AQ Makes A Comeback

All the reporting from the MSM lately has been about the terrorist group, ISIS and very little has been reported on that other group, Al-Qaeda….

It never really left the region but a recent report points to a resurgence of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan……we are talking about AQ not the Taleban….not necessarily the same group although sympathies overlap.

We have lost our concern over AQ after the death of Osama and the rise of ISIS,,,,the world took their eye off this group of terrorists……and in doing so have made this rise possible…..

Al Qaeda has prioritized its re-entry into Afghanistan since 2014, when the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) drew down forces.[3] Al Qaeda Emir Ayman al Zawahiri announced the formation of al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) in 2014, a move intended to counter the Islamic State’s declaration of a so-called caliphate in Iraq and Syria as well as exploit the ISAF drawdown.[4] Al Qaeda’s re-entry into Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan forced the U.S. to resume counter-terrorism operations there in 2015.

Senior AQIS leaders and Taliban commanders are co-located in Afghanistan today, signaling an enduring and high-level partnership. American and Afghan forces targeted a joint Taliban-al Qaeda compound in Musah Qal’ah District, a Taliban stronghold considered the group’s de facto capital, in Helmand Province on September 22.[5] Multiple Afghan security organizations reported that the operation killed senior AQIS leader Asim Umar and a courier who connected AQIS leaders to Zawahiri. Afghanistan’s intelligence agency and a U.S. official have since confirmed Umar’s death in the raid.[6] The operation also targeted several Taliban commanders from districts in Helmand Province.[7] It is a sign of the extent of al Qaeda’s return to the area.

http://iswresearch.blogspot.com/2019/10/al-qaeda-expands-its-presence-in.html

Further Reading:

https://lobotero.com/2018/07/06/does-anyone-remember-al-qaeda/

Never turn your back on a dangerous animal……

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

18 Years And No One Cares

While a bipartisan array of “experts” rails against Trump’s Syria withdrawal, the Afghan War enters in 19th year to the sound of crickets.

We recently passed a milestone….Afghanistan and 18 years of war…..

On the 18th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan, President Donald Trump said on Twitter, “… it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home.” He added, “WE WILL FIGHT WHERE IT IS TO OUR BENEFIT, AND ONLY FIGHT TO WIN.” But rather than referring to the U.S. war in Afghanistan, Trump was actually talking about the role of U.S. troops in northern Syria, about which he had just made a serious decision. One wonders whether Trump would take greater interest in the longest official war in U.S. history if he had real estate interests in Kabul. He made absolutely no mention of Afghanistan on the anniversary of the war. But neither did most members of Congress.

There was a near blackout of the anniversary in the media as well. Of the major newspapers, only the New York Times paid some attention to it with a lengthy special called ‘We Are Inside the Fire’: An Oral History of the War in Afghanistan. While the report centered on the voices of Afghans, the paper minimized the role of the U.S. For example, the first section covering 1989 to 2001 was described in this way: “After the Soviet occupation, Afghanistan fell into a civil war between factions that were mostly bound by personal loyalties.” The Times did not see fit to add the civil war was largely fueled by U.S. weapons and cash flooding into the hands of the anti-Soviet jihadi warlords the CIA had deployed against the USSR. Those warlords and weapons set the stage for the Taliban and the brutality that followed. Still, the Afghan voices in the narrative consistently mentioned the futility of the U.S. war, with one doctor in Kandahar saying:

It would be better if Americans had never come here. Fewer people would have died. This war is not Afghanistan’s war; it is the war of the world, but they are fighting it in Afghanistan.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/10/10/war-afghanistan-turns-18-and-no-one-notices

Plus the Taleban, the bane of the US, has gone from pariah to a diplomatic mission…..

Sitting face to face with top Pakistani officials at the country’s spacious Foreign Office under the glowing lights of a conference hall that regularly hosts meetings between visiting diplomats and Pakistani officials, the 12-member Taliban delegation seemed no less than a foreign mission carrying out state business.

The only exception was their dress – the neatly-pressed black waist-coats over white shalwar kameez with white and black turbans in instead of suits with matching ties. 

Adding warmth to the “brotherly” ties with hugs and beaming smiles, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also donned a shalwar kameez, although the color of his dress was not as brightly white as that of his Taliban interlocutors.

https://thediplomat.com/2019/10/taliban-from-pariah-to-diplomatic-reception/

Afghanistan is a mess…is there any chance we could do any better?

fghanistan held its elections on September 28. Although we won’t know results for weeks, a relatively low turnout underscores the shortcomings of the U.S.’ approach to peacebuilding and security in the troubled state. Voter concern about Taliban attacks and electoral fraud led many to stay at home. It’s not controversial to assert that security and institutional trust are essential in bringing stability to a fragile democracy, but for both the Afghan government and the U.S., a strategy for achieving these aims has proven elusive. The news isn’t all bad, though. There is a relatively young—but active and growing—set of civil service organizations (CSO) in Afghanistan looking to support community-building and democratic activities. And there is a clear strategy the U.S. can take to support CSO success.

Before 2001, most CSO activity was either involved in traditional governance or humanitarian aid pursuits. After the Taliban was removed from power, international NGO support and funding for CSO activity boosted dramatically and they’ve taken on an accordingly broader spectrum of development activities.

https://www.diplomaticourier.com/posts/we-can-do-better-in-afghanistan-heres-how

I can agree with Trump on something he said recently…..“… it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home.” 

Fine words but actions would be a better thing to write about.

18 years is enough for our troops to endure.

“Farm boys with guns.” That’s how then Captain Sjursen described average Taliban fighters while serving in Kandahar province. I was speaking to a Reuters reporter that shadowed me for a few days – since I was a New Yorker – to mark the then 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks way back in 2011. Much to the chagrin of my commanders, I was just frustrated enough, and had buried just enough troopers to give the reporter a real story. “When I see this place, I don’t see the [Twin] Towers,” I’d said when asked about the connection between 9/11 and my own mission in Afghanistan during the Obama “surge.” I was right then, but even now, eight more years into America’s longest war, the same old tired arguments are trotted out to justify perpetual military intervention.

Endless Afghanistan: War Without Justification

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Afghanistan–18 Years And Counting

Yesterday, 07Oct, our longest war began…..the year was 2001 in case you had forgotten….or lousy at math…..18 years of death and destruction…..

Finally my greatest fear has been realized…that is that we would have people fighting this endless war that were born after the war had begun….and yes we have such a reality….

Pvt. Hunter Nines is about to join a war nearly as old as he is.

The 18-year-old discussed with ABC News his impending combat deployment to Afghanistan — his first with the Army.

“I didn’t have a lot of thoughts on Afghanistan in particular,” said Nines, who was 7 months old when U.S. troops first arrived there. “I honestly just had the notion of I wanted to serve, and wherever that is, that’s where I’ll go.”

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/18-year-us-soldier-serve-afghanistan-18-years/story

Just check out what this war has cost the country…..(or not if you do not care)….https://winwithoutwar.org/policy/the-war-in-afghanistan-18-years-and-counting/

How do our veterans feel about this endless war?

The anniversary is significant not only for marking the beginning of the war on terror, but as a reminder that the United States Armed Forces now has enlistees who were born after the September 11, 2001, attacks.

The Post Register spoke to veterans of the Afghanistan War to learn their views of the war, its place in history and their experiences serving overseas. All of them said they felt the war had lost all purpose long ago. Many of them in separate interviews said the war that began with a clear mission to protect the country from another terrorist attack has been reduced to an aimless mission that costs lives and taxpayer dollars in a futile attempt to win the “hearts and minds” of people who no longer want them there.

https://www.postregister.com/news/local/for-afghanistan-war-veterans-years-of-war-is-more-than/article_a3cac812-50d9-5d35-87f8-65d604e9dc16.html

Sadly how vets feel about this conflict mean NOTHING to the people or the government……once again I blame the lack of a shared experience about the effects and consequences of war.

This war without end will go on and on…that is until the corporate media says it is time for it to end.

Time to do the military a favor and end this senseless war….

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Afghanistan–The Saga Continues

I have been writing about Afghanistan, the US longest war ever, sometimes I feel like I am wasting my time for most people seem to not give a crap what goes on in this country.

But I continue to watch and write…why? Americans are dying in this country and we should be all concerned with this simple fact.

So until it ends I will write and give my observations….looks like I shall be at an end before this damn war.

Recently the peace talks collapsed between the US and the Taleban and that brought a close to the chance of an end for our troops….our vets have let their feelings known about this war….

After 18 years of the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan, that waiting game continues, leaving some veterans questioning whether the conflict — and the personal risks they took for their countrymen — were worth it. President Donald Trump, who has complained about wasted “blood and treasure” in Afghanistan and has vowed to pull all U.S. troops, now seems less sure of a full withdrawal.

