Thursday, November 12, 2009

Petraeus Says Afghan Logistics Make Buildup Difficult


General Petraeus is a master of the understatement, when compared to the master of grandstanding McCrystal. McCrystal disembled infront of Congress when he talked about his part in the Pat Tillman Fraud. He should be fired and dishonorably discharged. In any profession there are 2 parts to your responsibilities: (Ethics) and (Competence) General McCrystal showed he was incompetent nd unethical when he signed the Pat Tillman Fraudulent report. General McCrystal has a 12 to 1 numerical advantage over the Taliban and Al Quaeda plus an overwhelming technological advantage. What he doesn't have is a reliable supply line and the ability to efficiently use the troops he already has.


If the Afghan War was ever winnable the Cheney-Bushistas (bullshistas) would have done so, because they wanted and craved the glory. They soon discovered, after a few staged and super-hyped "successes", that they couldn't win their war and were mired down. To distance themselves from the looming catastrophe, they made a name change from American Forces to NATO Forces. To escape even more embarrassment, for their reckless adventure in Afghanistan, they "ginned up" and super-hyped another war to find those "WMD's" that were here or there and maybe even everywhere. In quick succession they began appointing a series of new NATO and American Commanders in 2 "theaters" of war. (They were all American Generals) Unfortunately all these Generals in Command have adopted historically failed military strategies. They should have read "The Art of War" or the military strategies of Alexander The Great. The Cheney-Bushistas last desperate act before the 2008 elections was to download their unfinished business onto another Presidency and blame it for the loss.

Because the Cheney-Bush Presidency didn't negotiate long term leases with Kyrgyzstan, (A logistical blunder with imminent consequences) the Government of Kyrgyzstan will close the US military base in Manas to Americans. They have virtually ordered the Americans (NATO) out of their Country, shutting an indispensable supply line for America(NATO). The only remaining land supply lines are through the steep gorges and nearly indefensible high mountain passes like the Khyber Pass between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The steep and narrow valley gorges between Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan are already under siege and effectively closed. The Taliban have demonstrated they can close any high mountain pass between Afghanistan and Tajikistan or Pakistan, almost at will. America (NATO) may have to fight it's way out of Afghanistan through Pakistan. This is a Military Planer's nightmare and it could come true. Lets hope not, but the logistical odds are against us, about 10 to 1.

If the passes were cut off, then the only exit would be by expensive, cumbersome and limited airlift, leaving most of the heavy weapons and materials behind. Only a moron would deploy forces into areas without reliable logistical support. But that's exactly what the Cheney-Bush Presidency did. The 103,000 troops under McChrystal's command in Afghanistan, include 63,000 Americans, more than half of whom arrived this year as part of an escalation strategy begun under the previous Cheney-Bush Presidency. Under the Obama Presidency the force is set to rise to 110,000 including 68,000 Americans by December 2009.

If you have Google Earth I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the countries on all sides of Afghanistan and ask yourself the following question; How can I give adequate logistical support to the present forces or more forces in the future? Then take a ground eye view of the Khyber Pass and ask yourself; How could I move thousands or even 10 troops through this natural killing field? You can't and you shouldn't because these passes can close at any time for any reason. Currently all passes between Afghanistan and Pakistan are closed because of an "agriculture inspection" quarrel. These switchback passes are narrow and enclosed within steep gorges and high canyon walls. Vulnerable bridges can be closed by landslides, earthquakes, snow, rain, mud slides, flash floods, Taliban attacks or simple quarrels between neighboring tribes. Any of which can disable or wipe out infrastructure for weeks at a time. Imagine the predicament of a battalion including heavy vehicles and tanks caught between two non-existent bridges and a steep cliff on one side and a deep gorge on the other. Do you begin to see their vulnerabilities, now just add rain or snow. Would the Taliban allow them to pass without a single casualty? Even if 1 tank were simply disabled could the others continue unhindered?

All domestic costs including Congressional allocations of about a hundred or so billion dollars a year, will be between $3 to $6 trillion dollars. This is equal to 1/4 to 1/2 our Gross Domestic Production. Most if not all of our domestic programs, including Medi-Care and Social Security will become impossible. Afghanistan will be politically fatal for this and future Presidencies. All choices will end in tears. Now the logical question arises; "Should we bet the farm and go for it"? Unfortunately the Cheney-Bush Presidency already did and the farm is in jeopardy

In the background we can still hear the apoplectic Pentagon shill, Dick Cheney, shouting out his constant and reckless drivel, desperately continuing to shift the blame onto the following Presidency. He is obviously and irresponsibly defending his fabricated justifications for invading Afghanistan and Iraq. There was no meaningful reason to invade Afghanistan. I agree with George F. Will, "Only Pakistan really mattered".

In a recent article by James Cordesman he lays out his reasons for the apparent failures up to today. The main point I would make about his article is; He is fully vested in failed policies and was a prominent talking head during the cheer leading portion of the run-up to the Afghan and Iraqi wars. He also lays out the same tired and discredited view that it's ”Not our fault”. (When will they ever take responsibility for their job?) It is my recollection that during every funding request, they were given more money than they asked for and they spent it. I remember seeing pallets of money being unloaded in Baghdad and it simply disappeared without any accounting, whatsoever. Maybe Afghanistan became the stepsister of Iraq, but they had a job to do and they are now whining about not having sufficient support. Well here is the best advice that the Military/Industrial Complex can get; “Get out now and take responsibility for your failure”.

One correction is necessary. The Cheney-Bushistas knew that the recent history of Afghanistan proved a war was unwinnable and they betray their fore-knowledge by trying to make it Obama's war. President Obama was barely 100 days into his Presidency when the Military-Industrial-GOP complex named it "Obama's War". If it were winnable they would have taken the credit, instead they download their sack of manure on America and call it their patriotic duty.

By Tony Capaccio

Nov. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Afghanistan’s infrastructure makes any buildup of troops there difficult, General David Petraeus, the head of U.S. Central Command, said today.

“The reality of Afghanistan is that it’s all hard, all the time,” Petraeus said at a Bloomberg conference in Washington. He said that U.S. forces had “learned a great deal about irregular warfare” from the surge of U.S. troops in Iraq.

Former President George W. Bush’s surge aided social stability in Iraq and reduced the level of violence in the country, Petraeus said.

“The surge was really a surge of ideas as much as it was a surge of forces,” he said. War violence in Iraq is down 90 percent from the spring of 2007, he said.

Petraeus was speaking at a conference held by Bloomberg Ventures, a unit of Bloomberg LP, parent of Bloomberg News.

He said counterinsurgency steps like those used in Iraq can be applied to the conflict in Afghanistan.

“The concepts, the importance of securing and serving the population, helping Afghans with a government that can be seen as legitimate” can be applied while “implemented with a really nuanced understanding of Afghanistan,” Petraeus said.

Petraeus declined to address specifics of the Obama administration’s debate on how many troops to add in Afghanistan over the 68,000 now in place.

In Afghanistan, it would be more difficult than it was in Iraq to quickly build up U.S. forces if Obama decides to send more troops.

“It is really hard to get additional forces in, compared with what we were able to do in Iraq,” Petraeus said. Logistics in Iraq were aided by U.S. infrastructure in Kuwait, he said.

In contrast, he said “there are enormous challenges in that respect in Afghanistan, but the enemy has enormous challenges as well.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Anthony Capaccio in Washington at