Custom Search

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Afghanistan War To Continue! Gen. John Allen, John McCain & Condi Rice Say No Early Withdrawal

As long as some members of Congress such as John McCain & Mitch McConnell, have a Vested Financial Interest in War i.e., Government Contractors, our Men & Women in Uniform will continue engaging in Tribal Conflicts we can NOT Win.

The Afghan War is a Tribal War.

It has NOTHING to do with Al-Qaeda because even after Bin Laden's Death, the Taliban's presence still rules that region of the Middle East.

And since President Karzai is a Willing Partner in that Scheme, why are we Wasting Billion$ of U.S. Dollars annually in Resources & Human Lives?

Remaining in Afghanistan for another 3 mos, 6 mos or 12 mos will NOT make a difference!

We've killed Osama Bin Laden so the U.S. Mission is Complete!

Let's just get out & let Karzai govern his Own Country!

U.S. General Sees No Sudden Afghan Drawdown

The top allied commander in Afghanistan told Congress on Tuesday that he had no intention of recommending further American troop reductions until late this year, after the departure of the current “surge” forces and the end of the summer fighting season.

That timetable would defer one of the thorniest military decisions facing President Obama — how quickly to get out of Afghanistan — until after the November elections.

Gen. John R. Allen, a Marine who commands the American-led allied force in Afghanistan, said that he remained optimistic about eventual success there but that it was too early to begin shifting forces. He also acknowledged the deep sensitivities, especially given the current diplomatic crisis with Afghanistan, of handing over complete security control to Afghan forces — including over the commando night raids that American commanders say are critical to the war effort. These are the subject of intense negotiation, he testified.

General Allen said that only after reviewing the results of the next six months of fighting — at the end of which there will be 68,000 American troops remaining there — would he turn his attention to the pace of further reductions in the force.

But he repeatedly said that by the end of next year, Afghan forces would have taken over full responsibility for the fight, allowing NATO’s combat role to be finished by the end of 2014, as currently scheduled.

His testimony came after a troubling, violent period on the ground, beginning with public protests — and a series of murders of American troops by Afghan security forces — following the burning of Islamic holy books by United States military personnel. That was followed by an American soldier’s rampage that left 16 civilians dead, most of them children.

General Allen said that in addition to the criminal inquiry into the massacre, there would be an administrative investigation into the command climate and headquarters organization of the soldier’s unit.

In his opening statement, he did not stray from the line taken by the White House and the Pentagon in recent weeks: that the progress toward what the Obama administration calls and “orderly and responsible” transfer of the fight against insurgents from the American-led alliance to the fledgling Afghan Army is going smoothly and that the schedule should not be altered.

He said he recognized the challenges, and deplored the Koran-burnings and the massacre. But he and members of the committee both described those events as isolated, if unfortunate, and there was little discussion of them at the hearing.

Instead, it focused on the schedule and the mechanics of the withdrawal that lies ahead, a subject that is being reviewed by NATO, whose member states are assembling their leadership in May in Chicago, and in talks between the Karzai government and Washington.

On one sensitive subject, the night raids carried out by Special Operations forces that have unsettled the Afghans but are credited with weakening the Taliban’s command structure, General Allen said the Afghans would be taking over control of them, too, eventually. Twelve Afghan teams are being trained for that purpose, he testified.

But he refused to discuss, when asked, a report in the Wall Street Journal that in negotiations with the Kabul government, the United States was considering subjecting American operations to review by some kind of Afghan tribunal.

He said it was important not to rob the surprise raids of “their momentum, which gives them their effectiveness.” And he said it was “very premature” to say what would be the outcome of the talks.

Ultimately, he said, as the Afghans take control of operations, the requirements of the Afghan constitution would need to be respected.

“Throughout history, insurgencies have seldom been defeated by foreign forces,” General Allen said. “Instead, they have been ultimately beaten by indigenous forces. In the long run, our goals can only be achieved and then secured by Afghan forces. Transition, then, is the linchpin of our strategy, not merely the ‘way out.’ ”

The possibility of an accelerated withdrawal order by President Obama has angered senior Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee. The chairman, Rep. Howard McKeon of California, said, “With our eyes at the exits, I am uncertain whether we will be able to achieve the key tenets of president’s own strategy, due to the constraints that the president, himself, has put in place.”

He made the case that “with friend and foe alike knowing that the U.S. is heading for the exits, our silence is likely viewed as a preamble to retreat. And, in warfare, when the mission becomes redeployment, rather than mission success, the outcome can quickly become disorderly.”

But General Allen emphasized that Afghan security forces are growing stronger, having reached 330,000, and that their buildup remains on track. And James N. Miller, Jr., the acting under secretary of defense for policy, testified that attacks initiated by the enemy continued to fall. They were down 22 percent in the first two months of this year compared with last year, he said, after falling 9 percent in 2011.

“We have seriously degraded the Taliban’s ability to mount a spring offensive of their own,” General Allen asserted. “This spring, they will come back to find many of their caches empty, their former strongholds untenable, and a good many of their foot soldiers absent or unwilling to join the fight.”

Sources: CBS News, CNN, NY Times, Youtube, PBS

No comments: