Closing Thought–20Apr21

I have written many times about the rise in suicides in our population of active military and veterans….it is a growing problem that the Pentagon and nation have no good answer for a solution…..

Now a new report shows another growing problem within the military….sleep disorders…..

A new study has found that serious sleep disorders are on the rise in the U.S. military — conditions that can affect readiness and cause short- and long-term physical and mental health problems for troops and veterans.

According to research from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, insomnia diagnoses increased 45-fold, and obstructive sleep apnea rose 30-fold, among U.S. service members from 2005 to 2019.

The increases should concern military leaders and doctors as well as the Department of Veterans Affairs, which provides medical treatment for veterans with service-related conditions, said retired Army Col. (Dr.) Vincent Mysliwiec, a sleep expert and one of the study’s authors.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2021/04/12/sleep-disorders-are-skyrocketing-among-us-military-personnel-survey-finds.html

Just like the problem of sexual assault or suicides this issue will not have a good solution.

The Pentagon spends billions on bigger and better killing weapons but a small amount on the problems that the military personnel face.

The primary concern should be the mental health of the troops not how fast they can kill.

Any thoughts?

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–15Apr21

I have written many times about the suicide rates within our military and veterans……

Suicides

…..and the news from 2020 is NOT at all encouraging even after the Pentagon has tried with a outreach program…..

The number of deaths by suicide among military service members increased alarmingly in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to the Defense Department’s latest quarterly report.

The military recorded 156 deaths by suicide among all services, including active-duty, National Guard and Reserve troops, from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31 last year. That is a 25% increase from the 125 such deaths that occurred in the last quarter of calendar year 2019.

The bulk of the increase came among Guard troops, who saw such deaths increase from 14 in the fourth quarter of 2019 to 39 in 2020. Deaths by suicide among reservists increased by seven, from 11 to 18, over the year. Suicide deaths among active-duty troops actually dropped slightly, from 100 to 99.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2021/04/05/military-deaths-suicide-jumped-25-end-of-2020.html

There is a problem and the Pentagon needs to spend more time working on the cause and solution than it does trying to build a better mouse trap for more war.

This news is unacceptable and pathetic.

The Pentagon is treating our troops like a tool that is broken….throw them away and get a new one to replace it.

Why does it seem that no one gives a sh*t about this rising problem?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

They’re Coming Home!

Finally after years of my bitching and ranting like me and others about our endless wars….one of them may be ending…..Afghanistan……..

President Biden confirmed Wednesday that he will not be taking the Afghanistan war into its third decade. “It’s time to end the forever war,” he said in a speech from the Treaty Room of the White House, which CNN notes is the same room in which George W. Bush announced the start of US military involvement in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks almost 20 years ago. “War in Afghanistan was never meant to be a multigenerational undertaking,” Biden said, per the New York Times. “We were attacked. We went to war with clear goals. We achieved those objectives.” Biden plans to withdraw all US troops by Sept. 11 this year. Around 2,500 US troops are left in the country. NATO officials said after Biden’s speech that the alliance plans to withdraw its 7,000 troops from the country along the same timeline.

Biden said it was time to “end the cycle” of extending the American presence in the hope of creating better conditions to pull out. “I am now the fourth American president to preside over an American troop presence in Afghanistan. Two Republicans. Two Democrats,” he said. “I will not pass this responsibility to a fifth.” Unlike the deal Donald Trump negotiated with the Taliban last year, Biden’s withdrawal plan is not conditions-based, officials say. Biden said he spoke with George W. Bush and Barack Obama before announcing the decision. After the speech, Biden visited Arlington National Cemetery and said it was “absolutely clear” to him that withdrawing from Afghanistan was the right move, the AP reports.

“Never meant to be a multi-generational war”….if not then why was it?

They say (whoever they are) that the American people are tired of war,,,,,,then where were those voices?  I have heard very little opposition to war.

I know why….but I will pretend that this was good faith by Biden.

Good news our troops are coming home to their families (for now)…..but maybe not ALL our troops….

The Times report reads: “Instead of declared troops in Afghanistan, the United States will most likely rely on a shadowy combination of clandestine Special Operations forces, Pentagon contractors and covert intelligence operatives to find and attack the most dangerous Qaeda or Islamic State threats, current and former American officials said.”

I applaud Biden for this action….but there is a caveat here…..

They are coming home because the Pentagon is gearing up for the confrontation of China in the China Sea.

