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Lessons from a Surge Skeptic

Being right doesn’t always feel like success, or victory. Sometimes being right means a lot of people are getting hurt, hospitals are swelling with patients, and the caskets keep coming into Dover Air Force base, cloaked in flags and misery.

In 2009, at the risk of his own military career, Army Lt. Col. Daniel “Danny” Davis came forward to oppose the so-called “surge” of tens of thousands of new U.S. troops into Afghanistan. He predicted in a publicly released report [1] that the proposed surge, which Gens. David Petraeus and Stanley McChrystal were then dead-set on pursuing, “could actually result in a worsening of the situation” in Afghanistan.

Petraeus and McChrystal got their way—30,000 new deployments announced in December 2009. Davis, who enlisted in the army in 1985 and served as a fire support officer in the 2nd Armored Calvary Regiment during the Persian Gulf War, watched from a distance as the counterinsurgency effort (COIN) soon went south—just as he predicted.

Nearly two years later, after traveling extensively across Afghanistan with an Army Ready Equipping Force in 2011, Davis took another chance and publicly blasted senior commanders for not being truthful with the American people about how poorly the war was going overseas.

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Making headlines all over the globe, he published “Truth, Lies and Afghanistan: How Our Military Leaders Let us Down,” [2] in the Armed Forces Journal in February 2012. Rolling Stone then published an unclassified version of a report Davis had sent to Congress a month earlier, entitled, “Dereliction of Duty II: Senior Military Leaders’ Loss of Integrity Wounds Afghan War Effort.” [3]  Davis met with members of Congress about his concerns, and sent another report to the Pentagon inspector general. He laid down the gauntlet.

From “Truth, Lies and Afghanistan”:

Senior ranking US military leaders have so distorted the truth when communicating with the US Congress and American people in regards to conditions on the ground in Afghanistan that the truth has become unrecognizable.  …

The single greatest penalty our Nation has suffered, however, has been that we have lost the blood, limbs and lives of tens of thousands of American Service Members with little to no gain to our country as a consequence of this deception.

“Unfortunately, when I got on the ground, everything I saw confirmed my every fear,” he tells TAC about his time in Afghanistan. “In regions that were most important to us in the south and the east of the country, there were vast areas that we didn’t have any influence at all, much less control.”

He was there at the height of the surge he’d opposed. He spoke with commanders, platoon sergeants, and troops who were exchanging fire with the Taliban daily. There was some 150,000 U.S. servicemembers in-country at the time, and there was no fight the Americans did not win. Yet “we were just moving the clock down the road—no success, because there was no unified strategy.”

“I absolutely love the tactical fighting men, they are great Americans,” added Davis, now 50. In Afghanistan, every unit was doing the best with the terrain they’d been given, he recalls.  “The problem is, that only works on a tactical level.” There was no progress, as far as he could see, toward the stated goals of COIN.  But casualties mounted, as did the civilian crises, just the same.

“You’re like, this is a complete waste of American life for no gain in the country.”

Now Davis appears vindicated in both his warnings and observations. He’s called a hero and a whistleblower, and even won the Ridenhour Prize for Truth-Telling [4] in 2012. But it’s a sick feeling, he says, knowing what was lost along the way.

On Wednesday, The Washington Post [5] published a grim front-page feature about the nearly forgotten American casualties—“the last casualties”—of a war that many Americans here at home have already forgotten.

… the war continues to churn out American casualties by the dozen each week. Their injuries rarely make headlines.

…military health-care experts say those wounded in battle are coming home more severely injured than at any time since 2006, a sobering sign of the strength of the insurgency at the twilight of the war.

Back in Washington, there seems to be broad acknowledgement that the U.S. has achieved nothing of major strategic importance since 2009. But it did pour billions into reconstruction projects and Afghan security forces [6] no one is certain can last without constant feeding and tending.

