Everything's Going Great in Afghanistan

A "sobering and shocking" congressional investigation has found that mercenaries are funding warlords and undermining the ostensible war objective because what the fuck do they care since their objective is to make money private security contractors protecting the supply convoys to the US military bases in Afghanistan "are paying millions of dollars a week in 'passage bribes' to the Taliban and other insurgent groups to travel along Afghan roads."
The payments, which are reimbursed by the U.S. government, help fund the very enemy the U.S. is attempting to defeat and renew questions about the U.S. dependence on private contractors, who outnumber American troops in Afghanistan, 130,000 to 93,000.

..."This arrangement has fueled a vast protection racket run by shadowy network of warlords, strongmen, commanders, corrupt Afghan officials, and perhaps others," wrote Rep. John Tierney, D- Mass., the chairman of the House subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs. "Not only does the system run afoul of the (Defense) Department's own rules and regulations mandated by Congress, it also appears to risk undermining the U.S. strategy for achieving its goals in Afghanistan."

..."The Department of Defense has been largely blind to potential strategic consequences of its supply chain contingency contracting. U.S. military logisticians have little visibility into what happens to their trucks on the road and virtually no understanding of how security is actually provided," the report found.
Swell. Not that this should surprise anyone, especially anyone in the government: When you hire mercenaries private contractors to provide short-term security, they are going to be interested in doing whatever it takes to get that job done and get their paychecks and get the fuck out, not interesting in sharing your long-term security vision. I mean, we're talking about people whose job security depends on the war lasting as long as possible, which doesn't exactly give them incentive to support the (alleged) strategy for success.

Meanwhile, the top US military commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, has been recalled to Washington after dissing the administration in an interview with, I shit you not, Rolling Stone.
McChrystal apologized Tuesday for the profile, in which the general and his staff appear to mock top civilian officials, including the vice president. The article is set to appear in Friday's edition of Rolling Stone.

...In the profile written by Michael Hastings, the author writes that McChrystal and his staff had imagined ways of dismissing Vice President Joe Biden with a one-liner as they prepared for a question-and-answer session in Paris in April. The general had grown tired of questions about Biden since earlier dismissing a counterterrorism strategy the vice president had offered.

"'Are you asking about Vice President Biden?' McChrystal says with a laugh. 'Who's that?'"

"'Biden?' suggests a top adviser. 'Did you say: Bite Me?'"

...McChrystal's first one-on-one meeting with Obama "was a 10-minute photo op," Hastings writes, quoting an adviser to McChrystal. "Obama clearly didn't know anything about him, who he was. Here's the guy who's going to run his f---ing war, but he didn't seem very engaged. The Boss (McChrystal) was disappointed."
Also singled out for sniping in the article are US Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, Special Representative to Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke, and National Security Adviser Jim Jones. The article notes that McChrystal "has managed to piss off almost everyone with a stake in the conflict." He issued an apology today for what is, by any reckoning, a huge embarrassment for the Pentagon.
"I extend my sincerest apology for this profile. It was a mistake reflecting poor judgment and should never have happened," McChrystal said in a Pentagon statement. "Throughout my career, I have lived by the principles of personal honor and professional integrity. What is reflected in this article falls far short of that standard."

..."I have enormous respect and admiration for President Obama and his national security team, and for the civilian leaders and troops fighting this war and I remain committed to ensuring its successful outcome," McChrystal said in the closing to his apology.
Do you think lying about his "enormous respect and admiration" for the administration falls under "personal honor" or "professional integrity"?


The Afghanistan War is a clusterfucktastrophe wrapped in a hot mess wrapped in a metric fuckton of OMFGWTF.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus