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209 comments

1 kansas  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 12:28:02pm

Do they feel uncomfortable using the term victory also?

2 Ben Hur  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 12:29:25pm

“The Taliban Don’t Surf.”

Classic.

3 lawhawk  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 12:29:58pm

At the same time, he notes that the British soldiers on the ground are doing extraordinary things in the face of insufficient support back home. He notes the way that senior soldiers watch over younger ones; how the snipers do their duty under extreme conditions; and how death and injury can come real close.

4 Ben Hur  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 12:30:19pm

The British soldier is winning.

The British media is losing.

5 Kragar (Antichrist )  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 12:32:32pm

God damn it. Putting peoples lives on the line without the equipment, numbers or support they need is just plain evil. Either give them what they need to win or admit that the politicians, not the troops, fucked up and bring them home.

I can’t believe this horseshit.

6 Ojoe  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 12:32:39pm

God bless those soldiers; unheralded and ignored, they are keeping at bay the mistakes of the 1930s.

7 Kragar (Antichrist )  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 12:33:24pm

re: #1 kansas

Do they feel uncomfortable using the term victory also?

Victory is no longer sanction by official vocab guidelines.

8 Bob Dillon  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 12:33:31pm

There are some reports of headway here and there from time to time - but overall the challenge is great and history is on the side of the home team.

[Link: www.google.com…]

Afghan and international troops have destroyed a massive bunker complex in eastern Afghanistan used by the Haqqani insurgent network to store arms and shelter foreign fighters, officials said Sunday.

9 Sharmuta  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 12:33:53pm

Sad.

10 The Shadow Do  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 12:34:28pm

Damn near got his ass shot off doing this report as well.

11 Racer X  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 12:38:37pm

re: #5 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

God damn it. Putting peoples lives on the line without the equipment, numbers or support they need is just plain evil. Either give them what they need to win or admit that the politicians, not the troops, fucked up and bring them home.

I can’t believe this horseshit.

Britain and the USA could easily win this war. There would be lots of collateral damage but it would be over. Politicians just want to cut and run. They forget what these animals are capable of, and what they most assuredly will do once we run away.

Tough decisions ahead.

12 Ben Hur  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 12:40:20pm

It’s nice having rules of engagement that let you play whack a mole with some guy looking at you from 900 yards away.

13 Randall Gross  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 12:41:10pm

The whole thing with the helicopters is REMFs picturing another Soviet era defeat. They are remembering the number of choppers the USSR lost, and over thinking and worrying about Russian, Chinese, or Iranian supplied advanced surface to air missiles.
The troops need the transport now.

14 Earth56  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 12:42:20pm

a caption under one of his photos

“Many believe that the Pashtun people are one of the lost tribes of Israel. If true, some Taliban might actually be descended from Jews, which would be one of the most severe ironies of humanity. Some branches go off and earn Nobel Prizes and unravel the secrets of the universe while advancing humanity by leaps and bounds, while another turns malignant and doesn’t know how to build a road.”

How true and thanks Michael for your endless spirited reporting which the MSM should learn from.

15 lawhawk  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 12:42:45pm

re: #13 Thanos

One other thing is the Pedros - the US Army medical transport choppers, who will go anywhere anytime and perform heroic acts to save lives of soldiers, and to take captured enemies and others to medical facilities.

16 MilkOfMalfeasance  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 12:43:36pm

I will say it again, aside from our Warfighters, Michael Yon is our single greatest asset in this war.

17 The Shadow Do  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 12:45:03pm

Yon is often compared to Ernie Pyle. I understand this, but I find him more like Hemingway with a great camera.

I do hope he does not end up like Ernie, but the photos with the bullets kicking up dust around him are not particularly encouraging.

Stay low Michael.

18 _RememberTonyC  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 12:45:06pm

The feckless politicians in the west think of the war on terror in terms of exit strategies and how to leave “gracefully.”

The islamists think in terms of outlasting the westerners, whom they know have “leaders” who lack the political will and fortitude to win.

The soldiers on the ground have the will to win. But the politicians are mostly despicable cowards. Is there any doubt who will eventually prevail between the islamists and the west when you examine this objectively?

I miss George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. At least they TRIED.

19 Athos  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 12:46:24pm

How many times have we’ve seen the troops on the ground with the will to win even when they don’t have all of the tools they need - and the politico’s at home lacking both the will and the intent to provide the troops with what is needed to win.

COIN requires having more will than the bad guys and the ability to get inside their decision / action loop. Without the will or the investment in the equipment needed, too many very brave people are going to die…and ultimately what for when the leaders can’t use the word ‘victory’?

20 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 12:46:47pm

What would victory look like?

21 Russkilitlover  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 12:47:02pm
In other words, the enemy is not hiding, but they are in trenches, bunkers and fighting positions that extend into depth. The enemy owns the terrain.

The British are protecting Kajaki Dam but otherwise it’s just a big fight and no progress is being made.

Sounds familiar. 1916 familiar.

22 Rexatosis  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 12:48:00pm

The problem with the campaign in Afghanistan is that the rest of NATO (aside from the US, Brit, and Canada) was and still is not willing or prepared to take on a serious roll in this or any campaign. These countries (especially the Germans and Belgians) have little actual defense spending or preparation. Britain is just plain exhausted and the Labour Government is mired in scandal. The Canadians are not far behind in being totally exhausted as well. This was behind PM Harper’s pointed criticisms at the Obama Administration and the rest of NATO back in Feb. Unfortunately when Pres. Obama went on his “Mea Culpa” tour of Europe he was rebuffed in his requests for more help on Afghanistan (save for a small number of French Forces added to the mission, but with operational restrictions). The Afghan theater is becoming more of a theater of US operations and less of a NATO mission each day and this does not bode well for long-term success.

23 jcm  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 12:49:43pm

The means, the ability, the resources, the troops are ready and willing the only thing lacking to achieve victory?

Political Will.

24 Kragar (Antichrist )  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 12:50:17pm

re: #20 SanFranciscoZionist

Utter destruction of the Taliban and allied groups. Security for all Afghanis so they can live their lives without fearing they’ll be shot if they don’t grow opium or they send their daughters to school.

25 jcm  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 12:51:13pm

Micheal Yon is self supporting.

Support Micheal Yon.

Or I’ll tell Mandy and her stick! ;-)

26 The Shadow Do  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 12:53:53pm

I have read enough from Michael and others to believe that the incremental troop increases approved, so far, by Obama are driven politically. He doesn’t want to lose ‘his’ war, but neither does he seem inclined to win it.

While no one has had the temerity to say it, it is looking more and more that the West (USA) is prepared to settle into a war of attrition - not to win, but to follow the Korea, Vietnam standoff model with some vague hope of a semi-ceasefire - or a sufficient change in public opinion to permit a wholesale retreat.

Looks to me like it would take a Gulf I invasion force to get the job done. Crush the enemy, hold the territory, train up the locals. Not enough folks for COIN tactics in this deal. We are already fighting the last war (Iraq). IMO of course.

27 karmic_inquisitor  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 12:54:01pm

This war will be a slog.

The terrain is prohibitive for many of the operations that made the occupation and clearing of Iraq achievable.

So a redo of the surge will not provide the same results in a comparatively short time.

For instance, the mountains are hard to patrol and easy to hide in. The industrial and educational infrastructure that existed in Iraq (and hosted a semblance of a secular middle class) simply does not exist in Afghanistan. You have a very long, mountainous border with Pakistan who still provides aid and comfort to the Taliban. Oh - and they have nukes and an unstable government.

Bush was always candid on how Afghanistan was going to take a very long time as was the WOT.

Obama exploited the left’s narrative that there was no WOT, only a war on civil liberties, and now his moralist supporters are tired of killing people in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

It will be a test of Obama’s integrity and leadership for him to adapt a long range strategy in Afghanistan that sees the fight through.

28 karmic_inquisitor  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 12:54:59pm

re: #20 SanFranciscoZionist

What would victory look like?

The GAP opening a store in a mall in Kabul.

29 jcm  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 12:55:50pm

re: #28 karmic_inquisitor

The GAP opening a store in a mall in Kabul.

GAP? I thought it was a McDonalds!

30 Leonidas Hoplite  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 12:56:28pm

re: #29 jcm

GAP? I thought it was a McDonalds!

That’s the food court…much better than the less popular Taliban Court.

31 Occasional Reader  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 12:57:40pm
The troops up at Kajaki Dam are surrounded by the enemy, which has dug itself into actual “FLETs.” FLET is military-speak for “Forward Line of Enemy Troops.” In other words, the enemy is not hiding, but they are in trenches, bunkers and fighting positions that extend into depth.

