The bottom line is clear: Our vital interests in Afghanistan are limited and military victory is not the key to achieving them. On the contrary, waging a lengthy counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan may well do more to aid Taliban recruiting than to dismantle the group, help spread conflict further into Pakistan, unify radical groups that might otherwise be quarreling amongst themselves, threaten the long-term health of the U.S. economy, and prevent the U.S. government from turning its full attention to other pressing problems. -- Afghanistan Study Group

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Update for Sunday, January 29, 2017

U.S. executive order banning travel to U.S. by Iraqis gets angry reaction. Says one MP, "Iraq as a sovereign country will be forced to reciprocate, and that would affect negatively cooperation, including military cooperation in the war." 

Muqtada al-Sadr says Iraq should expel Americans. Not that that's anything new for him but now he has a stronger argument.

Order separates families, strands refugees.

Further coverage from al Jazeera on anger and sense of betrayal in Iraq.

Two Iraqis with links to the U.S. military are detained at JFK airport, ACLU sues for their release.

In Yemena U.S. commando is killed and four are injured in a raid on a group said to be linked to al Qaeda. A U.S. helicopter is also destroyed in the action. U.S. says 14 militants killed and 2 captured in the action.

Bob Hennely in Salon has a grim view of the U.S. war in Afghanistan.

May Jeong in Harpers has a long historical look at the Afghanistan war and the current state of affairs.

Benjamin Wittes, who believe me is no bleeding heart liberal, excoriates the executive order as "malevolence tempered by incompetence." Excerpt:

There is, in fact, simply no rational relationship between cutting off visits from the particular countries that Trump targets (Muslim countries that don’t happen to be close U.S. allies) and any expected counterterrorism goods. The 9/11 hijackers, after all, didn’t come from Somalia or Syria or Iran; they came from Saudi Arabia and Egypt and a few other countries not affected by the order. Of the San Bernardino attackers (both of Pakistani origin, one a U.S. citizen and the other a lawful permanent resident), the Orlando shooter (a U.S. citizen whose parents were born in Afghanistan), and the Boston marathon bombers (one a naturalized U.S. citizen, one a green card holder who arrived in Massachusetts from Kyrgyzstan), none came from countries listed in the order. . . .

[T]he document also takes steps that strike me as utterly orthogonal to any relevant security interest. If the purpose of the order is the one it describes, for example, I can think of no good reason to burden the lives of students individually suspected of nothing who are here lawfully and just happen to be temporarily overseas, or to detain tourists and refugees who were mid-flight when the order came down. I have trouble imagining any reason to raise questions about whether green card holders who have lived here for years can leave the country and then return.   . . .

[I]n the rational pursuit of security objectives, you don’t marginalize your expert security agencies and fail to vet your ideas through a normal interagency process. You don’t target the wrong people in nutty ways when you’re rationally pursuing real security objectives.
When do you do these things? You do these things when you’re elevating the symbolic politics of bashing Islam over any actual security interest. You do them when you’ve made a deliberate decision to burden human lives to make a public point. In other words, this is not a document that will cause hardship and misery because of regrettable incidental impacts on people injured in the pursuit of a public good. It will cause hardship and misery for tens or hundreds of thousands of people because that is precisely what it is intended to do.


Greatest Genius said...

Benjamin Wittes is incorrect about Trump's ban and thus has no deserved place in journalism. It is a warranted ban but does not go far enough. I hope that this web site does not turn into a forum for Communism against White American and Christian interests. If it becomes a blog supporting weak screening policies favouring Islamic terrorists who admitted they want to infiltrate the U.S.A, then any prestige associated with this site will be bastardized and it will be lost to Communism and be nothing more than a propaganda site for Globalists. The world is changing very quickly and fake news by people like Benjamin Wittes is hated by Nationalist Americans, and is quickly becoming comedic as opposed to being credible! If the site promotes and advocates extreme security measures against extreme radical Islamic terrorism then I will continue to use it. I will hope for the best as I like the general values of this site, which have thus far overall been mainly anti Islamic terrorist in nature. Indeed I hate Islamic terrorism and I hope that no more terrorists ever infiltrate the U.S.A, Canada or Germany or any other great country again.

Dancewater said...

Greatest Genius - are you paying to read this site? are you paying Cervantes to write these blog posts? If no, then do not complain about what is being posted here. Just go away.

Dancewater said...

Drone bombing under Trump kills 8 year old American girl. Drone bombing under Obama killed her brother.

same old, same old evil.

Greatest Genius said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cervantes said...

Ad hominem attacks are not permitted.