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Tag Archives: afghanistan

Former Ambassador to Afghanistan: Deal With Taliban is Surrender

Former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker says the Trump administration’s deal with the Taliban is Vietnam all over again: Abandoning an ally and leaving the country’s people to a brutal regime hostile to the United States.

Crocker writes in the Washington Post:

Now the United States is negotiating directly with the Taliban. A framework agreement was announced on Monday calling for a cease-fire that could lead to the full withdrawal of U.S. troops. The Taliban would commit to not harboring terrorist organizations that could threaten U.S. security. In other words, the Taliban promised no 9/11 replay.

The framework was reached without the involvement of the Afghan government. The Taliban has said all along that it refuses to negotiate with the government, considering the government the illegitimate puppet of the U.S. occupation. By acceding to this Taliban demand, we have ourselves delegitimized the government we claim to support.

This current process bears an unfortunate resemblance to the Paris peace talks during the Vietnam War. Then, as now, it was clear that by going to the table we were surrendering; we were just negotiating the terms of our surrender. The Taliban will offer any number of commitments, knowing that when we are gone and the Taliban is back, we will have no means of enforcing any of them.

Remember what happened when Obama withdrew from Iraq? We got ISIS. We’ll get ISIS again, or something like it, if we let the Taliban take Afghanistan again.

It will be the same situation as existed before 2001. What a waste, and how dangerous.

U.S. Drops the “Mother of All Bombs” on Afghanistan

A president who is intent on winning a war? What unique new concept.

The U.S. has dropped one if its largest non-nuclear bombs on a tunnel complex in Afghanistan, the U.S. military said, according to the Washington Examiner.

The use of the GBU-43/B is a first for the battlefield, and was dropped in Nangarhar province on Thursday. The target was a tunnel complex in Achin district being used by the ISIS-Khorasan group.

Known as the Massive Ordnance Air Blast, the bomb has been nicknamed “Mother of All Bombs.” Developed in 2003, the bomb has been tested but never used against an enemy. The bomb is 30-feet long and weighs 21,600 pounds.

After Eight Years, Obama Fails to Win Two Wars

Today’s news that Afghan forces trying to hold a provincial capital have been surrounded by the Taliban brings to mind an astounding fact: President Obama has been in power eight years, and he has failed in that time to win the two wars he was handed. To the contrary, Iraq, which was basically peaceful, became a war again and expanded into Syria, Libya and elsewhere as the opposition morphed into ISIS under Obama’s watch.

Afghanistan, which was supposed to be the good war in Obama’s opinion, remains besieged, we remain involved, and the war will simply be handed to Trump or Clinton.

The Taliban attack on the provincial capital “has exposed how thinly stretched Afghan security forces have become as they try to contain Islamist insurgents in other areas of the country,” according to Reuters.

I thought after Vietnam we were going to fight wars to win them, or not fight them at all. Obama’s vow was to “degrade” the Taliban. It was a half-measure.

His goal was not exactly to win the war. And in that, he’s succeeded.

Obama Bagram Afghanistan

Meantime, Russian jets are fearlessly buzzing ours, China is claiming the South China Sea without apparent repercussions, North Korea is expanding its nuclear capability, and Iran has been granted its own nuclear arms. And of course, al Qaeda is still very much around.

And Obama has gutted the military, with the latest report that he plans to delete another 25,000 soldiers from the army. Because, well, he’s made the world so safe! We can now focus our resources on recruiting food stamp recipients instead.

Is there any commander in chief with a worse record than Obama? No wonder we’re not respected around the world.

At least in eight years he fixed the economy.

Oh, wait, he didn’t do that either.

American University in Kabul Under Attack

American University in Kabul is under attack, according to various reports. There was at least one explosion, and gunmen reportedly stormed the campus.

CBS News is following the story closely, and you can find updates here.

UPDATE: At least one person is dead and 18 wounded in the attack, which was carried out by one or two gunmen. Hundreds of students and teachers were reported to have been trapped on the campus during the siege.

Obama Reduces Drawdown, will Leave 8,400 Troops in Afghanistan

President Obama Wednesday announced that he will leave some 8,400 troops in Afghanistan through the end his administration, reducing his planned reduction of troops for 2016 from 4,300 to just 1,400.

