You know if you watch the news with any regularity you might not be aware that we are still fighting a war in Afghanistan some 17 years on…..and since I try to keep my readers abreast of all our many wars I will update the Afghan theater……
We have done as much as we could to help the US friendly government stay in power….but what is it like, the government, even with all our help……
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani faces an unprecedented cross-ethnic challenge threatening political stability in Afghanistan. The Coalition for the Salvation of Afghanistan (CSA) – a powerful opposition alliance – created the Grand National Coalition of Afghanistan on July 26. The CSA is led by key powerbrokers including recently returned First Vice President General Abdul Rashid Dostum, former Balkh Province Governor Mohammad Atta Noor, Deputy Chief Executive Officer Mohammad Mohaqiq, and Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani. The Grand National Coalition brings together Afghanistan’s main ethnic minorities – Tajik, Uzbek, and Hazara – with leaders from the ethnic majority Pashtun. The coalition’s alignment against Ghani could destabilize – if not topple – the current Afghan government and undermine U.S. strategy in Afghanistan.
Shaky ground? There are those that see a worse scenario…….
Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) issued its latest quarterly report to the US Congress on Tuesday and stated that the US Department of Justice (DoJ) views the situation in Afghanistan as “consistent with a largely lawless, weak, and dysfunctional government”.
And I do not see that changing even after the next election……and the US continues to pour money, taxpayer money, into q worthless, hopeless cause…..time for a change.
As a foreign policy wonk I hear all the time about this strategy or that….but you know I have a hard time finding one for our Afghan problem…..
At the end of June, the U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination of the ninth American commander in Afghanistan and the 17th commander of that war overall. The U.S.-led coalition has been fighting there for 16 years and ten months. Senior commanders and political leaders have acknowledged the war is a stalemate. Years of Department of Defense reporting and senior leader hearings testify to the difficulties with the war and the reasons for the stalemate. Many open source articles and books explain why, what at first looked like, a successful war, with the Taliban taking flight, then saw the regeneration of the Taliban and the onset of a protracted war of attrition with increasingly grisly bombings and violence year after year. Civilians have been victims of much of the violence. A strategic stalemate after almost 17 years of war is disconcerting.
During the 2016 election candidate Trump made noise about getting the US out of Afghanistan….not much movement since….but the question is if Dear Leader found the will could he find a way?
Last week the White House ordered its top diplomats to seek direct negotiations with the Taliban, the latest foreign relations about-face from an administration that seems to be specializing in them. After early escalation and record-setting bombs , President Trump is looking for a way out of Afghanistan. The Taliban is far from defeated, but negotiations may offer America a means to ending our participation in an intractable war in an irrelevant country.
Earlier this month, during a surprise trip to Kabul, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the claim that the Taliban “cannot wait us out.” Evidence suggests otherwise.
Terrorism update…..ISIS fighters surrendered to government forces after a total rout by Taleban fighters…….
While the Afghan military has struggled to make lasting changes in their fighting against ISIS, the militant group looks to have suffered a serious blow in northern Afghanistan in recent days, as two top Afghan ISIS commanders and between 200 and 250 fighters voluntarily surrendered to Afghan security forces.
ISIS agreed to the surrender after a two-day fight with Taliban forces around Mazar-e Sharif. ISIS suffered heavy casualties, with at least 40 reported killed. ISIS ultimately decided it would be better to surrender to the government than be captured by the Taliban.
ISIS and the Taliban are often on hostile terms. This new fighting was likely precipitated by an ISIS attack in Sar-e Pul in mid-July, where ISIS gunmen assassinated a Taliban commander and around 20 others at a prayer ceremony.