And The Fight Goes On

In less that two weeks the Taleban has controlled the country of Afghanistan…..well most but not all…..

The Northern Alliance has always been a thorn in the butts of the Taleban and today that situation has not changed…..

A band of Afghan resistance fighters holed up in Afghanistan’s rugged Panjshir province northeast of Kabul has repelled repeated attacks by Taliban fighters in recent days, a representative for the group tells NPR.

Speaking with NPR’s All Things Considered on Friday, Ali Nazary, the National Resistance Front’s head of foreign relations, who is currently in the U.S., also denied reports that the Taliban have taken control of the province — the last major territory standing between the Islamist militia and total control over Afghanistan — calling the rumors “propaganda.”

The Panjshir Valley “has not been breached,” he told host Audie Cornish. “The Taliban are facing fierce resistance.”

“The Taliban propaganda machine is trying to divert attention, is trying to spread propaganda, to weaken morale in Kabul and elsewhere,” said Nazary, who says he has been in close contact with NRF officials in Panjshir.

https://www.npr.org/2021/09/03/1033966153/afghanistan-taliban-panjshir-resistance

Two days of fighting between the Taliban and the remnant resistance in Afghanistan’s Panjshir Valley continues to rage, with the Taliban pushing back into Baghlan districts, and civilians fleeing the area.

Both sides are claiming heavy casualties inflicted on the other. The Taliban did not provide numbers, but the resistance said they’d killed 40 Taliban and wounded another 35 since fighting began Monday night.

Both sides are also disputing who started this latest round of fighting, each claiming the other side attacked first. The Taliban added that talks have failed so far, but that they still want to resolve this peacefully. Other Taliban, however, suggested that the negotiations are over and were a failure.

The Panjshir Valley resistance is the remnants of the Afghan military and allied militias from the Ghani government, which fell last month. The group has promised to resist, and have even reclaimed some sparsely populated districts in the area.

The news trickles out of this region and the latest report is that the Taleban may have met is match….at least for now…..

Taliban and opposition forces continue to battle to control the Panjshir Valley north of Kabul with resistance fighters saying they captured hundreds of Taliban troops.

The National Resistance Front (NRF) of Afghanistan, grouping forces loyal to local leader Ahmad Massoud, said on Sunday it surrounded “thousands of terrorists” in Khawak Pass and the Taliban abandoned vehicles and equipment in the Dashte Rewak area.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/9/5/afghanistan-panjshir-forces-claim-hundreds-of-taliban-captured

This situation is very fluid…..

Days of heavy fighting in Panjshir Valley, the home of the last major holdout forces in Afghanistan, seem to be wrapping up, with the Taliban claiming complete control of Panjshir Province, and releasing photos of their fighters at the governor’s compound.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid declared the war over, saying this amounted to a complete victory. The Panjshir remnant forces were what was left of the Ghani government that continued fighting after the fall of Kabul.

The remnants have denied that this is the case. Leader Ahmed Massoud has gone missing, but says he is safe and that his fighters are still fighting in several areas around the valley. This comes just a day after Massoud claimed that there were deals for a ceasefire and talks with the Taliban.

(antiwar.com)

Like I said…..fluid.

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–31Aug21

We all have seen the chaos at the Kabul airport with Afghans rushing and pushing to get the Hell out of the country to avoid any Taleban retaliation….so this report makes the situation even more bizarre…..

US gave Taliban lists of names. Some lawmakers and military officials have been outraged by reports that American officials gave the Taliban lists of names of Americans and Afghan allies so they could get past the group’s checkpoints, Politico reports. With the Taliban’s history of killing collaborators with foreign forces, one defense official describes the move as putting the Afghans on a “kill list.” National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne acknowledged that the US has “shared information with the Taliban that has successfully facilitated evacuations from Kabul.”

Seriously?

The US gave the names of people trying to avoid the Taleban….what part of that makes sense?

I question the wisdom of this move…..

And now the last soldier is out and has turned off the lights…..

