American Dirge

The prelude to what is to come for the few soldiers President Obama will abandon in Afghanistan struck yesterday – an American 2-star general killed while visiting an Afghan officers’ academy.  Our clueless leader from behind won’t do more than mutter a few words about this being a sad loss for America, then shuffle off to the next round of golf. The press will focus on the “security lapses” that left more than a dozen others wounded, but few will place the blame where it belongs – at the door of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Nightwatch commentary includes this grim analysis:

“The tribal victory narrative features the theme of driving the foreigners out and debasing them as they left. That is what the mujahedin claim they did to the Soviet forces and what they say their ancestors did to the British before them. The Soviets had to fight their way out, on the road from Kabul to Termez on the Amu Darya. The departing coalition forces should expect a similar set of challenges, especially as the withdrawal quickens later this year.”

Here’s my take on the situation from June 8, 2014, “Abandoned In Afghanistan” (in the comments I worried about force protection – no worries is the pat answer from this hapless President).

So, our fearless leaders in Washington from the President, to the Secretary of Defense, to the Chairman of the JCS, and even the Secretary of the Army ducked for cover, releasing a written statement,  to avoid even hinting that we might have an iota of spine left in America to stand up against the world’s miscreants.  They’re all hiding behind spokesmen.  Maybe they’ll send out one of the girls from the State Department to brief us and they can even borrow my hashtag sign: #AmericanPaperTiger.

 

11 Comments

Filed under Foreign Policy, General Interest, Military, Politics

11 responses to “American Dirge

  1. Kinnison

    Gladius and I have been discussing our final withdrawal from Afghanistan for years. Here’s our take: The worst job in the U.S. military will be as commander of the unit that is the rear guard of the last American convoy to come down the road from Afghanistan, across the Khyber Pass, and then south through Pakistan to the docks at Karachi for evacuation. As with the Russians and the British before us, the locals, both the Taliban and our “allies” the Pakis will take the opportunity to kill as many remaining Americans as possible to count coup for chasing us out of the region. We don’t have the airlift to take all our troops out by air. We have billions of dollars of weapons, equipment and supplies that we simply cannot allow to remain intact to fall into Afghan hands, because then—as we did in our chaotic retreat from Vietnam—we will have left our enemies with the best-armed-and-equipped military force in Southwest Asia. We don’t begin to have enough demo or enough Engineers in-country to effectively destroy all of it “in-place”. Our best-case scenario is this: We give both the Afghans and the Pakis an ultimatum. We start our Anabasis down the road to Karachi, and if our convoys take any harassing fire, any ambushes, any IED’s to block the road we use overwhelming airpower—strike aircraft from U.S. carriers on station offshore in the Indian Ocean and squadrons of B-52’s from Diego Garcia—to rubble a 10 kilometer stretch on either side of the road from Afghanistan, through Pakistan and Karachi to the sea. But Obama will never do it, because he doesn’t have the ‘nads. He would rather have a DOD “spokesperson” deplore the massive loss of American lives in the retreat than harm a hair on the head of one more Taliban terrorist or Pakistani “ally”.

  2. Kinnison, I like your plan better, for sure. Then again, despite my lack of “nads”, if I were in command – I would follow through on that promise to protect my troops… without blinking;-)

  3. JK

    The “withdrawal” won’t be taking the route out through Karachi. The 2008 (pre-planned withdrawal is to take place [via rail] out through Tajikistan via Uzbekistan via Kazachstan)

    Hell Folks ?!! I realize it’s “nicer & easier” to say Obama planned the withdrawal of ISAF out of Afghanistan … as it’ll be withdrawal under harassment and more.

    But think about it People, trying to withdraw all we’ve taken eight[8] years to put in through Karachi – and couldn’t manage it … that’s why we needed the Black Sea route (with GW not raising too much hell over Georgia) because “we needed” the overland rail-route.
    ___________________________________

    Still.

    I can understand all this stuff. Blaming Obama (even though he “doubled-down” on GW’s stuff is much easier to swallow.

    And really. (yeah I know 2016 is a ways off but who exactly do the Republicans have “waiting in the wings strategy-wise” to get us outta this mess?
    _______________________________

    Tell y’all [everybody] my opinion – I’d feel a heckuva lot more comfortable voting for LibertyBelle for President.

    But the fact is, GW (and Co) “arranged our withdrawal outta Afghanistan awhile back” … … the plain and simple fact is we could occupy the region or … do what we’re gonna blame Obama for.

    Which isn’t necessarily bad. Maybe a Republican will wind up being President in about thirty years or so.

    • Thanks JK, America is safe from me ever running for public office – I do not do public-speaking or PC claptrap. We all know we need to get out of Afghanistan and it’s obvious we’re leaving behind a failed state, making Bush’s democracy project a “been there, done that” lesson-learned hopefully, but how you withdraw your troops leaves a lasting impression, wouldn’t you agree?

