MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Afghanistan’

Bin Laden Won – The Future of Freedom Foundation

Posted by M. C. on April 16, 2019

https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/bin-laden-won/

by

Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan by Scott Horton (Chicago: The Libertarian Institute, 2017); 317 pages.

According to official U.S. government accounts, the body of Osama bin Laden slid off the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson into his watery grave in the Indian Ocean sometime on the morning of May 2, 2011. Nearly 10 years after 9/11, the terrorist leader of al-Qaeda responsible for nearly 3,000 murdered Americans was no more, and the rationale for the Afghan War gone with him.

Fast-forward another seven years. On September 2, 2018, Gen. Austin S. Miller assumed control of NATO and U.S. forces in Afghanistan, the 17th commander to inherit the longest military quagmire in the nation’s history. Miller replaced Gen. John W. Nicholson, who led the coalition war effort for 17 months. Upon his departure, Nicholson said, “It is time for this war in Afghanistan to end.”

The opposite, however, is happening.

What’s clear from Miller’s promotion from commander of the Joint Special Operations Command, the military’s most elite killing machines, is that Washington cannot leave well enough alone in this graveyard of empires. Seventeen years of unnecessary bloodshed and atrocity and wasted treasure and corruption in Afghanistan isn’t enough. In June, General Miller told lawmakers that there was no timeline for the end to the war, while the situation on the ground only worsens as the Taliban continues to gain territory at the expense of the U.S.-supported puppet government in Kabul.

As journalist Scott Horton documents in his exhaustive history of the Afghan War, Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan, the U.S. invasion and occupation of Afghanistan was always a mistake. Upon close scrutiny, Horton shows, every rationale for the war — from destroying al-Qaeda or defeating the Taliban or denying a terrorist safe haven or, even more unbelievable, creating a stable and democratic nation ruled from the capital city of Kabul — falls apart…

In the end, it didn’t matter that the United States finally got its man in neighboring Pakistan. The chants of “USA, USA” outside the White House on May 1, 2011, represented a pyrrhic victory. Bin Laden laid a trap on 9/11, and the U.S. government fell into it. Almost two decades after the towers fell, American soldiers continue to kill and die in vain in Afghanistan while propping up a corrupt regime in Kabul, a toxic combination that only ensures the insurgency never quits. Yet the powers that be continue to fight on, telling the American people that they can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

But this is a lie. Bin Laden, as Scott Horton masterfully documents, has already won. And nothing will change that fact, no matter how hard Washington spins various counter-narratives or promotes another commander to finally win the unwinnable in Afghanistan’s graveyard of empires.

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An Officer’s Path to Dissent – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on March 7, 2019

On a day in Afghanistan in 2011, I realized everything I was doing, and the only thing I still cared about was damage control, protecting our troops from needless death. I basically was phoning it in and should have known it was time to quit, lest I lose more of my soul.

Seventeen years, thousands of Americans still there, and the Taliban control more of the country than at any time since Uncle Sam’s invasion. We may never leave.

https://original.antiwar.com/danny_sjursen/2019/03/06/an-officers-path-to-dissent/

For a while there, I was a real star. High up in my class at West Point, tough combat deployments in two wars, a slew of glowing evaluations, even a teaching assignment back at the military academy. I inhabited a universe most only dream of: praised, patted and highly respected by everyone in my life system and viewed as a brave American soldier. It’s a safe, sensible spot. For most, that’s enough. Too bad it was all bunk. Absurdity incarnate.

The truth is, I fought for next to nothing, for a country that, in recent conflicts, has made the world a deadlier, more chaotic place. Even back in 2011—or even 2006, for that matter—I was just smart and just sensitive enough to know that, to feel it viscerally.

Still, the decision to publicly dissent is a tough one. It’s by no means easy. Easy would be to go on playing hero and accepting adulation while staying between the lines. Play it safe, stick to your own, make everyone proud. That’s easy, intellectually immature—the new American way. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : President Starts a War? Congress Yawns. Threatens to End One? Condemnation!

Posted by M. C. on February 12, 2019

Al-Qaeda and ISIS did not emerge in Iraq because US troops left the country – they emerged because the US was in the country in the first place. Where was al-Qaeda in Iraq before the 2003 US invasion the neocons lied us into? There weren’t any.

http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/february/11/president-starts-a-war-congress-yawns-threatens-to-end-one-condemnation/

written by ron paul

Last week’s bipartisan Senate vote to rebuke President Trump for his decision to remove troops from Syria and Afghanistan unfortunately tells us a lot about what is wrong with Washington, DC. While the two parties loudly bicker about minor issues, when it comes to matters like endless wars overseas they enthusiastically join together. With few exceptions, Republicans and Democrats lined up to admonish the president for even suggesting that it’s time for US troops to come home from Afghanistan and Syria.

