Afghanistan Update

I wish that I did not have to report an update to a 17 year war…….my granddaughter has never known a time when the US was not at war……but since we are still fighting God knows who I need to keep my readers informed…

The Pentagon Inspector General has released a new report on Friday regarding the Afghan War. The report contradicts administration claims that escalation of the conflict was making headway, concluding that “no significant progress” was made in the war in all of 2017.

It is particularly noteworthy, as the Inspector General used actual metrics to gauge progress, noting that the stated goal was to get 80% of Afghanistan’s population under government control, and that the US is no closer to reaching that, with most estimates in the 60% range, still the lowest in the war.

16+ years into the US war in Afghanistan, they control less territory than ever. Despite a priority in striking opium poppy cultivation, that too hit a record in 2017. No substantial changes have been made since the escalation.

The narrative that the war has “turned the corner” has been a popular one for years, indeed over a decade, but the reality is that the war has been struggling throughout, and even claims of a “stalemate” are wildly optimistic.


We are always hearing from whoever is in the White House that we are only days away from a total victory in Afghanistan…..that forecast is more bullsh*t from the WH.

Before Trump occupied the Oval Office he was Tweeting that we need to get out of Afghanistan… early as 2013…..

Whatever happened to the Donald Trump who tweeted in 2013, “Let’s get out of Afghanistan … we waste billions there. Nonsense!”

And whatever happened to the reality TV star who used to tell under-performers, “you’re fired”?

Today, as commander in chief, President Trump is indefinitely extending the Afghan war’s record as the longest in U.S. history. He’s wasting $45 billion to wage it this year alone. And he’s not even thinking of firing his huckster generals who claim that sending a few thousand more troops and stepping up the bombing will be a “game changer.”

Much like the Vietnam War, every day’s news of war from Afghanistan puts the lie to optimistic claims of a military solution. A recent BBC study concluded that Taliban forces are now active in 70 percent of the country, more than at any time since the end of 2001. Unofficial U.S. estimates of their strength have soared from about 20,000 in 2014 to at least 60,000 today.

No one sees Afghanistan as a victory or a success…..what it is is a cash cow for the M-IC…….the longer the war the more profits are made….time to call out the d/bags and cowards…..time to declare a victory and bring the troops home.

We have invested enough blood in this country.

Apparently not yet….

the Washington Postreported that the U.S. Air Force is now bombing Chinese Islamist separatists in a remote corner of Northeast Afghanistan. You’ve likely never heard of the group, the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), nor should you have. These ethnic Uyghurs want to secede from China and form their own state in western Xinjiang province. They do not present any sort of existential threat to the United States. Sure, they’ve made common cause with Al Qaeda when it suited them, but overall, according to a terrorism analyst at the Woodrow Wilson Center, ETIM “typically has local aims.” Sounds to me like a China problem.

The Post report indicated just how far the U.S. effort in that country has gone off the rails—it is now almost entirely and openly disconnected from vital U.S. interests yet continues apace at a cost of $45 billion annually.

Same sh*t, Different president!


Afghanistan Today

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… 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…….

Afghanistan Again

There is a new fantasy film out about how we won the Afghan War….that is not completely true but Hollywood will do everything possible to put a positive spin on the war…..

But maybe Americans should spend more time learning about some of the realities of war and less about the macho bullshit.

Just a thought.

Where to begin?

The recent high-profile bombings in Afghanistan have reignited a debate about the state of the war. In its recently released quarterly report to the U.S. Congress, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction (SIGAR) publicly complained that the Department of Defense (DoD) was not being fully transparent: “SIGAR was informed that DoD has determined that although the most recent numbers are unclassified, they are not releasable to the public.”

The report continued that “this development was troubling” and pleaded for more information like government control of territory and attrition rates for Afghan forces. The U.S. military quickly responded by releasing additional data. “It was not the intent…to withhold or classify information which was available in prior reports,” Navy Captain Thomas Gresback, a spokesman for the U.S. military in Afghanistan, said in a statement. “A human error in labeling occurred.”

Supposedly Trump has a “new” approach  to the Afghan War and by most accounts it is not something that will lead to a way out of a quagmire….

Though US troops are nominally “advisers” in Afghanistan, the new approach, with its substantial escalation of the war, is expected to be dramatically more dangerous for rank-and-file troops being deployed, and likely to lead to an increase in casualties.

That’s because the “adviser” label is applied no matter where the troops are deployed or what they’re doing, and in the new Afghan escalation, many of those US troops are being embedded more deeply than ever before.

Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie confirmed that the military’s view is that the troops are being put into increased danger, warning that casualties are likely to result.

Advisory embedding at higher levels of the Afghan military has been common, but these moves rarely put US troops out anywhere near combat situations. The new strategy is likely to put many of them right on the front lines with the Afghan military.

This is a problematic situation, because not only does it risk casualties for US troops engaged in combat, but close proximity to Afghan combat troops has, historically, led to a substantial increase in insider attacks killing and wounding US troops as well.


Apparently there is the typical good news-bad news when it comes of Afghanistan…..Good news Trump listening to his genera;ls…bad news is they are leading the US down a wrong path…..

As the Trump administration escalates America’s military involvement in Afghanistan and Syria, one wonders what happened to the Donald Trump who decried the former war as a “total disaster” and bellowed over and over “It’s time to come home”—and who pledged to do nothing in the latter war but “bomb the shit out of ISIS.”

Yet Trump is sending more troops to Afghanistan (the longest war in U.S. history) and broadening our mission in Syria (arguably the most complex conflict we’ve ever sleepwalked into).

What happened to Trump is that, however stubborn and overconfident he’s been on most matters he’s sounded off about (health care, climate change, immigration, protectionism), when it comes to the use of military force, he has deferred to his inner circle of generals.

Our longest war and yet there is NO light at the end of this tunnel…..Americans keep fighting and dying knowing there is NO foreseeable end to this conflict…..

I believe that Einstein had a name for this strategy.

Winning A War–One Movie At A Time

Once again Afghanistan will become “popular”….remember after the movie about the SEAL, “Alone” and people were talking about the war in Afghanistan…well there is yet another movie about the early days of the war in 2001…..

“12 Strong” is set in the harrowing days following 9/11 when a U.S. Special Forces team, led by their new Captain, Mitch Nelson (Hemsworth), is chosen to be the first U.S. troops sent into Afghanistan for an extremely dangerous mission. There, in the rugged mountains, they must convince Northern Alliance General Dostum (Negahban) to join forces with them to fight their common adversary: the Taliban and their Al Qaeda allies. In addition to overcoming mutual distrust and a vast cultural divide, the Americans—accustomed to state-of-the-art warfare—must adopt the rudimentary tactics of the Afghani (sic) horse soldiers. But despite their uneasy bond, the new allies face overwhelming odds: outnumbered and outgunned by a ruthless enemy that does not take prisoners.

The US, according to Hollywood, is winning the war…..which is so bogus and not even entertaining, unless you are a wannabe that sits on a couch and plays Warcraft……personally I am sick of these silly chunks of bullshit…..

The Hollywood Reporter published a surprising story earlier this month about film studios turning away from movies about sex. A biopic about Hugh Hefner is stalled, gone for the moment is a James Franco film about a 15-year-old Russian prostitute, and a remake of “A Star Is Born” is being re-thought, too.

“As Hollywood begins to navigate the #MeToo landscape,” Tatiana Siegel reported, “one of the first casualties appears to be big-screen erotica. In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, studios are steering clear of sex.” Alyssa Rosenberg, writing in the Washington Post, hopes that Hollywood’s embarrassed executives are navigating “the end of a very narrow way of thinking about what’s alluring.” Instead of movies that objectify women, she suggests more films that portray sex and sexuality in intelligent ways.

The good guys win and the bad guys go slinking off with their tails between their legs…..sorry people but that is a true fantasy and should be sold as a film of fantasy…..

I am weary of all the macho crap that Hollywood feeds to help the M-IC keep a willing reserve of stupid.  Time to stop glorifying war…there is Nothing glorious about the  obscenity of war…

Afghanistan: The Rest Of The Story

Do I need to point out that  Afghanistan is the US longest war?  I didn’t think so.

Every president since Bush2 has pretended that there is some sort of grand plan for the conflict in Afghanistan… has been a lie since 2001….some say that the key to Afghanistan is through Pakistan….

As 2018 begins, Pakistan has not stopped its support of terrorists and insurgents in Afghanistan, and elsewhere, in any fundamental ways.

America and its Coalition partners have now been at war in Afghanistan for six years longer than the Soviets were at war in Afghanistan.

There are a number of reasons why the war in Afghanistan is a protracted stalemate, but a huge one lies in the delusion that portrayed Pakistan as a friend and, until now, impaired clear-eyed thinking about a strategy for Pakistan.

