Friday, April 15, 2011

“Shadow War In Afghanistan- Strategy To Nowhere”

“Shadow War In Afghanistan- Strategy To Nowhere”
by TONY

“The conflict in Afghanistan has devolved into a shadow war pitting what the U.S. calls “hunter-killers” from Delta Force, SEAL Team Six and the Rangers against militants from the Taliban and its affiliates, military officials told the National Journal. The Pentagon has been generally quiet about their shift in strategy, as they insert elite commando units on the ground in anticipation of the withdrawal of conventional forces from Afghanistan set to begin mid-summer. During his testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee in late March General David Petraeus did allude to upping the tempo of targeted raids, pointing out that, “In a typical 90-day period, precision operations by U.S. special-mission units and their Afghan partners alone kill or capture some 360 targeted insurgent leaders.”
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Maj. Wesley Ticer, a spokesman for the military’s Special Operations Command, estimated that there are about 7,000 Special Forces operatives in Afghanistan at the moment, a 50 percent spike from a couple years ago.Petraeus wants to drive the Taliban to the negotiating table by killing enough militants, which many experts believe is a futile effort, considering the Afghan people absorbed over 1 million casualties during the jihad against the Russia in the 1980s.
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Petraeus’s approach is based on the model he used in Iraq in conjunction with General Stanley McChrystal, who led Special Forces at the time— a paradigm they believe brought Iraq back from the brink of civil war by killing and capturing thousands of Shiite and Sunni extremists. One military official reported that the ISAF has launched five times the number of targeted raids in recent months with Special Forces operatives mounting nearly more than six strikes per day against militants.

ISAF officials also indicated the ongoing strikes in the AfPak border region have made substantial progress against the al-Qaeda-linked Haqqani Network by disrupting their ability to plan new attacks and resupply militants inside Afghanistan.Not to mention, the pressure brought on by these raids has created tension between different echelons within the insurgency, as Taliban foot soldiers grow weary of risking their lives in Afghanistan while their commanders live comfortably in Pakistan hideaways.
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However, amidst claims of progress made against the insurgency in Afghanistan, the Obama administration reported on Tuesday that the Taliban movement has gained strength on the Pakistani side of the border. The Pakistan army’s major clearing operations have repeatedly failed, according to the White House report, which concluded that “There remains no clear path toward defeating the insurgency in Pakistan.” The assessment also highlighted alarming trends beyond deteriorating security conditions in Pakistan’s tribal agencies, noting how in recent weeks the Taliban successfully carried out more suicide bombing missions in Afghanistan against “soft targets”, such as army recruiting centers, government buildings and market places, which led to a spike in civilian casualties.”
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Gen. Petraeus Guarantees We Cannot Win This

"According to the US Army counter-insurgency manual re-written by General David Petraeus, a ratio of one soldier to 40 or 50 inhabitants (20 to 25 per 1000) is required to defeat an insurgency. The population of Afghanistan is now about 33,609,937 (July 2009 est.),* meaning that at least 672,181 soldiers would be necessary for success. NATO deploys approximately 130,000 soldiers in Afghanistan. So... we're about 542,180 soldiers short of the number our own commander claims are necessary to "win." We cannot win. We will inevitably lose. And you don't have to take my word for it. Just ask General David Howell Petraeus, who was responsible for US military operations in 20 countries from Egypt to Pakistan, including Operations "Iraqi Freedom" and "Enduring Freedom," the ridiculously inappropriate name for our brutal occupation of Afghanistan, and now commands our valiant efforts in Afghanistan. We cannot win. We will inevitably lose. Ain't that a hoot!?"

- Rutabaga Ridgepole, http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/
Hmm... oil, natural gas, transport pipelines, rich mineral deposits, enormous corporate profits, $50 billion a year in opium production revenue, a strong geo-strategic position from which to compete with the Russians and Chinese... Curious, though, there's never anything on the news about all our many good deeds there, not a peep. I wonder why? What?... Silly me! You're right, "democracy" and "freedom" for those poor desperate underprivileged Afghanis. Of course, THAT'S why we're there, such kind and compassionate people that we are. Will I never learn? - CP

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