Bounty Of A Different Color

Surely most people have heard about the bounties that were put on our soldiers according to the media and some Neocons…..I originally asked the question….why now?

Don’t take my word…here is the post that I asked that question…..https://lobotero.com/2020/07/02/mutiny-of-the-bounties/

The day after my post someone else had the same idea that I had……https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/07/03/roaming-charges-mutiny-of-the-bounties/

All that history aside…..the media has done an excellent job selling the idea of the bounties to the American people……

Late last month, reports began emerging claiming that Russia had been paying substantial bounties to the Taliban to kill US troops in Afghanistan. A new poll shows that 60% of Americans view that allegation as “believable.”

Claims Russia did something bad are usually easy to sell, and a claim repeated enough usually gets believed by many. Still, the evidence is not at all on the side of this particular allegation, which the Pentagon tried, and failed, to sell to the US intelligence community.

Centcom head Gen. Frank McKenzie says that when he heard the report it was “worrisome,” but that he’s still not clear anyone was killed on the basis of this. Moreover, he says the US did not change its Afghanistan operations.

It seems clear at this point it was never true, but the New York Times ran with the story, and ran hard, and the poll points to Americans buying the story.

The poll shows that they view Russian President Vladimir Putin as a “threat,” and support a new round of US sanctions against Russia. Alarmingly, 9% even supported attacking Russia outright.

This is undercut by the strong evidence that this plot isn’t true, and never was. The danger is, the US could escalate hostilities and the majority of the public is fine with it.

(antiwar.com)

After the troop withdrawal was announced no sooner than the Pentagon started using its contacts in the media to ax the decision and to keep the troops in Afghanistan…..

The New York Times dropped another Russiagate bombshell on June 26 with a sensational front-page story headlined, “Russia Secretly Offered Afghan Militants Bounties to Kill U.S. Troops, Intelligence Says.” A predictable media and political frenzy followed, reviving the anti-Russian hysteria that has excited the Beltway establishment for the past four years.

But a closer look at the reporting by the Times and other mainstream outlets vying to confirm its coverage reveals another scandal not unlike Russiagate itself: the core elements of the story appear to have been fabricated by Afghan government intelligence to derail a potential US troop withdrawal from the country. And they were leaked to the Times and other outlets by US national security state officials who shared an agenda with their Afghan allies.

In the days following the story’s publication, the maneuvers of the Afghan regime and US national security bureaucracy encountered an unexpected political obstacle: US intelligence agencies began offering a series of low confidence assessments in the Afghan government’s self-interested intelligence claims, judging them to be highly suspect at best, and altogether bogus at worst.

How the Pentagon Failed to Sell Afghan Government’s Bunk ‘Bountygate’ Story to US Intelligence Agencies

The longer the story is out there…..the more holes are found in the reports…..even the Pentagon is back peddling…..

Continuing the allegation of Russian bounty payments to Taliban to kill US troops, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley both told the House Armed Services Committee that they’ve seen no corroboration of the claim, nor do they believe anyone was actually killed on the basis of it.

This allegation emerged last month in the New York Times and has been oft-repeated, despite a lack of evidence. Earlier this week, a poll showed a majority of Americans believe the claim, though the military has repeatedly said they just don’t have the evidence to defend it. Centcom’s commander has also recently doubted it.

Beyond military doubts, US intelligence has also expressed major doubts, saying they have “low confidence” of the allegations. It is unclear why this continues, when between military leadership and intelligence community no one seems to be buying the story.

That said, Milley told the committee that if it turns out this claim is true, something that looks remotely unlikely, he said that the US would respond against Russia in some non-specific way.

(antiwar.com)

Appears this was a campaign put together by the M-IC to keep troops and equipment in Afghanistan thus preserving their profits for longer.

