News From Afghanistan

Believe it or not after 17 long bloody years there is still news from Afghanistan…..

The government of Afghanistan held talks with the Taleban…it brought about a short ceasefire but not much else…..

If the U.S. has any real strategy in Afghanistan, it seems to be fighting a war of attrition long enough and well enough for the threat to drop to a level that Afghan forces can handle or accept a peace settlement credible enough for the U.S. to leave. After seventeen years of combat, no one at any level is claiming that enough military progress has been made in strengthening the ANSF enough for it to win. The most favorable claims seem to be that the ANSF are not losing, may someday become able to win with U.S. support.

No one is making any serious claims about success at the civil level in terms of politics, governance, and economics. Hope for the civil side seems to rely on the theory that if you attempt enough reform plans, one may eventually work. This is a literal triumph of hope over experience.

https://www.csis.org/analysis/afghan-war-attrition-peace-talks-remain-extension-war-other-means

SecState Pompeo visited Afghanistan and reported back that our strategy is indeed working……that is great considering that NO one knows just what the strategy is….so how can we say it is working……

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/no-secretary-pompeo-americas-strategy-in-afghanistan-is-not-working/

Then more news comes out about the ISIS cell fighting in Afghanistan…..

Gen. John Nicholson, the US commander in Afghanistan, says that the ISIS affiliate is increasingly resilient, with access to foreign fighters. On top of that, Nicholson warned, ISIS is getting funding and other general support from jihadist groups in several nearby countries.

This is the first time officials are addressing this issue. Afghan officials have declared the ISIS presence in Nangarhar to have been “wiped out” several times following offensives in recent years, and when that offensive wraps up, ISIS reemerges there, seemingly as strong as ever.

Before, officials just ignored the past, and were every bit as confident about their newest offensive. Gen. Nicholson’s comments show that there is at least some recognition that these offensives, while killing a lot of people, aren’t amounting to much.

(antiwar.com)

I apologize for the terrible news but at least you know how bad it is….now is time for the people to speak up and demand out troops come home.

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Another American Death (Again)

Closing Thought–13Jul18

Our stay in Afghanistan, 17 years and counting, has not been without costs….the deaths of our troops is that cost.

I am sorry to report that yet another American soldier has died in Afghanistan…..the AP is reporting……

The U.S. military says a service member died Thursday of a wound sustained in combat in eastern Afghanistan.

The name of the service member was being withheld pending notification of family members.

It was the second U.S. military death in Afghanistan in less than one week. On Saturday, Army Cpl. Joseph Maciel, of South Gate, California, was killed by what the U.S. is investigating as a possible attack by a member of the Afghan military.

In Thursday’s incident, the U.S. military said an Afghan security force member also was killed and several were wounded. No other details were provided.

I offer the family our heart felt condolences…..May he rest in peace…..and thank you for your service.

Another American Death

Closing Thought–09Jul18

For me this death was worthless and should have never been allowed to happen…..over the weekend another American soldier was killed in Afghanistan and 2 others wounded…..

One U.S. service member was killed and two others were wounded Saturday in what’s believed to be an insider attack in southern Afghanistan.

The wounded troops are being treated and are in stable condition, officials with the Resolute Support mission said in a statement.

The incident is under investigation.

The name of the service member killed in the incident will not be released until family members are notified, officials said.

Saturday’s incident marks the first U.S. troop death in Afghanistan in more than two months.

Spc. Gabriel Conde, 22, was killed April 30 as a result of enemy small arms fire in eastern Afghanistan, officials said at the time. Another soldier was wounded in the same incident.

(Military Times)

Sad news and IST wishes the family well in their time of sadness….and we thank them for their service to the country.

Please take a moment of silence for this family.

Sadly until the Congress grows a spine reports like this one will be ever present.

Come Home Now!

As we enter into the 18th year of our war in Afghanistan one thought should be on everyone’s lips……pack up and bring the troops home now!

How can Americans be so nonchalant about this war and the occupation?

As the United States enters its eighteenth year in its war against the Taliban in Afghanistan, the U.S. military remains no closer to ending this conflict. In April the Taliban rejected the latest peace proposals by the Afghan government, and now it appears the war is moving steadily against the U.S. supported Afghan government. President Trump has given the U.S. military one last chance to implement a new strategy to end the conflict. For him, the American people, the Afghans, and the U.S. military the decisive point in this long conflict is rapidly approaching.

Although no reliable poll exists, there is strong evidence that most Afghans after almost forty years of civil war do not care who rules in Kabul as long as the never-ending death and destruction finally stop. There is no doubt that ending U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan has the overwhelming support of most Americans. It appears it is only the senior U.S. military commanders who refuse to acknowledge it is time to leave.

http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/time-america-leave-afghanistan

Whether we be neocon or peace-nik we should be demanding that the US stop wasting money and lives in a country that does not  want us there in the first place.

Or we can just sit back stay silent and watch companies use our money and people to make billions in profits…..or we could demand a settlement of some sort…….

Despite widespread recognition that the only way toward ending the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan is a negotiated settlement, understanding of the Taliban’s thinking on the subject is remarkably scant. This report attempts to fill this gap by drawing on face-to-face interviews with Taliban foot soldiers, field commanders, and supporters to better understand the movement’s views on why they are fighting, what issues are negotiable, whether they have faith in negotiation as a way to peace, and what a peace process might look like.

https://www.usip.org/publications/2018/06/negotiated-end-afghan-conflict

In case you were not sure….diplomacy is how we can end this generational war……

Which do you want?

IST Afghanistan Report

I try to keep the readers of IST up to date on the progress or lack there of in the war being fought in Afghanistan….after 17 years the American people still do not care that there are Americans fighting and dying in  this country.

