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November 12, 2009

High Level Strategery & Civilian Magic Ninjas

More signs that the "strategery" going on around the Afghan war is a soup sandwich being eaten in a chicken wire canoe while it is paddled up Shit Creek by a guy swinging a football bat wearing bowling cleats. Yeah I'm done tap dancing around this. Today's clusterf**k.

No one was happy to read in The Washington Postthat Eikenberry, who commanded the war himself from 2005 to 2007, thinks that the Karzai government needs to demonstrate its commitment to anti-corruption measures before the administration can responsibly authorize another troop increase. The prevailing theory is that “he leaked his own cables” because “he has a beef with McChrystal,” the staffer said. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, Eikenberry’s successor as NATO commander in Afghanistan, has requested an increase in troops to support a counterinsurgency strategy with a substantial counterterrorism component.

But Eikenberry — who also briefed the White House by teleconference yesterday — reiterated his concerns. The ambassador told the NSC not to send additional troops to Afghanistan “without an exit strategy” and urged that the president to adopt a “purely civilian approach” with the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development in the lead, not the military. According to the NSC staffer, Eikenberry “wants a realignment” of USAID, the Afghanistan inspector general’s office and the State Department’s stabilization and reconstruction office. Eikenberry said President Obama “wants that” — although Obama was not in the meeting — and he hailed the arrival of the new USAID administrator-nominee, Rajiv Shah, “because he will not wage war when the org charts start changing.”

I am not an expert on ret. LTG Eikenberry, but his ideas seem to be complete fantasy. His last tour in country was as Commander of Combined Forces Command- Afghanistan from 2005-2007. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that when things there went completely into the shitter? 

Let's look at his cunning plan; he wants to make this a "purely civilian approach". That sounds so nice and has absolutely no chance of even happening. At the journalism fellowship I was at earlier this year we had this guy as a speaker.

Ambassador John Herbst, coordinator for Reconstruction & Stabilization, U.S. Department of State

He is the leader of the so-called civilian surge in the Stabilization and Reconstruction office Eikenberry mentions. They would be the ones to bring these non-uniformed magic ninjas to transform things into shangri-la. Keep in mind there are now only 1,000 US govt. civilians in Iraq and this guy has less than 350 to even add to that. We got a lot of time to ask him questions I let him have it from my long and fruitless experiences with State, USAID and UN civilians and their complete inability to affect conditions on the ground.

"Sir, if you are going to have any impact on the situation in Afghanistan your people are going to have to get outside the wire. It has been my experience that the risk-averse mentality of the State Dept. makes that highly unlikely. Are you willing to get a foreign service officer or other State employees killed in order to have success at your mission?"

After he was done spitting and spluttering, his answer was that as the military gave them space to work i.e. security, they would move into it. I want to state that I know there are brave folks on PRTs and other teams that do get out there all the time, but even they would admit they are the exceptions not the rule. So if wise Mr. Eikenberry is going to fix Afghanistan without military security, I sincerely hope that the cloaking devices his magic ninjas use to hide themselves from the Taliban are top notch, or maybe they can do a Team America valmorification and transform them all into terrorist look-alikes. Then a quick trip to language school to pick up some "Dirka, Dirka, Mohammed Jihad" and they are off to save the world. Team America World Bureaucrats.

"America, F**k Yeah. Coming again to teach you how to staff a memo. America, F**K Yeah. Admin is the only way yeah!

That'll strike fear in the hearts of the Taliban.

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posted by Uncle Jimbo at 01:21 PM

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