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”

Afghanistan–Should We Or Stay?

How about we do something different?

Let’s talk about something that has lasted 20 years and counting.

After 20 years of the same war….the former president tried to get our forces out of the quagmire and for that I will give him a small amount of credit.

Now we have a new president and the question once again arises….should we go or should we stay?

Joe has had a confusing 47 years in DC…..

Joe Biden hasn’t had too many finest hours in his 47 years plus years on the national scene. To be fair, he’s had his moments – like a powerful, earthy, and impassioned 1986 speech he delivered to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, opposing the Reagan administration’s apologism for the “repulsive, repugnant” Afrikaner apartheid “regime” in South Africa. Sure, he later – during the 2020 campaign – repeatedly peddled a bizarre lie that he once got arrested attempting to visit Nelson Mandela in prison. Nor does Biden sport such clean record on race relations in his own country – busing, crime bill, mass incarceration, anyone? Nevertheless, it was a damn good pitch Joe made in excoriating the (recently deceased) then Secretary of State George Schultz that July day in 1986. Moreover, within a month of that exchange Congress began debating on the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act – imposing sanctions on South Africa – which eventually passed both Houses in a rare override of Reagan’s veto.

Less fanciful, but far more relevant now, was Biden’s behind-the-scenes – but apparently impassioned – opposition, as vice president, to the early Obama surge in Afghanistan. In one contentious 2010 exchange with Ambassador Richard Holbrooke (recorded in the latter’s diary) – Obama’s special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan – Biden apparently shouted: “I am not sending my boy back there to risk his life on behalf of women’s rights! It just won’t work, that’s not what they’re there for.” In this case, at least, Biden – who’d been staggeringly wrong on Iraq – was basically right, even if his vague pragmatism strikes some as crass or callous.

Joe’s Just Gotta Let Us Know: Will He Stay or Will He Go?

Personally I say…get the Hell out and bring our troops home where they belong.

There is no reason for us to stay….

The Biden admin has made it clear that they are no hurry to leave Afghanistan……https://lobotero.com/2021/02/09/biden-in-afghanistan/

There is zero reasons for us to stay…..

The Biden national security team must resist the temptation to dismiss the agreement or seek to unilaterally modify the terms. The United States has been fighting a pointless, unnecessary war in Afghanistan for nearly two decades. As of now, there is a firm date for the bleeding to stop and our participation in the war to end.

Already, many pundits in Washington are lobbying the new administration to cancel the withdrawal timeline and wait until the two sides have concluded a peace agreement. Not only is this not a provision of our February 2020 deal, abrogating it would almost certainly extend the fighting and might put the negotiations in peril.

Many supporters of keeping U.S. troops indefinitely fighting in Afghanistan claim – with some justification – that we cannot trust the Taliban’s promises and base our security on mere words. Washington should never entrust our security to promises given by any adversary. Fortunately, American national security is secured by our own, powerful intelligence and military capacity.

https://www.realclearworld.com/articles/2021/02/11/there_is_no_point_to_extending_commitments_in_afghanistan_660098.html

Biden recently made a statement that he bring about responsible end to our endless wars……

Speaking at the Pentagon on Wednesday, President Biden said he will work with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to bring a “responsible end” to US wars.

“I will work with Secretary Austin and leaders around the world to bring a responsible end — a responsible end to wars that have dragged on for far too long, while continuing to ensure that terrorist threats cannot endanger the security of the American people.”

Biden’s comments come as he has an opportunity to end the almost 20-year-old war in Afghanistan. The US-Taliban peace deal signed in February 2020 paved the way for a May 1st withdrawal. While the administration hasn’t made an official announcement, all signs indicate that US troops will remain in Afghanistan beyond the deadline.

Biden Says He Will Bring a ‘Responsible End to Wars’

The Taleban already controls about 52% of Afghanistan….appears that the government only controls the area around the capital of Kabul….

With hopes that the 2020 US peace deal and intra-Afghan peace talks might ultimately end decades of war, some uncomfortable facts remain, raising the question of who controls Afghanistan anymore.

The US would insist the Ghani government is the lawfully elected government there, but the facts on the ground show that the Taliban physically control 52% of the country, compared to only 48% in government hands.

That’s a staggering amount when one considers that the Taliban has been fighting 20 solid years of war with both the would-be government and NATO. It would be hard to imagine that people living in Taliban territory wouldn’t feel that the Taliban, who was the Afghan government before the 2001 invasion, is effectively still in charge.

The Ghani government has focused mostly on densely populated areas, and argues they control 59% of the population. Yet Afghanistan is not a nation of cities by and large, but a rural country with a lot of natural resources and farms. Controlling physical land is ultimately more important to the country’s future.

