Category Archives: The Forgotten War
The Jawa Report: Screw the Media: Honoring American Soldiers While the Media is Busy Covering Charlie Sheen
@cannoneerno4 sigh I agree, would like to see Ur take on it, Blog? G
The most obvious dependency is Afghanistan. An entire fighting force is in a landlocked theater, dependent on Pakistan for access to the sea. This gives Pakistan enormous leverage over Obama. Moreover, Obama, in betting on Afghanistan, has staked his political credibility on something the Pakistanis can deep-six. For both military and political reasons, the Pakistanis have Washington over a barrel.
My take is that Mr. Ten Percent’s suit and sack are not quite as empty as Obama’s. The Pakis would not have had the audacity to jerk President Bush’s chain in such a way. Obama has been measured and found wanting in all the attributes that keep Axis of Evil type’s heads down.
America went to war in Afghanistan to avenge 9-11. Shooting camels with cruise missiles wasn’t going to cut it. Boots on the ground had to go in and kick ass and take names until America’s thirst for Muslim blood was slaked, lest comparatively “innocent” Muslims in America be persecuted by vigilantes.
The deal made with Musharraf back in 2001 was “give us overflight, a SPOD at Karachi, and an MSR and we’ll give you billions of dollars worth of bribes, plus F-16′s with which to threaten the Indians. We’ll let you play us like rubes as long as you keep the LOC open. Alternatively, we could just nuke you back to the Stone Age.” Musharaff took that deal.
I have the sneaking suspicion that the Uzbek dictator Karimov played us like a bass drum when he offered us the Karshi Khanabad Air Base. We would never have done what we did in Afghanistan in 2001 without K2, and getting kicked out of there in 2005 should have been a war stopper, but F-102 pilots CAN DO and nobody else in the chain of command would say “Whoa, Boss, Can’t Do” so we endeavored to persevere with an economy of force side show on a shoe string at the end of a very long and insecure line of communications while the main effort went to Mesopotamia.
Then the main event sputtered to an unsatisfying conclusion that might be victory, the American people in their infinite wisdom replaced their CAN DO Commander-in-Chief with a WE’RE SORRY C-in-C, and the main event now became a land war in Asia.
The way things are going now it is hard to see a happy ending for OEF.
If we can stave off disaster until our regime can be changed everything might turn out all right in the end. Won’t know for sure we won in Afghanistan until we check the number of Afghan nail salons in our strip malls in 2046.
In the end, there can be only one.
Once is an accident.
Twice is coincidence.
Three times is enemy action.
McCrystal was no accident.
Caldwell is no coincidence.
LTC Holmes, enjoy your new career, sir, and may you live in interesting times.
The perpretrators of this mess were FA30 folks(who are coordinators and not trained practitioners of PSYOP) and not MOS 37 (who are PSYOP/MISO folks operating under the authority given by USC Title 10 Section 167j). This whole debacle just goes to show how broken, disjointed, and confusing our Strat Comm, PD, IO, influence, PSYOP, MISO, etc efforts are. Truly sad.
Information Operations (IO) teams are often multi-disciplined, but they are certainly not endowed with mystical powers that give the ability to control people’s minds. LTC Holmes, the IO officer quoted in the article is either confused, misquoted, unaware of what PSYOP should or should not do, incapable of dealing with the media or all of the above.
Labeling all PSYOP personnel as “propaganda people” is not only unfair and untruthful but also borders on slander. This type of quote surely reveals how little the Rolling Stone really knows about PSYOP in the first place and that they are more interested in readership and web clicks (which of course lead to more advertising money – duh) than in reporting actual news. Posted by Lawrence Dietz at 12:43 PM
Donald Rumsfeld Condemns False Newsweek Story on Koran Flushing: You Can’t Apologize to the Dead | NewsBusters.org
Seventeen dead in Jalalabad, killed by kinetic reaction to an enemy Psychological Operation widely disseminated by enemy sympathizers in the Counter Insurgent’s media.
Nobody killed over it at KAF, but other problems were caused that had to be dealt with.
Newsweek was pushing Taliban propaganda. But for some reason it is not politically correct to call them traitors.
SecDef talks to Rush 2006/04/18
Rumsfeld’s victory: a retrospective look at our de facto flytrap strategy in Iraq Sunday, December 16, 2007
GEN Petraeus: . . . And the Afghan Local Police Programme in itself is another very important element in the way ahead. I think we’re up to nearly 60 sites identified, 17 of those already actually validated, officially in operation, and then the others are in various stages of Ministry of Interior approval. And there’s quite a rigorous process, these are not militias, as some journalists have characterised them. They’re not Arbakai [a form of tribal policing system or militia]. The members of these organisations are nominated by shuras [a council of elders] that have to be representative of the areas in which the ALP will be operating. They are vetted by the NDS [Afghanistan’s intelligence service], they have biometric data collected by MOI [Ministry of the Interior] and ISAF forces, they’re armed by the MOI, with distinct limits to what they’re allowed to do. They work for the district chief of police, not a local warlord or elder or power-broker.
The idea is that these actually mobilise not just individuals, but communities. They’re typically several different villages in a district that will provide these Afghan Local Police members. This is now the community defending itself against the Taliban, which in some cases they have actually thrown off themselves. As in, day, Gizab — in southern Daikundi [a province in southern Afghanistan].
So again that’s a very important element of the overall approach as well. there will be a slight increase in additional capability on the NATO-ISAF side as additional trainers and actually some additional combat battalions come in as part of constant force adjustments. But the real increase over the year that lies ahead will be in the Afghan security forces. We saw an increase of 70,000 this past year.
FT [Matthew Green]: Do you have a target for the end of this year?
GEN Petraeus: We have a target for the end of October and it is 304,500 total Afghan National Security Forces.
FT: But not including the Afghan Local Police?
GEN Petraeus: That’s a different structure, and that’s a relatively small structure, but frankly that’s an element that punches above its weight class. It’s literally only 3,100 or 3,200 right now for the 17 validated sites. Again, as I said, nearly 60 sites total have been identified, but by no means begun. There’s a very rigorous process that goes through, they have to be authorised by the ministry of the interior, that’s the first step. Then they have to start the process, there’s a visit during that process, there’s a final validation that takes place before they’re actually allowed to bear arms.
It’s almost the personification of counter-insurgency — because as we say in the field manual about counter-insurgency being 70 per cent political and 30 per cent military, that’s ALP. It really is quite substantially political community mobilisation. Elders support it. The elders also police it to a degree. If an ALP member gets out of line, the complainsts will be made to the elders who nominated these individuals and vouched fo rthem, and that’s a serious commitment on th epart of an elder. So the elders will actually then sit down with th eleaders and say “this is unacceptable, youve got to clean up your act.”
FT: Do you have a target for where you want to be by the end of the year in terms of how many you’ve got [Afghan Local Police]?
GEN Petraeus: No, it is difficult to say, because it depends on the pace of validation. President Karzai was very clear — this is his directive that guides this. He lays down very clear tasks that have to be performed before these sites are validated, and will only go as fast as the individual sites can go. This programme is so important that I actually attached a US Army conventional infantry battalion to the Special Forces command that supports this programme around the country. That has enable the Special Forces Green Beret teams — typically 12 man teams — in some cases to split in half, with the support of say an infantry squad or platoon, that thickens them. We may have to augment that further to enable this over the course of the year, and if so I’m prepared to do that.
Is it paranoid to wonder if Pooti-poot and Karimov didn’t sucker us deeper into Afghanistan after 9-11 by making available facilities for the logistical support of a land war in Asia in which we might not otherwise have embroiled ourselves?
OEF would have been done differently had we never been allowed on K2. Not necessarily better, but our footprint next door in Aghanistan would have been lighter out of necessity. One of the reasons the headcount down in Afghanistan grew to the size it did was because it could, due to the big Class I yard at K2 and connectivity to the European rail system.
K2 was my introduction to CENTCOM AOR. Mildly interesting the first time. Sucked the other three times. Would have sucked worse to be forced to sit at the ADACG (Arrival/Depature Airfield Control Group, AKA PAX Terminal) instead of having free run of the place, such as it was. Some extraordinarily beautiful Uzbek women worked at K2 back then. They were pretty the first time I saw them in September, 2004. By the time I saw them again in March, 2005 they were stunning.