Archive for the ‘Afghanistan’ Category

Laying The Groundwork For The Departure Of US Troops From Afghanistan

February 12, 2012

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta addresses the audience at the 48th Munich Security Conference in Munich, Feb. 4, 2012. DOD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley
A Loss We Can Live With — James Traub, Foreign Policy

The endgame in Afghanistan isn’t 2013 or 2014; it’s already happened. The only thing now is to make sure that the retreat is not a total disaster for those we leave behind.

“It was Leon being Leon.” This is the take you get when you ask Obama administration officials exactly what it was that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta meant when he said last week that the administration wanted to move troops in Afghanistan from “a combat role to a training, advise and assist role…hopefully by mid- to the latter part of 2013.” Panetta, that is, was just blurting something out, as is his wont. The administration didn’t so much walk back Panetta’s remark as frog-march it. CIA director David Petraeus complained in congressional testimony that Panetta’s comments had been “over-analyzed.” White House spokesman Jay Carney explained that the Pentagon chief was speaking of what “could happen,” not what had been decided. A senior NATO official told me that Panetta’s comments should be understood in an “aspirational” light. And so on.

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My Comment: This Foreign Policy article by James Traub focuses on US Defense Secretary Panetta and the official reaction to his comments …. but what is left out …. and I am willing to bet good money on it …. is that these views are probably shared by President Obama himself …. but because of politics he cannot publicly voice them out himself.

As to what is my take …. if Al Qaeda does not return to Afghanistan …. our national security will not be jeopardized if we leave the country. But …. if we continue to stay in the country …. and continue to fight the civil war that is happening there …. our national security resources will be strained and we will be absent from more troublesome spots in the world where our national security concerns are more significant.

Afghanistan’s Taliban ‘Reintegration’ Program A Complete Failure

February 12, 2012
Surrendering Taliban militants stand with their weapons as they are presented to the media on November 4, 2010 in Herat, Afghanistan. Credit: Majid Saeedi/Getty Images
The Truth About Taliban ‘Reintegration’ — The Telegraph

The much-vaunted “reintegration” of the Taliban, which Britain has funded with £7 million, is not quite what it seems, writes Ben Farmer in Kabul.

Wrapped in shawls against the cold, some with scarves to hide their faces, the men stand in front of a table bearing an arsenal of assault rifles and rockets.

As the insurgents renounce their armed struggle and declare they have made peace with Hamid Karzai’s government, local journalists film the ceremony for the evening television.

Such scenes are now a common feature of Afghan news bulletins and portray one of the main pillars of Nato’s strategy to overpower the Taliban and force them to the negotiating table prior to the planned exit by US and British forces.

However, The Sunday Telegraph has discovered disturbing evidence that all is not as it seems.

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My Comment: Why should we be surprised by this news? Afghanistan ranks as one of the most corrupt societies in the world …. giving money freely away is only going to attract everyone (but the Taliban).