Wednesday, June 16, 2010

In the Age of 'Processes'...

It seems like every so many years we develop a new political jargon. 'At-the-end-of-the-day' was popular throughout the 90's and into the first of the new millennium. 'Closure' seemed like it would be with us forever. As it pertains to wars and strategies, this decade has it's 'Processes'. This is what happens to people who choose to be non-committal but wish to be seen as determined and retain power; you develop a language that isn't really a language but a, well, process of demagoguery through creative speech. A process in itself.

Men of action have always been deliberate and willing to tell you their intentions. My belief is that true men of action still are. So if what we are hearing from politicians and their appointees sounds less than deliberate or well defined, you would have to draw the conclusion that they are not deliberate men, or, men of action. If a General in an Army is not deliberate or a man of action; of what value is he as the Leader of an organization with an active mission?

'For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?' 1 Corinthians 14:8

A friend sent me this link to a story that ran in the San Francisco Gate about the a Congressional Committee meeting yesterday, the 15th of June. General Petraeus was answering questions about the progress of the war/unwar in Afghanistan and about dates for withdrawal/draw-down. (During the questioning, he 'fainted' apparently from a case of dehydration.) He was asked about the administration's publicized drawn-down date of July 2011. When pressed about the wisdom of determining a future draw-down date in what is at best a fluid situation, the General said it was a 'Process'. That is political speak for; 'don't hold me to it'.

This meeting comes after a series of questionable reports from Afghanistan both from the media and from the upper echelon leadership that seemed unable to determine the state of Kandahar, the likely success of the coming operation there, the level of 'support' for the operation by the 'innocent and put-upon' Afghan civilian population there, COIN, the usefulness of ANA, et al. In fact the only thing not questioned was the act of questioning itself. At the beginning of the week there appeared to be a consensus that the 'operation' would be delayed and 'reconceived'. By Wednesday the administration had announced, through SecDef, that NATO had regained control from the Taliban?! So to suggest the good General was under a little stress would in itself suggest understatement.

There still seems to be a complete disconnect in Congress from the realities on the ground in Afghanistan. After scouring the internet, I could not find one example of a question leveled at the General questioning whether or not the overall strategy was indeed successful and by what measure it was determined to be? And this after one of the deadliest weeks for ISAF in the 8 year war. It causes me to question just what kind of catastrophe would have to strike in order to have that question raised?

Let's remember that within the COIN paradigm, the 'friendly' elements are the 'innocent' population and their government. The fact that we are expending resources to investigate the corruption of the government in Kabul that are supposed to be used to ID the enemy, their purpose and their capability suggests that 'paradigm' ain't working out so well. Add to that, the stories that are coming out that tell us what we have always known; that the civilians there are more aligned with the Taliban than they are with us and the next great question is; why isn't Congress questioning the strategy itself?

Could it be that garnering a working and historically correct view of the Islamic world is a 'process' within the halls of Congress? If it is; how long will that take and can we afford to wait on them to be finally enlightened about what any High School student in the nineteenth century knew?

What I do know is that there are limits. The entire legal system of this country aside, there is a limit to what the American public - the thinking segment of the American public, is willing to tolerate. Even the most 'tolerant' person in this country will eventually have a hard time justifying the continual shedding of American blood for a people who haven't shown any interest in improving their lot in life, in their entire history. A people who still cling to the demonically spawned ideology that demands the murder of all who do not submit to Allah. An ideology that shows no deference or tolerance for any other religion and actively seeks to kill the proponents of those religions.

The fact is, you really can't teach an old dog new tricks and you can't drag the unrepentant out of the dark ages and that isn't what we went in there for anyway. We went to Afghanistan to kill the dirt bags that planned and carried out the events of September 11th, 2001 and to hold their hosts (the Taliban), accountable.

Hey General; to prevent dehydration, drink plenty of liquid and reduce stress; preferably by listening to your conscience, before answering deliberate questions with less than deliberate answers!

Semper Fidelis;

John Bernard

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Wrong Men, the Wrong Time, the Wrong War!

