WELCOME TO OBAMA'S WAR
As Jere Van Dyke, a reporter who's spent enough time on the ground in Afghanistan -- including as a hostage -- to qualify as an expert, said in a radio interview the other day, the average villager can't tell the difference between NATO troops and the Russians, the last guys who tried to quell the jihadis. "We're in a very dangerous situation now," he said on all-news KCBS.
"They're not against the U.S., they're not against NATO, but if you go out into the villages, what they will tell you is that they really don't know the difference, in their minds, between the Soviets and the West -- they're infidels, they're invaders.'
We've already killed more civilians than the Taliban has, Van Dyke noted. Their 20,000 fighters have fought 50,000 air-supported NATO troops to a draw.
That's some hearts-and-minds program. . .
[Rufus] Phillips was a CIA man who spent more time in
Phillips ran something called the Hamlet Evaluation Survey, which crunched all sorts of numbers about how the war was going. . .
In 1963 he had the guts to tell the President of the
Younger Army officers who told the truth were having their careers ruined.
It was "a remarkable moment in the American bureaucracy, a moment of intellectual honesty," the late, great David Halberstam wrote in "The Best and the Brightest," his monumental account of White House advisors who turned a low level counterinsurgency into a big-unit war with almost 600,000 troops, only to see victory slip away.
Does the number sound familiar?
It's the figure Rep. John P. Murtha, D-Pa., who holds the Pentagon's purse strings, picked for winning in
"That's what I estimate it would take in a country that size to get it under control," Murtha said just a few weeks ago in an interview with the Associated Press.
Yet on Thursday, he sounded just as certain that President Obama's plan for just 4,000 more troops - police advisors -- was just fine. That would bring the
"They got realistic goals, I think," Murtha said, according to Bloomberg News. "Train the Afghans and then get the hell out of there. I couldn't have written it any better myself.". . .
When the end came in Saigon, two million soldiers, sailors and marines had served in
The parallels with
The roof started to cave in
USA Today - The Obama administration is planning billions in new assistance to
The only two audits of
A Congressional Research Service report published in November questioned whether the
Obama said he will propose increasing the budgets for inspector generals in the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development to ferret out "unaccountable spending, no-bid contracts and wasteful reconstruction.". . .
The U.S. suspended aid to Pakistan in 1993 over its nuclear weapons program, then resumed aid upon winning a pledge of cooperation after the 9/11 attacks. Since 2002, the
In June, the GAO reported that $5.6 billion of that money was intended for counterterrorism, but poor oversight meant the Pentagon could not determine whether it was properly spent.
NY Times - After agreeing to bury their differences and unite forces, Taliban leaders based in
In interviews, several Taliban fighters based in the border region said preparations for the anticipated influx of American troops were already being made. A number of new, younger commanders have been preparing to step up a campaign of roadside bombings and suicide attacks to greet the Americans, the fighters said.
The refortified alliance was forged after the reclusive Afghan Taliban leader, Mullah Muhammad Omar, sent emissaries to persuade Pakistani Taliban leaders to join forces and turn their attention to
The overture by Mullah Omar is an indication that with the prospect of an American buildup, the Taliban feel the need to strengthen their own forces in
The new Taliban alliance has raised concern in
Bill Gertz, Washington Times - According to two
The goal of these advocates was to limit civilian and other nonmilitary efforts in
The other side of the debate was led by Richard C. Holbrooke, the special envoy for the region, who along with U.S. Central Command leader Gen. David H. Petraeus and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton fought for a major nation-building effort.
The Holbrooke-Petraeus-Clinton faction, according to the sources, prevailed. . . .