Obama had wanted to drop troop levels from the 9,800 on hand at the beginning of 2016 to 5,500 troops by the end of the year, but the Taliban has been showing new signs of life, forcing Obama to reevaluate his thinking.

“The security situation in Afghanistan remains precarious,” Obama said during remarks at the White House, noting Afghan security forces are still not as capable as the need to be. “The Taliban remains a threat,” Obama acknowledged.

Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham this week called on Obama not to decrease troop levels at all. Obama’s military advisers have also told Obama he should leave  a robust force in the country and cancel the drawdown.

Obama of course removed all U.S. forces from Iraq and then campaigned on “ending” the Iraq war, only to have to put what so far amounts to another 3,000 troops back in the country after his actions resulted in the rise of ISIS.

Of course, Obama would never want to be seen as caving to anybody, so he had to reduce the number by a bit to make sure he saved face. So the 8,400 left will make things a little more difficult for those fighting in Afghanistan, but it will make the president feel better.

Afghan Troop Reversal Hurts Clinton

Republicans are gleeful about President Obama’s decision to leave 5,500 troops in Afghanistan into 2017.

On the obvious level, it shows that after seven years, he has not been able to fix the problem, even though he said it was the war that should be won.

But it also is basically an admission that his decision to withdraw all troops from Iraq was wrong. Doesn’t want to repeat that mistake. And worse for Democrats, it’s bad news for the person who was heading up his foreign policy, former Secretary of State Hillary.

The RNC put out this video of Clinton proclaiming three and a half years ago that everything was going just great.

“The transition is on track,” Clinton said.

Obama Agrees to Maintain Force Levels in Afghanistan

President Obama announced today that he will keep U.S. forces in Afghanistan at the current level of about 10,000 troops until the end of the year, delaying a planned drawdown in response to requests from Afghan leaders and U.S. military officials.

Obama spoke during press conference with Afghan President Ghani.

It’s nice to see the president taking steps to counter the establishment of yet another arena for Islamist mayhem and potential terrorist attacks against the United States. So it’s a good decision.

But Obama remains determined to withdraw all U.S. troops by the end of his presidency, which would probably be a mistake. And let’s hope he doesn’t really believe what he says about the Taliban:

Afghanistan and the United States agree on what the Taliban must do, which is break with al Qaeda, renounce violence, and abide by Afghan laws, including protections for women and minorities.

I mean, the president already thinks he can make a strategic ally out of the Iranians. The Taliban will die before they accustom themselves to civilized behavior. They need to be defeated, not given courses in citizenship.

Obama Gets Smart About Afghanistan

Learning the lesson of Iraq, where President Obama withdrew all U.S. troops, with predictable results, the administration today announced that it has signed a bilateral security agreement with Afghanistan that will allow nearly 10,000 troops to remain in the country after the “withdrawal” that is supposed to occur this year.

Ten thousand is also the minimum number military advisors said would be needed to keep order in Iraq

From the Washington Post:

The Bilateral Security Agreement allows for 9,800 U.S. troops to stay in the country past 2014 to help train, equip and advise Afghan military and police forces. It arrives as Islamist Taliban insurgents are increasingly attacking areas around the country in an effort to regain control as most foreign troops prepare to leave by the end of the year.

Unfortunately, Obama is getting smart about Afghanistan after being dumb about it, having refused during the “Afghan surge” early in his presidency to send the number of troops to Afghanistan needed to ensure victory. Bush sent the right number to Iraq and got . . . victory.

So now the American troops remaining in Afghanistan, needed there to ensure the place doesn’t turn right back into a terrorist training camp, will face a much more difficult environment than they needed to.

But at least Obama is being serious for once.

Incomprehensible

By trading very senior and very dangerous Taliban leaders for a single U.S. soldier, President Obama has created grave peril for every American, and he has branded a “K” of the forehead of every U.S. serviceman and woman serving overseas. The “K” stands for “Kidnap me.” Because kidnapping gets results. Obama was correct to take vigorous… Continue Reading

Obama Makes Surprise Visit to Afghanistan

President Obama today made a surprise visit to Afghanistan to spend time with the troops and to be briefed directly on the situation on the ground. From the pool report: (Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan) President Obama made a surprise visit to Afghanistan for a Memorial Day weekend rally with US troops. Air Force One touched down at… Continue Reading