Tag Archives: Afghanistan

The More the West gets into the Middle East…The more Crazy Shit happens….

The Boston Glode has a piece pointing to the interventional policies of America and European countries and how those actions have resulted in violence, refuges and fears being thrown back at the West FROM the Middle East…..

George Bush probably NEVER though about this….

Barack Obama HAS…..

No modern day American President has been able to escape the pull of the Middel East though….

OUTSIDE POWERS HAVE been crashing into the Middle East for more than a century. At first we presumed that people there would not mind, or even that they would welcome us. Ultimately we realized that our interventions were provoking hatred and violent turmoil. We took refuge in another comforting illusion: that no matter how awful the reaction was, it would be confined to the Middle East.

At least since the 9/11 attacks 14 years ago, it has been clear that this is fantasy. Terrorism and mass migration are bitter results of outside meddling in the Middle East. They will intensify.

Interventions multiply our enemies. Every village raid, every drone strike, and every shot fired in anger on foreign soil produces anti-Western passion. Some are shocked when that passion leads to violent reaction. They should not be. The instinct to protect one’s own, and to strike back against attackers, is as old as humanity itself.

Horrific terror assaults cannot be justified as any kind of self-defense. Their savagery is inexcusable by all legal, political, and moral standards. But they do not emerge from nowhere. In countries that have been invaded and bombed, some people thirst for bloody revenge.

It was never realistic for the West — the invading world — to imagine that it is an impregnable fortress, or an island, or a planet apart from the regions its armies invade. This is especially true of Europe, which is literally just a long walk from the conflict zone. Now that Russia has joined the list of intervening powers, it too is vulnerable. So is the United States. We are farther away and protected by oceans, but in the modern world, that is not enough. Blowback is now global…..


The US to slow troop withdrawal from Afghanistan….President looks for ISIS Ok from Congress…


Gone are the days when President Obama could get away with hustling American (And other countries who come with American troops) troops OUT of the Middle east….

It’s the opposite now….

So lets just forget the President pledge to remove ALL combat troops form Afghanistan OR Iraq….

That call is going to land on the desk of the next American President….

The Obama administration is considering slowing its planned withdrawal from Afghanistan for the second time, according to U.S. officials, a sign of the significant security challenges that remain despite an end to the U.S. and NATO combat mission there.

Under the still-evolving plans, Army Gen. John F. Campbell, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, could be given greater latitude to determine the pace of the drawdown in 2015 as foreign forces scramble to ensure Afghan troops are capable of battling Taliban insurgents on their own, the officials said.

The options under discussion would not alter what is perhaps the most important date in President Obama’s plan: ending the U.S. military mission entirely by the time he steps down in early 2017.

But officials said Campbell might temporarily retain more than the 5,500 troops slated to remain in Afghanistan at the end of 2015, keep regional training hubs open longer than planned or reorganize plans to close bases including Kandahar Airfield, a major endeavor that would draw troops away from efforts to advise Afghan security forces…..


The President will ask Congress for a new approval to continue his military campaign against the Islamic State….

He will NOT sign off on Congress limiting his ability to put US troops on a combat footing BACXK in Iraq or even Syria….That is something NO US President would agree to since there is some question weather the War Powers Act is even legal at all….

Look for approval in the end….The President WILL only agree to something that would leave wiggle room and ambiguity against his powers as Commander-in-Chief to set US Foreign Policy and the use of Force to do so…

The proposed new Authorization for the Use of Military Force, or AUMF, against the Islamic State “and associated forces” includes no geographic limitations, in keeping with the administration’s description of the group as seeking expansion beyond Iraq and Syria, and the Islamic State’s own claim to head a “caliphate” spanning the Muslim world.

The White House language prohibits the “enduring” deployment of U.S. ground forces,­ but it does not specifically ban limited boots on the ground if the president determines they are necessary, according to a senior administration official and lawmakers who have been briefed on the proposal. The official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the proposal, said the terminology refers to the use of Special Operations forces­ and other discreet missions.

The approval would expire in three years, allowing a new president and Congress to decide whether it needs to be extended or expanded.

It would also repeal the 2002 AUMF under which George W. Bush invaded Iraq but would leave in place the 2001 authorization against the al-Qaeda perpetrators of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Both have been cited by the Obama administration as legal justification for its military action in Iraq and Syria….


With Karzai gone Afghanistan will allow American Troops to stay….

The President can stop pretending he was going ship ALL of the American Combat troops back home from that country….

I mean after the situation going on in Iraq?

Why would the Afghan’s NOT want to have some American troops in the background?

A senior adviser to U.S. President Barack Obama says Afghanistan will sign a deal Tuesday to allow American soldiers to remain in the country past the end of the year.

John Podesta made the comments Monday at a news conference at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.

Podesta said he didn’t know if newly inaugurated President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai would be the official signing the deal for Afghanistan, but said he would sign it on behalf of the U.S.


The Liberal media doesn’t believe the President on his war on terror…Red State

WaPo might be insinuating Obama’s strategy won’t work

I’ve been doing a lot of WaPo reading lately, and I’m starting to notice a trend there and in the rest of the liberal media – there is a definite wariness on the part of the journalism elite regarding the Middle East. They posted a story with a headline you might not expect to see from them, “As U.S. takes on the Islamic State, al-Qaeda remains degraded but not defeated”:

As the United States mobilized against new Islamist enemies this month, the voice of an aging adversary echoed in the distance.

Ayman al-Zawahiri, one of al-Qaeda’s founders and its leader for the past three years, released a video announcing the formation of a new affiliate in India and lamenting the turmoil being caused by the rival Islamic State in Syria.

“Oh mujahideen, unite and reject differences and discord,” he said in a pleading tone that seemed to underscore the declining relevance of al-Qaeda’s core, the
Pakistan-based group that orchestrated the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

But Zawahiri was silent on a far more sensitive project — the creation of a cell in Syria dedicated to plots against the United States — that once again made predictions of the demise of al-Qaeda’s core seem premature.

The news came out that during the initial bombing runs over ISIS, there was also a strike on a group called “Khorasan,” which was organized by one of the three masterminds of Al Qaeda, Zawahiri. See, we set this timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from parts of the Middle East, which terror groups (like Al Qaeda and ISIS) picked up on and simply decided to outlast. The WaPo is exactly right in calling it a “dormant fight.”

If you’re not working pulling out a weed by the root, it will simply grow back…..



Is this a post against Obama and and FOR American combat solders fighting directly against the Islamic State?

Or  JUST for an Republican righty to assume the Presidency in 2016?

It’s interesting while some of us HOPE for NO reintroduction of American combat troops in Iraq…

Some are giving Obama a HARD time for trying to keep our men and woman out of the fight….

As the President moves to go after ISIS/ISIL… What to do with Congress?

Does the President have to keep going back and forth to Congress every time he does something ?

He HAS done at least four letters to them recently on his actions ….

But he has NOT spelled out in some sort of detail and LONG TERM strategy on dealing with ISIS/ISIL….

As the United States military’s intervention in Iraq intensifies, so does the debate between legislative and executive branch officials about President Barack Obama’s muscular use of war powers.

In the past ten weeks, Obama has authorized the first U.S. combat operations in Iraq since the war ended in 2011, and sent in roughly 1,000 U.S. troops.

The U.S. operation in Iraq is likely to extend beyond the 60-day limit under the War Powers Resolution that triggers congressional approval, meaning Obama may need a different authority to continue the fight. The president has used the sweeping 2001 Authorization of the Use of Military Force, or AUMF, to fight terrorist groups across the globe, but many argue it was primarily intended to authorize combat operations in Afghanistan, which officially end in December. The latest Iraq intervention represents what may be Congress’s last, best opportunity to rein in the dramatic expansion of the commander-in-chief’s authority to wage war that has occurred in the last 13 years.

The irony is that Obama just one year ago declared he would cut back the very authority his aides are now reconsidering. He pledged to chart a new path forward when he laid out his vision for a new comprehensive national security strategy to guide U.S. foreign policy.

“The AUMF is now nearly 12 years old,” Obama said at National Defense University in May 2013. “Unless we discipline our thinking, our definitions, our actions, we may be drawn into more wars we don’t need to fight, or continue to grant presidents unbound powers more suited for traditional armed conflicts between nation states. So I look forward to engaging Congress and the American people in efforts to refine, and ultimately repeal, the AUMF’s mandate.”

Today, gone is the talk of curbing unbound presidential powers to wage war. As the clock ticks, and Obama extends air attacks on Islamic State fighters, administration officials argue that the commander-in-chief is operating within his authority.

“We comply with the War Powers Act and informed Congress on how many people we have,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Thursday. “This is not about mission creep.”

But Obama’s team quietly is considering whether they can use the original AUMF to shore up the president’s authority to conduct the growing U.S. military operation in Iraq….


Looking back at the Gulf of Tonkin and Iraq, Afghanistan and even the Ukraine…

Politico is out with a piece that reflects on the US and Vietnam in the case of the Vietnamese attack on the US Destroyer Maddox in the Gulf of Tonkin, that started the move to the Vietnam War…..

The piece asks that American Governments should stop and take the other sides view into account when moving getting involved in a conflict….

