Afghanistan: “The Right Side of History”

As the current political events unfold in Egypt, I have often heard the actually mean?  Clearly,  decisions the US administration makes today can’t influence the past or “history” since those events have already occurred.   While US government pronouncements can certainly influence  future relations with “new” governments, it remains to be seen whether the US will be seen to have been on the “right” or “wrong” side of history as that role will largely determined by historians.   And with our ...

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Military News Highlights: February 2, 2011

Losses at Afghan Bank Could Be $900 Million

“Fraud and mismanagement at Afghanistan’s largest bank have resulted in potential losses of as much as $900 million — three times previous estimates — heightening concerns that the bank could collapse and trigger a broad financial panic in Afghanistan, according to American, European and Afghan officials.”

The missing $900 million and the zero-balance payroll for Afghan security forces, just might be the “Tunisian” type spark to engulf Karzai and Kabul.

And ...

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Military News Highlights: January 27, 2011

Dispute With Parliament Leaves Afghan Leader Isolated

President Karzai’s isolation was preventable, and now enters a period of increased tension and uncertainty as to his ability to lead and work with “power brokers.”  The list includes:  losing parliamentary candidates who he has “deserted”; new Parliament members who were delayed more than 5 months from “governing”; and most importantly, further alienated “western backers” who have lost faith in his abilities. 

While US/NATO continues heavy-handed military operations, efforts at good governance ...

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Military News Highlights: January 26, 2011

Number of U.S. casualties from roadside bombs in Afghanistan skyrocketed from 2009 to 2010

The SFTT news team has been reporting IED lethal effects, propensity/increase of attacks, lack of effective equipment/tactics, and the claims of denial by JIEDDO since early 2010.  In fact, LTG Oates, Commander JIEDDO, predicted this past summer that by winter, IED attacks (and effects) would be marginal.  What the cold hard facts tell us is that in 2010, the number of troops killed by ...

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Military News Highlights: January 25, 2011

An Uncharacteristically Upbeat General in Afghanistan

While the “Happy Talk” continues, consider the accompanying charts/reports on “the progress” and the “teeth in the jugular vein”, as you read the latest coming out of US/NATO in Kabul.

Afghan NGO Safety Office, 2010 4th Quarter Report

2010 4th Quarter Report

Claim: Afghans Heart G.I.s Who Flattened Their Village [Updated]

Apparently, if you are not on ...

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Military News Highlights: January 24, 2011

Karzai Agrees to Seat New Afghan Parliament

Afghanistan’s fragile government still stands after President Karzai’s decision this past weekend to inaugurate the newly elected Afghan government this Wednesday, January 26, 2011.  Karzai stepped back from the precipice he created after “intense pressure from legislators and the international community.”  During the crisis, not much happy talked leaked out of US/NATO in Kabul, and it took a UN inspired rally of Western allies to “break the silence on the crisis.”

Now ...

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Military News Highlights: January 21, 2011

Afghan Political Crisis Grows as Legislators Vow to Defy Karzai and Open Parliament

You only need to read the headline to know that this situation is only to get worse.  If you can’t settle your scores via the ballot box, then what are your options?  And again, not a peep or any happy talk coming from US/NATO in Kabul.  So everyone continues to hold their collective breath to see what happens next, but sadly we know which direction ...

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Military News Highlights: January 20, 2011

Afghanistan turns to local defense groups

While US/NATO continue to apply OIF lessons learned to OEF (well at least COIN-centric surge “successes”, whatever that means). This latest gambit, to create Afghan local defense groups, in a country steeped with a history of warlordism, while Karzai increasingly appears that he will refuse to seat a legitimate Parliament, can and will lead to arming the populace just when racial/ethnic tensions are about to spill out into the street.

US/NATO views the ...

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Military News Highlights: January 19, 2011

Costly coalition plan to recruit thousands more Afghan forces draws concerns

The initial U.S. end strength goal of Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) by October 2011 is approximately 300,000.  A new plan entails hiring an additional 73,000.  The bill to Uncle Sam is an additional $6 billion with unknown future budget outlays.  But before another shekel is spent, don’t you think we should gauge the quality of the current force and assess capabilities.  You know, take the training ...

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Military News Highlights: January 18, 2011

In Afghanistan, uptick in violence this winter coincides with less snow

No brainer, lack of snow in “the passes” means mobility and infiltration, right?  Not so fast.  Actually to claim that sustained Taliban combat operations has extended into the “traditional non-fighting winter months” because of a lack of snow in “the passes” is a bit of stretch.  Maybe the mild weather isn’t a factor because US/NATO has not be effective in degrading threat capabilities.  That is probably the ...

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