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Petraeus: Progress in Afghanistan will take time

August 15th, 2010 . by TexasFred

Petraeus: Progress in Afghanistan will take time

WASHINGTON (AP) - Progress in Afghanistan only began this spring and needs time to take root, Army Gen. David Petraeus said in comments broadcast Sunday that were aimed at shoring up American support for the war.

Petraeus, who’s been credited with a successful war strategy in Iraq and who took charge of U.S. and NATO military operations in Afghanistan in July, described an “up and down process” of seizing Taliban-controlled territory and creating “small pockets of progress” that he hoped will expand.

The goal, he told NBC’s “Meet the Press,” is to keep al-Qaida and other extremist groups at bay while the Afghan government has a chance to take control and earn the trust of the local population.

“We’re here so that Afghanistan does not once again become a sanctuary for transnational extremists the way it was when al-Qaida planned the 9/11 attacks in the Kandahar area,” Petraeus said in an interview taped in Kabul, the Afghan capital.

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Petraeus: Progress in Afghanistan will take time

What the Soviet Union did to us in Vietnam, we returned several times over in Afghanistan when the Mujahideen, backed by the CIA, and pretty much unlimited U.S. funds to supply weapons, kicked Russia OUT of Afghanistan and helped bring about the fall of the Soviet Union.

Now, we are the military force on the ground in Afghanistan.

The Mujahi, the plural is mujahideen, literally translates to “struggler”, “justice-fighter” or “freedom-fighter”, and that is what they were called when they were fighting the Soviets, the Mujahideen, being the primary combatants.

Today they are called rebels, insurgents, Taliban, al-Qaida or whatever other name happens to fit the description the press and DoD offer. The fighters are the same, only their names and opposition have changed.

Petraeus’ comments come as U.S. support for the 9-year war is slipping and the death toll is climbing. July was the deadliest month for U.S. forces, when 66 troops were killed.

I seem to remember, back in 2002, we were doing quite well in Afghanistan. We were making great strides. We had the Taliban on the run and were close to taking them out permanently, as well as killing or capturing Osama bin Laden.

We were fighting Taliban, former mujahideen, that were still armed with weapons that WE had provided them when they were “freedom fighters”. Their weapons were old and worn, but well maintained and still very deadly, but we had the might of the United States military, and the will of We, The People was strong.

We wanted revenge for the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and we were getting it too.

Then George W. Bush took his eye off the ball and we traipsed off to Iraq. For reasons that I am not now, nor ever will be convinced were legitimate. But that’s another story.

Petraeus and other military officials have warned of more combat casualties as additional U.S. troops are sent to the fight. Last fall, President Barack Obama authorized 100,000 troops in Afghanistan - triple the level from 2008.

Obama’s Democratic supporters have reluctantly swung behind the plan, but lawmakers are beginning to question whether Afghanistan can be won.

Let’s make one thing perfectly clear; the war in Afghanistan CAN be won. But it won’t be won if we continue to tie the hands of our troops and saddle them with a ridiculous set of Rules of Engagement that embraces all the tenets of political correctness.

Couple that with orders that basically translate to ‘You take casualties if necessary, but incur NO collateral damage’, as opposed to following the teachings of Sun Tzu in his The Art of War writings, and you have a decent picture of what our mid-level field commanders and troops are up against.

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Pentagon Delays Troop Request for Afghan War

September 22nd, 2009 . by TexasFred

Pentagon Delays Troop Request for Afghan War

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has told its top commander in Afghanistan to delay submitting his request for additional troops, defense officials say, amid signs that the Obama administration is rethinking its strategy for combating a resurgent Taliban.

A senior Pentagon official says the administration has asked for the reprieve so it can complete a review of the U.S.-led war effort. “We have to make sure we have the right strategy” before looking at additional troop requests, the official said. “Things have changed on the ground fairly considerably.”

Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, recently completed a classified report asking for significant numbers of new American troops. Military officials familiar with the matter says the report lays out several options, including one that seeks roughly 40,000 reinforcements, which would push the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan to more than 100,000 for the first time.

But the commander has been told to delay submitting the troop request to the Pentagon at the direction of Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and other top civilian officials, according to defense officials.

Full Story Here:
Pentagon Delays Troop Request for Afghan War

Funny… I seem to remember a time when we had Afghanistan pretty much under control, and we did it in record time. Then we traipsed off to Iraq…

This wasn’t Obama’s fault. As much as I detest Obama, this was NOT his fault, at least not in it’s inception. He truly inherited this mess, Afghanistan was a done deal and then George *Yes, I really DO have ADHD* Bush blew it ALL to hell and back.

But, NOW, you betcha, it’s Obama’s problem, even though he didn’t DO IT per se, it IS now his problem. We can’t continue to blame it ALL on Bush, even though much of it IS of his (Bush’s) doing, now it’s Obama’s turn to step up and lead, or show us what a DOUCHEBAG he really is… :?

Americans are divided over the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan — a key voting issue in the 2008 presidential election — according to a FOX News poll released Monday.

President Obama’s campaign was based largely on opposition to the Iraq war and support for a military strategy in Afghanistan. But just as Iraq has lost much of its political contentiousness, Afghanistan may be emerging — albeit to a lesser degree — as the “new�? Iraq.

Americans are divided on both the Afghan war itself and on its expansion, according to the latest FOX News poll.

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FOX News Poll: Americans Divided on Afghan War Effort

George W. Bush led us into Iraq, and in doing so, he cost the United States a lot more than the over 4,300 U.S. combat deaths we have suffered.

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NYT: Taliban may be acquiring U.S. arms

May 20th, 2009 . by TexasFred

NYT: Taliban may be acquiring U.S. arms

KABUL - Insurgents in Afghanistan, fighting from some of the poorest and most remote regions on earth, have managed for years to maintain an intensive guerrilla war against materially superior American and Afghan forces.

Arms and ordnance collected from dead insurgents hint at one possible reason: Of 30 rifle magazines recently taken from insurgents’ corpses, at least 17 contained cartridges, or rounds, identical to ammunition the United States had provided to Afghan government forces, according to an examination of ammunition markings by The New York Times and interviews with American officers and arms dealers.

The presence of this ammunition among the dead in the Korangal Valley, an area of often fierce fighting near Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan, strongly suggests that munitions procured by the Pentagon have leaked from Afghan forces for use against American troops.

The scope of that diversion remains unknown, and the 30 magazines represented a single sampling of fewer than 1,000 cartridges. But military officials, arms analysts and dealers say it points to a worrisome possibility: With only spotty American and Afghan controls on the vast inventory of weapons and ammunition sent into Afghanistan during an eight-year conflict, poor discipline and outright corruption among Afghan forces may have helped insurgents stay supplied.

Full Story Here:
NYT: Taliban may be acquiring U.S. arms

I have been accused, on numerous occasions, of not being politically correct and of being less than enthusiastic concerning our so-called allies in Afghanistan and Iraq. I see no need in changing now.

Americans are being threatened and killed with American arms and ammunition. Those arms and ammunition are coming from stores given by us to the Afghan government. The Afghan government is filled with Taliban supporters and members. Ask yourself this question, IF the Infidel Americans are so willing to supply the arms that the Taliban is using to kill said Americans, is it not the duty of all faithful Muslims to gladly accept those weapons and munitions? And to use them?

The Afghan government is rife with corruption, of course they are going to misappropriate as many weapons to their Taliban friends as they possibly can. Much the same way the Iraqi government has. Afghanistan, and it’s many splinter groups are rife with greed and corruption, it is the Islamic way. The BIG DOG runs the show and it’s OK to steal anything you can use to defeat the Great Satan, from the Great Satan, that would be us.

Linked to California, Czech Republic
The examination of the Taliban’s cartridges found telling signs of diversion: 17 of the magazines contained ammunition bearing either of two stamps: the word “WOLF” in uppercase letters, or the lowercase arrangement “bxn.”

“WOLF” stamps mark ammunition from Wolf Performance Ammunition , a company in California that sells Russian-made cartridges to American gun owners. The company has also provided cartridges for Afghan soldiers and police officers, typically through middlemen. Its munitions can be found in Afghan government bunkers.

Once the ammunition has been sold, I don’t hold the U.S., or any manufacturer, is necessarily responsible for where that ammunition ends up being used. Even if the manufacturer has followed the letter of the law to it’s fullest intent, once another person(s) is in possession of said ammo, the black market is vast and easily accessible. Trying to hold the makers of the ammunition responsible for where it’s used, and for who uses it, would be as ridiculous as those that attempted to hold gun manufacturers responsible for crime. It’s simply not going to happen.

There is no evidence that Wolf, the Czech government or A.E.Y. knowingly shipped ammunition to Afghan insurgents. A.E.Y. was banned last year from doing business with the Pentagon, but its legal troubles stemmed from unrelated allegations of fraud.

I have heard it said, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”, the American military has great intentions, they are in Afghanistan simply because it IS the right thing to do, and the right place to do it. Our government, the Senate and House, have had a long history of supplying Afghan warriors with top shelf armaments. See Charlie Wilson’s War, a story that is as accurately presented as any movie I have ever seen.

We supplied the Taliban with the weapons they used to defeat the Soviets, now the corruption within the Afghan government is providing the Taliban with the weaponry that they need if they hope will be used to defeat us.

It’s a sad statement of affairs when your troops are facing death from enemies supplied with American ammunition and weapons.

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