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OfflineSirTripAlot
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Lies and subterfuge in Afgan war * 3
    #26370387 - 12/09/19 08:01 AM (6 months, 28 days ago)

Most wars are waged for economic purposes....of course, misrepresentations, fabrications lead the saber rattling. 18 years.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/confidential-documents-reveal-us-officials-failed-to-tell-the-truth-about-the-war-in-afghanistan/ar-BBXY8l1


A confidential trove of government documents obtained by The Washington Post reveals that senior U.S. officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan throughout the 18-year campaign, making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable.

The documents were generated by a federal project examining the root failures of the longest armed conflict in U.S. history. They include more than 2,000 pages of previously unpublished notes of interviews with people who played a direct role in the war, from generals and diplomats to aid workers and Afghan officials.


The U.S. government tried to shield the identities of the vast majority of those interviewed for the project and conceal nearly all of their remarks. The Post won release of the documents under the Freedom of Information Act after a three-year legal battle.


In the interviews, more than 400 insiders offered unrestrained criticism of what went wrong in Afghanistan and how the United States became mired in nearly two decades of warfare.

With a bluntness rarely expressed in public, the interviews lay bare pent-up complaints, frustrations and confessions, along with second-guessing and backbiting.

“We were devoid of a fundamental understanding of Afghanistan — we didn’t know what we were doing,” Douglas Lute, a three-star Army general who served as the White House’s Afghan war czar during the Bush and Obama administrations, told government interviewers in 2015. He added: “What are we trying to do here? We didn’t have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking.”

“If the American people knew the magnitude of this dysfunction . . . 2,400 lives lost,” Lute added, blaming the deaths of U.S. military personnel on bureaucratic breakdowns among Congress, the Pentagon and the State Department. “Who will say this was in vain?”

Since 2001, more than 775,000 U.S. troops have deployed to Afghanistan, many repeatedly. Of those, 2,300 died there and 20,589 were wounded in action, according to Defense Department figures.

The interviews, through an extensive array of voices, bring into sharp relief the core failings of the war that persist to this day. They underscore how three presidents — George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump — and their military commanders have been unable to deliver on their promises to prevail in Afghanistan.

With most speaking on the assumption that their remarks would not become public, U.S. officials acknowledged that their warfighting strategies were fatally flawed and that Washington wasted enormous sums of money trying to remake Afghanistan into a modern nation.


Edit length


--------------------
“I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.”


Edited by SirTripAlot (12/22/19 12:03 AM)


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OfflineMorel Guy
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Re: Lies and subterfuge in Afgan war [Re: SirTripAlot]
    #26370594 - 12/09/19 10:02 AM (6 months, 28 days ago)

Charlie Wilsons War pretty much sums up why this started in the first place.  Many also feel Lebanon was another starting point for radical Jihad.

America might be good fighting real wars against concrete nodern enemies.  Horrible at fighting culture wars against enemies who use guerilla tactics, who fought for decades previously.


--------------------
"in sterquiliniis invenitur in stercore invenitur"

In filth it will be found in dung it will be found


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OfflineSirTripAlot
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Re: Lies and subterfuge in Afgan war [Re: Morel Guy] * 1
    #26370768 - 12/09/19 11:34 AM (6 months, 28 days ago)

Remember this when our next war starts/festers...its not for the reasons they give you. I know this is not the first time for this charade but it is still bullshit, nonetheless.


--------------------
“I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.”


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OnlineFalcon91Wolvrn03
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Re: Lies and subterfuge in Afgan war [Re: SirTripAlot]
    #26394222 - 12/21/19 03:29 PM (6 months, 15 days ago)

Thanks SirTripAlot!  This is an extremely important topic that nobody seems to cares about because the establishment media is distracting everyone from this with impeachment news.  I was unable to respond at the time because it was at the beginning of my week long ban.

I suspect you didn't get more replies because your original post was way too long.  I'll try to help out with a short summary so we get more people talking about this.  This is huge.


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I am in a minority on the shroomery, as I frequently defend the opposing side when they have a point about something or when my side make believes something about them.  People here get very confused by that and think it means I prefer the other side.


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OfflineSirTripAlot
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Re: Lies and subterfuge in Afgan war [Re: Falcon91Wolvrn03]
    #26394256 - 12/21/19 03:52 PM (6 months, 15 days ago)

Should have edited it a tad; yeah I didnt catch this on any alphabet channels. It really is something. All the bloodshed and economic sacrifices....nada, not even in the nation's conscience. What the fuck is wrong with us?


--------------------
“I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.”


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
OnlineFalcon91Wolvrn03
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Re: Lies and subterfuge in Afgan war [Re: SirTripAlot] * 1
    #26394269 - 12/21/19 04:00 PM (6 months, 15 days ago)

Yes, it's sad how the mainstream media is largely ignoring this story.

