Jamesb101.com

commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

The War in Afghanistan…on different fronts…….

While the Marines have launched a strong military push and media push into Marja , Afghanista…..the CIA has launched another front in Pakistan and Afghansan……by snatching up the heads of the Taliban operations ……..

The Marines are pushing on after a quiet entrance and fierce fighting for the last couple of days….The CIA capture count is up to three and rising…….

The long-term objective will be to hold the ground retaken and try to keep pace with the replacement leadership that filling the vacuum caused by the snatched leaders…..

But the Taliban have been here before and this is their response…….

The full fury of a U.S. military air-ground task force is being unleashed on a small town in southern Afghanistan. Strike jets, helicopter gunships and armed robot drones directed by airborne and satellite sensors tracking enemy movements, and thousands of heavily armed infantrymen are advancing (with a heavy media presence) behind armored trucks and ground-penetrating radar sweeping for IEDs, while rapid-fire artillery rockets whoosh overhead.

Ever since U.S. combat troops descended on Afghanistan in October 2001, the Taliban fighters have been flaunting their ability to fade away when facing this kind of combat power. It seems childishly petulant even to repeat it: insurgents simply don’t fight big modern armies head-on. They disappear, only to pop up later at a time and place of their own choosing.

Now, just 48 hours after the battle for the southern Afghanistan market town of Marja was launched, military commanders are confirming that many of the Taliban fighters who had made Marja a base of operations had slipped away during the weeks that U.S. forces were loudly preparing the assault and freely broadcasting its location and purpose. A senior officer told me this morning that the Taliban leadership had “bugged out,” leaving behind 100 to 150 fighters with orders to fight and die in place. “And they are,” this officer reported. As in previous battles, the Taliban are fighting from compounds jammed with families, and there have been resultant civilian casualties. Given all this, it was odd to hear a British military spokesman, Maj. Gen. Gordon Messenger, assert that the goal of “surprising the Taliban” seemed to have been met. His evidence: “The Taliban have not been able to put up a coherent response. They appear confused and disorientated.”

The CIA front has been sucessful in two ways…..tracking down and making caputures…and working both governmenets to do so…..

The reported capture of Mullah Abdul Salam follows word of the recent arrest, also in Pakistan, of the Taliban’s No. 2 leader, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, whose influence was described as second only to the movement’s spiritual leader and supreme commander, Mullah Mohammed Omar.

Salam, the shadow governor of Kunduz province in Afghanistan’s north, was arrested earlier this month, according to the officially appointed governor of Kunduz, Mohammed Omar. He said he was informed of the capture by intelligence officials.

“This is a big blow for the Taliban here,” Omar said.

It was not immediately known whether Salam’s arrest was related to that of Baradar, but Taliban shadow governors, who are usually senior commanders, are thought to travel regularly to Pakistan for consultations with the movement’s leadership, known as the Quetta shura.

Omar said he was told that a deputy of Salam’s, Mullah Mohammed, was arrested along with him. Some previous reports have identified Mullah Mohammed as the shadow governor of neighboring Baghlan province.

Taliban shadow governments sprang up across Afghanistan after the movement was driven from power in 2001 by a U.S.-led invasion. By late last year, according to a Western intelligence official, there were shadow governments in all but two of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces.

One would think that these actions are no coincidence coming from the CIA…… after the Taliban attack on the CIA info  center last month ……that resulted in seven of their members being taken out……

February 18, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Government, Media, Men, Military, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates | , , , , | 2 Comments

American’s are not wanted in Pakistan…….

I did a post a while ago about the sensitivity of the Pakistani population to an American escalation of the war against the Taliban and al-Qeada…..well things are getting worst….while the administration does not want to make a big deal about this…..the Big bosses in Pakistan are all right with the war build-up…..the middle to lower ones are not……..The New York Times has broke the story that Pakistan Military and Intelligence people have begun a coordinated program to harass and inhibit Americans from doing ‘war’ business in their country……in other words…‘They want to the American’s to pack up and leave their country’…..

This is not light matter…..

I posted earlier that the average Pakistani hates that United States flys Predator drones from bases in their country……they fear that civilians will be killed in the UAV attacks…..in addition, the average Pakistani is more worried about Indian aggression then the Taliban and al-Quedea…which are not looked as problems……

So as the United States and NATO ramp up their war campiagn in Aftghanistn (30, 000+ troops and additional militray aid $$$ to Pakistan…which is now on hold)….American personnel are not getting Pakistani help…..they are getting shown the door…….

All of the negative headlines about Blackwater, which now calls it self the Xe company hasn’t help stopped the Pakistani whispering campaigns against Americans…..

The United States has growing problem with the countries police, and military, who have targeted american diplomats and military members for all forms of petty harassment……The Big bosses seem powerless to prevent these situations from escalating……..

December 16, 2009 Posted by | Breaking News, Government, Media, Military, Politics, Travel | , , , , , | 22 Comments

American's are not wanted in Pakistan…….

