Category Archives: Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s Only Hope: The Taliban

Dateline February 19th, 2019

The Live Free or Die State

by Decurion

I ask myself this question: What are our conventional military forces doing each day in Afghanistan? Besides SPECOPS accompanying the Afghan National Army (ANA) on some of their ops, here’s what we’re doing – hopelessly advising ANA and Afghan National Police (ANP) Colonels and General Officers while they continue to rob us blind, building Powerpoint tales to say we’re continuing to make progress, and like good FOB prisoners, doing time.

All those little FOBs we were familiar with that had USMIL based there have collapsed into Kabul or ANA Corps HQ. We’re HESCO’ed in more than ever. The last time I remember seeing an American doing a patrol outside the HESCOs in Kabul was around 2008 or 9!

We know that as long as the current Afghan government, ANA and ANP goons are running the circus, there is no hope for either peace or prosperity- none. They’re just too damn corrupt to focus on their own
country. My hunch is we may find more hope going back to a time reminiscent to the early and mid 90s, a time when we were negotiating with Taliban (in Washington!!) UNOCAL and Argentina to do petro business. The plan was to develop existing fields and explore for more oil and gas, and build a pipeline from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan to Pakistan. We were so close to a deal but wouldn’t do it because Taliban were not a legitimate government (and they treated their women like crap). These current talks are setting them up to be a legitimate piece of the government. But they would have to moderate their idiotic ways.

Plenty of Afghans will tell you the Taliban were really bad but they kept order and a lid on corruption. Taliban right now are seeing the benefits of running the lapis, emerald and copper mines, and unfortunately, the opium business. Afghanistan also sits on a plethora of rare earth minerals……at least a trillion dollars’ worth of total resources. The opium business will continue regardless of who’s in charge. Right before I left in late 2015, the Afghans resumed the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline project. But the Taliban won’t allow that to proceed unless they can officially become part of the government- the ANA and ANP are unable to keep the construction sites secure.

Taliban have long memories and understand, like back in the 90s, that a pipeline means big money. And having a legitimate piece of the government is all it takes to get back in the game.

There’s a chance that with Taliban officially part of the government acting as an anti-corruption and security hammer, then revenue from petro, precious metals and minerals, and maybe even a return of tourism could bring back some semblance of normalcy.

I’m now thinking the Taliban as a part of the Afghan government is the country’s only hope.

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The Long-Forgotten War

by Guardian 6 

Dateline Labor Day 2018

Labor Day is filled with barbeques, parades, family picnics and one final trip to the lake or shore. While the holiday honors America’s workers it also marks the end of summer and the beginning of school starting in most American communities. While we celebrate a great American holiday the war in Afghanistan will remain nothing more than a back-page headline in a few newspapers while families of loved ones deployed endure the absence of their son, sister, mother or father. For them, the war is very real and close to home this holiday weekend.

Operation Resolute Support (ORS) continues to support the fledging Afghanistan government in their fight against the Taliban with about 14 thousand American troops and some NATO alliance support. Seventeen years into this war it is long overdue to take full measure of what has been accomplished, what is still needed to be done. Do we have the right strategy and is the Afghanistan government committed to bring forth a stable Afghanistan that is something much more than a failed state threatening global security?

We are 17 years into the Long-Forgotten War. While this author does not advocate a date certain for bringing American troops home (just look at what Obama’s irresponsible withdrawal from Iraq brought forth) American forces and their families deserve to know what winning looks like. Besides “fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them here,” what are the conditions for American victory in Afghanistan? I want to emphasize the word “victory.” I trust our political and military leadership are not fighting for a stalemate; that they are fighting for more than not losing; and that they are fighting to win in the strategic national interest of the United States. As a new US commander takes the helm in Afghanistan for ORS it is worth revisiting all these things and for President Trump to remind the American people what it is we are doing in Afghanistan and what it is we are fighting for.

Our troops that are deployed in Afghanistan this Labor Day are fighting for each other; they are fighting to come home to their families; they are fighting for their country and the small part of the mission that has been assigned to their unit. American troops know what their task and purpose is in Afghanistan. The American public does not know what American forces are fighting for this Labor Day and the President should remind all of us. Mr. President, talk to us about Afghanistan and the path forward, our troops and their families deserve it. 

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