James L. Jones, Robert M. Gates, Barrack H. Obama, David Petraeus, Stanley McChrystal

Infected with an ideological slant toward the Muslim populations of the world, these five men have deliberately placed our Warriors and this nation in the world's backseat. That the welfare of the Afghan people and that of Muslim peoples around the world is the priority, there can be little doubt. There have been far too many references to diplomatic nuance and specific statements by the President himself to leave any doubt of the agenda of this administration and that of his collective.

It was not that many weeks ago that David Petraeus, Commander USCENTCOM, made his outrageous political statements concerning the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and it's endangering of American Troops in the region. Petraeus's statement was surprising on several levels not the least of which is that it is generally considered bad policy for active duty Officers to make political commentary. Making such comments is generally career killing. The fact that there was absolutely no response from the administration or from any quarter in DC speaks volumes about this sitting administration's view of the United States, Israel and the Islamic world.

This past week may have supplied the most damning evidence to date of the failure of this administration and that of the appointed military leadership in the prosecution of the war in Afghanistan. A series of stories that began with an admission of doubt in the effectiveness of the current strategy began to emerge this past week. From the story:

U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal has confirmed that the long-anticipated (and widely publicized) security offensive in the city of Kandahar will be delayed and reconceived. This announcement comes amid a number of U.S. and NATO statements reflecting concern about the strength and persistence of the Taliban and ongoing difficulties in the farming community of Marjah. In short, the U.S.-led effort in the Afghan south is encountering serious problems.

One day later, SecDef Gates is out on the media trail, announcing that NATO has 'regained the initiative' in the fight against the Taliban?! June 13th found Harmid Karzai and General McChrystal in Kandahar 'to build support for the upcoming military offensive in the province'. And finally we have this little gem dated today in which General Petraeus, wearing his other hat (whatever that is) announcing that Afghanistan has an abundance of untapped wealth in minerals.......??? Hasn't it always been the left and it's mouthpiece the media that has always denounced US foreign policy as the act of an 'Imperialistic State'? Why in the world should we care about what lies beneath the top layers of soil in Afghanistan? What could this possibly have to do with the upcoming, on again, off again, 'reconceived offensive' in Kandahar? Does anyone actually have a clue what the mission is much less any definition of victory/completion/endgame?

Maybe this isn't the best time to bring this up either; Atlas Shrugs reported that Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit on Nile-TV, said that President Obama made it clear to him that he was a Moslem and that his Father was a Moslem and that his Step Father was a Moslem and that the Moslem peoples of the world just needed to be a little patient with him. He reportedly told him that once he was finished with some of those pesky domestic issues like health care, oil spills, eroding what is left of US manufacturing capacity etc, 'he would show the Muslim World how to deal with Israel'. Seem far-fetched? It is always interesting to me that people will refuse to believe that the doctrine of deception practiced by Islam exists and yet not believe a Muslim when he makes a declaration about a politically charged statement by this sitting President. You can't have it both ways folks.

The real question that needs answering here is whether or not anyone involved in this Afghan debacle has a clue. Does the President have a clearly marked path to a clearly defined endgame? Does he have any clearly identifiable vision for the Arab world, the Middle East in general or the security of the nation he has sworn to protect? Does the SecDef have any clue about his role and does he understand that his oath stands alone and maybe in defiance of the desires of this sitting President? Do Petraeus or McChrystal have any idea of their parts in this or are they just doing the bidding of their messiah as well?

And what of our Warriors caught in the middle of this web of deception, indecision, reckless abandonment of the primary concern; the security of this nation? In a week that saw 23 NATO troops killed, a helicopter shot down, reported tanks destroyed, a massive bombing of a wedding ceremony in Kandahar, is there any understanding of the ruthlessness of the enemy? Is there yet any 'enemy' left to fight? In a land where deception, lies, treachery and murder are all glorious to Allah, does there still remain any belief that COIN is the 'right strategy'? If yes; then it should be clear that the five men at the helm are completely incompetent or worse, guilty of pre-meditated murder.

At a time when the population of this country seems to be oblivious to the suffering of our Warriors and the brutal failure of an ill-conceived strategy in a land where the only valueless commodity is human life, there needs to be a voice of reason.

Is there one out there in this stinking swamp of political sewage that has become our city of governance?

Semper Fidelis;

John Bernard