This is excellent news on the one hand and disturbing on the other.

Please stop this ‘gunboat diplomacy’ BS (explanation in a future post).

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

More Biden Afghanistan Policy

I have not been thrilled with the Biden policies toward Afghanistan and the endless war…..my thoughts were written here….https://lobotero.com/2021/02/09/biden-in-afghanistan/

That ‘other guy’ that was president did something that I agreed with….in principle…..when he set a date for US troops to leave Afghanistan…..01 May…..and since Biden has been in the White House he has continuous balked at the idea of US troops leaving the country……

With the May 1 pullout date fast approaching, President Biden seems reluctant to state his actual intentions on Afghanistan. On the one hand, he says the May 1 deadline is hard to reach, but that he also “can’t picture” US troops staying beyond next year.

Those two positions combined might put the US pullout date sometime after May 1 but before 2022. If it was that simple, however, one would expect that Biden would say as much, instead of just reiterating what he doesn’t expect to do.

This gives the same impression that Biden has given on Afghanistan since taking office, that he intends to avoid making a decision for as long as possible, and avoid any political fallout with congressional hawks who’d just as soon keep the troops there.

Since making his own peace deal, President Trump had the US ahead of pace on the pullout, but having come short of finishing it by Biden’s inauguration, he left an estimated 2,500 US troops there to be withdrawn.

A small number of troops means it’s a comparatively small expense to the US, and some in Congress, like Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) are expressing comfort with just leaving the troop level as it is.

Biden would avoid fights with Congress that way, but moving beyond May will be seen as a challenge to the Taliban. Taliban officials warn that any delay is unacceptable, and that they want the US pulled out on time.

As this is going on, the US proposed a deal between Afghan government and Taliban, including an interim government. The US seems to have made this proposal to tamp down Taliban anger about the pullout delay, and to argue that the peace deal needs time serves as a justification, of sorts, for the US delays.

Yet this is an empty proposal too. With the Ghani government already having ruled out an interim government, they quickly rejected the US plan, leaving that as another open-ended question about how things might shake out.

This all leaves us totally in the dark about US intentions. This could perhaps be likened to Trump’s position in 2017, when he avoided taking a position for months before deciding on a new surge. Biden seems similarly inclined toward anything that keeps the war going, but the appearances are that he’s dragging out any announcements to avoid making it into an issue.

(antiwar.com)

Just as I and many others have continuously stated that Biden will do little to change our involvement in these endless wars…..as a matter of fact the US is pleading for an extension of the 01 May deadline……

Citing sources close to the Taliban, Afghanistan’s Tolo News reported that the Biden administration has asked the Taliban to agree to a continued US presence in Afghanistan for three or six months past May 1st.

The May 1st withdrawal deadline was set by the US-Taliban peace deal that was signed in Doha last year. While the Biden administration has yet to make an official announcement, it’s clear the US is looking to stay.

Tolo News said the Taliban has not yet made a decision on the US request and is asking that first their 7,000 prisoners should be released and that the group’s officials are removed from a UN blacklist.

(antiwar.com)

I have always said that the endless war was about cash……and here is a prime example of what I state…..

Since February 29 of 2020, the US has had a peace deal in place, intending to withdraw from Afghanistan on May 1 of 2021. The US military was always averse to that, but seems to have been basing its contracts on the idea it wouldn’t happen.

Former financial officials are warning that if the US does leave Afghanistan, either on May 1 or any time in 2021, the Pentagon would be facing down a “barrel full of lawsuits” from contracts that had not been fulfilled yet.

This is rather a flimsy excuse for dragging the war on, and such a clumsy situation to be in with the knowledge of the war’s end being public throughout, that it must inevitably be questioned if this was just many, many colossal blunders, or if the Pentagon was openly trying to contractually obligate itself to the Afghan War.

Another obvious question is why, as theses contracts kept being signed, officials weren’t raising the issue of these contractual obligations throughout 2020. At the very least, that would’ve been a chance for someone to convince them to stop making such contracts before now, which once again makes this seem nearly deliberate.

(antiwar.com)

You still do not believe that war is about the money?

A final thought on the war in Afghanistan……there is commonality between Russia and the US……

After nearly two decades of fighting, the U.S. military is facing a force of Taliban fighters that is roughly the size of the Mujahideen insurgency at the end of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

Soviet Maj. Gen. Aleksandr Lyakhovskiy, a respected historian, estimated that by the end of 1988 the Mujahideen fielded about 82,300 full-time fighters out of a total of 173,000 personnel.

