sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

National Bungling and Abandoning Afghanistan

Barack Obama's leadership permeates Washington DC - and leaks into his foreign policy arena. Witness the Benghazi Massacre - and beyond. Arab Spring turns ugly and the US seems paralyzed. We had CIA and State Department facilities in LIBYA without any outside DoD situational awareness whatsoever. (This is a screw up of Biblical proportions when you consider the location and political situation in the region). Within two months after that, the Department of Justice intentionally leaked evidence from an investigation that took down CIA Director/General Petraeus. Russia and Saudi Arabia told DHS and CIA that Tamerlan Tsarnaev is a terrorist. Information follows that Tamerlan Tsarnaev is being examined by the FBI and DHS, which knows when he left the country. Obama's  Red Lines in Syria, and presumably in Iran are now blurry and pink. FBI's investigation at Benghazi is so thorough the very first group of journalists to actually go to the battle location found all kinds of sensitive information at the scene. The Obama Administration continunes to stress that radical Islam isn't a problem. And I wonder who's steering the ship of state. MSNBC: Obama has everything under control... but-- The fish rots from the head down. Sounds as if the Chief Executive needs to play another round of golf.

Which brings us to Afghanistan

Late last week, The US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan (SIGAR) published its 19th quarterly report which included a section on manning in the Afghan National Army. When I read the report, I had a difficult time reconciling what I knew with what I read.  One portion of the report makes clear what everyone knows: without US (and outside) funding, no Afghan security forces would remain loyal to the government. In an attempt to keep the ball rolling after the US leaves, the nations who invested in Afghanistan created the Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan (LOTFA) - managed by the UN.

SIGAR's report showed that while funding increased in a significant order of magnitude, the Afghan National Army has been shrinking. 
(Independent - UK) The Independent reports that attrition in the Afghan National Army is about 30%, or three in every ten soldiers are killed, captured or dismissed for cause. The report also states that 5,000 recruits a month just quit.
The Special Inspector General stipulated that accurate and reliable accounting of government forces strength is necessary to help ensure US funds are spent for legitimate and eligible costs. It quoted a US command that there exists no "viable method of validating personnel numbers."

For anyone alive during the Viet Nam War, the memory of the incredible shrinking Army of Viet Nam (ARVN - South Vietnamese Army) should be somewhat vivid. When the Americans were no longer present to do the fighting, ARVN almost ceased to exist.

Is the Karzai Government an American puppet regime? Of course. I haven't heard any Americans opine differently (ever). How long will it last once the US departs? About as long as it takes for the Afghan President to board his executive jet (paid for by US taxpayers) with all of the loot he's been able to amass and head for Switzerland.

ANALYSIS 

The US invaded Afghanistan after 9/11 because we couldn't very well invade our ally, Saudi Arabia, home of Wahhabism. Sure, there were terrorist training camps there - but not as many as there were in our ally, Pakistan (for example). You'll remember Pakistan? That's where Osama bin Laden was found hiding, right next to one of the largest military bases in the country.

The US needs to decide whether it's at war with radical Islam (and all of its manifestations) or not. With a closet Muslim in the White House, I don't expect a ruling on that anytime soon. Meantime, Afghanistan is a complete waste of American lives and treasure. I have no problem with turning it back over to the natives until/unless the US decides how to deal with radical Islam.


The Obama Agenda (Benghazi)

"The day I'm inaugurated, the Muslim world will look at the US differently."


Republicans and Libertarians - the problem is all inside your own heads. Don't any of you watch MSNBC anymore. If you would do that more often, you wouldn't hear much about Benghazi. You'd hear more about the president's triumphs. As President Obama's Press Secretary, Jay Carney said, "It happened a long time ago" and Secretary Clinton said, "what does it matter?"

Secretary Clinton and her minion Susan Rice simply played by the Obama Playbook, because they were required to lock step and LIE to the American people. Team Obama made a cynical and possibly accurate decision in shucking off the Benghazi Massacre because they knew that the American people wouldn't hear about it and if they did, they wouldn't care.

September 10, 2012 - The election is less than two months away and the campaign pivots in part on the assertion that the President captured and killed the illusive Osama bin Laden and crushed al Qaeda. 

September 11, 2012 - al Qaeda (not respecting the brother in the White House one bit) breaks with the Obama re-election program and attacks the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya and then the CIA annex a few blocks away.
  • The President is in Vegas partying with Beyonce and Jay Z and has asked not to be disturbed.
  • The Obama Team doesn't want any "noise" to detract from the election.
A C-130J is loaded with an armed SPECOPS response team, 1 hour by air away in Tripoli. Fast moving jets can be there quicker and prep the area. The Libyan government has no problem with Americans protecting their own. (CBS News) The word is then passed through AFRICOM that any assistance rendered to the US people under attack would mess up the Obama Agenda on the eve of an election. 
  • According to Congressional testimony today, only President Obama had authority to stand down soldiers preparing to board the aircraft to relieve the siege. (Breitbart.com)
According to the source, when the attack on the Consulate occurred, a specific chain of command to gain verbal permission to move special-forces in must have occurred. SOCAFRICA commander Lt. Col. Gibson would have contacted a desk officer at the time, asking for that permission.

That desk officer would have called Marine Corps Col. George Bristol, then in command of Joint Special Operations Task Force-Trans Sahara. From there, Bristol would have made contact with Rear Admiral Brian Losey, then Commander of Special Operations Command Africa. Losey would have contacted four-star General Carter Ham, commander of U.S. AFRICOM at the time.

“Ham answers directly to the President of the United States,” said the source. It wasn’t a low-level bureaucrat making the call, the source adamantly added.
What about then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton?
(More from Brietbart) “I have a hard time thinking it was Hillary alone. Hillary may have tried to circumvent the counterterrorism board and deal with this. I think in order for her to tell General Ham, ‘No, you’re not going to get involved,' she would have had to talk to the president. The president would have had to say, ‘No, take your commands from Hillary.’ He would have had said something, because Ham does not work for the Department of State; he works directly for the president,” the source explained.