Tag Archive for Afghanistan

President Trump’s Misplaced Faith in the Generals

Approximately, one month ago, President Trump tasked the Pentagon with delivering him a plan to defeat the Islamic State or IS.  What Trump failed to understand was the same people he tasked to solve the IS problem, were the same people that in a very large way created it.  His trusted circle of advisors not only are all products of an institution with a heavily flawed system of promotion, but collectively failed to deliver a winning strategy when they were in combatant command roles.  What kind of “solution” to IS does President Trump honestly think he will get from a group of institutionalized generals?  Does anyone want to bet it will be a “solution” that requires more war?  President Trump is literally asking “the swamp” to create his war policy and this is a fool’s errand.  Based on a 100% failure rate of our Generals this century, this is unfortunately another juncture where it is very easy to assess with high certainty that the “solutions” President Trump will be presented will turn into another policy disaster.  Both Presidents Bush and Obama suffered this hard lesson.  President Trump needs to trash these recommendations and look at completely different ways of soliciting policy if he is to defeat IS and make America great again.  This article is my attempt to speak truth to power and warn President Trump of the mistake he is making before it destroys his presidency. Read more

Global Updates: May 21, 2015

ISIL holds Ramadi: The White House, Defense Department, and Secretary of State have all down played the fall of Ramadi as a small “target of opportunity” and mild “setback.”  However, in reality, the fall of Ramadi was very foreseeable and a massive military disaster for the Iraqi government.  As I forecasted, Mosul would not be retaken anytime soon and the Obama strategy…or lack thereof, would be a total disaster.  See http://www.lastminutesurvival.com/2014/10/01/islamic-extremism-and-what-lies-ahead-part-ii-the-war-on-isis-and-syria/#more-699 Rather than being beat back, it is now highly likely that ISIL will continue to press its attack while the Iraqi Army is trying to regroup and capture large parts if not all of Fallujah.  If Fallujah falls, Baghdad will finally be seriously threatened by ISIL.

Sirte falls, ISIL takes 3rd major city in 48 hours:  In what is proving to be another example of Obama’s Foreign Policy disaster initiated under Secretary Clinton and amplified under Secretary Kerry, another major city has fallen to ISIL.  However, it is not in Syria or Iraq.  The city is in Libya.  Yes, the country Obama, Rice, Clinton, and Power “liberated” has now had the western city of Sirte overrun by radical Islamists loyal to ISIL.  According to my count that makes the score in just the last 48 hours 3 ISIL: 0 USA.  Ramadi, Palmyra, and now Sirte all have been overrun.  Even if ISIL can’t hold the ground, the fact they took down three major cities in just days is telling of how “successful” the US strategy to combat ISIL has been.  In fact, Obama’s “strategy” has been such a disaster, one would conclude that he couldn’t possibly have been that stupid and the only way this could be occurring was if it was his intent all along.  It is either amateur hour and Obama desperately needs to read some alternative news and hire new NSC advisors or the man is a traitor.

Russia no longer allowing NATO supplies to move across its borders to Afghanistan:  In another foreign policy disaster that has completely escaped the government media complex, Russia has now halted NATO supplies crossing its borders to Afghanistan.  I verbatim warned of this on March 23, 2014 saying the Russians could play this card in retaliation for NATO escalation in the Ukraine and make it extremely painful to maintain our troops in Afghanistan. http://www.lastminutesurvival.com/?s=russia+will+cut+supply+lines Now the US has only one supply route for its forces.  The unreliable and costly southern supply route begins in the Port of Karachi and runs north through Pakistan and into Afghanistan through extremely dangerous Taliban controlled provinces.  Each convoy that is allowed to pass through these areas pays a heavy toll, which in turn is then used to fund Taliban operations.  Further, Pakistan now has gained significant political leverage over Washington to extort any amount of money it wishes to allow passage of critical NATO supplies.  http://rt.com/news/259809-russia-stops-nato-afghanistan-cargo/

FBI making house calls to people concerned about Jade Helm 15:  In what could be viewed as a major escalation bolstering concerns amongst the public over the upcoming Jade Helm 15 exercise, FBI special agents have apparently begun making house calls to concerned citizens that have raised questions publicly.  http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/video-fbi-now-going-door-to-door-interrogating-americans-about-jade-helm-military-exercises-we-follow-pp-with-anything-like-that_05212015 Although, the special agents appear very polite and almost embarrassed to be performing the house calls, the fact they are knocking on doors is chilling.  Ironically, if the intent was to quell fears and concerns as the agents suggest, they are clearly having the exact opposite effect.  I doubt the special agents are so dumb that can’t figure this out, but why they are not speaking out about how ridiculous and counterproductive these visits are is disturbing.  Common sense tells you their real intent is to gauge the subject’s political views and whether or not to deem him a threat.  As agents, they should be well aware that people are allowed to have distrust of the government, dissent, and openly question authority especially, when it is launching an exercise designed to target American citizens in the US.  Whether the intent is to intimidate or not, it is clear field offices have been spun up to believe citizens that simply want the rule of law respected are now the threat.  This has been so hyped by DHS and the DOJ, it is coming at the expense of legitimate threats like MS13 and New Black Panther Party members publicly calling for the execution of police and making good on those threats.  The Justice Department will certainly spin this to say it is just doing its “due diligence” to make sure things are peaceful and safe, but anyone with half a brain sees the biased political motivations forcing agents out to conduct house calls on people that pose zero threat to anyone following the law and respecting the US Constitution.