Bring The Troops Home!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

 

The Bounty Thing

I said in my original post on th situation that I was suspicious of the timing…….https://lobotero.com/2020/07/02/mutiny-of-the-bounties/

There is several different reports about this situation…..and I guess if depends where you stand politically…..so it depends on who you believe….think back a few years on the actions taken on faulty intel……

Digging below the bombshell headlines and MSM chyrons on the current Russian-bounty-on-US-soldiers-in-Afghanistan allegations, it seems three separate US government (USG) agencies — the CIA, the National Security Agency (NSA), and the Pentagon – have different assessments as to the veracity of this story. To ascertain which assessments are most reliable, one has to understand how each agency is staffed and how it operates in gathering information to formulate its intelligence assessments. Having worked in Afghanistan for six years (and before that in Iraq) as an USG civilian advisor with a Top Secret clearance, I can offer insights on how to evaluate the veracity of this story – including my opinion on the real rationale behind the illegal leaks of classified intelligence that occurred and the political agenda this story is attempting to advance.

Who To Believe on Afghan Intelligence: CIA, NSA, or Pentagon?

The Congress is up in arms over the story….as they should be if it is true…..but they also have been trying to stop Trump from bringing the troops home from Afghanistan……they may have found the way to stop the troop withdrawal…..

The House Armed Services Committee voted Wednesday night to put roadblocks on President Donald Trump’s vow to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan, apparently in response to bombshell report published by The New York Times Friday that alleges Russia paid dollar bounties to the Taliban in Afghanistan to kill U.S troops.

Despite at least three serious flaws with that reporting, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) amendment was approved 45-11.

Home/The State of the Union/House Using Shaky Russian Bounty Story To Keep U.S. Troops in Afghanistan

House Using Shaky Russian Bounty Story To Keep U.S. Troops in Afghanistan

How convenient. Liz Cheney joins Democrats leading the charge.

The House Armed Services Committee voted Wednesday night to put roadblocks on President Donald Trump’s vow to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan, apparently in response to bombshell report published by The New York Times Friday that alleges Russia paid dollar bounties to the Taliban in Afghanistan to kill U.S troops.

Despite at least three serious flaws with that reporting, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) amendment was approved 45-11.

The Crow amendment would block funding if the U.S. draws down below 8,000 troops and again below 4,000 troops “unless the administration certifies that doing so would not compromise the U.S. counterterrorism mission in Afghanistan, not increase risk for U.S. personnel there, be done in consultation with allies, and is in the best interest of the United States,” reports The Hill. “It would also require an analysis on the effects of a drawdown on the threat from the Taliban, the status of human and civil rights, an inclusive Afghan peace process, the capacity of Afghan forces and the effect of malign actors on Afghan sovereignty.”

Rep. Jason Crow’s (D-Colo.) NDAA amendment will require several certifications, including an assessment of whether any “state actors have provided any incentives to the Taliban, their affiliates, or other foreign terrorist organizations for attacks against United States, coalition, or Afghan security forces or civilians in Afghanistan in the last two years, including the details of any attacks believed to have been connected with such incentives.”

House Using Shaky Russian Bounty Story To Keep U.S. Troops in Afghanistan

The M-IC has needed something to bring the troop withdrawal to a screeching halt…..

As I have said….I am suspicious of the timing of this situation/

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

Mutiny Of The Bounties

Pandemic is growing every day and the protests apparently are not newsworthy anymore….so what can the media be going on about?

Bounties!

There has been a story circulating around the nation…it seems a report has been found that tells of bounties paid by Russia for the killing of American soldiers.

The president has denied the whole affair…..and there is contradictory reports as well…..

The new controversy over allegations that Russia put bounties on US troops in Afghanistan—and whether President Trump himself was briefed about it—continues to gain steam. The White House briefed a group of Republican lawmakers on the issue Monday, and a group of Democratic lawmakers will be briefed on Tuesday, reports Politico. Trump has insisted that he was never told about the allegations, though reports continue to surface challenging that. The AP, for example, is out with a story saying that top White House officials were aware of classified intel on the matter in early 2019 and that it “was included in at least one of President Donald Trump’s written daily intelligence briefings at the time.” The story also reports that former national security adviser John Bolton has told friends he briefed Trump about it.

