Afghanistan–And The War Goes On And On

I shall attempt to move beyond the vote yesterday…..

The war has been pushed way back by the Midterms…..there is more stories about election posturing than there is about a War and Afghanistan…..

IST refuses to ignore the war in the room…17 years counting and Americans keep dying…..

You know this war is getting ugly when the home of Neocon thinking is calling for an end to it……

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: American forces are still fighting in Afghanistan, it’s been 17 years since we first sent troops there to topple the Taliban government. We still have thousands of Americans in the country.

So far this year, eight of them have been killed. President Trump hates this. We happened to know, he has often complained to people around him about the quagmire that Afghanistan has become.

You remember that when he ran for President, one of Trump’s central promises was to keep America out of pointless foreign wars like this one. Washington despised him for saying that because it implicated them and their failures, but voters appreciated hearing it. And yet somehow the war in Afghanistan has continued to this day fruitlessly. That’s thanks almost entirely to bullying from our thoroughly discredited foreign policy establishment. They are happy to keep things the way they are.

Finally people are starting to ask the question that many of us have been asking for years……how did Afghanistan become a war without end?

The war in Afghanistan hit the seventeen-year mark for the United States and its partners this month. Soldiers in the US-led coalition have been fighting and killing and dying for almost eight years longer than the Soviets occupied Afghanistan. The reasons for this protracted stalemate are manifold, but the momentum that would bring the war in Afghanistan to an end remains elusive in large part because the coalition has until now been unable to link the grammar of war to the political object it seeks. For the logic of strategy to work, ends should drive means, not the other way around. The value of the political object, or the worth of the ends sought, determines how long and what costs the United States should be willing to pay. In Afghanistan, if those political goals are articulated clearly, their worth should relate directly to the will of the US polity to persevere in the war to a successful end.

After $900 million and 2000+ lives lost and we keep staying for some reason……and spending cash and losing lives….why?

A new report is out from the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR)—the government’s watchdog for the war—and its findings paint an ugly picture: despite billions spent and thousands of U.S. lives lost, Afghanistan is facing worsening violence and instability.

SIGAR’s quarterly report to Congress—its 40st since the conflict began—found that the U.S.-backed Afghan government controls or influences just 56 percent of the administrative districts in the country, down from 72 percent in 2015. By comparison, some 14 percent of districts are now controlled or influenced by insurgent forces, and another 30 percent are rated “contested.”

The American general has announced that there will be a new push in Afghanistan…..question?  WHY?

American keep dying for NOTHING….so why does it contiue?

It wasn’t until history class in college that I heard of the Thirty Years War. My immediate reaction was: No way! It just wasn’t possible that a war could last 30 years. Nobody would be that dumb.

But given that the U.S. war in Afghanistan has now been going on for 17 years, it’s now easier for me to understand how a war could go on for 30 years. Just think: Another 13 years, and the U.S. government can tie that record.

Over the past weekend, another U.S. soldier was killed in Afghanistan and another was wounded in what the media calls an “insider attack.” That means that a member of the Afghan military or police was the one who killed and wounded those two soldiers. At the risk of belaboring the obvious, it is rather difficult to protect against an attack from your friends.

That was the sixth U.S. soldier killed in Afghanistan this year, bringing the total death toll to 2,200.

When we hear about Afghanistan these days it seems to always be something positive,,,,any negativity is omitted by the media….negativity like this news….

Taliban forces launched nine separate substantial attacks in Afghanistan over the past 24 hours, killing at least 59 security forces nationwide and overrunning several bases and outposts in different parts of the country.

Attacks were reported as far north as Kunduz, and as far south as Kandahar. The biggest attack was in the far west, along the Iranian border in Farah, where Taliban overran a border post, killing 20 soldiers and capturing as many as 25.

The Taliban confirmed that the Farah base was not only seized, but that they were able to seize substantial numbers of weapons and equipment at the site as well. Only a handful of the border patrol were able to escape the attack.

Taliban forces seized posts in Ghazni, Kandahar, and in other areas. Afghan officials are unusually quiet about the fighting, and it’s not clear where the defense ministry will give priority for reinforcements.If recent events are any indication, they will only be able to reinforce a handful of the targeted areas.


Not the news they want the people to hear…it appears nothing is going well…..

Finally someone concurs with me and others……Afghanistan is insanity…..

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry returned from a trip to Afghanistan and proclaimed, “reconciliation can lead to a representative political solution and a sustainable U.S. presence in Afghanistan . . . [because that] is the only way we can reliably defend America from the dangerous terrorist organizations that continue to operate in Afghanistan.” If that sounds familiar, it should. It’s just more of the same old Washington groupthink: “stay the course.” But we’ve been staying the course now for over seventeen years with no end in sight. This is the very essence of the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.

To begin, while it would certainly be preferable to have a representative, multiethnic, democratic government in Afghanistan, that is not essential to American interests. Ultimately, U.S. national security is served as long as whatever government controls Afghanistan understands that the United States will not tolerate support for or the harboring of any terrorist group with global reach that directly threatens the United States. Al Qaeda and ISIS are terrorist threats in Afghanistan, but neither represents a direct, existential threat to the American homeland.

Finally I read a piece that talks about the perils of a US withdrawal from Afghanistan…..

Recent events in Afghanistan have reenergized those in favor of a U.S. military withdrawal. “Let someone else take up the burden,” urged one opinion piece in Slate. Another in the UK-based Guardian newspaper bluntly noted: “It’s time for America to end its war in Afghanistan.” Some media reports have also suggested that U.S. negotiators in Doha, Qatar have agreed to discuss the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan as part of a negotiated settlement with the Taliban.

Yet without a political settlement, which is still a longshot, a U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan would have serious risks. Chief among them would be the resurgence of terrorism and the deterioration of human rights—including women’s rights—that come with a Taliban victory.

I do need agree with the solution put forth in above article… would be easier and less expense and deadly to declare a victory and bring the troops home……but that is too simple for the complex minds in the Pentagon…..after all they are being paid by the taxpayer and the M-IC….good work if you can stomach it.


Another American Death

While most Americans were busy being political another American dies….and NOT ONE a/hole noticed…….(those “patriots” are the biggest joke in America these days even bigger than their Supreme Leader)

After 17 years of constant war and a constant flow of American troop deaths…..Last week the insider attack in Afghanistan has claimed another American…..

Maj. Brent Taylor, the 39-year-old mayor of North Ogden, Utah, was killed on Saturday in an insider attack in Afghanistan. Taylor was a member of the Utah Army National Guard, and was training Afghan commandos.

There are conflicting reports on the incident, in which one of the trainees opened fire, killing Taylor and wounding another soldier. Initial reports said the gunman was killed as well, though subsequent reports have not confirmed that this was the case.

Taylor was a mayor since 2013, and has done multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. This most recent tour was scheduled to end in January. His death is the latest in a growing string of insider attacks in Afghanistan.


When will the American public decide there have been enough American deaths and demand an end to all these wars that are going NO place?

Not to worry vote for one d/bag or another….matters not they will keep this dumbass war going.

I am so proud of you people! (that is sarcasm in case you missed it)

Another American Death

Closing Thought–26Oct18

Sad news another American soldier has been killed in Afghanistan……

Sgt. James Slape, 23, was killed by an IED in Afghanistan Oct. 4—and in a new report, the New York Times

An armored vehicle first struck a roadside bomb; no one was injured, but when Slape, a bomb disposal technician, went to the area with others to locate explosives and clear a path for the damaged truck to be towed away and its passengers to exit, he stepped on the bomb that killed him

Sgt. Slape’s unit had requested new and better equipment and it had been denied…..

Army National Guard unit had requested better equipment and training, but had been denied both because funds were not available.

