Huge drug-war training complex planned for U.S-Mexico border

A former SEAL, Brandon Webb, is fronting a plan for a proposed $100 million privately operated and funded training camp for military and law enforcement near San Diego and Tijuana. It will be a launching area for unmanned drones too. Webb says such military and surveillance capabilities will be necessary should Mexico topple into anarchy and drug-cartel backed civil war. That may be true – Mexico is is dire shape now – but it is troublesome that private business not US military be running the camp.

4th generational warfare (4GW) posits that governments will hollow out under external pressures, unable to perform services that it used to. That may be what we’re seeing here, or perhaps the camp will be used for something the military wants plausible deniability from. Either way, the privatization of what used to be military functions is a bad idea whose time has come.

Afghanistan: Has Hamid Karzai Already Joined the Taliban?

I am the Afghanistan Blogging Fellow for The Seminal and Brave New Foundation. You can read my work on The Seminal or at Rethink Afghanistan. The views expressed below are my own.

The war in Afghanistan is disintegrating before our very eyes. Our counterinsurgency strategy is broken, and the Pentagon knows it. The so-called “emergency” funding requested months ago by the Obama administration now seems destined to die a slow, bureaucratic death in congress due to overwhelming pressure by citizens. Our allies in NATO have either reached their peak of military involvement, as with the UK, or have already begun to dismantle their troop presence, as with Canada and so many others. Other countries in the region are already vying for power after the US leaves, even as the Pentagon insists its July 2011 withdrawal date will only be the “beginning of a process.”

But what about Afghanistan itself? What about President Hamid Karzai, our ally and head of the “Host Nation” government? The theory put forward by the pundit class is usually some variation of the “bloodbath” theme. That is, our allies in Kabul like Karzai would be overrun and annihilated by the Taliban. This appears to be more media myth-making, however, as we see from Karzai’s political maneuvering that not only is he threatening to join the Taliban, but he may have already done just that.

Karzai is already negotiating with the Taliban and even received formal terms of a peace treaty from Taliban-aligned Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that Karzai joined them. After all, negotiations are merely the first step in any peace process, no matter the circumstances. Instead we have to look deeper inside this peace process to see the real endgame Karzai is working toward, that of a nominal, Pashtun-nationalist government in Kabul overlaying a Taliban-dominated countryside. Together they function not only as a crime family capable of exploiting Afghanistan’s resources (minerals, opium, timber, etc) but also as a highly effective proxy for Pakistan’s interminable battle against Indian influence. Continue reading “Afghanistan: Has Hamid Karzai Already Joined the Taliban?”