Gosh, now, I’m no military expert, but I can see something useful that could be done right there. With lots and lots of deep-penetrating ordnance.

32 jcm  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 12:59:27pm

re: #30 Leonidas Hoplite

That’s the food court…much better than the less popular Taliban Court.

Food court the whipping on your sundae is optional.
Taliban court the whipping is mandatory.

33 Occasional Reader  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:00:19pm
The stories of foreign invaders do not explain away the great walls built around nearly every home and every mind. The problem is not the terrain. The problem is not that Americans and others supported the Mujahadin when they fought the Soviets. The problem is not the artificial boundaries penciled in by the British all over Asia and the Middle East. The people are backwards and many want it that way. You can fly over a compound in the desert, miles from the next compound, and still it will have walls. Afghanistan is the land of a million Alamos.

[Sigh]

No good choices, are there?

34 Syrah  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:00:37pm

re: #27 karmic_inquisitor

You can fight the water of the river with pick-ax and shovel, but it will be all for not till the pick-ax and shovel attack the earth that guides the course of the river.

35 jcm  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:01:07pm

re: #31 Occasional Reader

Gosh, now, I’m no military expert, but I can see something useful that could be done right there. With lots and lots of deep-penetrating ordnance.

Arc Light.

36 Occasional Reader  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:02:56pm

re: #21 Russkilitlover

Sounds familiar. 1916 familiar.

And as I noted above, it doesn’t have to be that way. We have the capacity to utterly obliterate their trenches and bunkers, whenever we want. Why aren’t we doing it?!

37 Kragar (Antichrist )  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:03:47pm

re: #36 Occasional Reader

And as I noted above, it doesn’t have to be that way. We have the capacity to utterly obliterate their trenches and bunkers, whenever we want. Why aren’t we doing it?!

We might hit a wedding reception or baby milk factory by mistake.

38 karmic_inquisitor  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:04:15pm

re: #33 Occasional Reader

[Sigh]

No good choices, are there?

The surge worked in Iraq because people liked consumer goods and wanted something of a western lifestyle. The Taliban crap got old fast and the Taliban created allies for us among the Sunnis who had fueled the insurgency.

The demands that the Taliban make seem less severe when you already live that way.

What we need in Afghanistan is a generation or two of kids raised on rock and roll and television. Seriously.

39 Occasional Reader  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:04:48pm

re: #28 karmic_inquisitor

The GAP opening a store in a mall in Kabul.

Hell, the Gap opening a sweatshop in Kabul would be progress.

40 turn  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:05:10pm

“Many believe that the Pashtun people are one of the lost tribes of Israel. If true, some Taliban might actually be descended from Jews, which would be one of the most severe ironies of humanity. Some branches go off and earn Nobel Prizes and unravel the secrets of the universe while advancing humanity by leaps and bounds, while another turns malignant and doesn’t know how to build a road.”

I didn’t know that. How is Islam working out for ya Afghans? It’s a sad state of affairs when people actually prefer to live in seventh century conditions.

41 jcm  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:06:51pm

re: #37 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

We might hit a wedding reception or baby milk factory by mistake.

Every thing we hit is a wedding reception or baby milk factory.

42 Kragar (Antichrist )  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:08:18pm

re: #41 jcm

Every thing we hit is a wedding reception or baby milk factory.

So you see our quandry.

43 Occasional Reader  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:08:27pm

All the British forces he write about are astonishingly brave, but I have to take special note of the women. One can only imagine what would happen to one of them if she were captured by the barbarians. It takes a special brand of courage to volunteer for that sort of risk.

44 The Shadow Do  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:08:42pm

re: #38 karmic_inquisitor

The surge worked in Iraq because people liked consumer goods and wanted something of a western lifestyle. The Taliban crap got old fast and the Taliban created allies for us among the Sunnis who had fueled the insurgency.

The demands that the Taliban make seem less severe when you already live that way.

What we need in Afghanistan is a generation or two of kids raised on rock and roll and television. Seriously.

Yon has made it pretty clear that most of Afghanistan is stone age, literally. Not sure what they would plug their Ipod or TV into, maybe a rock? Worked for the Flinstones I guess.

45 DaddyG  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:09:39pm

This is coming real close to home. My daughter went on her first date with an Army interrogator this weekend and my oldest son is considering entering the service when he returns from his mission.

While I have supported and prayed for our service men and women, I am getting more attuned to the trajectory of the Afghanistan war and I am worried about our lack of commitment as a country to do this right.

War is not nice and does not seek international consensus. Do it right or don’t put our children in harms way in the first place. Utterly defeat the drug lords and foreign insurgents with overwhelming firepower then we can worry about the niceties of nation building like we did in Japan and West Germany.

46 Occasional Reader  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:09:49pm

“BRITISH ARMY SURF TEAM - Taliban don’t surf”

Heh.

(T-shirt in photo)

47 Buck  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:11:46pm

OT: I know good lizards are aware of PA Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas holocaust denial. However I think it bears repeating, just in case some are not aware that his 1983 PHD Dissertation was all about “Nazi Zionists”. Remember, everyone will be Hitler for 15 minutes, even Jews.

Excerpts from PA Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas’ Dissertation

The Other Side: The secret relations between Nazism and the leadership of the Zionist movement, 1983, translation by Simon Wiesenthal Center.

On cooperation between the Zionist leaders and Nazi Germany
“A partnership was established between Hitler’s Nazis and the leadership of the Zionist movement…[The Zionists gave] permission to every racist in the world, led by Hitler and the Nazis, to treat Jews as they wish, so long as it guarantees immigration to Palestine.”

On Jews artificially raising the number of Holocaust victims
“Having more victims meant greater rights and stronger privilege to join the negotiation table for dividing the spoils of war once it was over. However, since Zionism was not a fighting partner - suffering victims in a battle - it had no escape but to offer up human beings, under any name, to raise the number of victims, which they could then boast of at the moment of accounting.”

“It seems that the interest of the Zionist movement … is to inflate this figure so that their gains will be greater. This led them to emphasize this figure in order to gain the solidarity of international public opinion with Zionism. Many scholars have debated the figure of six million and reached stunning conclusions - fixing the number of Jewish victims at only a few hundred thousand.”

On doubts about the numbers Jews killed in Holocaust
“Following the war, word was spread that six million Jews were amongst the victims and that a war of extermination was aimed primarily at the Jews… The truth is that no one can either confirm or deny this figure.

“In other words, it is possible that the number of Jewish victims reached six million, but at the same time it is possible that the figure is much smaller - below one million”.

48 experiencedtraveller  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:13:08pm

re: #20 SanFranciscoZionist

What would victory look like?

A democratic Afghanistan at peace with itself and its neighbors.

49 The Shadow Do  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:13:13pm

re: #45 DaddyG

Just so Mr. G. But it won’t happen with the risk averse fuzzy, feey bunch calling the shots today. I hate to say it, but under the circumstances I would not encourage my kid to enlist. Just my take of course.

50 jcm  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:13:27pm

re: #42 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

So you see our quandry.

It rotates back to political will.

The will to put up with the accusations of such things, and defend ourselves politically against the accusations, And when a such “targets” are struck, the courage to lay the blame where it belongs, at the feet of those who would use a baby milk factory for propaganda, and wedding reception to fire on our troops.

Countering the negative propaganda is important to achieving victory. In fact it is vital, it tells the man with dusty boots on the ground somebody has his back.

51 Occasional Reader  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:15:26pm

re: #48 experiencedtraveller

A democratic Afghanistan at peace with itself and its neighbors.

Hell, I’ll take an Afghanistan with an undemocratic but non-batshit-crazy government, as peace with itself and its neighbors, at least for starters.

52 The Shadow Do  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:17:00pm

re: #51 Occasional Reader

Hell, I’ll take an Afghanistan with an undemocratic but non-batshit-crazy government, as peace with itself and its neighbors, at least for starters.

Hell, I don’t even care if their not at peace, so long as they are strong enough to fight off the crazy cut throats.

53 Cato the Elder  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:17:06pm

Not for the first time, if I recall my Empire history.

54 Killgore Trout  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:17:10pm

Hot here in Portland today. That damn sun is out again.
/Meh

55 karmic_inquisitor  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:17:24pm

re: #44 The Shadow Do

Yon has made it pretty clear that most of Afghanistan is stone age, literally. Not sure what they would plug their Ipod or TV into, maybe a rock? Worked for the Flinstones I guess.

Yon posted on Kajaki Dam.
[Link: www.michaelyon-online.com…]

It is one of the only sources of electricity in the province.

That is why it is so important - leaving the stone age requires electricity.

56 Occasional Reader  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:17:54pm

Anyone recognize the sniper rifles in the pics?

57 jcm  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:18:02pm

re: #54 Killgore Trout

Hot here in Portland today. That damn sun is out again.
/Meh

Damn those Solarians and their SUVs causing solar warming!

58 Killgore Trout  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:18:14pm

So Your Cat Wants A Massage

59 Russkilitlover  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:18:23pm

re: #50 jcm

It rotates back to political will.

Countering the negative propaganda is important to achieving victory. In fact it is vital, it tells the man with dusty boots on the ground somebody has his back.

Hell, the negative propaganda is produced form our own G-D MEDIA!

60 Shug  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:19:01pm

Has Harry Reid declared the War lost yet?

61 Racer X  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:19:01pm

re: #54 Killgore Trout

Hot here in Portland today. That damn sun is out again.
/Meh

104˚ in SoCal - and smokey as hell.

62 Ward Cleaver  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:19:11pm

It’s no wonder the MoD canceled his embed; this is freakin’ embarrassing to the British.

63 Pianobuff  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:20:13pm

So, I thought there was no more “War on Terror” per the White House.

Apparently it’s back on.

This is getting hard to keep up with.

64 Occasional Reader  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:21:08pm

Okay, something I don’t understand; Yon describes this 20-30 minute ordeal of the snipers trying to hit a man 900 meters away who appears to be a Taliban spotter. The bad guy is concealed behind a wall, but in open terrain, without civilians around (unless I misunderstood). Why not just drop a few 40mm grenades, or for that matter, mortar rounds on the target, and then crack open a beer?

65 Occasional Reader  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:22:24pm

re: #62 Ward Cleaver

It’s no wonder the MoD canceled his embed; this is freakin’ embarrassing to the British Government.

(FIFY… no need for the British forces to be embarassed, of course.)

66 arethusa  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:22:53pm

Fortunately Gordon Brown is highly unlikely to win the general election next year. Thing is, David Cameron and the Tories might not be any better.

67 karmic_inquisitor  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:23:16pm

re: #63 Pianobuff

So, I thought there was no more “War on Terror” per the White House.

Apparently it’s back on.

This is getting hard to keep up with.

That is Robert Gibbs.

He is the White House Press Secretary for the Obama Administration.

So you can pretty much disregard anything he says.
/

68 Buck  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:23:37pm

re: #64 Occasional Reader

Okay, something I don’t understand; Yon describes this 20-30 minute ordeal of the snipers trying to hit a man 900 meters away who appears to be a Taliban spotter. The bad guy is concealed behind a wall, but in open terrain, without civilians around (unless I misunderstood). Why not just drop a few 40mm grenades, or for that matter, mortar rounds on the target, and then crack open a beer?

900 meters is half a mile. Probably too far for mortar rounds.

/my guess

69 The Shadow Do  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:25:27pm

re: #55 karmic_inquisitor

Yon posted on Kajaki Dam.
[Link: www.michaelyon-online.com…]

It is one of the only sources of electricity in the province.

That is why it is so important - leaving the stone age requires electricity.

He referenced this inthis most recent post. Generator in place but not working. What juice is generated is interdicted and the locals are charged by the Taliban for their power use. Probably the Taliban does not want R&R and Western TV sucking up their pirated juice.
Best laid plans and all that. It will take a massive military push to put this place on track. Take about 2 centuries to gentrify Helmand.

70 Mad Prophet Ludwig  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:27:24pm

I just read about this tragedy.

All of the words I would want to use are vulgar.

We can not let the Tali’s win.

My thoughts and prayers to the Brits who are doing their best with very limited resources,.

71 jcm  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:28:49pm

re: #56 Occasional Reader

Anyone recognize the sniper rifles in the pics?

It’s looks like a Accuracy International L96A1 .338 Lupua to me.

72 Truck Monkey  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:29:01pm

re: #64 Occasional Reader

Okay, something I don’t understand; Yon describes this 20-30 minute ordeal of the snipers trying to hit a man 900 meters away who appears to be a Taliban spotter. The bad guy is concealed behind a wall, but in open terrain, without civilians around (unless I misunderstood). Why not just drop a few 40mm grenades, or for that matter, mortar rounds on the target, and then crack open a beer?

They might inadvertantly take out the the endangered Afghan spotted rock snail, which would be a violation of the World Endagered Species Act. I believe it is punishable by a fine of up to $5000 Euros per rock snail killed. I am sure there are WESA inspectors on site.

//

73 Leonidas Hoplite  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:29:03pm

re: #66 arethusa

Fortunately Gordon Brown is highly unlikely to win the general election next year. Thing is, David Cameron and the Tories might not be any better.

Sounds familiar.

74 OldLineTexan  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:29:09pm

re: #56 Occasional Reader

Anyone recognize the sniper rifles in the pics?

Looks to be an L96A1 in a particularly ugly stock.

I wouldn’t want a “pretty gun” there to set me apart from the crowd, either.

75 OldLineTexan  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:29:44pm

re: #71 jcm

I am too slow!

76 zombie  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:30:45pm

Two passages in this report from the incomparable Yon which bear highlighting:

“The stories of foreign invaders do not explain away the great walls built around nearly every home and every mind. The problem is not the terrain. The problem is not that Americans and others supported the Mujahadin when they fought the Soviets. The problem is not the artificial boundaries penciled in by the British all over Asia and the Middle East. The people are backwards and many want it that way. You can fly over a compound in the desert, miles from the next compound, and still it will have walls. Afghanistan is the land of a million Alamos.”

…and…

“The [British] women are medics, and they brave the combat just like the infantry soldiers. But again, they will never get the credit they deserve, and so we joked that they should just let people think they spent the entire tour at Camp Bastion. Who would believe that they were out there in the thick of it? On this day, an Afghan man showed one of these medics a rash on his arms, but the medic carried no such medicines out into the fighting. When medic Evans said she had no medicine, a young man picked up a big stone and was preparing to hit her. Rhian instantly pointed the rifle at the man who put down the rock.”

This is the core of the problem: The people themselves. They are pre-Enlightenment. Pre-Renaiisance, even. It’s hard for us to even grasp the backwardness of their worldview, much less understand it and sympathize with it.

In the San Francisco Bay Area there is a city called Fremont, which has a large Afghan expatriate community. If you go there and hang out, or just watch news stories filmed there, you’ll find that the Afghan-Americans are pro-America, educated, friendly, etc. How can this be? Because all the Afghans who fled to America were the educated ones, the forward-thinkers, the progressives, fleeing the mujahideen and the Taliban in the ’80s and ’90s.

The end result is that Afghanistan itself is now exclusively populated by the “left-behinds,” the ignorant, modernism-hating tribalists.

Missionaries in the 19th century to various far-flung parts of the globe would sometimes despair that the “natives” in their particular outpost were simply beyond redemption.

I think we’ve got one of those situations here.

77 LGoPs  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:30:57pm

All I can think is ‘what a nasty place this is’.

78 Kenneth  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:31:55pm

oooh… I just got the Snow Leopard upgrade package in the mail… a tingle of excitement ran up my leg as I slipped the disk into my iMac…

79 Occasional Reader  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:32:43pm

re: #68 Buck

900 meters is half a mile. Probably too far for mortar rounds.

/my guess

60mm mortar with 3490 meter range
Mortars have a greater effective range than sniper rifles, not less.

80 zombie  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:32:46pm

re: #78 Kenneth

oooh… I just got the Snow Leopard upgrade package in the mail… a tingle of excitement ran up my leg as I slipped the disk into my iMac…

Make sure everything is backed up first, before upgrading the OS!

81 LGoPs  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:33:08pm

Bombing this place into the proverbial Stone Age would actually be an improvement I suspect.
/

82 Bear  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:34:13pm

re: #68 Buck

As I recall our 81mm mortar with HE Light rounds would go out to a bit over 3000 yards. So 900 meters should be within range. That was the WW2 mortar. I have been told the new ones go out farther.

83 Kenneth  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:34:32pm

re: #80 zombie

It is.

(typing this on my antediluvian Windows XP box)

84 theheat  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:35:10pm

re: #5 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

Wasn’t it Rummy that said you got to war with the army you have, not the army you want? I’m sure that sounded good on paper, and all kinds of git ‘er done patriotic. The reality, of course, is that you’re putting people’s lives at stake because some bean counter didn’t do the math. It’s always easier to spend lives when they’re not your own, but someone else’s son, daughter, father, mother, uncle, in-law. Then they’re only numbers.

I see this as a perpetual whack-a-mole scenario, with a limitless amount of moles. Meanwhile, the casualties build, and probably many of them unnecessary. I believe this is a result of fighting a kinder-gentler war, but I’m no expert. I do know my approach would be far more brutal, probably less popular, but I’m betting more effective. In my mind, it’s about winning a war, not sustaining it. Actually winning wars may be too messy for today’s cultured palettes.

85 zombie  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:35:52pm

re: #83 Kenneth

It is.

(typing this on my antediluvian Windows XP box)

You don’t know from antediluvian. I still have an Apple computer that runs System 6!

86 LGoPs  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:36:35pm

re: #68 Buck

900 meters is half a mile. Probably too far for mortar rounds.

/my guess

900 meters should be a doable shot for a sniper, although I’m not sure they had any with them. Mortars would easily reach this range.

87 The Shadow Do  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:36:59pm

re: #76 zombie

Right to the heart of it, both you and Yon.

88 Ward Cleaver  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:38:03pm

re: #65 Occasional Reader

(FIFY… no need for the British forces to be embarassed, of course.)

Amen to that!

89 Occasional Reader  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:38:32pm

re: #84 theheat

Wasn’t it Rummy that said you got to war with the army you have, not the army you want? I’m sure that sounded good on paper

It was also, um… realistic. No matter how good your military is at the moment you go to war, you’ll wish they had more and better of everything. And waiting to upgrade the [whatever] takes time, and lost time is a lost tactical asset, too. We wait another six months so that everyone gets MRAPs… okay, but those might be the six months that Saddam uses to get anthrax warheads on artillery shells. Etc.

90 Kenneth  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:40:08pm

re: #84 theheat

Wasn’t it Rummy that said you got to war with the army you have, not the army you want?

That was the quite possibly the most egregious thing Rumsfeld said as Sec-Def. He said that in response to criticism about the size of the force the US sent into Iraq. The reality is that most of his Pentagon advisers wanted many, many more troops. It was Rumsfeld who pushed the war planners to slash the force down, down and down. The Us went to war with exactly the force Rumsfeld wanted. Even as the invasion started, Rumsfeld diverted troops already in transit to Iraq away.

91 The Shadow Do  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:41:02pm

re: #84 theheat

Actually winning wars may be too messy for today’s cultured palettes.


Started with Truman, led to Vietnamization, culiminated in the Colin Powell unilateral cease fire.

All this kindness generates nothing but war, after war, after war.

92 LGoPs  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:41:47pm

re: #2 Ben Hur

“The Taliban Don’t Surf.”

Classic.

Americans Don’t Serf. Another classic.

93 Kenneth  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:42:37pm

re: #89 Occasional Reader

Rumsfeld’s first plan for invading Iraq, handed to Bush on Sept 16, 2001, was for 10,000 troops. The existing plan, drawn up for Clinton in 1998 called for 300,000 troops. In then end they met somewhere in the middle.

94 Russkilitlover  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:42:40pm

I wish we had a Micheal Yon with our troops in Afghanistan right now. I’d really like to know what is going on and what we are doing. We hear of an occasional drone strike and a quick rush past the raising casualty numbers and that’s about it.

95 Kragar (Antichrist )  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:42:46pm

re: #84 theheat

Wasn’t it Rummy that said you got to war with the army you have, not the army you want? I’m sure that sounded good on paper, and all kinds of git ‘er done patriotic. The reality, of course, is that you’re putting people’s lives at stake because some bean counter didn’t do the math. It’s always easier to spend lives when they’re not your own, but someone else’s son, daughter, father, mother, uncle, in-law. Then they’re only numbers.

I see this as a perpetual whack-a-mole scenario, with a limitless amount of moles. Meanwhile, the casualties build, and probably many of them unnecessary. I believe this is a result of fighting a kinder-gentler war, but I’m no expert. I do know my approach would be far more brutal, probably less popular, but I’m betting more effective. In my mind, it’s about winning a war, not sustaining it. Actually winning wars may be too messy for today’s cultured palettes.

The “Less is more” approach to warfare is bullshit. You put as much firepower on target as you can until it is destroyed and move on to the next target. Putting these little camps requiring them to be supplied by air and surrounded by enemy is a recipe for disaster. Either drop the biggest hammer you can or pull the fuck out.

“Every attempt to make war easy and safe will result in humiliation and disaster. ”
William Tecumseh Sherman

96 Occasional Reader  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:43:04pm

re: #90 Kenneth

That was the quite possibly the most egregious thing Rumsfeld said as Sec-Def. He said that in response to criticism about the size of the force the US sent into Iraq.

Actually, he said it in response to a question about the lack of up-armored vehicles.

97 Leonidas Hoplite  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:43:30pm

re: #90 Kenneth

That was the quite possibly the most egregious thing Rumsfeld said as Sec-Def. He said that in response to criticism about the size of the force the US sent into Iraq. The reality is that most of his Pentagon advisers wanted many, many more troops. It was Rumsfeld who pushed the war planners to slash the force down, down and down. The Us went to war with exactly the force Rumsfeld wanted. Even as the invasion started, Rumsfeld diverted troops already in transit to Iraq away.

Wasn’t it supposed to be bigger and have a large force invade from Turkey? And Turkey backed out as a staging area with our troops and equipment in transit? And wouldn’t it have taken weeks to get everything in transit to another staging area? I recall some or all of this being a part of the problem…

98 theheat  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:45:26pm

re: #96 Occasional Reader

That’s what I remember, also. Or, at least, when there were complaints about the lack of armored troops, that quote was pulled. Perhaps it had been used earlier, and re-attributed to the armor issue.

99 descolada9  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:45:28pm

Incredible reporting from Yon as ever. It is sad that such brave and capable young men and women fight while their own government bureaucracies undermine them or distance themselves from the brave men and women. Unless something is done soon to give these soldiers the support they need, then all these little bases will eventually be swallowed whole by the Taliban and the desert. I can think of nothing more ignoble for all the lives that have been lost in this battle.

It would be nice to see pro-military movie done to commemorate the lives and actions of the brave soldiers in Afghanistan. Probably the best thing would be to go through Mr. Yon’s posts and put together a script that highlights some of the people and activities that he writes about. For that matter if he has film footage that could be worked into a documentary, I think it would have a wonderfully powerful effect in both the US, Britain and other western nations. Of course, the biggest obstacle would be the film companies themselves who have shown their willingness to lose millions of dollars disgracing the heroic activities of our soldiers but find the idea of glorifying the losses of brave men and women to be anethema.

100 Kenneth  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:46:11pm

re: #97 Leonidas Hoplite

That was part of the problem, but not all. Rumsfeld wanted a much smaller force than the generals advised. Read Cobra II for a thorough discussion of the war planning cycle.

101 Achilles Tang  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:47:31pm

re: #76 zombie

This is the core of the problem: The people themselves. They are pre-Enlightenment. Pre-Renaiisance, even. It’s hard for us to even grasp the backwardness of their worldview, much less understand it and sympathize with it.

If we had politicians who said the same, they might be able to figure out what to do; but that would be called racist, would it not?

You can fly over a compound in the desert, miles from the next compound, and still it will have walls. Afghanistan is the land of a million Alamos.

Ditto much of the Arab Middle East. Saudi is much the same, even in the cities.

Islam is like that.

102 Kenneth  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:48:20pm

re: #98 theheat

I recall Rumsfeld using that line previously. He recycled it for that question.

The point being, the US had the army Rumsfeld wanted in Iraq. He was correct, they were enough to overthrough Saddam. But it was not enough to properly occupy the country, secure the borders and establish security.

103 descolada9  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:48:50pm

I just took a look at [Link: en.wikipedia.org…] and there are already calls for deletion of the article on the page. If someone can amend the article to make it more survivable from the trolls in the Wikipedia forums, please do. I fear that I do not have the expertise to write/edit Wiki articles. At the same time, it would be a shame to see this article lost.

104 itellu3times  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:50:19pm

re: #23 jcm

The means, the ability, the resources, the troops are ready and willing the only thing lacking to achieve victory?

Political Will.

We do not want it said we killed the enemy and enforced our will.

But I don’t really see that as “political” as such.

105 opnion  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:56:33pm

What is the bottom line here, do we increase troop strength & go all out to win, or do we conclude that the Afghans are backward primitives & that the situation is hopeless?
Obama embraced this as the “Good” War, what now?

