Writing for the security and intelligence website The Cipher Brief, former CIA Chief of Station Kevin Hulbert blasted President Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster’s desire to load up Afghanistan with more US troops.
Hulbert’s piece is titled ‘Dereliction of Duty II: The Afghanistan Years,’ a play on McMaster’s book ‘Dereliction of Duty.’ In the powerful op-ed, he details how a troop surge will achieve no positive results and will continue a “failed strategy and one that could not win.”
“In his book ‘Dereliction of Duty,’ now current National Security Advisor LTG H.R. McMaster excoriated a whole generation of U.S. military leadership for not speaking truth to power and for not articulating their objections to the strategy then being used in Vietnam at the behest of Washington politicians. McMaster faulted the military leadership for not having developed good alternatives for policy-makers to what the military leadership knew in their hearts was a failed strategy and one that could not win. McMaster called it an abdication of the Generals’ professional and civic responsibilities,” Hulbert wrote.
The former CIA chief asked readers to evaluate if we are winning, and what exactly a victory in Afghanistan would even look like.
“Are we just going to be in Afghanistan forever spending $50 billion a year? Are we going to be doing the ‘nation building’ role forever, lest Afghanistan slip back into being a hot bed of terrorism? Does anyone have any plan other than to keep doing what we have been doing for the last 16 years, spending untold billions in blood and treasure every year because no one can articulate anything else we might do instead?” Hubert asked rhetorically.
The piece goes on to explain that an alternate idea from Blackwater founder and former Navy SEAL Erik Prince would not only save the US tens of billions of dollars, but would also finally get the big US military footprint out of Afghanistan.
Prince has proposed that the US restructure and scale down the 16-year-long operation in Afghanistan by teaming mercenaries with local partners. The idea is one which both White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and the president’s senior advisor Jared Kushner appear to be on board with.
As we previously reported, instead of having US military leading the seemingly endless fight, Prince and Stephen A. Feinberg, owner of DynCorp International seek to have experienced professional European soldiers take over. The reason for this is that the US soldiers are routinely rotated out every six to nine months, so we essentially have to start over with each new group. If the operation was taken over by professionals with insight from experience, who are in it for the long run, this would no longer be the case.
Prince told Big League Politics that his plan consists of restructuring of the use of contractors which are already in Afghanistan. There are currently at least 22,000 contractors being used in the region, and he would like to see them take on an enhanced role.
“So many, particularly the left, hate the idea of contractors. The fact is that there are 25,000 contractors in Afghanistan right now. Under this plan, most of them go away — as would, eventually, all the conventional US soldiers. This is the off ramp for the US in Afghanistan,” Prince told Big League.
While Hulbert admits that he does not think Prince’s plan is the “perfect” plan to handle Afghanistan, he adds that “if there was one, we would already be doing it.”
“I have been surprised at how quick some pundits are to poke holes in the idea while offering zero ideas of their own about what we should do other than the same status quo of the last 16 years,” Hulbert writes. “We had better start thinking more broadly about our options in Afghanistan and what the end game there might look like, otherwise some young smart colonel in the war college will be writing a sequel to McMaster’s book in a few short years titled, ‘Dereliction of Duty II: The Afghanistan Years.’”
White House assistant Sebastian Gorka recently defended the idea on CNN, asserting in an interview with Jake Tapper that using contractors would reduce some of the costs of the conflict. The fight in Afghanistan has already cost the US roughly $828 billion — as well as the lives of 2,300 soldiers.
“The US military has spent 16 years and a trillion dollars and they weren’t able to put the fire out,” Prince told Big League. “At bare minimum, this is a much cheaper way to proceed. Even if you ignore effect, you have a significant cost savings — $40 billion plus.”
Prince suggested that the massive savings could then be used by the Pentagon to pay for things they are short on funding here in America — veteran’s healthcare, for example.
Perhaps we should slow down on creating more veterans until we can properly provide for the ones we already have.
President Donald Trump Reduced Afghanistan War Casualties by 98 Percent Compared to Obama’s First Term
This is what “America First” foreign policy is all about.
President Donald Trump’s foreign policy achievements have largely been hidden from the public, with the fake news media and Democrats preferring to focus on fake Russian collusion stories rather than highlighting the president’s efforts to get the troops out of harm’s way.
Libertarian-leaning Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY) pointed out the facts regarding the president’s foreign policy record, showing that Trump’s foreign policy in Afghanistan has resulted in a sharp reduction in casualties in America’s longest war:
Why won’t the press report this? US Military casualties in the war in Afghanistan:
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) October 22, 2020
The majority of Obama’s casualties came in his first term, when he doubled down on the Afghan war with a troop surge. He sent more troops into harm’s way without anything to show for it except for more blood. There were an incredible 2,196 troops killed in Afghanistan during Obama’s first term, and he was given a Nobel Peace Prize before his brutal policies ever really took effect.
Big League Politics reported earlier this month when President Trump pledged to bring all U.S. troops home from Afghanistan by Christmas:
President Trump issued a surprise announcement on the American military presence in Afghanistan, stating that all troops would be removed from the country by Christmas in a Wednesday evening tweet.
The announcement represents a new imperative to end the American presence in Afghanistan, which has qualified as the lengthiest war in American history.
Deep State bureaucrats have consistently fought to stonewall President Trump’s initiative to end American involvement in the failed state once and for all.
Afghanistan has been made the beneficiary of billions of dollars in American foreign aid and military assistance, but the nation’s government is still largely unable to stand on its own two feet. The Afghan Taliban continues to govern large swathes of the country, and regularly carries out terrorist attacks that inflict significant casualties on the Afghan Army.
Joe Biden is largely silent on Afghanistan, stating that he’ll end the war but clarifying that he only plans to return home the “majority” of service members stationed in the country. President Trump has already withdrawn thousands of American military personnel deployed to the country. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has been overseeing efforts to reach a final peace agreement with the Taliban in which they’d recognize the country’s feeble government.
The leaked Afghanistan Papers have revealed an enduring pattern of misconduct and deception on the part of senior government officials, who regularly sugarcoated the progress that the military was making in installing a Jeffersonian-style democracy in the troubled central Asian nation. Afghanistan is bitterly divided along sectarian, tribal and religious lines, and the region’s involvement in the decline of the Soviet Union and the British Empire have led some to style it as the “graveyard of empires.”
President Trump has made great progress toward putting the troops first despite tremendous institutional impediments from the military-industrial complex. He is clearly the peace candidate, running against the reckless imperial foreign policy of Obama/Biden, on the ballot for this election.
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