China and US escalate tensions:  Recent moves by China to exclude airspace to US military aircraft has led to an increase in tensions.  However, this really has nothing to do with some small dots of islands, territorial integrity, or military development.  The deeper issue arising is that China has risen to a peer competitor level status with the US threatening the post-Bretton Woods financial establishment.  Historically, when the bankers were threatened it led directly to war and I doubt this will end differently.  Specifically, China has established a counter balance to the IMF that Washington desperately tried to stop and utterly failed to prevent.  This single act has broken the IMF/World Bank monopoly and the major banking families intend to make China pay for its actions.  Further, China has also been concluding multi-billion dollar oil/gas deals with Russia, which has undermined any ability Washington thought it had to isolate and strong-arm Russia.  In short, China is now seen as a real threat, but not to America, but rather, to the elites of the Western financial monopoly.  As such, you can bet you will see a strong shift toward painting China as a bigger and bigger existential military threat that very well could lead to the outbreak of war.

The US defeat in Afghanistan and its inevitable consequences

1

   From the beginning, we considered Afghanistan the more difficult war…it will be so even after we retreat.  The longest war in American history is coming to a close as an indecisive strategic defeat for the US and NATO just as I predicted over a decade ago.  The war was fought against an enemy with an extremely low level of capability, but our generals refused to recognize the critical importance of stopping the enemy’s movement to and from its cross-border sanctuary even when presented with overwhelming analyses.  Specifically, the failure of border security to be made a priority in the overall counterinsurgency strategy all but guaranteed the inevitable exhaustion and defeat of the occupation force.  Embarrassingly, the hard truth is the “most powerful” and certainly the most expensive military in history failed to decisively defeat the Taliban and Al Qaeda.  The US/NATO defeat was not for lack of manpower or firepower, it was a defeat born of intellectual incompetence and utter dereliction by our senior leadership.  Importantly, the critical failure responsible for the US/NATO defeat remains at the senior echelons within the US military and White House, is systemic, and remains uncorrected.  Now, just like in Iraq, we are told by President Obama and his appointees that Afghans will take over operations and complete the mission.  The chances of the Afghans defeating the Taliban are zero and we must be prepared for the inevitable consequences.

   First, I want to support my certainty that most of Afghanistan will be overrun by the Taliban.  To do this we need only to look at the current status of the war.  To date, the combined power of the US and NATO has after 14 years proved unable to defeat the Taliban.  However, we are told to believe by Obama and his generals that the Afghans, with a relative few Americans in support, will be capable of cleaning up the mess and decisively defeating the Taliban.  The result of this is another easily predictable, preordained defeat.  Afghanistan’s new president, Ashraf Ghani, simply will not be able to hold on to Kabul, much less the whole of Afghanistan, and will likely meet the same fate as his earlier predecessor Mohammad Najibullah Ahmadzai at the hands of the Taliban.  Further, it is appearing more likely that this will not just be a Taliban victory, but may be completed under the unified banner of ISIL. Read more

NATO Declares War in Afghanistan Over!…But forgets to inform the Taliban

After over a decade of fighting, the Afghan War ends in strategic defeat for the US and NATO

After over a decade of fighting, the Afghan War ends in strategic defeat for the US and NATO

On December 28, 2014, the US and NATO declared an end to the mission and therefore the war in Afghanistan. A Taliban statement from Zabihullah Mujahidon, a Taliban spokesman, left no doubt to how it was interpreted according to Reuters.

“ISAF rolled up its flag in an atmosphere of failure and disappointment without having achieved anything substantial or tangible.”

Washington may not like the statement and downplay it, but it doesn’t change the reality that the statement is accurate.  Not so ironically, the US and NATO have been mute over the success of the war.  No celebrations, no parades, no victory speeches…the absence of all of this should signal that our leaders know it was a failure.  In fact, not only did the combined force of NATO and the US not achieve a decisive victory over the Taliban, they suffered a strategic defeat.  Read more

The Disintegration of Iraq: US Military Action in Iraq neither Wise nor Suitable

As the hordes of American/Saudi/Qatari sponsored terrorists race across Iraq in what appears to be a blood orgy of Islamic extremism of the worst sort, Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki has appealed for help. Maliki’s forces, to include two divisions of American trained Iraqi soldiers, have broken and fled leaving all of their equipment behind to the attacking extremist army. Although, I believe the takfir blitzkrieg will be blunted once it hits Shia neighborhoods as it presses its advance into Baghdad and initially bypass the city for key oil infrastructure, it is clear Maliki has lost control of what used to be Iraq. In spite of the incompetence of the White House and senior advisors, this occurred exactly as we have been warning and predicted over a year ago.

