Posts Tagged ‘ Afghanistan ’

Afghanistan: an end in sight?


I don’t buy into the claim that the war in Afghanistan was illegal, immoral or that it wasn’t worth going in there and kicking some Taliban butt.

That said, we’re not really getting anywhere, are we? Thus, the following is probably the best course of action.

THE US and Afghan governments have begun secret* three-way talks with the Taliban, Afghan President Hamid Karzai told The Wall Street Journal, disclosing an important breakthrough in efforts to end the 10-year war.

Mr Karzai, whose government had protested being left out of recent talks between Washington and the insurgents, added he believes most Taliban are “definitively” interested in a peace settlement.

Now an assertation by Karzai doesn’t exactly carry much weight IMO, but let’s hope he’s right on this occaision. It looks like this report out of the Pentagon backs what Karzai is saying.

The Pentagon on Wednesday offered new details of its plan for shifting from a combat mission in Afghanistan to one focused on training and advising Afghan forces as they gradually shoulder more of the combat burden.

The Army identified five U.S.-based brigades, as well as an Army Reserve organization, that will be reconfigured and sent to Afghanistan between April and August to “generate, employ and sustain” Afghan forces.

The Army called this a “new mission” after more than 10 years of fighting in Afghanistan.

And there’s this interesting and hopefully positive development, as well.

Karzai’s comments came as he prepared to meet the leaders of neighbouring Pakistan and Iran in Islamabad on Thursday for a summit set to focus on security issues, including the Taliban insurgency and support for it from within Pakistan. He did not give any further details about the contacts.

Now I’m no military strategist hotshot, but I really don’t think the West has to worry too much about Taliban strikes on our home soil or Iran cutting off its oil supplies if the US/NATO has a less active role in the region. Iran needs the money and/or gold more than ever thanks to sanctions; gold which they’re reportedly using to by grain (from Australia no less) and which others are reportedly using to buy Iranian oil.

*BTW, the talks aren’t really “secret” are they when word of them is splashed across the WSJ and the Australian.

Why Arabs lose wars


As explained by a retired US Army colonel with extensive middle east experience.

You really have to read the whole lot, but here’s a teaser.

Arab political culture is based on a high degree of social stratification, very much like that of the defunct Soviet Union and very much unlike the upwardly mobile, meritocratic, democratic United States. Arab officers do not see any value in sharing information among themselves, let alone with their men. In this they follow the example of their political leaders, who not only withhold information from their own allies, but routinely deceive them. Training in Arab armies reflects this: rather than prepare as much as possible for the multitude of improvised responsibilities that are thrown up in the chaos of battle, Arab soldiers, and their officers, are bound in the narrow functions assigned them by their hierarchy. That this renders them less effective on the battlefield, let alone places their lives at greater risk, is scarcely of concern, whereas, of course, these two issues are dominant in the American military culture, and are reflected in American military training.

Here’s that link again.

Still, the question begs: so why the quagmire in Afghanistan? Regular forces vs guerillas? Geneva Convention and politicians forcing our troops to fight with one arm tied behind their backs? Available manpower? Available firepower?

Via JM Heinrichs

Pakistan, too


It’s hard to find fault with Christopher Hitchen’s latest.

It’s essentially about the quagmire in Afghanistan.

And (my opinion) whilst it would be folly to leave, geez it’d be nice if Karzai were on our side.

But this narrowness pales beside the truly awful opportunism and cynicism of Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai. In previous cases of irrational violence, such as the bloody riots that occurred on the mere rumor of a Quran being desecrated in Guantanamo, he had taken quite a responsible line (pointing out, for example, that one library destroyed by the incendiaries had contained several fine old Qurans). Unlike some provincial mullahs, Karzai also knows perfectly well that the U.S. government is constitutionally prohibited from policing religious speech among its citizens. Yet, when faced with the doings of the aforementioned moronic cleric from Gainesville, he went out of his way to intensify mob feeling. This caps a long period where his behavior has come to seem like a conscious collusion with warlordism, organized crime, and even with elements of the Taliban. Already under constant pressure to make consistent comments about Syria and Libya, the Obama administration might want to express itself more directly about a man for whose fast-decomposing regime we are shedding our best blood.

The XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement System


Via commenter, Red, White, and Blue, in email who states, “Now, this is what I like to see.”

Ditto.

The XM25 is basically a “smart” grenade launcher and is being hailed as a game changer.

Let’s hope so.

WASHINGTON (AFP) – It looks and acts like something best left in the hands of Sylvester Stallone’s “Rambo,” but this latest dream weapon is real — and the US Army sees it becoming the Taliban’s worst nightmare.

The Pentagon has rolled out prototypes of its first-ever programmable “smart” grenade launcher, a shoulder-fired weapon that uses microchipped ammunition to target and kill the enemy, even when the enemy is hidden behind walls or other cover.

Tidy.

9/11? Don’t ask an Afghani


This is astounding, and quite disturbing.

KABUL (Reuters) – Afghans in two crucial southern provinces are almost completely unaware of the September 11 attacks on the United States and don’t know they precipitated the foreign intervention now in its 10th year, a new report showed on Friday.

Although this does put into context the musing of an Afghani father I saw on the show, “My Family Feast“. Living in Australia now, he briefly mentioned the war back in his homeland, noting that whereas before the US was against the Russian invaders, now the US are the invaders.

I was unpleasantly surprised that this bloke didn’t get why the US et. al. was there; that we’re there to stomp on the Taliban and any other terrorist scum, and help give the Afghani’s some much needed freedom whilst, of course, looking after our own.

PS And Bob Brown can suck it.

Strategy fail


Why on earth would you do this?

The Obama administration approved the release of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar with the assumption that he would join peace talks with the Afghan government of Hamid Karzai.

The Taliban’s supreme commander in Afghanistan, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, was captured in Pakistan earlier this year. He was the highest ranking Taliban commander ever arrested. But instead of his extradition to Afghanistan or hand-over to the U.S., he was kept in a cozy house in Islamabad.

On Saturday, he was freed.

Yes, the man second in command only to Mullah Omar, the one-eyed leader of the Taliban, has reportedly been released and no one knows where he went.

If that isn’t a slap in the face to our brave troops, then what is?*

*Apart from Labor leader, Bob Brown.

The latest Green power grab


Australia needs to get the Greens out of parliament.

PARLIAMENT would have to approve any Australian troops being sent to fight overseas, except in emergencies, under a Greens plan announced today.

But we already know the Greens are already holding the ALP and Australia to ransom. We already know they want us to pull out of Afghanistan.

Thus, this proposal smacks of being a sneaky, underhanded way for the Greens to get what they want… to Australia, Afghanistan’s and the world’s detriment.

They are a real problem for all of us and notably, Julia Gillard.

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