Taliban guards at Kabul’s airport and officials at the Pentagon have confirmed that the last US planes have flown out. Celebratory gunfire erupted across the Afghan capital marking the symbolic end of 20 years of war, with the Taliban back in power, the AP reports. In Washington, the US confirmed the withdrawal of its last troops, which faced a self-imposed Tuesday deadline. In announcing the completion of the evacuation and war effort. Gen. Frank McKenzie, head of US Central Command, said the last planes took off from Kabul airport at 3:29pm Washington time, or one minute before midnight in Kabul. The evacuation effort, set to end Aug 31, was wrapped up a full day early, with military equipment loaded onto transport planes before the last US service members flew out, reports the New York Times.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Is The ‘Northern Alliance’ Reborn?

We all have seen the stories of the collapse of Afghanistan and the horrific chaos that has ensued.

Some have asked just how the collapse of the Afghan army was possible with 20 years of training and equipment and money ($2.3 trillion) spent……the MSM is spending lots of endless hours looking at what went wrong and the crush of people trying to leave the country….but none are asking about the brave  Afghans that will stand up to the Taleban….

Is there anybody that will stand up to the Taleban?

Back in the days of Soviet occupation of Afghanistan there was a small but very successful group that was called the ‘Northern Alliance’.

This is for the youngsters out there that have no damn idea what I am talking about….

Since early 1999, Ahmad Shah Massoud was the only main leader able to defend his territory against the Taliban, and as such remained as the main de facto political and military leader of the United Front recognized by members of all the different ethnic groups. Massoud decided on the main political line and the general military strategy of the alliance. A part of the United Front military factions, such as Junbish-i Milli or Hezb-e Wahdat, however, did not fall under the direct control of Massoud but remained under their respective regional or ethnic leaders.

Before the forming of the United Front Massoud led a very successful resistance to Soviet occupation.

The short history lesson was given because the answer to the question of who will oppose the Taleban…the answer is….the Northern Alliance.

The Panjshir Valley, in the Hindu Kush mountains north of the Afghan capital Kabul, has long been the heart of military resistance in Afghanistan and looks like it is becoming the centre of a gathering of “resistance” forces against Taliban rule.

Since mid-August, forces opposed to the rule of the Afghan Taliban have gathered in the valley under the leadership of Ahmad Massoud, son of the famed Afghan resistance fighter Ahmad Shah Massoud.

Between 1980 and 1985, the Panjshir Valley witnessed at least nine unsuccessful major Soviet offensives to retake the region, with Ahmad Shah Massoud’s forces resisting wave after wave of military operations that involved ground forces, airborne units and helicopter assaults.

A common tactic by Ahmad Shah Massoud’s forces at the time was to allow Soviet forces into the valley and to then cripple or cut them off with harassing fire from the higher ground of the mountains.

After the Soviet withdrawal, the collapse of the Afghan government at the time, and the first Taliban takeover, the area saw renewed fighting from 1996 as Massoud’s forces fought against the Taliban under the banner of the multi-ethnic Northern Alliance.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/8/23/explainer-afghanistans-panjshir-valley

Sadly the Taleban is closing in on the resistance….will the US do what they do best…turn their back on these fighters?

A Taliban spokesman said Monday that the group recaptured three districts in Afghanistan’s northeast Baghlan province that fell to anti-Taliban forces over the weekend.

The Baghlan districts of Bano, Deh Saleh, Pul e-Hesar are near the neighboring province of Panjshir and the Panjshir Valley, where an anti-Taliban resistance group is forming.

It’s estimated that there are about 6,000 fighters in or near the Panjshir Valley. Ahmad Massoud, the son of the late mujahideen commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, has emerged as a figurehead of the Panjshir resistance.

Massoud told Reuters on Sunday that while his group is ready to fight, that he hopes to hold talks with the Taliban to reach a solution. “We want to make the Taliban realize that the only way forward is through negotiation,” he said. “We do not want a war to break out.”

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Monday that Taliban forces were established in areas near Panjshir and that the anti-Taliban fighters were blockaded inside the Panjshir valley. Mujahid said the Taliban was trying to resolve the situation peacefully. “The Islamic Emirate is trying to resolve the issue peacefully,” he said.

The region of Afghanistan around Panjshir appears to be the only area where there is armed resistance to the Taliban, and the Taliban controls virtually all of the country. Taliban leaders are engaged in talks with some former Afghan officials on the structures of a future government, which is expected to be announced soon.

(antiwar.com)

This is the story that should be foremost in the reporting….gain US support will go a long way to confronting the Taleban…but no the media prefers to keep reporting the same stories with minor adjustments to make it appear fresh and breaking news.

