The war in Afghanistan is over

The war in Afghanistan officially ended on Sunday.  It lasted 13 years, the longest armed conflict in American history.  The number of American and NATO soldiers killed was some 3,500.

Once again, the United States ends a costly war far short of victory.  In fact, the Taliban is claiming victory.  Are they pretty much right?  Is it worth getting into wars like this one and Iraq, which had a similar ending?  And yet,  if this is peace, it’s a strange one, with 13,000 troops remaining in Afghanistan to train local forces and with combat operations continuing, sort of, against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. [Read more...]

Destroying our own military equipment

My brother-in-law (Seabees, retired) told me that when we withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan, we are going to be leaving behind or destroying much of the military equipment our troops had been using, since it is too expensive to bring back and there won’t be that much use for it anymore.

Well, now it’s happening.  We are putting billions of dollars worth of equipment–including trucks and armored vehicles–into giant metal shredders.  Other stuff we are selling to the Afghanis at pennies on the dollar or giving it away free to foreign governments willing to haul it away. [Read more...]

The POW exchange debacle

The POW release was orchestrated to be a feel-good moment .  But now the Obama administration is dealing with a major scandal.  Not just because 5 dangerous terrorist leaders were released from Gitmo.  Not just because the president broke the law in not informing Congress.  But mainly because America’s troops are in an uproar about all of this attention being given to an anti-American deserter whose dereliction of duty reportedly cost the lives of six soldiers. [Read more...]

Prisoner exchange and the law

The Obama administration negotiated the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who had been held captive in Afghanistan for nearly five years, in exchange for five senior Taliban leaders being held in Guantanamo.  He was reportedly the last POW being held.  The problem is, the law requires the administration to consult with Congress when releasing prisoners from the Guantanamo prison, which the administration did not do.  Officials from the executive branch acknowledge that they did not follow the law.

UPDATE:  To add another level of controversy, Sgt. Bergdahl was evidently a deserter.

[Read more...]

Wasting our stuff in Afghanistan

A military contact told me this was happening, but now it’s made the papers:  As our troops leave Afghanistan, they are leaving behind some $7 billion worth of equipment.  It’s reportedly cheaper to just leave it than to haul it back to the states.  But to keep the Taliban and other terrorists from getting all that equipment, we are first destroying it, leaving behind towering mountains of scrap metal where our military bases used to be. [Read more...]

The War in Afghanistan

President Obama announced a time table for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.  The Washington Post, no less, which usually supports the president and all things liberal and Democratic raised some questions in an editorial: The president may be sabotaging his own Afghanistan strategy – The Washington Post

So is the president declaring victory and going home?  Are we leaving just as we are making progress?  Is announcing when we’ll be leaving just an incentive for the Taliban to hunker downuntil after we’re gone?  Is this “Mission Accomplished” or helicopters on the roof of the American embassy?

Where does this leave us?


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