Afghanistan is back in the news thanx mostly because of a new film about the early days of this war and occupation. Sadly this film will not force the American people into actually caring about the war and its consequences. But then there are hard headed SOBs such as myself that force feed information to his readers.
A new president and new slogans…..but is there a new policy to go along with the person and/or the slogans?
There’s a new faith among the latest U.S. generals who have come to win the war in Afghanistan, but plenty of old realities. U.S. Central Command’s Gen. Joseph Votel, who is overseeing the Trump administration’s Afghanistan War reboot, came here to see its beginning and its promise of victory, with newly arriving squadrons of attack jets, howitzer cannons, and hundreds of specialized and experienced U.S. troops.
Just hours earlier, the 4-star distinguished visitor had been in Kabul discussing those plans at the Afghan Ministry of Defense when a suicide attacker detonated a massive car bomb disguised in an ambulance. Welcome back to the war.
Yet another look at the US Afghan strategy from another neo-con source…..
The Taliban was and remains an insurgency. It must be dealt with as an insurgency by focusing on the human terrain. The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA) must develop and pursue an indigenous Counter Insurgency (COIN) campaign focused on the principles of security, governance, and basic services. This does not need to be the full spectrum, comprehensive COIN led by the U.S. from 2010 to 2012, but a “light” version of that campaign. Regardless, GIRoA will likely require coalition forces to work by, with, and through them, providing training, advising, and assistance (TAA) in order for GIRoA to identify and address the specific elements of security, governance, and basic services which are the most critical for winning over the population and bringing the Taliban insurgency to an end.
There seems to be at least one bomb a week in Kabul…..probably not that often but just seems like…..
Two weekends ago, a Taliban bombing killed more than 100 and injured over 200 more in Afghanistan. The bombing took place in the heart of Kabul in an area considered among the country’s most secure. Along with a recent flurry of terrorist violence, the attack demonstrates the magnitude of the challenges facing the coalition effort in Afghanistan.
When he announced a new way forward in South Asia, the President made clear that he was going against his initial instincts to withdraw American forces. Instead, after listening to his senior advisors and military leaders, he decided to modestly expand our footprint in the country. In light of the President’s reservations, this may be our last chance to get Afghanistan right. Seventeen years into the longest war in our nation’s history, we still have enduring interests in South Asia—but securing them requires an honest look at our goals and the resources we are willing to spend in pursuit of those goals.
Ever heard of the Uighurs? They tend to be localized in Southern China…..now you are asking what has that got to do with Afghanistan?
Appears the US is picking a fight…….
Over the past week, escalating US airstrikes in Afghanistan have shifted away from their usual focus on the Taliban and ISIS, and have shifted northward to Badakhshan, the province on the border with neighboring China.
This region has few Taliban, but it has Uighurs loyal to the East Turkastan Islamic Movement (ETIM), which is mostly seen as a secessionist group in China, and rarely thought of at all in Afghanistan.
Still, the US is targeting them, reflecting President Trump’s attitude that any groups that are “enemies” of Afghanistan, even if just on paper, are now the target. Some analysts are spinning them as part of a “broader” terrorist presence, and with the orders for the Pentagon to escalate, it doesn’t take much to get targeted.
Unspoken in all of this is that such strikes are having no impact on the Afghan War itself, as ETIM has little to no presence beyond the immediate border region, and while US strikes on them might be very pleasing to China, ETIM poses no threat to Afghanistan itself.
A little news from Afghanistan that the MSM does not find important enough to share with the country.
Believe it or not but there have been on-going peace ‘meetings’ between the Taleban and the Afghan government and it looks like some others have been invited to participate……
The Taliban is extending an invitation to Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, to their political office in Doha, to discuss possible peace plans to end the 17-year Afghan war.
The invitation, proposed on the terror group’s social media accounts under the moniker of the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,” was extended in response to Mr. Paul’s recent comments on the status of the war.
“We invite the respectable U.S. Senator Rand Paul, in his official capacity to visit our political office in Doha for mutual talks,” the Twitter post by the Information Committee of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan read.
There you have an update on our Afghan War…..stay tuned…….