This has been the case for some time, with the Taliban having retained important parts of the country, particularly in the south and southwest.

(antiwar.com)

I agree there is NO point in extending our stay or commitments in Afghanistan…..but Biden will listen to the M-IC that wants these wars…..they make lots of money off them.

Bring the troops home and stop this insanity.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Biden In Afghanistan

I believe that there are a few readers that think that I had nothing positive to say about our last president…..my reply to that is that hey should read more often.

When Trump tried to end the endless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq I was behind the move and I wrote my approval of his plan.

Now we have a new president and a new plan for our troops in Afghanistan…..

With the deadline for a US withdrawal from Afghanistan approaching, a congressionally mandated report was released on Wednesday that calls for the Biden administration to stay in the country.

The US-Taliban peace deal signed in February 2020 set May 1st as a deadline for the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Afghanistan. The report, released by the Afghanistan Study Group, says the US should push the deadline back. The study repeats the usual talking points that hawks use to justify prolonging the almost 20-year war.

The report says if the US leaves by May, a civil war will break out since intra-Afghan peace talks are not complete. But that ignores the fact that fighting is already ongoing between the Taliban and the US-backed government.

Biden administration official said the US hasn’t made a decision on the Afghanistan withdrawal. “At this time, no decisions about our force posture have been made,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters, adding that the administration is reviewing the US-Taliban peace deal.

While the US hasn’t made an official announcement, there is little hope that the withdrawal will happen. The Pentagon said last week that the withdrawal timeline is uncertain, and NATO officials told reporters that foreign troops will be in Afghanistan after May 1st.

(antiwar.com)

Biden is halting the pullout…..does this signal another two decades of this conflict and our troops?

The report they reference is from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). And while the office’s quarterly report does say that the drawdown “introduces some limitations on force capacity and on the train, advise, and assist mission,” the very next sentence says that leaders of the U.S. forces have said that that the drawdown to 2,500 troops was not currently adversely affecting its work.

It’s slightly odd of ABC News to attempt to paint SIGAR as some sort of critic of Trump’s troop withdrawal because for years now SIGAR reports have been the primary way that Americans who were still paying attention would know that our continued involvement in Afghanistan has absolutely failed to stabilize the country and served primarily as a massive money pit for defense spending and a threat to the lives of our troops.

Don’t Let Biden Sink Troops Back Into the Afghanistan Quagmire

How much longer must we waste money and blood in a dead end country?

I told my readers that Biden was a hawk….this just another example….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

How Many Troops?

The report is that there will about 25,000 troops in and around DC for the inauguration……what?

That is more troops that we have in our two longest wars….about double….the troops in DC will be there to stop any more silliness from the stupid far right.

25,000?

“National Guard members are postured to meet the requirements of the supported civil authorities, up to and including protective equipment and being armed if necessary,” according to the statement. “The public’s safety is our top priority.”

Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, told reporters Monday that a force of up to 15,000 will deploy to D.C. with all their issued equipment, including their individual weapons. So if the need arises, “they are close by and they are readily accessible.”

(military.com)

BBC News has some good photos of the troops in and around DC…..https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-55654102

With so many troops in and around DC for the big day….some fear for an insider attack on the day…..

Some 25,000 National Guard troops are flooding into Washington, DC, to provide extra security for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration Wednesday—and the federal government is working to ensure none of the troops represent a potential threat. Officials speaking on condition of anonymity tell the Washington Post that the FBI is working with the Army to vet the incoming troops amid fears of an “insider attack.” “We’re continually going through the process, and taking second, third looks at every one of the individuals assigned to this operation,” Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy tells the AP. He says the Army, which already reviews members for connections to extremist groups, has been providing Guard members with additional training on identifying possible insider threats.

McCarthy says the vetting process hasn’t identified any threats from within the military so far. He says numerous service members attended President Trump’s rally before the Jan. 6 riot, but its not clear how many of them actually stormed the Capitol. The Army says it is also working with the Secret Service to determine which service members will require additional background checks, the Post reports. “There is no place for extremism in the military and we will investigate each report individually and take appropriate action,” the Army said in a statement. “The Army is committed to working closely with the FBI as they identify people who participated in the violent attack on the Capitol to determine if the individuals have any connection to the Army.”

The nation will hold it’s breath.

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“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–14Jan21

Yes we Americans are truly chunky….even with all the exercise fads and skinny people doing ads the bulk (a good choice of words) of our fellow Americans are overweight……as sad as that is the military is even fatter….in more than physical weight.

That is correct!