The New York Times makes a similar assertion in the first paragraph of its latest story: “American officials provided a written briefing in late February to President Trump laying out their conclusion that a Russian military intelligence unit offered and paid bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan, two officials familiar with the matter said.” One of the Republicans in Monday’s briefing, Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas, defended the president afterward, reports NBC News. Yes, the allegation may have appeared in a written briefing to the president, he said, but it wasn’t deemed to be “a credible, actionable piece of intelligence” at the time. “And if at any point it did, it would be raised to his attention.” McCaul, the top Republican on the Foreign Affairs Committee, added that he came out of the briefing concerned that the bounty allegations were true.

As I said there is some opposition to this report….and it comes from NSA……

The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that the National Security Agency “strongly dissented from other intelligence agencies’ assessment that Russia paid bounties for the killing of US soldiers in Afghanistan.”

Another account of the NSA not giving much weight to this intelligence was given to CBS News reporter Catherine Herridge on Monday. An unnamed intelligence official told Herridge that the NSA deemed a report on the Russian bounties “uncorroborated.” The official said the report “does not match well-established and verifiable Taliban and Haqqani practices” and lacks “sufficient reporting to corroborate any links.”

The CIA is used as an example in the Journal’s report of an agency the NSA allegedly disagreed with over the intelligence. So far, the CIA has declined to comment on the issue besides a vague statement from CIA Director Gina Haspel. “When developing intelligence assessments, initial tactical reports often require additional collection and validation …  Leaks compromise and disrupt the critical interagency work to collect, assess, and ascribe culpability,” Haspel said.

NSA Dissents From Other Agencies Over Russian Bounty Intel

Are there problems with these reports?

According to the American Conservative there are three problems…..

A bombshell report published by The New York Times Friday alleges that Russia paid dollar bounties to the Taliban in Afghanistan to kill U.S troops. Obscured by an extremely bungled White House press response, there are at least three serious flaws with the reporting.

The article alleges that GRU, a top-secret unit of Russian military intelligence, offered the bounty in payment for every U.S. soldier killed in Afghanistan, and that at least one member of the U.S. military was alleged to have been killed in exchange for the bounties. According to the paper, U.S. intelligence concluded months ago that the Russian unit involved in the bounties was also linked to poisonings, assassination attempts and other covert operations in Europe. The Times reports that United States intelligence officers and Special Operations forces in Afghanistan came to this conclusion about Russian bounties some time in 2019.

Three Glaring Problems with the Russian Taliban ‘Bounty’ Story

Could this report be timed for a specific audience?

Afghan Bounty Scandal Comes at Suspiciously Important Time for US Military Industrial Complex

Looks like confirmation of the accusations…….

But three separate Taliban sources told Insider they were aware of Russian bounty payments being made — though they said only the less-disciplined elements on the fringes of the group would take up such an offer.

https://www.businessinsider.com/russia-did-pay-extremists-attack-american-soldiers-taliban-sources-say-2020-7

Bounties?

If these stories prove to be accurate then there is nothing new…sorry to crap on your parade.

The US has put the bounty on Osama and other AQ leaders as well as ISIS……it has also has put bounties on “criminals” in Africa….

It is not the first time that American soldiers have been targeted with bounties……….My time in Vietnam I was a LRRP and in the Delta there was a bounty on us of 500 dong (Vietnamese money) paid by the North Vietnamese….I am sure that we were not the only targets for these bounties.

I think the bigger story is whether the president knew or not….if not then why?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Afghanistan Can Be Deadly!

I know…NO SHIT Professor!

There is other ways that it is deadly other than the Taleban and friendlies and IEDs……

It seems that someone put bounties of American soldiers…..and that someone was RUSSIA…..

