Forked Tongue on a ‘Wicked Problem’

December 23, 2010

As the Afghanistan experience slithers into the aftershock of a bad acid trip, the war pushers are saying one thing, and doing another — white assholes talking with big, ugly forked tongue.
From the Army Times on 18,000 new troops for the Afghan theater:

Defense Secretary Robert Gates signed the deployment orders a day after President Obama said he will start bringing troops home from Afghanistan in July.
In the same breath, he said the U.S. will not finish transitioning military forces out of Afghanistan until 2014.

What a deceptive mess.

(Illustration found here).

Rose-colored glasses for lying lips.
Despite even a winter coating on the war, the UN envoy to Afghanistan said Wednesday the shit is about to really, really hit the fan.
From AFP:

“We are detecting from the anti-government elements an attempt to show, on their side, spectacular attacks,” Staffan de Mistura said at the United Nations.
“I’m afraid for the next few months for a tense security environment… Our assessment is before it gets better it may get worse,” he added.
He went on to say that the best hope for lasting stability in the war-torn country was a political settlement between the Western-backed government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai and insurgents bent on overthrowing him.
“Everyone recognizes there is no military solution. Frankly, even the Taliban do, even if they will not say this publicly,” de Mistura said.

The Afghan UN guy quickly refuted: “Despite isolated incidents of attacks and suicide bombings by the Taliban and other extremists, overall security has improved,” Zahir Tanin said.
“The latest assessments show that Afghan forces for the first time in the last two years have begun to regain the military initiative.”

This is real, honest-to-goodness bullshit.
According to the Afghan defense people themselves, more than 800 Afghan troops have been killed this year, a 25 percent increase from 2009 — the country currently has about 150,000 of its own soldiers and there’s hope to increase that number to 300,000 by next summer with a required end-need of at least 400,000 to keep it secure.
However, Jason Ditz at antiwar.com reports on the local dead toll: Unfortunately for them, NATO’s efforts to increase the size of this force have not only been struggling on the basis of their shortage of trainers, but because these jobs are often so dangerous that many of the soldiers abandon their posts after receiving a paycheck or two.

All this in the face of another grim view, this time from a semi-official think tank, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) — retired Gen. David Barno, former NATO commander in Afghanistan, and Andrew Exum, a former Army Ranger, report things aren’t so rosy:

In a sober assessment, the report warned that “No immediate solution to the war in Afghanistan is likely.” After nine years of “inconclusive fighting,” write Barno and Exum, Afghanistan increasingly resembles a “wicked problem” in which “all outcomes are likely to be suboptimal for the United States, its allies, and the Afghan people.”
The impact of the $336 billion that America has spent in Afghanistan to date has been “deeply disappointing,” they said.
The authors argue that America will soon need to scale down its operations — and its expectations.
“Recent disappointments combined with Afghanistan’s long history of weak central government argue for a more realistic objective: limited central government with power devolved to the provinces and districts.”

No shit Sherlock.

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