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Old 09-20-2012, 07:53 PM  
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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The US military suspends joint operations with Afghan soldiers.

The ENTIRE basis for our involvement in Afghanistan at the very start, THE VERY START, was to oust al Qaeda and build a nation that can protect itself with a central government.

Central to that -- at the very center of all of this -- is training Afghani troops.

Due to the number of green-on-blue attacks (i.e. Afghani troops turning their guns on American soldiers training them) which are only increasing by the month, the United States has suspended operations cooperate with them.

This is a ****ing disaster. This is a decade-plus-long war that cannot be won, because our core goal is not met and seemingly can never be met without spending untold treasure and spilling even more blood trying to get EVEN A COMPETENT central defense established.

Progress was decent enough, but green-on-blue attacks have gotten worse and the Afghani military leaders themselves don't even know the true loyalty of the Afghani troops they're cultivating. Rumors are, Pakistan is sending over some Taliban to get money and weaponry.

But the American military itself only attributes 10% of these attacks to the Taliban. Most of them are just regular Afghanis turning their guns on us for a multitude of reasons, one of the most recent being the Mohammed YouTube that came out recently.

This whole mission is ****ed. There doesn't seem to be any way out of there without leaving a propped up corrupt leader who sympathizes with the Taliban, won't allow free, uncorrupted elections, and without an adequately trained security force.

Was it ever worth it? Can it still be worth it? What can be done?

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blog...#ixzz272imoh3j

The Definition of a Quagmire
Posted by Dexter Filkins
September 20, 2012

We can’t win the war in Afghanistan, so what do we do? We’ll train the Afghans to do it for us, then claim victory and head for the exits.

But what happens if we can’t train the Afghans?

We’re about to find out. It’s difficult to overstate just how calamitous the decision, announced Tuesday, to suspend most joint combat patrols between Afghan soldiers and their American and NATO mentors is. Preparing the Afghan Army and police to fight without us is the foundation of the Obama Administration’s strategy to withdraw most American forces—and have them stop fighting entirely—by the end of 2014. It’s our ticket home. As I outlined in a piece earlier this year, President Obama’s strategy amounts to an enormous gamble, and one that hasn’t, so far, shown a lot of promise. That makes this latest move all the more disastrous. We’re running out of time.

According to American military officers, the order suspends joint patrolling at the battalion-level and below without approval of a general. An American battalion is made up of about eight hundred soldiers; an Afghan battalion is about half that size. The overwhelming majority of foot patrols—and the overwhelming majority of the fighting with the Taliban—take place at this level. The order effectively means that, for now, Afghan soldiers and police operating in the field are largely on their own.

The decision, announced earlier this week, was prompted by the extraordinary rise in so-called green-on-blue attacks—the killing of Americans by Afghan soldiers. So far this year, more than fifty American and NATO soldiers have been killed by Afghan soldiers or recruits—a sixth of the three hundred and forty who have died this year. The most recent spate of green-on-blue deaths—four Americans on Sunday and two British on Saturday—coincided with a wave of anti-American riots around the world that followed the online distribution of a crude video depicting the Prophet Muhammad as a lecher and a fool.

In some ways, it would be comforting if the Afghans who were doing these killings were Taliban agents who’d slipped inside American training camps. There is some truth to this notion, but not much. When I was in Afghanistan this spring, a senior Afghan defense official told me that he and his fellow officials had little knowledge of the loyalties—or even the nationalities—of many of the new recruits. Many, he said, were presumed to have been sent by Pakistani intelligence officials from across the border. An American official told me that “several hundred” Afghan recruits, including some officers, had been identified as loyal either to the Taliban or to the Pakistanis.

As bad as that sounds, though, the reality is much worse. By the Americans’ own accounting, only ten per cent of the green-on-blue attacks have been carried out by Taliban infiltrators. The overwhelming majority of green-on-blue attacks are coming from ordinary Afghans signing up for the military. The very people we are trying to help fight the Taliban are turning their guns on us.

You can imagine the level of anxiety among American and European trainers who are sharing bases with Afghan recruits. Recent measures announced by American commanders to protect their soldiers and marines haven’t been enough. And how could they be? It’s the nature of the American mission to walk “shoulder-to-shoulder” with Afghan soldiers, who are often just as well armed as the Americans are. All you have to do is turn your gun on the guy walking next to you.

Which leads us back to the decision to ban joint patrols. When I was in Afghanistan in April and May, it was clear that the entire thrust of the American-led mission was to train Afghan forces as quickly as possible, so that we could stay on our departure schedule. The principal means to that end, I was told repeatedly by senior commanders, was carrying out operations together. (I heard the phrase “shoulder to shoulder” so often I started repeating it in my sleep.) The reason for this was simple: Afghan soldiers typically perform much better when American soldiers are with them. The Afghans fight better, feel better, and abuse each other, and Afghan civilians, less. Until this week’s decision, the commanders told me, the overwhelming majority of military operations were carried out by Afghans and Americans on joint operations. As of today, this is no longer true.

I suppose it’s possible that the decision to ban joint patrols will be lifted in a week or so, and that everything will return to normal. Possible—but not likely. The Americans have been in Afghanistan for eleven years. We can’t remain much longer because we’ve overstayed our welcome, even among our friends. And we can’t leave, either, because leaving could lead to a Taliban takeover or a very bloody civil war—and now we can barely train the local troops to take over for us.

We can’t leave and we can’t stay: that’s the very definition of a quagmire.
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:55 PM   #2
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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http://nationalinterest.org/commenta...ghanistan-7482

The Day We Lost Afghanistan
James Joyner
September 19, 2012

That the war in Afghanistan has been unwinnable has been obvious to most outside analysts since well before the so-called surge of 2009. Now, the United States government has finally admitted the obvious in deeds if not words.

Following the murder of six NATO troops in yet another "green on blue" attack in which Afghan soldiers supposedly fighting on our side killed NATO troops, the coalition has all but ended combined operations with Afghan army and police forces at the tactical level, requiring general officer approval for exceptions.

While spokesmen insisted that "we're not walking away" from the training and advisory mission that is the ostensible reason for continued Western presence in Afghanistan eleven years into the fight there, that statement rings hollow. As American Security Project Central and South Asia specialist Joshua Foust puts it, "The training mission is the foundation of the current strategy. Without that mission, the strategy collapses. The war is adrift, and it's hard to see how anyone can avoid a complete disaster at this point."

Three years after doubling down on an unachievable mission, trust between NATO and Afghan forces is at an all-time low. Already this year, there have been thirty-six of these insider attacks, killing fifty-one NATO troops, most of them Americans.

Even before the latest policy announcement, Joint Chiefs chairman Martin Dempsey acknowledged the severity of the problem, declaring, "You can't whitewash it. We can't convince ourselves that we just have to work harder to get through it. Something has to change" and admitting that "It is a very serious threat to the campaign."

The NATO strategy, articulated at the November 2010 Lisbon Summit, is for Afghan forces to assume "full responsibility for security across the whole of Afghanistan" by the end of 2014. How that's going to be possible when we can't even trust them not to shoot their trainers is unfathomable.

Nor is the spate of fratricidal attacks the only obstacle. The Taliban, whose "momentum" the surge was supposed to stop, seems to be getting more bold by the day. On Friday, militants in U.S. Army uniforms breached Camp Bastion, the British air base in Helmand Province, where they killed two American marines and were able to destroy six U.S. Marine Corps Harrier jets and damage two others.

And at least thirteen people were killed this week in a suicide bombing at Kabul's airport. A militant group called Hezb-i-Islami claims credit for the attack and says it's in retaliation for the controversial video that is ostensibly the spark for an outburst of murder and mayhem around the region in recent days, including the attack that killed U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens.

