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

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Special Update for Saturday, January 20, 2018

It's just incredible to me how the U.S. corporate media, politicians, and the general public completely ignore the military actions of their own government. The Pentagon operates, it seems, with no political accountability. We have to depend on Juan Cole to tell us that the U.S. has made an open commitment to an endless military presence in Syria.

The U.S. has 2,000 special operations troops in eastern Syria. Did you even know that? They are embedded with a Kurdish faction called the YPG, in a pseudo-state called Afrin. Which Turkey is now shelling. The U.S. troops, according to Rex Tillerson, are supposed to eliminate any resurgence of IS, depose Bashar Assad, enable Syrian refugees to return home, reduce Iranian influence, and eliminate any so-called "weapons of mass destruction" from the country, of which there aren't any. (Chemical weapons are not "weapons of mass destruction.") Right. Sure. But they might get us into a war with Turkey and/or Russia.

Of course, U.S. troops are already in Iraq forever, and Afghanistan forever, and in a whole bunch of other countries you won't know they are in until some of them get killed, for reasons nobody is bothering to tell you, which nobody seems to care about.


Anonymous said...

Look, we get it. It's your blog, you can change the narrative to what fits your desired world view...that said, yes, chemical weapons are considered WMDs. There's the wiki definition. Here's the FBI version:

Regarding troops in Syria and other you really want a resurgence of the cancer that is ISIS? Or are you just that lacking in what it takes to prevent that from happening?

I know, I know, you haven't posted in ages...probably because things are actually going well for the military. And you seem not to like that. Keep up the blogging though, it's nice to read about our successes in your silence!

Cervantes said...

Look, just because somebody uses the term "WMDs" for chemical weapons doesn't make it true. They are battlefield weapons. Blowing people up is just as massively destructive as gassing them, in fact it can be more so.

I haven't been blogging as regularly because I've been busy, but no, things are not going well for the U.S. military, particularly in Afghanistan. And 2,000 U.S. troops in the northeast of Syria aren't going to do shit about IS.

Dancewater said...

In fact, the US is (and has been) helping ISIS in Syria. As the Podesta emails said: ISIS is on our side in Syria. And the US troops are in Syria (supposedly) to dispose Assad. Assad is going nowhere.

If turning foreign countries into shitholes is the definition of US military success, then yes, things are going well for the military.

16+ years of the US military in Afghanistan, and more of the country is under Taliban control than in 2001.

Almost 15 years in Iraq, and that country is a total wreck.

The US-driven NATO bombing of Libya has resulted in slave markets and terrorist groups ruling various areas of the country.

The US-assisted Saudi war on Yemen has caused the world's worst cholera outbreak and massive starvation.

Over 3 years of intervention in Syria, and that country is nearly in ruins. The parts of the country that are doing well is under Assad.

The world's worst refugee crisis since WWII has caused horrible hardship and death. And those refugees are mainly coming from Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq and Syria - all countries the US has bombed, attacked and invaded. All those countries were MUCH better off before the US military was ordered to bomb, attack or invade them.