United States intelligence agents believe that Russia offered Afghan militants bounties to kill U.S. soldiers and other coalition troops during peace talks between the U.S. and the Taliban, The New York Times reports. The talks were part of an effort to wind down U.S. military presence in the Middle Eastern nation, but the covert effort by Russia appears aimed at undermining them. U.S. intelligence officers reportedly reached the startling conclusion months ago and have been debating a response since. President Donald Trump has been briefed on the matter, as has the White House National Security Council, but neither has made a direct response. Islamist militants and their associates killed 20 U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan in 2019, and intelligence officers believe that the insurgents did collect bounties from Russia, but it’s unclear how many of those deaths are considered paid for by Russia.

Read it at The New York Times

Our president was told this back in March by our intel agencies…..

US troops, killed by paid assassins? Maybe so, if this story holds any water. A Russian military spy unit has secretly paid Taliban-linked militants to kill coalition forces in Afghanistan—something President Trump learned about months ago but chose not to act, US officials tell the New York Times. According to US intelligence, the Russian unit shuttled bounty money to Islamist militants (or armed criminals who work with them) back in 2019. Trump and the White House’s National Security Council examined the issue in late March and mulled various options, like making a diplomatic complaint or escalating sanctions, but the White House has not yet responded. This, of course, could become political dynamite if it’s confirmed.

“If true, this is outrageous conduct by Russia,” tweeted Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif), who suggested that Trump might be “beholden to Putin” as he puts “US troops’ lives at risk by doing nothing.” But there are problems. Only a few coalition troops died in Afghanistan amid a wave of attacks in 2019, and just four Americans were killed in combat there in 2019. And if it’s true, why would the Russians do it? Officials say it might be an attempt to derail US-Taliban peace talks or get revenge for Russian mercenaries killed by US troops in a 2018 battle in Syria. Meanwhile, the Kremlin is keeping mum and the Taliban has issued a flat denial. And the revelation has triggered “intense debate” at the White House about how to respond, the Washington Post reports

INTENSE DEBATE?

And in 4 months no one has any idea how to respond?

An Intense debate and Trump knew nothing about this……

President Trump on Sunday denied that he had been briefed on reported US intelligence that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing American troops in Afghanistan, and he minimized the allegations against Moscow. American intelligence officials concluded months ago that Russian officials offered rewards for successful attacks on American service-members last year, at a time when the US and Taliban were holding talks to end the long-running war, per the New York Times. Trump, in a Sunday morning tweet, said “Nobody briefed or told me” or Vice President Mike Pence or chief of staff Mark Meadows about “the so-called attacks on our troops in Afghanistan by Russians.” “Everybody is denying it & there have not been many attacks on us,” he said, per the AP.

The White House issued a statement Saturday denying that Trump or Pence had been briefed on such intelligence. Trump’s director of national intelligence, John Ratcliffe, also said neither the president nor vice president was “ever briefed on any intelligence alleged” in the Times’ report. Trump’s tweet came a day after Joe Biden said that the report, if accurate, was a “truly shocking revelation” about the commander in chief and his failure to protect US troops in Afghanistan and stand up to Russia. Russia called the report “nonsense.” “This unsophisticated plant clearly illustrates the low intellectual abilities of the propagandists of American intelligence, who instead of inventing something more plausible have to make up this nonsense,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said. A Taliban spokesman said the militants “strongly reject this allegation” and are not “indebted to the beneficence of any intelligence organ or foreign country.” Trump responded to Biden on Twitter, saying “Russia ate his and Obama’s lunch during their time in office”

If the president was not briefed then who was having the intense debate?

Truly a country lead by amateurs.

And that amateurish BS gets people killed….