Meanwhile, there’s no more boasting about “rousting” the Taliban from the country. If anything, security is worse now that the U.S. presence is shrinking, and Afghan President Hamid Karzai seems wholly determined to badger [7] the Americans all the way to the door. The stability of the Afghan government is uncertain, and the population is still mired in poverty [8], corruption [9], and a growing human rights [10] crisis.

About the time Davis published his surge treatise in 2009, former Foreign Service officer (and Marine) Matthew Hoh [11] became the first administration official to quit in protest to the Afghanistan War. The two became fast friends. “He and I have frequently said there is no good feeling about our being right about these things because of the profound human cost,” says Davis.

At the time, Davis had preferred the “Go Deep” approach (a smaller, focused counterterrorism strategy that concentrated on training Afghan military and police and building up civil institutions) over to the “Go Big” approach Petraeus and McChrystal so clearly saw as an extension of the surge in Iraq. Now, thanks to years of failure, Davis is afraid nothing will work.

“As a result of a series of American leaders saying, year after year, that the mission was succeeding—when clearly it was not—faith in America’s ability to find a solution was irreparably damaged,” he said.

“There is no ‘good’ solution now,” he added.  “The best we can do is manage the situation to prevent things spiraling out of control and getting worse.”

He wrote about this in a new article entitled, “Should the Military Pull All Forces Out of Afghanistan After 2014?” (his answer, unequivocally, is yes), for The Daily Beast. The military has advocated [12] keeping a residual force of 10,000 to 15,000 U.S. and NATO forces in the country to keep it from falling apart.

Davis writes [13]:

When I was serving on the ground in Afghanistan during the summer of 2011, there were nearly 150,000 US and NATO troops. These forces never lost a single tactical fight to the Taliban.

…Yet the cumulative efforts of this massive force had virtually no impact on the course of the war. Today the security situation on the ground is indistinguishable from what it was three years ago.

What is a force of 10,000 going to accomplish that 150,000 did not?

Since the beginning of 2010 [14], 1,857 U.S. and coalition troops have perished in Afghanistan, with thousands more injured, many for life. In addition, 14,064 civilians have been killed just in the last five years, according to new figures [15]. “There is nothing you can do now but get more Americans killed or wounded, and sacrifice more Afghan lives,” Davis tells TAC. “At the end of the day, you achieve nothing, you just spend more lives and limb.”

If Davis angered the brass with his outspoken views and proclivity to voice them publicly (this began way back, during the first Gulf War), it didn’t hurt his career. He’s still working on the Army staff in Washington.

By 2012—when “Dereliction of Duty” was published—he surmises that most people were no longer willing to waste time or their own credibility disputing his charges. “I don’t recall a single exception to this: everyone acknowledged what I acknowledged,” he recalls.

Sure, there were exceptions—with at least some attempts by the insider military blogosphere to cast doubt on the veracity of Davis’s Afghanistan observations.

“I was prepared for a real critique and came away profoundly disappointed. Every veteran has an important story, but this work is a mess,” wrote (Ret.) Col. Joseph Collins, a professor at the National War College, for Tom Ricks’s blog [16], Best Defense, in Feb. 2012.

“Davis is not a hero, but he will go into the whistleblower hall of fame. If years hence, he doesn’t make full Colonel, it will be construed as punishment, but there is nothing in this report that suggests he has any such potential.”

Davis admits things were awkward at the time.

“People were afraid to talk to me, but it could’ve been a lot worse,” Davis says. “I will tell you, as much as I have some issues with senior military leaders, I have to give credit where it belongs, and they did not take any action against me. I respect that, really I do.”

It hasn’t stopped Davis from going after the brass without pause. In August 2013, he wrote, “Purge the Generals,” [17] highlighting 20 years of war and program failures that have only led to more promotions and more generals. Like others, he laments budget decisions that diminish the fighting force while leaving a top-heavy officer corps in place. Furthermore, he says, the wrong people are being promoted.

“There are some brilliant, wonderful, moral guys with integrity who you would like your son or daughter to be like,” he says. Unfortunately, “as they start moving up [the chain of command], those aren’t the characteristics they’re now looking for in four-stars.”