Our war weary troops are overweight…..no too worry….there is a logical solution…..

“Military leaders are worried about the shrinking pool of young people who qualify for military service,” Gina Harkins reports at Military.com. “More than 70% of young Americans remain unable to join the military due to obesity, education problems, or crime and drug records.”

Mission: Readiness, a group of retired military officers, wants the US Department of Defense to create an “advisory committee on military recruitment,” with a view toward getting the next generation in shape so that they’re qualified, as the old saying goes, to “travel to exotic, distant lands; meet exciting, unusual people; and kill them.”

I’ve got a better idea: Instead of trying to trim fat off America’s adolescents, trim fat off the US Armed Forces.

The US military employs nearly 1.4 million active duty personnel and about 850,000 reservists.

The latest National Defense Authorization Act — vetoed by President Trump but looking likely as I write this to be passed over his objection — calls for $740 billion ($2,300 for every man, woman, and child in the country) in theoretically “defense”-related spending next year.

Yes, Americans are Fat. The US Military is Fatter.

A simple but unattainable solution.

I Read, I Write, You KNow

“lego ergo scribo”

Iran And The Smell Of War

Only days left in office……would Trump start a war just for the hell of it?

US President Donald Trump could take “reckless” military action against Iran in his final days in office, experts have warned, as tensions between Tehran and Washington mount on the eve of the first anniversary of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani’s assassination.

Trump has sent B-52s and aircraft group to the Gulf as a preparatory exercise just in case….

It looks like a threat to most…..

No one thought President Donald Trump would leave quietly. But would he go so far as to start a military confrontation with Iran on his way out? 

Recent military movements by the Pentagon in the Middle East (ostensibly to deter Iran from attacking American troops on the anniversary of the assassination of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani), combined with Israeli media reports that Saudi Arabi and Israel are pressing Trump to bomb Iran before he leaves office, has fueled speculation that Trump may be planning his biggest — and likely most disastrous — stunt yet.

Trump has made more threats of war against Iran than any other country during his four years as President. As late as last month, he ordered the military to prepare options against Iranian nuclear facilities. Though the New York Times reported that Trump’s aides derailed those plans, U.S. troop movements in the past few weeks may suggest otherwise. 

Since October, the Pentagon has deployed 2,000 additional troops as well as an extra squadron of fighter planes to Saudi Arabia. It has also sent B-52 bombers on missions in the Persian Gulf three times, kept the USS Nimitz close to Iran, and announced that it is sending a Tomahawk-firing submarine just outside of Iranian waters. Moreover, Israel — whose officials have confirmed to several U.S. newspapers that it was behind the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh last month — has sent a nuclear-equipped submarine to the Persian Gulf.

Officially, all of these military maneuvers are aimed at “deterring” Iran, even though Israel assassinated an Iranian official in Iran and not the other way around. “The United States continues to deploy combat-ready capabilities into the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility to deter any potential adversary, and make clear that we are ready and able to respond to any aggression directed at Americans or our interests,” said Marine Gen. Kenneth “Frank” McKenzie, chief of U.S. Central Command, according to the Washington Post.

Iran attack may be next in Trump’s farewell bag of tricks

In response to the US threats Iran has announced the enriching of uranium…..

In the biggest violation yet of an international nuclear agreement, Iran is going ahead with enriching its uranium to 20% purity. A nuclear bomb requires 90% purity, but the Iran nuclear deal of 2015 had limited enrichment levels to less than 4%, the BBC reports. Iran has violated provisions of the deal since President Trump restored sanctions and pulled the US out of the agreement in 2018, such as increasing enrichment of uranium to 4.5%. But 20% enrichment would be the high point since the deal took effect, per NPR. Iran signaled that it would take this step last month. The International Atomic Energy Agency said the enrichment will take place at Iran’s Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant, which is built under a mountain near the city of Qom.

The agency said its inspectors “have regular access to Fordow,” but Iran has said it will prevent inspections if oil and banking sanctions aren’t lifted by February. The UK, France, Germany, Russia, and China want the nuclear deal fully restored. President-elect Joe Biden has said he’d favor that if Iran is in “strict compliance” with the agreement. And Iranian Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that if Biden “returns to the situation as it was in 2017, then so will we.” But the agency’s director general said last month that that might not be possible. “I cannot imagine that they are going simply to say, ‘We are back to square one’ because square one is no longer there,” Rafael Mariano Grossi said.

Is this a ply by Iran to stop the US from acting irresponsibly?

Will this announcement be the excuse be used to actually attack Iran?

