Afghanistan–Clear As Mud

First let me report that 2 more American soldiers were killed in Afghanistan on the 21 of August 2019……

Two U.S. service members were killed Wednesday in Afghanistan.

The troop deaths were announced by NATO’s Resolute Support mission to the country in a press release Wednesday afternoon.

“In accordance with U.S. Department of Defense policy, the names of the service members killed in action are being withheld until 24 hours after notification of next of kin is complete,” the release reads.

(militarynews.com)

It is amazing just how flippin’ confusing the war in Afghanistan has become…….we have a peace deal….no we do not have a peace deal…..we will bring the troops home by Xmas…..no they will stay forever……my point is that it changes daily as what is the US focus or mission on Afghanistan..

Just today the news is….

Speaking on Afghanistan, President Trump remained non-committal on the peace plan being negotiated with the Taliban, continuing to say only that “we’ll see what happens.” He did, however, point toward clearly being inclined to end the war.

Trump says that after 18 years the US is “not really fighting” in Afghanistan, but rather acting as a “ridiculous” police force, adding “we’re not supposed to be a police force.”

All indications are that the Afghan peace deal is all set to go, and Trump was briefed on the matter on Friday. Exactly what his position is, however, still isn’t entirely clear, as he both talks down the merits of staying but emphasizes his willingness to keep troops there.

On top of that, Trump also felt the need to reiterate his claim that he could “win” Afghanistan within a week if he really wanted to, but that it would involve killing 10 million people and “I’m not looking to do that.”

(antiwar.com)

Before the ink gets dry in my notebook I find another piece of news…..

President Donald Trump vowed he will bring home some — but not all — of the U.S. military force currently deployed to Afghanistan, amid reports of ongoing negotiations with Taliban leaders on an end to the nearly 18-year-old war.

“We’ll always have intelligence and we’ll always have someone there,” Trump said during an unscheduled press conference with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis on Tuesday. “That does seem to be the Harvard University of terrorism. So we’ll always have someone there.”

Amid questions from reporters, Trump confirmed reports that U.S. officials are discussing withdrawal plans with both the Taliban and Afghanistan government officials. About 14,000 U.S. troops are currently stationed in the country.

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/pentagon-congress/2019/08/20/trump-promises-continued-us-presence-in-afghanistan-amid-withdrawal-talks/

Troops on the ground is just a continuation of the adventurism we have now…..it looks like the US cannot live without Afghanistan……

https://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/457509-the-us-cant-seem-to-live-without-afghanistan

But say the US does find the courage to bring our war weary troops home….what then for Afghanistan?

Key Afghan warlords have begun preparing for a potential civil war as the U.S. nears an agreement with the Taliban to withdraw from Afghanistan. The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) has observed indicators that Tajik, Uzbek, and Hazara leaders are taking steps to mobilize their ethnic communities in preparation for a looming power struggle as the U.S. and NATO leave Afghanistan. Afghan Pashtuns will also soon likely mobilize, if they have not already begun.

http://iswresearch.blogspot.com/2019/08/afghanistans-warlords-prepare-for-civil.html

As I wrote…Clear As Mud!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

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Military Vs Police

These days things are not quiet balanced…..for instance conservs say when cop shoots an unarmed civilian that it is not murder……mostly white pundits hold this belief…I have asked several what would the call be if it were their child and of course they go off on tangents like conservs always do so they do not have to answer the question that they are uncomfortable with.

I started thinking about this subject when I read that the ex-Blackwater operative was sentenced to life in prtison for the murder of civilians in Iraq in 2007…

A former Blackwater security contractor was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison for his role in the 2007 shooting of unarmed civilians in Iraq that left 14 people dead, the AP reports. Federal judge Royce Lamberth issued the sentence after a succession of friends and relatives requested leniency for Nicholas Slatten, who was found guilty of first-degree murder by a jury in December. Prosecutors charged that Slatten, 35, was the first to fire shots in the September 2007 massacre of Iraqi civilians at a crowded traffic circle in Baghdad. In all, 10 men, two women and two boys, ages 9 and 11, were killed. The defense had argued that Slatten and other Blackwater contractors opened fire only after they saw what they mistakenly thought was a potential suicide car bomber moving quickly toward their convoy.

Like I said…this got me to thinking….do the police face less discipline than soldiers?

Well thanx to Truthdig I have an answer…….

The problem is that the US military missions, themselves, are inherently aggressive. America’s professional imperial soldiers occupy the streets and villages of several Greater Mideast locales and fan the flames of unrest, intolerance, and Islamist extremism. That military – usually through airstrikes – also kills many many civilians. And here’s the rub: that martial chauvinism abroad has come home to roost in the form of militarized police – a disproportionate number of whom are veterans – and their militarized tactics swiped from US wars and counterinsurgencies overseas.

What’s more, ironically, America’s highly lauded police face far less scrutiny – or consequences – for their behavior in impoverished, usually minority, communities than do their military counterparts. It’s a veritable perfect storm: Utilizing US military tactics – and increasingly outfitted with surplus military gear – today’s cops often treat the neighborhoods they police like occupied territory, “Indian Country,” as some have cheekily admitted. Black and brown people are shot and often killed in shocking numbers by law enforcement personnel across this country. Of course that’s always gone on, but in today’s YouTube generation the incidents are disturbingly visual, caught, as they are, on camera. Almost no cops go to jail or face much, if any, consequences for this extreme behavior, and even less for their everyday banality of abuse and harassment. Sure, it’s not all cops who act thus; but it’s far too many.

Do Police Face Less Discipline Than U.S. Soldiers?

I think the police punishments are less harsh…..I suggest that a new Code of Uniform Officers be installed in every PD across the country.  This would set the code of conduct that ALL officers should be held to in the duties for the communities they supposedly service….especially training on how to handle situations without having to draw the weapon.

Too many dead civilians, mostly minorities, it is time for society to get a grip on the spiral of violence committed by those that are paid to protect and serve.

The new police department is similar to a city army with military gear, vehicles and tactics…..but with these “improvements” things have gotten worse….

Evidence suggests the militarization of police forces leads to more civilian deaths.

And….

https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/police-man-cometh/

And…..now try this one……

https://lobotero.com/2017/02/17/coming-of-a-police-state/

Is there a good reason why the police seem to get “away with it”…….

There are major legal, institutional and social impediments to prosecuting police. Thousands of officers are involved in shootings every year, resulting in about 400 deaths annually. However, successful criminal prosecution of a police officer for killing someone in the line of duty, if no corruption is alleged, is extremely rare. Even when officers are convicted, the charges are often minimal. For example, Coleman Brackney, a Bella Vista, Oklahoma, police officer who was convicted of misdemeanor negligent homicide in 2010 after shooting an unarmed teen to death while in custody in his cruiser, went on to rejoin the police and was recently appointed chief of police in Sulphur Springs, Oklahoma.

http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/11/ferguson-police-misconductdarrenwilsongrandjury.html

The police have an easier time “beating the rap” than a soldier does…and the reason is the UCMJ…..so logically it is time for a “Code” for conduct of police…a unified code…..not the mish-mash that we have today.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

 

Foreign Policy Black Hole

The US has entered into a diplomatic black hole……

This black hole is the seemingly need to use military force in the nation’s foreign policy….

Sadly for years now the presence of US troops in other nations leads to their eventually use in some sort of military campaign.

Yet since the “end of history” and the dissipation of those threats in 1989, there has been no pull-back. Instead, the U.S. has been ever more sucked into places around the world. This expansion produces unnecessary tension with China, Russia, and the Islamic world. Worse, the U.S. now fights more often than it did during the Cold War. These interventions often take far longer than the public is led to expect. They kill far more people and cost far more money than admitted. At home, a massive national security state has emerged, confirming President Dwight Eisenhower’s famous warning of the “military-industrial complex”.

The policy response to this sprawl is some mix of retrenchment and restraint. A U.S. grand strategy of “offshore balancing” would husband American resources at home. Intervention would only occur when facing a genuine hegemonic challenger – most obviously China. But the “small wars” which have characterised U.S. intervention in recent decades would stop, for we now know that they do not stay small. Diplomacy would be properly funded; U.S. foreign policy would be de-militarised. Multilateralism and international organisations would be given a chance where the U.S. today disdains them.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2019/08/06/us_foreign_policy_restraint_without_retrenchment_114641.html

Surely there is some sort of reason behind our endless wars…this piece from a Neocon website but it still needs to be considered….

“Only the dead have seen the end of war.” Plato made that incisive observation a rather long time ago. Yet a surprising number of politicians, journalists and think tank denizens continue to affix bumper stickers to their Priuses (if they’re on the left) and SUVs (if they’re on the right) demanding an end to “endless wars.”

https://www.fdd.org/analysis/2019/08/07/why-endless-wars-cant-be-ended/

It seems like once we get entrenched in a region we are then drawn into a conflict and a conflict we cannot seemingly remove ourselves….why is that?

Time and again, the United States has attempted to redirect more of its attention and resources toward its competitions with Russia and China. But Washington’s other commitments around the world continues to undermine this effort. Since taking office, U.S. President Donald Trump has sought to address this problem by pressuring allies to commit more military resources to places like Syria (where the United States is trying to draw troop levels) and most recently, the Persian Gulf (where it now faces an increased risk of a military clash with Iran). 

