withdrawn then, with a warning that if terrorists from Afghanistan attacked American targets again, they’d be whacked harder. The continuing campaign has been tragically pointless.

What American – or “coalition” – forces ought to be fighting is the urgently necessary war against the Iranian regime before it launches its nuclear attack.

A question of belief 1

The Washington Post reports:

In theory, the Afghan government is in place in Kandahar, but its authority is nominal. Bombings and assassinations have left the government largely isolated behind concrete barricades and blast walls. In the latest burst of violence, a suicide squad struck across the city late Saturday, detonating bombs at a recently fortified prison, the police headquarters and two other sites … At least 30 people were killed.

For the first time in years, however, the U.S. military again has Kandahar in its sights.

American troops are seeking to reclaim the city and surrounding province, where the Taliban has proved resurgent, more than eight years after the U.S.-led invasion forced the group from power. But a visit here last week made clear that American forces will face an insidious enemy that operates mainly in the shadows and exercises indirect control through intimidation and by instilling fear. The provincial governor remains mostly behind barricades. The provincial council has trouble convening because many members have fled to Kabul. The police are viewed as ill-trained, corrupt and possibly in league with criminal gangs.

The environment here [is] more complicated than the one the Marines have encountered in neighboring Helmand province and the town of Marja, where the Afghan government’s presence was nonexistent and where Taliban fighters were massed in large numbers. The Marines took Marja with relative ease, installing a governor handpicked by the Kabul government.

In Kandahar city, residents say, real power rests with Ahmed Wali Karzai, head of the council and the younger brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Ahmed Karzai has been accused of vote rigging and involvement in the drug trade, allegations he has consistently denied. The eight judges still working in the city and province live together for security, packed into an impregnable compound, behind gray concrete walls topped with razor wire. …

If Kandahar city is sliding into lawlessness, the surrounding province appears in even worse shape. In the city, the government has retreated behind concrete barricades; in much of the countryside, there is no government presence. …

Haji Raz Mohammed, president of a district council, said he regularly negotiates with the Taliban to prevent its fighters from destroying development projects. “The Taliban is there, the Americans are there, the government is there,” he said, “But nobody is really in control of the district.”

To operate so easily, in the city and the province, the Taliban must rely on some level of local support. …

“The majority of people say they are afraid of the Taliban,” said a paid adviser to the government’s reconciliation commission in Kandahar. “But they are better than the government, because the government is so corrupt.”

We are to understand that “the coalition forces” – ie America and Britain  – will win the war in Afghanistan; that the lives lost and the blood shed to turn Afghanistan into a peaceful democratic country have not been sacrificed in vain. We have to try to believe that Afghanistan will soon have a government that is no more corrupt than most western governments are; that the traditionally warring tribes will from  then on forget their old hatreds and live peacefully with one another; that there will be no, or at least much less, drug trading; that the criminal gangs will become less of a danger; that the police will be well-trained and less corrupt; that the Taliban will give up its passionate warfare and bow to the democratically elected government; that the whole miserable place will become something like Surrey or California.

Or what?

And who can believe it?

Posted under Afghanistan, Commentary, Islam, Muslims, Terrorism, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Sunday, March 14, 2010

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The religion of peace 1

In our margin we reproduce, as a fixed feature, an ever mounting tally of vi0lent attacks carried out by Muslim terrorists since 9/11 in the name of their faith. It comes from The Religion of Peace, a website that has proved itself an indispensable source of information in this era of unremitting war waged by Islam against the rest of the world.

Every day it publishes a list, of which today’s is typical:

010.02.04 (Kandahar, Afghanistan) – Three people are dismembered by a Shahid suicide bomber.

2010.02.03 (Narathiwat, Thailand) – A rubber tapper working with his wife is shot in the back by Muslim militants with a shotgun

2010.02.03 (Swat, Pakistan) – Four children are among nine people killed when the Tehrik-e-Taliban bomb an opening ceremony at a girl’s school.

2010.02.03 (Karbalah, Iraq) – A Fedayeen bomber passes out fruit to children before detonating, killing nearly two dozen.

2010.02.03 (Baghdad, Iraq) – Sunni bombers send a Shia pilgrim straight to Allah.

2010.02.02 (Karbalah, Iraq) – Three Shia pilgrims are murdered by Sunni bombers.

The total at the time of this writing: 14,784