Saturday, March 31, 2018

In Afghanistan The U.S. Military Want To Prove That They Can Reverse Gains Made By The Taliban

A U.S. Army crew chief aboard a Chinook helicopter observes a successful test of flares during a training flight in Afghanistan on March 14. (Tech. Sgt. Gregory Brook/Air Force/Reuters)

Washington Post: In Afghanistan, U.S. military sprints to prove it can reverse insurgent tide

BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan — The U.S. military is racing to demonstrate it is making progress in Afghanistan during a critical period that will test President Trump’s strategy and, potentially, political support for the war.

Military leaders say the arrival of new troops and aircraft, along with a renewed mission to advise local operations more closely, will help reverse a Taliban resurgence that has exposed the fragility of the long American project in Afghanistan.

“This is not another year of the same thing we’ve been doing for 17 years,” Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during a tour of military facilities across Afghanistan last week. “This is a fundamentally different approach.”

With an increased U.S. force of about 15,000, focused largely on efforts to ensure Afghan troops can launch offensives against the Taliban, Dunford said that “the right people at the right level with the right training” are in place ahead of the 2018 fighting season, a sentiment repeated by other commanders.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The parts of this story that caught my eye are the following ....

.... The Afghan forces would have to become “so capable and lethal” they could defeat the Taliban in battles with little help, said retired Lt. Gen. David Barno, who commanded U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan from 2003 to 2005. “I am not optimistic we are going to see that happen anytime soon.”

.... But the Taliban has a stronger grip in southern strongholds, vast parts of which remain no-go zones for security forces.

.... Whether Afghanistan can hold parliamentary elections without major violence will help Pentagon officials gauge the strategy’s success in coming months, as will the number of Afghan military casualties. While the Afghan government does not disclose exact figures, U.S. officials say combat losses remain in the thousands each year.

.... David Sedney, a top Pentagon official for Afghanistan during the Obama administration and now a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said important Taliban figures in Pakistan continue to believe that military victory is possible.

Bottom line .... this war is far from over.


Unknown said...

So the Taliban made gains under Obama. Big Whup.

He had a stand down order.

To win in Afghanistan, Battles must 1st be fought and won in the swamps of the Potomac.

fred said...

wrong once again! We were fully winning till Bush diverted efforts with invasion based on lies into went downhill after that...You blame Obama when it was Bush? You can not be taken seriously when you let your biases take over every and anything you do the research and show me I am wrong!

Anonymous said...

Fred, you're right about Bush but Obama didn't do anything to help.

Mike Feldhake said...

Guys, this is an intractable problem with no easy solution. Next to burning the Taliban (similar to what we did on Islands in the Pacific in WWII), there is no solution. The Radical Taliban are bent on their religious laws and will. It negotiate.

Mike Feldhake said...

What we need to do is build large protected lands and leave the rest alone. Nice large killing zones between the two. Then police the hell out of the safe zones and kill anything that moves in the Outland. Crazy, but this will not cure itself without a complete change in attitudes.

Unknown said...

"We were fully winning till Bush diverted efforts "

Is this before or after the conquest of the Taliban safe areas in the FATA.

It appears that some have not learned from the Ho Chi m Minh trail days.

Unknown said...

We need to end the terrorist training camps in Pakistan.

We need to end the Maddrassah to terrorist pipeline supported by Pakistan/

Mike Feldhake said...

Aizino; back up a little and think VERY big picture. Also, review history and don't get lost in the weeds :)

B.Poster said...

"Bush lied." Perhaps but no prosecution for the most hated man in US history. This would be easy to do and get a conviction based upon the hatred for him alone.

I think it would be more accurate to say he relied on the intel he was provided with which turned out to be in accurate. To properly investigate would reveal all of this. For political purposes we need to preserve the narrative of "Bush lied."

I admit I trusted US (un)Intelligence at this time even though they have a long history of getting things wrong. There were plenty of warning signs. I made a mistake. Fool me once shame on you. Fool me again shame on me. As such, I wouldn't be so quick to take their word on pretty much anything they say without corroborating evidence from more competent and reliable sources.

This is especially so in the current situations where the stakes or so high. Evidence of their claims needs to be presented to be properly evaluated especially the sources and methods used. Off topic but if we are going to escalate a new Cold War that will be extremely costly and that we may not even be able to win the American people need to know why they are being placed in even more danger than they are currently in.