The bounties Russia allegedly put on US troops in Afghanistan led to at least one US soldier’s death, sources tell the New York Times. President Trump has denied reports that he was briefed on the plot, in which Russia promised to pay the Taliban if they killed American troops, but the Times‘ sources say US intelligence officers and Special Operations forces in Afghanistan told superiors about the scheme as early as January. The plot allegedly played out in 2019, and after the US spies and commandos recovered a large amount of US cash during a raid on a Taliban outpost and followed up that find with interrogations of captured militants and other criminals, the intelligence community came to its conclusions about the bounty plot. Officials have since then been reviewing combat casualties over an 18-month period; the Washington Post‘s sources say “several” deaths are believed to have come as a result of the scheme.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

US Troops Positive News

Let me start by saying that there is lots about Trump’s presidency that I do not now or would ever support….however his decision on the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan is a positive aspect of his rule.

And now he, Trump, has threatened to bring troops home from Germany and some are going bonkers at the thought of no troops in Germany…..but I do believe that he deserves recognition for attempting to fulfill a campaign promise……

This week, President Trump called for a modest reduction of American troops in Germany, reducing them from 34,500 to 25,000 (a great start that will hopefully lead to further reductions there). The Republican neocon caucus responded exactly as you would expect. You’d think the Berlin Wall was still in place and two million Russians were about to invade Germany. Utter nonsense.

With the Cold War now 30 years moribund, the hysteria over removing troops is ludicrous. Meanwhile the very real threat of bankruptcy and menacing debt grows each day. Just this year, the United States will add $4 trillion to the national debt. Can the Germans afford to defend themselves? Without question. Germany actually balances its annual budget every year.

Trump Deserves Credit for Bringing the Troops Home

In Afghanistan the question has been asked…..will we ever get to zero troops deployed in Afghanistan?

This is the agreement between the US and whoever it is we were negotiating with at the time…..

Click to access Agreement-For-Bringing-Peace-to-Afghanistan-02.29.20.pdf

Now a few thoughts on this question…..

The agreement itself suggests that it will not. To understand why requires examining the agreement in a bit more detail. The text of the document contains three main parts. In the first part, the United States agreed to a number of terms. Chief among these is to draw down its military forces to a total of 8,600 troops within 135 days (which has nearly happened) and, subject to the Taliban meeting its obligations, to withdraw all of its remaining forces within another nine and a half months. Washington also agreed to facilitate a prisoner exchange between the Afghan government and the Taliban (which has been happening, albeit slowly). In the second part, the Taliban agreed not to allow any of its members or other groups—explicitly including al-Qaeda—to use Afghanistan to threaten U.S. security or for recruiting, training and fundraising activities designed to do so. The third part of the agreement includes a requirement for the United States to seek endorsement from the United Nations for the deal, which Washington has already done. And it includes these two sentences:

https://www.lawfareblog.com/will-united-states-really-go-zero-troops-afghanistan

I agree…we have way too much invested in Afghanistan to leave it completely….but I have been mistaken in the past and hopefully I am once again.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Trump Foreign Policy: The Good And The Bad

I have said on numerous occasions that there are some parts of the Trump foreign policy that I do support….and then there are others that I will NEVER support….

First the good in his foreign policy…..

Trump is bringing the troops home from Afghanistan and wants all out by election day…..

Senior military officials are set to brief President Trump in the coming days on options for pulling all American troops out of Afghanistan, with one possible timeline for withdrawing forces before the presidential election, according to officials with knowledge of the plans.

The proposal for a complete withdrawal by November reflects an understanding among military commanders that such a timeline may be Mr. Trump’s preferred option.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/trump-wants-troops-in-afghanistan-home-by-election-day-the-pentagon-is-drawing-up-plans/ar-BB14DkPC

I can support bringing our troops home for a much deserved rest…..

Then Trump has to open his mouth and take any support I may have for him away…..

President Donald Trump’s May 6 veto of a Senate resolution that would have required him to seek congressional approval for any further military confrontations with Iran demonstrates that, despite his occasional feints toward scaling back foreign intervention, Trump is as much a warmonger as anyone else in Washington. Worse still, his explanation for his veto indicates that he believes presidents have unlimited authority to launch wars, contrary to clear constitutional language.

