Written by Daily Bell
Truth, lies and Afghanistan ... How military leaders have let us down ... I spent last year in Afghanistan, visiting and talking with U.S. troops and their Afghan partners. My duties with the Army's Rapid Equipping Force took me into every significant area where our soldiers engage the enemy. Over the course of 12 months, I covered more than 9,000 miles and talked, traveled and patrolled with troops in Kandahar, Kunar, Ghazni, Khost, Paktika, Kunduz, Balkh, Nangarhar and other provinces. What I saw bore no resemblance to rosy official statements by U.S. military leaders about conditions on the ground ... The American people deserve better than what they've gotten from their senior uniformed leaders over the last number of years. Simply telling the truth would be a good start. – Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis /Armed Forces Journal
Dominant Social Theme: It is time to face facts. The Afghan war is not a success.
Free-Market Analysis: This is a weird article. Apparently, Davis, the author (see excerpt above) has claimed it will cost him his career. But we have a hard time believing that the US military did not in some sense know the article was coming and that there is more to this "whistleblower" comment than meets the eye.
Of course, it could be exactly what it seems to be: the turning point in a failed war after more than a decade. And Davis could be just as courageous as he seems to be. On the other hand, this is GANNETT that we are talking about, the publisher of USA Today. We're not talking about the alternative media here. We're not talking Prison Planet. We're not even talking the Village Voice. Here's something about the publisher from Wikipedia:
Gannett Government Media, formerly the Army Times Publishing Company, is a United States company which publishes newspapers, magazines, Web sites, and other publications about the U.S. and other militaries. Founded in 1940, it was purchased by the Gannett Company in August 1997. It publishes four weekly newspapers aimed at current and former U.S. military personnel, collectively called the Military Times Media Group: Army Times (founded 1940), Navy Times (founded 1951), Air Force Times (founded 1947), and Marine Corps Times.
OK. Here's our point. Gannett is not exactly the "opposition" – not even the loyal opposition. Gannett's newspapers have gone along with every part of the authoritarian incrementalism that characterizes the modern-day Leviathan.
Gannett's editors are more likely to get worked up over a profile of a popular dog breed than an in-depth expose of government wrongdoing. In fact, we cannot even remember – collectively or otherwise – the last time we read an in-depth expose of government wrongdoing in a Gannett publication.
And then there is this. It's a good article, no doubt about it. But as the world's number one follower of elite dominant social themes (it's a lousy job but someone's got to do it) we sorta/kinda sense there's something else going on here.
We would tend to think, even, that Davis's article is part of a larger preparatory event designed to groom public opinion for the inevitable drawdown. We note that, according to the UK Daily Mail, "Colonel Davis has reportedly provided a full account of his findings in a classified report to several members of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, senators and House members."
OK. Davis may be a whistleblower but he's playing his tune in front of some mighty important people. We also note that this article comes on the heels of a widely publicized report by US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta who recently announced that many US/NATO troops could leave Afghanistan by the end of 2013, not 2014.
Panetta's comments were made in conjunction with a "leaked" Pentagon report that the Taliban had not been sufficiently degraded as a fighting force in Afghanistan despite the US "surge." Davis's report merely reinforces this perception. Here's more from the article:
Entering this deployment, I was sincerely hoping to learn that the claims were true: that conditions in Afghanistan were improving, that the local government and military were progressing toward self-sufficiency. I did not need to witness dramatic improvements to be reassured, but merely hoped to see evidence of positive trends, to see companies or battalions produce even minimal but sustainable progress. Instead, I witnessed the absence of success on virtually every level.
My arrival in country in late 2010 marked the start of my fourth combat deployment, and my second in Afghanistan. A Regular Army officer in the Armor Branch, I served in Operation Desert Storm, in Afghanistan in 2005-06 and in Iraq in 2008-09. In the middle of my career, I spent eight years in the U.S. Army Reserve and held a number of civilian jobs — among them, legislative correspondent for defense and foreign affairs for Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas.
As a representative for the Rapid Equipping Force, I set out to talk to our troops about their needs and their circumstances. Along the way, I conducted mounted and dismounted combat patrols, spending time with conventional and Special Forces troops. I interviewed or had conversations with more than 250 soldiers in the field, from the lowest-ranking 19- year-old private to division commanders and staff members at every echelon. I spoke at length with Afghan security officials, Afghan civilians and a few village elders.
... Naturally, I am not authorized to divulge classified material to the public. But I am legally able to share it with members of Congress. I have accordingly provided a much fuller accounting in a classified report to several members of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, senators and House members.
When it comes to deciding what matters are worth plunging our nation into war and which are not, our senior leaders owe it to the nation and to the uniformed members to be candid — graphically, if necessary — in telling them what's at stake and how expensive potential success is likely to be. U.S. citizens and their elected representatives can decide if the risk to blood and treasure is worth it.
Likewise when having to decide whether to continue a war, alter its aims or to close off a campaign that cannot be won at an acceptable price, our senior leaders have an obligation to tell Congress and American people the unvarnished truth and let the people decide what course of action to choose. That is the very essence of civilian control of the military.
This is splendid stuff. But we wonder why it took ten years to come out. We've published dozens of articles in the past two years explaining why the Afghan war could not be "won." How come we could see this while the Pentagon, NATO and mainstream press were all reporting on the victories to come?
Are we that clever? No, of course not. The Afghan war was not, in fact, meant to be "won" in the normal sense. What it was meant to do – as we have argued many times – was to degrade the martial spirit of the tribal Pashtuns and Westernize the region.
The Anglosphere, in our view, has been at war with the Pashtuns and the Pakistan Punjabis as well for nearly 200 years, from what we can tell. Both the Pashtuns and Punjabis are among the most ancient tribes on earth. No one knows how long the Pashtuns have been occupying their land in Afghanistan. Perhaps thousands of years.
That's a lot of history to blow up. But no one can accuse the Anglosphere of modest goals. The great central banking families that want to run the world have focused on Afghanistan and Pakistan of late because these two regions have apparently posed a sizable obstacle to world domination.
We have argued for several years now that the Anglosphere's inability to fully control the sociopolitical processes in Afghanistan and Pakistan have meant that Afghan pacification is not possible. This has extremely important ramifications for any planned global governance.
As we attempt to figure out the current "messaging" issuing out of the West and the Pentagon regarding the Afghan war, we are coming up with several options as to what it all means.
Perhaps we can take it at face value: The West and the American public is simply being prepped for withdrawal from a war that the US cannot win and is depleting the US treasury beyond what is bearable.
Alternatively, there is no REAL pullout because Anglosphere mercenary troops, funded by various black-ops budgets, will simply continue the process of attempted conquest without the current formality.
Or perhaps there is a third option that currently escapes us. We've argued in the past that a US/NATO pullout will lead to de-facto partitioning of the country but perhaps the Taliban themselves will enter into some sort of understanding with the West that will allow the Anglosphere power elite to continue its quest for global governance.
The process taking place in Afghanistan now is a very important one. We remember, however, the Vietnam War and are fully aware that the Vietnamese (the government anyway) have not proven any impediment that we can see to the Anglosphere's larger plans for world domination.
Conclusion: It could be that the war has done what was necessary from the Anglosphere's point of view – engaged the Afghan tribes sufficiently so that Westernization may ultimately take place. Like many Anglosphere gambits, this one bears watching.
© Copyright 2008 - 2012 All Rights Reserved. The Daily Bell is an informative compendium of independent economic views and analysis, which is published by The Foundation for the Advancement of Free-Market Thinking (FAFMT).