Two officials tell the Times Slape’s unit was not in possession of the most advanced mine detectors that can be used to find bomb components used by the Taliban, and bomb technicians say much of the equipment and training his unit had asked for would have been standard for bomb disposal units in an area like Helmand. But it’s not clear whether the denial of such equipment contributed to Slape’s death.

As much money as this country spends on defense contracts then every soldier should have the most up to date and safer equipment available.

Just my thought here.

Our thoughts go out to Sgt. Slape’s family.

Tracking The Conflict

The war in Afghanistan has been raging for 17 years and I have been tracking the conflict for the whole time… tracking I mean that I have been watching how Americans react to the war and to the news about the war.

Americans, as a whole, NO longer care about this war…..the military families that it has an impact on are the only caring group anymore.  We are celebrating 17 years of a war that means nothing anymore….

The absurd hopelessness was the worst part. No, it wasn’t the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) blowing limbs off my boys, or the well-aimed gunshot wounds suffered by others; it wasn’t even the horror of ordering the deaths of other (“enemy”) human beings.

No, for a captain commanding 100 odd troopers in Southwest Kandahar province at the height of the Obama “surge” of 2011, what most struck me was the feeling of futility; the sense that the mission was fruitless operationally, and, of course, all but ignored at home. After a full year of saturating the district with American soldiers, the truth is we really controlled only the few square feet we each stood on. The Taliban controlled the night, the farmlands, the villages. And, back in 2011, well, the U.S. had about 100,000 servicemen and women in country. There are less than 15,000 on the ground now.

The news and our society have basically forgotten about our longest war…if that is truly the case……

You’d hardly know it from the news, but we’ve been continuously at war in Afghanistan since 2001. The war quietly turned 17 on October 7.

Unfortunately, America’s amnesia didn’t prevent Command Sergeant Major Tim Bolyard from being killed in Afghanistan in early September during his eighth combat tour and 13th deployment.

Believe it or not……the Afghan War is over and we did not win…….

America has lost the war in Afghanistan. Washington may not want to admit it, and the U.S. military insists the conflict is a “stalemate.” But make no mistake: The original 9/11 war has been lost.

On Thursday, the Taliban attacked a meeting between Afghan officials and the top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Austin S. Miller. Americans in attendance were wounded, but Miller was unhurt. At least three Afghan officials, though, were killed, including Gen. Abdul Raziq, a key American ally and powerbroker in southern Afghanistan. The U.S. military’s initial statement on the attack was a good example of its cognitive dissonance. Instead of a full condemnation, Col. Dave Butler, the spokesman for U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, claimed it was merely an “Afghan-on-Afghan incident.” This is an absurd characterization given that the Taliban quickly claimed responsibility, a crucial anti-Taliban commander was killed, and Americans were wounded, all in the presence of the U.S. general in charge of the war effort.

This war is over……then why have we not left and brought our war weary troops home?

During the past few months, many foreign policy analysts have overlooked a series of troubling reports from America’s war in Afghanistan. In late July, the New York Times reported that the Trump administration has been pushing Afghan security forces to withdraw from “vast stretches of the country.” Moreover, in the last few weeks, the Afghan government sustained significant losses defending territory in four districts from the Taliban, and Kabul has stopped reporting the number of deaths of its soldiers because the losses in many districts have become unsustainable. Nonetheless, in what has become a familiar pattern, American troops were dispatched to help Afghan security forces eject the insurgents and re-establish control.

… insider attack in Afghanistan’s Kandahar Province killed materially all of the top-ranking officials in the provincial government. The Pentagon downplayed the matter, saying two Americans were wounded, but that the top general present was unharmed.

What they didn’t reveal until Sunday was that the “serviceman” wounded in the attack was actually Brigadier General Jeffrey Smiley, a high-ranking advisor for the NATO mission in southern Afghanistan. He was shot, and is recovering.

Already the most significant insider attack of the war, having basically taken out the provincial government, this makes it an even bigger attack, as it means a Taliban gunman also got close enough to shoot a US general after killing all these people.


