Afghanistan. Lone psychos and blown missions

Afghanistan: The wheels are coming off

This is a dead Afghan parrot

Atrocities, however regrettable, are always the fault of lone psychos and must never be allowed to interrupt the mission. It is certainly not the fault of the military if soldiers get pushed into derangement by too many tours in war zones and the homes being foreclosed because the pay is so crappy. (Maybe they should just be mercenaries and make $8,000 a month doing the same thing.)

Oh, by the way, what is the mission in Afghanistan anyway?

We need a new law. If the President and Congress want a war then their kids and relatives get sent to the front lines, no exceptions.

I bet we’d have far fewer wars then.

The Afghanistan War that never ends

The US is ‘winding down’ the Afghanistan war by pulling out regular troops and boosting the number Special Forces. Gosh, that should work.

Three things.

1) You just knew this whole new “combat mission ends in 2013, troops out by 2014” was election-year spin, didn’t you?

2) This is yet another example of how special forces are becoming the mover-and-shaker of the military, with consequently rising budgetary and bureaucratic clout (as well as ever closer ties to the CIA, now run by SOF-fan General Petraeus.)

3) The Green Beret’s real mission, no matter what is being said now, is going to turn into refereeing the next Afghan civil war.

The only explanation of the US propensity to be involved in ever increasing numbers of wars, conflicts, and interventions is the we are Addicted To War. (Read it online for free. It’s several years old and goes up to the Iraq War but is still completely relevant.)

Jimmy Cliff. We Don’t Want Another Vietnam in Afghanistan

Glastonbury 2011. This is amazing and inspiring. Thank you Jimmy.

Lyrics

Hey, Afghanistan, Afghanistan
Afghanistan, Afghanistan
Afghanistan, Afghanistan, Afghanistan

Yesterday I got a letter from my friend fighting in Afghanistan
And this is what he had to say
“Tell all my friends that I’ll be coming home soon
My time’ll be up some time in June”
“Don’t forget”, he said, “To tell my sweet Mary
Her golden lips are sweet as cherry”

And it came from, Afghanistan, Afghanistan
Afghanistan, Afghanistan
Afghanistan, Afghanistan, Afghanistan

It was just the next day his mother got an email
It was addressed from Afghanistan
Now Mistress Brown, she lives in the USA
And this is what they wrote and said
She said “Don’t be alarmed”, she told her the email said
‘But Mistress Brown, your son is dead’

And it came from Afghanistan, Afghanistan
Afghanistan, Afghanistan
Afghanistan, Afghanistan, hey, Afghanistan
Somebody please stop that war now
In Iraq, in Jerusalem, in Libya, in Syria
In Pakistan, in Sudan
People got to stop the war
People got to stop the war

I remember Vietnam, I remember Vietnam
I remember Vietnam, I remember Vietnam
Somebody stop the war, stop the war, stop the war

Most Americans favor troop withdrawal from Afghanistan

I’d like to unpack a little American zeitgeist for you on the Afghan war.

A recent Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 64% of Americans now think the war in Afghanistan has not been worth fighting; and an even more overwhelming 73% want a “substantial number of U.S. combat forces” to withdraw this summer.

To get a sense of the demographics of this vox populi, this same group of folks when asked about the Tea Party, replied 36% favorable, 48% unfavorable, with 16% having no opinion—seemingly, an accurate cross-section of the U.S. populace.

U.S. General David Petraeus reported on Tuesday and Wednesday to the Senate and House Armed Services Committees, withdrawal of “some combat forces” may be included in a future set of policy recommendations for President Obama.

Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Michele Flournoy, stated that the proposed drawdown of U.S. and coalition troops, between now and 2014, “…in no way signals our abandonment of Afghanistan. President Obama and President Karzai have agreed that the United States and Afghanistan will have an enduring strategic partnership beyond 2014, and we are currently working with the Afghans on the details of that partnership.”

The problem with our near decade long war in Afghanistan is that the strategy is not based on any lessons learned from history, cannot be sustained due to America’s economic over-extension, and does not have clearly defined, nor tenable goals for success. With recent developments in the Middle East, our boots-on-the-ground traditional military deployment in Afghanistan, to fight a decentralized, asymmetrical foe (al-Qaeda), puts America squarely on the wrong side of history.

Eight years of bungling.

Read the whole article

Conservatives beginning to oppose Afghanistan war

The Afghanistan Study Group, a bipartisan group of public policy analysts recently conducted a survey which found that self-identified conservative and Tea Party voters are very concerned about the costs of continued nation-building in Afghanistan. The survey found that 71% of conservative voters are concerned about the price tag of continued war in Afghanistan and worried that the cost will make it more difficult to reduce the deficit this year and balance the Federal budget by the end of this decade. More interestingly, two thirds of respondents said that either Washington should reduce troop levels in Afghanistan or withdraw from the region altogether “as soon as possible,” with 39% calling for troop reductions and 27% favoring a full withdrawal. Only 24% of self-identified conservatives supported maintaining present troop levels.

While conservatives may be opposing the war for economic rather than anti-war, anti-imperialist reasons, any new opposition to the war should be welcome by the left.

Conservatives are quite correct in saying this is Obama’s war now too.