As in Iraq….The piece points out , the US often has its mind made up on getting involved somewhere and really does NOT consider ALL the options and issues it will face, after things get rolling….President Bush wanted  Democracy spread thru out the Middle East, which we now know is  an alien concept for the region (the ‘Arab Spring’ hasn’t done to good)…..

Again in Iraq, some in the US Government Military, who follow orders from their commander-in – chief, quietly wonders what was gonna happen AFTER they fought their battle, but their worries where not addressed by the President who sent Paul Bremer in to completely mess things up…..

America finds itself in the same place in Iraq (where the ISIS/ISIL militants have TONS of US tax payer war equipment to help them set up their own new Islamic State), AGAIN and the countries military leaders in the same place , AGAIN , as they are asked to leave Afghanistan…..

As the piece points out?

History does in fact repeat itself and the same mistakes it would appear….

Today many Americans still believe that their leaders mistook Vietnamese nationalism for internationalist communism. In fact, Hanoi’s leaders were committed Marxist-Leninists. Many of them trained in the Soviet Union, and their ruthless land reform policies led North Vietnamese officials to murder tens of thousands of peasants in the 1950s. But their desire to unify their country under communism no doubt contained strong nationalist elements as well, as evidenced by their decision to pursue military action in the south before sufficiently building a strong socialist state in the north. None of this means that the Johnson administration was wise to escalate the conflict, or to confuse Hanoi’s designs with Moscow’s. Its program of massive bombing no more deterred Le Duan than VC attacks deterred America. Neither side grasped the other’s intentions. Americans never stopped to ask whether Vietnam was central to their national interest. The Tonkin to Pleiku period should have been a time to reconsider whether the United States truly would “bear any burden” to block communism.

Yet once attacked, Americans felt duly wronged. Revenge is a powerful motive, one that easily overrides good judgment. The Senate overwhelmingly endorsed the Tonkin Gulf resolution. Only two senators voted against it.

Did Americans learn from Tonkin? The lead-up to the most recent war in Iraq had a depressingly reminiscent feel. A president seemed intent on invading, presuming to liberate a foreign people that perhaps were not as eager for American liberation as Washington thought. The president failed to fully consider their point of view, just as the public failed to ask how long we would need to stay or how welcome we would be. And in 2002, when George Bush requested a congressional blank check, only 23 Senators and 133 Congressmen voted against the Iraq War Resolution. The great majority in both houses of Congress went along uncritically, only later regretting their insouciance. How many Americans today feel that the war in Iraq warranted the cost in lives and treasure? The question was never whether Saddam was a bad man; it was whether the Iraqi people truly wanted what America hoped to give them. The answer required thinking hard and learning much about the other side.


The President is looking for legislation to authorize action outside 9/11 groups…

…from Politico….

A top White House official suggested Saturday that Congress pass new legislation to support President Barack Obama’s authority to act against an array of terrorist groups not clearly linked to the September 11 attacks.

White House counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco said the Authorization for the Use of Military Force passed three days after the 2001 strikes is dated and becoming less useful as radical groups with an anti-American bent metastasize to various parts of the world.

“The 2001 AUMF has provided us authority to go after terrorist actors and address the threats that they pose that fit within that definition. We are now 13, 14 years on from that and we’re seeing the emergence of other actors,” Monaco said during an appearance at the Aspen Security Forum. “I think there absolutely is a reason to have an authority to enable us to take the fight to these evolving terrorists that we’ve talked about.”

In a speech last year, Obama said the U.S. shouldn’t be “on a perpetual wartime footing” and he appeared to call for a wind-down of the 2001 measure, which was akin to a declaration of war.

“Groups like [Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula] must be dealt with, but in the years to come, not every collection of thugs that labels themselves al Qaeda will pose a credible threat to the United States,” the president said at the National Defense University in May 2013. “Unless we discipline our thinking, our definitions, our actions, we may be drawn into more wars we don’t need to fight, or continue to grant Presidents unbound powers more suited for traditional armed conflicts between nation states. So, I look forward to engaging Congress and the American people in efforts to refine, and ultimately repeal, the AUMF’s mandate. And I will not sign laws designed to expand this mandate further.”

However, Monaco indicated Saturday that White House views refining the use-of-force measure as potentially encompassing a definition of the enemy that would actually be expanded from the current measure, which is limited to entities linked to the 2001 attacks and associated forces….



The piece ends with this…..

In a letter to Congress Friday, National Security Adviser Susan Rice said that even if that AUMF is repealed, the president would act militarily to protect American interests and would “consult closely with leaders in Congress” about such moves.

No American President is going to give up the right to act against a group that would threaten Americans anyplace on the planet….

No Congress or American Court would challenge the President’s Right to do so….

