Could the Afghan war go on forever?

“Washington to send 3,000 forces to Afghanistan”

by Jim W. Dean, VT Editor   … with Press TV,  Tehran

The long used RPG

[ Editor’s note: An unannounced trip to Kabul by a Secretary of Defense Mathis and the head of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, did not remain secret very long for the Taliban. Someone had to have tipped them off to have had time to slip into the houses near the airport to send their now famous hello message.

There was a lot of coverage on the combat details of the attack, like 40 rounds of munitions having been fired, with 29 of them being rocket-propelled grenades, which in plain English is RPGs. The attack was claimed to have targeted Mathis, but that was a hype job being done by an overly exuberant press attaché. This was a “rain on your parade” attack.

It was a public political message (and a good recruiting one, also) that the Taliban could pull something like this off – an attack on a guard tower where there were hits on the south side of the base – and get worldwide coverage. The Taliban were taunting Trump to “come and get us”, while coming to get his Defense Secretary, sort of.

Elite Afghan troops were sent out to clear the adjacent housing, from what was probably a long gone Taliban. And they even had air support and an errant missile that injured civilians, making the day even more of a propaganda victory for the Taliban.

The top level meetings went on as scheduled, with talk about a new plan to bring the Afghan war to an end, but the story was an old one…”through more training” of more Afghan troops, the magic potent elixir that has escaped all US presidents since George Bush (43). A recent in-depth Inspector General report reviewed the entire record of training and found too many problems to cover here, but a few were the illiteracy problem among regular Afghan troops, which rendered high-tech equipment unusable to them. 

“We are coming to train a lot, and fight a little”

Different parts of the training were subbed out to the many NATO countries, which all had one-year rotations, with green people coming in all the time as replacements. This high turnover even hurt training at the officer level.

When the body count targets for training were not meeting deadlines for favorable bean-counting reports to Congress, the training courses were shortened so the effort got passing grades.

And no, 3000 new troops is not going to make a measurable difference in the war. The average Afghan soldier and officer knows they are serving a corrupt regime that has been looting the country, and they don’t want to be the cannon fodder chumps. The ranks just want to survive, and the officers want to get their hands on a piece of the pie.

The Afghan war will go on because, whatever losses are inflicted on the Taliban, they can easily replace them…maybe forever. And they can  continue to pick off isolated small garrisons of Kabul soldiers and police,  just like the one that is under siege as I write.

There was a famous line by an actor in a Cold War spy thriller movie, which I cannot remember the name of now, as he lay dying from a bullet in his belly. His death-bed confession to his shooter was, “The point of the game is not to win, and not to lose, but just to keep the game going.” What happened today brought that line to consider once again JD ]

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– First published  …  September 27,  2017

US defense secretary James Mattis says Washington’s new strategy in Afghanistan gives the war-torn country more support in the fight against terrorism.

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15 Responses to "Could the Afghan war go on forever?"

  1. Aftab shah  September 29, 2017 at 2:52 am

    This attack was just to confirm to the public in USA that , see we need more troops. people who know the base will tell you that any one wising to attack will find a target and then shoot. Taliban never waste their ammo!

    This war will only end if some one can stop the poppy cultivation.

  2. Peter Johnson  September 28, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    A privatised military industry is a lot like a privatised healthcare or corrections industry. The providers naturally optimise on profit which of course means more sales and thus more wars, more prisoners, more sick people. Policies are made by a different party than the one paying the tab. The taxpayer pays he bill but the prison industry or the arms indutry or the pharmaceutical industry sets policy.

    This war in Afghanistan will thus go on as long as it can — The USG pays between $75 and $100 for one (1) single .50BMG round. Even if every last Taliban died in their sleep tonight, the war would continue — against ISIS, Al Queda, or an “ism” or something else.

    The only thing that will end this war is if Pakistan stops the convoys supplying the military operation in Afghanistan from running up the Indus Valley Road. Flying diesel in with aerial tankers is not going to be politically sustainable and if Pakistan blocks the trucks no-else will let them use their roads. That will be the end of that,

  3. alan colorado  September 28, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    Any country that is not backed by either China, Russia or India then becomes target for the U.S. to drain it dry. Africa like Afghanistan is another example of not being able to defend itself so it is fair game for any and all forms of rape,pillage and plunder. Afghanistan became extremely vulnerable when divisiveness from within (US financed Taliban?) tore apart a peace loving and very stable country. It was a very desirable destination for budget travelers in the 60s and early 70s. Being on an old silk road main route it contained a wealth of ancient history,arts and artifacts. Drugs were there but it wasn’t an international misfortune 500 business. Afghanistan and Federal drug and marijuana domestic laws are now on the front lines in the ‘war for drugs’ as even Columbia is now seeing the cause of its problems stems from the DEA being in the country and influencing legislation. Federal illegal marijuana laws also provide a very profitable confiscation and resell business for those who really run the DEA and affiliated agencies. If Afghanistan goes then there will be tremendous pressure put on increased enforcement of Federal marijuana laws.

