Posts Tagged ‘Afghanistan’

Rep. Allen West recently gave an awesome speech to the Center for Security Policy.

While it seems that our media can only focus on one “crisis” at a time, Allen West never takes his eye off of all the threats to U.S. national security.

No teleprompter, you’ll notice. The man is a walking encyclopedia, and he can communicate.

What Paul Ryan does for budget issues, Allen West does for national security.

Hat Tip: Big Peace


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Afghan women are living in fear that they are about to be returned, once again, to the Dark Ages of misogynistic terror. The Asia Sentinel reports:

The report Wednesday from Washington, DC   that US President Barack Obama has set in motion a substantial withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan is hardly good news for Afghanistan’s women.  Withdrawal of 10,000 NATO troops is expected by the end of the year. Women in the country are hearing rumors that talks with the Taliban are already taking place in secret…. Women risk losing liberty, education and employment if the fundamentalist Taliban were to win a significant place in the Afghan government.

The presence of foreign troops has caused significant issues, too. For example, a recent errant NATO strike killed at least nine women and children. But women say this tragedy should not be used as a reason for a troop withdrawal. The Taliban are responsible for the majority of civilian deaths during the war and intolerable abuse of women.

In May, Safia Siddiqi, a women’s activist and former member of the Afghan National Economy Committee, said on a national radio broadcast that nothing had improved for women in rural areas and that women need each other and the international forces to attain peace and security.


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Allen West has constantly been beating the drum for the need for commonsense changes in the U.S. military’s rules of engagement (ROE). This shocking story shows how horrible the current situation is. Teeth-gnashing, hair-pulling horrible.

From the Washington Examiner, via Weasel Zippers:

Several Taliban detainees who had been captured in February after being observed placing bombs in the culverts of roads used by civilians and military convoys near Kandahar were fed, given medical treatment, then released by American troops frustrated by a policy they say is forcing them to kick loose enemies who are trying to kill them.Despite what American soldiers say was a mountain of evidence, which included a video of the men planting the bomb and chemical traces found on their hands, there was nothing the soldiers who had captured them could do but feed and care for them for 96 hours and then set them free.

In another incident, members of a unit attached to 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment survived an attack by a suicide bomber on their convoy when his device failed to detonate. Soldiers managed to capture the would-be martyr, but he too was released after being held for four days.

“We put our lives on the line to capture the enemy,” a soldier with the Stryker regiment told The Washington Examiner. “Since my deployment, every insurgent we’ve captured has been released.

International Security Assistance Forces officials contacted by The Examiner admitted that releases like these were common. The officials said ISAF forces can hold detainees for up to 96 hours, during which time detainees are “screened and a decision is made whether to release the individual, transfer them to appropriate Afghan authorities, or to the detention facility in Parwan [at Bagram Air Base].” . . .

American troops say the policy is a morale killer. They say the inability to hold suspected insurgents is one of the reasons why the U.S. has been unable to suppress the Taliban.

May God send His angels to protect our fighting men and women, because our government sure isn’t.

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At least 858 U.S. soldiers have died in the Afghanistan war since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009. That equals 60.13 percent of the 1,427 American soldier fatalities so far in the ongoing 10-year war in that country. For the 858 U.S. deaths since Obama’s inauguration, 791 have been combat-related. This means that for the 1,241 combat-related deaths that occurred since the Afghanistan war began in October 2001, about 64 percent happened in the two years since Obama took office.

Last year was the deadliest for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, with 497 combat and non-combat fatalities. Improvised explosive devices (IEDs), or homemade bombs, continue to be the number one killer of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.

The Afghan provinces of Helmand and Kandahar, which border Pakistan and have been the central focus of U.S. military operations in recent years, continue to be the deadliest regions for American soldiers.

You think the increase in American fatalities might have anything to do with our increasingly wacko rules of engagement (ROEs)?

[ROEs concern] things like how far out cones must be placed to demarcate where firing can begin for vehicles that are suspected being threats, whether troops in contact can return fire, when they can return fire, under what conditions specific combined arms weapons systems can be employed (mortars, CAS, etc.), and so on and so forth.  A JAG [Judge Advocate General, or military lawyer] typically accompanies at least Battalion level deployments and certainly regimental deployments in order to create and help enforce all of those localized rules.  Welcome to the enlisted man’s life.

[A]s for how the overarching rules have come to bear on the enlisted man’s life in Afghanistan… [an] example comes from Washington Examiner.

To the U.S. Army soldiers and Marines serving here, some things seem so obviously true that they are beyond debate. Among those perceived truths: The restrictive rules of engagement that they have to fight under have made serving in combat far more dangerous for them, while allowing the Taliban to return to a position of strength.

“If they use rockets to hit the [forward operating base] we can’t shoot back because they were within 500 meters of the village. If they shoot at us and drop their weapon in the process we can’t shoot back,” said Spc. Charles Brooks, 26, a U.S. Army medic with 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, in Zabul province.

