American Elephants

Obama’s Touchy-Feely Foreign Policy Isn’t Working! by The Elephant's Child

As the United States plans to complete the withdrawal of combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, the US military and its Coalition partners are increasingly shifting security responsibilities to Afghan forces.  If the transition is going to succeed, it depends a lot on the competence and strength of the Afghan military and security forces. So training has become a major focus of Coalition strategy, which depends on the work of the trainers with Afghan security forces.

The US Army has been ramping up instruction in the languages of Afghanistan, and in Afghan customs as well. Key installations have added several hundred speakers of Pashto and Dari to their ranks, more than doubling the number of soldiers trained in Afghan languages.

Attacks on Coalition forces — called green-on-blue attacks — have increased dramatically and emerged as a major threat, accounting for 14% of Coalition casualties. Commanders estimate that attacks are due to cultural differences and personal disagreement, but others estimate that about half have been carried out by Taliban infiltrators. Nevertheless the US military has become so concerned that they have ordered a designated ‘guardian angel” whose job is to provide security for troops working with Afghans. ISAF commander John Allen has recently directed all US and NATO troops to carry a loaded weapon at all times. They were previously forbidden to carry magazines in their weapons as a sign of trust, while Afghan trainees carried loaded weapons. There have been a total of 57 attacks. 

The US consulate where the American ambassador to Libya was killed is an “interim facility” which was NOT protected by the contingent of Marines that safeguards embassies. It was an unfortified building in a volatile city that has been targeted by jihadis before— and it was the anniversary of 9/11.

According to Marine blogs, the US Marines defending the US embassy in Egypt were not permitted by the State Department to carry live ammunition, limiting their ability to respond to attacks such at the storming of our embassy in Cairo this week. Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson “did not permit US Marine guards to carry live ammunition. She neutralized any US military capability that was dedicated to preserve her life and protect the American Embassy. The Pentagon denies this and says no restrictions have been imposed. Reports indicate  the Obama administration was relying on Egypt’s new Muslim Brotherhood-backed government to ensure American security.

— When the elite Border Patrol tactical unit known as BORTAC late on the night of Dec. 14, was working Peck Canyon, northwest of Nogales, they were hunting a predatory criminal gang that targeted drug couriers and illegals being smuggled over the border.  They ambush the victims for their drugs or possessions sure that it will never be reported.

The team, with night-vision equipment spotted five men carrying rifles moving through the canyon. One of the officers demanded that they drop their weapons. The suspects did not, so two Border Patrol Agents deployed their “less than lethal” beanbags at them. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was hit with one bullet and died shortly after. One of the suspects was also hit. Agency policy: beanbag rounds are one of the “less than lethal” shotgun rounds designed to deliver a stunning, momentarily incapacitating  blow to allow officers to rush in and physically control an ‘uncooperative’ suspect.

The standard doctrine is that less-than lethal weapons will only be used in situations where the suspects are not armed with deadly weapons of their own.

Filled with less-than legal shells, the shotgun is still a shotgun, when fired, a shotgun blast is heard, a flash and puff of smoke and the weapon recoils. Any person not immediately incapacitated is apt to return fire. Border Patrol officials lied at least once about the order to use beanbags, in an effort to cover up the murder of Brian Terry with “fast and furious” weapons.

— There is a discernible pattern here — born of notions that the United States must be just one nation among many, no more exceptional than any other nation, never throwing our weight around, appreciating diversity, respecting other cultures, and above all not being judgmental. People who live lives of apparent safety and comfort have difficulty appreciating how fragile the world is. We are always in more danger from our fellow man, and from bad ideas celebrated by those living their lives of safety and comfort.

Worse Than Carelessness. Needless, Heartbreaking and Just Wrong by The Elephant's Child

U.S. and NATO troops have fallen to attacks by Afghan insiders— trainees or  Afghan police — in increasing numbers.   The troop deaths from so-called green-on-blue attacks have climbed past 100, and it is only now becoming clear why it is happening. There has been a standing order from military brass requiring troops to remove the magazines from their weapons while quartered inside their bases with their “trusted Afghan partners.”

Jihadist Afghan soldiers or police have easily gotten the jump on their trainers, shooting them in cold blood with the rifles and ammunition issued by the United States. Ten of our troops have died in just this way in the past two weeks.  Since the beginning of 2012, there have been 32 attacks that have resulted in 40 deaths.  Last year there were 21 insider attacks.