One finally question what happened?  They will enrich their uranium to 20% and it takes 90% for a bomb….but after all the bullshit spread by warmongers both here and Israel I thought they were already producing nuke weapons…….so does that mean we have been lied to all these years?

If they spy on their best friend could they also incite an attack?

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif accused Israel of plotting attacks in Iraq against the US to provoke a military confrontation between Iran and the US.

“New intelligence from Iraq indicate that Israeli agent-provocateurs are plotting attacks against Americans—putting an outgoing Trump in a bind with a fake casus belli,” Zarif wrote on Twitter. “Be careful of a trap, @realDonaldTrump. Any fireworks will backfire badly, particularly against your same BFFs,” he added.

Zarif’s tweet came on the eve of the anniversary of the US assassination of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani, which was marked on Sunday. In the weeks leading up to the anniversary, US officials have been warning of imminent Iranian attacks in Iraq. For their part, Iran has urged caution and warned its Iraqi allies not to provoke the US, hoping to avoid a war with the US before Trump leaves office.

An Israeli official dismissed Zarif’s comments. Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz called the claim “nonsense” in an interview on Sunday. While Israel may not be plotting to attack the US, the Israelis did choose to escalate tensions in the region, being the likely perpetrator of the assassination of Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

(antiwar.com)

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Still Bringing The Troops Home

Trump trying to gain favor for the election he just lost he has gone on a tear to bring the troops home (well at least out of the danger zones) Afghanistan, Iraq, Korea and even from Germany…..and keeping with the fad he stared he has ordered US troops out of Somalia…

The Pentagon announced on Friday that President Trump ordered the withdrawal of the “majority” of US troops from Somalia.

“The President of the United States has ordered the Department of Defense and the United States Africa Command to reposition the majority of personnel and assets out of Somalia by early 2021,” the Pentagon said in a statement.

The statement said “some forces may be reassigned outside of East Africa,” but the remaining troops will be reassigned to neighboring countries to “allow cross-border operations.”

The US currently has approximately 700 troops in Somalia. The majority of them were sent by the Trump administration. The US operations in the country consist of training local forces, covert raids, and a drone war against al-Shabab.

(antiwar.com)

Not to worry….the troops will just be moved and home is not on the agenda….

The New York Times reported on the plan and said the troops would be repositioned to neighboring Djibouti and Kenya, where the US drones that carry out airstrikes in Somalia are based.

President Trump dramatically escalated the air war against al-Shabab by loosening the rules of engagement when he first came into office. In 2019, the Trump administration conducted 63 airstrikes in Somalia, the most US airstrikes on the country in a single year.

Out of Somalia but not out of harm’s way…..

Next I would like to hear the Biden plan for Somalia and the US troops under his command.

Since Biden has always been on the wrong side of war I suspect that he will leave Somalia pretty much as it is today.

Any thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Trump’s Troop Withdrawal

I have been writing on one issue that I agree with defeated Trump…..I agree that we should be ending these forever wars and bring our troops home.

Now there is more news on that front…..

The Trump administration is expected to cut the number of US troops in Afghanistan almost in half to 2,500 by Jan. 15, US officials said Monday. The order would stop short of outgoing President Trump’s goal to have all troops withdrawn by the end of the year, which had faced opposition from military and diplomatic advisers. The Pentagon also expects to cut the number of troops in Iraq to 2,500, the AP reports, a reduction of more than 500. The decisions come in the wake of Trump’s shakeup of the Pentagon leadership last week, in which he installed loyalists who share his frustration with the continued troop presence in the war zones. The cuts would give Trump an accomplishment in his final weeks in office. The officials said military leaders were told over the weekend about the planned withdrawals, and an executive order is in the works but has not yet been delivered to commanders. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. There are 4,500 to 5,000 troops in Afghanistan, and more than 3,000 in Iraq.

Under the order, the troop cuts would be completed just five days before President-elect Joe Biden takes office, leaving him with a smaller military footprint in the two key war zones. Military commanders have expressed less concern about pulling more troops from Iraq, where the Iraqi forces are better able to maintain their nation’s security. Trump’s new Pentagon chief, Christopher Miller, hinted at the withdrawals over the weekend in a message to the force that suggested compromise. He said that “we remain committed to finishing the war that Al Qaida brought to our shores in 2001.” But he also made it clear that “all wars must end.” The accelerated withdrawal goes against longstanding advice from Trump’s military leadership, including Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, top commander for the Middle East. But officials suggested this week that commanders will be able to live with the partial pullout, which lets them to keep counterterrorism troops in Afghanistan and allows more time to remove critical equipment.

The GOP may be the Party of Trump now but there are still issue they will not help Trump achieve…..

