Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Lying Eyes

Oh brilliant. Is that what made Britain great?
"I'm so sorry, I made a mistake." What have you

got for a brain -- spongecake?

--Fawlty Towers
, John Cleese

AMMO (df.): Tough love

--Bird Waring, WaPo


In a familiar story last week, U.S. Special Forces killed 15 people in Afghanistan and paid $4o,000 to their relatives. Why? Because the dead were civilians mixed in with known insurgents that were the target of the raid. So sorry.

How do these unfortunate events happen? Because the force guiding and ruling that country comes from the barrel of U.S. military firepower. The U.S. Special Operations Forces did not, will not and shall not coordinate their activities with Afghan units because they do not trust them, either due to their incompetance, corruption or collusion with the Taliban (Gates: More Troops for Aghanistan.

The payout ($40,000 for the 15 dead) is not a lot. But surely enough to buy a new AK 47 with three extra mags and a thousand rounds of ammunition. That is how this money will express its condolences.

One of the Big Lies of COIN policy is that the U.S. is there to gain allies and to help the Army and Police control their country.
Never mind that democracies are not controlled by police and army forces.

If the U.S. doesn't work with them at the unit level, how is there any possibility of reaching a strategic national goal? Our distrust gives lie to the idea that we are there for their benefit.

U.S. actions in theatre have nothing to do with democracy, nor does the Afghan government at any level demonstrate a democratic ideal. If it will lead to increased security for America, the mechanism by which it will do so is also hidden from us.

Killing Taliban riflemen is great training and must be operationally a feel-good moment, but the cost of each death is more than U.S. society should be willing to pay. If their respective governments wish to kill them, let them, but internal squabbles are not problems of the U.S. president.

30,000 more troops will not address the issue: Afghanistan's security is an Afghan issue, not a U.S. Army function. It is a U.S. function only if we are working as connected allies, which is not the case.

Obama was elected to solve U.S. problems; Karzai, Afghanistan's. The two are distinct.

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Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

the biggest thing you need to be able to count on in COIN is the support of the population, and the assistance and faith of the "allied" forces.

while i have come to understand the ARVN's as being, for the rank and file, in an absolutely untenable position. my contacts, and associations with their officer corps, and the government of RVN was one of nearly total, to a person, corruption.

the teams worked very closely with the "kit carson" scouts. as a southwestern native american, i saw the rich irony of that a lot better than most of my fellows. as soon as you left the field and entered into the command structure, the army, the provincial and city governments were awash with folks trying to loot as much as they could before the inevitable, and hastily looming big didi.

afghanistan is much like that. we backed warlords over the russians, and now over the taliban. the very corruption and brutality of those people is what is making even those with recent memories of taliban oppression long for the relative stability they were able to bring.

removing the taliban was a bad call. trying to impose our values and system upon the afghans is something doomed to fail.

if you are convinced that every local you meet in your area of ops would like to see you leave, at least you're better off than the guys in zones where they want you dead.

afghanistan is a money suck, and a waste of time, money, and lives.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at 6:32:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FishHawk said...

This blog has been included in this weeks Sites To See on AsTheCrackerheadCrumbles. I hope you like the image I featured, and I hope this helps to attract many new visitors here.


Friday, February 6, 2009 at 3:43:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Thank you for your kind mention.



Friday, February 6, 2009 at 12:40:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous srv said...

The US Africa Command is off to a spectacular start:


Just 900 unintended casualties.

Saturday, February 7, 2009 at 2:57:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger FishHawk said...

You are most welcome, and thanks for being so considerate, my dear Lisa!!!

Saturday, February 7, 2009 at 5:40:00 AM GMT-5  

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