The amendment, proposed by the Senate Majority Leader and passed overwhelmingly by both parties, warns that a “precipitous withdrawal of United States forces from the on-going fight…in Syria and Afghanistan, could allow terrorists to regroup.” As one opponent of the amendment correctly pointed out, a withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan is hardly “precipitous” since they’ve been there for nearly 18 years! And with al-Qaeda and ISIS largely defeated in Syria a withdrawal from that country would hardly be “precipitous” after almost five years of unauthorized US military action. Read the rest of this entry »

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Capitol Hill Cowards: Why Congress Is Trying to Undermine Trump’s Troop Withdrawal Plan | Cato Institute

Posted by M. C. on February 11, 2019

Almost comical is the resolution’s reference to “hard-won gains.” Coincidentally, earlier the same day the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction released his latest quarterly report. The reality on the ground is accurately described as “hard-won,” but there are few “gains” to record. More territory and population are under Taliban control. Afghan troop numbers are down. Corruption and opium production remain at crisis levels. Increased allied participation in combat has been necessary to slow Taliban gains. The Director of National Intelligence warned that Afghanistan is likely to continue deteriorating even with Western support.

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/capitol-hill-cowards-why-congress-trying-undermine-trumps-troop

By Doug Bandow

Afghanistan is America’s longest war, at seventeen years and counting. It has run longer than the Mexican-American War, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, and Korean War combined. Yet Congress has conducted minimal oversight and done nothing as the executive branch’s aim devolved into pushing failure onto the next administration.

In Syria Washington chose to enter a civil war of minimal security concern to America. Syria was allied with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Washington’s previous forays in similarly imploding Middle Eastern nations—Lebanon and Libya—turned out badly. The executive branch concocted ever more outlandish duties for American military personnel: extirpate ISIS, exclude Iran, confront Russia, pacify Turkey, protect Kurds, and pressure Damascus. Yet Congress never voted on the continual usurpation of legislative power.

If legislators want to carp because the president has sensibly decided to terminate foolish, unnecessary, and unproductive military interventions, then they should have voted on initially authorizing those deployments.

Members also sat like potted plants as presidents illegally made war in Libya, Syria, and Yemen and threatened to unilaterally strike Iran, North Korea, and now Venezuela. Legislators preferred to avoid committing themselves. If the ensuing conflict goes well, then they will applaud the president; if it goes badly, then they will criticize his impetuous incompetence. They routinely refuse to live up to their constitutional responsibilities, unless forced to do, as when President Barack Obama tossed the issue of bombing Syria to Congress.

Now, however, the Senate has voted to condemn “the precipitous withdrawal of United States forces” from both Afghanistan and Syria. Doing so “could put at risk hard-won gains and United States national security.” The measure was offered by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has spent his entire career cheerleading every unconstitutional action military taken by every president. He recently, and doggedly, resisted allowing a vote on an authorization of force against the Islamic State. Thus, the fight against ISIS and consequent military deployment remain illegal. Even now McConnell and the vast majority of his colleagues refuse to abide by the Constitution. Read the rest of this entry »

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Notorious CIA-Backed Units Will Remain in Afghanistan

Posted by M. C. on January 7, 2019

Mashal reports that the abuses by the CIA “are actively pushing people toward the Taliban” and when few US military troops remain, “the [CIA-led] strike forces are increasingly the way that a large number of rural Afghans experience the American presence.”

War crimes or not, I wouldn’t release anyone into the grimy claws of the ICC. They are drunk with UN sanctioned power and are anti-US. US citizens should not be subject to One World Government courts.

https://truthout.org/articles/as-trump-orders-us-out-of-afghanistan-notorious-cia-backed-units-will-remain/

BYMarjorie CohnTruthout

Politicians and pundits alike have roundly criticized Donald Trump for stating he will pull our troops out of Syria and cut US forces in Afghanistan by half. James Mattis immediately resigned as secretary of defense, writing in a letter to Trump, “you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours.”

As the US military kills civilians in Syria and CIA-led Afghan forces continue to commit war crimes, it appears Trump is doing the right thing in pulling out military troops. But the CIA will remain and grow stronger after the US troops leave. “[A]s American military forces are set to draw down, the role of the Central Intelligence Agency is only likely to grow in importance,” according to The New York Times.

On December 31, The Times described a CIA-sponsored Afghan strike force that operates “unconstrained by battlefield rules designed to protect civilians, conducting night raids, torture and killings with near impunity.” In the article, journalist Mujib Mashal cites an October 2018 United Nations report that raised concern about “consistent, credible accounts of intentional destruction of civilian property, illegal detention and other abuses.” Read the rest of this entry »

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After 17 Years of War, Afghanistan Is All But Forgotten

Posted by M. C. on December 13, 2018

https://truthout.org/articles/after-17-years-of-war-afghanistan-is-all-but-forgotten/

William Rivers Pitt

Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, John Bolton, Paul Wolfowitz and the other neo-con wild boys who came to power with George W. Bush in 2001 all shared a vision. In their minds, they saw a cowed, conquered Iraq as the stepping stone to a wider conflict that would, in the righteous fullness of Republican time, lead to broad regional transformation and the enforced peace of empire, all of it lubricated by “liberated” Middle Eastern petroleum.