106 Occasional Reader  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:58:12pm

Here’s some welcome realism:

Among the British combat soldiers in Afghanistan, Pedro [call sign of USAF chopper medical rescue] is the only thing more popular than mail. When friendly forces are in need, Pedro will come anywhere, anytime, during any weather, and their helicopters have gotten the bulletholes to prove it. The United States Air Force runs the only rescue service that will always be there, no matter what, no matter that there is no moon for flying, or the dust is too heavy for everyone else, or you are in a firefight. American Army helicopters in Afghanistan fly with the red cross on the side. Flying with that symbol makes it illegal for our people to carry weapons. The decision seems ridiculous; the enemy will only use the red cross for an aim point. While the Army flies armed with a red cross, Pedro flies with miniguns. And they bring some of the most highly qualified medics in the entire U.S. military–which is saying a lot. They bring miniguns, and powersaws to cut soldiers out of MRAPs or other twisted hulks, and scuba gear when troops and gear are lost to the water. If our people can manage to get there, Pedro can manage to get them out. Pedro rescues people every single day.

107 buster  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 1:59:09pm

I saw pictures today of an Afghan farmer who had part of his nose and ear cut off by the Taliban, for carrying a voting card. He said he was ambushed on his way to a voting station

With an enemy this brutal, and backed by opium money, is there any way to win even with overwhelming force? I get the feeling they (the Taliban) will melt away into the hillside, for however long it takes; only to return when we reduce our forces

108 Kragar (Antichrist )  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:01:21pm

re: #107 buster

I saw pictures today of an Afghan farmer who had part of his nose and ear cut off by the Taliban, for carrying a voting card. He said he was ambushed on his way to a voting station

With an enemy this brutal, and backed by opium money, is there any way to win even with overwhelming force? I get the feeling they (the Taliban) will melt away into the hillside, for however long it takes; only to return when we reduce our forces

The Taliban pays no attention to lines on a map and will fade across the border into Pakistan and other areas as needed. Until we’re willing to hunt them down where ever they hide, its a losing battle.

109 The Shadow Do  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:01:26pm

re: #106 Occasional Reader

I think Yon is now flying with Pedro, confirming Charles’ information regarding his embed now USAF. Should be some outstanding posts forthcoming from Michael.

110 Occasional Reader  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:02:44pm

re: #105 opnion

or do we conclude that the Afghans are backward primitives & that the situation is hopeless?

One observation: People can be backward and primitive, without being rabidly violent. To the extent we can get a good portion of the Afghan people to see themselves as protecting their way of life against an alien, Saudi-funded ideology, that will be a good thing, even if those same people are quite happy to live in the Middle Ages themselves. And, of course, to the extent we can start pulling more of them into modernity, all the better.

111 doubter4444  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:03:33pm

re: #91 The Shadow Do

Started with Truman, led to Vietnamization, culiminated in the Colin Powell unilateral cease fire.

All this kindness generates nothing but war, after war, after war.

Really?
Bullshit.
I’d say the Crimean war lead to the Boer War which lead to WWI which lead to WWII and so on.
Or lets start earlier… the 30 years war? The 100 years war?
Want to start earlier?
The invasions of the west by the Vandals, and the Goths…
Earlier?
The Trojan wars.
War begets war.
Kindness has nothing to do with it.

112 Occasional Reader  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:03:40pm

re: #109 The Shadow Do

I think Yon is now flying with Pedro, confirming Charles’ information regarding his embed now USAF. Should be some outstanding posts forthcoming from Michael.

Excellent.

VOTE FOR PEDRO

113 HelloDare  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:03:54pm

Finally, CNN is covering some real news. /
Broom stands on its own.

114 The Shadow Do  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:04:52pm

re: #107 buster

I saw pictures today of an Afghan farmer who had part of his nose and ear cut off by the Taliban, for carrying a voting card. He said he was ambushed on his way to a voting station

With an enemy this brutal, and backed by opium money, is there any way to win even with overwhelming force? I get the feeling they (the Taliban) will melt away into the hillside, for however long it takes; only to return when we reduce our forces

I think there is. Take the ground, hold it, train up the locals and provide them services. That is all a very tall order needing a hell of a lot of work and time. I doubt we are currently up for it though. And this will lead to more war, more often, more places.

115 Truck Monkey  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:05:51pm

re: #105 opnion

What is the bottom line here, do we increase troop strength & go all out to win, or do we conclude that the Afghans are backward primitives & that the situation is hopeless?
Obama embraced this as the “Good” War, what now?

He will dilly and he will dally for the next 3+ years while steadily raising the troop levels, although not to what the Generals want. He will carry it out just long enough so that the “Tet” moment happens only when a R occupies the Oval office chair. I wish I was wrong but I don’t believe that I am.

116 Killgore Trout  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:06:48pm

Your daily dose of Glenn Beck inciting political violence…
Beck thinks “there is a coup going on” in America

“They’re doing it under the guise of democracy.”
/ugh

117 Sharmuta  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:07:36pm

re: #116 Killgore Trout

Democrac

y.

118 Killgore Trout  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:08:12pm

re: #117 Sharmuta

Missing letter!
/

119 doubter4444  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:08:20pm

re: #112 Occasional Reader

Excellent.

VOTE FOR PEDRO

That would be a great shirt to send the troops

120 opnion  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:08:23pm

re: #110 Occasional Reader

One observa
tion: People can be backward and primitive, without being rabidly violent. To the extent we can get a good portion of the Afghan people to see themselves as protecting their way of life against an alien, Saudi-funded ideology, that will be a good thing, even if those same people are quite happy to live in the Middle Ages themselves. And, of course, to the extent we can start pulling more of them into modernity, all the better.

Good observations & my hope is that you are correct.
Whatever happens It can’t look like a U.S defeat since that will embolden other Jihadis.
But what does victory look like? We either go all out now or come home imo. I don’t want our brave troops dying because of dithering.

121 Truck Monkey  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:09:47pm

re: #111 doubter4444

Really?
Bullshit.
I’d say the Crimean war lead to the Boer War which lead to WWI which lead to WWII and so on.
Or lets start earlier… the 30 years war? The 100 years war?
Want to start earlier?
The invasions of the west by the Vandals, and the Goths…
Earlier?
The Trojan wars.
War begets war.
Kindness has nothing to do with it.

If you think about it War is pretty much a constant throughout human history. Both kindness and acts of war begets more war.

122 The Shadow Do  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:09:53pm

re: #111 doubter4444

Really?
Bullshit.
I’d say the Crimean war lead to the Boer War which lead to WWI which lead to WWII and so on.
Or lets start earlier… the 30 years war? The 100 years war?
Want to start earlier?
The invasions of the west by the Vandals, and the Goths…
Earlier?
The Trojan wars.
War begets war.
Kindness has nothing to do with it.

Really, I date no-winwars to Korea but being no expert I could be wrong. I do know that in modern memory, complete victory in war is pretty much extinct. There is an undue willingness to accept half measures and yes I do believe this encourages aggressors everywhere.

123 Truck Monkey  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:10:46pm

re: #113 HelloDare

Finally, CNN is covering some real news. /
Broom stands on its own.

Hillary left her ride in AL?

124 opnion  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:11:21pm

re: #115 Truck Monkey

He will dilly and he will dally for the next 3+ years while steadily raising the troop levels, although not to what the Generals want. He will carry it out just long enough so that the “Tet” moment happens only when a R occupies the Oval office chair. I wish I was wrong but I don’t believe that I am.

You may be right, however I would hope that the next President would realise that the next TET moment is a victory & let people know.
I do get you about Obama, I have no confidence in him.

125 Kragar (Antichrist )  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:12:25pm

re: #124 opnion

You may be right, however I would hope that the next President would realise that the next TET moment is a victory & let people know.
I do get you about Obama, I have no confidence in him.

I have plenty of confidence in Obama.

I’m confident he will be a complete fuck up at every turn.

126 Sharmuta  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:13:09pm

re: #118 Killgore Trout

Missing letter!
/

It’s locked in a FMA Cmp!

127 Shiplord Kirel  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:15:12pm

re: #116 Killgore Trout

Your daily dose of Glenn Beck inciting political violence…
Beck thinks “there is a coup going on” in America

“They’re doing it under the guise of democracy.”
/ugh

I get it:
Communist!
Oligarhickal!
UnAmerican!
Pissants!

128 Kragar (Antichrist )  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:16:34pm

US commander in Afghanistan proposes revamped strategy

The revised strategy, in the face of the Taliban’s expanding influence and waning support for the Kabul government, switches the emphasis from engaging directly with militants to winning the hearts and minds of the Afghan population, officials in Washington and at Nato headquarters said.

McChrystal graphically portrays the recent strategy of western forces as the equivalent of a lumbering bull attacking a matador’s cape, gradually tiring and finally being killed off.

Separate from his assessment submitted today, McChrystal is to go to Washington later this month to advise President Barack Obama on whether he needs more troops on top of the 108,000 international troops already there.

