Tag Archives: Afghanistan

“Fool’s Errand”: A guide to the new forgotten war

Source: The American Conservative
by Philip Giraldi

“Scott Horton’s new book, Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan, is a masterful account of America’s prolonged Afghan engagement. It reminds us that what began in 2001 was only the most recent phase of a decades-long struggle that began in 1979 when the Russians invaded Afghanistan, and Washington responded by arming and funding the mujahideen guerrillas, who effectively pushed back against Soviet control of their country but later morphed into al-Qaeda. Like the CIA’s ill-fated replacement of Mohammad Mossadegh in Iran in 1953, the meddling in Afghanistan has borne bitter fruit, a prime example of what has been referred to as ‘blowback.'” (09/07/17)


Restating the obvious, briefly

Source: The Power of Narrative
by Arthur Silber

“I recently read still another piece by a well-known ‘antiwar’ writer bemoaning the fact that U.S. policy in Afghanistan has been a miserable failure. Not only that: it’s been a miserable failure for 16 years! (The particular article and the specific writer are of no consequence, but I’ll probably address a few aspects of this category of analysis in the next few weeks, using that and other examples.) To call U.S. policy in Afghanistan a failure is, of course, unutterably wrong. Whenever you hear someone peddling this line, you can quickly and safely move along to find an analyst who actually knows what he’s talking about.” [editor’s note: “Failure” v. “success” assumes purpose. And claiming that Afghanistan is all one or all the other unduly assumes only one possible purpose – TLK] (09/01/17)


Mattis begins Afghanistan occupation “surge”

Source: Washington Post

“The Pentagon has begun sending additional troops to Afghanistan to carry out President Donald Trump’s new war strategy, which will stick to his predecessor’s approach of supporting the Afghans’ fight against the Taliban rather than doing the fighting for them, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Thursday. ‘Yes, I’ve signed orders, but it’s not complete,’ Mattis told reporters in an impromptu news conference at the Pentagon. He would not say how many additional troops are deploying or what their exact roles will be. … Other officials have said the U.S. will send about 3,900 additional troops.” (08/31/17)


Review — Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan

Source: Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo

“After 16 years of writing about it, I thought I knew a lot about the war in Afghanistan, but Scott Horton’s new book, Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan, showed me how much I didn’t know — and that’s quite a bit.” (08/31/17)


Trump won’t tell Americans how many troops he is risking

Source: The Atlantic
by Conor Friedersdorf

“In his speech unveiling his plan for Afghanistan, Trump declared, ‘We will not talk about numbers of troops or our plans for further military activities. Conditions on the ground, not arbitrary timetables, will guide our strategy from now on.’ As John M. Donnelly observed, ‘In framing the issue this way, Trump conflated three things that are distinctly different: disclosing military plans; announcing deadlines for withdrawal; and informing Americans how many of their family members will be sent into harm’s way.’ The public deserves to know how many Americans will be sent into harm’s way. Troop deployments should always be part of ongoing debate in a representative democracy.” (08/29/17)


Afghanistan: Suicide bomber hits Kabul bank ahead of holiday rush, killing five

Source: Washington Post

“A Taliban suicide bomber blew himself up at a bank not far from the U.S. embassy in Kabul, killing five people on Tuesday, as government employees lined up to withdraw salaries ahead of the holiday. An airstrike meant for a Taliban command post north of the capital in Herat also killed at least 13 civilians, according to local officials. The Taliban insurgent group said one of its suicide bombers blew himself up at the Nawe Kabul bank to kill security forces waiting to withdraw cash ahead the Eid al-Adha holiday, the holiest day of the Muslim calendar.” (08/29/17)


The war that time forgot

Source: CounterPunch
by Jeffrey St. Clair

“Most Americans have no idea why we are in Afghanistan; it’s the longest running Fake War in American history. Some, as many as 20 percent according to a Gallup Poll, have no idea that we are still in Afghanistan. Osama Bin Laden and Mullah Omar are both long dead. The shattered remnants of Al Qaeda have fled to Pakistan and parts unknown. Hamid Karzai has come and gone. For the last six months, the US hasn’t even troubled itself to send an ambassador to Kabul. A kind of convenient cultural amnesia has set in, abetted by a compliant press corps that has largely decamped from the Hindu Kush and now treats Afghanistan as if it is some kind of interstellar region, where photographers are occasionally dispatched to snap eerie debris clouds from the detonation of MOAB bombs.” (08/25/17)


Operation CYA — Afghanistan

Source: Libertarian Institute
by Sheldon Richman

“Steve Bannon’s Breitbart and others notwithstanding, that was Trump being Trump when he announced he would not be quitting Afghanistan, despite the manifest futility and counterproductivity — that is, idiocy — of America’s 16-year war there. He is not a captive of ‘my generals,’ bad as they are. He is his own man.” (08/25/17)


If you can’t change your mind, change the subject

Source: LewRockwell.com
by Andrew P Napolitano

“On the heels of his worst week in office, during which his crude comments about race were widely perceived as defending racism and hatred — comments that sent some of his natural domestic allies fleeing — President Donald Trump could not bring himself to articulate a mea culpa. … Like former President Bill Clinton after his disastrous public appearance before a federal grand jury that was investigating him, Trump decided to fight a war. But the war he announced we will ‘fight to win’ earlier this week is the longest, most misguided, costliest and least understood war in our history, and we are fighting for people who hate us. If these phrases and ideas sound familiar, they should. They are not my words — though I agree with them — but those of candidate Trump. … If he has been consistent on any public issue, it has been his opposition to this useless, lawless, costly war — until he needed to change the subject.” (08/24/17)


Trump’s flip flop on Afghanistan betrays his anti-interventionist constituency

Source: PanAm Post
by Ben Jackson

“During the uncharacteristically eloquent introduction of his speech last Monday night, Trump acknowledged that the policies he was about to outline would go against his campaign promises. ‘Historically I like following my instincts,’ he said. ‘But all my life I have heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office.’ With politicians, it can be tricky to see past the diplomatic and duplicitous exterior and identify what they are actually trying to say. Trump is no exception to that rule, for all of his talk of being a fresh alternative to career politicians. It seems he was trying to say that he was more concerned with winning the election during the campaign, and not in showcasing his priorities or intentions. What his priorities and intentions truly are, I am sure I do not know.” (08/24/17)