More writers should jump on this and help spread the word that there are some Afghans that will not willing accept the Taleban.

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“lego ergo scribo”

But It Is Not The Same

Closing Thought–17Aug21

Comparisons have been made to Afghanistan and the fall of Saigon 1975….

Biden and Blinken have made it ‘clear’ that it is not anywhere similar to 1975…..

The White House is working very hard to tamp down comparisons of what’s happening in Kabul to what happened in Saigon in 1975. But for now, a statement that President Biden made only last month doesn’t appear to be aging well:

  • July 8: “There’s going to be no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof of a embassy in the—of the United States from Afghanistan,” Biden said on that date, per Newsweek. “It is not at all comparable.” He added: “The likelihood there’s going to be one unified government in Afghanistan controlling the whole country is highly unlikely.”
  • Blinken, I: “This is manifestly not Saigon,” Blinken responded. “The fact of the matter is this: We went to Afghanistan 20 years ago with one mission in mind, and that was to deal the people who attacked us on 9/11. And that mission has been successful.” (See his full remarks via a State Department transcript.)
  • Blinken, II: The secretary of state got a similar question from Jake Tapper at CNN, who wondered if we were “in the midst of a Saigon moment.” Blinken gave a similar response: “No, we’re not. Remember, this is not Saigon. We went to Afghanistan 20 years ago with one mission, and that mission was to deal with the folks who attacked us on 9/11. And we have succeeded in that mission.” (That transcript is here.)

The spin has been relentless…..but NO one is believe the hype…..

1975…..Fall of Saigon…..

On April 30, 1975, Sandy Gall was one of the few Western journalists to stay in Saigon to witness the South Vietnamese capital's fall to the forces of the Communist North. Pictured: Vietnamese try to escape from the US embassy roof as Saigon fell

2021….fall of Kabul…….

Chaos at Kabul airport as hundreds try to leave; viral videos show people falling to their death from US aircraft

The chaos looks very familiar to me.

But these two politicians are right….there is one comparison that shows it is not the same…..

The forces of North Vietnam and the Viet Cong took about 6 months after the US pulled out before they took the capitol of Saigon.

The Afghan forces lasted about 10 days before the president left the country and the forces of the Taleban too the capitol of Kabul.

But it is the same…..we wasted time and money training an army to defend themselves and it collapsed embarrassingly for the US.

How long will it be before we try the stupidity of nation-building again….the waste and the destruction to accomplish NOTHING?

“We will not make the same mistakes from the past” Biden stated……too late dude we already have and continue to do so.

After writing about our involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq for many years all I can say in closing is….”I Told You So”!

Any thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Ten Days in August

After the expenditure of trillions…. Cost of Afghan War: $2.3 trillion on a single war for 20 years the US is pulling out of Afghanistan…..

As they pull their troops the Taleban has started slowly taking control of various parts of the country.

A Return To 1990?

In just 10 days the Taleban has gone from pockets of guerilla fighters to control of the country.

The Afghan president splits the country as the Taleban takes control of the nation….and the Taleban sets about a new government…..

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is being reported as likely president of the new Taliban government, though conflicting reports say former Interior Minister Ali Ahmad Jalali would head a transitional government.

Baradar has been presented as a relatively moderate figure in the Taliban for years, and this likely will make him more palatable than some other hardliners for the world. Baradar also served as a chief negotiator for the Taliban in Doha.

Taliban officials are openly announcing the reestablishment of Afghanistan as an Islamic Emirate and trying to reassure the public about the fate of Kabul.

(antiwar.com)

Kabul has fallen (a great name for an action film) and chaos reins…..

Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, on Sunday fell to the Taliban, completing the militant group’s takeover of the country so quickly even the Taliban’s co-founder admitted in an evening video statement that the group was surprised at the speed. Hours earlier, the Taliban had entered Kabul as Afghanistan’s president fled. The militants quickly seized the presidential palace, the BBC reports, claiming victory as the government collapsed after the two-decade-long presence of a US-led coalition in the country ended. “The war is over,” a spokesperson declared. More:

  • Chaos: The word is being used in numerous articles about the state of Afghanistan, with residents and foreigners alike reportedly trying to get out; some people reportedly abandoned their cars and fled for the border on foot. A witness at Kabul’s international airport says people were scrambling to get on planes and airport staffers had fled their posts.

Is this just another Vietnam?

SecState Blinken made it clear that it was not….

Blinken claimed “this is manifestly not Saigon.” The secretary of state continued to insist that the U.S. accomplished the goals from when it went into Afghanistan 20 years ago, and he echoed Biden’s statement by saying they were working “with a deadline established by the previous administration to get them out by May 1st.”

Think about that statement for a moment.

He Lied!

20 years…..AQ attacked the US and after about 5 years it had been neutered….so why the next 15 years?

Plus sorry dude but it looks a lot like a repeat of 1975 to me.

Now think about the Afghan army….U.S. military commanders have assured the public they are making progress on the cornerstone of their war strategy: to build a strong Afghan army and police force that can defend the country on their own.

And the manure spreading continued…..“The Afghan forces are better than we thought they were,” Marine Gen. John Allen told Congress in 2012. “The Afghan national security forces are winning,” Army Lt. Gen. Joseph Anderson told reporters in 2014.

What about all that optimism and the cash spent to prepare the Afghans…..

The vast majority of spending in Afghanistan has come from the US.

Between 2010 to 2012, when the US for a time had more than 100,000 soldiers in the country, the cost of the war grew to almost $100bn a year, according to US government figures.

And yet all that cash and training and the Afghan military lasted just 9 days against the onslaught of the Taleban.

So was all that money well spent?

Over the last 20 years, we’ve heard dozens of rationales, justifications and excuses for the US occupation of Afghanistan, all of them now exposed as hollow (or worse). There’s been no “nation-building,” the status of women has not been elevated or protected, the army and security forces have not been “trained” and “modernized,” opium poppy production has not been eradicated, militant groups have not been eliminated, sectarian strife has not lessened, the influence of Pakistan’s ISI has not been blunted. But American contractors and weapons makers have made tens of billions, year after year, for two decades, on long-term, no-bid contracts, many of the companies run by retired officials from the Pentagon and CIA, with little to no oversight or accountability. The Afghan war and occupation was one of history’s longest gravy trains, feeding govt. guaranteed profits to some of the most unsavory operators in the country, as 1000s of Afghans perished, and every time someone tried to stop it, they were shouted down with one word: “terrorism.”

The manure was spread and we now see that it was all BS….so now is the time for some actions as punishment for the LIES spread and the deceptions taken…..

If, after the horrors of this week in Afghanistan, the 4-Starry-eyed generals responsible for this 20-year March of Folly are not held accountable, there will be still worse to come. None were held accountable for the disasters of Vietnam or Iraq, and now the allegedly smart 4-Star Generals and Admirals are – get this – preparing for war with China and Russia.

Hold the Generals Accountable This Time

This war has been a boom for the defense industries….and that is the true story of 20myears in Afghanistan.

Time for answers to all those questions that were lied about in the past…..time for accountability…..and time for this sort of nation-building BS to end and money spent where it is needed…in this COUNTRY!

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

A Return To 1990?

Once again in Afghanistan an occupying force pulls out and the Taleban expands its muscle…..that was the story in 1990 after the USSR decided to pull out of the country….and now it is happening all over again.

As the US pulls its troops from Afghanistan the Taleban jumps on the vacuum created to exert its dominance once again…..

Fighting across northern Afghanistan continued after massive weekend losses,with a sixth provincial capital having fallen to the Taliban. This time, the small town of Aybak, capital of Samangan, fell Monday afternoon.

It’s not as big of a lost like cities like Sar-e Pul and Kunduz, but shows that the Taliban’s huge weekend offensive did not necessarily end at the end of the weekend. This continues a trend that could rapidly leave the north of Afghanistan in Taliban hands.

In addition to those cities, the Taliban also took Sheberghan, Taloqan, and the southwestern capital of Nimruz. The Afghan government is focusing on a new propaganda push, focusing on selling the idea that losing five capitals in two days isn’t that big a deal.

Losing all these cities, including Kunduz and the already fallen Lashkar Gah, is already a big deal, and with the Taliban pushing on places like Herat, more could be lost. Afghan forces are off-balance and the Taliban is showing surprising confidence.

The loss of Aybak is another blow to the situation, doubly so because MPs say it fell without a fight. It’s not a big city, but given all the territory losses it would be strange for the government to not at least try to muster a defense.