“The question of whether United States forces should be engaged in armed conflict against Iran should only be made following a full briefing to Congress and the American public of the issues at stake, a public debate in Congress, and a congressional vote as contemplated by the Constitution,” reads the resolution. It directs Trump to remove U.S. troops from any hostilities with Iran within 30 days and not to order any further attacks “unless explicitly authorized by a declaration of war or a specific authorization for use of military force.” It does, however, reserve to Trump the right to respond to an “imminent attack.”

Trump: I Can and Will Start Wars Whenever I Please

These are the contradictions that makes me to dislike and never support Trump in any fashion….it is a shame for he could have done so much about war and yet he continues to be at the beck and call of the M-IC….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

IG Report On Afghanistan

A recently released IG (one of the few left employed at this time) report on the progress of the mission in Afghanistan…..and it is so sad……

The Lead Inspector General Report to the United States Congress on Operation Freedom’s Sentinel (OFS) has been published. the 88-page report covers the period of January through March 2020. This quarterly report is required by Congress.

The Inspector General’s of the Department of Defense, Department of State, and USAID contribute to the report. The DoD IG is the lead for the report. Usually there is a classified appendix containing information about OFS; however, the coronavirus pandemic has precluded that work.

Operation Freedom’s Sentinel is a two-part mission for the United States. The first is to conduct the U.S. counterterrorism mission against al Qaeda, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria – Khorasan. The second part is to, in concert with NATO and other Coalition nations, develop the capacity of the Afghan security ministries and to train, advise, and assist the Afghan security forces.

This report provides a detailed summary of events in Afghanistan during the first three months of 2020. It provides an update on the political, diplomatic, and military situation as well as the status on the train, advise, and assist mission to further develop the Afghan security ministries and the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. This report, along with the recent SIGAR quarterly report to Congress, will keep the reader informed on the current situation in Afghanistan.

IG Report on OFS – Afghanistan, May 2020

You would think that a country that is so involved in the troops that they would care more about the wars they are fighting.

To me all the troop support is just a feel good move so the rest of us do not have to deal with these massive wars….we pretend that we are so proud and yet we seldom show that pride other than props and slogans.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Afghanistan–Troops Come Home

The IG report on Afghanistan has been published……

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has published its quarterly report to Congress covering the months of January through March of 2020. The report provides updates and assessments on the Afghan National Defense Security Forces (ANDSF), governance, economic and social development, and the effort to reduce the narcotics trade. In addition the report includes a section about the impact of COVID-19 in Afghanistan. The 217-page report (PDF) published on April 30, 2020 provides an independent assessment of U.S. efforts in Afghanistan.

For the Afghan conflict observer or commentator this report is valuable reading and a good resource. SIGAR is not constrained by the DOD ‘info ops’ machine as it is a Congressional mandated organization. The report provides an up-to-date assessment of the US effort in Afghanistan and is one of the more accurate unclassified publications on the current security situation.

SIGAR Quarterly Report on Afghanistan – April 2020

Please do not take my word on this….read it for yourself……https://www.sigar.mil/pdf/quarterlyreports/2020-04-30qr.pdf

Pres. Trump has said on numerous occasions that he would end the US involvement in Afghanistan…..and the recently ceasefire with the Taleban has given him the opportunity to make good on the promise….this situation warranted a post…..https://lobotero.com/2020/04/14/say-goodbye-afghanistan/

Earlier this week, it was reported that President Trump was keen to speed up the pullout from Afghanistan, because of concerns that the nation could soon find itself with coronavirus problems. The US has been cutting troops all this time, and are ahead of schedule.

When the peace deal was reached, the goal was to have 8,600 troops left by July. There are fewer than 10,000 left right now, and officials say that the 8,600 goal could be reached in just a few weeks. More cuts are expected after that.