That certainly goes for our most popular generals of recent history, Petraeus and McChrystal, who, Davis believes, “should be the first ones censured” for the failures of Afghanistan. This isn’t political, he says, this is about learning lessons for the future.

“There is a broad understanding that ‘conservative’ means you are a hawk. I consider myself a conservative and to me, conservative means intelligence and not going off the deep end,” he says.

“The first thought that comes in about me is that I’m an antiwar guy. But I’m just an American guy, who says let’s not throw away our treasure to trash.”

Kelley Beaucar Vlahos is a Washington, D.C.-based freelance reporter and TAC contributing editor. Follow her on Twitter [18].

28 Comments (Open | Close)

28 Comments To "Lessons from a Surge Skeptic"

#1 Comment By Nathan On March 7, 2014 @ 7:40 am

Deja Vu all over again. 1967 Operation Junction City. The Americans won every battle, the “body count” was huge, the American dead and wounded were neglible. And . . . we lost. Westmoreland told LBJ and his superiors that he could not bring the enemy to battle at a time and place of his choosing (the North Vietnamese and Vietcong were dictating every thing) and he could not see the “light at the end of tunnel” nor a successful outcome to the war. The North Vietnamese military commander despite his losses had gotten inside Westmoreland’s head and beaten him. Westmoreland returned to the US a month or two later and while before Congress he was oh so positive he told LBJ and his superiors that the war was more or less over and they could not win, something that McNamara had said years earlier after Ia Drang.

Note this was nearly a year before TET and the “infamous” horrible Chronkite broadcast. By the end of 1967 the American public had marginally turned against the war even before Walter said a word.

And again nothing new here. At the start of 1864 despite the North in control of large areas of the South the voters in the North were tired of the losses, tired of the war and Lincoln was convinced he would lose the election and only Sherman’s taking of Atlanta allowed him to win.

You can win every battle, inflict horrible losses on the other side and still lose the war. We really need to remember that folks.

#2 Comment By EliteCommInc. On March 7, 2014 @ 8:31 am

““as they start moving up [the chain of command], those aren’t the characteristics they’re now looking for in four-stars.”

This seems to be a continuing refrain from military leadership circles. I think that is the place of targeting change. An examination what constitutes morality/integrity in military leadership and why they are losing place among upper echelon staff members.

Appreciate, Lt. Col. Daniel Davis’s sacrifice and service.

#3 Comment By Fran Macadam On March 7, 2014 @ 10:23 am

Warfare has been transformed from a formerly briefly punctuating anomaly of peacetime American normality to become the defining and enduring aggressive characteristic of our country. Psychologically, spiritually and economically, the war mentality has obtained place of primacy. It now defines what it means to be an American, and what are defined as American interests. As the Secretary of State tweeted from faraway Kiev, he was reminded that there is no place so remote as to not be essential to American interests. The fortunes and misfortunes of an expansive American imperium, the administration of its rule and its inevitable heavy security concerns have subjugated peacetime norms of governance that would be focused on democratically accountable domestic self-rule. Paradoxically, denigration of American society’s peacetime norms progressively sacrificed through a state of permanent war, do not lead to achieving any fixed war aims, such as victory, returning the country to normality, but simply lead to a form of stasis where war is no longer a means to an end, but the objective itself.

#4 Comment By Richard Parker On March 7, 2014 @ 12:04 pm

I have a job that brings me into regular extended contact with recently discharged veterans. Morale is low. Saddest are those who have suffered mind numbing brain damage due to repeated IED explosions while in armored vehicles during multiple tours.

Being forced to brown-nose politically correct platitudes they don’t believe in an effort to stay in the forces lowers morale even more.

Next time were going to war with an army of welfare moms. I don’t think Putin is loosing any sleep.

#5 Comment By Jim Bovard On March 7, 2014 @ 12:05 pm

Great piece, Kelley! This ties Davis’s work together very nicely.

#6 Comment By EliteCommInc. On March 7, 2014 @ 2:29 pm

I don’t have any objections to the surge. I certainly have issues with the either invasion and occupation.

Not start a fight, but we won Vietnam – bad example. I won’t hash those issues out again here. If you care understand why I think as there are two extensive exchanges on the our Vietnamese endeavour on two of Mr. Larison’s articles: American exceptionalism and Anti=War Films.

And a look at US history demonstrates that military conflict in it various forms is not new or spotted in view of US interested actual, mistaken, perceived or imagined. From the unnecessary revolution to US expansion largely a nonstop military campaign from sea to shining sea our willingness to use force to our ends has been consistent, if not always beneficial.

What concerns me most is the some failing about the integrity and morality of the officer corps’ upper ranks which says something about the nature of out political leadership.

#7 Comment By Cascade Joe On March 7, 2014 @ 3:53 pm

Any large organization often suffers from top heavy,see Parkinson’s Law,it starts with the growth of the ratio of British Navy Admirals to British Navy Warships. An excellent recent article is Time Magazine’s Code Red.

In Code Red, the ObamaCare website was saved by firing the bosses and keeping the staff. They kept one boss on hand, his job was to stand around and look good. And whether or not he showed up for work or not had no effect on the project. A bit of a simplification perhaps.

No Easy Days kinda sorta illustrates the same effect, particularly a low General/Soldier ratio and the Big Boy management system.

Lots of parallel stories to this in public and private fields of endeavor. This would be a good Harvard Business Review article.

#8 Comment By Fran Macadam On March 7, 2014 @ 4:35 pm

“You can win every battle, inflict horrible losses on the other side and still lose the war.”

Given that this is the case, what then is the point of the killing, if there is not even a probability of an illegitimate aim achieved?

And why is there still such a belief in the efficacy of violence, that it somehow offers redemption, when the truth is, despite cherished myths, it never has been able to do so?

In the past, the breadth of historical research necessary to determine the causes of wars and their consequences was a task made impossibly daunting by physical inaccessibility of the data. Outside the direct experiences of those who experience war up close, which could be convincing of its evils in a visceral way (Director Sam Fuller once said a realistic war movie that conveyed its horrors could not be made, unless the audience was actually fired on) the civilian public which is manipulated to fund and vote for war remains largely remote from the diplomatic games, policy-making, and planning and waging of wars. The real reasons for war, which are always the culmination of the tensions put in place by previous wars, remain unknown to them. Whatever the outcome, its accomplishments and the true conduct and motivations involved often remain shrouded in official secrecy and are written up into self-serving propagandistic popular narratives that not only masquerade as history, but replace reality with delusion in the public mind. These myths are taught and handed down, and are only displaced with great difficulty, because the realities are so disconcertingly immoral, causing crises in identity and loss of faith in one’s nation which are strongly resisted.

With all the downsides of illegal mass surveillance which must be reversed, there is a promise with the internet that for the first time a far more complete access to the both the data of the past, as well as far more open access to current information, will enable the public to resist the duplicity of war propaganda.

#9 Comment By RadicalCenter2016 On March 7, 2014 @ 6:36 pm

Richard: Russia will no longer be a great world power, despite its nuke arsenal and vast territory. It may not even survive as a unified nation as long as the USA, which itself may disintegrate in many readers’ lifetimes.

The very vastness of Russia’s territory, combined with a slowly but steadily falling population of ethnic Russians, presents a stark survival problem for the Russians.

As Russia continues its decline in population — with only a couple small recent upticks drowned out by the trend over the past quarter century — it will eventually not have enough conventional forces to prevent China from taking its eastern lands and the valuable mineral resources underneath.

This may occur not through outright warfare but from Han Chinese people continuing to settle hundreds to several thousand miles of supposedly “Russian” territory.

Russia is yesterday’s threat. They will soon have a hard time keeping their shrinking, aging population safe from a small but rapidly growing Muslim population — not just in the Caucasus, but also in Russia proper, e.g. Tatarstan and Crimea (assuming that Crimea becomes fully part of Russia, as it probably should).

This source reports that from 1990 to 2010 alone, Muslims grew from 13.6% of Russia’s population to 16.7%:

[19]

Stratfor projects that by 2030, Muslims will constitute about 20% of Russia’s population.

Keep in mind also that the Muslim 20% of Russia’s population will on average be much younger than the non-Muslim / ethnic-Russian population. That doesn’t bode well for non-Muslim Russians in the brutal physical conflicts that are going to become more common in the “core Russia” as the Muslims become more aggressive and confident.

Who cares, then, whether Russia is losing sleep over our military? China already poses a greater, more credible military and economic threat to the USA and other semi-free countries than does Russia.

#10 Comment By Jeff On March 8, 2014 @ 2:22 am

“Full-spectrum dominance” is the problem. We’ve willingly, as a public matter of policy, put us into a position where we have to control everything, win every confrontation. All the enemies need is to have any of them defeat that occasionally, even temporarily. Credibility is as important as capability, and the US is losing both at a record pace.

#11 Comment By James Canning On March 8, 2014 @ 2:00 pm

For the recrod, I strongly opposed the “surge” in Afghanistan and regarded it as a colossal blunder by Obama.

#12 Comment By J Harlan On March 8, 2014 @ 2:09 pm

“These forces never lost a single tactical fight to the Taliban.”

Except for when the fight consisted of being blown up by an IED and the planter walking away to lay another one that night or being forced to withdraw for Korengal.

The “troops are great and they never lost a battle” is a key part of a “stab in the back narrative”.

#13 Comment By EliteCommInc. On March 8, 2014 @ 7:03 pm

I have not finished reading the suge report. but going back to the summary. I think it is a bit self serving.

The discusion on going deep, is quantifiable. So that what costitutes and actual surge and its purposes is ‘squidgey”, fudgeable.

The other immediate observation is the combination of soft policy with hard. This is akin to the ‘winning hearts’ motif. And the two are nearly incompatible. So befoee examing whether ot not the suge works or doesn’t one needs to expliate military force from humanitarian efforts.

I see this as highly problematic. When I think surge I am thinking about it only in terms of the milityary force brought to bare on the matter. Attempting to assess that in the manutia of humanitarian efforts will almost certainly end with a varaiance that answers very little.

#14 Comment By Peter Goodman On March 8, 2014 @ 11:57 pm

Yep. War is hell. It was foolish to invade Afghanistan. Just as or more foolish as it was to invade Vietnam, Iraq twice, Panama. And just as or more foolish as it WILL be to invade Iran, Syria, etc. The U.S. is insanely militaristic. We never learn. I keep thinking that, if we suffer enough, we’ll stop this madness. No such luck. Consequently, I now worry far more about the unfortunate people in the countries that we invade-they suffer greatly at our hands and they deserve better.

#15 Comment By NortonSmitty On March 9, 2014 @ 1:36 pm

Looks like we have found this wars John Paul Vann. Like Vann, both him and his message get respect when it’s too late.

#16 Comment By Fran Macadam On March 9, 2014 @ 2:16 pm

““Full-spectrum dominance” is the problem. We’ve willingly, as a public matter of policy, put us into a position where we have to control everything…”

It means that any nation or culture which resists dominance, in any sphere, is identified as an enemy, whether they want to be or not.

That’s pretty bad. The establishment of colonies in North America always did have intrinsic to it conquest and subjugation, along with elements of slavery, the Declaration of Independence and notions of English freedom notwithstanding. The tension between has always been there, latent. Under stress, the motifs of violence and domination have again come to the fore, as reflexive reaction. Like all irrational instincts, the consequences of the ensuing dysfunctional but very real behavior have not been considered, and the disasters that ensue are not only in terms of the sure failure to achieve what is sought, but in the high costs to liberty domestically we are already enduring. Much of what has been done in this paranoia has us emulating the characteristics we formerly identified with those we called totalitarian enemies.