“Afghanistan is an unwinnable war, an empire killer,” says James, who is now running for a Democratic congressional seat in New York. “Ask Alexander the Great, ask the Russians. America is no different.”

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/09/21/afghanistan-war-veterans-want-peace-deal-question-conflict-failed-taliban-trump-talks/2357935001/

Women are always on the lips of anyone analyzing Afghanistan……as it is now they are second citizens and have little rights…..but what do these women really want?

The survey shows that life in Afghanistan in 2018 was, on many levels, worse than at any point in the past decade. Afghans felt less safe, struggled more to find work and afford the basics, and rated their lives worse than anyone else on the planet.

Underscoring their desperation in this environment, more Afghans than ever also said they would like to leave their country permanently if they could — and join the mass exodus that has taken place in the country since 2015, according to the survey.

In the midst of the deadliest year for Afghan civilians since the United Nations began documenting casualties–and as millions of Afghans also grappled with food insecurity–a record-high 41% of Afghans said they would move to another country permanently if they could.

The big question as it is every year is…what is next for Afghanistan?

The answer may lie here…..https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2019/09/19/afghanistan__whats_next_114754.html

We have an election approaching….maybe more attention should be paid to our endless wars….just a thought.

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Afghanistan–What The Hell?

Our longest ever war has had a couple of bad days in the last week…….it seems that we have nset about killing a bunch of civilians on two occasions in less than 5 days….

First on 19 Sept……..

US forces carried out their latest disastrous air strike in Afghanistan. A US drone attacked and killed at least 30 civilians, and wounded 40 others in eastern Afghanistan’s Nangarhar Province.

The victims of the attack were farm workers who were participating in the harvest of pine nuts in a village’s forest, and a number of children who were also there to take part in the harvest.

What adds insult to injury, however, was that the village elders had foreseen this as an issue, and specifically sent letters around to officials two weeks ago. The letters, dated September 7, were meant to assure that the gathering on the outskirts of the forest was nothing to do with militants, and was merely hired laborers for the harvest. They were assured this was not a problem.

So about 200 workers gathered around a camp on the edge of the forest, lit bonfires, and talked about the security situation at their respective villages of origin. Then the US drone arrived and started attacking the camp, sending survivors fleeing into the forest.

US officials downplayed the fact that there was a letter informing everyone what this camp was. The official statement was that the existence of the letter would be considered in the investigation.

(antiwar.com)

Second attack was on 23 Sept the second attack……

For the second time in a week, a US military operation in Afghanistan has ended with a large number of civilians dead, and US officials offering very dubious arguments as to why it wasn’t their fault.

The Sunday night attack saw US and Afghan commandos raid a house in Helmand Province, and ultimately launch airstrikes. The attack killed at least 40 civilians, including a number of children.

Instead of the Taliban building they thought they were raiding, it turns out the airstrike pounded an ongoing wedding reception. The Afghan government has already admitted to what happened, saying they are “saddened” by the deaths and want to take extra caution in the future.

Because the US is on one of those kicks where they don’t take responsibility for anything, the US statement confirmed the airstrike but denied killing civilians. They claimed the attack targeted al-Qaeda, and suggested any civilians “died from al-Qaeda weapons,” and not from the US dropping bombs on them.

(antiwar.com)

I realize that collateral damage involving civilians is a common occurrence in war but this is pushing the limits of acceptability.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

An Afghanistan Update

I reported earlier today about the death of another American soldier….at the time his name had not been released……that has changed and I would like to update my report……

A Special Forces soldier, SFC Jeremy Griffin, was killed on Monday, September 16, 2019 in Afghanistan. He died of wound from small arms fire while engaged in combat operations in Wardak province, Afghanistan. He was a member of the 3rd Battalion, 1st special Forces Group based at Joint Base Lewis-McCord, Washington.

Jeremy Griffin was born in Cristobal, Panama in December 1978. He enlisted into the U.S. Army in 2004. He deployed to Iraq in 2006 and Afghanistan in 2009 with the 82nd Airborne Division. He had also served with the 7th Special Forces Group. After attending and graduating from the Special Forces Qualification Course in 2014 as a Special Forces Communication Sergeant he was assigned to 1st SFGA.

Our thoughts go out to the family.

May Sgt. Griffin Rest In Peace.

Thoughts On Afghanistan

After 18 years of war in Afghanistan could there possibly be anything that has gone unsaid?

Probably not.

But I would like to keep my readers abreast of the stuff that this war is made of……profits and death.

Speaking of deaths…….sad news…..yet another American soldier killed in fighting in Afghanistan…..

Another U.S. service member has been killed in action in Afghanistan, officials announced Monday.

The death was announced by NATO’s Resolute Support mission to the country in a press release.

A defense official told Army Times on background that the fallen soldier was a Green Beret, but did not specify the operator’s unit. A separate defense official said that there are no indications the attack was a green-on-blue incident.

“In accordance with U.S. Department of Defense policy, the name of the service member is being withheld until 24 hours after family notification is complete,” the release reads.

(Army Times)

Now that the peace process is “dead” according to Trump what will it mean for the people?

“Our only hope was peace,” Hayat Khan, the family’s 54-year-old patriarch, said Tuesday, “and that doesn’t happen now.”

President Donald Trump says the U.S.-Taliban talks on ending the fighting in Afghanistan are “dead,” deeply unfortunate wording for the Afghan civilians who have been killed by the tens of thousands over almost 18 years. Many fear his cancellation of negotiations will bring more carnage as the U.S. and Taliban, as well as Afghan forces, step up their offensives and everyday people die in the crossfire.

https://apnews.com/d619f2a9fd3b47fa812d707fafd5f146

The Taleban leader said that there could be a ceasefire….it was up to Trump…….

Taliban chief negotiator Sher Abbas Stanekzai announced on Friday that the Taliban has agreed to a complete ceasefire that was contingent on the US accepting the existing Afghan peace deal.

President Trump scrapped the Afghan deal last weekend, citing his anger at the Taliban for continuing to fight. Other US officials had cited both the lack of a ceasefire and the Taliban not making a deal with the Afghan government.

On that front, Stanekzai also noted that the Taliban has already scheduled talks with the Afghan government on September 23. It’s not clear what’s going to happen with these talks if the US peace process is “dead.”

All indications are that the Taliban were both willing for the peace deal last week, and are still willing now. The big question, then, is if President Trump will come around to the idea, or will just keep dismissing peace and choosing to continue America’s longest war.

(antiwar.com)

What about the thing that we hear very little about…the Afghan drug trade?

It is hard to be optimistic about the ongoing U.S. led peace talks with the Taliban. After nearly 18 years of conflict, the Taliban and its terrorist affiliations have proved to be impressively resilient adversaries. 

Despite significant growth in the capacity of the Afghan Government and its security forces, the Taliban still controls more territory than at any point since 2001. If Afghanistan is to ever prevail against this threat, it is imperative to understand what has enabled the Taliban to not only survive, but flourish against formidable counterinsurgency efforts. One likely source of strength is the drug trade.

The source of nearly 90% of the world’s supply of heroin, Afghanistan’s drug trade is as unique as it is vast. There are few modern examples of narco-states where drugs have become so intertwined in the political, economic and social structures of the nation.

The True Power of the Afghan Drug Trade

Someone explain our toleration to the world.

There is a glimmer of hope on the horizon.  The American people are losing interest in Afghan War……

On the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States, a new survey said Wednesday Americans have a very divided view on the conflict in Afghanistan — which, after 18 years, is still being fought by U.S. armed forces.

Gallup said it found more than half of Americans, 52 percent, say going into Afghanistan after the 2001 attacks was the right thing to do — a decrease of 2 percent since the pollster last asked the question in 2015. Forty-three percent said it was a mistake, up 1 percent.

https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2019/09/11/Americans-support-for-initial-Afghan-war-declining-survey-shows/8821568217890/

In closing…..just a reminder……

Simply put, the reason American troops are dying in Afghanistan is because they are deployed to Afghanistan. Therefore, the best way to immunize soldiers from a violent death at the hands of the Taliban is to withdraw them from Afghanistan altogether. Reports suggest that his former national security adviser John Bolton tried to dissuade Trump by planting negative stories in the press over his opposition to signing a deal with the Taliban. Some commentators have expressed relief that the ultra-hawkish Bolton was ousted from the White House before be could start a war. But it appears as though, when it came to Afghanistan, he succeeded in keeping an existing war going.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/09/13/neverforget-war-afghanistan

Time for the insanity of Afghanistan to END!  And end NOW!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”