See:

http://www.blackboxwire.com/2014/03/17/pm-maliki-accuses-qatar-and-saudi-arabia-of-waging-war-against-iraq/

http://www.blackboxwire.com/2014/01/31/the-rise-of-the-islamic-state-of-the-levant-as-iraq-fractures-so-does-the-middle-east/

http://www.blackboxwire.com/2014/01/10/as-we-predicted-syrian-and-iraqi-civil-wars-merge-as-president-obamas-claims-of-a-defeated-al-qaeda-crumble/

http://www.blackboxwire.com/2013/05/12/iraqs-descent-back-into-violence/

http://www.blackboxwire.com/2014/02/05/the-other-shoe-drops-syrian-kurds-declare-independence/

http://www.blackboxwire.com/2013/09/09/al-qaeda-rebels-in-syria-begin-killing-kurds/

http://www.blackboxwire.com/2013/09/09/media-missed-the-biggest-coup-in-the-middle-east-and-it-wasnt-in-egypt/

Now that Iraq has fully disintegrated, the Kurds are now effectively independent, the Sunni areas are consolidated under extremist Sharia rule, and the Shia areas are left relying on Iran to save them from being completely massacred and conquered. This critical juncture has policy makers grappling with whether or not to send in US military support to which I emphatically warn is a horrible idea. I say again, INTERVENTION IS A HORRIBLE IDEA!

Now that Iraq has collapsed, many in the US are demanding the US military again be deployed to defend “gains” previously made in Iraq. These individuals are the same hacks that never fought in a war and led US “strategy” to a complete failure in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact many of these snake oil policy makers hid from reckless wars like former Ambassador John Bolton and profit handsomely from the industry of war. Further, when one hears Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain expound upon how the US must bomb the extremist army before it seizes Baghdad, consider these are the same senators that also demanded that President Obama do more in Syria to arm this very same army and bomb President Assad. Ironically, it was Assad that has been fighting this extremist army from the beginning and pleading for help from the international community. Further, it was Russia that warned the US that this army was in fact composed of radical extremists, but we ignored them and called them liars when it was the US that was lying. After all, we knew from the beginning the army was made of jihadists because the CIA’s ground branch is what organized, armed, and trained this army. If you do not see the obvious hypocrisy, bias, lobbyist dollars, and stupidity all wrapped up in US Middle East Policy, you should remove the blindfold now and engage your faculties of logic.

The problem with the logic of intervention in Iraq is multifaceted. First of all, it completely ignores the fact that just across the Iraqi border to the west in Jordan, Syria, and Turkey, the US is covertly and now clandestinely (yes, these are different) arming, training, and equipping these terrorists to fight Syrian President Assad, which I have argued from its covert beginnings could only end bad. Second, to believe an overthrow of Maliki’s government somehow translates to lost gains presumes one actually bought into the White House’s lies and propaganda respective of accomplishing anything decisive in Iraq. The reality is the US was strategically defeated in Iraq and used the hand over and pullout as a face saving maneuver to explain its retreat. I would invite anyone that disagrees with the notion of US defeat in Iraq to attempt to walk through Iraq without being killed, kidnapped, or imprisoned. Note that we will see this strategic defeat repeated in Afghanistan. However, in Afghanistan, it will be to greater American detriment since we are currently planning on leaving 10,000 personnel in that country to be captured in killed by the Taliban when they launch their offensive to regain power shortly after the US reaches the 10,000 level of troops. Third, Iraq refused (to no angst of President Obama, who was looking for an excuse to pullout) to agree to a status of forces agreement (SOFA), which would have provided legal protections to any potential future US forces stationed in Iraq. Without a SOFA in place, US personnel could be tried under Iraqi law. As a soldier that potentially would have to kill an Iraqi in self-defense, the prospect of being tried for “murder” in Iraq made any future garrisoning of troops in Iraq untenable. Finally, it is insane to think that the US can drop a few bombs and stem the tide of events in Iraq. Events have long moved beyond the effectiveness of a few bombing raids. We spent a decade vainly trying to subdue Sunni extremists while simultaneously being attacked by Sadr’s Iranian backed Shia forces. Both sides hate us and have proven they prioritize killing Americans above killing each other. To this end, American intervention would only waste more precious blood and treasure that we can ill afford.