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) warned against a withdrawal from Afghanistan on Monday amidst reports that say the Pentagon is planning for a drawdown in the country.

McConnell, a staunch ally of President Trump, was careful to praise the administration’s foreign policy record before slamming the idea of an Afghanistan withdrawal. “A rapid withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan now would hurt our allies and delight the people who wish us harm,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.

McConnell went through the typical talking points for arguments against the US ending the 19-year-old war. He said a US withdrawal would “embolden the Taliban,” hand al-Qaeda a “propaganda victory,” and would be “welcome news” to Iran.

(antiwar.com)

What about those troops in Syria?

I know not much said lately about them but make no mistake they are there….even some confusion on just how many are there…..

Four years after signing the now-infamous “Never Trump” letter condemning then-presidential candidate Donald Trump as a danger to America, retiring diplomat Jim Jeffrey is recommending that the incoming Biden administration stick with Trump’s foreign policy in the Middle East.

But even as he praises the president’s support of what he describes as a successful “realpolitik” approach to the region, he acknowledges that his team routinely misled senior leaders about troop levels in Syria. 

“We were always playing shell games to not make clear to our leadership how many troops we had there,” Jeffrey said in an interview. The actual number of troops in northeast Syria is “a lot more than” the roughly two hundred troops Trump initially agreed to leave there in 2019. 

https://www.defenseone.com/threats/2020/11/outgoing-syria-envoy-admits-hiding-us-troop-numbers-praises-trumps-mideast-record/170012/

Keep in mind that Trump ordered the troops home in 2018…..but changed his mind (as he often does)…..

The withdrawal in my opinion is something positive coming from Trump……but I fear that they will (the M-IC) never allow this to succeed…..not to worry after all we have a new president that owes much to the high dollar donors…..in other words….the wars will continue.

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“lego ergo scribo”

Those Asymmetric Wars

The battlefield no longer looks like it did in the 18th century or even the mid-20th century….the wars today are fought in irregular units….or as it is now called “asymmetric” warfare.

My day it was called guerilla warfare….but times change and terms get moved around to suit those with letters after their name.

To start let us define “asymmetric warfare”……

Asymmetrical warfare, unconventional strategies and tactics adopted by a force when the military capabilities of belligerent powers are not simply unequal but are so significantly different that they cannot make the same sorts of attacks on each other.

Guerrilla warfare, occurring between lightly armed partisans and a conventional army, is an example of asymmetrical warfare. Terrorist tactics, such as hijackings and suicide bombings, are also considered to be asymmetrical, both because they tend to involve a smaller, weaker group attacking a stronger one and also because attacks on civilians are by definition one-way warfare. War between a country that is both able and willing to use nuclear weapons and a country that is not would be another example of asymmetrical warfare.

(Britannica)

If this is the true future of warfare then high is the Army shutting down its Asymmetrical Warfare Group?

For nearly 15 years a little known but highly influential Army group has been in the middle of how the Army learns immediate lessons from combat, adapts to the evolving battlefield and saves soldiers’ lives.

It’s called Asymmetric Warfare Group, and the Army is shutting it down next year.

The Army made its official announcement today that by mid-2021, AWG will be discontinued.

An Army statement to Army Times:

“The functions of AWG, including the solutions to current and emerging threats, will transition to other Army organizations. Also, to ensure the utility of the organization’s work over the past 14 years is not lost, all lessons learned will be maintained by the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center (CAC), via the Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL), Centers of Excellence (COEs), and other TRADOC enterprise stakeholders.”

https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2020/10/02/the-army-is-shutting-down-its-much-lauded-asymmetric-warfare-group/

The Defense News has reported that the military is moving past special forces in dealing with irregular conflicts…..

The Pentagon has begun to shift the focus on irregular warfare away from the specific counterterrorism missions of the last two decades and toward a broader effort that includes information warfare and gray zone operations, a top special operations official said Friday.

Joe Francescon, deputy assistant secretary of defense for special operations and combating terrorism, told reporters that the shift is needed to counter China, Russia and Iran.

Francescon was speaking as part of a rollout of an unclassified version of the Irregular Warfare annex of the National Defense Strategy. The strategy was rolled out Jan. 19, 2018, under then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, but the annex was not completed until early 2019 and took “a long time” to declassify to the point where even the 12-page summary could be shared with the public, Francescon said.

https://www.defensenews.com/pentagon/2020/10/02/irregular-warfare-strategies-must-move-beyond-special-forces-pentagon-says/

If the US will be fighting small groups in the future…why close down the “Group” that will perfect the tactics?

Or is the fear of China in the future driving all this re-organizations?

Just Asking.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”