Speaking of campaigns, one wonders what it will take for the debacle in Afghanistan, which has claimed 2,121 American lives, 257 so far this year, to become part of the discussion between the men vying for the post of commander-in-chief. Perhaps Mitt Romney, who has had one debacle after another on the campaign trail the past few days, will seize the opening to announce his support for rapid withdrawal.

More likely, however, both he and President Obama will continue to pretend that American soldiers and marines aren't dying in Afghanistan for a cause that's long since been lost.
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:56 PM   #3
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It's probably about time to go. Tell the Taliban to have fun, we'll be watching, and if they invite Al Quada back (they are NOT one and the same) then, so sorry, we'll have to kill everyone in government. Rinse and repeat until you realize you can do what you want with your country so long as you aren't plotting against us.

This is a bit over the top, but just a bit... Staying forever isn't an option, and apparently building that nation is effectively impossible.
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:57 PM   #4
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Oh, and Karzai is a worthless corrupt ****, so he can go down in flames for all I care.
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:59 PM   #5
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Osama is dead. Time to go. Let them fight amongst eachother over their goats and rocks.

If they decide to get organized, send in the same guys ****ing up Iran's nuclear problem.
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:01 PM   #6
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Nobody will ever conquer that hellhole with anything short of nuclear weapons. Add America to the long list of those who tried and failed, going back to Alexander the Great.

Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it. - Edmund Burke
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:07 PM   #7
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Why the **** are they even still in Afghanistan?
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:10 PM   #8
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Why the **** are they even still in Afghanistan?
Making contractors and weapon manufacturers filthy rich.
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:11 PM   #9
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Why the **** are they even still in Afghanistan?
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:13 PM   #10
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Just like I said in my GTFO of Afghanistan thread 3 years ago. We were stupid to think we could conquer that hellhole when everyone since Alexander has tried and couldnt do it.

Should have left after wiping out Al-Aquaeda.
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:22 AM   #11
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Why is Afghanistan to resistant?

Alexander the Great, the British Empire, the Soviets, the American military machine...
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:50 AM   #12
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Why is Afghanistan to resistant?

Alexander the Great, the British Empire, the Soviets, the American military machine...
So isolated and craggy? Impossible to keep a steady flow of equipment, replacement troops, and supplies coming through to the would be conquering force?

Add to that the natives have thousands of miles of caves and passageways only they know about, and it equals not being able to ever hold power there.

I'm with Amno. Let the Taliban play in there. Keep an eye on them, and have the Daisy Cutters ready for when they act up. (And I really don't think nuking that shitpot would bring about the desired results, if it ever got that far. No telling just how far and deep those cavern systems go)
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:57 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Amnorix View Post
It's probably about time to go. Tell the Taliban to have fun, we'll be watching, and if they invite Al Quada back (they are NOT one and the same) then, so sorry, we'll have to kill everyone in government. Rinse and repeat until you realize you can do what you want with your country so long as you aren't plotting against us.

This is a bit over the top, but just a bit... Staying forever isn't an option, and apparently building that nation is effectively impossible.
I agree with this...except for the "over the top" part. Sounds just about right to me.
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:57 AM   #14
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So isolated and craggy? Impossible to keep a steady flow of equipment, replacement troops, and supplies coming through to the would be conquering force?

Add to that the natives have thousands of miles of caves and passageways only they know about, and it equals not being able to ever hold power there.

I'm with Amno. Let the Taliban play in there. Keep an eye on them, and have the Daisy Cutters ready for when they act up. (And I really don't think nuking that shitpot would bring about the desired results, if it ever got that far. No telling just how far and deep those cavern systems go)
+1

Maintain a strong team of spooks in the region.
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:00 PM   #15
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Just like I said in my GTFO of Afghanistan thread 3 years ago. We were stupid to think we could conquer that hellhole when everyone since Alexander has tried and couldnt do it.

Should have left after wiping out Al-Aquaeda.

But we weren't/aren't trying to conquer it. We want to give them a stable self-governed country. But it isn't feasible at anything within remotely reasonable timeframe, human life and economic costs.
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