To avoid another quagmire, it would be best to stop aiding terrorists in Syria as a reasonable start. We should then be quite content to let the factions fight it out amongst themselves while reinforcing the Kurds and letting Assad press the extremist army from the west. In particular, the Kurds have access to ample oil, are better fighters than the Arabs, have a functioning government and infrastructure, hold a strategic geographical position and are welcoming of US bases, have proven to be pro-American, and are religiously moderate. The US Department of State, for reasons that in all respects appear to be a systemic ethnic prejudice, has persistently degraded US relations with the Kurds and at every opportunity placed Kurdish interests far below Sunni and Shia interests in Iraq. If there was ever a time to change policy and embrace the Kurds, now would be it. Finally, the US must address and stop Saudi Arabia. Saudi funding is the true catalyst of the Islamic extremist movement. The US has turned a blind eye to Saudi actions far too long and it is time the US demands Saudi Arabia stops the exportation of Wahhabism and capture, kill, and or arrest the senior Saudis responsible for the export of terrorism. Continuing to ignore the Saudi gorilla in the room is tantamount to knowingly fighting the wrong adversary while simultaneously claiming to be confused why they real enemy is still growing stronger and able to attack you. After all, it is no surprise that since the “War on Terrorism” began, Islamic extremism has done nothing but expand and strengthen. Might that have something to do with the fact we are fighting a faux war against the wrong enemy? Mark my words, until someone dismantles the Saudi extremist industry, the threat of Islamic extremism will continue to spread and grow. Radical sharia law is already upon our doorsteps, but for reasons of political correctness, ignorance, and or lobbyist dollars, our government has been derelict to the point of treason addressing the growing existential Saudi threat.

By Guiles Hendrik
June 22, 2014
All rights reserved.

Truth Trickles Out: Afghanistan troop cuts will likely lead to Taliban surge, study warns (Surprise…exactly as we predicted)

March 3, 2014: Our track record continues its pristine record of accurately cutting through the lies and deception and correctly forecasting the impact of United States’ policy.  In one of the most recent reveals, it took a gold star panel of overpaid, retired bureaucrats and generals (forgive me if I am redundant) to “discover” that NATO’s optimistic predictions for Afghanistan’s future, contrived at its 2012 Chicago summit, were ridiculously flawed.  The study conducted by the “nonpartisan” think tank CNA concluded that stability in Afghanistan will require tens of thousands more troops costing billions more dollars than NATO envisioned at its 2012 summit.  The review,conducted at the behest of the Pentagon’s policy directorate, found that the Taliban insurgency is likely to swell in the years following the upcoming US and NATO military withdrawal, which contradicts the expectations set at NATO’s May 2012 summit. The review also saw widespread deficiencies in NATO’s planning for Afghanistan manpower, logistics, air support and ministerial strength.

As we reported previously, it was readily apparent to anyone willing to take an unbiased look at the situation in Afghanistan that our counterinsurgency strategy “coined” (pun intended) by strategic snake oil salesmen like disgraced General David Petraeus, Australian “fiction author” David Kilcullen, and RAND Associate Director/Mental Incompetent Seth Jones was an abject failure.  In particular, sealing the border connecting Afghanistan to Pakistan, the single most critical element required to win in Afghanistan, was not even attempted and discounted by the brain trust listed above.  Further, the brain trust relied nearly exclusively on financial aid (bribes which ultimately funded the Taliban) and training of the Afghan police and military (soon to just be a well trained and equipped Taliban army), which has again proven to have no historical precedent for success in warfare.  The damning Government Accountability Office (GAO) study (http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d1166.pdf) sums up this situation succinctly stating: “The Afghan government and international community have set an objective of having the Afghan army and police lead and conduct security operations in all Afghan provinces by the end of 2014. As of September 2010, no ANA unit was assessed as capable of conducting its mission independent of coalition assistance.”  After a decade and almost a trillion dollars of direct and indirect spending the US had effectively trained a whopping 0% of the Afghan Army to operate on its own!  Anyone that thought just a few hundred billion more dollars and a couple more years would change this was stupid or lying…perhaps both.  I am honestly sick of listening to these idiots create policy after policy on how to “win” in Afghanistan when none of them have a lick of sense, have been in an actual firefight firsthand, or can show that a single policy they recommended led to a decisive US victory.  Of course many excuses were put forth, but the reality was something much deeper as those with functional brains recognized.  The fact was that victory was impossible without the will to actually fight a war to decisive ends, which required the US to have a coherent strategy, competent leadership, the ability to unilaterally run the Afghan government, and the “US” military (not the Afghan enemy) to prosecute a war of attrition across the border into Pakistan and wipe out millions of Pashtuns.  None of these necessary conditions were in place, which created an insurmountable situation in Afghanistan in respect to achieving a decisive victory.

