Surge Dirge

July 5, 2011

All over the hotel, dignitaries, who had come to the capital to discuss the future of Afghanistan’s security, locked themselves in lavatories or hid under beds as the killing began.
The Telegraph, on the attack last week at Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel

Despite the slaughter at one of Afghanistan’s supposedly most-secure locations, President Obama still had the audacity to proclaim Kabul “much safer than it was” even as a security conference becomes way-insecure — 12 civilians, including a Spanish pilot, were killed in the attack.

Another fudge on a surge.

(Illustration found here).

Just as it was announced four NATO soldiers were killed Tuesday in Afghanistan (bringing the total to 280 for the year, nine just this month, which is only five days old), David Petraeus, retiring from the military and getting ready to take over the CIA, threw out some bullshit about how great the Afghan security forces were in handling the hotel attack: “Do you realize how quickly they cleared a massive hotel?” he asked.These guys were all wearing suicide vests. They (the Afghan forces) took it down in a single night.”
Yeah, right.

The BBC on the situation:

That the attackers managed to get into the hotel – despite layers of security – raises huge questions over the ability of the Afghan police and military to protect citizens and property once Western forces leave the country.

Afghan officials are not ruling out the possibility that someone from the police or the security establishment could have helped them out.
”We are looking at everything. Sadly, the enemy has infiltrated our security forces,” said an Afghan official.

The Afghan army and security forces, i.e., the police, are a known joke.
Even foreign visitors to Kabul have to be wary of security, even after a nearly-full decade into a conflict going nowhere and although Afghan army has improved, the jury pretty-much has a verdict of disaster coming.
Read a most-excellent analysis of how bad the Afghan forces are at tomdispatch.

Meanwhile, back to big dick David Petraeus and the way-real verdict on the Afghan surge.
One of the better war reporters, Gareth Porter, crunches the numbers for Petraeus’ brainchild of surging US troops into Afghanistan and tearing the heart out of the Taliban.
Bullshit indeed.
Porter at CounterPunch:

The Taliban and allied insurgent organizations launched 54 per cent more attacks and killed or wounded 56 per cent more U.S. troops over the nine months from last October through May than in the comparable period a year earlier, according to data collected by the U.S. Department of Defense and by the highly-respected Afghanistan NGO Safety Office (ANSO).
The nearly 1,571 attacks in May recorded by ANSO, which exceeded the previous monthly peak total of 1,541 attacks in September 2010, was achieved four months earlier in the fighting season than the previous peak.

Even as the monthly level of Taliban attacks was going down in the last quarter of 2010, the number of Taliban IEDs planted and direct or indirect fire attacks during the quarter was 130 per cent higher than in the same period of 2009, as shown in a graph in the April 2011 DOD report on Afghanistan.
That increase in attacks recorded by the Pentagon relative to the previous year matches almost exactly the increase of 132 per cent in U.S. casualties in Afghanistan in the fourth quarter relative to the same period in 2009, according to casualty data provided to IPS by the Pentagon’s Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO).
The JIEDDO data show the number of U.S. troops killed in action increased by 56 per cent from 80 in the last quarter of 2009 to 125 in the same period of 2010.
But the little-noticed number of U.S. troops wounded in action was 1,446 in the final quarter – a 140 per cent increase over the 601 wounded in the comparable period of 2009.

The only surge, of course, is in bullshit.


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