    • Kinnison

      Look at a map. The “‘Stans” are land-locked. They have lousy road networks. They have very few rail lines, and what there are are Russian gauge, and don’t run south into Afghanistan. The weapons, vehicles and equipment in Afghanistan all came in via the port of Karachi and the road north—using Paki civilian hauling companies because the Pakistani government insisted upon it—up through Pakistan and the Khyber Pass to Kabul because A) Sealift was the best and only way to get masses of vehicles and bulk cargo into Afghanistan, and B) There just isn’t any way to move bulk supplies via air. If the Army evacuates its weapons systems, vehicles and bulk supplies north into Khazakistan—it’s in Khazakistan. Where to then? The Russian influence is still very strong in the ‘Stans, and the Russians don’t like us very much at the moment… George Bush screwed up in Afghanistan. Obama called it a “necessary war” and doubled down on American ground troops. Most of the casualties have occurred on his watch. It is no longer just “Bush’s fault.” They share the blame, but Obama is C-In-C and is responsible for getting our people out and not leaving war materiel behind for the Afghan Taliban. He has the big hat and the responsibility. That’s why he has all of the perks and gets the big bucks.

  4. JK

    Not meaning to be disagreeable Kinnison but You’re I’m pretty sure aware of how “we” are managing “our sanctions”?

    Like: How would either you or me get to the ISS (or any other American for that matter)?

    You perhaps think I’m “unaware” of “the map” … ? Not meaning anything untoward mind but .. there was a time when somebody “sort of like me” had been a uniform-wearing sailor then .. found himself heloing via “Sorta/Kinda” Navy Ships via just the same Karachi ingress/egress I’m pretty sure you and the “imaginary me” would be familiar with?

    Know what I mean?

    AlphaOneFoxtrotFiveTangoFour?
    __________________________

    And Yeah, I’ve seen a map or two of the area but I appreciate you telling me I ought take a look at one.

    First time I overflighted MK-Karachi was ’79. Last time 2002.

    You reckon Kinnison we’ve got any, meaningful differences of opinion?

    • Question for you JK, I posted a link to a Stars and Stripes story about how much materiel we are destroying in Afghanistan, in preparation for leaving. It sounded like we will most assuredly not be bringing back a lot of the high-tech stuff, but instead are destroying it. You mentioned a 2008 pre-plan on how we’re going to leave Afghanistan. So, the planning has been ongoing?

    • Kinnison

      ..I was referring to the regional map of Central Asia, JK, not the map of Pakistan/Afghanistan. Specifically the fact that the ‘Stans are landlocked and have lousy transportation nets.

  5. JK

    Well (Specifically) LB, we must spike the guns. In case “we’ve forgotten” where we might’ve left any appropriate stocks – remember we’ve been bedeviled by some “Stingers” that, in the climate the batteries lasted longer than “we” specced.

    Kinnison and I are NOT actually disagreeing as you LB might think, we know what must be done. If “we” attempt spending alot of money extricating via Karachi, either the the stuff will get blown in the passes out toward the Paki ports (Karachi) or, we’ll have to blow the stuff up from the air.

    Cheaper to spike the barrels in place.

    The alternative is, rail transport via the Stans to either a Black Sea port or,

    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/wfbExt/region_cas.html

    This isn’t “rocket science.”

  6. JK

    Thought to add LB, very economically (you of all people know how “wordy” I can be) … … You’ve seen LB, me and Kinnison “talk” [Gladius & JK know to never]

    But if LB you require an example of what Kinnison and I – and I fully expect Gladius to concur … given it’s Jonathan Swift or Henry Kissinger well … we’ve recently seen AQI > John McCain & Eliza O’Bagy’s Syrian Moderate Freedom Fighters morph into first ISIL and then … when ISIL crossed out of Dayr-al-Zawr into Iraq’s Qaim at which point ISIL became ISIS … and not, John McCain’s “Freedom Fighters” when … well, it’s hard to tell exactly but I’m figuring AQI & ISIL were

    The Good Guys

    Until they took all those American built Humvees and .50 Cals at which point AQI > ISIL > ISIS > IS became

    The NOT Good Guys.
    _________________
    And LibertyBelle it’s the example of Iraq that informs me – we MEANING WE AMERICANS would be better off (and cheaper put) to getting a bunch of baseball umpires

    or whoever lays them chalk-limes down to mark off however big a spot it takes to put each and every bullet to howitzer to Apache Gunship we ain’t planning of bring back within however big that chalk-marked area is then

    have the Buffs in to carpet bomb.

    Anything remaining – B-2s and laser-guided.
    _____________________

    Bad enough to have IS attacking the heart of Iraq with American-built Humvees.

    But ISIS/ISI using our stuff against us?

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