EXCLUSIVE: U.S. ignored warnings before deadly Afghan attack…Three intelligence reports dismissed days before eight U.S. soldiers killed
Bill Gertz, October 16, 2009
Army Maj. T.G. Taylor, a spokesman for the Army’s Task Force Mountain Warrior, told The Times that the three reports did not stand out among hundreds of others and that the intelligence was deemed to be not specific and uncorroborated.
The Economist October 17, 2009 Cover Story
Obama’s War: Why the Afghanistan war deserves more resources, commitment and political will
The coalition, however, lacks three essential components of a successful strategy. It needs a credible, legitimate government to work with, the resources to do the job and the belief that America’s president is behind this war.
Many Afghans find it bizarre that the West should devote so much money to Mr Karzai, yet be unable to hold him to account over something so basic as stuffing ballot boxes on an industrial scale. For most, however, the local and provincial leaders matter more than the distant central government.
The United States should first put an end to the war. The anti-terror war, which the former US administration of George W Bush launched in 2001, has turned out to be the source of ceaseless turbulence and violence in the past years.
To promote much-needed reconciliation among the parties concerned, the US should end its military action. The war has neither brought the Islamic nation peace and security as the Bush administration originally promised, nor brought any tangible benefits to the US itself. On the contrary, the legitimacy of the US military action has been under increasing doubt.
India Comments: China maps an end to the Afghan war
The China Daily makes several important points. First, it bluntly calls on Washington to forthwith bring the US military operations in Afghanistan to an end. There are no caveats here while making this demand, no alibis. Simply put, the war has only resulted in aggravating the political and social turmoil Afghanistan causing great turbulence and violence and it has brought neither peace and stability as the administration promised nor any “tangible benefits” to the US itself. “On the contrary, the legitimacy of the US militaryaction has been under increasing doubt.”
Clearly, therefore, the urgent necessity arises to promote reconciliation among the warring Afghan groups and this effort needs to commence with the US forthwith ending its military operations.
Phi Beta Iota: The USA would appear to be in a quagmire of its own making, one very likely to terminate the Obama Administration’s aspirations for a second term.
This summer the U.S. government has faced a deteriorating crisis in Afghanistan. Such crises tend to force policymakers to face up to the facile assumptions they have previously made. Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s report to his civilian masters on the faltering counterinsurgency campaign in Afghanistan has caused President Barack Obama and his advisers to face up to their basic assumptions about U.S. objectives and strategies for perhaps the first time. Obama and his team seem very likely to conclude from this long overdue examination of first principles that it will be impractical for the U.S. to successfully implement a counterinsurgency campaign plan in Afghanistan. McChrystal’s assessment has unwittingly tossed the U.S. military’s counterinsurgency field manual into the shredder. McChrystal’s report is brutally honest about the troubles in Afghanistan.
Click on title above for complete article, below for Phi Beta Iota comment and links to three “fix” pieces.
Phi Beta Iota: Despite the fact that Representative Hoekstra is now Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), neither of these two individuals (or their staffs) appear to know what it would take to do proper intelligence in Afghanistan; why their commentary is fifteen years too late; and/or why it is also moot in the absence of a coherent reality-based strategy and the rescinding of the existing rules of engagement that are incapcitating our troops. Both good men trapped in a bad system, they have no access to ground truth from iconoclasts and are a perfect reprise to the “best and the brightest” on Viet-Nam–brilliantly uninformed.
IN APRIL, the US Army published the “Commander’s Guide to Money as a Weapons System,’’ a handbook that provides guidance on how to use aid funding to win the support of the “indigenous population to facilitate defeating the insurgents.’’ This summer the US government indicated that it plans to nearly double (to $1.2 billion) the main fund military commanders in Afghanistan use to support projects intended to “win hearts and minds.’’
* Climate change seen hitting poor nations hardest
By Tsegaye Tadesse
ADDIS ABABA, Aug 24 (Reuters) – African leaders will ask rich nations for $67 billion per year from 2020 to cushion the impact of global warming on the world’s poorest continent, according to a draft resolution seen by Reuters on Monday.
. . . . . . .
A study commissioned by the Geneva-based Global Humanitarian Forum that was released in May said poor nations bear more than nine-tenths of the human and economic burden of climate change.
The 50 poorest countries, however, contribute less than 1 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions that scientists say are threatening the planet, the report said.
Phi Beta Iota: What Africa really lacks is a strategic analytic model such as developed by the Earth Intelligence Network. All ten threats must be evaluated and their causes mapped. At the same time, it has been established that the poor do as much or more damage to the environment than do corporations–giving Africa money in isolation from a larger analysis with targetted effects will be a waste–Africa merits both reparations for colonialism as well as strong support for the recapture of the hundreds of billions looted from Africa by its own leaders; AND a planned giving from both organizations and indiviudals, but it must have a strong continent-wide analytic foundation. Not there.
The past eight weeks have been the army’s worst time in Afghanistan since the US-led invasion eight years ago. Here, in his brutally frank diaries of life on the front line, a serving soldier records the bitter toll of death, and his anger and frustration at the lack of military and political support Mark Townsend The Observer, Sunday 23 August 2009.
EXTRACTS as Highlighted by Chuck Spinney:
We need better weapons. Every one of the SA80s stopped firing after one round (weapons were cleaned and oiled just as we were trained) but these weapons are a load of shit.
The chiefs should be pressing for a better weapons system. And why don’t the army have more sniffer dogs? Would be finding IEDs [improvised explosive devices] a lot easier with a furry friend running about and a lot more lives would be saved. Since I’ve been here, haven’t seen one dog. Told might have to go back to Camp Bastion because of injury.