Redacted Tonight seems to have a very good piece on it for people who don't like to read:



Unfortunately, their video is also too long for most people to watch, but the first 1:32 gives a quick summary.  I recommend everyone watch it if they can spare some time.

I'll try to do a summary soon if no one else beats me to it.


Edit:  Actually, only the first 13:45 is about the Washington Post Afghanistan story, so it might be watchable by more of you.  :laugh:


--------------------
I am in a minority on the shroomery, as I frequently defend the opposing side when they have a point about something or when my side make believes something about them.  People here get very confused by that and think it means I prefer the other side.


Edited by Falcon91Wolvrn03 (12/21/19 04:34 PM)


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OfflineBrian Jones
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Re: Lies and subterfuge in Afgan war [Re: Falcon91Wolvrn03] * 1
    #26394451 - 12/21/19 05:53 PM (6 months, 15 days ago)

This is my take on the Afghan war. It made sense for W because it allowed a bad President to get reelected. In return for that political capital, the deaths of 3500 lead to bad economic times for most of the 350 million. I know later in his administration things went really south with the banking crisis, but well before that the infatuation with terror crippled the economy. There is no possible defense for the Iraq war.

And Obama continuing those two wars shows that for many issues, there is no difference between a neoconservative and a neoliberal.

Trump may have shown a few good signs on the foreign entanglement issue, but it is too soon to start patting him on the back, because we don't know yet if there is any fundamental change.


--------------------
"The Rolling Stones will break up over Brian Jones' dead body"    John Lennon

I don't want no commies in my car. No Christians either.


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Re: Lies and subterfuge in Afgan war [Re: SirTripAlot]
    #26394467 - 12/21/19 06:08 PM (6 months, 15 days ago)

Maybe the easiest way to summarize this is to take a few of the more interesting points from the WaPo article.  Oh geese, this is difficult.  I cut out a ton and it's still way too long.  So I just cut out a ton more.  This is about the shortest I can get it:

Quote:

The Washington Post said:
A confidential trove of government documents obtained by The Washington Post reveals that senior U.S. officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan throughout the 18-year campaign, making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable.

Several of those interviewed described explicit and sustained efforts by the U.S. government to deliberately mislead the public. They said it was common at military headquarters in Kabul — and at the White House — to distort statistics to make it appear the United States was winning the war when that was not the case.

The Lessons Learned interviews also reveal how U.S. military commanders struggled to articulate who they were fighting, let alone why.  Was al-Qaeda the enemy, or the Taliban? Was Pakistan a friend or an adversary? What about the Islamic State and the bewildering array of foreign jihadists, let alone the warlords on the CIA’s payroll?  U.S. troops often couldn’t tell friend from foe.

The United States flooded the fragile country with far more aid than it could possibly absorb.  One unnamed executive guessed that 90 percent of what they spent was overkill: “We lost objectivity. We were given money, told to spend it and we did, without reason.”  One unidentified contractor told government interviewers he was expected to dole out $3 million daily for projects in a single Afghan district roughly the size of a U.S. county. "I’m doing it for communities that live in mud huts with no windows.”

The gusher of aid that Washington spent on Afghanistan gave rise to historic levels of corruption.  The Afghan government led by President Hamid Karzai had “self-organized into a kleptocracy” by 2006.  By allowing corruption to fester, they helped destroy the legitimacy of the Afghan government they were fighting to prop up.

U.S. military trainers described the Afghan security forces as incompetent, unmotivated and rife with deserters. They also accused Afghan commanders of pocketing salaries — paid by U.S. taxpayers — for tens of thousands of “ghost soldiers.”  A U.S. military officer estimated that one-third of police recruits were “drug addicts or Taliban.” Yet another called them “stealing fools” who looted so much fuel from U.S. bases that they perpetually smelled of gasoline.

Afghanistan became the world’s leading source of a growing scourge: opium.  The United States has spent about $9 billion to fight the problem over the past 18 years, but last year, Afghanistan was responsible for 82 percent of global opium production.  At first, Afghan poppy farmers were paid by the British to destroy their crops — which only encouraged them to grow more the next season.

Throughout the Afghan war, documents show that U.S. military officials have resorted to an old tactic from Vietnam — manipulating public opinion.  No matter how the war is going — and especially when it is going badly — they emphasize how they are making progress.

A person identified only as a senior National Security Council official said there was constant pressure from the Obama White House and Pentagon to produce figures to show the troop surge of 2009 to 2011 was working, despite hard evidence to the contrary.  “It was impossible to create good metrics.  The metrics were always manipulated for the duration of the war.”

Suicide bombings in Kabul were portrayed as a sign of the Taliban’s desperation, that the insurgents were too weak to engage in direct combat. Meanwhile, a rise in U.S. troop deaths was cited as proof that American forces were taking the fight to the enemy.

“From the ambassadors down to the low level, [they all say] we are doing a great job,” Michael Flynn, a retired three-star Army general, told government interviewers in 2015. “Really? So if we are doing such a great job, why does it feel like we are losing?”