Word had come down the morning Brooks spoke to this reporter that watch towers surrounding the base were going to be dismantled because Afghan village elders, some sympathetic to the Taliban, complained they were invading their village privacy. “We have to take down our towers because it offends them and now the Taliban can set up mortars and we can’t see them,” Brooks added, with disgust.

Here are some comments Allen West made on the subject in an interview with Frank Gaffney on Gaffney’s Secure Freedom Radio broadcast of September 11, 2009. West said:

“Recently… we lost four U.S. Marines who were working as advisers with the Afghan military — something I used to be doing — and one of the critical things is that, when you go in and get contact with the enemy, normally the reaction time for you to get any kind of [air] support [is] a minute to two minutes. But, see, now… the people that are engaged on the ground have to go through wicket after wicket after wicket, up the chain of command, to get approval for this support. So what just happened… they were pinned down by Taliban who were intermixed with civilians, and even the reporter said the women and children were carrying, resupplying, ammunition to the Taliban. Not-so-innocent civilians.

“So, when we say these things, the enemy is listening, too. They listen to CNN, NPR, what have you. So they know these rules of engagement. We have created a gap that they can exploit. So now they know that they can pin our troops down because there is an elongated response time…

“The Taliban knows that if they don’t have weapons [on them], they can drive up, they can get intelligence, take surveillance on our checkpoints, they can be outside our gates and count numbers of vehicles on convoys, and what have you, because they know that as long as they don’t “show hostile intent,” [they] can stand up there with binoculars and call in mortar fire on a base….

“You have to go through a lawyer — the lawyer’s on the battlefield — anytime there’s an engagement, the report has to go through some type of legal review… We have brought this sense of law enforcement onto a very fluid, modern battlefield, where you have a non-state, non-uniformed belligerent. All these restrictions — when you apply them, you lose lives.”

West had much more to say on the subject, and on his ideas for better ways to prosecute the war — indeed, ways that offer perhaps the only hope of winning the war — in a brilliant speech at the Center for Security Policy. It’s one of his most important speeches. I urge you to click on the link and take the time to listen to it.

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I’m running this piece about Obama’s State of the Union address a bit belatedly, I admit, but before today, I did not know of this author, Michael Connelly, an army veteran and law professor in Texas. His brilliant, incisive assessment of our nation’s national security, written right before the civil unrest broke out in Egypt, is even more ominous now that we’re facing a potential Muslim Brotherhood takeover in that country.

[W]hat struck me as the most worrisome aspect of the speech was not so much what Obama said, but what he didn’t say. In a sixty-two minute speech he waited until the last few minutes to even mention foreign policy and national security and when he did, he seemed to find the subject quite boring and mundane.

While members of our armed forces are fighting and dying in Afghanistan and elsewhere every day to defeat the terrorist enemies who want to destroy us, the whole thing was just briefly and casually mentioned by our Commander in Chief. He did thank our troops for their sacrifices, while at the same time reassuring our enemies in Afghanistan that we will began withdrawing our troops later this year. I’m sure the applause among the Taliban and al-Qaida leaders who were watching the speech was much more enthusiastic than any applause by our members of Congress.

In fact, the President seemed most enthusiastic when he mentioned the fact that the don’t ask and don’t tell policy regarding gays in the military had been repealed. This was wildly applauded by the progressives in the room, but the men in command of the American military sat stone faced and silent in front of the President. They know how much damage doing something like this in the middle of a war is going to have on the morale of our troops.

The President also paid scant attention in the speech to the fact that Iran will soon have nuclear weapons and that the North Koreans, who already have such weapons, are acting crazier and more belligerent than ever. His overall plan for these countries is to continue to beg them to “play nice.” His speech also pointedly ignored the fact that China is rapidly increasing the size of its military and now has a stealth fighter as well as missile technology that can destroy our aircraft carriers. However, he touted the passage of the START treaty with Russia that lowers our defenses against nuclear attack while doing nothing to limit the Chinese.

At the same time, Obama has ignored the fact that our enemies such as Iran, Libya, and Venezuela are deliberately forcing up the price of oil in order to damage our economy. We are presently buying half of our oil from countries that have no love for us, yet the only thing Obama said about this crisis in the speech was that he plans on ending tax breaks for domestic oil companies and spending more on vague and unspecified “clean energy.” When coupled with his refusal to issue new drilling permits the outcome will mean that soon we will be producing less than one-third of the energy we need and the price of a gallon of gas could easily reach $5.00 by next year. This is a threat not only to our economy, but to our national security.

Finally, does anyone recall the President even mentioning the chaos on our border with Mexico? He made one vague reference to working with both parties to secure our borders, but he ended that with another apparent push to grant amnesty to those who have already broken our laws and entered our country illegally. The fact is that the violence among the Mexican drug cartels is spilling over into our country and Americans are dying in the crossfire. While this is happening there is growing evidence that hundreds of illegal aliens from nations that support Islamic terrorism are also entering our country.

Obama’s response to this is to decrease our border security and allow many entry points to be unpatrolled by both State and Federal authorities. However, he is prepared to make one bold move. His administration will soon be proposing new gun control laws that will limit the rights of law abiding American citizens to purchase weapons to protect themselves and their homes. It will have no effect whatsoever on the ability of the drug cartel soldiers and the terrorists to acquire weapons, but it will make the progressives happy.

The bottom line is that our country is being rendered defenseless by the people who are charged in the Constitution to protect our nation and its people. As a result, the violence on our borders will increase and our enemies will be encouraged to increase their efforts to attack us around the world and on our own soil. I’m afraid that this could be a very dangerous year for the people of the United States.

Hat tip:  Jan C.

Linked by:  Marine Patriot and The Old Jarhead   Thanks!

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Let Them Fight or Bring Them Home!” is the blog of John Bernard, a veteran with 26 years service in the U.S. Marines.

In his latest post, he bemoans the lives lost in Afghanistan due to the extremely misguided policies of the leftists who have been running things in Washington.  He takes the policymakers to task for their complete lack of understanding of Islam and what motivates Muslims. It is a sad, realistic, frustrating missive — and then, in the last few paragraphs, it suddenly changes tone:

Enter Colonel Allen West. Colonel West, soon to be Congressman West, has been selected to serve on the House Armed Services Committee. Given the content of his campaign speeches and especially those dealing with this particular issue, it is apparent, for the moment, that he could be the greatest ally our Warriors have inside the Beltway; someone knowledgeable of the military, the battlefield, Islam and with the tenacity of a dog with a bone. My encouragement to Colonel West is to never forget ‘your first love’ and never forget that an appointment inside the Beltway by reason of a won election is first, foremost and always, service. You must never forget that service comes with a cost to the one serving – and always be prepared to pay the price.

You will be dragged out and scourged as a hate-monger.

You will be reviled by those of lesser character and lesser understanding of the issues.

You may find yourself only serving one term because the electorate is fickle and largely without intestinal fortitude.

Compromise is the forte of the unprincipled and in this case will get Warriors killed – for political gain as it has been doing for far too long!

You will, however, be held in the highest esteem by the only group that really counts right now, especially during a time of war and that is, the Warrior community. Those who have chosen to put their collective backsides where their beliefs and hearts lie are in the end, the only ones that matter because their lives are the only ones truly at risk for the benefit of us all.

You can, in fact, be the one person in that miserable place we have dubbed ‘the Dark City’ that can turn this around and in the process, save lives – American Warrior’s lives and maybe, just maybe, in the process hand to the American people the one thing they have forgotten counts in time of war; a victory.

God Speed!

Semper Fidelis;

John Bernard

My dear patriots, we need to stand with Allen as he stands with our brave warriors!

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We’ve talked about the ongoing family feud in the Republican party between “fiscal” and “social” conservatives.  Probably the liveliest discussions, with the most thoughtful — and thought-provoking — comments, that I’ve seen on this matter have been a couple of articles (and their comment threads) over at RedState.

As important as this fiscal-versus-social discussion is, aren’t we forgetting something?

Recall that Ronald Reagan is remembered as a brilliant politician because he was able to unite the three — not two, but three — strands of conservatism, namely, fiscal, social and national security/defense. Reagan called it a “three-legged stool” — because a three-legged stool cannot stand if even one of the three legs is missing.

Isn’t it a little strange — not to mention, dangerous — for that third leg to be neglected when we are, after all, at war, with “hot” fronts currently in two different countries?

You will not find Victor Davis Hanson neglecting it.  (Elsewhere on this site I have compared Allen West to Hanson, since both are military historians, with advanced degrees — Hanson, a doctorate; West, a master’s — and both men not only know the truth about Islam, but are bold enough to come right out and say it.)  In his recent piece, “In Defense of Defense,” Hanson makes the case that, as we go about the very necessary task of drastically reducing government spending, the defense budget should have some degree of immunity.

Hanson’s argument immediately got my attention, because I remembered that Allen West had said recently that everything should be “on the table” for budget cuts — even defense.  As West’s brilliant speech about Afghanistan made clear, however, we are wasting a lot of money — and American lives — with our dunderheaded non-strategy in Afghanistan.  We could fight leaner if we would fight smarter.

Not long ago, I read a disturbing novel, a thriller:  John Lescroart’s Betrayal.  The title had multiple meanings in the book, but one of the main ones was the nefarious behavior — including huge-scale embezzlement — of one of the many private contractors working with the U.S. military in Iraq.  Granted, it was only a work of fiction; and granted, Lescroart — though one of my favorite writers — may tend toward the liberal side of politics.  Still, he was describing things that really do happen.  As long as there have been private defense contractors, there have been waste and fraud.  How Allen West, if elected President, will attack this problem remains to be seen — but I’m sure that he saw some things in Iraq that will give him some pretty clear ideas of how and where our mammoth defense budget might be tightened up.

Meanwhile, conservatives should read Hanson’s piece.  The fiscal-versus-social conservatism debate will be moot if we lose in Afghanistan, and give radical Islamists around the world a morale boost that will drastically increase their numbers and their boldness.

hat tip:  Big Peace

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