This week, the Taliban demonstrated – once again – that they can strike where and when they choose. The target was General Miller, the top US commander in Afghanistan, as well as some senior Afghan security officials. It was a close call, but General Miller was unhurt. The same can not be said for three top Afghan security leaders who were killed or the two American soldiers wounded in the crossfire. More disturbingly, the gunmen appeared to be Taliban sleepers embedded in the provincial governor’s (who was among the dead) bodyguards. Thus, this was another fatal “insider attack,” of which I’ve recently written. What, then, can we say about this near miss ambush, and how does it reflect on the war effort – America’s longest – in Afghanistan writ large?

At what point do we stop looking for excuses to stay and bring the troops home?

If the war and our troops do not immediately come to mind then it is time to call the war and let the troops enjoy their families again.

Like I said in the beginning of this post…I have been tracking this conflict since the first shot was fired….Americans care nothing about this conflict and ignore the news as much as possible.

Time to call it off and declare a win.

Afghanistan After 17 Years

Break out the bubbly….we have an anniversary to celebrate……17 years ago this month, October, we entered into a war with the Taleban and AQ in the central Asian country of Afghanistan.


17 years and some of the troops were in diapers when it began and they are now fighting it….how many movies have been made about this situation….the length of the war that is…….those were considered “fantasies”.

This worthless back and forth reminds me of the 100 Years War fought between France and England in the 14th and 15th centuries.

Anyway we continue to deploy our troops and they continue the fight…..and after 17 years what have we learned…..either valuable or not?

Seventeen years ago this month, in response to an attack on American soil many times greater than had ever occurred before, the United States under Acting President Dick Cheney — sorry, make that Vice President — launched what became the longest and most expensive war in American history.

A war that, strangely and stupidly, still goes on with no more signs of victory than it has ever had in all these years.

The war on Afghanistan, begun in retaliation against the Taliban government of that country that had apparently harbored the al-Qaida organization we held to be instigators of the 9/11 attack, has been responsible for at least 110,000 Afghanistan deaths, including 31,000 civilians, and 2,375 American soldiers killed and 20,320 wounded, according to official statistics. Statistics that, like most things in that country, are highly unreliable and, for Americans, do not include the full number of mental casualties and the number of soldiers who have committed suicide in the years after serving, estimated to be between 10 and 20 a day.

Let us be honest……we learned the same thing that we learned after a decade of the Vietnam War……NOTHING!

I see the head of Blackwater does not take NO for an answer…..the Afghan government has told the world that they would NOT accept foreign mercs fighting their wars and yet…they keep trying……

The Afghan government doesn’t agree on much, but they appear overwhelmingly aligned in their rejection of Blackwater founder Erik Prince’s proposal to “privatize” the US occupation of Afghanistan.

A lot of the specifics of this plan have not been made public, but the broad strokes are that, 17 years into the US occupation, the military would be replaced outright by US-hired military contractors. Prince argues this would make the war cheaper.

Prince’s plan clearly can’t happen if the Afghan government refuses, but in the quest to replace the US military, replacing the Afghan government with a more favorable one might not be such a tall order. Prince has been holding a flurry of meetings in recent weeks.

The meetings are with influential Afghans, including top politicians who are potential replacements for President Ghani in the upcoming election. Prince insists he isn’t trying to interfere in Afghan politics, though it’s not a real secret that a more favorable government would be very good for him.


Our so-called training mission is really trying to get more proxies ready to fight our wars for us……

Within a decade, Australia must anticipate greater economic, political and military competition in the Indo-Pacific and, as power balances shift, the ADF will struggle to sustain the technological advantage it maintained during the Cold War. In this increasingly multipolar security environment, the high-technology, high-lethality, high-cost conventional warfighting platforms we’re acquiring will be of decreasing use. These exquisite acquisitions will, paradoxically, increase the likelihood of low-cost proxy conflict, as we see in Syria. Indeed, this situation has led Daniel Byman to note that all of today’s major wars are in essence proxy wars.