The US never set a date to be out of Afghanistan at the time of the peace deal, but with Trump wanting out there seems to be a good chance that the level is just going to keep going down for the time being.

Trump had wanted cuts before the 2020 election, and cemented that this was going to happen with the Taliban peace deal.  Even though post-deal progress has been slowed by the Afghan government’s lack of prisoner releases, the US is continuing the cuts.

(antiwar.com)

I applaud Trump and his admin if they manage to get American troops out of this quagmire…..a basic stalemate for 18 years….

As the US is preparing to get our troops out the Taleban has stepped up attacks and the Covid-19 is raising Hell in the country as well….

Clashes between Taliban fighters and Afghan forces intensified in northern Balkh and southern Logar province as warring sides fought to control checkpoints and the number of coronavirus cases in Afghanistan rises,

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-afghanistan-taliban-attacks/afghanistan-suffers-upsurge-in-fighting-and-in-coronavirus-idUKKBN22D5KV

I agree with the statement that 2 decades of war in Afghanistan…..time for us to end this thing…..

The Trump administration is edging America toward the exit in Afghanistan, nearly two decades after President George W. Bush intervened in the aftermath of 9/11. The U.S. quickly dispersed Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda and ousted the Taliban, only to spend the following years failing to build a stable, liberal democracy centered in Kabul.

America’s extended commitment of lives and resources to Afghanistan never made sense. If there is one spot on the planet in which the US has little strategic interest, it is Afghanistan. The latter is geographically distant, landlocked among Iran, China, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

Two Decades of War in Afghanistan Is Enough

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Stop The Insanity!

More on Afghanistan……

I admit it I have not always been kind to Trump….I have agreed with him on occasion but I am really looking forward to seeing if he makes good on the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Afghan veterans have said that they want ALL American troops out of Afghanistan…..

Nearly three-quarters of veterans surveyed and almost 70 percent of troops’ family members support a full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, according to a new poll from a conservative activist group

The results are an increase from identical questions in last year’s poll by Concerned Veterans for America, which has close ties to the conservative Koch network and the Trump administration. For much of the last year, the group has been leading public efforts to convince lawmakers and the White House to severely curtail overseas military operations.

“I think this shows the fatigue of almost two decades of war,” said Nate Anderson, executive director of the group. “And I think there is increased awareness among the American public about how long we have been fighting.”

The nationwide survey, conducted April 7 to 10, includes responses from about 700 military veterans and about 800 military family members. All were chosen randomly.

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/pentagon-congress/2020/04/22/support-for-full-withdrawal-from-afghanistan-grows-poll/

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/our-veterans-want-us-to-stop-making-more-afghanistan-veterans

As an antiwar person I totally agree with the proposal to get all troops (American) out of Afghanistan after 19 years of war…..even as I have stated also wants Americans out of the country…..

With a peace deal in place in Afghanistan, at some point US troops would be expected to leave the country. Amid concerns of a coronavirus buildup, President Trump is thinking it is best to get those troops out of the country sooner, rather than later.

Officials say Trump complains about the troops not being out of Afghanistan yet almost daily, but that his advisers continue to stall and try to talk him out of it, arguing that if the virus is a reason to leave, US troops should also withdraw from Italy.

That argument seems a continuation of the strategy for getting out of Trump’s calls for drawdowns, which is to confuse the question and hope that Trump gets fixated on something else before they have to actually do anything.

Afghan officials have been emphasizing the risk of a pandemic, and how widespread it could be. While the US already has plenty of opportunity to leave Afghanistan now, this is just another opportunity on top of that, but whether Trump’s impulse to leave will actually pan out this time depends heavily on how he reacts to the ever-present resistance of officials

(antiwar.com)

He has my support on this proposal……he needs to work on getting my attention on other proposals….

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Say Goodbye Afghanistan

From time to time I get some grad students papers to read…..the following is one of those papers…..

The US has a peace deal with the Taleban…..for good or bad…..