Fast forward a couple of decades and a May 2020 United Nations report estimated that the Taliban have between 55,000 and 85,000 fighters, adding: “Taliban facilitators and non-combatants could bring the total figure to 100,000.”     

The Taliban’s ranks have swelled immensely since 2014, which marked the official end of the U.S. military’s combat mission in Afghanistan, said Jonathan Schroden, director of the Center for Stability and Development at CNA, a federally funded research and development center.

“When you go back to 2014, that time frame, the sort of official estimates of Taliban size you can find quoted openly by U.S. officials was in the 20-30,000 range,” Schroden said. “Certainly since then, it’s just continued to grow.”

20 years into the War in Afghanistan, the US is in the same position as the Soviets when they lost

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Iraq–18 Years And Counting

AS March slowly comes to an end maybe we should take a few moments and remember that US troops have been occupying, fight and dying in Iraq…..

At the time, the Bush administration had spent several months lying to the American public about Iraq’s supposed connections to the attacks of 9/11. Dick Cheney argued that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden were good pals, but the relationship never existed in reality. They argued that Saddam had Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs), but those too didn’t exist. Phantoms haunted Bush and his Cold War-era neoconservative comrades, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. And they turned those ghosts into fear — the ammunition needed to remake the world in their vision, or so they thought.

Before long, morale sank in our platoon. Weeks turned into months, and months turned into many more. What was supposed to be a repeat of the 1991 Gulf War quickly morphed into a violent counterinsurgency campaign, the likes of which U.S. troops hadn’t experienced since their failed attempt to defeat anti-imperialists in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Car bombs and IEDs replaced punji sticks and highly-coordinated mobile attacks and ambushes. Men in white pajamas replaced the men in black pajamas.

In the U.S., people remained disorganized after several decades of neoconservative and neoliberal political victories, particularly the destruction of organized labor. The left, barely alive, mounted antiwar rallies and protests but never developed much of a vision beyond large mobilizations. And even if it would have, the social and political infrastructure to carry out such a concept didn’t exist.

The Iraq War: 18 Years Later

We can pretend that this war was about getting Saddam and to promote democracy…..but really we know exactly why the invasion took place….the reasons given were excuses for war.

Take a few moments of silence to remember our troops for their sacrifices and service and then take some time to learn about the war/s and make your representatives hear the call to end these endless wars.

Time in this world to ‘give peace a chance’….in case you may not know where to begin….then I can help…..

Action Corps, Antiwar.com, the Center for International Policy, CODEPINK, Concerned Veterans for America, Defense Priorities Initiative, Defending Rights and Dissent, Demand Progress, Environmentalists Against War, Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, Historians for Peace and Democracy, Just Foreign Policy, the Libertarian Institute, MADRE, National Iranian American Council Action, Peace Action, Peace Direct, Peaceworkers, the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, Roots Action, STEM Strikes for Peace, Veterans for Peace, Women for Weapons Trade Transparency, and the Yemeni Alliance Committee.

Get involved…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

SF Troops To Mozambique

We have troops in about 80 countries and now we can add one more to the growing list…..

The disturbing news as reported that insurgents are beheading children….

 
An insurgency in Mozambique that began in 2017 is escalating in intensity and leading to disturbing new claims from human rights groups. This week, the UK aid group Save the Children accused insurgents allied with the Islamic State of beheading children as young as 11, reports Reuters. The aid agency offers eyewitness accounts from mothers whose villages were raided. “We tried to escape to the woods, but they took my eldest son and beheaded him,” says a 28-year-old identified as Elsa, who was hiding with three smaller children. “We couldn’t do anything because we would be killed, too.” Her boy was 12. Another mother tells a similar story of her 11-year-old son. The New York Times, meanwhile, reports that the US military got involved this week—in the form of a dozen Green Berets who are training Mozambique solders on how to fight the insurgents.

The war “is part of an alarming expansion of insurgencies believed to have ties to the Islamic State in several parts of Africa,” write Declan Walsh and Eric Schmitt in the Times. “I don’t think anyone saw this coming,” says Col. Richard Schmidt, deputy commander of US Special Operations Forces in Africa. “For this to crop up so quickly is concerning.” The BBC digs into the background of the war, which appears to have risen in part out of anger that locals weren’t benefiting from the nation’s burgeoning ruby and gas industries. The violence is centered in the northeastern province of Cabo Delgado. Both sides have been accused of atrocities, and Reuters notes that beheadings have been a hallmark of the fighting. But the new claims about the beheading of children raise the accusations of human rights groups to a new level.