#17 Comment By James Canning On March 9, 2014 @ 2:20 pm

@J Harlan – – The Russians didn’t lose a battle either.
Perhaps the Russian quest for a secular state in Afghanistan was not such a bad programme.

#18 Comment By T. Sledge On March 9, 2014 @ 3:40 pm

“These forces never lost a single tactical fight to the Taliban.”

This sounds so much like what was said about American forces versus the VC and NVN forty plus years ago : “we never lost a major battle …..”.

To which one of Vo Nguyen Giap’s officers replied “that may be true, but it is also irrelevant”.

The NVN proved that they could kill less than 60,000 American troops and break our will to fight quicker than we could break THEM while killing hundreds of thousands of their own.
Afghanistan is another case of presuming that we could predict that a people from a completely different culture with a completely different value system would behave as we expected them to behave — maybe the next time we blunder our way into a major conflict, we’ll do ourselves a big favor an actually STUDY the history and culture of the people that we will be fighting (and by “studying” I don’t mean listening to a-holes like Bill Kristol and others of his ilk). The Taliban are, just as the VC were, baffling to us because we can’t seem to “get” the fact that there are people in the world for whom there are things that are more important than consumerism and self-indulgence. There are people in the world for whom beliefs, however repugnant they may be to a westerner, MATTER, and they are willing to make tremendous sacrifices for them. What we failed to do is to promote an alternative to the Taliban that was home grown; rather than promote self-serving ingrates who have turned on us, now that it is obvious that we won’t be spilling American blood to protect them much longer.

#19 Comment By Richard Parker On March 9, 2014 @ 5:07 pm

“Russia will no longer be a great world power, despite its nuke arsenal and vast territory.”

I have always thought that Russia without the Ukraine could not remain a Great Power. The oil wealth of Siberia proved me wrong. Russia with Siberian oil wealth plus the eastern Russian speaking parts of the Ukraine can be a Great Power for any meaningful historical time frame. In 50 years the United States may not be a Great Power.

Western Ukraine by itself with will a welfare state dependent on the US taxpayer. It’s main export will be young women.

Russia has a better claim to the Crimea then the Ukraine. I’m not losing any sleep. Putin is smart to push quickly for reunion.

Limited personal observation: I watched a handful of Russian soldiers on leave at Yarosavl (Sp) train station talking with the locals. They looked much tougher than our guys. The politically correct US army may be surprisingly fragile against an opponent with substantial reasonably modern weapons. I could be wrong but I don’t want to find out.

#20 Comment By Paul On March 9, 2014 @ 6:39 pm

I give Davis credit for the things he DID say, yet was disappointed that he uttered not one word about the completely illegal, unconstitutional action of going into Afghanistan in the first place (the phony story of supposedly hunting the “perpetrators of 9-11” was merely an excuse to get our troops positioned in Afghanistan by the criminal Bush/Cheney junta which had other plans for those troops down the line). Davis, like so many of his fellow troopers, should have realized early on the unnecessary and illegal actions of their ‘Commander-in-Chief’ in regards to Iraq and Afghanistan, and most assuredly when US troops went well beyond the stated case the US initially claimed for Afghanistan.

#21 Comment By EliteCommInc. On March 10, 2014 @ 3:15 am

“The NVN proved that they could kill less than 60,000 American troops and break our will to fight quicker than we could break THEM while killing hundreds of thousands of their own.”

Try again. The NVietnamese came to the table after repeatedly attempting the break the will of the US and that of South Vietnam. In fact winning every battle was the point, including the last battle which was basically against the South Vietnam military.

If that were not the case they would not have come to the bargaining table for there would have been no need.

Those invested in defending war protesters point to the Saigon departure as though it messages something about our Vietnam Campaign. The retreat from Saigon occurred after the US military had departed and what remained were primarily embassy forces hardly equipped or prepared for North Vietnam’s violation of a very simple treaty agreement.
__________
The Taliban seem quite capable of of exploiting poppy to their economic benefit. Be that as it may.

Attempting to gloss over the reality of 9/11 and the existence of the architects in Afghanistan is to be guilty of manipulating facts to suit ones own purposes. In addition no small number of Taliban were intrigued with the opportunities of UnoCals pipeline running through the country. So much so that they visited the US kibitzing with Texas oil men and some law makers.

While I though the mission should have been narrower and focussed soley on Bin Laden and company. The support for the Afghan invasion was fairly universal. Including no small number of congressional female leadership and other women’s advocates clamoring to free the women of Afghanistan. The constant painting of Pres Bush and VPres Cheney as some kind autocracy for capital greed is not born out by the evidence. While one is always looking to engage in multiple opportunities — highlighting only perspective when they are several to merely bah the previous admin and eschew one’s culpability in support is hypocrisy.

Al Queda was in Afghanistan

#22 Comment By EliteCommInc. On March 10, 2014 @ 2:55 pm

I appreciate the access to LTC Davis’s report. And what is clear throughout is consistent with my earlier observation in reading the summary.

Attempting to do anything beyond first securing the country or at the very least a stable region is, in my view self defeating.

#23 Comment By J Harlan On March 11, 2014 @ 1:18 am

James Canning: It’s pretty clear that Afghanistan would have been much better off with a Soviet victory. A dusty Poland would have been a good outcome.

The revolt started in Herat over government plans to teach girls to read and the Carter admin saw a way to hurt the Soviets- six months before the invasion.

The Soviet invasion was not part of any great plan to seize the fabled warm water port. They thought the Iranian Revolution was spreading to Afghanistan and wanted to stop it before it hit Soviet central Asia- the domino effect. Politburo understanding of Islam was no better than Condi Rice’s. Brezhnev was also furious that his pal Taraki had been killed by Amin.

#24 Comment By EliteCommInc. On March 11, 2014 @ 8:08 pm

I think we need to see this part of the world to be what they are in light of their culture.

What we call graft may in fact not be graft. But it seems to be the way they conduct business for more than — well, whatever length of time they have been doing business hundreds of years.

The simple solution is not to allow them vast caches of US dollars. That all transactions regarding US dollars and contracts are conducted by US hands in which we ensure our ethic and funds get where they need to get and do what they need to do.

No small task that I am sure.

“The revolt started in Herat over government plans to teach girls to read and the Carter admin saw a way to hurt the Soviets- six months before the invasion.”

I recall a reference from “Ghost Wars”, in which the Soviets warned us about the nature of the Taliban being beyond reason – no doubt they were referring to religious fervor.

#25 Comment By Sean Scallon On March 12, 2014 @ 12:51 pm

“North Vietnam’s violation of a very simple treaty agreement.”

A treaty which basically allowed them to keep their troops on South Vietnamese soil. That’s not much of a peace treaty, but one the Nixon Administration was willing to agree to in order to secure its re-election in 1972. It seems to me the North Vietnamese viewed the negotiating table as just another front in the war, its own separate battlefield which it got what it wanted, U.S. troops removed from Vietnam so the North could invade the South successfully which is exactly what happened.

#26 Comment By bacon On March 17, 2014 @ 8:06 am

EliteCommInc,

Does your comment about North Viet Nam coming to the bargaining table mean you think we were winning the war? I agree, we were by and large winning all battles, but never before or since has the population been so near to open revolt over policy. LBJ said if he had lost Cronkite he had lost the country. Here’s how I decide who wins – both sides go in with a goal. One side comes out with that goal accomplished. Who won in Viet Nam by that generally accepted standard?

#27 Comment By WARisFRAUD On March 18, 2014 @ 9:30 am

The Question is: SO what was Accomplished in Iraq and Afghanistan? Besides the Fleecing of American Tax Payers for $6 Trillion Dollars. War is the result of FRAUD of another. And War is just more FRAUD. Never Buy Propaganda. Its worthless.

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