I did a post a while ago about the sensitivity of the Pakistani population to an American escalation of the war against the Taliban and al-Qeada…..well things are getting worst….while the administration does not want to make a big deal about this…..the Big bosses in Pakistan are all right with the war build-up…..the middle to lower ones are not……..The New York Times has broke the story that Pakistan Military and Intelligence people have begun a coordinated program to harass and inhibit Americans from doing ‘war’ business in their country……in other words…‘They want to the American’s to pack up and leave their country’…..

This is not light matter…..

I posted earlier that the average Pakistani hates that United States flys Predator drones from bases in their country……they fear that civilians will be killed in the UAV attacks…..in addition, the average Pakistani is more worried about Indian aggression then the Taliban and al-Quedea…which are not looked as problems……

So as the United States and NATO ramp up their war campiagn in Aftghanistn (30, 000+ troops and additional militray aid $$$ to Pakistan…which is now on hold)….American personnel are not getting Pakistani help…..they are getting shown the door…….

All of the negative headlines about Blackwater, which now calls it self the Xe company hasn’t help stopped the Pakistani whispering campaigns against Americans…..

The United States has growing problem with the countries police, and military, who have targeted american diplomats and military members for all forms of petty harassment……The Big bosses seem powerless to prevent these situations from escalating……..

December 16, 2009 Posted by | Breaking News, Government, Media, Military, Politics, Travel | , , , , , | 22 Comments

Pakistan is solely focused on one issue….UAV attacks….They could care less about the Taliban….

In a piece in MYDD.com, by Charles Lemos, he highlights the problems the administration has in Pakistan…which the White House is pushing to step up its campaign to go after the Taliban…I just did a post on how Aftghanistan has essential told the United States that it can’t and won’t be able to take care of itself for the next 20 years….Here in Pakistan is a country that is saying we’re not in any hurry..what’s the problem?…and by the way stop flying your Predator’s in our country( and maybe the bad guys will the go away, huh?)…..we’re more worried about getting respect and keeping an eye on India….

This from Shayan Khan of the Pakistan Spectator is typical. Back in October he wrote:

Pakistan’s concerns over Kerry-Lugar bill are there for sure, but they are not that important. The chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee has backed a bill that would triple economic assistance for Pakistan, a key US ally in the fight against terrorism, to 7.5 billion dollars over five years. But it perhaps come as a surprise for the Kerry that Pakistanis don’t really think much of any aid or such things. They want US to take them as humans like themselves and to understand that the people dying from the drone attacks are 99% Pakistanis, and only perhaps 1% are anything to do with militancy. (The) war on terror has given Pakistan the gory gifts of suicide attacks and bomb blasts and the economic life in Pakistan has come to a grinding halt.

The Taliban are not going anyplace if the Predators stop flying….

and then there is this……

Instead of funding an educational system, Pakistan prefers to invest in tanks. Pakistan spends only 2.3 percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on education – the lowest level of any country in South Asia – as compared to 3.6 percent on average for other nations in Asia and 3.4 percent in low-income countries overall. This puts Pakistan in the bottom quarter of countries world-wide. Military spending, meanwhile, accounts for 3.5 percent of GDP, an amount that places Pakistan in the top quarter of countries world-wide. The result of inadequate funding for education is that only about half of Pakistani adults can read and write, compared to 92 percent in Sri Lanka and 60 percent in India.

This is not going to be easy folks…….

December 8, 2009 Posted by | Government, Military, Politics | , , , , , , | 10 Comments

The Predator (UAV) war in Pakistan…..and Aftghanistan, heats up…..

A secret war policy to use Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) has been bumped up in recent months…..I did a post on the aircraft in mid-Novemeber…..The New York Times has done a piece on the policy and the ramifications of the policy to the Pakistani Military, Americans….and the  Pakistani public….

Aftgahnisatn is a declared war zone..the United States operates UAV’s there at it’s own free will…..

America’s Central Intelligence Agency, once free of the restraints against hunting down bad guys, and killing them, after 9/11, has expanded that policy (under National Command Authority) , and found success without losing any american lives….by adopting the Israeli policy of going after ‘soft targets’ that are on a authorized list…the CIA, Army and Air Force have eliminated a good many bad guys…the program on the face of it …is a success…

The Pakistani military has been secretly cooperating with the United States for years…. Predator drones have been stationed in the country, with a small contingent of troops to run the aircraft….that fact was not well know to the civilians of the country, until a little while ago….the United States has been giviing The Pakistani’s intel, and access to it’s spy satellites data for a while….all of this information has been out there in the public domain……

While the UAV attacks have been sucessful..they cause problems for the Pakistani military who have to deal with their countrymen….

The Pakistani civilians are not all happy with the U.S. UAV’s who attack bad guys from the sky and sometimes make collateral hits, and damage…..

The fact is…the program is expanding, according to White House, and Pentagon reports…..and as with the Israeli campaigns….the weapons system is an unqualified success, that causes civilian political problems…

For now the policy and program continues………

Note: The most widly used UAV for airstrikes is the Predator model’s, operated by the Army, Air Force and the CIA……

December 4, 2009 Posted by | Government, Military, Politics, September 11 | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Secretary of State Clinton is in Pakistan…and is busy……..

