America’s war against Al Qaeda terrorists in Afghanistan began over 12 years ago this last week. This grim milestone came and went with no media coverage even as some of America’s best men and women were killed there in combat this week. Now, in the lead up to a complete US military withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014, it is blatantly clear our pessimistic analytical forecast for Afghanistan has proved accurate. Today we will recap the state of affairs of the War in Afghanistan and what to expect in the coming months.
The Obama Administration is quick to broadcast anything it can spin as good news. The opposite is true of bad news so it is telling that it has maintained a near total media blackout on Afghanistan. Making President Obama’s whitewash of the dire state of the war even feasible has been a complicit media and their absolute dereliction of a social responsibility to be the watchdog of the government. This is the same biased media that broadcast images from the Iraq War around the clock during the Bush Administration, but now suddenly has nothing to report respective of the on-going Afghanistan War. The truth the Obama Administration and his media henchmen are hiding is that the war has gone horribly wrong and the US is rapidly retreating in defeat.
I for one hate the notion of defeat and am incredibly ashamed of even the notion that the US could allow itself to be defeated in a war. One would think that our nation’s leaders learned something from the Vietnam catastrophe, but then again, most of our leaders on both sides of the aisle were draft dodgers, cowards, potheads, and never served a day in the military. Considering this, one should not be surprised to find out the facts are overwhelming the Taliban are alive and well. Not only have the Taliban weathered the full onslaught of a combined US, NATO, and Afghan military force for over a decade, but they are now more numerous, control more territory, and are better armed, trained, and equipped than they were when the US entered the war in 2001. The Taliban still have the will and capability to fight and still take to the battlefield. By any measure of warfare, if an invading army is forced from the battlefield and ultimately from the land which it invaded while the opposing army still holds that ground, the army that retreated was defeated. If the media and the Obama Administration were honest and upfront with the American people, they would report that they never so much as fully secured a single province in Afghanistan. As quickly as the US has handed over these still contested provinces to the “Afghans,” they have been taken over by the “Afghan Taliban.” The latest sign of this came on September 13, 2013 when Taliban insurgents nearly overran the US Consulate in Herat, Afghanistan. Not only was this attack just 48 hours after the anniversary of the attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, but it was in a far western area of Afghanistan that previously was thought to be immune (according to the now discredited “expert” on counterinsurgency, David Kilcullen) from Taliban influence. Soon there will be no more US military forces in Afghanistan to come to the aid of these diplomatic enclaves. When that day comes in just a few months, the US will be forced to quickly withdraw its last remaining diplomats in defeat leaving the US intelligence partially blind on the ground.
Afghanistan has been an unsustainable war from the very beginning due to the lack of genius in our senior military officers, our unwillingness to pursue the actual enemy into Pakistan, self-defeating strategies, and the ultimate failure to recognize the strategic importance of sealing the Afghan-Pakistan border. Our failure to neutralize and or destroy the Taliban safe haven across the border in Pakistan, has allowed the Taliban to wait out the US just as they did the Soviets. Inside Pakistan’s safe haven, the Taliban fighters receive arms, training, funding, and sanctuary from the Pakistani government…the same government we give over $5 billion in annual aid to (read self-defeating strategy). While the Taliban organize, train, and equip in Pakistan, the US has spent over a trillion dollars vainly setting up forward operating bases all over desolate wasteland where the sole mission has become clearing roadways of improvised explosive devices so that the troops can get supplies to their remote bases so they can clear the roads so they can get in supplies, etc. etc. etc. At no point in this ridiculous slow bleed strategy did our troops ever come close to strategic and decisive gains against the Taliban. Instead, we spent and bled our nation to defeat without the Taliban having to do more than push an occasional button on an explosive device produced in Pakistan or shoot one of our soldiers in the back while dining together. This absolute disaster of a war is a testament to the massive amount of money the US taxpayer has been forced to waste on a military bureaucracy so large and unwieldy that it defies description. Until the Department of Defense (DOD) can show that it can actually win a war the budget should be slashed, slashed some more, and then cut in half again. If the politics won’t allow for a war to be fought, then we shouldn’t fight wars and waste money on our massive and dysfunctional military. We don’t need smart bombs, we need leaders with the will to fight and win. That said, without any doubt, for probably under what the DOD spent in a week on the Afghanistan War, a small contingent of country boys sporting nothing but scoped deer rifles, good leadership, and freedom of action could have decisively defeated the Taliban and ended the war in Afghanistan in just a few months.
Not only is the war unsustainable for the US, but also the Afghan government. Over a hundred Afghan soldiers a week are killed, many times more are wounded, and even more defect to the Taliban. The situation is so bad that the Department of Defense made it official policy to no longer report the number of Afghan casualties out of fear of losing all moral in the Afghan National Army. Remember too that the mauling the Afghan military is incurring is with the help of NATO/US forces in Afghanistan to include air support. Once the US and NATO pull out, the Afghan National Army will face total defeat as it dissolves into a more formalized Taliban Army.
Collapse is now imminent in Afghanistan. Perhaps six months to a year separate the current state of affairs from a Taliban takeover of most of the country. As the US accelerates its withdrawal, the Taliban will begin to operate more overtly in Afghanistan seizing at first greater footholds in the regional villages and towns and then overwhelming major cities. Kandahar may again be one of the first cities to fall to the Taliban as soon as the spring of 2014. Once Kandahar and surrounding provinces fall fully back into the Taliban’s (Pakistan’s) hands, it will only be a matter of months before Kabul falls under heavy attack and is overrun. President Karzai will most likely do what he did before and flee his country to save his own skin. This time though Karzai will flee with over a billion dollars (compliments of the US taxpayer by way of the CIA) hidden away, rather overtly, in Swiss and Dubai bank accounts to live out his days in Europe as his countrymen suffer the aftermath of his corrupt regime. One can only hope he is forced to stay and weather whatever consequences the war may bring as the captain should either save the ship or sink with it. In the interim, Afghanistan will exist as the world’s premier narco-state with President Karzai the undisputed cartel leader.
Make no mistake that any notion the US will be able to maintain a footprint in Afghanistan once the pull out begins is an illusion. I can’t say for sure whether our leadership in the US is just that dumb to believe we will be able to stay (they are building a billion dollar embassy in Kabul) or is simply lying to provide top cover while we retreat. Nonetheless, the result will be the same. Think Saigon circa 1975. To say the least, we will be lucky to have an exit as orderly as the Soviets. If we are so lucky, it is only because the Taliban correctly assessed that it was in their best interests to simply let us leave as soon as possible while saving up their strength for a full offensive against Karzai’s regime. Once NATO has gotten out of the way, the Taliban will move to finish the civil war they started before the US invasion.
As the last troops retreat out of Afghanistan in defeat the military-industrial-complex will be faced with a dire situation. The situation will be one of reduced budgets and no pressing war to sell their wares. This means the titans of defense will lose billions of dollars and tens of thousands of Americans will be put out of work. As such, we predict the military-industrial-complex will work closely behind the scenes with Congress to engineer a new war before the complete end to operations in Afghanistan. The most likely candidate for this will be a war with Iran via Syria. This war, as we have repeatedly warned, will be a complete disaster on a scale unprecedented in American history. In fact the consequences could be so dire that historians may very well point to the folly as the end of the Republic.
Please remember our troops on the ground fighting in Afghanistan…they are the real victims of bad leadership, yet bravely stand their posts.
By Guiles Hendrik
October 7, 2013
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