Push Back To Leaving Afghanistan

I have seen the reasons that some have for Trump’s decision to move our troops out of Afghanistan……most of those that want to stay are getting paid by the corporations that are milking the taxpayers out of their money…..and that includes the former VP Biden…he has NO plan to bring our troops home..

Beyond that I have made an accusation that it is about the cash and not the foreign policy……here is why I say this….

The 19-year-old war in Afghanistan continues to be a huge sinkhole for US taxpayer dollars. The US government’s oversight authority that monitors waste in Washington’s Afghanistan reconstruction effort released a report this month updating its findings.

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) found that as of December 31st, 2019, Congress appropriated almost $134 billion to Afghanistan reconstruction since the 2002 fiscal year. Of that amount, SIGAR reviewed about $63 billion and found approximately $19 billion or 30 percent was lost to waste, fraud, and abuse.

Between January 1st, 2018, and December 31st, 2019, SIGAR found an additional $3.4 billion was lost to waste, fraud, and abuse. Of that total, SIGAR identified $1.5 billion in taxpayer funds that were lost to waste, $300 million lost to fraud, and $34 million lost to abuse. The remaining $1.6 billion was allocated to counter-narcotics, which SIGAR believes was also wasted.

In a 2018 report, SIGAR described US counter-narcotics efforts in Afghanistan as a “failure.” A UN report from 2019 found Afghanistan is the source of 80 percent of the world’s illicit opium production despite the billions of US taxpayer dollars being spent to stop it.

Since SIGAR was formed in 2008, the oversight authority has investigated approximately 44 percent of the $134 billion spent by the US on Afghanistan reconstruction. According to Brown University’s Costs of War project, as of September 2019, the US has spent $2 trillion on the war in Afghanistan. The number includes interest on borrowed money used to fund the war and money spent on care for veterans

(antiwar.com)

Can you see it now?

Close to $2 trillion and who thinks that the M-IC will give up that easy cash without a fight?

Here’s another thought about the $2 trillion…..

Pursuing trade and industrial policies that boost U.S. exports and eliminate the trade deficit while investing $2 trillion over four years in the nation’s infrastructure, clean energy, and energy efficiency improvements could support 6.9 to 12.9 million “good jobs” annually by 2024, according to an analysis published Tuesday.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/10/20/investing-2-trillion-us-clean-energy-and-infrastructure-could-create-millions-good

Something to think about…..

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Let The Kids Do It

Some of those apocalyptic films have wars being fought for generations and generations….well fact is not so far off…..

Just last week our war inn Afghanistan entered into its 20th year……and soon the children of the original warriors will be fighting this conflict…..

The longest war in US history now spans generations. Service members who were deployed to Afghanistan, starting 19 years ago last week, are turning the mission over to their children. Since 2002, Master Sgt. Trevor deBoer has served three tours in what the government called the war against terrorism, Stars and Stripes reports. Spc. Payton Sluss has been deployed there as well, stationed at a base where his father served. “My feet were walking the same land you were,” Sluss told deBoer. His father said he often wondered during his tours if the US effort was making any progress. “When we started this, people asked why I was going, and my response was, ‘So my sons don’t have to fight this war,'” deBoer said. His son sees progress, however incremental, citing changes in women’s rights, free speech and education. “An inch is an inch, progress is progress no matter what,” he said. The US still suffers casualties in Afghanistan.

The job is different for this generation. Operation Enduring Freedom ended in 2014, per the New York Post. With the Taliban protecting al-Qaeda, Americans now concentrate on training local forces and rebuilding the country. “Afghanistan didn’t have a functioning toilet when I showed up,” said Capt. Bajun Mavalwalla, who arrived in 2002. When he returned as an adviser in 2012, he was amazed by the improvements. His son, also Bajun Mavalwalla, who was deployed in 2012, is more discouraged. “I wanted to go out and help people, serve my country. … I just sort of contributed to this deepening mire,” he said. The elder Mavalwalla’s view is across generations. “You have to have seen what it was 20 years ago, and then see it again 10 years later, to appreciate the improvement,” the father said. Another veteran whose son has served in Afghanistan said he just hopes his grandson won’t someday have to go fight the same battles “for the same reason.”

And yet Americans do not see the problem they are allowing to develop…..the media is to blame for making war seem somehow patriotic and romantic…..and try to ignore the conflict as often as they can.

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“Home By Christmas”

That is the latest promise issued by the president about our weary troops in Afghanistan.

President Trump made a new comment on the pullout of Afghanistan, saying that it is now his intention to have all remaining US troops out of Afghanistan by Christmas. That’s substantially sooner than previous statements on the matter.

This seems to be a very recent policy change. Just hours before Trump’s comments, the national security adviser said that there would still be 2,500 US troops left in Afghanistan by early 2021. This is roughly in line with previous comments on the matter.

Troop cuts in October and November are intended to get troop levels to around 4,500 in November, a goal that the Trump Administration has pushed for some time. With troop cuts ahead of schedule, even more cuts were possible.

Having the last troops out of Afghanistan by Christmas puts even more pressure on the Afghan government and Taliban to make good on efforts to make a deal, at least on a framework, or risk a new round of violence.

(antiwar.com)

After almost 20 years it is time for us to rid ourselves of this conflict….15 years too late……

Even the most enthusiastic interventionists must now recognize that the war is militarily unwinnable. The hopes of a peace agreement between the Taliban and Afghan government should not delay the end of American involvement in the war and our full withdrawal. Anything less confirms Washington’s unwillingness to recognize two decades of failure and condemns yet more American troops to pointlessly sacrifice their lives and limbs.

https://outline.com/3MSMVw

People like me have been calling for this very thing for a decade maybe longer.

I worry that this is a promise in words only for after all it is the election season and our president has made many many promises that have not been kept.

Or could there be what some call a “surprise” that would require the US to extend their presence…we will be told it is for awhile….and we know we have heard all this before.

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“lego ergo scribo”

Russia Returns To Afghanistan

Back in the 80s the old USSR had this war going on in Afghanistan…..and since it was the Cold War the US would send cash and weapons to the “rebels” that were fighting the Soviets.

Does any of this sound familiar?

In case you are too young to remember anything past the first Iphone….then this should help…..

Or read a history…….https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2014/08/the-soviet-war-in-afghanistan-1979-1989/100786/

In this conflict the US helped create the Taleban and the Northern Alliance to fight the Soviets….and today we, the US, are fighting the very same group we armed and paid in the past…..

I bring all this up because the Neocons are bitching about the Russians sending aid to the Taleban…..

Hardly a week seems to pass without some new crisis in Russian-American relations. The most recent was the revelation that U.S. President Donald Trump had ignored intelligence about bounties supposedly paid by Russian operatives to the Taliban in exchange for killing American soldiers. The veracity of this particular intelligence is questionable, in my view, but there is plausible evidence that Russia has been providing arms to the Taliban as Moscow seeks to play a more active role in Afghanistan. What to make of this? Some commentators in the U.S., including intelligence analysts and military commanders, see Russia’s policy as primarily aimed at pushing the U.S. out of what Moscow considers its neighborhood. Commenting on the most recent allegations, U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff suggested that Russia should be “pushed out of the community of nations.” For Schiff, Russia’s Afghanistan policy is further evidence of a consistent anti-American agenda. This kind of zero-sum thinking says more about the American foreign policy consensus regarding Russia than it does about Russia’s view of the region or of relations with Washington. Russia’s engagement with the Taliban is not, primarily, about punishing the U.S. or getting revenge for Washington’s support to the mujahedeen fighting Soviet troops in the 1980s. Rather, Moscow is pursuing a pragmatic policy aimed at securing stability and security in Central Asia. 

https://www.russiamatters.org/analysis/russian-moves-afghanistan-are-about-regional-stability-not-revenge-us

This is all so silly….the Neocons are all up in arms because Russia is aiding the Taleban……think about that for just a moment……

This illustrates the hypocrisy of American foreign policy….the arrogance….”we can do it but no one else can”

I wish that we could find a new foreign policy….but sadly little will change with the next election.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Defund Afghanistan

These days there is lots about defunding this or that…from the police to the Pentagon……check what was written about this…….

https://lobotero.com/2020/06/09/de-fund-the-pd/

As long as we are calling for all this defunding….why not defund the US longest and costliest war…Afghanistan?

As the coronavirus pandemic overwhelmed the Afghan health system in June, doctors rallied in Kabul, calling upon the International Monetary Fund to rescind a recently granted $220 million emergency loan to the Afghan government to help with the COVID-19 crisis. In support, Sayed Ekram Afazali, head of Integrity Watch Afghanistan, a local group fighting corruption, said that such “monopolization in the spending of the aid . . . creates severe vulnerabilities and it removes the trust” in the government owing to embezzlement and mismanagement. The Kabul rally is just one of many protests against government corruption in Afghanistan. Doctors in Herat, for instance, protested against unpaid salaries. In remote Ghor Province, security forces killed six protesters angry at the distribution of food aid.

These and other similar actions acknowledge a counterintuitive but simple truth: Aid to Afghanistan is accelerating state collapse because it is channeled through a government that is dysfunctional and corrupt. John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, said the Taliban and other insurgents draw attention to government corruption and use it to “undermine public support for the government, garner recruits to their cause and weaken the government’s bargaining position during future peace negotiations.” We believe that the current system of centralized government is the cause of systemic injustices that drive this current conflict. After 20 years of this system, there are no technical fixes to corruption that could win public trust. Rather, the entire government must be defunded, dismantled, disbanded, and rebuilt anew by the Afghan people. The coming intra-Afghan dialogue will be an opportunity to do just that.

https://www.mercatus.org/bridge/commentary/defund-afghanistan

This makes perfect sense….Trump is trying to end this costly war and the Congress and Hawks are fighting that tooth and nail…..

Time for the US to come home and save the cash spent on Afghanistan….this country needs the money to repair itself and yet those idiot warmongers are looking for other spots for their expansionism.

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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!

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“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/

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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”