But why deploy to Mozambique?

There are other signs that the US may become more involved in Mozambique. The US claims the group fighting in northeastern Mozambique has ties to ISIS. Last week, the Biden administration designated the group, known as al-Sunna wa Jama’a, as a foreign terrorist organization.

But it’s not clear how strong the ties are between al-Sunna wa Jama’a and ISIS, or if they are even linked at all. The US is quick to lump together Islamist militant groups in Africa with ISIS or al-Qaeda as a pretext for intervention.

Even a report The New York Times questioned the link between the two groups. The Times story said some experts fear the terror designation from the US could hamper future efforts to end the fighting through negotiations or complicate humanitarian aid deliveries.

The real reason for this deployment…..

The US International Development Finance Corporation, which the Trump administration launched to counter China’s infrastructure projects, has invested heavily in gas projects in Mozambique.

So this is about China….and not the horrific stories coming from the country?

So the interventions continue.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Bring The Troops Home!

Yes I am antiwar and I am be redundant when I write that our troops need to be home and not deployed multiple times in a war we cannot win.

After 2 decades and it is still being fought is unacceptable.

Quickly approaching 20 years of war in Afghanistan….a quagmire….some have a different opinion but those are invalid to me…

I agree with an opinion written in the American Conservative…..(and yes I read TAC)…..

Today foreign policy is dominated by a bipartisan clique which believes that America’s default position should be to intervene. In this view, the U.S. is a geopolitical Vestal Virgin, possessing the world’s conscience and determined to eliminate evil and redeem sinners worldwide. As Madeleine Albright once declared, America stands taller and thus sees further. So it is entitled to run the world—with brutal military force, if necessary.

Globe-spanning military deployments, like today, naturally follow this philosophy. The Defense Department believes it should station troops wherever they are welcome, and often where they are not. Naturally, the wishes of other nations are ultimately irrelevant; their duty is to obey their betters in Washington. The U.S. might go through a pretense of “consultation,” since it is sometimes necessary to pacify the “natives,” as it were, but even formal alliances are never equal partnerships.

Time to Bring the Troops Home

All the insider experts are telling basically that Biden should stay in Afghanistan…..time for these toads to go….

U.S. President Joe Biden is coming under heavy pressure to abandon the May 1 deadline to withdraw U.S. combat troops from Afghanistan. The push to move the deadline might come from a former secretary of state, the congressionally mandated Afghan Study Group, or even NATO’s secretary-general. Opposing the pleas of these popular figures are 20 years of unbroken strategic failure. There is ample evidence to suggest that 20 more years of failure await, should the president give in to the wishes of these personalities.

In February, former Secretary of State Madeline Albright argued Biden should ignore the May 1 withdrawal date and instead adopt a series of five new steps. The Afghan Study Group likewise advocated to abandon the withdrawal date and offered its own objectives. Meanwhile, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the May 1 date was a “conditions-based” deal and declared the Taliban hadn’t met the conditions, and therefore NATO should continue the war.

https://www.realclearworld.com/articles/2021/03/03/ditch_the_afghanistan_experts_766573.html

This war has dragged on and on and all that is accomplished is the weapons industries keeps their profits rolling in at the cost of American lives.

20 years is long enough!

Children of the first invasion are now possibly fighting this same unwinnable war.

Let us not forget that other endless war, Iraq…..17 years and counting……

Friday is the 18th anniversary of George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq. That misadventure proved to be a humanitarian catastrophe. As well as Washington’s worst geopolitical blunder in four decades. Tragically, America’s involvement is the misbegotten gift that keeps on giving – and killing.

President Joe Biden should bring America’s troops home from Iraq. Now.

Bring Americans Home from Iraq’s Endless War

Pres. Biden is stuck in the spiraling cycle…..

