UPDATED with Comment from O-5 (at end).
This email is from an active duty colonel who travels all over Afghanistan. He actually goes on foot patrols with troops to see things for himself. Here is his latest report. His message is bad Ju Ju, I am afraid.
La Ciotat, France
The mendacity is getting so egregious that I am fast losing the ability to remain quiet; these yarns of “significant progress” are being covered up by the blood and limbs of hundreds – HUNDREDS – of American uniformed service members each and every month, and you know that the rest of this summer is going to see the peak of that bloodshed.
The article by Michael O’Hanlon last week (i.e. Success worth paying for in Afghanistan) and the one in today’s WSJ by Kagan and Kagan (i.e., We Have the Momentum in Afghanistan) made me sick to my stomach – especially the latter. Have you seen it yet? It is the most breathless piece of yellow journalism I’ve seen in the entire OIF-OEF generation.
According to the Kagans, “If Mr. Obama announces the withdrawal of all surge forces from Afghanistan in 2012, the war will likely be lost. Al Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and other global terrorist groups will almost certainly re-establish sanctuaries in Afghanistan. The Afghan state would likely collapse and the country would descend into ethnic civil war. The outcome of this withdrawal policy would be far worse than Nixon’s decision to accept defeat in Vietnam, for it would directly increase the threat to the American homeland. Apparently they forgot, “there’s a commie behind every bush,” “the Russians are coming!” and “if Vietnam falls, all of Asia falls to the Communists!” That logic was absurd in the 1960/70s, and its even more laughable today – or it would be laughable if it didn’t cost so damn many American lives to prop up the fantasy.
These people are actually arguing for increased involvement. In fact, they are saying that we should expect high casualties this summer (after which – without explanation – we’ll have beaten the TB in the south), then we’ll move the troops up to RC-East where there’s still a lot of fighting – and as a result, we’ll have another spike in the ‘fighting season’ of 2013, after which (according to the neat schedule the Kagans map out) we’ll be ready to hand over control of the country to GoIRA and the ANSF on schedule in 2014.
It’s sheer madness, and so far as I can tell, in the mainstream media and reputable publications, it is going almost entirely without challenge.
COMMENT from O-5 still in-country:
I spent time with the Kagan’s while in Kabul. They are a mouthpiece for the Command and are used to put forth a point of view that supports the MICC….the use of IO as defined by the Army. They tend to beat the drum that espouses the views that the command wishes the public to embrace.
The data does not support the reporting out of Afghanistan. While there was a lull toward the end of May, there was no precipitous drop overall from the Fall through Winter to Spring fighting season (Check with John
There are at least three distinct efforts going on, the South (Omar’s Taliban), the East (Haqqani’s Taliban) and the North (IMU/HIG). Since ISAF does not see fit to make distinctions about groups operating in Afghanistan since it requires them to actually depict that there are differences in goals by the insurgents.
As a note, ethnic fighting won’t happen, but there remains a chance of civil war…..but then that is nothing new in Afghanistan.
Phi Beta Iota: We have been saying the same thing for years. Our “leaders” lack integrity across the board. Our flag officers and senior executive officers have “sold out” and substituted craven obedience to the chain of command instead of loyalty to the Constitution and the Republic as required by their oaths of commission. This is not a new problem–but now it matters more because we are much closer to catastrophic melt-down.