The reason for the stalemate is the support and sanctuary that the Pakistani security establishment has continued to provide to the enemies of the Afghans, Americans and the Coalition partners.

Pakistan is the hideout for many within the Taleban and has been since the early days of America’s involvement…..the Taleban has been a thorn in the US collective butt….but what is most amazing is that the US needs the Taleban intact to justify its time in Afghanistan…..

I read an interview with some people from Afghanistan about the necessity of the Taleban for the US and its proxies…..

“Whoever sits in the White House will continue to serve the 1% and spread wars across the world, to maintain the US hegemony. Many corporations, arms manufacturers and corporate-employed mercenaries, benefit from the war itself, or from extravagant reconstruction opportunities the war destruction creates. The increase in the number of US troops is not to secure the country or annihilate the US creations, the Taliban and ISIS, but rather a show of US power to rivals, Russia, China and Iran.

Despite all their differences, the US and Iran’s aim in Afghanistan converge on one point: the promotion of fundamentalist thought, and continued support for the most reactionary, dark-minded and criminal fundamentalist elements. While the US killed hundreds of Afghan revolutionaries and freedom-fighters through its fundamentalist mercenaries in the 1980s and 90s, it used these tactics to prevent the rise of nationalist, freedom-fighting and independent figures and forces that would resist its occupation and bullying,”

The US will continue to fight and die in Afghanistan as long as it stays profitable…..and the president and his minions will continue to lie as long as the M-IC needs then to do so.

Another Soldier’s Death

WE begin another year of war in Afghanistan and more US death…..

A U.S. Special Forces soldier who was killed in Afghanistan on Monday came under small-arms fire while on a foot patrol, U.S. military officials said Wednesday.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Mihail Golin, 34, was killed in Nangarhar province’s Achin district, an area in which U.S. forces have been combating both the Islamic State and the Taliban. The Islamic State in Khorasan, the militant group’s Afghan affiliate, established roots there in the mountainous area along Pakistan’s border in 2014, and the U.S. military launched raids and airstrikes there in 2017 as it stepped up its campaign against the group.

Golin was a Special Forces weapons sergeant with 10th Special Forces Group, of Fort Bragg, N.C., the U.S. Army Special Operations Command said in a news release Wednesday. A native of Riga, Latvia, he moved to Fort Lee, N.J., in October 2004 and joined the Army a few months later in January 2005.

Golin initially served as an infantryman, deploying once to Iraq and twice to Afghanistan. He joined Special Forces in 2014, and deployed to Afghanistan in September.


Our thoughts and prayers are with the family in this time of grief…..may he rest in peace.

It’s That Darn War On Drugs

The War on Drugs was declared in a presser by Nixon in 1971 so we have been fighting this “war” for 46 years and spent annually in the U.S. on the war on drugs:  about $51 billion or about a trillion dollars over the lifetime of the program.

I bring this up because of a couple of articles I read…..

As if the United States needed more evidence that its sixteen-year mission in Afghanistan is an exercise in futility, a new United Nations report provides an additional reason for depression. The 2017 Afghanistan Opium Survey from the UN’s Office on Drugs and Crime, released on November 15, confirms that Washington’s effort to curb illicit narcotics trafficking in the country has failed.

Almost every aspect of the report contains bad news. Overall opium production reached nine thousand metric tons, compared to 4,800 tons in 2016. That was a record level since the UN began keeping statistics on the product in 1994. Some 328,000 hectares were used to grow poppy (the source of opium), an increase of nearly 50 percent from the previous record set in 2014. Poppy cultivation also spread to provinces that were previously free of such cultivation. That development means that twenty-four of the country’s thirty-four provinces now are directly involved in illicit drug production. Despite a 14 percent drop in price per unit, the overall value of the crop increased by 55 percent because of the sheer overall volume. An evaluation of the UN report from the Afghan Analysis Network aptly concluded that opium is “a low-risk crop in a high-risk environment.”

The part of the program to eliminate the Afghan opium trade is a failure after all the cash spent to rid the countryside of the poppy fields….

Then there is cocaine problem coming out of Columbia…..

European police organization Europol on Friday said that a “significant increase in production in Colombia has caused intensified trafficking activity” to the European Union.

Europol made the claim in its “How Illegal Armed Drugs Sustain Organized Crime in the EU” report on regional drug trafficking activity.

Yet another failed program…the eradication of the cocaine production….farms and factories…..

WE are throwing money at these programs and are getting no positive results….time to find another way or legalize all drugs…..