Quagmires R Us: Now Adding Libya to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq

By: Thursday March 31, 2011 9:35 am

Remarkably, the US is sending “clandestine” CIA teams into Libya to coordinate bombing runs and to provide contact with the rebels there at the same time that courts in Pakistan are still sorting out how Raymond Davis was allowed to leave the country after his blood money payment despite having been placed on the Exit Control List. Also, Washington is gearing up for a “debate” on drawing down US troops from Afghanistan this summer, with the military now angling to narrow the options to include only insignificant numbers to be withdrawn. Meanwhile, despite the best efforts of the remaining “non-combat” US troops there, violence in Iraq continues, with 56 killed in a single attack Wednesday.

 

Petraeus to Head CIA Would Be Obama’s Worst Move Yet

By: Tuesday March 29, 2011 8:20 am

In a presidency that has been marked by actions in direct opposition to his high-minded campaign, Barack Obama appears poised on the precipice of a move that could do more material damage to the US than his refusal to prosecute torturers, coddling of big business, healthcare sellout, escalation of existing wars and starting of a new one all combined. Rumors started on Twitter last night that, in a strange exchange of places, the potential nomination of Leon Panetta as Secretary of Defense could be coupled with nominating General David Petraeus to head CIA. This is so wrong, so stupid, so downright evil that I hardly know where to start.

US Kills More Civilians in Afghanistan Despite “Progress” Propaganda

By: Thursday March 24, 2011 9:30 am

On Tuesday, US forces in Afghanistan released a propaganda push highlighting “progress” in the city of Herat as the beacon of how Afghanistan is moving toward peace and being able to defend itself. Look, in the photo you can see that you can actually buy popcorn on the streets of Herat! The next day, on Wednesday, a US helicopter killed two more civilians, including at least one child. The initial press release by ISAF on this attack was produced only in propaganda mode, bleating the death of a Haqqani network leader and making false claims about “protecting” civilians who unexpectedly appeared in the area while helicopters were attacking their target.

Karzai Rejects US Apologies on Civilian Deaths, Gates Suddenly Appears in Afghanistan

By: Monday March 7, 2011 7:55 am

Over the weekend, Afghan President Hamid Karzai informed General David Petraeus that US apologies for civilian deaths in Afghanistan are no longer sufficient. In response, Defense Secretary Robert Gates made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan on Monday.

Late Night: Pouting Baby Wants to Know if Little Davey P Will Investigate Himself

By: Thursday February 24, 2011 8:00 pm

Little Davey P is busy lying to the people in Washington again. This morning, Nice Mike Hastings had a very interesting article at Rolling Stone. He described how Bad Billy C and Screaming Greg B made Lt. Col. Holmes do mind tricks on important Washington people who were visiting Afghanistan. Mr. Jim explained it all right here and told us how Bad Billy C was probably doing this because Little Davey P wanted him to.

But now, Little Davey P is acting like he had nothing to do with the mind tricks and is calling for Bad Billy C to be investigated.

GAO Report Demonstrates Profound Failure in Afghan War, Plants Seed for Petraeus to Avoid Accountability

By: Friday January 28, 2011 1:00 pm

On Thursday, the Government Accountability Office released a report (pdf) to Congress summarizing its latest analysis of the training of the Afghan National Army (ANA). The title conveys much of the sense of the report: “AFGHANISTAN SECURITY: Afghan Army Growing, but Additional Trainers Needed; Long-term Costs Not Determined”. The report documents that training of the ANA actually met an interim goal three months ahead of schedule last fall, but then indicated that the overall end goal for ANA size likely will need to be increased. Importantly, the report plants what I predict will be the seed producing a total lack of accountability for David Petraeus when the ANA eventually proves to be not up to the task of taking over full control of Afghan security (while “training” goals are currently being met, ANA units still remain far from functional on their own) by stating that the effort is suffering because of lack of staffing by those who carry out the training of ANA forces.

Both the GAO report and the only media report I have seen on it, from CNN, fail to to cite the importance of the data presented in Figure 1 of the report, where we see that despite the increased numbers of ANA forces being trained and the “surge” of ISAF forces, violence levels in Afghanistan continue in a steady upward trend. Even when factoring in the seasonal variation in violence, it can be seen in Figure 1 that the total number of monthly attacks in winter 2010-2011 is roughly twice the rate of summer 2008 attacks. When comparing identical seasons, summer 2010 attack rates are roughly three times summer 2008 attack rates and seven times summer 2005 attack rates.

War Crimes in Afghanistan? Time To Investigate

By: Monday January 17, 2011 4:15 pm

We have clear evidence that there may be an ongoing policy of collective punishment and expulsion, war crimes under international and US law, happening in Afghanistan, and it’s time for the House oversight committee to investigate.

Late Night: Pouting Baby Doesn’t Understand Why Little Davey P Wants a Star for Failing

By: Thursday January 13, 2011 8:00 pm

Uh-oh. CNN didn’t tell us that these soldiers help to get soldiers they like elected. I’ve heard that Little Davey P might want to be President some day. Is that why these soldiers want him to get a star?

US Strategy in Afghanistan Doomed Because Pakistan Army Chief Will Not Target Taliban

By: Saturday January 1, 2011 1:45 pm

It is long past time to end the stalemate in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, withdraw our troops and embark on a new plan that does not have killing as its central thesis.

Oops! ISAF Withdraws Claim Captured Arms Smuggler Was Iranian al-Quds

By: Friday December 24, 2010 6:55 pm

As I reported very early on Friday, ISAF claimed that they an arms smuggler they captured last Saturday in southern Afghanistan was a member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard al-Quds force. Less than twenty-four hours after making that claim, ISAF now is backing down on the claim that the arms smuggler is al-Quds. That’s an awfully short time from announcement to correction, especially since the prisoner had been held for several days before ISAF made the claim.

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