And NO President is NOT gonna advise the senior leaders and committee chairs before or after they  move to do so….

Americans want nothing to do with world problems…Poll

The Politico Poll paints a picture of a purely isolationist view of American’s wants….

It should be music to Rand Paul’s ears….

But will not stop the American President from being engaged on the world problems, but will give him pause in thinking of ‘boots on the ground ‘ anywhere….

Amid deepening violence across Eastern Europe and the Middle East, Americans are recoiling from direct engagement overseas and oppose U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Ukraine by large margins, according to a POLITICO poll of 2014 battleground voters.

The survey provides a unique look at the foreign policy attitudes of voters who will decide the most competitive Senate and House races this fall. It shows an intensely skeptical view of American military intervention:

Asked whether the U.S should do more to counter Russian aggression in Ukraine, just 17 percent answered in the affirmative. Thirty-one percent said the current policy is correct and 34 percent said the U.S. should be less involved. The poll was completed before the downing last week of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, the civilian airliner that was apparently attacked over eastern Ukraine.

More than three-quarters of likely voters say they support plans to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2016. Only 23 percent oppose the plan.

Forty-four percent of likely voters favor less involvement in Iraq’s civil war, versus 19 percent who favor more involvement and 23 percent who say the current level of involvement is appropriate.

A 51 percent majority said the situation in Iraq affects U.S. national security “a little” or “not at all.” Forty-two percent said it affects U.S. national security “a lot.”

Likely voters prefer less involvement in Syria’s civil war over more involvement, 42 percent to 15 percent. Twenty-six percent of likely voters support the current, limited level of involvement.

On the issue of foreign policy specifically, voters say they trust Republicans over Democrats by 7 points, 39 percent to 32 percent. Twenty-eight percent said they were unsure which party to trust.

The picture that emerges from the survey is consistent across issues of foreign policy and national security: Americans are profoundly wary of getting entangled overseas and seem to be skeptical of the value of projecting U.S. power on foreign conflicts. Republicans are modestly more hawkish than Democratic and independent voters, but a majority of self-identified GOP voters support pulling out of Afghanistan and maintaining or reducing involvement in Iraq, Syria and Ukraine.

President Obama asks for lower Defense Oversea Contingency Operations Money…

The President had put in an estimate for $80 Billion originally with his budget…

But he is now only asking for $58B for Defense and $7.3B for the State Department…

That’s a little more than 20% LESS that what he thought he’d need….

The money will go to Iraq, Afghanistan and other oversea’s operations….

That total includes new requests to support European security over the short term and a new counter-terrorism fund that Obama says is necessary to help combat terrorists across the Middle East and Africa.

Part of the new fund would go toward directly supporting rebel groups fighting the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad, handing Congress the political hot potato of determining whether to support arming and training the rebels.

Although the OCO request was smaller than the “placeholder,” officials renewed their caution to Congress that the war account spending will not decline at the same rate as the American troop presence in Afghanistan, which is set to fall from about 33,000 today to about 9,800 by the first of next year.

“Although the FY 2015 OCO request reflects a transition as the United States concludes combat operations in Afghanistan partway into the fiscal year, most costs will not decline precipitously,” wrote Brian Deese, acting director of the White House Office of Management and Budget.


Obama…Iraq could happen in Afghanistan also….

The President expresses his concern that the religious factor in the Middle East could come down in Afghanistan if and when American troops are withdrawn…

Part of this conversation one would image to make sure the Afghan’s don’t tell the US/NATO to pack up EVERYONE and leave…

The sad truth IS despite the comment by Obama?

There could be US and allied troops in Afghanistan for a LONG time….

Afghanistan could be gripped by Iraq-style sectarian violence after the full withdrawal of American troops by the end of 2016, President Obama acknowledged in an interview airing Monday.

But, the president said, the U.S. ultimately can not afford to keep a military presence there in perpetuity, and Afghan leaders must take responsibility for their own security.

In an interview with MSNBC airing Monday, Obama was asked if the sectarian violence gripping Iraq was reason to reevaluate his strategy for Afghanistan. Republican critics have charged that the rise of Sunni extremist groups in Iraq was partially attributable to the withdrawal of U.S. troops in December, 2011.

“No,” Obama responded. “I think that what we have done assuming that the Afghans sign a security agreement that gives our troops immunity — which the Iraqis declined to do — we’re prepared to have a residual force that helps to continue to train their forces, to continue to help stabilize the situation as you have the new government coming in.”

Last month, Obama announced that about 10,000 troops would stay in Afghanistan at the end of this year, and then gradually draw down over the next 24 months.



The next American President…Note Obama will decide if American troops are to leave the Afghan country in total…