Using Iraq as a jump-off point, they would knock off regime after regime, running up the stars and stripes as they went, and then watch as peace and prosperity unfolded like a desert blossom. That cauldron of seemingly endless conflict would soon become a happy democratic paradise filled to bursting with McDonald’s customers tying the laces of their new Nike sneakers with fingers stained purple from voting. All the wild boys needed was a catalyst, a “new Pearl Harbor,” to get the ball rolling. When the Towers came down, they took their shot, and we were off to the races.

It has not worked out exactly as planned. Read the rest of this entry »

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After 17 years of war, top US commander in Afghanistan admits Taliban cannot be defeated — RT US News

Posted by M. C. on November 4, 2018

The problem is redistribution. Your money to Boeing and McDonnell Douglas.

https://www.rt.com/usa/442939-miller-afghanistan-war-lost-taliban/

The Afghanistan war cannot be won militarily and peace will only be achieved through a political resolution with the Taliban, the newly-appointed American general in charge of US and NATO operations has conceded.

In his first interview since taking command of NATO’s Resolute Support mission in September, Gen. Austin Scott Miller provided NBC News with a surprisingly candid assessment of the seemingly never-ending conflict, which began with the US invasion of Afghanistan in October, 2001.

“This is not going to be won militarily. This is going to a political solution,” Miller said.

He mused that the Taliban is also tired of fighting and may be interested in starting to “work through the political piece” of the 17-year-old war.

But it’s not clear if the Taliban is open to negotiations. Last month, a top Taliban commander told RT, in a rare interview, that the group’s leaders had no desire to negotiate with the Americans…

To make matters worse, casualties among Afghan government forces have skyrocketed in recent months. Afghan security forces suffered 1,000 fatalities in August and September, according to the Pentagon…

 

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Afghan Warplanes Attack Wedding Convoy, Kill Four Civilians – News From Antiwar.com

Posted by M. C. on October 6, 2018

The forever war.

https://news.antiwar.com/2018/10/05/afghan-warplanes-attack-wedding-convoy-kill-four-civilians/

Jason Ditz

Afghan officials are promising an investigation after a Thursday airstrike in the Kandahar Province killed at least four civilians, including women and children, and wounded eight others. Indications are that this was an Afghan military airstrike.

The officials say they were targeting Taliban militants in the area, but ended up hitting a wedding procession at a nearby village. They claimed the Taliban were “mixed up with the villagers,” though this doesn’t make sense as the airstrike was called in during a Taliban offensive against Afghan troops.

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Balance Sheet of the Forever War – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on September 5, 2018

When one adds up the U.S. dead and wounded from the wars we have launched since 2001 with the Arab and Muslim wounded, killed, orphaned, widowed, uprooted and turned into refugees, as well as the trillions of dollars lost, what benefits are there on the other side of the ledger?

https://original.antiwar.com/buchanan/2018/09/04/balance-sheet-of-the-forever-war/

by 

“It is time for this war in Afghanistan to end,” said Gen. John Nicholson in Kabul on his retirement Sunday after a fourth tour of duty and 31 months as commander of U.S. and NATO forces.

Labor Day brought news that another U.S. serviceman had been killed in an insider attack by an Afghan soldier.

Why do we continue to fight in Afghanistan?

“We continue to fight simply because we are there,” said retired Gen. Karl Eikenberry who preceded Gen. Nicholson.

“Absent political guidance and a diplomatic strategy,” Eikenberry told The New York Times, “military commanders have filled the vacuum by waging a war all agree cannot be won militarily.”

This longest war in U.S. history has become another no-win war… Read the rest of this entry »

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Secretary Mattis, here’s a roadmap to peace in the Middle East | TheHill

Posted by M. C. on July 30, 2018

http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/foreign-policy/399187-secretary-mattis-heres-a-roadmap-to-peace-in-the-middle

BY SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY.)

You see, every time I run into the secretary of Defense, I try my best to make the point that we’ve been at war too long in too many places.

Gen. Mattis, as well as the head of NATOthe head of the UN, and virtually every voice of reason in the foreign policy world, acknowledges that there is no military solution to the unending Afghan War.

For that matter, most agree that there is no military solution to the Syrian civil war or the Yemeni civil war. And yet . . . the same voices that admit there is no military solution keep sending more troops…. Read the rest of this entry »

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