But concerns over the direction of U.S. leadership has made even Washington’s strongest partners in Europe reticent to deploy more troops to these hot spots. This lack of trust — combined with the fact that many allies already have significant security commitments of their own — will likely leave the United States with little choice but to make do with the allied support it has in order to finish out its duties in the Middle East.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2019/08/06/why_the_us_will_struggle_to_reduce_its_military_commitments_abroad_114642.html

I will admit that at one point I was with Trumnp and some of his foreign policy stands in the beginning…but it did not take long for his true self to emerge from the cloak of the presidency.

And now us foreign policy wonks are waiting for the adults in foreign policy to step forward.

NO one is the photo below is an adult in foreign policy….just puppets of the M-IC…..they smile because they are getting away with their crimes and NO one seemingly gives a damn…..

Be Smart!

Do Not Buy The Hype!

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Closing Thought–16Aug19

Special operations has had its problems and its bad news in the last year or two….but there is one thing that continues the Special Operations Warrior Foundation….

Special Operations Warrior Foundation SOWF

The Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF) is a non-profit organization located in Tampa, Florida. The SOWF exists to care for the families of fallen and wounded special operations forces.

The SOWF was founded in 1980 after the attempt to rescue 53 American hostages in Iran. The operation resulted in the loss of eight special operations servicemen who left behind 17 children.

Since then, the Special Operations Warrior Foundation has assisted hundreds of children of fallen special operators with financial assistance in their pursuit of a post-secondary education. In addition, the SOWF has assisted countless wounded and injured special operations warriors.

The SOWF has two principle missions. It provides financial assistance for post-secondary education (college, university, or trade schools) to the surviving children of special operations personnel who lose their lives in the line-of-duty. In addition, it provides immediate financial grants to severely combat-wounded and hospitalized special operations personnel and their families.

Visit and check them out…..Special Operations Warrior Foundation

I hope that everyone has a safe and happy weekend….

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

SEALs Have A Problem

My first reaction is to say “NO SH*T”…..

I have been writing about their problems for a couple of years now….https://lobotero.com/2019/07/29/what-the-hell-has-happened/

Now the commander of the SEALs has recognized the problem in public…..

The commander of the Naval Special Warfare Command put the words “We have a problem” in bold font. “I don’t know yet if we have a culture problem, I do know that we have a good order and discipline problem that must be addressed immediately,” reads the July 25 letter from Rear Adm. Collin Green, the man in charge of Navy SEALs. The letter obtained by CNN and the New York Times orders commanders to bring forth problems and recommendations for how to ensure ethical and professional behavior following a series of embarrassing incidents, reports CNN. “This is our main effort and my top priority,” Green writes, noting the culture of the force “is being questioned … for good reason” as “some of our subordinate formations have failed to maintain good order and discipline.”

Retired Navy SEAL Eric Deming brought his concerns to Green on Monday. “I got two boys that are old enough, I wouldn’t even let them be part of [the force],” he tells CBS News. An entire SEAL platoon was sent home from Iraq after allegations of sexual assault and unauthorized drinking. Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher, accused of war crimes, was convicted of unlawfully posing with an enemy corpse. And two SEALs were implicated in the 2017 hazing death of a Green Beret just months after members of SEAL Team 10 were found to have used cocaine in April 2018. Green says addressing such issues is necessary to “recalibrate our culture and regain our credibility.” The head of all special operations forces, Gen. Richard Clarke, is expected to address ethics in his own letter to the force, per CNN.

Recognizing the problems is not a solution…it can be a good beginning but progress must be made.

Then ask…is it a problem that can be corrected?

I have even heard rumblings that the SEALs should be abolished…and I have read an opinion on this questions…..

I recently saw this question posed on Quora and it made me think. Let me start by answering with my opinion, which is NO. But . . .

It’s interesting to look at the history. Marcinko ended up in Federal Prison after he founded Red Cell. I’ve met the man, did booksignings with him, and even was asked to co-write some of his fiction, which I declined. I just didn’t agree with his leadership philosophy as set out in Rogue Warrior. Essentially it was “Do it MY way” not the Navy’s way. His rules took precedence over the legal rules. To me, that was a recipe for disaster which is bearing fruit now.

I’m not certain but I’ve heard that Admiral McRaven who commanded SOCOM and was a SEAL was assigned to 6 and asked to be transferred out due to the slack command culture.

Should the SEALS be abolished?

I hope that the SEALs find a solution……as long as we continue our adventurism and interventions worldwide we will need the SEALs at full capacity and at the ready.

After writing this draft news came out that the head of the SEALs has ordered an investigation…..

The head of U.S. Special Operations Command is initiating a comprehensive review of all Special Operations Forces culture and ethics, according to a memo he sent to commanders Friday evening.

“Recent incidents have called our culture and ethics into question and threaten the trust placed in us,” Gen. Richard Clarke wrote. The review will focus on recruiting, how new SOF members are selected, how leaders are trained and grown, how the force is educated about ethics and how ethical failures are addressed.