The secretary is in Pakistan on the first day of a week long trip…..and she is keeping her security detail busy…..the trip stared with a bomb being set off upon her arrival in that nations capital…but Clinton still managed to hold meetings with the countries President and Foreign Minister, hold a presser, and give out awards to  ‘impoverished Pakistani women’……

Her schedule is booked almost everyday and the Secretary will decide if she will make any other stops in the region (Israel, Afghanistan or West Bank?)…

……The lady sure is busy…………….

October 29, 2009 Posted by | Media, Politics, Travel | , , | 4 Comments

Short stories…..Hillary, Prof. Gates,and Hillary for VP…..and Cristie admits he’s fat….

Hillary Clinton to the audiance at Geo TV Pakistran……” Pakistan and I are the same age…..”

Professor Gates of Harvard University, and Cambrige Police Sergeant Jamse Crowley had another beer together ……

In his new book, David Plouffe reports that Hillary Clinton didn’t make the cut for VP because….like eveyone thought at the time…Bill Clinton would be a problem…..

Chris Cristie is looking for Corzine to admit what he’s been hinting about…namely that, Cristie is fat…….we may know that, and Cristie can annouce it,  but Corzine is smart if doesn’t make the comment…which would instantaly be turned against him…….

October 29, 2009 Posted by | Education, Media, Politics, Travel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Short stories…..Hillary, Prof. Gates,and Hillary for VP…..and Cristie admits he's fat….

Hillary Clinton to the audiance at Geo TV Pakistran……” Pakistan and I are the same age…..”

Professor Gates of Harvard University, and Cambrige Police Sergeant Jamse Crowley had another beer together ……

In his new book, David Plouffe reports that Hillary Clinton didn’t make the cut for VP because….like eveyone thought at the time…Bill Clinton would be a problem…..

Chris Cristie is looking for Corzine to admit what he’s been hinting about…namely that, Cristie is fat…….we may know that, and Cristie can annouce it,  but Corzine is smart if doesn’t make the comment…which would instantaly be turned against him…….

October 29, 2009 Posted by | Education, Media, Politics, Travel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pakistan launchs an offense against the Taliban and al-Qaeda……..

Something un- heard of in Iraq or Afghanistan……the Pakistani’s have launched their own offensive against rebel forces in the border area of Waziristan…Using American built F-16’s and ground troops the Pakistani Army has moved into the area to clean out area’s of resistance.

This is action has been urged by the US military and has to be welcomed in Washington…….

At least these guys can muster up their own troops to fight……..

October 18, 2009 Posted by | Breaking News, Military, Politics, Updates | , , , , , | Leave a comment

A serious look at the long term Aftgan and region's stratergy…….

If you’ve been following me here, you know that I believe that the only way the  United States can ‘win’ in that country is to surge now as Gen. McChrystal has requested, and then, under that protection do nation building to preserve any gains……..

Two things have occurred within the last 24 hours for me that have made me think that Obama is taking a longer time then expected,tenets because some basic tenets of my  above argument stand on wobbly legs…..I did an earlier post in which I said Aftghanistan is just too darn backwards to ever have the US declare ‘victory’……and that view should not be discarded….

First of all Yesterday I have a look discussion with a guy who regularly travels to India……he’s an American now but he was born and lived his youth in India…..And he’s been to Afghanistan….

His point to me on the subject was that , in agreement with my feelings, Afghanistan was a hard sell for anybody to ‘win’…he felt that the people of that country simply did not want anybody coming in to change their way of life, and their country…and that the political system of ‘forced democracy’ was flawed and corrupt. He was emphatic…the country was simply not capable of changing due to economic, political and religious constraints ……

In the case of Pakistan…my friend argued correctly that the bad guys in Afghanistan were put there by the Pakistani’s to work against India, their arch enemy…….He pointed out that it was inconceivable for the Pakistani’s to remain in a fight against these forces…why?…because in the end..when the US leaves the area, they, The Pakistani’s, will still have to deal with India….and that was their principal concern……not the United States problem with terrorism….

I also just go finished reading a strategic paper from the Democratic Strategist which is biased in one way, but which clearly lays out the argument my friend gave me yesterday……which is that any counterinsurgency campaign must deal with the three constraints I have laid out above…..

The piece, as does my friend..and my prior post,  repeats, loud and clear, the reason why no  has been able to hold, as their own, that region…..

The Aftgan’s don’t want anybody to, never have, and it seems, never will…..

But we now know this…..the United States and NATO are moving the troop levels above the 68,000 troops they have been saying are in country…..President Obama, the Commander-in -Chief is going to have to decide (take your time, Sir) WHAT HE WANTS?, WHAT CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED?……and the DEFINITION of a win, victory or just a get out point…….

This one is a problem  that may not have  solution….. A true Kobarishi Maru…….

October 13, 2009 Posted by | Military, Politics | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment