afghan warlords

Home » afghan warlords

Friday Evening Grab Bag

  • There has been an attempt by Al Qaeda to ship explosives in cargo jets. The exact details of the plot have not been revealed. The exact variety of explosives has not been revealed. Exactly how the explosives were to be detonated has also not been revealed. Update: From LAT – “One of the packages was found aboard a cargo plane in Dubai, the other in England. Preliminary tests indicated the packages contained the powerful industrial explosive PETN, the same chemical used in the Christmas attack, U.S. officials said. The tests had not been confirmed.

  • The GDP did rise in the third quarter although the economy is still sluggish.
  • The Democratic candidate for Senate in Florida, Kendrick Meek, has made headlines because he staying in the race. Polling clearly shows that he’s about to get trounced in Tuesday’s election. Rumors began to fly that former president Bill Clinton asked him to drop out of the race. Both he and Clinton denied this. All I know is Kendrick Meek has not run a very good campaign. If he could solidify the Democratic base, he should be able to easily win as the moderate Republican, Charlie Crist and the ultraconservative, Marco Rubio, would split the conservative vote.
  • The owner of a McDonald’s franchise in Canton, Ohio, told his employees that unless the Republicans win, the employees can’t get raises.
  • Verizon has been ordered to pay an additional $25 million on top of a $52 million refund to its customers for overcharging. This is the largest fine in FCC’s history. Ripping off Americans seems to have become a sport to American big business.
  • It looks as if we’ve spent $18 billion to reconstruct Afghanistan. That’s the good news. The bad news is we really don’t have a good way to track reconstruction dollars and have no way of knowing whether the money went to pay off Afghan warlords or to build bridges and schools, according to a new report. (More on this here and full report here.)
By |2010-10-29T19:17:21-04:00October 29th, 2010|Al Qaeda|Comments Off on Friday Evening Grab Bag

Gates Looking for More Troops

Out of the thousands of terrible decisions that President George W. Bush and his administration have made, the worst has to be deciding to stop chasing the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden. I guess that we can also lump in the decision not to send more troops into the Tora Bora mountains to encircle Bin Laden and kill or capture him at that time. Then there was the decision to push the Taliban and Bin Laden out of the capital city of Kabul instead of closing the city off and cornering all of Al Qaeda’s top leadership. All of these decisions were terrible. We are living with the consequences of these decisions now.

The Taliban attacked an American base in Eastern Afghanistan this week. Now, let’s ruminate over this for a second. American has the most powerful military in the world. Yet, the Taliban launched an coordinated offensive against us. They must have thought either they could win the battle and take the base or they could learn from the American response and use that knowledge in a future attack. Both scenarios are depressing. (They did overrun the base with their second attack.)

Over the last six years, the U.S. has spent billions of dollars in Afghanistan. What have we gotten for our investment? Heroin. Afghan farmers have produced more heroin under the Bush administration then they ever did under the Mullah Omar and the Taliban. Tons of this stuff have flooded the world market. Yet, the Bush administration has done next to nothing to stop it.

We are making the same mistake that former President Reagan made over 20 years ago. U.S. policy was to confront Russia everywhere, keeping the pressure on. When Russia invaded Afghanistan, we supplied weapons to the Afghan warlords and mujaheddin. Russia was pushed out. We declared victory and left. But we didn’t help rebuild the county. More fighting occurred. This time the fighting was basically a civil war. The Taliban won. We continued to ignore events until 9/11.

afghan cartoon

So, fast forward to late 2001 when we ran the Taliban out of Afghanistan. We left just enough troops to make sure that Kabul will not fall back into the hands of the Taliban as we went after those WMD’s. Afghanistan has been allowed to fester. We don’t have enough troops or money to build a society that respects the rule of law, much less a society that has telephones for commerce or roads to efficiently move produce to market. Six years after the Taliban were pushed out, they are back like Freddie Krueger.

Now the Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is looking for more troops to send Freddie back to where he came from– but there aren’t any more troops. Unless Gates has the powers of Samantha Stevens, on the TV show Bewitched, twitching his nose is not going to produce any more troops. All of our combat units are either in Iraq or in Afghanistan or they have just come back from deployment. There are no good short term solutions.

I think that we need to pull a couple of combat units out of Iraq and send them to Afghanistan. We need to get control of this situation. We need to kill or capture the leadership of the Taliban and find Osama Bin Laden and end what he started.

I don’t think that I have said anything in this post that would be considered radical or left-wing or controversial. This should be the American stance but, as you know, it is not. Bush supporters somehow try to argue that Afghanistan really doesn’t matter. The really fight against terrorism is in Iraq.

Here’s Fred Barnes trying to make this case on Fox News Sunday:

By |2008-07-17T22:57:21-04:00July 17th, 2008|Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, Military|Comments Off on Gates Looking for More Troops
Go to Top