Spring has arrived in Afghanistan and Summer lurks….this is the time the Taleban and AQ and ISIS pick to up their attacks and their for attacks….plus the US and its allies also will be planning and attacking……

Following Thursday’s announcement that the US will comply with Afghanistan’s Ramadan ceasefire, which covers the Taliban and will last until June 20, the Pentagon now says they intend to step up offensives against ISIS in Afghanistan.

This announcement is perhaps unsurprising, as the US has not committed itself to a peace process in Afghanistan, and has been steadily escalating its military forces in the country. ISIS remains a convenient alternative target while the Taliban is off-limits.

While this opens up a lot more US troops to carry out strikes against ISIS, what it will accomplish remains to be seen. The US and Afghan governments have both claimed to have wiped ISIS out in Nangarhar repeatedly, only for the group to reemerge, seemingly unharmed.

(antiwar.com)

An interesting announcement considering there are very few that know just how strong ISIS is in Afghanistan…..

There are statements after statements about the situation in Afghanistan….but maybe we should hold our admiration for the job being done…….

The Lead Inspector General (IG) for Operation Freedom’s Sentinel released its quarterly report to Congress last week, assessing the state of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan. To put it mildly, the situation is not good. As Glenn Fine, the Principal Deputy IG for the Defense Department writes in the report’s foreword and executive summary, “the percentage of the population living in areas under the control or influence of the Afghan government showed little positive change this quarter,” while civilian casualties were “near record high levels.”

There were some small signs of promise, such as a modest decrease in “security-related incidents” — violence. From April to February, violence was below historical averages, and remains there, despite the Taliban’s Spring Offensive beginning in April. At the same time though, high profile attacks by the Taliban and ISIS spiked, and the Director of National Intelligence, Daniel Coats, has written that the security situation in Afghanistan will likely continue to decline this year.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/06/08/dont_buy_the_pentagons_statements_on_afghanistan_113520.html

Rest assured that IST will always keep its readers up to date on the news of all our theaters of conflict.

Afghanistan–Well Duh!

It has been 17 years that our troops have been fighting in Afghanistan……I was never in favor of a continued presence after the first 2 years….I felt it would be an irritant and just a replay of the Vietnam scenario…..and so far I have seen NOTHING that would warrant us staying this long or another minute longer……..

But Hell I am a crotchity old fart but I am NOT wrong……and now so says the Pentagon’s Inspector General……

The inspector general has issued a new report openly scorning Pentagon claims of progress in the war in Afghanistan, noting the continued large attacks from the Taliban and ISIS, and that available data simply doesn’t show progress in much of anything.

That’s been a recurring theme in the war, now 17 years in. Pentagon officials have claimed in recent months that they see progress being made, and that they’ve “turned the corner,” but they’ve made similar claims dozens of times with nothing to show for it.

Meanwhile, ISIS and the Taliban are able to carry out major attacks even in supposedly secure districts. The Taliban controls broad swathes of the country, and only yesterday the Afghan senate admitted that roughly half of the country is outside their direct control.

That’s all bad news that’s been growing markedly worse in the past couple of years. The US has increased their own presence in Afghanistan, and is launching a soaring number of airstrikes, but neither of those has changed the underlying reality that the war is being steadily lost.

(antiwar.com)

This is not the first report that has shitty news about Afghanistan….if so then when will a spineless bunch of Congresspeople do something.  Time for these cowards to stand up and demand that our overworked and over-deployed troops come home and leave Afghanistan to the Afghans?

Just When Afghanistan Means Nothing

Afghanistan has not been in the headlines much lately although reports about the war have been regularly written about here on IST…..well that came to an end yesterday when an attack in the capital of Kabul was reported…..

An ISIS suicide bomber attacked a voter registration center in Afghanistan’s capital on Sunday, killing at least 57 people and wounding more than 100 others, officials say. Public Health Ministry spokesman Wahid Majro says that among the 57 killed, 22 were women and eight were children. He says 119 people were wounded, among them 17 children and 52 women, and “the tolls could still rise,” the AP reports. The bomber targeted civilians who were registering for national identification cards, Kabul police chief Gen. Daud Amin says.

The large explosion echoed across the city, shattering windows miles from the attack site and damaging nearby vehicles. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement carried by its Aamaq news agency, saying it had targeted Shiite “apostates.” The attack comes almost a month after an ISIS suicide bomber carried out an attack near a Shiite shrine in Kabul that targeted attendees celebrating the Persian new year. That attack killed 31 people and wounded 65 others. A statement issued by the president’s office condemned Sunday’s attack and quoted President Ashraf Ghani as saying such “terrorist attacks” won’t prevent people from participating in upcoming parliamentary elections.

There you have it…ISIS Sleeper cells…..there has been much written about their possibilities….some pundits even went as far as to call it wishful thinking….just ano0ther story to keep the War on Terror money flowing….

But these “sleeper cells” are a reality that needs to be acknowledged……

Over the past four weeks, ISIS has run a series of articles in its weekly Arabic publication on a vital aspect of the type of threat posed by the organisation today. The central theme relates to how members, who are so far laying low during a military campaign against them, could regroup and resume operations after months of what the group describes as a “slumber” period.

The extensive coverage dedicated to this topic is timely. It follows a noticeable uptick in the group’s operations in recent months in much of Iraq and Syria, in both quantity and quality, since the beginning of the year, according to a senior official in the anti-ISIS global coalition.

https://www.thenational.ae/opinion/comment/we-have-not-yet-seen-the-full-impact-of-isis-sleeper-cells-coming-back-to-life-1.722796

AS ISIS loses its “territory” these “cells” will become more and more important to the existence of this group.