129 freetoken  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:16:39pm

re: #116 Killgore Trout

Hey, he’s starting to sound like George Noory…

/we are all part of the great sekrit

130 DaddyG  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:18:15pm

Wars end and do not continue when an enemy is clearly shown that further aggression is not worth the price they will pay for starting it.

Reconcilliation and nation building only work after a decisive defeat of the enemy.

131 theheat  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:18:46pm

re: #128 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

More origami cranes. They love the hell out of those.

132 Kragar (Antichrist )  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:18:54pm
133 Kragar (Antichrist )  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:19:26pm

re: #131 theheat

More origami cranes. They love the hell out of those.

Maybe they can hold some bake sales too, and a car wash!

134 Occasional Reader  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:19:57pm

re: #122 The Shadow Do

complete victory in war is pretty much extinct

Smallish but interesting exception, in my opinion: Panama, 1989. George Bush (pere) went it completely unilterally, no UN permission slip, to the round condenmnation of pretty much the whole world, including our usual allies. And… got the job done. Bad guy out, Panama set on path to being a pretty normal country, where they actually like us reasonably well.
And practically nobody bitches about it today, nor are explosive-wearing nutjobs making sucide runs at US Embassies over the thing.

135 DaddyG  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:20:21pm

re: #132 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

Government Motors invests $293 million…in China

Yuan it? You got it!

136 SixDegrees  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:20:38pm

re: #105 opnion

What is the bottom line here, do we increase troop strength & go all out to win, or do we conclude that the Afghans are backward primitives & that the situation is hopeless?
Obama embraced this as the “Good” War, what now?

One of the first things to do: stop relying on NATO. Just pretend they aren’t there at all. For all practical purposes, they’re not. The various European troops unlucky enough to draw Afghan duty are right where they’ve been from the very beginning of the conflict: hunkered down in Kabul refusing to deploy or do anything actually useful.

A couple of years ago, things were going pretty well in Afghanistan. Then the Taliban began asserting themselves and regaining control of the hinterlands, moving from there to more and more populous regions. Why? Because a couple of years ago, command passed from the US to NATO, and the Taliban have been virtually unopposed since.

If anything’s going to be accomplished, it will be accomplished by American troops doing what no European troops seem willing to do: fight. Take ground, and hold it. Provide a safe environment where ordinary Afghani citizens aren’t threatened and where those who want to live in a peaceful society are allowed to flourish.

Just forget about any help from our “allies.” They don’t have the stomach to do what’s necessary, and it’s foolish to count on them doing otherwise. If our troops occasionally rotate back into Kabul and find that the base toilets are sparkling clean - well, that’s an unexpected bonus of having NATO there. Accept it as the surprise it is, and shoulder the responsibility ourselves.

Or, bail.

But sitting around expecting our pathological alliance with Europe to suddenly right itself, waiting for NATO to take up arms and initiative against our common enemies, is losing proposition.

137 Truck Monkey  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:21:21pm

re: #134 Occasional Reader

Smallish but interesting exception, in my opinion: Panama, 1989. George Bush (pere) went it completely unilterally, no UN permission slip, to the round condenmnation of pretty much the whole world, including our usual allies. And… got the job done. Bad guy out, Panama set on path to being a pretty normal country, where they actually like us reasonably well.
And practically nobody bitches about it today, nor are explosive-wearing nutjobs making sucide runs at US Embassies over the thing.


I do miss Pineapple face though. Is he still in a Miami jail?

138 Buster  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:22:02pm

re: #114 The Shadow Do

I think there is. Take the ground, hold it, train up the locals and provide them services. That is all a very tall order needing a hell of a lot of work and time. I doubt we are currently up for it though. And this will lead to more war, more often, more places.

Afghanistan is a Gordian Knot…and there is no Alexander in sight (certainly not in the US or UK).

139 theheat  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:22:08pm

re: #132 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

Apparently, importing GM cars from the US isn’t as fun as building your own. And, of course, they can export them.

My head hurts.

140 DaddyG  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:23:23pm

re: #138 Buster

Afghanistan is a Gordian Knot…and there is no Alexander in sight (certainly not in the US or UK).

So… you don’t expect Afgans to be bragging that they are descendents of Obama the Mediocre hundreds of years from now? /

141 Occasional Reader  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:23:23pm

re: #137 Truck Monkey

I do miss Pineapple face though. Is he still in a Miami jail?

AFAIK. I always wondered who would win a hypothetical knife fight between Noriega and Saddam.

142 DaddyG  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:24:05pm

re: #139 theheat

Apparently, importing GM cars from the US isn’t as fun as building your own. And, of course, they can export them.

My head hurts.


They won’t have to take the california emmissions equipment off of their new Buicks. Much simpler that way.

143 DaddyG  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:24:28pm

re: #141 Occasional Reader

AFAIK. I always wondered who would win a hypothetical knife fight between Noriega and Saddam.

Are wood chippers allowed? /

144 theheat  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:25:15pm

re: #142 DaddyG

We know they’re all about the environment in China.

145 Buster  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:25:37pm

re: #140 DaddyG

So… you don’t expect Afgans to be bragging that they are descendents of Obama the Mediocre hundreds of years from now? /

Not so much.

146 Vicious Babushka  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:25:45pm

re: #83 Kenneth

It is.

(typing this on my antediluvian Windows XP box)

Hey, Windows XP runs better than Vista!

147 Kragar (Antichrist )  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:25:49pm

re: #141 Occasional Reader

AFAIK. I always wondered who would win a hypothetical knife fight between Noriega and Saddam.

Fair fight or prison rules?

148 Occasional Reader  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:25:53pm

Later.

149 Truck Monkey  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:28:34pm

re: #141 Occasional Reader

AFAIK. I always wondered who would win a hypothetical knife fight between Noriega and Saddam.


I would have liked to have the pay per view rights to that one. Mean Gene Okerlund could have had some marvelous pre fight interviews to get the partisans all fired up. Saddam with a pink boa and Noriega in overalls and work boots. Excellent.

150 Kragar (Antichrist )  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:29:54pm

re: #149 Truck Monkey

I would have liked to have the pay per view rights to that one. Mean Gene Okerlund could have had some marvelous pre fight interviews to get the partisans all fired up. Saddam with a pink boa and Noriega in overalls and work boots. Excellent.

Half way thru the match, Castro would sneak out from under the ring and clobber them both with a chair shot.

151 jcm  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:30:37pm

re: #108 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

The Taliban pays no attention to lines on a map and will fade across the border into Pakistan and other areas as needed. Until we’re willing to hunt them down where ever they hide, its a losing battle.

And show we are willing to protect villages, and villagers from the Taliban.

152 Sharmuta  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:30:40pm

re: #149 Truck Monkey

Upding for the Mean Gene reference.

153 The Shadow Do  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:30:41pm

re: #128 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

The revised strategy, in the face of the Taliban’s expanding influence and waning support for the Kabul government, switches the emphasis from engaging directly with militants to winning the hearts and minds of the Afghan population, officials in Washington and at Nato headquarters said.

McChrystal graphically portrays the recent strategy of western forces as the equivalent of a lumbering bull attacking a matador’s cape, gradually tiring and finally being killed off.

Separate from his assessment submitted today, McChrystal is to go to Washington later this month to advise President Barack Obama on whether he needs more troops on top of the 108,000 international troops already there.

I am really beginning to question McChrystal. Hearts and minds in Iraq only followed when the Sunnis discovered AQ were cut throat SOB’s and turned on them. It had zip to do with candy for kids. He is in for a rude awakening if he thinks the Afghans will follow a similar pattern with the Taliban. Hell, they are the Taliban.

Fighting the last war as usual. If this is the current thinking we need to get the hell out before one more soldier gets hurt.

I’d like to hear from Petraeus. McChrystal, spec ops expert is a given. Strategist? Show me, I have no evidence to date.

154 Shiplord Kirel  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:32:03pm

I think I should start organizing a militia to oppose the conspira-loons when they take over. Unfortunately, it costs a fortune to outfit even a decent platoon, let alone a secret army. What we need is some sinister sugar-daddy like Soros.
One thing that is really to our advantage: A conspira-liar administration would be fundamentally incapable of defending itself from real opposition, since it is part of their dogma to blame all opposition on someone other than the real perpetrators.

155 DaddyG  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:32:19pm

re: #149 Truck Monkey

I would have liked to have the pay per view rights to that one. Mean Gene Okerlund could have had some marvelous pre fight interviews to get the partisans all fired up. Saddam with a pink boa and Noriega in overalls and work boots. Excellent.

Warm up fight between Evita Peron and Imelda Marcos.

156 DaddyG  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:33:05pm

re: #154 Shiplord Kirel
“That’s just what they want you to think” - Dale Gribble

157 jcm  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:33:24pm

re: #150 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

Half way thru the match, Castro would sneak out from under the ring and clobber them both with a chair shot.

