Afghanistan: The Plot Thickens…

Well, this is a promising if somewhat surprising development. The AP is reporting that President Barack Obama has rejected the Afghanistan war options presented by his national security team, pushing instead for revisions to clarify how and when U.S. troops would turn over responsibility to the Afghan government

As usual, Seymour Hersh adds a lot of intrigue to the situation.

It seems that American Ambassador Karl Eikenberry sent two classified cables to Washington in the past week expressing deep concerns about sending more U.S. troops to Afghanistan until President Hamid Karzai’s government demonstrates that it’s willing to tackle the corruption and mismanagement that has fueled the Taliban’s rise.

Naturally, the warmongering wingnuts are in full outrage.

Update: Fascinating article in The Nation yesterday about the “wartime contracting bazaar” that Aram Roston describes as “a virtual carnival of improbable characters and shady connections, with former CIA officials and ex-military officers joining hands with former Taliban and mujahedeen to collect US government funds in the name of the war effort.” The piece extensively details how the US military’s contractors are forced to pay suspected Taliban insurgents to protect American supply routes.

Update2: Good discussion on the pros and cons of the Afghanistan War (eight years and no end in sight…). The article mentioned at the end by Dylan Ratigan in the Huffington Post about the “shocking juxtaposition between lucky Wall Streeters and the unlucky soldiers” can be read here.

Ratigan has an interesting proposal:

• Give every single man and woman that is fighting for us a housing credit of $50,000, with the caveat that the credit must be used by someone within two years.

• Make it so that the credits are completely fungible, meaning that if the veteran doesn’t wish to buy a house, he or she can sell the credit to someone who does — and keep the money. If the reselling of gift cards on Ebay is any indication, I am sure there will be a thriving market where soldiers could probably get pretty close to 90 cents on the dollar for their credit.

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13 Comments

Filed under Afghanistan War, Obama

13 responses to “Afghanistan: The Plot Thickens…

  1. Toe

    That Nobel peace prize!

  2. Obama will likely lose this war for us- he clearly lacks the judgement, dedication, and principle to win such a labrilynthine conflict.

    He already was caught dozing while the Russians nabbed the Kyrgizstani air base SO vital to any plans for a US “surge” strategy in Afghanistan. –

    The clueless Obama (and foreign-policy “expert” Biden) were the most vocal opponents of the Petraeus Surge strategy in Iraq, with Slow Joe coming-up with a harebrained plan to surrender and split the country 3-ways. If America had followed their advice then, Iraq would be an Al Qaida Caliphate by now.

    Of course, the media is too preoccupied with articles on the Dear Leader’s puppy-vetting process and how he likes to play basketball to call him on these serious strategic errors… reality starting to hit hard now, though-

    http://reaganiterepublicanresistance.blogspot.com

  3. Unless we develop a comprehensive South Asia strategy, the most we can hope for is a temporary peace in Afghanistan.

    What would such a strategy look like? Well, at the very least it requires some moderation of the strategic competition between India and Pakistan.

    Without paying attention to this aspect of the problem, we really are only playing around at the edges of the conflict.

    For more, see http://bit.ly/3vYHPk

  4. Obama will likely lose this war for us- he clearly lacks the judgement, dedication, and principle to win such a labrilynthine conflict.

    He already was caught dozing while the Russians nabbed the Kyrgizstani air base SO vital to any plans for a US “surge” strategy in Afghanistan. –

    The clueless Obama (and foreign-policy “expert” Biden) were the most vocal opponents of the Petraeus Surge strategy in Iraq, with Slow Joe coming-up with a harebrained plan to surrender and split the country 3-ways. If America had followed their advice then, Iraq would be an Al Qaida Caliphate by now.

    Of course, the media is too preoccupied with articles on the Dear Leader’s puppy-vetting process and how he likes to play basketball to call him on these serious strategic errors… reality starting to hit hard now, though-

  5. sapphireandsteel

    Oh man Reaganite have you been in a crypt since 2001? That war was already lost by Baby Shrub before Obama got in. Then again those facts….

    So are you as senile as Reagan was?

  6. Speaking of “Reaganites”.. following up on the fall of the Berlin Wall, I’m always amused (and this is coming from a conservative) with the degree to which they like to credit Reagan for bringing down the wall.

    I was in Moscow and Leningrad (then) in 1979, and it was easy to see how communism was falling. And it wasn’t a result of threats – it was a result of information. Even in the pre-twitter, pre-internet (yes that far back) days, information found it’s way into Russia that there was a better way to live. And it broke from within.

    There is an excellent article in Harpers (imagine a conservative reading Harpers) that touches on this notion regarding Afghanistan, from a former U.S. Army officer, called “The War We Can’t Win”. Must reading for those who think we should continue with military solutions in Afghanistan.

    It will fail, just as Vietnam failed, and as Korea failed.

    Link to article is here:

    http://www.commonwealmagazine.org/article.php3?id_article=2609

  7. RR — Obama will likely lose this war for us…

    A) Bush already did that when he moved the focus to his phony war in Iraq.

    B) It’s not the kind of war that can be “won” in any case. This is just the latest installment in a 35 yr. old civil war.

    Buy a clue.

  8. burpster

    LOL. Where do people like Reaganite get their information? There is no comparison between Iraq and Afghanistan. Iraq has oil wealth they can draw on to rebuild the military and country. Besides, the US is never leaving Iraq, not as long as they can pump oil.

    The biggest fear I have is of Pakistan being further de-stabilized. The India-Pak area is the most dangerous region in the world as far as the threat of nuclear war.

  9. Navvy

    Good article Rob, thanks for that.

  10. Ti-Guy

    imagine a conservative reading Harpers

    Imagine a conservative readi…

    …No. I’m going to be civil. 😉

    Harper’s isn’t a moobatty leftist mag like Mother Jones or even The Nation. It’s mostly straight up news and current affairs (and arts and culture, although I’ve gone off all of that since 2003). It’s remained consistently critical of Obama’s administration, for example.

  11. burpster

    Pretty good panel that Ratigan had. I can’t imagine being away from home for 15 months straight. The disassociation must be extreme, then to go and do it all over again. No wonder a few vets finally explode.

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