If you can’t protect the population generally, from the perspective of COIN doctrine, you lose. If you lack a legitimate host nation government as a partner, you lose. And guess what? According to that doctrine — the doctrine used as the rationale for the troop-heavy American strategy in Afghanistan — the United States is losing. Badly.
|By: Derrick Crowe Wednesday July 14, 2010 8:05 am|
|By: Jim White Thursday July 8, 2010 12:35 pm|
Graft in Afghanistan is not limited to the Afghan government. Military contracts written by ISAF are subject to such poor oversight that US companies are pocketing the proceeds without paying Afghan subcontractors, while ISAF stands by idly claiming the Afghan subcontractors have no recourse since they don’t have the resources to hire attorneys in the US.
|By: Jim White Sunday July 4, 2010 8:00 am|
Appearing Saturday at the US embassy in Kabul, General David Petraeus spouted platitudes about “teams” and “missions” without ever stating just what mission it is that our team is attempting to carry out.
|By: Derrick Crowe Sunday June 20, 2010 4:00 pm|
Before the supporters of the president’s brutal, costly counterinsurgency strategy (referred to without affection as “COINdinistas”) get started this week, I want to reiterate a point I made a couple of months ago when the last round of silly, disingenuous pro-counterinsurgency celebrations took place.
|By: Spencer Ackerman Saturday June 12, 2010 4:55 pm|
General Stanley McChrystal’s getting hit for switching up his plan to secure the city of Kandahar. So it feels like a response when he says that his responsibilities include “listen[ing] closely” to Afghans and “adapt[ing] constantly.”
|By: Jim White Friday May 14, 2010 4:47 pm|
Protests in the Surkhrod district of Nangarhar province of Afghanistan over a night raid Thursday night have left at least one protester dead at the hands of Afghan police. There is a very significant change in the primary press coverage of this event. In a reversal of the initial reporting after the Gardez raid which killed two pregnant women, reports from the New York Times, Reuters and BBC all lead with witness claims of civilian deaths and then move to NATO claims that only insurgents were killed in the raid.
|By: Jim White Thursday May 6, 2010 8:03 pm|
For some time, I’ve been documenting the effort to present General Stanley McChrystal’s COIN strategy as a warm, fuzzy program of which we should be proud, instead of the reality of night raids that kill and imprison innocent civilians, fueling the anger of insurgents. My most recent find in that propaganda campaign is truly a sight to behold.
|By: Derrick Crowe Monday April 5, 2010 12:45 pm|
In a press release issued on Easter, the U.S. and allied forces under General McChrystal’s command, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), admitted they killed three innocent Afghan women, two of whom were pregnant.
|By: Josh Mull Tuesday March 9, 2010 6:02 am|
Big cities like Kabul and Herat don’t speak for the entirety of all Afghans, so focusing all of our attention on the major urban centers doesn’t do anything to extend the legitimacy and credibility of the government, much less provide security from the Taliban. Therefore we concentrate on rural areas like Marjah — but this effort still won’t matter as long as we continue using military force and prop up a corrupt, illegitimate government. Until we have a strategy that doesn’t involve violently imposing our pet gangsters’ will on the Afghan people, we’ll have a hard time even distinguishing ourselves from the Taliban, much less convincing the citizens to take our side against them.
|By: Spencer Ackerman Sunday February 14, 2010 7:32 am|
At least McChrystal and ISAF didn’t follow in the footsteps of some of their predecessors and stall/make excuses/deny responsibility for the error.