Afghanistan, The Graveyard of Empires.

by Daniel Russ on August 23, 2009

Pakistani Taliban deputy Hakimullah Mehsud Is Now The New Pakistan Taliban Commander

Pakistani Taliban deputy Hakimullah Mehsud Is Now The New Pakistan Taliban Commander

Pakistani Taliban Deputy Hakimullah Mehsud is now the new Taliban combat leader in Pakistan. He is said to be ruthless and well connected in insurgent and terror circles.

This is bad news as we now have 68,000 troops in Afghanistan, up from 20,000 just three years ago. We are starting to hear also that in our ninth year, support for the mission abroad (in Afghanistan) and at home is waning rapidly.

This is where I scratch my head. I mean does the president read history? Why do they call this the graveyard of empires? Maybe because you cannot turn a thousand years of clan government into a democracy in a decade even if you had a million troops. We have somehow lost our support in the fighting the Taliban as a lack of local support either means they are really really scared to aid us, or they really really want us out of their country.

The Russians occupied it for 8 years and had their derrieres handed to them (OK, with the help of Charlie Wilson and the Stinger Missile). But when mission creep begins to knell at home, it’s time to look at everything and talk to the American people exactly what we are doing in Afghanistan, and how we will succeed. One official said the Obama Afghani policy is a work in progress. After almost a decade it’s a work in progress?

Here are a couple of news items:

ISLAMABAD — The commander named by members of the Pakistani Taliban as its new leader is as ruthless as his predecessor, taking credit for several attacks, and could order more in the coming weeks to prove the terror network is still in business.

Despite the naming of Hakimullah Mehsud to replace ex-chief Baitullah Mehsud, who is believed to have been killed in a CIA missile strike Aug. 5, questions remained Sunday as to whether the al-Qaida-allied group was united behind their new leader.

A new Taliban leader could direct more fighters across the border in Afghanistan like other jihadi commanders in the northwest, joining insurgents there in the fight against U.S. and NATO forces as they try to stabilize the country eight years after the U.S.-led invasion.

Baitullah was mostly known for suicide strikes against Pakistani civilian, government and security targets.

AP Wire

And this is the news I really hate to hear. I hate hearing from field commanders that the situation is getting worse. All the while the so called news media in the US hardly spends more than a few minutes a day covering the news in that theatre of operation, and we are pouring more and more resources into this pit, and the President can barely pass legislation becasue he is in an even greater battle- one with lobbyists and corporations and with his own party. What I want more than anything here is a clear mission statement. What is he doing other than channeling LBJ. Will Afghanistan be Obama’s Vietnam?

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top U.S. military officer described the situation in Afghanistan as “serious and deteriorating,” but refused to say Sunday whether defeating a resilient enemy would require more than the 68,000 American troops already committed.

Adm. Mike Mullen also expressed concern about eroding public support as the U.S. and NATO enter their ninth year of combat and reconstruction operations.

The comments from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff underscore the challenges that the U.S. and its allies face against a resurgent Taliban and al-Qaida fighters who use safe havens in neighboring Pakistan to hide and launch attacks.

In broadcast interviews, Mullen and U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry said that last week’s presidential election in Afghanistan was historic, given the threats of intimidation voters faced as they headed to polling stations. It could be several weeks before it’s known whether incumbent Hamid Karzai or one of his challengers won.

“We’re not sure exactly what the level of voter turnout was,” said Eikenberry, a retired three-star Army general. “Taliban intimidation, especially in southern Afghanistan, certainly limited those numbers.”

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_US_AFGHANISTAN?SITE=DCSAS&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2009-08-23-11-24-17

And just when you thought it was safe to uncover your eyes, there is a report of massive fraud in the recent elections. Do we want to be there hosting Karzai when Afghanis think he is a US puppet? What am I saying? He IS absolutely seen as a US puppet.

Fraud Alleged in Election

There have been hundreds of complaints of fraud since the polls opened Tuesday for Afghanistan’s presidential election. Millions of Afghanis voted despite threat of attack from the Taliban, and reports that insurgents in the Kandahar province cut off the ink-stained fingers of two voters. President Hamid Karzai’s top challenger, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, told the Associated Press Saturday that he believed Karzai rigged the election. A U.N. official said the most common complaint has been ballot-box tampering. There are also allegations that supposedly independent monitors at election sites attempted to influence the voting. Karzai dismissed Abdullah’s complaint, while Richard Holbrooke, the U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan, said the allegations are to be expected. “We have disputed elections in the United States. There may be some questions here. That wouldn’t surprise me at all,” he said. “But let’s not get out ahead of the situation.”

AP Wire

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