--------------------
I am in a minority on the shroomery, as I frequently defend the opposing side when they have a point about something or when my side make believes something about them.  People here get very confused by that and think it means I prefer the other side.


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OfflineSirTripAlot
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Re: Lies and subterfuge in Afgan war [Re: Falcon91Wolvrn03] * 1
    #26394832 - 12/22/19 12:08 AM (6 months, 15 days ago)

This is a pretty strong opinion piece.  It really hits home for me.

https://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/475321-impact-of-the-afghanistan-papers-on-veterans



Last week, many Americans were shocked and appalled at the contents of the Afghanistan Papers, a series of shocking assessments on our continued involvement in a long, costly war collected by the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction (SIGAR).

The documents were mostly comprised of a series of interviews with top officials that many never thought would go public and were obtained by the Washington Post after a lengthy court battle that ultimately found the documents subject to the Freedom of Information Act.

Although less discussed than the overall lack of honesty regarding our ongoing war in Afghanistan is the impact of involvement in this type of conflict on the veterans who served there.

According to Jason Dempsey, a retired Army officer who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan and a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, "overall, it's largely been a failure. And that applies to almost every dimension of our effort in Afghanistan."



He elaborated: "realizing that we were essentially on a treadmill, that very little progress [was] being made and that every single rotation was repeating the efforts of the rotation before that . . . without considering whether or not what they did added up to anything that was sustainable or contributed to a meaningful long-term goal for the sustainability of Afghanistan."

Unfortunately for our nation, this sentiment is not new. Still, it deserves more considerable attention in that it can inform our treatment of the veterans who served there, particularly those who struggle with mental health conditions and thoughts of suicide. Both Congress and the VA have declared suicide prevention to be a top national priority, yet thus far, both have been unable to make significant progress. 

To this end, a brief history of our nation's collective response to the Vietnam War and the impact this collective response had on the veterans who served there, proves instructive.



In July 1978, Jeffrey A. Jay, a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Family Research at George Washington University, wrote an article for Harper's Magazine entitled "After Vietnam: In Pursuit of Scapegoats."

In discussing some of the challenges he faced in treating Vietnam veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Jay observed:

"My talks with veterans convince me that their problems are not so simple, nor so easily addressed. The veteran's conflicts are not his alone but are bound to the trauma and guilt of the nation. And our failure to deal with our guilt renders the veteran the symptom-carrier for society and increases his moral and emotional burden. This burden isolates the veteran and will freeze him in an attitude of perpetual combat until the issues of the war are confronted in the national conscience."



Many historians and academics who have studied the Vietnam War, including Jerry Lembcke, a Vietnam veteran, sociologist and author of "The Spitting Image: Myth, Memory, and the Legacy of Vietnam" (and who this author had the honor of learning from while a student at the College of the Holy Cross), agree that, collectively, society did an abysmal job dealing with the guilt and emotional burdens associated with the Vietnam War, the longest and costliest war the United States was involved in before Afghanistan.

To paraphrase Lembcke, as the Vietnam War became increasingly hopeless, the service members and veterans put through the revolving door of deployments required to maintain our presence there came to represent something that many American civilians did not want to accept: defeat.

The acceptance of defeat has been hard for our current national conscience to accept in Afghanistan as well. If this were not the case, then indeed, the senior Department of Defense officials interviewed in the Afghanistan Papers would not have had any incentive to lie to the American people about the status of our progress there. Emphasis was repeatedly placed on winning rather than transparency.



Nowhere are the detrimental effects of this dishonesty more apparent than in the veterans' suicide epidemic that continues to sweep the nation. Just as those returning from Vietnam struggled with feelings of social isolation concerning their inability to justify their war experiences in society, those returning from Afghanistan are suffering the same fate.

Lawmakers have made some progress toward addressing this issue. They recently approved the use of the three-digit number 988 as a suicide prevention number to assist those in crisis. They also introduced legislation to study the link between veteran suicide deaths and other factors such as prescription drugs and traumatic brain injury (TBI), for example, they are missing the more significant issue of dealing with the collective impact of the Afghan War.

In other words, healing the nation may go a long way toward improving our veterans.

The first step for government leaders is to accept and acknowledge that our efforts in Afghanistan have failed and that America is no longer brave in military conflicts abroad.  As the Alcoholics Anonymous adage goes - admitting that there is a problem is the first step to recovery, and "only be admitting defeat are we able to take our first steps toward liberation and strength."

As Jay concluded in 1978, "it may well be that isolation, the burden of conflicted feelings, and not being heard makes people crazy" - not just the horrors of war. We must all do our part to deal with the unease of defeat in the Afghanistan conflict, most notably by listening more to the veterans who served there, and acknowledging that they are not individually responsible for two decades of failed foreign policy. Doing so may very well save numerous lives and prevent entanglement in unwinnable future conflicts as well.


--------------------
“I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.”


Edited by SirTripAlot (12/22/19 12:18 AM)


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