Not so ironically, the review comes as the US policy makers realize they must retreat out of Afghanistan in defeat and will need an alibi to cloak their failure.  Dusting off the Iraq playbook, it should come as no surprise the US, after “exhausting all options with an intractable President Karzai,” will have to pull its troops out of Afghanistan because he won’t sign a status of forces agreement (SOFA).  The spin will be used to justify Bush and now Obama’s military defeats, but don’t expect anyone to question Jay Carney about why after invading, occupying, killing over a hundred thousand people, and placing our puppet in charge that we somehow are now unable to stay because of minor bureaucratic red tape.  The weakness of the public mind knows no bottom.

The CNA review panel at least is correct in recognizing the persistent Taliban insurgency will mount an increased threat to the Afghan government for years after the envisaged NATO withdrawal. The CNA team’s prediction of an increased Taliban threat to Afghanistan through 2018, supported by a recent US intelligence assessment, “stands in direct contradiction to the assumption of a reduced insurgent threat made at the Chicago Summit,” the report states. This is about as much credit as I can give the CNA team.  Beyond this, their analysis becomes pure garbage and it is nauseating to think how many tax dollars were spent on this trash.

The problem with the study is the CNA panel falls short on accurately getting the present facts right and thus, utterly blows their long term forecasted endstate, which predicts a stalemate.  “We conclude that this force is not likely to defeat the Taliban militarily, but that if it can hold against the Taliban insurgency through 2018, the likelihood of a negotiated settlement to the war will increase,” the CNA review found.  The reality is that every province that has been turned over to the Afghan military has effectively been turned over to Taliban control.  The Taliban have outlasted the US, NATO, and the Afghan military for over a decade.  The Taliban will make short work of the Afghan military one on one.  To think they will be looking for a “negotiated settlement” is utter insanity.  The Taliban will defeat and absorb the Afghan army rapidly.  As the last US forces pull out of Afghanistan the Taliban will mount a full scale assault on Kabul to retake the country.  This will leave the situation on the ground almost the same as the US found it in 2001 with the difference being the Taliban are far more numerous, better trained, better armed, better organized, and with an earned hatred of the US.  In a laughable twist to counter this, the CNA team advises (remember, the team is made of “senior” policy makers and generals) the Pentagon to keep international military advisers in the Afghanistan ministries of defense and interior through “at least” 2018 to mitigate long-term problems, including corruption and incompetence.  After reading this, I was left with zero doubt why the Taliban have outlasted the US military.  Our leaders are idiots.  It is a joke to propose that a few advisors will save the day.  Equally blind is the notion that corruption and incompetence, not a viable enemy at the gates will be the big problem for the encircled Karzai regime.  Even with a large number of troops and advisors in country right now, the US has failed to accomplish defeating the military or rooting out corruption.  After thousands of Americans have been killed in this useless war, there still is not even the slightest spark of logic or integrity within the senior echelon and the apathetic public remains in a mute, trance like state when it comes to calling out President Obama and his mob of derelict morons driving the US off a policy cliff.

To conclude, make no mistake of these facts and further predictions.  One, the US suffered a strategic defeat in Afghanistan.  Two, the US will use the failure, albeit an intentional failure, to sign a SOFA (agreement) as a means to save face as it retreats.  Three, the Taliban will retake the country and will be more powerful than they ever could have been if the US did not invade back in 2001.  Four, the Karzai puppet regime will not last to 2018 and Karzai will most likely be killed or flee back to Europe where he hid billions of US aid in complicit Swiss and Dubai banks.  Fifth, in absence of a war in Afghanistan and a failing domestic economy, the US will start wars elsewhere to feed the coffers of the Congressional-Military-Industrial Complex and distract the unemployed masses back in the US.

By Guiles Hendrik

March 3, 2014

All rights reserved.

The Forgotten War: Afghanistan 12 Years Later

America’s war against Al Qaeda terrorists in Afghanistan began over 12 years ago last week.  This grim milestone came and went with no media coverage even as some of America’s best men and women were killed there in combat this week.  Now, in the lead up to a complete US military withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014, it is blatantly clear our pessimistic analytical forecast for Afghanistan has proved accurate.  Today we will recap the state of affairs of the War in Afghanistan and what to expect in the coming months.

The Obama Administration is quick to broadcast anything it can spin as good news.  The opposite is true of bad news so it is telling that it has maintained a near total media blackout on Afghanistan.  Making President Obama’s whitewash of the dire state of the war even feasible has been a complicit media and their absolute dereliction of a social responsibility to be the watchdog of the government.  This is the same biased media that broadcast images from the Iraq War around the clock during the Bush Administration, but now suddenly has nothing to report respective of the on-going Afghanistan War.  The truth the Obama Administration and his media henchmen are hiding is that the war has gone horribly wrong and the US is rapidly retreating in defeat.

I for one hate the notion of defeat and am incredibly ashamed of even the notion that the US could allow itself to be defeated in a war.  One would think that our nation’s leaders learned something from the Vietnam catastrophe, but then again, most of our leaders on both sides of the aisle were draft dodgers, cowards, potheads, and never served a day in the military.   Considering this, one should not be surprised to find out the Taliban are alive and well.  Not only have the Taliban weathered the full onslaught of a combined US, NATO, and Afghan military force for over a decade, but they are now more numerous, control more territory, and are better armed, trained, and equipped than they were when the US entered the war in 2001.  The Taliban still have the will and capability to fight and still take to the battlefield.  By any measure of warfare, if an invading army is forced from the battlefield and ultimately from the land which it invaded while the opposing army still holds that ground, the army that retreated was defeated.  If the media and the Obama Administration were honest and upfront with the American people, they would report that they never so much as fully secured a single province in Afghanistan.  As quickly as the US has handed over these still contested provinces to the “Afghans,” they have been taken over by the “Afghan Taliban.”  The latest sign of this came on September 13, 2013 when Taliban insurgents nearly overran the US Consulate in Herat, Afghanistan.  Not only was this attack just 48 hours after the anniversary of the attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, but it was in a far western area of Afghanistan that previously was thought to be immune from Taliban influence.  Soon there will be no more US military forces in Afghanistan to come to the aid of these diplomatic enclaves.  When that day comes in just a few months, the US will be forced to quickly withdraw its last remaining diplomats in defeat.

Afghanistan has been an unsustainable war from the very beginning due to the lack of genius in our senior military officers, our unwillingness to pursue the actual enemy into Pakistan, self-defeating strategies, and the ultimate failure to recognize the strategic importance of sealing the Afghan-Pakistan border.  Our failure to neutralize and or destroy the Taliban safe haven across the border in Pakistan, has allowed the Taliban to wait out the US just as they did the Soviets.  Inside Pakistan’s safe haven, the Taliban fighters receive arms, training, funding, and sanctuary from the Pakistani government…the same government we give over $5 billion in annual aid to (read self-defeating strategy).  While the Taliban organize, train, and equip in Pakistan, the US has spent over a trillion dollars vainly setting up forward operating bases all over the desolate wasteland where the sole mission has become clearing roadways of improvised explosive devices so that the troops can get supplies to their remote bases so they can clear the roads so they can get in supplies, etc. etc. etc.  At no point in this ridiculous slow bleed strategy did our troops ever come close to strategic and decisive gains against the Taliban.  Instead, we spent and bled our nation to defeat without the Taliban having to do more than push an occasional button on an explosive device produced in Pakistan or shoot one of our soldiers in the back while dining together.  This absolute disaster of a war is a testament to the massive amount of money the US taxpayer has been forced to waste on a military bureaucracy so large and unwieldy that defies description.  Until the Department of Defense (DOD) can show that it can actually win a war the budget should be slashed, slashed some more, and then cut in half again.  If the politics won’t allow for a war to be fought, then we shouldn’t fight wars and waste money on our massive and dysfunctional military.  We don’t need smart bombs, we need leaders with the will to fight and win.  That said, without any doubt, for probably under what the DOD spent in a week on the Afghanistan War, a small contingent of country boys sporting nothing but scoped deer rifles, good leadership, and freedom of action could have decisively defeated the Taliban and ended the war in Afghanistan in just a few months.

Not only is the war unsustainable for the US, but also the Afghan government.  Over a hundred Afghan soldiers a week are killed, many times more are wounded, and even more defect to the Taliban.  The situation is so bad that the Department of Defense made it official policy to no longer report the number of Afghan casualties out of fear of losing all moral in the Afghan National Army.  Remember too that the mauling the Afghan military is incurring is with the help of NATO/US forces in Afghanistan to include air support.  Once the US and NATO pull out, the Afghan National Army will face total defeat as it dissolves into a more formalized Taliban Army.

Collapse is now imminent in Afghanistan.  Perhaps six months to a year separate the current state of affairs from a Taliban takeover of most of the country.  As the US accelerates its withdrawal, the Taliban will begin to operate more overtly in Afghanistan seizing at first greater footholds in the regional villages and towns and then overwhelming major cities.  Kandahar may again be one of the first cities to fall to the Taliban as soon as the spring of 2014.  Once Kandahar and surrounding provinces fall fully back into the Taliban’s (Pakistan’s) hands, it will only be a matter of months before Kabul falls under heavy attack and is overrun.  President Karzai will most likely do what he did before and flee his country to save his own skin.  This time though Karzai will flee with over a billion dollars (compliments of the US taxpayer by way of the CIA) hidden away, rather overtly, in Swiss and Dubai bank accounts to live out his days in Europe as his countrymen suffer the aftermath of his corrupt regime.  One can only hope he is forced to stay and weather whatever consequences the war may bring as the captain should either save the ship or sink with it.  In the interim, Afghanistan will exist as the world’s premier narco-state with President Karzai the undisputed cartel leader.

Make no mistake that any notion the US will be able to maintain a footprint in Afghanistan once the pull out begins is an illusion.  I can’t say for sure whether our leadership in the US is just that dumb to believe we will be able to stay (they are building a billion dollar embassy in Kabul) or is simply lying to provide top cover while we retreat.  Nonetheless, the result will be the same.  Think Saigon circa 1975.  To say the least, we will be lucky to have an exit as orderly as the Soviets.  If we are so lucky, it is only because the Taliban correctly assessed that it was in their best interests to simply let us leave as soon as possible while saving up their strength for a full offensive.  Once NATO has gotten out of the way, the Taliban will move to finish the civil war they started before the US invasion.

As the last troops retreat out of Afghanistan in defeat the military-industrial-complex will be faced with a dire situation.  The situation will be one of reduced budgets and no pressing war to sell their wares.  This means the titans of defense will lose billions of dollars and tens of thousands of Americans will be put out of work.  As such, we predict the military-industrial-complex will work closely behind the scenes with Congress to engineer a new war before the complete end to operations in Afghanistan.  The most likely candidate for this will be a war with Iran via Syria.  This war, as we have repeatedly warned, will be a complete disaster on a scale unprecedented in American history.  In fact the consequences could be so dire that historians may very well point to the folly as the end of the Republic.

Please remember our troops on the ground fighting in Afghanistan…they are the real victims of bad leadership, yet bravely stand their posts.

By Guiles Hendrik

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Failure in Afghanistan Slowly Creeps into National Dialogue

With little fanfare, media hype, or public outcry the inevitable conclusion that the War in Afghanistan is a failure has begun to take root in the public as well as political psyche.  Slowly but surely the media has quietly, but definitely begun to write the closing chapters on one of the greatest American foreign policy disasters since Vietnam.  Perhaps this quiet acquiescence is the result of media bias and its gross protectionist agenda for President Obama or perhaps this is simply the last whimpers of a nation overcome and war weary.

On March 19th, Afghanistan’s presidential spokesman Aimal Faizi adequately described the state of the NATO-led military operation in the country as “aimless and unwise.”  He specifically said, “The people of Afghanistan ask NATO to define the purpose and aim of the so-called war on terror… (They) consider this war as aimless and unwise to continue.”  Both the American war fighters and the Afghans have known this fact for years.  It now appears that only our senior policy makers are left believing their own propaganda as they tenaciously try to divert criticism from their own failed strategies and policies just long enough to retire or blame someone else.  It is worth noting that pundits will still correlate the daily “defeat” of the Taliban on the battlefield with victory in Afghanistan.  These grossly false conclusions should serve to fully discredit whoever was dumb enough to make the statement.  Just as in Vietnam for the U.S. and in Afghanistan for the Soviets, simple defeat of the insurgent on the battlefield is not enough to win the war.  Over the years we have written profusely about this reality to include directly indicting the failure of then General Petraeus’ counterinsurgency strategy.  Specifically, we identified the failure of the strategy to remove sanctuary and or secure the border, which even a basic knowledge of insurgent warfare shows is the absolute key essential to winning a cross-border, state supported insurgency such as we are fighting in Afghanistan.

Only in hindsight will the true magnitude of the United States’ defeat in Afghanistan be realized.  What can be assured is that by the oldest historical metric of victory in warfare, the force that holds the ground at the end of the day has won, the U.S. has lost.  There is no doubt that the Taliban is in firm control of not just some, but more of Afghanistan than before the U.S. invasion.  In fact, the Taliban have even extended control throughout regions that the “Northern Alliance” formerly controlled and the pseudo-experts like David Kilcullen deemed “immune.”  This includes expanding across the border into Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.  Further, Pakistan has continued to allow sanctuary and provide covert support to the Taliban unabated by drone strikes and bolstered by U.S. foreign aid, which all but assures the imminent overthrow of Karzai’s puppet regime in Kabul.

As NATO shutters its operations and begins its long overdue pullout the costs are immense and are only now beginning to be counted.  Thousands of dead and wounded, incalculable numbers of broken families, trillions of dollars in un-repayable debt, economic devastation, obliteration of national prestige, and the massive growth and spread of radical Islamism are just the highlights.  Our performance in Afghanistan has been so dismal, one could make a legitimate argument that if the U.S. had done absolutely nothing after 9/11 as compared to over a decade of warfare, the U.S. would be in a better strategic position today.  The trillions of dollars dedicated to our high tech military supremacy simply was not enough to overcome even the lowest level of military threats and is due almost exclusively to the intellectual dereliction of our policy makers and poor leadership.

If this has taught us nothing else, it should serve as a stark warning against future intervention in places like Mali, Somalia, Libya, and Syria and most certainly, a full blown war with Iran or North Korea.  Further, it serves as a reminder of how futile spending money on equipment and weapons is if there isn’t the leadership capable of designing and implementing effective strategic policy.  If the U.S. fails to heed these warnings, the U.S. will find itself embroiled in another strategic disaster before the end of 2013.  Eerily similar to the lead-up to the Soviet defeat and withdrawal from Afghanistan, the U.S. finds itself bankrupt and dangerously strategically overextended on the eve of its retreat from Afghanistan in 2014.  If the U.S. falls victim in its weakened state to another war and policy disaster, it could spell at minimum, the economic collapse of the U.S.

See the below articles for further references to the U.S. failure in Afghanistan:

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/03/04/what_went_wrong?page=0,3

http://www.france24.com/en/20130319-afghan-spokesman-labels-nato-war-aimless-unwise

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=b22_1363444518&comments=1

http://www.saveamericafoundation.com/2013/03/19/america-has-won-her-last-war-a-lack-of-courage-a-loss-of-will-by-j-d-longstreet/

http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2013/03/08/iraq-afghanistan-and-the-end-of-winning-wars

http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/2219845279001/afghan-president-accuses-us-of-collusion-with-taliban/

 

By Guiles Hendrik

Assessing the Success of the War on Terror Part I: Pakistan and the Failure of the Drone Strategy

As the never ending War on Terror drags on into the fourth consecutive presidential term without any decisive gains, one must question not only the effectiveness and strategy, but also our very leadership.  Nowhere is the ground truth more palpable than in western Pakistan.  Since President Obama took office and significantly increased drone strikes against alleged terrorist targets, America’s ability to safely operate and influence events in the country in a manner favorable to the United States has inversely deteriorated.  This is a direct result of America’s flawed drone strategy, which has strategically weakened the U.S. in Pakistan.

According to Gallup’s poll just released, more than nine in 10 Pakistanis (92%) disapprove of U.S. leadership and only 4% approve. Remarkably, this is the lowest approval rating Pakistanis have ever given the U.S. and its leadership.  This is noteworthy as President Obama’s ratings in Pakistan have sunk far below even those of the much criticized President George W. Bush.  Further, and more ominous, 57% of Pakistanis aged 15 to 29 and 53% of those 30 or older, deem interaction with the West as a threat.

Numerous explanations for this near total disdain for the U.S. have been suggested.  What is clear is that prior to the U.S. prosecuting the War on Terror via drones inside Pakistan, Americans enjoyed relative safety and warm relations.  As such, only a fool would be unable to make the connection between drone strikes, the violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty, and growing hatred of the U.S.  Pakistan’s Ambassador to the U.S.  Sherry Rehman makes this much explicit in her comments to reporters two days before President Obama’s nominee to be the next head of the Central Intelligence Agency, John Brennan’s, Congressional Testimony.  Ambassador Rehman expressed Islamabad’s view that America’s continued deployment of drones was a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and was strategically counter-productive.  Specifically, she stated “We need to drain this swamp and instead it [the drone campaign] is radicalizing people.”  Rehman went on to say “It creates more potential terrorists on the ground and militants on the ground instead of taking them out.  If it’s taking out, say, a high-value or a medium-value target, it’s also creating probably an entire community of future recruits.”  Her statements are corroborated by a Pew research poll conducted last year that showed 74% of Pakistanis termed the U.S. as an “enemy.”

Our senior policy makers have failed to grasp strategy at the strategic level.  At best, they are fighting a tactical war.  Our leaders have proven themselves amateurs that are unable to mitigate and defeat even the lowest echelon of threats facing the U.S.  Further, they have no appreciation of the historical precedent respective of the use of limited cross-border strikes against insurgent type threats.  Had they done their homework and studied cross-border insurgencies, they would know that these limited surgical strikes are counter-productive just as Ambassador Rehman states.  In fact, no matter how great the tactical gains achieved are, they never result in decisive strategic gains and in fact, result in a sum net strategic loss.  Thus, war strategies reliant on limited cross-border strikes, such as our drone strikes in Pakistan, have a near perfect correlation with the counterinsurgent’s failure or better stated, the insurgent’s victory.  No further proof of this need be generated than a simple review of the contemporary hostile sentiment towards America in Pakistan.

In our Part II of this series, we will look in more detail at the results of America’s flawed strategy that has caused the spread of radical Islam across the globe, made Al Qaeda franchise, and perpetuated a fear culture to fuel unending war.

 

Sources:

http://www.gallup.com/poll/160439/2012-pakistani-disapproval-leadership-soars.aspx?utm_source=alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=syndication&utm_content=morelink&utm_term=All%20Gallup%20Headlines%20-%20USA

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-21389200