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U.S. 'not winning' in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary tells Congress

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The United States is "not winning" the war against Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told Congress on Tuesday, promising to brief lawmakers on a new war strategy by mid-July that is widely expected to call for thousands more U.S. troops.

 

Spoiler

The remarks were a blunt reminder of the gloom underscoring U.S. military assessments of the war between the U.S.-backed Afghan government and the Islamist militant group, classified by U.S. commanders as a "stalemate" despite almost 16 years of fighting.

 

"We are not winning in Afghanistan right now. And we will correct this as soon as possible," Mattis said in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee. Mattis acknowledged that he believed the Taliban were "surging" at the moment, something he said he intended to address.

 

Some U.S. officials questioned the benefit of sending more troops to Afghanistan because any politically palatable number would not be enough to turn the tide, much less create stability and security. To date, more than 2,300 Americans have been killed and more than 17,000 wounded since the war began in 2001.

 

The Afghan government was assessed by the U.S. military to control or influence just 59.7 percent of Afghanistan's 407 districts as of Feb. 20, a nearly 11 percentage-point decrease from the same time in 2016, according to data released by the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.

 

A truck bomb explosion in Kabul last month killed more than 150 people, making it the deadliest attack in the Afghan capital since the Taliban were ousted in 2001 by a NATO-led coalition after ruling the country for five years.

 

On Saturday, three U.S. soldiers were killed when an Afghan soldier opened fire on them in eastern Afghanistan.

 

Reuters reported in late April that the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump was carrying out a review of Afghanistan, and conversations were revolving around sending between 3,000 and 5,000 U.S. and coalition troops there.

 

Deliberations include giving more authority to forces on the ground and taking more aggressive action against Taliban fighters.

 

Senator John McCain, the chairman of the Senate committee, pressed Mattis on the deteriorating situation, saying the United States had an urgent need for "a change in strategy, and an increase in resources if we are to turn the situation around."

 

"We recognize the need for urgency," Mattis said.

 

Source


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Wait, did that 'Mother of all bombs' not end the war in Afghanistan and the US is still losing not winning? Well paint me surprised.

Just a guess but maybe military intervention isn't the right tool for the job after all?

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2 hours ago, tarikja said:

Wait, did that 'Mother of all bombs' not end the war in Afghanistan and the US is still losing not winning? Well paint me surprised.

Just a guess but maybe military intervention isn't the right tool for the job after all?

Maybe if Germany contributed more to NATO, then maybe we would've been more successful in Afghanistan.

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19 minutes ago, Sceny said:

Maybe if Germany contributed more to NATO, then maybe we would've been more successful in Afghanistan.

What would it help to 'contribute more' if the applied methods are simply wrong/ do not deliver the desired results?

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In my opinion our presence at any level is a waste of time. The Afghan people themselves seem unwilling to put up a spirited fight against the Taliban so why are we wasting lives and money over there?

Tucker933 likes this

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Posted (edited)

16 hours ago, Sceny said:

Maybe if Germany contributed more to NATO, then maybe we would've been more successful in Afghanistan.

 

While it would be nice to see other NATO members pick up the slack, it's less about involvement/contributions and more about how Afghanistan has been handled from both a strategic and tactical point by all parties involved in ISAF. 

 

15 hours ago, Pra3tor1an said:

Nuke the world, let cats run the planet.

 

This, by far is my personal preference. 

 

14 hours ago, Iggy said:

In my opinion our presence at any level is a waste of time. The Afghan people themselves seem unwilling to put up a spirited fight against the Taliban so why are we wasting lives and money over there?

 

After our initial invasion, we should have left a small, highly specialized force trained in policing and civil affairs. Supported by SOF, a heavily armored/armored QRF, and deticated COIN air combat systems and transport aircraft. The Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan should have been a textbook example of how NOT to tackle the region...which has been invaded and lost for nearly a millennia. We've been fighting a Low Intensity Conflict using doctrine and combat systems designed to fight a Full-Spectrum or Operational War scenario. 

The media certainly gives the impression that the Afghanis don't want us there, but there are sizable parts of the population that do. Our problem is interfacing or lack there of; with a culture our troops know little about. If we had a cultural specialist assigned to every team participating in the national building mission, our impact would be far more meaningful and visible. Those who the Taliban can't scare, bribe, or convert into jihadists, take up arms when a family member or friend is killed by coalitions forces. We need to be more discriminate and percise in our execution of force...which is why SOF would be ideal for the pipehitting side of the mission. 

The other side of this coin is the involvement of foreign fights funneling in from neighboring nations. Syria is a similar quagmire of both domestic and foreign fighters who are participating for myriad of reasons, from religious ideology to the promise of women and money. So, while you may manage to pacify the general populace and neutralize the domestic extremist factions, you still have to contend with those foreign fighters. 

Had we tackled it in the above manner, using funds derived from Afghani minerals, crops, and other commodities...it would have cost very little after the initial invasion. It would have put Afghanis in jobs, while allowing them to earn a wage, while also being able to reinvest in their nation. However, due to political quarterbacking, pocket-lining, and all the other lovely trimming associated with the MIC, we get a nice long and costly war that will never be won. 

Hopefully, Mattis can make a meaningful impact on the shitshow that's been running the past decade.     

 

Edited by Weps

"THE CIA IS MADE UP OF BOYS WHOSE FAMILIES SENT THEM TO PRINCETON, BUT WOULDN'T LET THEM INTO THE FAMILY BROKERAGE BUSINESS" - LBJ

 

Weps.gif

 

|DesertRockXI|Quartermasters Chest|Twitter|SoundCloud|

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18 minutes ago, Weps said:

 

While it would be nice to see other NATO members pick up the slack, it's less about involvement/contributions and more about how Afghanistan has been handled from both a strategic and tactical point by all parties involved in ISAF. 

 

 

This, by far is my personal preference. 

 

 

After our initial invasion, we should have left a small, highly specialized force trained in policing and civil affairs. Supported by SOF, a heavily armored/armored QRF, and deticated COIN air combat systems and transport aircraft. The Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan should have been a textbook example of how NOT to tackle the region...which has been invaded and lost for nearly a millennia. We've been fighting a Low Intensity Conflict using doctrine and combat systems designed to fight a Full-Spectrum or Operational War scenario. 

The media certainly gives the impression that the Afghanis don't want us there, but there are sizable parts of the population that do. Our problem is interfacing or lack there of; with a culture our troops know little about. If we had a cultural specialist assigned to every team participating in the national building mission, our impact would be far more meaningful and visible. Those who the Taliban can't scare, bribe, or convert into jihadists, take up arms when a family member or friend is killed by coalitions forces. We need to be more discriminate and percise in our execution of force...which is why SOF would be ideal for the pipehitting side of the mission. 

The other side of this coin is the involvement of foreign fights funneling in from neighboring nations. Syria is a similar quagmire of both domestic and foreign fighters who are participating for myriad of reasons, from religious ideology to the promise of women and money. So, while you may manage to pacify the general populace and neutralize the domestic extremist factions, you still have to contend with those foreign fighters. 

Had we tackled it in the above manner, using funds derived from Afghani minerals, crops, and other commodities...it would have cost very little after the initial invasion. It would have put Afghanis in jobs, while allowing them to earn a wage, while also being able to reinvest in their nation. However, due to political quarterbacking, pocket-lining, and all the other lovely trimming associated with the MIC, we get a nice long and costly war that will never be won. 

Hopefully, Mattis can make a meaningful impact on the shitshow that's been running the past decade.     

 

The issue also lies in the problem of Afghanistan law enforcement and the socio-economic situation outside of major cities. A lot of the tribal regions of Afghanistan outside of the cities handle affairs internally and there's often mafia/cartel rule from insurgent groups over the tribes for protection and income. 

 

If you think about it, the insurgent groups are very similar to that of cartels with the exception of ideology/moral beliefs. 


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2 hours ago, Solaris said:

The issue also lies in the problem of Afghanistan law enforcement and the socio-economic situation outside of major cities. A lot of the tribal regions of Afghanistan outside of the cities handle affairs internally and there's often mafia/cartel rule from insurgent groups over the tribes for protection and income. 

 

If you think about it, the insurgent groups are very similar to that of cartels with the exception of ideology/moral beliefs. 

 

That is a good analogy, it's very similar to the cartel hierarchy in some places, especially in South America. This scenario is  where I think specialized units would be most beneficial, a unit that knows the customs, language, and inner-workings of a particular tribal region could do very well, if the proper motive was given to oust the insurgents and essentially leave the tribes alone after the insurgent forces have been eradicated.

Puddin and Solaris like this

"THE CIA IS MADE UP OF BOYS WHOSE FAMILIES SENT THEM TO PRINCETON, BUT WOULDN'T LET THEM INTO THE FAMILY BROKERAGE BUSINESS" - LBJ

 

Weps.gif

 

|DesertRockXI|Quartermasters Chest|Twitter|SoundCloud|

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