Misleading Report Released on Progress in Afghanistan (AMERICAN SPECTATOR) By Kerry Patton 05/03/12)
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The April 2012 "Report on Progress Toward Security and Stability in
Afghanistan," a biannual report to Congress in accordance with
Section 1230 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal
Year 2008 (Public Law 110-181) as amended, was provided to Congress.
The report falsely depicts operations in Afghanistan as a success.
This misleading report is merely paint placed on an old, run-down
"The year 2011 saw the first year-over-year decline in nationwide
enemy-initiated attacks in five years. These trends have continued in
While this assessment may be statistically true, the authors have
failed to note that in 2011-2012, the majority of troops in
Afghanistan never leave their base. Those who actually go outside
the wire often conduct "show of force operations." When they leave
their bases, they travel in military armored convoys to a
destination, never leave their vehicles engaging with the local
populace, and simply return to their FOBs. These operations serve
little purpose other than to annoy Afghans traveling on the same
roads our troops travel.
The reduction in offensive boots-on-the-ground operations in
Afghanistan is not limited to just military personnel. An
undisclosed source who works for a non-government organization has
informed that "we once traveled freely throughout the country. The
security situation in Afghanistan has gotten so bad, those days are
The only objective of the insurgency is to retake Afghanistan after
NATO´s International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) leaves.
Time is on their side. They do not have to conduct operations;
rather, they simply need to sit and wait. In fact, the Afghan
insurgency is smarter than we give them credit for. Right now, they
are likely in a holding pattern, simply waiting for the ongoing
removal of surge troops to finish in September 2012. Then again, in
their southern stronghold of Helmand Province, Taliban activity is
deemed the "most contested." Nahr-e Saraj remains the most kinetic
district in Afghanistan.
Regarding Quran-burnings, Marines "defiling" Taliban corpses, and
SSGT Robert Bales´ shooting spree, the newest report on Afghanistan
embraced the Afghan National Security Force (ANSF) as "professional
and effective." These are the very personnel who murdered
approximately eighty U.S. and coalition military and police
trainers. Just last week we learned that an Afghan Air Force pilot
murdered nine U.S. service members. This is the reason why France
suspended all military operations in Afghanistan in January.
ANSF-ISAF operations have widened the gap between the insurgents and
the population in several key population centers, limiting insurgent
freedom of movement, disrupting safe havens in Afghanistan, and
degrading insurgent leadership. Continued success of the Afghan Peace
and Reintegration Program appears to be amplifying this trend by
degrading Taliban cohesiveness.
How any government representative can utilize the word "degrading" in
such an important document is unfathomable. Did we send
psychologists out to conduct assessments on insurgent leaders?
Weren´t the negotiations between Taliban and the U.S. part of the
Afghan Peace and Reintegration Program (APRP)? While Hezb Islami re-
engaged in these peace talks after walking out last month, the
Taliban have failed to follow their lead and continue to hold out
from any negotiations. Even the United States Institute of Peace
acknowledges the failures of the APRP. "On paper, the APRP is quite
comprehensive; however, to date it has yielded limited results."
"Afghan Government capacity remains limited."
Thankfully, the authors of this report wrote at least one clear and
unquestionable fact -- the Afghan government made limited progress
towards effective and sustainable governance. How could they do
anything else, though? The United States instituted the current
Afghan government. Those who mentor Afghan politicians are
predominantly U.S. politicians and their ilk. Don´t blame the
Afghans on this one; they are simply following the same beaten path
our own nation is following with extreme corruption, failure to lead,
and limited progress.
This report couldn´t come at a better time. President Obama just
left Afghanistan, and immediately after he left, this report was
slapped. Only hours after President Obama left Afghanistan, Taliban
insurgents went on the offensive. They attacked a compound housing
foreigners in the Afghan capital, killing at least 7 people.
One common tactic to sell an old house is to simply paint the house,
hiding any of its flaws. The recent "Report on Progress Toward
Security and Stability in Afghanistan" is merely paint hiding the
reality of a complete Afghan quagmire.
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