Ouster of Contractors Throws Afghan Strategy in Doubt

Charging that U.S. private security contractors are “mafia-like groups” being financed by U.S. taxpayers to carry out “terrorist activities” with the support of the U.S. government, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has ordered a four-month phaseout of all private security companies in his embattled country. Asserting his oft-challenged authority as the country’s chief executive, Karzai’s move, … Continue reading “Ouster of Contractors Throws Afghan Strategy in Doubt”

Wali Karzai: A Deal We Should Refuse

There is a “chubby” man with a big smile on his face sitting in the middle of the crossroads at Kandahar. He is smiling, no doubt, because he knows he has the power to influence the success or failure of the international military mission in Afghanistan today. And he embodies everything that is wrong with … Continue reading “Wali Karzai: A Deal We Should Refuse”

McChrystal Strategy Shifts to Raids – and Wali Karzai

Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s team once talked openly about the need to remove Ahmed Wali Karzai, Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s brother and the most powerful man in Kandahar, from power. Last October, as reports of Wali Karzai’s role in the opium trade were circulating, McChrystal’s intelligence chief Gen. Michael T. Flynn said, “If we are going … Continue reading “McChrystal Strategy Shifts to Raids – and Wali Karzai”

Bill for Afghan War Could Run Into the Trillions

The U.S. Senate is moving forward with a $59 billion spending bill, of which $33.5 billion would be allocated for the war in Afghanistan. However, some experts in Washington are raising concerns that the war may be unwinnable and that the money being spent on military operations in Afghanistan could be better spent. “We’re making … Continue reading “Bill for Afghan War Could Run Into the Trillions”

The Five-Sided House of Usher

The tea leaves tell me we’re about to experience a seismic event that will produce the next collapse of our five-sided House of Usher, the Pentagon. The last time we saw a temblor of that magnitude was in November 2006. Just before the mid-term election, young Mr. Bush assured us that then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld … Continue reading “The Five-Sided House of Usher”

Feting a Fetid War

To smooth over the stormy relationship with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, President Barack Obama is throwing out the red carpet in Washington, D.C., for Karzai and his entourage. Vice President Joe Biden, who in the past has erupted in open hostility toward Karzai, is holding a “kiss-and-make-up” dinner for the Afghan leader. All of this … Continue reading “Feting a Fetid War”

COIN of the Realm

The short version of an old joke about U.S. defense spending goes like this: An overweight nuclear submarine skipper baffles the congressional defense appropriations subcommittees with a line of technical gobbledygook Einstein wouldn’t understand, and the subcommittees give the Navy whatever it wants. A short, bald fighter pilot feeds the subcommittees a ration of dwarfed … Continue reading “COIN of the Realm”

Hamid Karzai, R.I.P.

The war in Afghanistan, which George W. Bush started and Barack Obama pledged to win, is over – and we lost. No one realizes this, quite yet, but give them time – because the fruits of our defeat are already a veritable cornucopia. And the reason can be summed up rather neatly in two words: … Continue reading “Hamid Karzai, R.I.P.”