Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Nobody in Charge in Afghanistan ("What Happened to the Loyal Germans?") (Are We Paying Attention Yet?)

According to Walter Pincus in The Weaseltown Post, "The surge of 30,000 U.S. troops into Afghanistan could be accompanied by a surge of up to 56,000 more contractors . . . vastly expanding the presence of personnel from the U.S. private sector in a war zone, according to a study by the Congressional Research Service. . . . That would bring the number of contractors in the country to anywhere from 130,000 to 160,000. . . . contractors made up 69 percent of the Pentagon's personnel in Afghanistan last December, a proportion that 'apparently represented the highest recorded percentage of contractors used by the Defense Department in any conflict in the history of the United States.' " (Emphasis marks added - Ed.)

The Pentagon's Joint Contracting Command in Afghanistan has increased the size of its acquisition workforce and is adding staff to monitor performance. To enhance oversight, Congress has appropriated $8 million for an electronic system that will track all contract-related information for Iraq and Afghanistan.

On Thursday, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs ad-hoc subcommittee on contracting oversight, led by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), is scheduled to hold a hearing on the increase in the number and value of Afghanistan contracts. She plans to focus on ensuring that contracts are adequately managed and "whether contracting oversight lessons learned from Iraq are being applied in Afghanistan," according to her staff members.

Contracts, in the meantime, continue to be solicited and awarded. Over the past week, the military awarded a $44.8 million contract to a Florida firm to provide dogs and their handlers for operational use in areas of southern Afghanistan along the Pakistan border, where some of the most violent fighting is taking place.

From one cavalier announcement of "more contractors needed" to the incredibly large defense appropriation just voted with few dissenting voices, we are fed on a daily basis a diet of tripe by the MSM. Although sometimes a voice from afar tries to "save" (inform) us.

This is the problem. With nobody in charge, President Karzai in Kabul runs nothing, the Taliban is a loose bunch of "unnamed others" who would be fighting each other if we weren't there, there is nobody we can easily negotiate with even if we weren't as crazy as they are, a fact in evidence to everyone but us.

