The Washington Post blames predictably and unfairly, the military for our failing to defeat the enemy in Afghanistan. It’s not the military’s fault, it’s the politically correct swine in civilian leadership positions and some in the military’s “top brass.”
(Washington Post) An intense military campaign aimed at crippling the Taliban has so far failed to inflict more than fleeting setbacks on the insurgency or put meaningful pressure on its leaders to seek peace, according to U.S. military and intelligence officials citing the latest assessments of the war in Afghanistan.</p> <p>Escalated airstrikes and special operations raids have disrupted Taliban movements and damaged local cells. But officials said that insurgents have been adept at absorbing the blows and that they appear confident that they can outlast an American troop buildup set to subside beginning next July.</p> <p>”>
The American servicemen and -women are on my side in campaigning for an overhaul of our politically correct strategy in Afghanistan.
To the U.S. Army soldiers and Marines serving here, some things seem so obviously true that they are beyond debate. Among those perceived truths: The restrictive rules of engagement that they have to fight under have made serving in combat far more dangerous for them, while allowing the Taliban to return to a position of strength.
“If they use rockets to hit the [forward operating base] we can’t shoot back because they were within 500 meters of the village. If they shoot at us and drop their weapon in the process we can’t shoot back,” said Spc. Charles Brooks, 26, a U.S. Army medic with 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, in Zabul province.
Word had come down the morning Brooks spoke to this reporter that watch towers surrounding the base were going to be dismantled because Afghan village elders, some sympathetic to the Taliban, complained they were invading their village privacy. “We have to take down our towers because it offends them and now the Taliban can set up mortars and we can’t see them,” Brooks added, with disgust.
In June, Gen. David Petraeus, who took command here after the self-inflicted demise of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, told Congress that he was weighing a major change with rules for engaging enemy fighters in Afghanistan. That has not yet happened, troops say. Soldiers and Marines continue to be held back by what they believe to be strict rules imposed by the government of President Hamid Karzai designed with one objective: limit Afghan civilian casualties.
“I don’t think the military leaders, president or anybody really cares about what we’re going through,” said Spc. Matthew “Silver” Fuhrken, 25, from Watertown, N.Y. “I’m sick of people trying to cover up what’s really going on over here. They won’t let us do our job. I don’t care if they try to kick me out for what I’m saying — war is war and this is no war. I don’t know what this is.”
But U.S. troops and Marines interviewed during the past month in Afghanistan question what negotiations would really mean, to both them and the Afghan people. And they almost universally believe that negotiating would be a mistake before achieving decisive gains they believe are attainable once oppressive rules of engagement are relaxed.
“What does it mean if we give in to the Taliban? They are the enemy,” Brooks said. “This place is going to be a safe haven for terrorists again. The government doesn’t care about the sacrifices already made. As far as the mission goes, I want to see these kids go to school and have a future but not at the expense of my friends — not anymore.”
I rest my case.
The Taliban’s influence in northern Afghanistan has expanded in recent months from a few hotspots to much of the region, as insurgents respond to the U.S.-led coalition’s surge in the south by seizing new ground in areas once considered secure.
In many areas here and the rest of the north, the Taliban have effectively supplanted the official authorities, running local administrations and courts, and conscripting recruits.
“Day by day, the Taliban are advancing into new districts,” said provincial council chief Mohammad Rasoul Mohseni of Baghlan.
Wait, I thought the Taliban’s influence was weakening. Isn’t that the justification the Obama administration and the believers in our politically correct counter-insurgency strategy have given us for the coming Taliban so-called “reconciliation”?
Such advances challenge the coalition strategy that assumes Taliban losses in its southern heartland would undermine the entire insurgency, driving the militants to pursue peace on terms acceptable to the West.
Yeah, that’s what I thought.
When are we going to wake up and realize that destroying the enemy is absolutely a necessary part of winning this war?
U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan have facilitated the passage of senior Taliban leaders to Kabul for talks with President Hamid Karzai’s government, signaling a shift by the U.S. to more active support of Afghan reconciliation efforts.
But a senior North Atlantic Treaty Organization official said the allied force was now offering direct help for preliminary peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, which has strong influence in big swaths of the country.
“We have indeed facilitated, to various degrees, the contacts between these senior Taliban members to the highest levels of the Afghan government,” the NATO official said.
Let me sum up our current counter-terrorism strategy: negotiate and bribe the enemy.
The Red Cross is literally aiding the enemy in Afghanistan:
The Red Cross in Afghanistan has been teaching the Taliban basic first aid and giving insurgents medical equipment so that fighters wounded during battles with Nato and Afghan government forces can be treated in the field, it was revealed today.
More than 70 members of the “armed opposition” received training in April, the Red Cross said.
That’s great: patching up the enemy so they can go right back into battle against coalition forces.
Wow, Red Cross. Just wow.
They should be thrown out of Afghanistan immediately for aiding and providing comfort to the enemy in my opinion.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai is threatening to join the Taliban. Good riddance! With him out of the way perhaps we could actually turn the war in Afghanistan into what it should have been: a punitive expedition–a war to destroy terrorists and send a message to the world that you don’t mess with America!
President Obama heads to the loving arms of the state-controlled media to whine and complain about the meanness of conservatives. Harry Smith is doing his part to nurture Obama’s ego back to pre-Obamacare level of pomposity.
Hank Johnson (D-GA) is doing his best to compete with the kookiness of his predecessor Cynthia McKinney. Johnson fears that overpopulation on Guam might cause the island to tip over. Seriously.
The Report from Washington with Ellis Washington: Ellis discusses the sermon he heard from the Rev. Jeremiah Wright on Palm Sunday.
Access the podcast below:
President Obama health care speech yesterday was very reminiscent of George W. Bush’s “I’m the decider” speech. President Obama is igoring the will of the People because he believes he’s “the decider” on health care.
Sarah Palin wants a reality show to follow her and family around in Alaska. Still think Sarah Palin is the savior of the Republican Party? Still think she’s cut out for executive leadership?
Yet another ex-GITMO detainee rejoins the battlefield upon release. Let me state it again: Terrorists can’t be rehabilitated!
Looks like we can go into the weekend on a positive note:
TALIBAN killers have blown themselves up laying booby-trap bombs, we can reveal.
Up to 20 are thought to have died planting Improvised Explosive Devices.
They were racing to plant the IEDs before the Allied offensive Operation Moshtarak. The triggers on the IEDs have become so sensitive the terrorists are accidentally detonating them as they hide them.
Karma: Want some? Get some!
Hey, the fact that our civilian and military leaders are too cowardly to kill the Taliban might not matter if they start blowing each other up on a large scale.
Lt. Col. Ralph Peters discusses the politically correct Afghan strategy and the suicidal Rules of Engagement our military and civilian leaders have sent our servicemen and women into battle with.
He’s in agreement with me that Taliban so-called “reconciliation” is nothing more than bribery. He also describes our counterinsurgency strategy as “touch-feely.” He’s spot on.
The Obama administration is helping Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai raise $100 million to bribe the Taliban to stop supporting and committing acts of terrorism.
That Karzai government and the Obama administration have made the determination that the war in Afghanistan can’t be won by destroying the enemy. Hmm, I kind of that that was the main objective in war. The two administrations believe that the Taliban needs to be a part of the new Afghan government and the best way to make that happen is to negotiate with them. Actually, all Taliban members have to do to be eligible to participate in the new government is renounce violence. That’s adequate, because I’m sure they wouldn’t renounce terrorism one minute and then blow something up the next. I’m sure they’re trustworthy.
My loyal readers know that I’m wholeheartedly opposed to this idea, and I’m not the only one questioning its efficacy. Vanda Felbab-Brown of the Brookings Institute makes a good point:
“The more there is talk of negotiation, the more the Taliban view it as a sign of weakness. How do you make sure the reconciliation process does not embolden the Taliban to go on the march?”
Reconciliation with the Taliban or any terrorist organization is a bad idea. It can’t be done. You can’t effectively negotiate with terrorists. Period.