The Taliban issued a statement later Sunday saying there had been no deal on a ceasefire yet, and warning the US against trying any further intervention. The Biden Administration has ordered B-52 bombers into the mix, and past comments suggest they’re going to continue to intervene to prevent a total Taliban victory.

(antiwar.com)

The more things change the more they remain the same.

Just like when the USSR pulled out the Taleban has swiftly taken control……

Major territory losses over the weekend were an ominous sign for the Afghan government. Five provincial capitals fell, suggesting a costly new stage in the war. A sixth capital fell Monday, and on Tuesday, two more.

Tuesday’s losses include the Baghlan capital of Pul-e Khumri and Farah, cutting deeper into territory in northern Afghanistan and the west. The Taliban also contested Mazar-e Sharif, though the military has so far managed to repel them.

EU officials are estimating that the Taliban now control some 65% of Afghanistan. Afghan officials had previously downplayed the percentages, arguing that the government controlled almost all of the cities. After the past few days, that’s plainly no longer the case.

The Pul-e Khumri loss followed one of the more disturbing trends for the Afghan military: the city fell without a major battle. The troops fled into the desert, and are headed to a nearby military base.

On top of all of this, Mazar-e Sharif is still on the table, as is Herat. Kandahar, one of the biggest cities of all, is also contested. These are some potentially big losses that could easily happen on top of what’s already happened.

(antiwar.com)

Not to worry the US will continue airstrikes that kill without mercy or distinction….

Every bomb dropped is money in the defense industry’s bank account….so this will continue unmercifully….and civilians will pay the ultimate price.

I Read, I Write, you Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Women For Stability In Afghanistan

The US is working on removing itself from Afghanistan…well that was Trump’s grand plan…..but will Biden continue the push to end America’s longest ever war?

Most of us that follow international affairs know just how horribly women are treated in Afghanistan….they are little more than chattel…….

But there is a proposal for the rehabilitation of Afghanistan by making women the cornerstone of the reforms for the country.

Afghan women are closely watching as peace talks continue between their government and the Taliban. Women hope the talks will end decades of unabated violence, and not return them to a social, political, and economic prison from which there is no escape.

Afghanistan has made significant yet fragile gains over the past two decades. The country’s Constitution and political system ensure equality and human rights for all. Its economy has been working toward self-sustainability, and Afghan society has restored its rich tapestry of art, music, and culture — a legacy that the Taliban had erased.

But for Afghanistan to maintain its hard-won gains for women and girls and in human rights and democracy, the United States still must play a role in preventing the rise of extremism. It won’t be forever – the Afghan people should and will control their future. But at this pivotal juncture, continued support from the Biden Administration and the U.S. Congress are needed both for Afghanistan and for the security of the United States.

This means investing in programs dedicated to the education, economic empowerment, and leadership development of women and girls, including initiatives that address the specific effects of COVID-19. But the needs are broader than that, as national and economic stability also impact the lives of women and girls.

https://www.realclearworld.com/articles/2021/01/26/for_stability_in_afghanistan_investing_in_women_must_be_cornerstone_of_us_policy_657987.html

Seriously?

Once we leave the Taleban will fight on until they control the country and then women will be persecuted even more.

It is his concern.

In the 1990s the US turned its back on Afghanistan and all serious programs were underfunded and women took a backseat.

While I agree that women should be the cornerstone I would be remiss if I did not point out the reality on the ground.

The ultra-conservs will NOT allow women to progress.

The US and the think tanks cannot dictate to the Taleban…..that would be like a fart in a hurricane….

Sorry to be a downer on this….but these proposals need to be based in reality not some fanciful hope.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Afghanistan In The News (As Always)

Yes we have a deal with the Taleban…..and the best news possible is that the US has already started withdrawing troops from the conflict…..

Just over a week after the signing of the Afghan peace deal, the first few hundreds of US troops are rotating out of the country. The rotation was planned before the deal, but in keeping with the US withdrawal, the troops will not be replaced.

This is just the first few hundred troops leaving out of an estimated 13,000 US troops present in Afghanistan. The plan is to cut troops in the near-term to about 8,600, and officials say this is the official start of a pullout. After this, the goal would be to cut troop levels to zero, ending a 19 year US occupation. The peace deal says this should happen in nine and a half months.