The he would tag team Chavez who would drop in from the turnbuckle.

158 jcm  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:34:07pm

re: #155 DaddyG

Warm up fight between Evita Peron and Imelda Marcos.

Imelda would shoe Evita to death…

159 Truck Monkey  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:34:18pm

re: #155 DaddyG

Warm up fight between Evita Peron and Imelda Marcos.

In bikinis… preferably in pudding or jello.

160 DaddyG  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:34:46pm

re: #158 jcm

Imelda would shoe Evita to death…

re: #159 Truck Monkey

In bikinis… preferably in pudding or jello.

High heels.

161 Sharmuta  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:34:46pm

re: #154 Shiplord Kirel

I think I should start organizing a militia to oppose the conspira-loons when they take over. Unfortunately, it costs a fortune to outfit even a decent platoon, let alone a secret army. What we need is some sinister sugar-daddy like Soros.
One thing that is really to our advantage: A conspira-liar administration would be fundamentally incapable of defending itself from real opposition, since it is part of their dogma to blame all opposition on someone other than the real perpetrators.

Like another layer of foil.

162 Truck Monkey  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:36:23pm

re: #157 jcm

The he would tag team Chavez who would drop in from the turnbuckle.

I don’t think any of the actors would be agile enough to pull off the ‘header into the press table’ stunt. Would be fun to see though.

163 freetoken  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:37:32pm

re: #152 Sharmuta

164 Buster  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:39:45pm

re: #160 DaddyG

High heels.

Stop it! I don’t what to see Imelda in anything but a mu-mu… and from a distance.

165 Truck Monkey  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:42:04pm

re: #163 freetoken



Threadworthy. There were a lot of talented dudes in the WWF.

166 DaddyG  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:42:04pm

Enjoy your respective evenings/mornings wherever you are!

167 MandyManners  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:42:39pm

Has anyone reposted yma’s article from this morning about the British military having some soldiers practice with blanks?

168 theheat  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:43:00pm

Secret camps and guillotines? Groups make ‘birthers’ look sane

In one, retired FBI agent Ted Gunderson says the government has prepared 1,000 camps for its own citizens. He also says the government has stored 30,000 guillotines to murder its critics, and has stashed 500,000 caskets in Georgia and Montana for the remains.

Why guillotines? “Because,” he wrote in a report obtained by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, “beheading is the most efficient means of harvesting body parts.”

169 jcm  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:44:31pm

re: #168 theheat

Secret camps and guillotines? Groups make ‘birthers’ look sane

You know you’re just dying to get invited to FEMA Camp!

//

170 Sharmuta  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:44:33pm

re: #165 Truck Monkey

Threadworthy. There were a lot of talented dudes in the WWF AWA.

Ahem. A lot of talent was picked up from other “leagues”.

171 The Shadow Do  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:44:50pm

re: #168 theheat

Secret camps and guillotines? Groups make ‘birthers’ look sane

Wonder who got those guillotine contracts? Man, that would be really good bucks.

172 theheat  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:45:46pm

re: #169 jcm

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., also is worried about the federal government and children, saying a bill expanding the AmeriCorps volunteer service could lead to mandatory camps for young people.

I hope I’m not too old. I loved camp.

173 Kragar (Antichrist )  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:46:26pm

re: #168 theheat

Secret camps and guillotines? Groups make ‘birthers’ look sane

Wouldn’t plastic baggies and zipties serve the purpose just as well?

174 Kragar (Antichrist )  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:46:55pm

re: #172 theheat

I hope I’m not too old. I loved camp.

CLANG CLANG CLANG WENT THE TROLLEY!!!

175 Killgore Trout  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:47:02pm

re: #168 theheat

Ted Gunderson
What a nut.

176 theheat  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:47:15pm

re: #173 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

1.) rot, 2.) smell. If it’s good enough for chickens, it’s good enough for organ harvesting.

177 Truck Monkey  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:47:30pm

re: #170 Sharmuta

Ahem. A lot of talent was picked up from other “leagues”.

Brings back memories. Vern Gagne. The Crusher. My favorite, although I never saw him win, was Scrap Iron Godaski.

178 Shiplord Kirel  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:47:49pm

re: #171 The Shadow Do

Wonder who got those guillotine contracts? Man, that would be really good bucks.

No kidding. It’s not like they could put it out for general bids. Even if they did, imagine what a federal spec guillotine would be like. You’d have to have OSHA certification and EPA impact analysis at the very least.

179 theheat  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:48:11pm

re: #175 Killgore Trout

No, he’s an activist.

//

180 jcm  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:48:27pm

re: #172 theheat

I hope I’m not too old. I loved camp.

Most parents would love to get rid of the kids for the summer!

/;-P

181 Kragar (Antichrist )  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:48:43pm

re: #176 theheat

1.) rot, 2.) smell. If it’s good enough for chickens, it’s good enough for organ harvesting.

Nah, you just slip the bad over the head, zip it tight and let them suffocate, then ya got no mess to clean up.

182 Killgore Trout  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:48:48pm

re: #179 theheat

Patriot!
/

183 jcm  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:49:28pm

re: #171 The Shadow Do

Wonder who got those guillotine contracts? Man, that would be really good bucks.

Cutting edge technology always has a good profit.

184 Killgore Trout  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:51:06pm

re: #168 theheat

In another ominous warning, a group called the Oathkeepers boasts that it wouldn’t cooperate if the government orders dissidents locked up.

“We will NOT obey any order to force American citizens into any form of detention camps under any pretext,” the group says in its list of top principles.

Oathkeepers is built around the idea that its members — active and retired military, police and firefighters — all have taken an oath to defend the Constitution, not the federal government.

Whether inspired by the group or not, the message of loyalty to the Constitution has been heard in many of the angry protests in town hall meetings this summer against a proposed health care overhaul — often side by side with the suggestion that the health care proposal is unconstitutional.

Tea Party!

185 theheat  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:52:31pm

re: #182 Killgore Trout

Coupon clipper!

/

186 Killgore Trout  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:54:10pm

Sad story…
Wildfire traps 5 people at Los Angeles-area ranch

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department says five people who refused to heed wildfire evacuation orders are trapped in a canyon and it’s too dangerous to rescue them.

Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore says the four men and a woman refused to leave the Angeles National Forest two days ago. On Monday they called for help because they were unable to leave a ranch in Gold Canyon.

Whitmore says a sheriff’s helicopter had planned to help but the flames are too intense and authorities must wait for the fire to pass by before going in.

Authorities say three other people were badly burned over the weekend after refusing evacuation orders. Two of them sought refuge in a hot tub.

187 MJ  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:55:40pm

Just how anti-Israel is Obama and the “Journalists” who cover the State Department?

QUESTION: The Jerusalem Post has a poll that showed that only 6 percent of Israelis actually support and think that the – President Obama is pro-Israel. Does that concern you at all?


MR. KELLY: Well, I think that our support for Israel and the President’s support for Israel is unwavering. I haven’t seen the results of that poll, but I think that the people of Israel know who stands with them.


QUESTION: Do you think that Secretary Clinton may think that a more balanced Mideast policy would be more appropriate?


MR. KELLY: You’re asking a very tough last question, I have to say. I’ll defer comment and – thank you very much.

[Link: www.state.gov…]


” I think that the people of Israel know who stands with them.”
Answer: It ain’t Obama.

“Do you think that Secretary Clinton may think that a more balanced Mideast policy would be more appropriate?”

“Balanced” Mideast policy is code word for being even more anti-Israel.

188 Korla Pundit  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:57:10pm

I think Bush’s initial approach of ‘this is our war, don’t get involved, NATO” was a good one. Just like in Rwanda and Kosovo and all other “wars by committee,” there is no cohesion, too much red tape, too much international politicizing, and not enough “can do.”

Let’s face it. NATO is just the EU wearing a Dukakis tank helmet.

Of course, going that route will be very unlikely at least until 2012, unfortunately.

189 Ben Hur  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:57:52pm

re: #188 Korla Pundit

Let’s face it. NATO is just the EU wearing a Dukakis tank helmet.

LOL!

190 jcm  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:58:08pm

re: #186 Killgore Trout

Sad story…
Wildfire traps 5 people at Los Angeles-area ranch

Darwin sucks…

semi /

I don’t have a lot of sympathy for such folks, sad, but self inflicted circumstances.

191 The Shadow Do  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:59:00pm

re: #183 jcm

Cutting edge technology always has a good profit.

