Tuesday, June 18, 2013

18 June 2013 Easy to declare victory hard to win one

Giving arms to Syrian rebels is a bad idea
“…Not every slope is slippery, but this one looks like a bobsled run. It was August 2011 whenObama issued a statement declaring that “the time has come for President Assad to step aside.” Now that the president has put muscle behind those words, it will be difficult for the United States to accept any other outcome.
There will be pressure to impose a no-fly zone to neutralize Assad’s devastating air power. There will be pressure to contain the war so it does not spill beyond Syria’s borders and destabilize our allies in Turkey and Jordan, or our sort-of, kind-of allies in Iraq. There will be pressure to alleviate the immense suffering of the Syrian people. Perhaps all of this can be accomplished without putting American lives at risk. I doubt it.
Above all, there will be pressure to win a proxy war that Obama never wanted to fight. This is how quagmires begin, with one reluctant step after another toward the yawning abyss. (See: Vietnam.)
We do sometimes win proxy wars — in Afghanistan, for example, where the CIA helped the warlords defeat the mighty Soviet army. In the process, however, we created the chaotic power vacuum that allowed al-Qaeda to set up shop — and ultimately launch the Sept. 11 attacks.
I hope I’m wrong but fear I’m right: This will not end well.”
Taliban talks announced as Afghanistan assumes security
By Kyle Almond. Elise Labott and Joe Sterling, CNN
updated 12:01 PM EDT, Tue June 18, 2013

“Are the Afghan troops up to the task?
There are certainly doubts.
A Pentagon review in December found that only one of 23 Afghan army brigades was capable of functioning on its own.
Meanwhile, literacy rates are low, desertion rates are high, and many deserters have joined the insurgency. There also have been a troubling number of "green-on-blue" attacks: Afghan troops attacking their American comrades.
But then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta spoke positively about the progress Afghans had made in growing their army, reducing violence and becoming more self-sufficient. At the time, Afghan forces were leadingnearly 90% of operations across the country.
"We're on the right path to give (Afghanistan) the opportunity to govern itself," Panetta said…”

Cassi Creek:  We find ourselves trying to win another proxy war before disengaging from the currently active one.  We are faced with the necessity of declaring an inept, poorly led, poorly trained to be capable of defending itself against an internal force bent upon conquest and elimination of that portion of the populace that will not agree to be dominated by ideology. 
          Imagine the results of turning over billions of dollars in U.S. military hardware and technology to an army that will only break it, sell it on the black market, or use it against remaining U.S. forces.  How familiar is that image?  We saw it happen in VietNam after we declared the ARVN forces capable of self-defense.  We saw it happen in Iraq as money and materials flowed into private accounts and the Iraqi army fought a civil war that has yet to be decided.  We’re seeing it happen in Afghanistan and the incidence of green on blue attacks will increase in concert with the Taliban’s grasp of American military weaponry.  The Afghani government wants anti-aircraft weapons, tanks, helicopters and drones.  We should provide them with none of the above.  If we do, they will rapidly become tools in yet another Afghani civil war. 
          We have a pattern of declaring victory where none truly exists that leads back to VietNam.  We should have learned by now that we would be better served to simply dump all our equipment still in use in Afghanistan into the ocean before we allow it to be utilized as dues to join the Taliban.    Syria, it is apparent, will only lead to yet another “Glorious Victory.”  We’ll do our best to convince our public that “we won in _____.  We will just have to ignore the battles taking place in civil and proxy wars. 

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