The review comes after a string of high-profile incidents involving Special Operations Forces, which include the Navy SEALs, the Green Berets and the Delta Force, among others.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/military/head-u-s-special-operations-forces-demands-review-culture-after-n1041456?cid=public-rss_20190812

This is a long time coming….hopefully this will help the SEALs change the course they have been traveling.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Afghan News

You my reader may not get all the information about our longest war and that is why I am here…..I am spotlighting these wars and the foolishness that goes with them and then there are the damn lies to the public.

Recently there was good news.bad news coming out of Afghanistan…..first a peace deal with the Taleban was imminent then it was a failure and kicked to the curb….now it must start all over again….again…..

With hopes for an imminent peace deal in Afghanistan, there were reports that the US military was starting to scale back operations in the country, both limiting combat operations, and advisory missions.

Gen. Scott Miller, the US commander of Afghanistan, insisted the reports are “inaccurate and speculative.” Other officials say there have been no changes to US operations in Afghanistan of any kind.

(antiwar.com)

In the meanwhile Afghanistan is the proving ground for new and improved technology….

18 years into the war, the Pentagon has found Afghanistan as a nice proving ground for a lot of different new military technology, hoping to show that new artificial intelligence efforts and cloud computing can make information-sharing in an occupation more efficient.

The Afghan War has gone really badly, of course, and better than what they had isn’t a tall order. In addition to the computer upgrades they’re getting, US Army forces are also being given pocket-sized drones to deploy for the first time.

The drones, like the AI, aren’t meant as a serious bid to turn around the long lost and almost-over war. Rather, they’re to allow the Pentagon to say these things have been tested in war conditions, for their funding going forward and use in America’s presumptive future wars.

(antiwar.com)

Should we go or should we stay?

The president wants to end the war in Afghanistan. 

Since entering office thirty months ago, Donald Trump has looked for ways to exit America’s longest conflict, but has been stymied, repeatedly, on execution. 

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/skeptics/trump%E2%80%99s-afghanistan-exit-or-mirage-71016

Come on people…remove head from sand…..and look at the reality of Afghanistan…..

Afghanistan at the moment is a deeply fractured and divided society. The Afghan government is simply too weak, corrupt, and internally divided to extend its writ over the entire country. Afghan security forces are bloodied and beleaguered and don’t possess the independent capacity, manpower, resources, or enablers to defeat insurgency. And as long as the Taliban continue to enjoy a haven across the Durand Line in next-door Pakistan, Kabul will not have a monopoly on violence. Whether we like it or not, the Taliban are an integral part of Afghan society that Washington can’t wish away.

https://www.realclearworld.com/articles/2019/08/08/the_reality_of_afghanistan_113072.html

Time for the people of this country to demand an end to this insanity…..Afghanistan will get NO better no matter how long we remain….so cut our losses and declare it a win and bring our war weary troops home for a much deserved rest.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

 

Closing Thought–13Aug19

I try to post whenever I read or hear about another US soldier dies in our many years of intervention….my readers need to know….

The Pentagon is investigating the combat death of Marine Gunnery Sgt. Scott A. Koppenhafer/

The latest is a Marine from 2nd Raider Bn. killed in Iraq….

The Pentagon identified a US Marine killed in Iraq this weekend as Gunnery Sgt. Scott A. Koppenhafer.

Koppenhafer, 35, of Mancos, Colorado, was killed Saturday by enemy small arms fire while conducting combat operations, the Department of Defense said in a Sunday news release.
Koppenhafer was killed while advising and accompanying Iraqi Security Forces on a planned operation in Nineveh province, Iraq, according to a press release from Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve.
 
According to Marine Corps Times, Koppenhafer was named “Marine Special Operator of the Year” in 2018 by the Marine Corps Association for his role in guiding elite Iraqi Special Operations Forces in northern Iraq.
Koppenhafer was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, the official name for the US-led operation fighting ISIS. A Pentagon inspector general’s report on the fight against ISIS released earlier this month warned that “despite losing its territorial ‘caliphate,’ the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) solidified its insurgent capabilities in Iraq and was re-surging in Syria.”
 
(cnn.com)
Now there seems to be some question about his death…..

He was first reported to have died by small-arms enemy fire. The Pentagon is now looking into whether he was accidentally shot by U.S. or Iraqi forces instead.

Most of the 5,200 U.S. troops in Iraq train Iraqi security forces and conduct counterterrorism operations, according to the newspaper. A report by the Pentagon’s Office of Inspector General released earlier this year said ISIS militants were waging an “effective clandestine” insurgency in Iraq and Syria and still pose a significant threat

Death by friendly fire……

Too many of our best are maimed and killed in these useless conflicts….conflicts that are not needed only to pad some back accounts.

Take a few moments to give some thought for the family…..may their loved one Rest In Peace.

“Lego ergo Scribo”