Journal: How NOT to Decide on Afghanistan

02 China, 04 Inter-State Conflict, 05 Civil War, 05 Iran, 06 Russia, 08 Wild Cards, 10 Security, Ethics, Government, Methods & Process, Military, Policy, Reform, Strategy, Threats
Failure of HUMINT
Failure of HUMINT

The Real Reason for More Troops in Afghanistan

Michael Gaddy    October 20, 2009Anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of our quest for empire over the past six decades realizes that Obama’s contemplation of whether to send additional troops to Afghanistan is simply those who control him providing Obama with the opportunity to look “presidential.” The decision to send additional troops was reached prior to the situational comedy of General McChrystal’s leaked “confidential report” to the Washington Post and Obama’s National Security Advisor’s public admonishment of McChrystal’s failure to follow the chain of command. All of this is nothing but a well-rehearsed, though poorly camouflaged hoax. Additional troops will be sent to Afghanistan within a very short period of time and Obama really has no say in the matter. The question is: why?

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Journal: Afghanistan, Biden, Baer, & Brains

03 India, 04 Inter-State Conflict, 05 Civil War, 10 Security, Communities of Practice, Ethics, History, Peace Intelligence, Policy, Reform, Strategy, True Cost
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Rethink Afghanistan Part Six

Robert Baer, a former CIA field operative says, “The notion that we’re in Afghanistan to make our country safer is just complete bullshit… what it’s doing is causing us greater danger, no question about it. Because the more we fight in Afghanistan, the more the conflict is pushed across the border into Pakistan, the more we destabilize Pakistan, the more likely it is that a fundamentalist government will take over the army — and we’ll have Al-Qaeda like groups with nuclear weapons.”

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U.S. troop funds diverted to pet projects

Senators diverted $2.6 billion in funds in a defense spending bill to pet projects largely at the expense of accounts that pay for fuel, ammunition and training for U.S. troops. . . . . . .

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Why Joe Biden Should Resign

Citing a Newsweek story: “Can I just clarify a factual point? How much will we spend this year on Afghanistan?” Someone provided the figure: $65 billion. “And how much will we spend on Pakistan?” Another figure was supplied: $2.25 billion. “Well, by my calculations that’s a 30-to-1 ratio in favor of Afghanistan. So I have a question. Al Qaeda is almost all in Pakistan, and Pakistan has nuclear weapons. And yet for every dollar we’re spending in Pakistan, we’re spending $30 in Afghanistan. Does that make strategic sense?” The White House Situation Room fell silent.

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Journal: Defense Research, Science, & Technology

04 Inter-State Conflict, 10 Security, Commercial Intelligence, InfoOps (IO), Methods & Process, Military, Reform
Proprietary Black Box  Magic Happens Inside  Linked to TS/SCI Price List (Only Visible to Idiots)
Proprietary Black Box Expensive Classified Magic Happens Inside

DoD Suppressed Critique of Military Research

New DoD Website Fosters Secret Science

Phi Beta Iota:Two reports today confirm our grave doubts about the viability of U.S. Departemnt of Defense (DoD) research in general, and Science & Technology (S&T) in particular.  In combination with the known grid-loock and inherent loss of integrity within defense acquisition, these two reports suggest that the U.S. taxpayer will continue to pay more and more for less and less, while secrecy is used to avoid accountability.  It has long troubled us that in classifying deficiencies, DoD assures a lifetime monopoly on “fixes” to the people that created the deficiencies in the first place–they do not know what they do not know! DoD desperately needs a Chief Knowledge Officer (CKO) able to get a grip on all Human Intelligence (HUMINT) funded by the U.S. taxpayer.  Ideal would be an expansion of the Undersecretary of Defense of Intelligence so as to add this as an integrative ICT and HUMINT integration function, while also assuming collaborative oversight of the Inspector General and of Operational Test and Evaluation.  See the latest draft of the HUMINT Monograph for more information.

Journal: Early Warning on Further Destabilization from Afghanistan and India into Pakistan

04 Inter-State Conflict, 05 Civil War, 10 Security, Government, Military, Peace Intelligence
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In an exclusive interview with Foreign Policy Journal, retired Lt. Gen. Hamid Gul responds to charges that he supports terrorism, discusses 9/11 and ulterior motives for the war on Afghanistan, claims that the U.S., Israel, and India are behind efforts to destabilize Pakistan, and charges the U.S. and its allies with responsibility for the lucrative Afghan drug trade.

Ex-ISI Chief Says Purpose of New Afghan Intelligence Agency RAMA Is ‘to destabilize Pakistan’

August 12, 2009  by Jeremy R. Hammond

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Journal: The Afghanistan Impasse–Chuck Spinney Highlights NYT Review of Books

04 Inter-State Conflict, 10 Security, Military

The Afghanistan Impasse

By Ahmed Rashid New York Review of Books
Volume 56, Number 15 · October 8, 2009
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

To Live or to Perish Forever: Two Tumultuous Years in Pakistan by Nicholas Schmidle Henry Holt, 254 pp., $25.00

Amazon Page
Amazon Page
Seeds of Terror: How Heroin Is Bankrolling the Taliban and al Qaeda by Gretchen Peters Thomas Dunne/St. Martin’s, 300 pp., $25.95
Full Story with Spinney Highlights
Full Story with Spinney Highlights

Follow the Frog to the full article with Chuck Spinney’s highlights, nine pages in an easily downloaded document.

Highlights as we read them:

1) Massiviely fraudulent election in Afghanistan;

2) Military situation going from bad to worse for US and the (virtually non-existent) Afghan Army and Police;

3) Pakistan keeping 80% of its troops on the border with India;

4) Pakistan refusing to rein in its one really disciplined jihadist group that keeps attacking India (Mumbia plus).

Journal: Chuck Spinney Flags Words from the front line: the bloody truth of Helmand – by a combat soldier

04 Inter-State Conflict, 08 Wild Cards, 10 Security, Military
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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.

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Journal: Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’s Preemptive Damage Control [Manipulation of Anticipated Negative Information]

04 Inter-State Conflict, Military
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By Robert Haddick August 2009

After appointing Gen. Stanley McChrystal the new commander in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Robert Gates gave him two months to write an analysis of the situation there in yet another review of U.S. strategy. But after rumors leaked out that McChrystal would ask for another increase in U.S. troops, it appears that Gates decided he would not wait for McChrystal’s finished report. On Aug. 2, he summoned McChrystal and his deputy, Lt. Gen. David Rodriguez, to a hastily arranged meeting in Belgium which also included Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen, NATO commander Admiral James Stavridis, McChrystal’s direct boss Gen. David Petraeus, and under secretary of defense for policy Michele Flournoy.

On Aug. 5, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell briefed reporters on the results of the unusual Sunday meeting. According to Morrell, Gates instructed McChrystal to consider a few additional, and unspecified, issues in his report. Gates also instructed McChrystal to take more time, likely postponing the delivery of the report into September.

Finally, Morrell explained that McChrystal’s report will not include any discussion or request for additional “resources” (meaning U.S. troops and money) for Afghanistan. If McChrystal wants to make such a request, Morrell said, he will do so separately and at a later time.

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Journal: Marcus Aurelius Flags “The Losers Hang On”

04 Inter-State Conflict, 05 Civil War, 10 Security, Government, Military, Peace Intelligence
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Published: July 25, 2009

After spending a week traveling the frontline of the “war on terrorism” — from the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Ronald Reagan in the seas off Iran, to northern Iraq, to Afghanistan and into northwest Pakistan — I can comfortably report the following: The bad guys are losing.

Yes, the dominos you see falling in the Muslim world today are the extremist Islamist groups and governments. They have failed to persuade people by either their arguments or their performances in power that their puritanical versions of Islam are the answer. Having lost the argument, though, the radicals still hang on thanks to gun barrels and oil barrels — and they can for a while.

. . . . . . .

To the extent that the radical Islamists have any energy today, it comes not from the power of their ideas or examples of good governance, but by stoking sectarian feuds. In Afghanistan, the Taliban play on Pashtun nationalist grievances, and in Iraq, the Sunni jihadists draw energy from killing Shiites.

The only way to really dry up their support, though, is for the Arab and Muslim modernists to actually implement better ideas by producing less corrupt and more consensual governance, with better schools, more economic opportunities and a vision of Islam that is perceived as authentic yet embracing of modernity. That is where “our” allies in Egypt, Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan have so consistently failed. Until that happens, the Islamist radicals will be bankrupt, but not out of business.

+++++++Phi Beta Iota Editorial Comment+++++++

Most readers will focus on the beginning of Friedman’s story and completely miss the ending.  What Friedman does not state that needs stating over and over again is that the U.S. taxpayer is being cheated by a foreign policy that substitutes technology for thinking, military sales for strategy, and convenient dictators for democracy.  Until we have an Undersecretary of State for Democracy with one Assistant Secretary for those dictators that agree to a five-year exit strategy, another for those that do not; and a counterpart Undersecretary of Defense for Peace who can move beyond the lip service that Defense continues to give to Operations Other Than War (OOTW), Stabilization & Reconstructions (S&R), Humanitarian Assistance (HA), and the mother of all military strategies, Irregular Warfare properly defined as Waging Peace by All Means Possible,  we will continue to betray the public interest at home as well as abroad.

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