  4. joetv  September 28, 2017 at 6:43 am

    G. Compton. Monsanto, and GMO poppies. Who would of thought? Poppy erradicated by farmer suicide. Ingenious, or is it ingenuous? I never could spell. I get my genes mixed up.

  5. joetv  September 28, 2017 at 6:37 am

    At the end of the day Mathis, and Stoltenberg will pin a medal on one another. A commemoritive stamp of sorts. It will top Hillary’s in the memory department. Or not.

  6. JohnZ  September 28, 2017 at 6:20 am

    Oceania has always been at war with East Asia. The war will go on for ever. As long as there are profits to be made from the heroin and the rare earth minerals, the war will continue. As long as there are bodies to fling into the fray, the war will continue. As long as the MIC can maintain profits, the war will continue. As long as the military recruiters in America can lie and deceive young people into enlisting into what is now a mercenary force for israel and the MIC, the war will continue.As long as the propaganda maintains its hold on the American people , the war will continue.
    The war will continue until one side or the other is completely exhausted. “No democracy ever lasted more than two hundred years. It soon wastes and exhausts itself. There is no democracy that never committed suicide.” John Adams

  7. Khalid Talaat  September 28, 2017 at 6:18 am

    For the long run this analysis does not take into account China’s decision to evict the US from its foothold, from which it plans to destroy the Silk Road project. Afghanistan is the easiest topography to defend with S400s, keeping Air America from their daily runs. If the treasures of the US last that long, five years and the US will be out of Afghanistan. History is against it.

    • JohnZ  September 28, 2017 at 3:32 pm

      In five years America will be in the midst of financial and economic collapse.

  8. Garry Compton  September 28, 2017 at 12:24 am

    By now Monsanto has planted it super seeds in Afghanistan and the farmers, drug lords { American and Afghani } along with the CIA are jumping for joy. There should be a bumper crop coming – soon.The mining for minerals is on the move and the US military and their proxy armies are on their way or in Pakistan trying to upset the Silk Road. SNAFU – and as usual when the US shows up – the Grim Reaper is right behind.

    • Jim W. Dean, Managing Editor  September 28, 2017 at 5:16 am

      The Afghan unit that is under siege by several hundred Taliban, the first thing they do is mine the approach road for reinforcements, and plan their ambush for them. They have been at this for a long time. Remember Ho Chi Mhin once said to the US, “You will kill ten of us for every one of you that we kill, but in the end it is you who will tire of it.” Even at my young age when I read this, it was clear as glass. And as Gordon always said, when new Marine grunts came in country and had been on patrol for two weeks, they knew their role in the matter was to be cannon fodder, and the war they fought was with those who were willing to do that to them…for money of course. Most all of the big defense contractors, the middle men in the huge supply chain for the war, ended up being in LBJ’s good ole Texas. And they are still in the same business, the US overseas base bonanza, where breakfast for a soldier in Afghanistan is $25, and doing his laundry $100.

    • JohnZ  September 28, 2017 at 6:14 am

      Jim, I have long suspected that LBJ( Lying Bastard Johnson) who was involved with the JFK murder, did so in order for his cronies in the MIC to make more profits from another war, this one in Viet Nam. JFK died for blood money.
      What I would do to LBJ’s grave stone if I ever had the chance,well, I won’t say anything more. The loathing I have harbored for that piece of human fecal matter continues to this day.

    • Khalid Talaat  September 28, 2017 at 6:29 am

      LBJ is long gone. JFK lives in his warning to us.

  9. Ariana  September 27, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    I don’t know about the war, but I am sure about the slogan ” gun loaded by Heroin” . The pilot of a Chopter !!

  10. Worker Bee  September 27, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    If a more convenient and less expensive source of illegal narcotics than Afghan grown poppies becomes available, and all the economically viable rare earth elements ores were mined and exported, peace could well come to Afghanistan.

    Or at least outsiders would leave them to fight among themselves: https://www.veteranstoday.com/2013/08/07/afghanistan-the-shadow-of-evil/

    • Peter Johnson  September 28, 2017 at 11:13 pm

      They would continue bombing the empty hillsides even if all the heroin and rare earth minerals dried up and every last Afghan was dead and bulldozed into a hole. As long as they could get the American taxpayer to pay the invoices for the bombs, they would keep dropping them.

      Those bombs are somebody’s ricebowl. They will keep dropping them until the checks stop coming.

      Congress would shut off the funding if a gallon of diesel cost $400 because it had to be flown in. That can happen. If Pakistan stops the tankers running up through their country the US will have to fly it in. That will end this war.

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