Earlier this month, an Afghan security commander ambushed U.S. troops. The officer, who was helping U.S. special forces train the local police force, lured elite U.S. soldiers to a Ramadan meal at his outpost to talk security. He then opened fire on them at close range, killing three and wounding one.

The Taliban took credit for the attack. The terror group released a video indicating it has heavily infiltrated the Afghan national army and police force.

“I opened fire on three Americans who were sitting together,” a rogue Afghan soldier, identified as Ghazi Mahmood, says while smiling for the camera. “The reason I killed them is because they have occupied our country. They are enemies of our religion.” He said that there are many other uniformed Afghans “looking for the opportunity to kill infidels.”

This was conceived as a “gesture of trust” toward Muslim partners.  Commanders ordered U.S. soldiers to remover their magazines from their weapons while training and working alongside them. The Afghans were allowed to remain armed. Most troops generally removed their heavy Kevlar body armor once they got inside the base, making them even more vulnerable to “friendly fire.”

Investors says:

Disarming the Afghans would have been the obvious solution. But of course that would expose this whole “training partnership” as the farce it really is. Training and standing up a national security force in Afghanistan is the linchpin of President Obama’s withdrawal strategy. He has set a 2014 deadline for troop pullout.

But the Pentagon is already reducing troop presence by 30,000 by the end of the summer. Many of the remaining soldiers will switch from fighting to training and advising Afghan forces. This means even more of them will be exposed to insider attacks.

But we’re not just training Afghans to replace soldiers. We’re hiring them to protect our soldiers right now, and many of them have also turned on our soldiers. Obama has insisted on using Afghan security guards for base security as a way to limit the size of the U.S. military footprint in Afghanistan.  Hiring local Afghans to protect troops obviates the need to deploy some 20,000 additional troops as MPs, or to move existing troops out of combat roles.

Obama’s rush to withdraw has needlessly cost at least 100 soldiers’ lives and wounded countless others.

Obama Said the Troops are Fighting on His Behalf. Not really.. by The Elephant's Child

Uncle Jimbo, from Blackfive, takes exception to President Obama’s ‘strategy’ in Afghanistan. He wouldn’t have gone for the idea that the troops were fighting on Obama’s behalf either. The administration’s plans to ‘dialogue’ with the Taliban seem to be some vague part of the ‘strategy,’ whatever that is. It seems to be about— getting out before the election. There’s certainly a lot of rather large problems that must succumb to electoral politics.

For Some Reason I have The Housemartins’ “World’s on Fire” running through my head by American Elephant
January 28, 2011, 12:01 pm
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Music, News, Politics, Progressivism | Tags: , , , ,

Hmm. Wonder why.

At least Obama is on top of the situation!  Paper: “[events] moving too fast for Obama administration”.

Sigh. The country’s in the very best of hands. “Smart Power!”

Bush was right/Democrats lied #379: by American Elephant

Democrats unanimously confirm the four-star General they previously accused of lying about the Surge and referred to as General “Betray Us.”

How anyone who votes Democrat can even face themselves in the mirror is utterly beyond me.

I’m Posting this Because I Like It a Lot! by The Elephant's Child
March 15, 2010, 12:03 am
Filed under: Freedom, Military, News the Media Doesn't Want You to Hear | Tags: , ,

(h/t: Ace of Spades)

Some Welcome News from General David Petraeus. by The Elephant's Child
January 26, 2010, 12:42 am
Filed under: Freedom, Military, Terrorism | Tags: , ,

Nearly all of the U.S. Combat troops slated to deploy to Afghanistan to take part in the military buildup there should arrive by the end of August, General David Petraeus said. Everybody engaged in this deployment is making an effort to get there as rapidly as possible.

Army General Stanley McChrystal is leading the counterinsurgency effort in Afghanistan. His strategy includes the securing of the Afghan people against insurgent violence and reprisals and improving citizens’ quality of life through reconstruction and infrastructure projects.

Afghanistan is experiencing a building boom as part of efforts to support incoming troops, Petraeus said. There is a huge amount of construction to develop additional airfields, additional ramp space, additional forward operating bases and combat outposts.

Pakistan, Gen. Petraeus says, has committed to the right side, and deserves the unwavering support of the U.S. in its battle against Islamist groups.  He noted a “true change” in Pakistani public opinion last summer, saying that political leaders and even clerics began to recognise the Pakistani Taliban as a threat to the country, when the Taliban challenged the government’s writ in the Swat valley.

“So this became Pakistan’s war on terror, not Pakistanis fighting America’s war on terror.  That is an enormous shift in thinking.”

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