Afghanistan hardly got a look in during the election campaign. The decade-and-a-half-long war was mentioned only once in the three presidential debates — in the form of a passing reference by Hillary Clinton. Trump, however, might want to put down the golf clubs and start paying attention to the forgotten struggle against the Taliban, which was supposed to have formally ended in December 2014. His generals, backed by GOP hawks in Congress, want to drag it out for a few more years. Their unspoken mantra? When in doubt, double down.
Yet last month, while all eyes were on Jeff Sessions’s confirmation as attorney general on the floor of the Senate, Gen. John Nicholson, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee to ask for a “few thousand” more U.S. troops. Last week, his boss, Gen. Joseph Votel, head of U.S. Central Command, echoed Nicholson’s request, telling senators that a new “strategy” for Afghanistan had to “involve additional forces.” And this week, Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham and John McCain, who never met a Muslim-majority nation they did not want to bomb, invade, or occupy, used a Washington Post op-ed to call for — surprise, surprise — “additional U.S. and coalition forces” in Afghanistan, including “special operations forces and close air support.”
“It is imperative that we see our mission through to success,” they declaimed.
These Generals, advocating for more troops in Afghanistan, need to very articulately spell out just what the hell they mean when they say “It is imperative that we see our mission through to success,”
How, after 16 long years, and all the blood and money spent, do they define "success" in Afghanistan, as there is, so far, no military metric after all this time by which this campaign, waged in a country which has long been called "the graveyard of empires", can be measured?!?
I would politely suggest to Congress to have them completely spell out how these additional troops would lead to any possible military "win", when previous troop surges have led to abject failures on the part of the NATO and US military, and with the Taliban even deeper in control of the country.
Oh, and Congress; a word, please.
Most Americans with more than one brain cell understand that the sensible thing to do is evacuate all US and NATO troops as quickly as would be safe to do, and negotiate with whatever government is left standing for the pipeline routes and the mineral rights.
After all, it was "Pipelineistan" which got us into this quagmire, courtesy of the Bush Administration, so many years ago. As reported at centurion2.wordpress.com in 2009:
Since the 2001 invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, the US has a military presence on China’s Western frontier, in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The U.S. is intent upon establishing permanent military bases in Afghanistan, which occupies a strategic position bordering on the former Soviet republics, China and Iran. Moreover, the US and NATO have also established since 1996, military ties with several former Soviet republics under GUUAM (Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Moldava). In the post 9/11 era, Washington has used the pretext of the “global war against terrorism” to further develop a U.S. military presence in GUUAM countries. Uzbekistan withdrew from GUUAM in 2002.(The organization is now referred to as GUAM). China has oil interests in Eurasia as well as in sub-Saharan Africa, which encroach upon Anglo-American oil interests. What is at stake is the geopolitical control over the Eurasian corridor. In March 1999, the U.S. Congress adopted the Silk Road Strategy Act, which defined America’s broad economic and strategic interests in a region extending from the Eastern Mediterranean to Central Asia. The Silk Road Strategy (SRS) outlines a framework for the development of America’s business empire along an extensive geographical corridor. The successful implementation of the SRS requires the concurrent “militarization” of the entire Eurasian corridor as a means to securing control over extensive oil and gas reserves, as well as “protecting” pipeline routes and trading corridors. This militarization is largely directed against China, Russia and Iran. Take a look at the maps above – then note how the army bases are in prime positions to protect the oil and gas pipelines. That is what this ‘war’ is about. The Afghanistan war is about securing the territory through which the oil and gas pipelines will have to pass through in order to ensure Russia, China and Iran are outmanouvered in the last great wars for the last of the global oil supplies on the planet.
And Congress, one has to wonder; how many of these generals, advocating for Troop Surge, have their collective portfolios invested in energy stocks, and the military/industrial complex?!?
I frankly think that the American people have the right to know!!