Joe Biden professed a desire to limit the use of military power only to defend vital U.S. national security interests. Like too many previous presidents, however, he has resorted to force early in his administration, presumably to establish his national security bonafides. His decision to use force in the proxy war with Iran over Syria and Iraq could compromise the leading and perhaps only legitimate national security concern in the region—the renewal of the Iran nuclear accord, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Biden has brought back every major actor from the Obama administration who was responsible for negotiating the JCPOA in 2015. This list includes CIA Director William Burns, who was the initial point of contact with the Iranian government; White House environmental tsar John Kerry, who was the key negotiator as secretary of state; National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, who was Kerry’s aide-de-camp in the negotiations; and Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, who was a key nuclear disarmament advisor to Kerry. Moreover, Biden has ignored the protests from the Israeli lobby and has named Robert Malley, a genuine progressive when it comes to U.S. policy toward the Middle East, to be the special emissary to Iran. All of the pieces are in place for a successful negotiation if “events” don’t get in the way.

Biden’s Quandary: Proxy Wars and Endless Wars

For god’s sake….enough is enough!

End the damn madness!

End it now!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–10Mar21

Did you know that the National Guard is being used in our endless wars?

Well they are and now governors are moving to end the endless deployments of the Guard in armed conflicts….

In summer blockbusters and other entertainment, the United States Armed Forces are almost always portrayed through the lens of their most elite units, such as the Navy SEALS or the Army Rangers. But while the special forces are heroes in their own right, they’re not the most irreplaceable piece on the board. That designation falls to the humble National Guard, the real backbone of America’s military.

I’ve served in the Marine Corps, the U.S. Army, and the Idaho National Guard. In my deployments to Afghanistan, I found the Guard to be the best trained of them all.

Numbering nearly 350,000 men and women, these citizen-soldiers — who when they’re not donating time to Uncle Sam are working full-time jobs, running businesses, attending college, and raising families — have carried more than their fair share of the burden. Since the launch of the Global War on Terror in 2001, 45 percent of deployed personnel have been National Guard units, with 57,000 Guardsmen located overseas as recently as December 2020. And the costs have been felt; 18.4 percent of the subsequent casualties have been Guard members.

For two decades of war, the National Guard has tried to live up to its motto of “Always Ready, Always There.” But the undeniable fact is that every American soldier sent to nation-build in Afghanistan or patrol the streets of Iraq is one less person who can protect and aid his fellow Americans back home. 

States are moving to end National Guard role in unauthorized wars

As an antiwar supporter and activist I applaud these measures.

A small step…..NOW let’s work to get ALL troops out of these worthless non-productive endless wars!

It is beyond time for these worthless costly endless wars to come to an end and bring the troops home to their families.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Afghanistan–The Future

This post is about the future of US troops in the country…

Trump admin reached an agreement with the Taleban about the removal of US troops from the country…..but that may be put on hold with the new admin that wants to keep troops involved in the country for the present.

A new report that was ordered by the Trump admin tells a disturbing tale…..

When a report comes out of Washington that has been co-authored by a who’s who group of, among others, former Secretaries of Defense, Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Ambassadors, and U.S. Senators, it’s a good bet the results are solid. Unfortunately, in the case of the recently released Afghan Study Group’s report to Congress, this stable full of eminent members produced a policy paper that, if followed, would replicate the previous 20 years of costly, failed war – and cement that failure well into the future.

The congressionally mandated study group was formed in April 2020 with the charge to, “consider the implications of [President Trump’s February 2020] peace settlement, or the failure to reach a settlement, on U.S. policy, resources, and commitments in Afghanistan” and then make policy recommendations for Congress and the new Administration.

That is an appropriate charter, and those areas of study are factors Congress and the White House need to consider. Regrettably, however, the commission was filled with many of the very architects of America’s failed Afghan policies of the past two decades.

Their “new” recommendations look disturbingly similar to the policies that produced so much failure over the past two decades. Fortunately, there are superior, logic-based alternatives available to the Biden Administration for implementation.

Afghan Study Group’s New Report Would Guarantee Failure

Biden will have a decision to finally make…..and there seems to be only three options for him….

According to a report from Vox, President Biden has been presented with three options for how to either end the war in Afghanistan or prolong it. The Biden administration is currently reviewing the US-Taliban peace deal that was signed last year, which set May 1st as a deadline for a US withdrawal.

The first option is for President Biden to adhere to the deadline and withdraw the remaining 2,500 troops from Afghanistan by May 1st. The second option is to seek an extension of the deadline through negotiations with the Taliban. The third option is to scrap the deal and remain in Afghanistan indefinitely.

