Eyes On The Prize …………….

Eyes On The Prize

Did I miss something when President Barack Obama stated that he’d make Afghanistan the …. ‘focus of his attention’ when it came to the war against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda ? Figuratively and literally the military in Afghanistan has been abandoned by the Obama administration . As he seeks to bolster his political clout with other issues and legislation-though warranted that has achieved very little on the political front.

The President’s assessment of the situation remains non too clear. But in the meantime US lives are still being lost.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff under Admiral Mike Mullen , Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the President have had little , if anything to say on this very acute and worrying issue. It is even more perplexing when there are now statements being made by Secretary Gates now asking that General Stanley McChrystal not make anymore comments regarding the situation with regard to the situation in Afghanistan. Now unless I’m mistaken wouldn’t the top US military commander in the country (Afghanistan) and the head of the UN forces there be of the right frame of mind to be letting the public know of the inherent problems that the US military now faces in Afghanistan ?

The President   (seated   center)  is  seen  here  with  Defense  Secretary  Robert  Gates  (right )  and   Secretary  of  State  Hillary  Rodham-Clinton  (left)   at     a  meeting   to  discuss  nuclear  proliferation.      picture  appears  courtesy  of    getty  images/  Richard  Scholes  ....................
The President (seated center) is seen here with Defense Secretary Robert Gates (right ) and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham-Clinton (left) at a meeting to discuss nuclear proliferation. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Richard Scholes ....................

Courtesy of US Dept of Defense

Obama , Other Leaders Receive Afghan Resources Request …..

By Gerri J Gilmore , Armed Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 7, 2009 – As President Barack Obama and senior defense and national security leaders reconvened meetings today on the way forward in Afghanistan, they did so with the addition of Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal’s list of requested resources, the Pentagon press secretary said.

Obama received a copy of McChrystal’s request for resources late last week from Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, Geoff Morrell told reporters here today.

On Monday, Gates also provided copies of the resource request to senior White House officials, to include National Security Council members, he said.

Obama wanted a copy of the report to read last weekend, Morrell said.

The Afghanistan resources request is now formally working its way through the U.S. military and NATO chains of command, he said.

Morrell referred to the copies provided to Obama and other senior White House officials as “informal” documents that didn’t bear official comments of review or vetting from senior civilian and military leaders. Those leaders, he said, include Gates; Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of U.S. Central Command, which oversees operations in Afghanistan.

However, all of the Pentagon’s top leaders, to include Petraeus and McChrystal, have been closely involved in White House discussions on the way ahead in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Morrell pointed out. The White House hosted the first of a series of strategy meetings on Sept. 30.

A second such meeting was held today, Morrell said, with another slated for Friday.

Gates likely decided to hold onto the resource assessment until directed otherwise by the president, Morrell suggested, to limit the possibility of leaking information, such as occurred earlier with McChrystal’s assessment on the situation in Afghanistan.

Everyone concerned, Morrell emphasized, will have an opportunity to “weigh-in” with their opinions.

“Obviously, this has been a slightly unconventional process and an informal copy as I mentioned bypassed the chain of command at the secretary’s request, so he could own it and could therefore make decisions about where it should go, when it should go,” he said.

Today marks the eighth anniversary of the start of Operation Enduring Freedom, which removed the Taliban from power in Afghanistan.

“We have seen our amazing military men and women adapt to and overcome daunting terrain, harsh conditions and an agile and ruthless enemy,” Morrell said of the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan.

Nearly 800 Americans have died in military operations in and around Afghanistan since the war began, Morrell said. He cited the deaths of eight U.S. soldiers who died there last weekend during an enemy assault on a remote outpost in Nurestan province.

“Our thoughts are with their families and all families who have sacrificed so much in Operation Enduring Freedom,” he said.

Located near the border with Pakistan, the outpost was slated to be closed, Morrell said, as part of McChrystal’s counterinsurgency strategy to move U.S. troops closer to major Afghan population centers.

An investigation into circumstances surrounding the attack is ongoing, Morrell said. The enemy, he said, paid dearly, losing 100 fighters during the assault and in its aftermath.

Turning to other defense matters, Morrell said the Pentagon is developing a conventional 30,000 pound, massive ordnance penetrator bomb designed to pulverize underground facilities that may store weapons of mass destruction and related systems. The bomb, he said, should be ready for deployment in the coming months.

“This has been a capability that we have long believed was missing from our quiver or our arsenal,” Morrell said, “and we wanted to make sure we filled in that gap.”

There is no specific target list for the new weapon, Morrell emphasized.

The bomb “is just a capability that we think is necessary, given the world we live in these days,” he said.

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Adm. Mike Mullen Head of The Joint Chiefs of Staff addresses members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Unfortunately it’d appear that the President and his Defense Secretary are either under the impression that the war there can still be won by being haphazard and placing the lives of the US military in harm’s way as some sort of collateral damage if only to amp up the political rhetoric that’s now said to be going on. As to the assertion that the President and Robert Gates will acquiesce to McChrystal’s request for some additional 40,000 troops on the ground there in Afghanistan . Well that remains to be seen at this juncture . But it’d appear that it isn’t the priority that the President and his administration would have us believe it was . Clearly this administration seems to have lost touch with reality on this issue. Have they forgot that the lives of US soldiers are now being needlessly sacrificed for the sake of what ? What tangible evidence is there now that we’ve got both the Taliban and Al Qaeda on the run ?

President  Obama (left)    seen  here   with   Afghan  President ,  Hamid  Karzai.     Karzai   was   recently re-elected  to  the  post  in  an  election   that  was  said  to   be  rife   with   corruption.      The  opposing  candidate    Abdullah  Abdullah    has  stated  that   Karzai   supporters  were   integrally  behind  much  of   the   coruptional   voting   fraud  that  took  place.   Whereas  Karzai,  himself   has  stated  that   his   opponent's  supporters  was  behind   much  of  what  had   taken  place.    Either  way  there's  no   questioning   as to the   graft  that's   now   said  to  be    still   taking   place  inside  Karzai's   administration  .     picture  appears   courtesy  of   guardian.co.uk /  archives/   Tom  Spencer  ...................
President Obama (left) seen here with Afghan President , Hamid Karzai. Karzai was recently re-elected to the post in an election that was said to be rife with corruption. The opposing candidate Abdullah Abdullah has stated that Karzai supporters were integrally behind much of the coruptional voting fraud that took place. Whereas Karzai, himself has stated that his opponent's supporters was behind much of what had taken place. Either way there's no questioning as to the graft that's now said to be still taking place inside Karzai's administration . picture appears courtesy of guardian.co.uk / archives/ Tom Spencer ...................

Of the 650 plus lives now lost on this particular battlefront , it has to be said that though we would expect the loss of life in war. But ought we to expect the administration to act as if these lives are now being sacrificed for a cause when it now appears that they seem to have forgotten the purpose of this effort. In all honesty are the Afghan people now in a better place ? And what tangible evidence is there that this military action has met any of its original goals ? The Taliban may well have been overthrown and there’s now said to be a legitimately elected democratic government elected with Hamid Kharzai as its elected President. But Kharzai’s administration is said to be rife with corruption and many of the elected officials are indeed subordinates of the Taliban and Al Qaeda. And what has become even more apparent is that the country is still controlled in large part by these radicals.

Economically the ‘poppy trade’ (its by product being heroin) still pays large dividends for the Taliban and Al Qaeda as it is their main source of income in financing their continued wagering of the continued war in Afghanistan. That particular trade accounts for in excess of 75% of the country’s GDP. On both fronts this war has been wagered with there being little sign of any tangible improvement as to the country’s infrastructure and its citizens’ way of life.

Gen .  Stanley  McChrystal (foreground of  picture) , top US   military  commander   of    forces  in  Afghanistan.   The general   has   submitted   a  formal   request   for additional   troops  in   Afghanistan  to  the  Defense   Dept . But  still   awaits   word   from  Defense  Secretary   Gates  and   President  Obama , as   to  whether  or   not  his   request  will  be   granted.       picture  appears   courtesy  of  afp/ getty  images/   Manan  Vatsyayana   ........................
Gen . Stanley McChrystal (foreground of picture), top US military commander of forces in Afghanistan. The general has submitted a formal request for additional troops in Afghanistan to the Defense Dept . But still awaits word from Defense Secretary Gates and President Obama , as to whether or not his request will be granted. picture appears courtesy of afp/ getty images/ Manan Vatsyayana ........................

So as it now stands , what’s the present policy now in Afghanistan ? Does anyone within the Obama administration know ? The situation has been made almost untenable because of the present inaction on the part of the President. He’s seemingly at a loss to his express himself with clarity on this specific issue. Something of a comedown from that rousing acceptance speech after he’d won the Presidential election. “Change we can believe in “ . It’s now beginning to ring hollow at present when it comes to this one particular pressing issue. What say you on the matter ?

NB: Eighty five per cent ( 85 %) of the world’s poppy trade and productioin emanates from the country of Afghanistan. And it provides a lucrative source of income for not only the farmers but also for both the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. Furthermore there’s a growing epidemic of heroin use amongst the Afghani people, in particular amongst the women and children under the age of eighteen.

Author: tophatal ...........

An avid sports' fans that's all !!!!!

5 thoughts on “Eyes On The Prize …………….”

  1. Pretty crazy, as all politics can be. I recently found out a kid that I went to High School with died in Afganistan. I hope they make some better choices, because good people are losing their lives for nothing more than a stale mate…

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    1. chappy81

      The situation there is so fu_ked up to begin with. That there’s no consistency as to a policy from the outset. That’s been one of the really telling things when it comes to US policy when it comes to such events. They’re piss poor at determining what it is they want to achieve and how best to go about it !

      I spent 6 1/2 years in the military and I served in Ireland , whilst Britain was trying to bring some semblance of peace to the country while the IRA was looking to get rid of our presence there. At the same they’d go out and indiscriminately kill anyone who gave assistance to the British military during our presence there.

      Alan Parkins

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  2. I think we should have learned our lessons from the Vietnam war when President johnson was calling the military shots there then president Nixon. When you let the politicians run the wars there will be epansive loss of troops lives due to indecisiveness. And it is happening again under Obama.

    I would think the military would have a more consice idea of what forces are needed to run a war. Politicians delaying approval of their request is commiting murder in my view. A good example was the Humvee request for better protection and armour during the Iraqi war a couple years back. Untill it was approved, the soldiers were sitting ducks and casualties were high. It was reported the troops had to come up with makeshift armour to protect them selves for along while. That should not have ever happened.

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    1. Larry

      I’ve continued to maintain that stance. What the hell use is it when you’re said to be weighing up options on a position to take when you’re placing the lives of your own military servicemen in harm’s way ? Never-mind the loss of innocent civilian lives. It only adds to the fervor for the enemy in wanting to kill them further and at the same time it becomes an even bigger recruiting tool for them also. What is it that Gates and Obama are failing to understand at this juncture ?

      And as for Biden‘s thinking that we can still operate with the troop levels that are there at present. Well that’s just asinine to begin with ! The guy is too dumb for his own good and absolutely clueless as to what’s needed !

      Alan Parkins

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