Outside of the US and the UK the expulsion of diplomats seems token at best. This kind of reminds of the token "coalition" that assisted us with Iraq. If the current moves against Russia start to become costly for them, they are not going to give you what you want. The EU was founded to be and is a strategic competitor to America, Russia is a major power, has had a major influence on European and Asian affairs for centuries, likely will have this influence for centuries more, America is a declining power, they have huge oil deals with Russia, to switch to US LNG would costs billions, would take decades, and they are not going to award the business to a declining power who they view as a strategic competitor.

Don't say you weren't warned. when you endanger the American people, our economy, and our security in this manner you need to have a very good reason for doing so. So far the explanations are found wanting and nonsensical. Saving HRC and the deep state is simply not a good enough reason. Besides I would not be so quick to trust the Brits on this. I recall "yellowcake uranium" that Saddam tried to buy, cited by British intel, and pushed by GWB. It turned out to be inaccurate.

fred said...


troll time from dear comrade
ps want to compare economies?

B.Poster said...


At no point in the post did I say or imply that Russia good USA bad. Please reread carefully. The points I make are easily verifiable. I have neither the time nor the patience to rehash tham.

With that said by any objective measure America is in decline. Much of the country exists in third world conditions, failing infrastructure, and huge national, state, and local debts. Additionally declining health care and drops in the standard of kiving accross the board expect for perhaps the very wealthy which is primarily because they know how to adapt.

Can that be reversed? Of course it can. For example, fracking holds huge potential. While DJT has made progress with tax cuts and regulatory reforms, much work still needs to be done. What has been done so far are just baby steps compared to what needs to be done. If the process of tax cuts, regulatory reform, and fracking can be expanded upon, we may just reverse the decline.

"Want to compare economies?" The editor has described the Russian economy several times. He did so again after his most recent visit. He described an economy that is clearly being affected by sanctions but with a favorable tax structure and regulatory environment "everyone is working." Furthermore the country is unencumbered by debt. Additionally the enterpenuer class is growing in large part due to these factors I think. I'm sure you saw his post. He has a sound track record. As such, I would be inclined to trust jis analysis.

America has neither a favorable tax structure or regulatory environment. Everyone is mist definitely not workkng. There is a huge wellfare state that while its growth has slowed somewhat it would be inaccurate to say "everyone is working." The entrepreneur class is declining and, in some cases, is on the ropes. These factors combined with the massive debts at all levels likely mean the Russian economy is in a better position than that of the US in the nid to long term.

Furthermore Vladimir Putin is absolutely correct when he points out the that the world will grow tired of sanctions. Mid to long range EU nations aren't going to give Ameruca a strategic competitor what you want. Once sanctions are over the Russian position is better still relative to America in the mid to long term. I thought about these factors when I typed the previous post.

None of this is meant to suggest "Russia good America bad." Instead this is a frank and candid analysis of where we (America) are. With realistic assessments proper policies can be formulated and implemented.

Unknown said...

B. Poster

How many times did it take you to pass the bar exam?

B.Poster said...

I'm a Certified Public Accountant. I do know some atoorneys who are also CPAs. They have all told me the CPA exam is much harder. Very few people pass the CPA exam on the first attempt.

It took me two attempts to pass all 4 parts. While I'm happy to answer that question, I'm not sure what it has to do with the current issue at hand. Actually we've gotten off the topic of the main theme of the post.

With that said this situation reminds me of a situation that occurred during the Serbian war in the mid 1990s. Essentially British general Mike Jackson was ordered by the head of NATO Javier Solana to bomb an airport in Serbia under Russian control. General Jackson's response was classic when faced with such an insane order. He said, "I'm sorry I won't start the third world war for you."

Today we have some dead Russuan detectors. The assumption that Putin is behind this is dubious at best. The responses by America and Britain have the effect of ratcheting up tensions in Cold War 2 all based upon dubious assumptions at best with no real investigation and no way one could have been possibly conducted. We ratchet up tensions here we increase the odds of WW3, a war that would be extremely costly that we may not be able to win.

In order to justify the pursuit of such a path, very good reasons for the course and how the leadership arrived at their conclusions would need to be presented. To say that such information has not been presented is an understatement to say the least.

Unknown said...

"It took me two attempts to pass all 4 parts"

On one hand you passed the question, but on the the other hand stuff can be looked up.

I am very sure it had everything to do with the conversation.

"Today we have some dead Russuan detectors. "
But then you auto fail. You can't make this stuff up.