The report said the Biden administration will likely choose option two, citing unnamed US officials and experts that spoke with Vox. But it’s not clear if the Taliban has any interest in negotiating a deadline extension, as the group has been appealing to the US to withdraw.

The idea of an extension is to remain in the country while the Taliban and the US-backed Afghan government reach a deal to end fighting. But there’s no telling how long this could take or if an agreement could ever be reached.

Since the US-Taliban deal was signed, the Taliban has not attacked US or NATO forces, and no US troops died in combat in Afghanistan for an entire year, a first since the war started. But that will all change if the US stays in Afghanistan without the consent of the Taliban. It will mean an escalation of the almost 20-year war.

US officials also told Vox that the administration’s review of the US-Taliban deal is almost done, and an announcement is expected soon.

(antiwar.com)

But the rhetoric says that the US is going to be in Afghanistan until the weapons makers find a backbone and put needs of country above profit…..and that will not happen in my lifetime.

In case you doubt my words…..

Earlier this month, a study group established by Congress recommended that President Joe Biden extend the May 1 deadline for withdrawing troops from America’s longest war. It’s a strategy that many experts say runs the risk of abrogating the U.S.-Taliban agreement and potentially setting back the potential peace process in Afghanistan — or even dooming it to failure.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there is a striking similarity in the backgrounds of the individuals involved in these critical recommendations, which are likely to influence whether Biden maintains a “conditions based” U.S. military footprint in Afghanistan. Two of the group’s three co-chairs and nine of the group’s 12 plenary members, comprised of what the group refers to as “members,” have current or recent financial ties to major defense contractors, an industry that soaks up more than half of the $740 billion defense budget, and stands to gain from protracted U.S. military involvement overseas.

There was more diversity in views and financial interests among the 26 “senior advisers” that the group consulted. At least three of these advisers have warned publicly that the suggested troop withdrawal extension may pose significant risks. But the study group’s plenary is deeply intertwined with the military industrial base, with nearly $4 million the group’s co-chairs and plenary have received in compensation for their work on the boards of defense contractors.

Weapons biz bankrolls experts pushing to extend Afghan War

Oh goody!  A multi-generational war!

We are looking at another 20 years of this conflict if things do not change…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Afghanistan Forever

I recently read a statement made by a NATO official when asked about a possible NATO withdrawal he said that NATO would depart when there was more stability in the country.

Seriously?

After 20 years and the Taleban controls about 52% of the country……when would this stability miraculously appear?

The SecDef made it clear that there would be NO end to our involvement.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin met with NATO ministers on Thursday and discussed the war in Afghanistan and the approaching May 1st deadline for all foreign forces to leave as per the US-Taliban peace deal. While no decisions were made on the pullout, Austin assured his NATO counterparts that there will be no “hasty” end to the almost 20-year-old war.

According to a statement from the Pentagon, Austin “reassured Allies that the US would not undertake a hasty or disorderly withdrawal from Afghanistan.” He also reiterated that the Biden administration is conducting a “thorough review” of the US-Taliban agreement.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said after the meeting that no decision was made on whether or not the alliance is planning to leave before May. While NATO and the US claim the Taliban hasn’t lived up to its end of the agreement, one pledge the Taliban did stick with was not attacking the US or other coalition forces in Afghanistan.

I am sorry but there needs to be some sort of moral obligation for Biden to end this forever war…..

The U.S. is approaching its 20-year mark in the Afghan civil war. Intervening after 9/11, Washington speedily crippled al-Qaeda and ousted the Taliban. Alas, three successive administrations found it much harder to bring strong central government and Westminster-style democracy to Central Asia. So American military personnel remain on station. Like in the Hotel California, it appears that Americans can check out but never leave.

Even many hawks gave up justifying the war on humanitarian grounds, preferring to talk about the importance of staying to fight terrorism or achieve other ends. However, Ronald E. Neumann, a former US ambassador to Afghanistan, took up the challenge of justifying nation-building. He asked: “At this time, when so many young Afghans are dying to build the kind of society we preached to them, have we no moral responsibility to sustain what we helped build?”

This claim has enormous emotional appeal. But it cannot justify America’s indefinite, and likely permanent, participation in someone else’s endless (civil) war.

President Joe Biden Has a Moral Obligation To Bring America’s Troops Home from Afghanistan

When will the American people start demanding that this war comes to an end?

When will the troops become a more important part of the dialog?

Questions with few actual answers.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”