One commenter to this article shares some peculiar insight about how the US population appears to the rest of the world in general: They are "clueless about the level of death and destruction taking place in theater. Unless the mass of imperial serfdom suddenly sees these wars for the profit opportunities and turf grabbing exercises that they really are, nothing will change." The 1976 BBC Television adaptation of Robert Graves's novel I Claudius (based on Suetonius' history) has a wonderful moment in this segment when a common soldier in Caesar's army in Gaul explains the strategy used by the Germans to defeat the Roman legions: "But weren't you warned?" (HINT: It's the same one used by the Afghanis, Iraqis, Vietnamese, etc., etc., - need I go on?) As a matter of fact, there is no better cinema explaining the "right" of the powerful to power and against control by the serbs. It also makes clear the muddle of events one makes by being too close to them. Watch it all if you dare. It's timeless. A true classic. "These games are being degraded!" So, let the games begin! (Emphasis marks added - Ed.)
The Baggage Of American Extremism
No Enemy, No Negotiations: Only The Dead Are Real By Gordon Duff "Veterans Today" - When General Petraeus asked for the "surge" in Iraq, he also opened negotiations with top Sunni and Shiite militia leaders, opened not only "negotiations" but started passing out cash. This combined with the "hammer" of a powerful new military force was the temporary military solution he had been tasked with, one that was, within limits, successful. The lack of real diplomatic negotiations after that has bogged the US down in Iraq where it now looks like we may spend years. Now our new "surge" in Afghanistan won't even have a Taliban "buyoff." We had become addicted to the "black and white" version of Bushitism to the extent that we, as a nation, have given up thought entirely. We know we can't win. Do we expect an army of angels to come down from heaven, the ones Cheney, Bush and Rumsfeld dreamed of, or are we going to start acting like a world leader again and identify the players, bring them to the table and do our best to really win where it counts? There are a couple of ways to go when discussing diplomacy. You can talk about the process and how it should end a conflict or look at the underlying reasons for never even considering it. Do we accept that abandoning diplomacy as a sign of "weakness" so we could move forward with the ill fated invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan was part of a realignment of our culture? How do we recover from basing our actions on facts to basing them on belief and mythology? Eight years of bizarre "Christian Zionism," a military run by religious fanatics and a government of drugstore cowboys and phony evangelists was unprepared to guide a superpower toward policies of responsible world leadership. Now, President Obama is afraid to stop "driving over a cliff" simply because nobody wants to tell the American people the truth, how stupid and useless we have actually become, and how idiotic our policies have been. It is assumed that so many Americans are mentally defective, addicted to imaginary vaccine plots and secret UN invasions, that acting like a responsible and intelligent world leader would not seem "credible." Negotiations: Who and How We have a couple of problems to begin with. Few understand what Afghanistan is. It certainly isn't a country, not by any stretch of the imagination. It is a product of haggling between Britain and Russia over a hundred years ago, and a bit more misguided fooling around in 1947. Afghanistan is aligned with India and hates Pakistan. Most Afghani's are Pashtun tribesmen, some are settled and many are nomadic, some of whom are extremely warlike, requiring no given enemy, they will attack each other out of boredom. Currently, the "Taliban," not the same Taliban as before, but a new "friendlier" Taliban, or so they tell us, controls 80% of Afghanistan entirely and most of the other 20% too. We keep trying to name leaders, heartless "evil doers" to get troops and money flowing but, in truth, nobody is in charge. This is the problem. With nobody in charge, President Karzai in Kabul runs nothing, the Taliban is a loose bunch of "unnamed others" who would be fighting each other if we weren't there, there is nobody we can easily negotiate with even if we weren't as crazy as they are, a fact in evidence to everyone but us. Surrogate War Between India and Pakistan Much of the war in Afghanistan involves India and Pakistan in ways American(s) do(n)'t see. India is supplying the Taliban because they are fighting against Pakistan. India likes the United States but their weapons are used against the US. India doesn't care. Pakistan wants Afghanistan to have a small army because war between Afghanistan and Pakistan is very likely. I(f) that happens, India is likely to invade Pakistan and the war will go nuclear. This is almost unavoidable and we are paying no attention to this. Bin Laden and the Terrorists All "reality based" people know Osama bin Laden has been dead for years. The only people mentioning him are con men looking for someone to blame or trying to scare idiots. Not only is bin Laden dead but Al Qaeda, if it existed at all, and proof of this is scarce, either moved to Africa or everyone in Al Qaeda quit and went home. We can all agree they went to Africa and we can run around there looking for them. All we find now is an occasional "leader" who we blow to kingdom come with our Predator drones. What we do agree on is that there are fewer members of Al Qaeda than would fill a bus. These are America's official estimates, the ones used by Gates and McChrystal. There is no evidence that there are any terrorist training camps in Pakistan or Afghanistan where attacks on the US are being planned. This is a fantasy. Can you expect an intelligence estimate whose cover sheet is adorned with mysterious quotes from the Old Testament to be any more credible inside than outside? This was the norm in the Rumsfeld Pentagon. If the truth didn't match biblical prophesy as interpreted by TV evangelists, the military changed the truth. Reality-based people call "changed truth" a form of lying. Who Are the Players? Nobody wants to admit who the interested parties are in the conflict between Iran, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan, the real problem. The US is involved for sure. Britain caused the problem, so they should be included. Brits like Richard North and Mike Smith are among the few who understand any of this. China has considerable interest in the region as does Russia. Without recognizing their economic spheres of influence, no lasting solution can be realized. Israel is the primary arms supplier to India and maybe others too. They also have economic interests but generally act thru their surrogate, the United States. . . . Accepting the fact that Afghanistan will solve their own problems and that no foreign power will do anything positive there militarily is paramount.
Read the rest here. (Veterans Today Senior Editor Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran and regular contributor on political and social issues.) Suzan _______________________


RealityZone said...

This was a very good article written by Mr. Duff. I totally agree. India is a silent player that the Western media does not like to mention. Other players in the region are equally important. Russia, China, The other Stans, on, and on. Energy, and the energy routes are the main objective. With the drug trade also playing a role. Heroin is now back in high demand. Thanks to our involvement in Afghanistan. The CIA has been involved in the drug trade for decades. They use the drug money to supply their covert/black/ops.

Suzan said...

Nice dissection yourself, RZ.

By George! I think you've got it!

Just wish I were drug age where I could enjoy some part of our current reality.

Thanks for your comments!


Energy, and the energy routes are the main objective. With the drug trade also playing a role.

Oso said...

Just discovered your site. I use the term "discovered" in the European sense since I know you are well aware you have a site. Great stuff in spite of wackos like RZ hanging around!

RealityZone said...

OSO; I have been called a lot worst. LOL.

SantaCat said...

Ho Ho Ho! Merry Christmas to all you cool cats and pretty kitties! And have a purrrfect New Year!

Suzan said...

Thank you, Oso!

Great to have you aboard.

Thank you for your comments.

And we have a mysterious Santa Cat aboard too.

Hope no one is allergic!

Welcome, all.