The Trump Administration wanted the troop cuts, deal or no deal, by the 2020 election. Going from 8,600 to zero, under the deal, however, is based on metrics. Indications are that a secret annex to the deal makes this very vague, allowing the US to withdraw from the rest of the pullout at will.

Still, with uncertainty ongoing, the fact that the US is moving forward with the pullout as planned, indications are that the US is at the very least moving to continue its existing position, and isn’t immediately rethinking things.

(antiwar.com)

Hopefully they all make it home before something goes to crap.

As a student of conflict I would love to read the agreement the US signed with the Taleban…..but I cannot……WHY?

The details of how the U.S. military will withdraw from Afghanistan – including the types of attacks U.S. troops and the Taliban have agreed to not conduct – are part of two classified annexes to the recently signed withdrawal agreement, according to the New York Times.

While some members of Congress will be able to read the annexes, the vast majority of the American public will have no idea what their government has agreed to as part of the deal to end the war in Afghanistan, which is in its 19th year.

The U.S. military has “legitimate reasons” why it does not want some information to become public knowledge, Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said on Tuesday.

https://taskandpurpose.com/analysis/afghanistan-peace-deal-secrets

What could the reasons for the public not having access to this document?

Could it have anything to do with November?

Just Asking!

But there are a few analyses on the agreement….

Hundreds of dedicated diplomats, intelligence and military officers from numerous nations have been helping to shepherd the Afghan and U.S. governments towards the agreements signed February 29. I have been working on it since May 2009 and wanted to explain what the US-Afghan and US-Taliban agreements mean with my context of knowing the original plan devised over a decade ago by the Afghan government.

Deciphering the Afghanistan Peace Agreements: How the Afghan Government Got the Taliban to Enter Peace Talks

There is more……

The agreement outlines two sets of commitments. The US has pledged to withdraw one-third of its approximately 13,000 troops in 135 days, and the remaining 8,600 before the end of April 2021. America’s coalition partners would withdraw their troops by then as well. The US further agreed to withdraw all ‘private security contractors, trainers, [and] advisors’ from the country and work towards removing sanctions on the Taliban and releasing Taliban prisoners.

For its part, the Taliban has committed to doing all it can to ensure that terrorist organisations don’t use Afghan territory to target the US or its allies. The Taliban also agreed not to cooperate with or support individuals associated with such groups, including al-Qaeda, which was based in Afghanistan when the Taliban were in power and used the country to train those responsible for the 11 September 2001 attacks on the US that killed nearly 3,000 people. The Taliban did not agree, however, to any limits on their military capabilities now or in the future. Nor did they agree to recognise the legitimacy of Afghanistan’s current government.

How to leave Afghanistan

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Here We Go Afghanistan

We have a peace deal or more likely a ceasefire deal….after several days on the books how does the deal seem to look to the world?

US intel says that the Taleban will not hold to the terms of the agreement…….

The U.S. government has collected persuasive intelligence that the Taliban do not intend to honor the promises they have made in the recently signed deal with the United States, three American officials tell NBC News, undercutting what has been days of hopeful talk by President Donald Trump and his top aides.

“They have no intention of abiding by their agreement,” said one official briefed on the intelligence, which two others described as explicit evidence shedding light on the Taliban’s intentions.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/national-security/officials-u-s-has-persuasive-intel-taliban-does-not-intend-n1150051

And then there is another story that contradicts what the intel people are saying…..

Days after halting all offensive operations to ink a “peace deal,” the U.S. military has launched an air strike against Taliban fighters in Helmand after the jihadist group conducted dozens of attacks against Afghan forces there.

Resolute Support’s spokesman called for the Taliban to “uphold their commitments” and not increase attacks, even though the U.S.-Taliban agreement signed last weekend does not include such language.

The drone strike hit Taliban fighters in Naha-i-Saraj, a contested district in Helmand province, as they “were actively attacking an ANDSF checkpoint,” Col. Sonny Leggett, the spokesman for U.S. Forces-Afghanistan and Resolute Support tweeted today.

U.S. military perplexed by Taliban living up to letter of agreement

As long as we are talking about the war in Afghanistan…..why not take look at a ‘what if’?

Here’s a little thought experiment. Imagine it’s Sept. 12, 2001, and America is in deep shock over the destruction of the World Trade Center the previous day. George W. Bush goes on national TV and declares:

“Now is not the time to lose our heads. Like Pearl Harbor, the death of thousands of innocent people in Lower Manhattan is a crime that will live in infamy. But our response must be carefully calibrated. With that in mind, we are sending teams of commandos to Afghanistan with the sole purpose of apprehending Osama bin Laden and his top henchmen. Once they’re arrested – and, mark my words, they will be – we will bring them to New York to stand trial just a few yards from where their despicable act of mass murder occurred. We have no quarrel with the people of Afghanistan. But we will have no dealings with the Taliban government as long as it harbors despicable terrorist groups like Al Qaeda. We are confident that our allies will do the same.”

The result of such a well-calibrated response would have been no war in Afghanistan, no prisoners in Guantánamo Bay, and almost certainly no war in Iraq either. Without earlier conflicts to pave the way, intervention in Libya, Syria, and Yemen would have all proved more difficult. Countless deaths would have been avoided and entire societies spared.

Afghanistan: Imagine There’s No Future

I am proud that we have tried to end this endless war…..I just hope all sides keep calm and carry on……

But all the “good” news will US troops finally leave the country and return to their families?

At the core of the two documents, according to people familiar with their contents, is a timeline for what should happen over the next 18 months, what kinds of attacks are prohibited by both sides and, most important, how the United States will share information about its troop locations with the Taliban.

While it may sound odd that the American military is sharing troop locations with its enemy of 18 years, the goal is to give the Taliban information that would allow it to prevent attacks during the withdrawal. Mr. Pompeo described the annexes last week as “military implementation documents.”

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/a-secret-accord-with-the-taliban-when-and-how-the-us-would-leave-afghanistan/ar-BB10UfgA

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

After The Afghan Deal

We have a peace deal in Afghanistan with the Taleban…..good news if the deal holds…..

Now for the news after the ink on the deal…..The troops could be coming home in about 14 months….

With a peace deal signed Saturday, the US occupation of Afghanistan has entered the beginning of the end, at least ideally. If all goes well, all American troops will be out of Afghanistan within 14 months.

The ink on the paper is hardly dry, but US officials are already looking to define the terms of withdrawing from the deal, saying the pullout is conditional on the Taliban meeting many commitments along the way.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is already predicting a “rocky and bumpy” future in Afghanistan, which seems like it will give the US plenty of pretexts to back out of the peace deal down the line if they decide not to withdraw after all.

The plan has always been to cut US troop levels in the lead-up to the 2020 election, and it will likely be seen as preferable by the administration to do this as part of a broader deal, even if they don’t ultimately intend to finish the pullout.

Rumors abound of a secret annex to the peace deal allowing the US to keep some troops in Afghanistan, and while the Pentagon denies knowledge of this, there has yet to be any conclusive proof that secret annexes don’t exist.

(antiwar.com)

The Hawks in Congress are rolling in the seats…..they cannot let their owners in the M-IC lose their profits…..

19 years of US occupation of Afghanistan has built up some momentum behind the conflict, and despite how poorly the war has been going, there is still a sense among hawks that any deal that ends the war must be a bad one.

This has President Trump facing lobbying, some quiet and some not-so-quiet, from Republican hawks urging him to find a way to back out of the peace process and keep US troops on the ground.

That would surely be seen by most Taliban as a breach, and would restart the war. For the hawks, that’s likely not accidental, as many see eternal war in Afghanistan as a vital US interest.

President Trump is still answering questions with the catch-all “we’ll see what happens,” but has seen the pullout as politically important in the 2020 election. His commitment to peace clearly comes and goes, with previous abandonment of the Afghan peace a perfect example, but wanting troop cuts has been a persistent matter.

(antiwar.com)

Is this a violation?

U.S. forces conducted an airstrike against Taliban fighters in Helmand, Afghanistan, Wednesday, the first such strike since the two sides signed a historic peace deal.

The airstrike was conducted as a “defensive” measure as Taliban fighters were “actively attacking” an Afghan government checkpoint, Colonel Sonny Legget, the spokesman for American forces in Afghanistan, said.

https://abcnews.go.com/ABCNews/us-forces-conduct-airstrike-taliban-soldiers-days-agreement/story

The beat goes on….and the war will continue…..this whole thing was nothing but an election ploy……

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”