Military News Highlights: February 2, 2011

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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 if anyone is wondering if the “illiterate Afghan” can tweet or Facebook, check this out:

Arab world transfixed by Egyptian protests

Why does this matter?  You know, the potential and likely domino falling effect of autocratic governments throughout the Middle East, sparked by Tunisia, and now engulfing Egypt?

A simplistic strategic calculus would find that US military capabilities and deterrence options are stretched to the breaking point already.  And while it is too early to say how this will eventually play out throughout the arc of instability; what we can agree to is that the US mission, role, and security in the region just got decidedly more difficult.

Lest we forget that the US continues to provide the bulk of Multinational Forces and Observers supporting the Sinai mission.  Currently there are 440 National Guard troops assisting in this mission.

Stryker unit’s early arrival in Afghanistan means Germany brigade coming home early

Bravado and Beethoven!

“The enemy left southern Afghanistan because we kicked his ass out,” Colonel Blackburn,  told the town hall meeting. “All over southern Afghanistan, you will find Dragoons with their foot on the throat of the enemy.”

Colonel Blackburn showed an aerial film, accompanied by Beethoven, that recorded the last moments of an insurgent leader before he disappeared in a cloud of smoke from an air-strike.

“Dragoons are doing that all over southern Afghanistan,” Blackburn said.

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