Proxy wars are not a new phenomenon. During the Cold War, the threat of mutually assured destruction drove major nuclear powers to achieve political ends through indirect means—as when the U.S. fought Vietnamese forces that were heavily backed by China and Russia.

With a new year will we have learned anything or will we continue down this same well worn road?

As a child of the 60’s I am always finding music to explain the stories I write…..and I think I found the best song to describe our involvement in Afghanistan……ENJOY!

We can check out….but we can NEVER leave!

On The Road To Afghanistan

As usual there has been a wealth of reports and stories about the 17 year war in Afghanistan…..and as usual there is a wealth of sides to consider…..

A quick look at those 17 years…..

Sunday was the 17th anniversary of the start of the longest war in American history: the Afghanistan War. When Operation Enduring Freedom kicked off on Oct. 7, 2001, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, few would have thought we’d still be there fighting the Taliban nearly two decades later. Heck, I doubt I thought we’d still be fighting today when deploying there myself “only” 10 years ago this month.

But here we are, engaged in a forever war in which the generals seem to have no plausible “theory of victory” and the Taliban remain stubbornly resistant to capitulating to our demands. It is a war that we ought to end honorably through a negotiated settlement with our opponents—or even by unilaterally declaring success, and prudently but surely coming home.

The consensus is that we cannot win this war…..but the question should be….do we want to win?

This month marks the anniversary of America’s longest war: 17 years in Afghanistan. On this anniversary we must ask, why are we still engaged in what amounts to a forever war?

Even before he was a candidate for president, celebrity citizen Donald Trump tweeted in 2013: “We should leave Afghanistan immediately” and “Let’s get out of Afghanistan.” But he’s done a complete reversal as president.

In August 2017, President Trump acknowledged that his “original instinct was to pull out” but that “our nation must seek an honorable and enduring outcome worthy of the tremendous sacrifices that have been made, especially the sacrifices of lives.” Indeed, the president declared, “We will fight to win,” but what President Trump needs to understand is that we can’t win and, more importantly, we don’t have to win.

And every time it is pointed out the fruitfulness of this war there will be someone who thinks a new strategy is needed……now is no different…..

Sunday marked the 17th anniversary of the start of war in Afghanistan, the “War on Terror.” Originally referred to as Operation Enduring Freedom, the U.S. invasion was America’s response to the attacks of 9/11, still the deadliest terrorist strike in world history. Home to the training camps and masterminds behind the 9/11 carnage, Afghanistan was the proper target for an aggrieved and angry nation intent on punishing the perpetrators – and preventing future attacks. But somewhere along the line, this operation evolved into a conflict that historian Andrew J. Bacevich Sr. termed the “Permanent War for Permanent Peace.” And it has left our nation weary, if not apathetic.

Costing somewhere between $1.5 trillion and $5.6 trillion and the lives of nearly 6,000 U.S. service members (including 2,347 OEF deaths as of August 2018), the ultimate burden of war has been borne by an increasingly small portion of the population. And while support for OEF in the wake of 9/11 was overwhelming, the absence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq made the overall “war on terror” increasingly unpopular and Afghanistan a distant concern.

The one aspect that galls me is that Americans seem to care not for our troops that are dying in Afghanistan…..

While most of America has been fixated on the Kavanaugh accusations and the Senate’s embarrassing attempt to handle those, the eighth U.S. service member of 2018 was killed in America’s longest war on Thursday. You likely didn’t hear about it in the news unless you saw a defense reporter tweet about it or you know a veteran who mentioned it. A single U.S. death in Afghanistan no longer draws media attention because Americans have become apathetic to the never-ending conflict, which has allowed our elected representatives to become indifferent to any sort of sustainable solution or realistic withdrawal.

This year the Afghan war is on track to cost the taxpayer $45 billion. The Taliban holds more territory today than they have since the post-9/11 invasion in 2001, and they show no indication of real interest in a sustainable peace agreement despite the United States’s high hopes for talks. The Taliban don’t want peace, nor do they want to share territory with the Afghan government. They want to rule Afghanistan the way they did prior to 9/11 and the Oct. 7, 2001, invasion.

We have at least one Congressman that wants an end to this war…..

On the 17th anniversary of the beginning of the war in Afghanistan, one American congressman has called for its end.

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) said in a statement on Sunday that “American troops should come home” from Afghanistan, since our current course there is “not in our national interest.”

The U.S. presence in Afghanistan began on Oct. 7, 2001 shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

“Our objectives following that attack were to destroy Al-Qaeda, kill Osama bin Laden, and prevent a recurrence of an ungoverned space in Afghanistan that allowed for terrorists to plot and plan attacks on Americans and our allies. We accomplished all of those objectives years ago.”

I try to keep my readers updated on the events in our many wars…I hope this synopsis was helpful…..

17 Years Of War

After 17 years of a long war is there any good fortune about this war of wars?  Every couple of months or so we get a report bout a news strategy for this war.  And every year it plugs along sucking taxpayer money as it goes and nothing changes.

And guess what?  We have a new strategy…..very well labelled….a new approach for Afghanistan…..

The stalemated conflict in Afghanistan is becoming a forever war because it is a “for profit’ enterprise for powerful interests on both Afghan sides of the war. Many senior leaders of the Afghan government, as well as the Taliban, are profiting daily from the conflict – why would they want to participate in a peace process that would kill their cash cow? This does not mean that the US government should withdraw from the war – which is as worth fighting today as it was in 2001. We cannot allow Afghanistan to again become a sanctuary for international jihadists. The Taliban is not an existential threat to America and the West, but groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS are. It is in America’s interest for both the Afghan government and the Taliban to resist international jihadist infiltration. That means that American economic strategy needs to be radically changed if we expect to get both sides to the peace table for serious negotiations.

To approach a solution, we must first understand the problem. Regarding the Afghan government, we need to realize that every dollar provided by the United States to pay Afghan government officials, soldiers, police, and subcontractors has a portion siphoned off at every level from the ministries in Kabul down to the battalion or district level. This type of corruption is ingrained in the cultures of the region, and no amount of lecturing on the part of American officials is going to eliminate the institutional tradition of backsheesh. Our unfiltered largesse is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Is there a reality of the war on the ground?

It is time to admit what is self-evident: the strategic foundation of NATO’s campaign in Afghanistan is so fundamentally flawed that it cannot be won. America’s longest war, which endures as a deeply troubled nation-building venture, continues to apply a fatally flawed theory of military victory to a maelstrom of Afghan political, social, and economic problems that Western intervention cannot solve. While war advocates speak of endless “fragile progress,” the truth is that the costly effort is not worth the thousands of lives lost or trillions of dollars spent in pursuit of a failed strategy.

The reality of the thing is that after n17 years all this war has done is siphon off tax dollars for no return on investment.

We expect 17-year-olds to have learned a great deal starting from infancy, and yet full-grown adults have proven incapable of knowing anything about Afghanistan during the course of 17 years of U.S.-NATO war. Despite war famously being the means of Americans learning geography, few can even identify Afghanistan on a map. What else have we failed to learn?

Seriously…..time to declare the war a success and bring the troops home for a much deserved rest.

If you would like to see the DoD propaganda machine at work then read this op-ed……

“Why are we here?” is a basic question that coalition troops in Afghanistan have to answer.

The simple question evinces a lot of different answers, said Army Gen. Austin S. Miller, the new commander of NATO’s Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan.

A masterful piece of bovine fecal matter (bullshit to the less sophisticated)……

17 years of utter futility…..time to come home……

Seventeen years after the start of the war in Afghanistan, it is well past time to re-evaluate our strategic and military interests in the region. The evidence that our war in Afghanistan is failing and cannot be won is dramatic and overwhelming.  After serving two tours in Afghanistan, I can confidently state that on this, the 17th anniversary, it is time terminate the war on the best terms available. Anything less will deepen our loss and further weaken our national security.

But what does America think of this war?