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September 18, 2012

September 17, 2012: The Day We Gave Up In Afghanistan

Partnering with and building up the native forces and government are essential elements of COIN strategy. If you can't trust your "allies" not to shoot you in the back, the strategy has failed and the war is over.

COIN: 2007-2012, RIP.

U.S. troops in Afghanistan have been ordered to significantly scale back operations with Afghan military and police forces after a spike in fratricidal “insider attacks” that has seriously undermined U.S. trust in their local allies.

The decision, officials said Tuesday, is also linked to concerns that American field troops have become more vulnerable to attacks because of Muslim outrage over a controversial anti-Islam video.

...

The fundamental U.S. strategy is to prepare some 350,000 Afghan forces to take over the country’s security by the end of 2014 so that the United States can pull out its combat troops.

...

The U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force said in a statement Tuesday that “most partnering and advising” would now be done at the battalion level and above. Lower-level joint operations will be “evaluated on a case-by-case basis” and must be approved by regional commanders.

Pull everyone inside the wire, figure out what equipment we can take out and what equipment we have to take out and then blow up the rest and come home.

There's absolutely no reason to stay in Afghanistan a minute longer than it takes to pack up and leave in as orderly fashion as possible.

We did not lose the war in Afghanistan. A decade ago we toppled the government that harbored the people responsible for 9/11, killed, captured and scattered al Qaeda forces using that country as a base of operations and give the people of that country a chance to live a decent life. That it turned out not enough Afghans chose to avail themselves of that opportunity is not the fault of America or the brave men and women of the US military who sacrificed so much in that God forsaken place.

Barbarians will be barbarians. There's nothing we can do to change that. In fact, this post from December of 2009 following Obama's big West Point speech stands up pretty well I think.

I imagine we'll leave behind some residual special forces/CIA types if we can find a reasonably safe part of the country to base them in. Seems there must be a local warlord somewhere we can pay off to operate from his area. Beyond blowing up a bunch of al Qaeda types who are stupid enough to gather in groups of 3 or more, they can have the damn place.

This doesn't mean the fight is over. Al Qaeda has moved on to other places (Africa anyone?) and evolved. So will our fight against them. As for Afghanistan, time to let them get back to what they love doing so much...killing each other. Good hunting boys!

Two things I forgot to mention:

1- I call BS on the General saying the damn video has anything to do with this. Green on Blue attacks have been going on for awhile and getting worse. It's their strategy now and has nothing to do with faux outrage over a video.

2- There was a major attack at a base in Afghanistan this weekend and the US Marine Corps took a big hit.

Lt. Col. Chris "Otis" Raible, commanding officer of the jet squadron whose Harrier fleet was decimated last week at Camp Bastion, was among two Yuma Marines killed when insurgents infiltrated the main NATO strategic base in southwestern Afghanistan.

...

Three refueling stations were also destroyed and six aircraft hangars damaged during the attack on both fixed wing and rotor craft, coalition officials said. With each of the six Harrier jets destroyed costing at least $24 million, damages in the attack total well over $144 million.

Six harriers destroyed on the ground? What the hell is going on over there?


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posted by DrewM. at 10:40 AM

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