Over the past few decades, I have noticed that both Congress and the Administration are reluctant to clearly define the United States mission in times of war … worrying more about how the consequences of their actions affect the mainstream media and their financial supporters than the citizens of the United States.
Thus, I have witnessed a Congress unwilling to put forth a clear statement of our mission in a foreign land and declare war when and where appropriate. Similarly, I have witnessed a Congress which is apparently willing to provide the funds to wage war, but not the funds required to win the war. Adding multiple millions, and now billions, of non-essential special interest pork to military funding bills and attempting to micro-manage how the military spends allocated funds – all with the goal to secure military spending in their congressional districts and states.
Likewise, I am somewhat disappointed with a Commander-in-Chief who allows civilians to play armchair general and instigate rules of engagement which favors the mainstream media over the troops on the ground. Especially when those rules put our troops at significant disadvantage.
War is a deadly serious affair. A step that should only be taken to secure our borders, protect our nation and to protect United States’ strategic interests when necessary. Not a means to siphon-off taxpayer’s money to military contractors or enforce non-essential commercial agreements abroad.
I am also concerned about a foreign policy that allows United States’ elected officials and diplomats use copious amounts of taxpayer funds to purchase photo opportunities and worthless agreements in return for positive mainstream media coverage. Not to mention our support of a United Nations, a majority of which seems comprised of those who do not wish the United States well.
And I would be remiss if I failed to mention the arms sales to those who take an offensive, not defensive posture. It is almost like we are competing against the Russians, Chinese, Israelis, Koreans and South Africans to be the arms dealer of choice. I would like to believe that we are assisting in arming those seeking to bring democracy to foreign lands – but that would be highly delusional considering where our arms are being found.
Consider this recent report from Reuters …
“U.S., NATO must change to win Afghan war says commander”
“The United States and its allies must change strategy and boost cooperation to turn around the war in Afghanistan, the top U.S. and NATO commander there said on Monday, wrapping up a much-anticipated review.”
Boost cooperation, you must be joking. Our allies, Canada and Australia excepted, have no stomach for fighting in Afghanistan and care little about the United States’ pursuit of the war of terror … or whatever the Administration chooses to call it these days. Our allies, especially the Brits, have short-changed their own troops and are failing to provide increased manpower and logistical support when it is most needed.
The war could be won: which war, the physical war, the political war or the psychological war?
“U.S. Army General Stanley McChrystal said the situation was ‘serious’ but the 8-year-old war could still be won. He gave no indication if he would ask for more troops but is widely expected to do so in the coming weeks.”
The war could be won … what the hell is he talking about? What does an Afghan victory look like? A democratic government to replace the Taliban, as if that were likely to happen in the next hundred years? An Afghan government which is no longer a net exporter of narcotic poppies, as if the government is willing to destroy their major cash crop? So what does a victory in Afghanistan look like? Perhaps if the United States had not turned their back on Afghanistan after they ejected the Russians (with our weapons and assistance), we would have had loyal partners in the war against terror – not be engaged in this political firefight between warring clans and tribesman? Like they say, “if the Queen had balls, she would be the King.”
To me, I would be happy to see the Taliban disarmed and allowed to join the political mix governing Afghanistan. If they support terrorists who impact the United States or our allies, we reserve the right to carpet bomb their crops and training camps. No subtlety here: we use the military for their prime mission, to kill people and break things. Let them fight among themselves.
“With U.S. and NATO casualties at record levels in Afghanistan and doubts growing about the war in the United States and other NATO nations, McChrystal is under pressure to reverse Western fortunes within months.”
I am more than a little pissed off that it is our own “rules of engagement” and political machinations that have been complicit in producing most of these causalities. The most dangerous IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) are said to feature components from Iran. Well if we know this and we tell them to stop – and it continues – they suffer the consequences. We bomb their factories. They choose to locate those factories among the civilian population, it is their problem, not ours.
As for the liberals claiming that it will encourage more terrorism – that may be true, but I find that terrorism is more a function of state will than is commonly thought. If the foreign entity needs to stop terrorism or suffer the consequences, you would be surprised how fast the situation will change. Consider the Israelis and the Palestinians: if Iran told their proxies to stop the resistence and the Palestinian’s put aside their continuing terror attacks – the Middle East might be at peace; a tense peace at first, but at peace. We are dealing with hundreds of years of tribal hatred, fights among the Muslims for leadership, fights over the control of oil. These are things we are unlikely to change now or in the next hundred years. Ameliorate – but change, I doubt it.
"The situation in Afghanistan is serious, but success is achievable and demands a revised implementation strategy, commitment and resolve, and increased unity of effort," McChrystal said in a statement announcing his report was done.”
Sounds like the preamble to a presidential “sacrifice” speech – in spite of our damaged economy, we need to spend more. In spite of low troop availability, we will need more troops – possibly necessitating a draft.
“U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said any recommendation for more forces would have to address his concerns that the foreign military presence in Afghanistan could become too large and be seen by Afghans as a hostile occupying force.”
"’Clearly, I want to address those issues and we will have to look at the availability of forces, we'll have to look at costs. There are a lot of different things that we'll have to look at,’ he told reporters.
First, Gates should be speaking with his Commander-in-Chief, not reporters. Second, perhaps Gates is absolutely right; the United States should not be perceived as a “hostile occupying force.” We need to withdraw totally and explain the consequences of an Afghan military or terrorist attack on the United States, its allies or its interests. In plain English: we are the United States and we welcome you as a trading partner and a fellow in the international community. Violate that trust and suffer the consequences. Over and Out!
I know this is too simplistic for the ideological Ivy League weenies who have made something out of their mostly useless lives by being policy analysts and diplomats, but plain talk often works wonders. What we apparently need is leaders who talk tough, like Fred Thompson, but unlike Thompson also have balls to back it up. A Teddy Roosevelt, walking softly, but carrying a big stick.
"’While there's a lot of gloom and doom going around ... I think we have some assets in place and some developments that hold promise,’ Gates said on a visit to a Lockheed Martin factory building F-35 fighter jets in Fort Worth, Texas.”
Speechifying at a defense contractor? Wonderful – and symptomatic of the problems we face with domestic politics.
It’s not enough: even if troop strengths were doubled or tripled …
“McChrystal has 103,000 troops under his command, including 63,000 Americans, half of whom arrived this year as part of an escalation strategy begun under President George W. Bush and ramped up under his successor, Barack Obama. The Western force is set to rise to 110,000, including 68,000 Americans by year's end.”
Considering Afghanistan’s hostile terrain and near impossible logistical requirements, 250,000 troops will not have as meaningful an impact as a properly-crafted political solution. Why are we even there? Those that attacked us came mostly from Saudi Arabia. The very same Saudi Arabia which has funded the worldwide expansion of Whabbism and Islamo-fascism, ostensibly in return for terrorist guarantees not to attack the Kingdom and disrupt the cushy life of its rulers. We wiped out most of the Taliban training camps – so what’s left?
Perhaps we should be looking at Pakistan and their frontier area? We might even find bin Laden hanging out at the local dialysis center?
Finally, the truth emerges …
“A further increase could be politically difficult for Obama, with members of his Democratic Party increasingly uneasy about the war and congressional elections due next year.”
Of course it is politically difficult for Obama. Obama is a far-left activist who apparently sees no problem with destroying the United States’ economy and weakening its military and intelligence assets. He has shackled the Secretary of State and one wonders which czar is really running the show.
Perhaps our real problem is the democrats … especially those in the far left who believe that the United States is corrupt and that we need to be weakened in order to restore some form of balance in the world? Sounds unpatriotic to me – and worthy of voting their sorry asses out of office in 2010. I am almost ashamed to say it, but their constituency can be bought by the promise of more entitlements … and observing the actions of the democrats over the years, the promises don’t need to be honored.
If Obama was a leader …
If President Obama were a true leader, he would make energy independence the highest priority task in the land. From nuclear sources, not the wishy-washy windmills and solar panels favored by the far left who fear a real energy policy for the United States. With oil off the table, the Middle East might return to some form of rationality and abstain from bleeding our economy dry – and ginning up dissent which requires billions of U.S. dollars to combat.
“The White House sought on Monday to pin the blame for the grave state of the war in Afghanistan on the Bush administration, which made Iraq its top military priority.”
If Obama were a leader, rather than the mealy-mouthed far-left empty suit he appears to be, there would be no finger-pointing, only a clear road forward to a victory which favors the United States. A rather big “IF” considering his past actions and allegiances.
"’This was under-resourced, underfunded, undermanned and ignored for years,’ White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.”
Arguably one of the most inept men in the Administration, Robert Gibbs should remind Americans that billions of dollars have gone missing in a war that was primarily outsourced to “for profit” contractors and that leadership at the top, even in the Clinton and Bush (41 & 43) Administrations, was woefully inadequate. And then explain how his boss, the President of the United States, plans to remedy the situation.
"The president is focused on ensuring that we meet measurable benchmarks. ... It's going to take some doing."
Reports, benchmarks … all part of the administrivia of political life. Set a phony benchmark, meet it and declare success to the mainstream media. The troops still know the difference and so does the public. Not all of us have our eyes closed and miss what is in front of our eyes.
“McChrystal has been working on his review since he took command in June. He sent the classified document to the U.S. military's Central Command responsible for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and to NATO chiefs.”
“NATO spokesman James Appathurai confirmed the report did not include a request for more resources but added, "We know we will need to provide more trainers and equipment for the Afghan security forces."
I am surprised that someone in the “Chain of Command” did not provide the classified report to the New York Times and that they did not publish it for the aid and comfort of our enemies; enemies which respect only strength and the will to use force – and who are apparently laughing at a United States run by a corrupt and complacent Congress and a President who would much rather be playing basketball -- while leaving the work to his czars.
“He said there was already a shortfall of 10 training teams for Afghan security forces and the need would grow as moves were made to further expand the Afghan army and police.”
What the hell is this all about? The Afghans are competent fighters. The problem is that they have more loyalty to their respective tribes than they do to corrupt government entity. The war between the tribes will continue until they themselves reach an agreement. Nothing we can do or say will make a difference in the long run. It’s their nation, their world and their land. As long as they are peaceful and respectful to the United States, its citizens and our allies – they should be left to their own devices.
“A top counterinsurgency expert said on Monday Afghanistan's government must fight corruption and quickly deliver services to Afghans because Taliban militants were filling gaps and winning support.”
More wrong-headed thinking! You cannot buy the loyalty of the people. You are buying the temporary loyalty of the leadership – many of whom are probably planning to take their purloined funds and live abroad.
"’A government that is losing to a counter-insurgency isn't being outfought, it is being out-governed. And that's what's happening in Afghanistan,’ David Kilcullen, a senior adviser to McChrystal, told Australia's National Press Club.”
A counter-insurgency exists when the government is corrupt and deserving of a house-cleaning. So why are we propping them up? Let nature take its course – and deal with those that come to power through “natural selection.” Make them aware of the consequences of dishonoring the United States – and let them live in their own brand of peace.
“CBS News on Monday quoted a U.S. military officer in Afghanistan as saying one of the suspected bombers held in an attack last week that killed a U.S. soldier and wounded a CBS journalist might be linked to the Afghan government.”
“The suspect was found with a cell phone that contained a number to the Defense Ministry in Kabul, which then sent a letter saying the wrong man had been arrested, according to the CBS report.”
"’We think he was tied to the Ministry of Defense,’ Lieutenant Colonel Tom Gukeisen told the broadcaster. ‘Someone in that office began to put political pressure.’"
Am I the only one to believe that the corrupt leaders only want our money and our assistance to protect their sorry corrupt asses – and that they care nothing about the nation or its citizens? It’s almost like our Congress -- where self-interest and political ideology apparently trumps loyalty to one’s nation, service to one’s constituents and democracy in general.
So if it is our will to send more troops -- send enough to do the job, not some bullshit politically correct number designed to placate the far-left activists and their media mouthpieces. Better yet, leave our men in camp and let the Predators rain hellfire missiles upon those who would kill us without a second thought.
If you believe I am wrong, let me know; in detail to further the discussion. Feel free to use the comment section below or the e-mail link under my picture.
OneCitizenSpeaking: Saying out loud what you may be thinking …
“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw
“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell