Posts Tagged ‘Taliban’

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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