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by CTuttle

Brennan, Hagel, and Kerry: More Of The Same Failed Obama FP

8:45 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

As the Editors of the IntelNews wrote recently…

Obama’s National Security Nominations: Nothing to See Here

…Yet much of the commentary on the nominations of John Kerry for State, Chuck Hagel for the Pentagon, and John Brennan for the CIA, is unduly over-dramatizing what is essentially a routine story. To begin with, it is clear that, in selecting Kerry, Hagel and Brennan for the nominations, the President’s priority was to surround himself with people he knows and trusts. Knowledgeable observers point out that all three nominees come from Obama’s most trusted circle of friends and —if appointed— will allow the President to stay well “within his comfort zone” as he begins his second term in office. In this sense, Obama selected the three candidates, not with some major policy shift in mind, but in order to ensure continuity and permanence in his foreign policy

…Even if we were to accept that Hagel is somehow “anti-Israel”, anyone who thinks that nearly seven decades of American policy on Israel are about to change because Hagel is suspicious of the Israeli lobby in the US, grossly misunderstands the institutional character of American foreign policy. The latter does not change in radical shifts; it evolves over long periods as a result of varying national or economic interests, changing conditions or the ground, or popular pressure. There is no question that Hagel, like Obama himself, is skeptical about military intervention abroad; but this fact points to continuity, not a radical shift in the administration’s policy. If Hagel’s nomination is approved by Congress, his views on Israel, or for that matter any other country or group of countries, will form but one element in a multitude of competing interests that help shape American foreign policy.

President Obama’s national security nominations are certainly noteworthy. But there is little here that is earth shattering. For the most part, the President sought individuals who will help him sustain the foreign policy of his first term in office, not radically alter it. Anyone looking for drama in these nominations will sooner or later be thoroughly disappointed.

Moar DroneZ, Bay-bee…!

Some more, McGovern… The Grilling that Brennan Deserves…

Apparently, it was a slim bench for CIA Director… Jane Harman for CIA Director? Really?

Some more on Hagel…

…Hagel will be in the wrong job to drive a fundamental recasting of the Obama administration’s Iran policy:

“I would take the president’s word that he likes and trusts former Senator Hagel, got to know him in the Senate, likes and trusts his positions and his candor on a range of issues. But I think the calculus to go ahead, and in the way that they are going ahead is that Senator Hagel, for all of the courageous positions he’s taken—on Iran, on Israel, HAMAS, lots of issues—that he will assure his fellow senators that those are positions that he held as a senator and they really will not have very much to do with his position as Secretary of Defense. Those are quintessential foreign policy issues that will be carried out by the Secretary of State and the national security adviser…

Obama now has an all-white-male [national security] cabinet. The question is how long will his national security adviser stay, Tom Donilon. And there I would put a question whether Susan Rice will be back on the scene. And she will certainly constrain Hagel’s attempts—if he has any desire to make these attempts—to change policies…[The White House]thinks that Hagel is going to a good Secretary of Defense, and do quintessentially Secretary of Defense things—not foreign policy.”

In wrapping up, Paul Pillar is right….

Declaring Victory on Iran

…So one side feels a need to crow about a victory, while the other side needs to feel that it has not been kicked in the face. To square that emotional circle, American politicians will have to get most of their triumphalist fix from what has happened already—from getting a negotiation with Iran about curtailing its nuclear program under way at all. Members of Congress can proclaim today (and when they next run for re-election) that all those votes they cast in favor of all of those sanctions were an important part of getting Iran to the negotiating table. After saying that, they should pipe down, get out of the way, and let the negotiators strike a deal.



by CTuttle

Pentagon Admits The Afghan Taliban Are Growing Stronger

4:53 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Lets parse the words uttered by both sides in Afghanistan…

First, The Pentagon just released it’s report to Congress on Afghanistan…

Afghan Taliban getting stronger, Pentagon says

…The report, requested by Congress, portrays an insurgency with deep roots and broad reach, able to withstand repeated U.S. onslaughts and to reestablish its influence, while discrediting and undermining the country’s Western-backed government.

But the Pentagon said it remained optimistic that its counter-insurgency strategy, formed after an Obama administration review last year, and its effort to peel foot soldiers away from the Taliban will show success in months to come.[...]

The new report offers a grim take on the likely difficulty of establishing lasting security, especially in southern Afghanistan, where the insurgency enjoys broad support. The conclusions raise the prospect that the insurgency in the south may never be completely vanquished, but instead must be contained to prevent it from threatening the government of President Hamid Karzai.

The report concludes that Afghan people support or are sympathetic to the insurgency in 92 of 121 districts identified by the U.S. military as key terrain for stabilizing the country. Popular support for Karzai’s government is strong in only 29 of those districts, it concludes.