At least until you have to deal with minimal edge standards, weight of blade, speed of blade etc. Worse still, would be dealing with environmentally correct torso disposal, compliance with head restoratiion legislation, etc.

A simple beheading gets very costly, but if priced in one could make a killiing!

192 Russkilitlover  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 2:59:01pm

re: #186 Killgore Trout

Sad story…
Wildfire traps 5 people at Los Angeles-area ranch

Two of them sought refuge in a hot tub.

Actually the didn’t seek refuge there, they chose to not evacuate and decided to ride out the fire in the hot tub. The stupid? Yeah, we’ve got ‘em.

193 theheat  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 3:00:32pm

re: #192 Russkilitlover

I thought when it said ranch, maybe they’d stayed trying to get their critters out safely. Somehow, saving your animals and riding out the fire in a hot tub don’t seem to coincide.

194 Kragar (Antichrist )  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 3:00:54pm

re: #191 The Shadow Do

At least until you have to deal with minimal edge standards, weight of blade, speed of blade etc. Worse still, would be dealing with environmentally correct torso disposal, compliance with head restoratiion legislation, etc.

A simple beheading gets very costly, but if priced in one could make a killiing!

Perhaps a conveyor belt, leading one past murals of peaceful Mediterranean scenes, into the rotating knives…

195 Kragar (Antichrist )  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 3:01:33pm

re: #192 Russkilitlover

Actually the didn’t seek refuge there, they chose to not evacuate and decided to ride out the fire in the hot tub. The stupid? Yeah, we’ve got ‘em.

So instead of burning, you can get boiled, lovely.

196 opnion  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 3:02:55pm

Charles Krauthammer writing for syndication today said while advising the Obamites on how to get Health Reform back on track,
‘Jettison any reference to end of life counseling. People see (correctly)
such Medicare paid advice as subtle encouragement to voluntarily refuse treatment.”

197 theheat  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 3:05:02pm

re: #196 opnion

I’m finding death phobia tiresome.

198 Korla Pundit  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 3:06:01pm

re: #196 opnion

>’Jettison any reference to end of life counseling.

I have a better formula: Jettison any word with a vowel.

But I swear if the bill reads “Hmmm,” I would still be agin it, because a thousand pages of the other stuff would be reinserted in committee.

199 Lee Coller  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 3:06:22pm

re: #188 Korla Pundit

I think Bush’s initial approach of ‘this is our war, don’t get involved, NATO” was a good one. Just like in Rwanda and Kosovo and all other “wars by committee,” there is no cohesion, too much red tape, too much international politicizing, and not enough “can do.”

Let’s face it. NATO is just the EU wearing a Dukakis tank helmet.

Of course, going that route will be very unlikely at least until 2012, unfortunately.

What? NATO did get involved (Bush asked them to, invoking the mutual defense treaty. Its NATO forces in Afghanistan. NATO is not in Iraq — not because we didn’t want them but because they refused to become involved.

200 Shiplord Kirel  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 3:06:30pm

re: #175 Killgore Trout

Ted Gunderson
What a nut.

One thing that really alarms me about this: I can’t quantify it, of course, but I have the impression that ideas like Gunderson’s are much more widely accepted than the really well-informed might typically realize. It seems laughable to us, but that is not true for anyone, not by a long shot.
I am around construction workers, oil-field types, and mechanics quite a bit. In these groups, belief in unconstitutional government plans and conspiracies is practically universal. These guys are from stupid, as their willingness to disregard common memes demonstrates, but they have never had the intellectual tools to properly evaluate the blizzard of information and disinformation that comes their way every day in the modern world. The conspiracy theorists are saying what they want to hear and they don’t see the red flag that raises.
In a different segment of society, a couple of welfare workers have told me that many of their colleagues and almost all of their clients share a different (but similarly crazy) set of conspiracy beliefs. Ex-convicts, and the underclass over which they have so much influence, are almost unanimous in believing that the CIA and Jewish bankers control the drug trade and that law enforcement is a sham.

201 opnion  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 3:08:09pm

re: #197 theheat

I’m finding death phobia tiresome.

Well,thanks for sharing.

202 Korla Pundit  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 3:12:09pm

re: #199 Lee Coller

> What? NATO did get involved (Bush asked them to, invoking the mutual defense treaty. Its NATO forces in Afghanistan. NATO is not in Iraq — not because we didn’t want them but because they refused to become involved.

I’m talking about AFghanistan, which the U.S. dealt with alone until the Taliban had been ousted. I remember, in fact, Europeans huffing and puffing about being excluded. However, I do recall that the mutual defense treaty was invoked by Bush to have NATO planes help patrol the skies for more hijacked planes and such. NATO was not invited to help out in Afghanistan until it looked like we had already won. But now that NATO is involved, we have gone back to the long slog.

Shoulda kept it private.

203 quickjustice  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 3:12:33pm

Well, it won’t be the first time the British Army has had problems in Afghanistan:

[Link: www.mainlesson.com…]

“I AM going to tell the story of the greatest disaster that ever happened to a British army.

In 1838-39 the Indian Government sent an army into Afghanistan. Its object was to restore a certain prince, Shah Soojah by name, who had been driven into exile nearly twenty years before. It hoped that he would be grateful for what had been done for him, and that the country which he ruled would be a valuable ally. Unfortunately, Shah Soojah was a feeble creature, and his people hated him because he had been put over them by foreigners.

[182] For some time, however, everything was quiet, though there were some who suspected danger. But in 1841 some of the Afghan chiefs rebelled. They had been provoked by having the payment which had been made to keep them quiet reduced. What they did was to occupy the passes between Afghanistan and India. The most important of these was the Khyber Pass, of which I shall have more to say hereafter. A brigade which was returning to India was attacked on its way, and suffered no small loss, though it managed at last to get clear. The officer in command, General Sale, thought it best not to go further than the town of Jellalabad. This place, of which we shall hear again, he occupied and fortified.

Meanwhile a riot had broken out at Cabul, the capital of Afghanistan, and the envoy of the Indian Government was murdered. Very soon the whole city was in a state of revolt. The English force, which was considerable—four regiments of infantry and two of cavalry, with some other troops—was badly managed. Forts which might have been defended were given up, and other opportunities of attacking or resisting the enemy were lost. Elsewhere, also, great losses were suffered. One native regiment mutinied and murdered its officers; another was destroyed by the Afghans.”

Read it all.

204 Eowyn2  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 3:16:51pm

Thank you Charles for continuing to post the Yon stories.

205 right_on_target  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 3:25:27pm

re: #190 jcm

Darwin sucks…

semi /

I don’t have a lot of sympathy for such folks, sad, but self inflicted circumstances.


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Some people will STAY with their homes, no matter what.
Whether fire, war, hurricane, whatever. Their home (not house) is their life. I’ve met people who have nothing left after a hurricane but still pitched a tent on an empty slab. Their choice.

206 JHW  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 4:26:21pm

At least one other, perhaps two, NATO country should be mentioned as pulling their weight alongside the US, UK, and Canadians is the Netherlands and I think Denmark also. Despite having small armed forces they’ve been in the thick of it. Dutch air support and their commando teams have been very effective. YouTube has several videos of these two nations’ troops in action, including a solemn one of Danes killed in action. Believe it or not, French troops have been operating with US forces and gaining praise from them for their professionalism. However, a lot of others are staying to the safer regions, notably Germany.

207 Stoatly  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 5:11:31pm

re: #5 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

God damn it. Putting peoples lives on the line without the equipment, numbers or support they need is just plain evil. Either give them what they need to win or admit that the politicians, not the troops, fucked up and bring them home.

I can’t believe this horseshit.

I felt the same cold anger while reading Yon’s piece as I did watching Sean Langan’s “Fighting The Taleban” from 2006

208 lostlakehiker  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 5:27:01pm

re: #4 Ben Hur

The British soldier is winning.

The British media is losing.

The British soldier is a fine fighting man. His officers are good. His equipment is good. But Afghanistan is a big place and the Brits are outnumbered badly.

Quantity has a quality all its own. Going on what Yon is reporting, and though he doesn’t have the full picture what he reports can be trusted and it seems to be a fair sample, the Taliban have the numbers to the point that they’re winning in Helmand.

The U.S. is going to have to commit more force and pick up more of the load. That, or chuck it—-and there would be consequences to throwing in the towel, because this war is a facet of a larger war that’s not optional, because we’re the defenders.

209 Seax  Mon, Aug 31, 2009 8:07:06pm

My brother - a helicopter pilot - was in Britain not that long
ago. While there he was there he said he saw lots of helicopters on an English Base - all wrapped up - with many more in hangars.
When I asked how many he just replied - “Lots”.
The problem he said was that there were not enough trained pilots
to fly them.


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