On February 29, 2020, in Doha, Qatar the United States and the Afghan Taliban signed a peace agreement designed to end the long war in Afghanistan. The agreement contains largely the same conditions that had been agreed upon in September 2019 but which was scuttled by President Trump. Essentially, this agreement calls for the removal of United States and Coalition forces from Afghanistan in exchange for the promise that the Taliban would not allow terrorist groups to operate on Afghan soil. However, the agreement is premised on several assumptions that will make its success problematic. The agreement assumes a functioning Afghan government in Kabul with which to negotiate. The recent Afghan presidential election, rather than resolving who is in charge, has in fact muddied the waters. The failed presidential election took place last September, but the vote counting process was so confused and contested that the winner was not announced until February 18, 2020, almost five months after the election took place. The flawed and contentious election has resulted in a contested and split government in Kabul, creating a stalemate regarding who is in charge and making the implementation of the next step in the peace agreement problematic. The result may be that with a weak, or split, government in Kabul, the Taliban will be in a stronger position to dictate terms of an agreement over the future of Afghanistan favorable to their point of view.

The Afghan Peace Agreement and Its Problems

After 19 years there are whispers of a full troop withdrawal from Afghanistan…..and I state again….”whispers”…..Pompeo has threatened a cut of a billion dollars in aid because of the impasse…..an impasse of the creation of the US….

NBC News, quoting two current US senior officials (and one former official) on Tuesday reported that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a trip to Kabul two weeks ago on March 23, threatened President Ashraf Ghani and his opponent Abdullah Abdullah that President Trump might do a complete troop pullout, as well as an cut aid, if the dispute continues.

Immediately following his visit to Kabul, the US State Department released a statement saying that because of the failure of the Afghan leaders to end the political impasse, $1 billion in US aid money for Afghanistan would be cut, and funding in 2021 might also be reduced.

However, the statement about a complete troop withdrawal was not previously reported.

https://tolonews.com/afghanistan/nbc-pompeo-warned-full-troop-pullout-kabul-trip

Seriously?

That promise has been made so many times that most of us have lost count.

Let’s say the US pulls troops…what will that mean for the region and for say China?

With the U.S. troop withdrawal in sight, Afghanistan’s future seems less certain than ever. As a neighboring state with significant interests at stake, how does China view and prepare for Afghanistan’s future?

Since 9/11, the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan has presented a dilemma for China. On the one hand, Beijing instinctively sees American troops in China’s “backyard” as a serious strategic threat. However, China believes that it has benefited from the security that the United States has provided there, especially in terms of curtailing the growth and spread of anti-China terrorist groups. The implication of this dilemma is that China wants the United States to withdraw — but only when the withdrawal is responsible and does not leave a chaotic power vacuum that would destabilize the region. The reality, however, is that the American decision regarding Afghanistan will be made in Washington — not Beijing — and that China must react to whatever moves the United States makes going forward.

China’s Strategic Assessment of Afghanistan

China will probably use their best weapon in Afghanistan….economics.

One last point…..the Taleban is preparing for our departure and their ascension to power…..

A draft of a Taliban charter consisting of a list of rules, presumably intended as a guide for the potential future governance of Afghanistan, was shared with TOLOnews by a senior government official. Titled “The charter of the Islamic emirate of Afghanistan,” the list of articles looks very similar to those of the former Taliban regime, which was in power in Kabul from 1996 to 2001.

The charter, which calls for the establishment of an Islamic emirate, has 149 articles which include a broad range of topics covering how laws will be passed to the mandate for a white flag.

The document which is seen by the leadership of the Afghan government suggests that the Taliban’s plans for their “future government” are not very different from the policies of their former regime.

https://tolonews.com/afghanistan/taliban-drafts-%E2%80%98charter%E2%80%99-future-govt-document

So basically….Afghanistan will return to the way it was in 2000 before the invasion and occupation.

Same as it ever was!

And they may well be much more successful than the use of force.

Just a thought.

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