U.S.-led military operations have had "some success in clearing insurgents from their strongholds, particularly in central Helmand," the report said. But it adds: "The insurgent tactic of re-infiltrating the cleared areas to perform executions has played a role in dissuading locals from siding with the Afghan government, which has complicated efforts to introduce local governance."

From the other side…

American futile Efforts in the Mirror of the Afghan History

Prior to February 1989, when the Red Army pulled out of Afghanistan, the Soviet leaders started gradually drawing down their forces in the far-flung provinces of Afghanistan . Consequently, Dr. Najib’s government evacuated Khust and Kumar provinces completely, posing it as an initiative to defend places of people’s concentration. Meanwhile, Najib’s spy agency the Ministry of State Intelligence ( WAD in Persian) , braggingly announced that they had created disunity among the Mujahideen. They said that they were in contacts with the Mujahideen commanders and as per their strategy, had struck some surreptitious deals with them. Thus, they were trying to hide their failures and paint their efforts as achievements and as a new strategy.

However, the realities were vice versa– the regime ultimately collapsed. America is traversing the same path. They are losing their strong military bases.

Similarly, the Karzai puppet administration, some times, speaks of peace talks and reconciliation; of holding jirga, and some times, falsely claims that negotiation with the opposition is under way. Even some times, they say the Mujahideen have shown flexibility and readiness to hold talks, quoting some unknown sources. Thus, they want to deceive the public by publishing such reports through media outfits which are on their payroll.

But they are unaware of the fact that the public themselves behold the realities with their own eyes. The enemy’s propaganda campaign in the final analysis will harm the enemy itself. Moreover, Najib renamed the People Democratic Party as the Homeland Party and began to raise national slogans instead of the communist slogans. Karzai is now acting the same drama. But neither the propaganda launched by Khad and the servant media could contribute to Naib’s sustainibility. His government propaganda could not erode the confidence existing among Mujahideen and the people never accepted Najib as a patriot Afghan merely by renaming his party. Today people eye Karzai’s assertions and crocodile’s tears with suspicions.

Najib and his masters formed militias and strengthened them. Currently, Kabul Puppet Administration is toeing the same line. They have forgotten that the former Najib’s regime collapsed at the hands of the militias which were formed to protect and defend the regime in the first place. Today the government of Karzai has been weakened and discredited by the warlords who have ensconced themselves in the government high echelon. Any way, the past history repeats itself once again. All these developments point to the fact that the invading America is standing on the abyss of defeat. The recent decision by the NATO foreign ministers in Asthonia to withdraw their forces from the provinces of Afghanistan and hand over the security to the Afghan forces, confirm our claim and is a replay of the past history. This proves that the resistance in Afghanistan has evolved into a popular upheaval and now it is almost impossible to confront it. The people’s demonstration in Logar, the gate of Kabul where people set fire to the logistical convoy, once again shores up our claim. The foreign and internal forces, including their air force and ground troops were not able to save their logistical convoy and military vehicles from the havoc of the empty handed people.

Presently, all Mujahideen are united and strong, being led by a wise and sagacious leadership. The people support them. Their leadership possess deep military and political insight. So none of Mujahideen will ever come under the impression of the enemy propaganda. They know that the enemy is on the verge of defeat and hence is grasping at every straw.

In the light of the above facts, the public of the West should raise to the occasion to harness their arrogant governments and get acquainted with the history of Afghanistan in order to learn a lesson from it and pull out of Afghanistan immediately. If they do not do that, their fate will be similar to the fate of former Soviet Union. Similarly, if the Afghans who are now siding with the Puppet Kabul Administration do not cut off their relation with the moribund regime, they will also meet the fate of the former communists. Neither they will find a haven inside the country nor abroad. They will bear the brunt of a heavy loss in this world and the world to come.

Well, D’uh…!

More doom and gloom…

Kandahar Battle Tougher Than Expected

…The expanded U.S. campaign began in late winter in the small farming hamlets of Marjah, in Helmand Province, and has advanced more slowly than expected, officials said.

Now U.S. and NATO troops face a much more formidable task: securing Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban and the area from which al-Qaida planned the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top commander in Afghanistan, has described the campaign in Afghanistan’s south as a slowly rising tide that will require time and patience. He and other military officials also have warned of an inevitable rise in casualties.

"I think we’ve been very clear for months now that this was going to be a very difficult fight in the south, and tried to set expectations, as tragic as it is, for these losses," Adm. Mike Mullen, Obama’s top military adviser and head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently told reporters.

The drive this summer to secure Kandahar was supposed to build on the success of the much smaller Marjah operations.

But so far the U.S. and NATO haven’t achieved their goals in Marjah, military and civilian officials said, as the government has been slow to provide services and villagers have not rallied in large numbers to the Kabul-based government.

"We’re still moving forward more slowly than the people would like," Mark Sedwill, NATO’s senior civilian representative, said on a trip to Marjah this month.

What do you think our chances of success are in Kandahar…? Afghanistan…?