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The Civilian 'surge' in Afghanistan isn't much of a surge…….

Ambassador Visit to Lashkar Gah

Ambassador Karl Eikenberry visit’s Lashkar Gah in Afghanistan

The State Department’s own Inspector general has issued a report recommending at least a 100 changes to improve the departments failure to follow up the military’s ground gaining in Afghanistan…..

While the group under the US Ambassador from State did an impressive job when they started…..

It now is turned into a giant escort service for visiting VIP (which is why the military did those functions in Iraq)……

This report is critical…because it highlight a weakness found in the Iraq war camapign……The Satae Depart was left out there because they could not keep up with the pace of the military in country and they simply did not have the person power to do their job…..While the Dog like s Secretary Hillary Clinton…..part of the blame for this short coming must lay at here feet…..she is a very good details person…but like her primary campaign she seems to be unable to actually manage anything…..

Here\’s the piece……

The so-called “civilian surge” in Afghanistan is mired in bureaucracy and may not succeed in time to help the war effort, a State Department report found.

The report released Friday said U.S. diplomats spend too much time giving war zone tours to visiting officials . They have struggled to house, feed and transport an influx of new civilians. And they can’t get regular sleep because bosses at the National Security Council and others in Washington call for briefings from midnight to 4 a.m., apparently unworried about the different time zone.

The department’s inspector general said the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry, and his team made impressive progress during their first six months in Kabul toward carrying out the “civilian surge” ordered by the Obama administration to accompany its military push.

The force of agriculturalists, lawyers, engineers and others — which nearly tripled from 320 people to about 900 early this year — is meant to encourage the Afghan people to like their own government more than they like the Taliban.

But Eikenberry’s team has been challenged by the unprecedented pace and scope of the civilian buildup, the report said.

“Even with the able leadership of senior officers, the best of intentions and the most dedicated efforts, Embassy Kabul faces serious challenges in meeting the administration’s deadline for ‘success’ in Afghanistan,” the 146-page report said.

The report said about 100 groups including more than 700 people had visited by October and that a dozen more congressional delegations were expected by the end of 2009.

“Some describe the incredible volume of visitors from all branches of the federal and even state governments as ‘war tourism,'” the report said

“Although congressional and other VIP travel builds crucial support for U.S. efforts in Afghanistan, it also taxes the same military and civilian assets that would otherwise be deployed in the vital counterinsurgency and reconstruction efforts that the visitors seek to evaluate,” the report said.

Because the majority of assignments to Kabul are for one year with multiple rest and recreation breaks, most U.S. staff spend approximately two months of their tour on leave. The report said that hinders their ability to develop expertise, hurts continuity, requires more people on the ground, and results in what one former ambassador called “an institutional lobotomy.'”

The report makes more than 100 recommendations on a wide range of issues, from managing resources to morale and quality of life.

March 6, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Media, Men, Military, Other Things, Politics, Updates, Women | , , , | 1 Comment

The Civilian ‘surge’ in Afghanistan isn’t much of a surge…….

Ambassador Visit to Lashkar Gah

Ambassador Karl Eikenberry visit’s Lashkar Gah in Afghanistan

The State Department’s own Inspector general has issued a report recommending at least a 100 changes to improve the departments failure to follow up the military’s ground gaining in Afghanistan…..

While the group under the US Ambassador from State did an impressive job when they started…..

It now is turned into a giant escort service for visiting VIP (which is why the military did those functions in Iraq)……

This report is critical…because it highlight a weakness found in the Iraq war camapign……The Satae Depart was left out there because they could not keep up with the pace of the military in country and they simply did not have the person power to do their job…..While the Dog like s Secretary Hillary Clinton…..part of the blame for this short coming must lay at here feet…..she is a very good details person…but like her primary campaign she seems to be unable to actually manage anything…..

Here\’s the piece……

The so-called “civilian surge” in Afghanistan is mired in bureaucracy and may not succeed in time to help the war effort, a State Department report found.

The report released Friday said U.S. diplomats spend too much time giving war zone tours to visiting officials . They have struggled to house, feed and transport an influx of new civilians. And they can’t get regular sleep because bosses at the National Security Council and others in Washington call for briefings from midnight to 4 a.m., apparently unworried about the different time zone.

The department’s inspector general said the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry, and his team made impressive progress during their first six months in Kabul toward carrying out the “civilian surge” ordered by the Obama administration to accompany its military push.

The force of agriculturalists, lawyers, engineers and others — which nearly tripled from 320 people to about 900 early this year — is meant to encourage the Afghan people to like their own government more than they like the Taliban.

But Eikenberry’s team has been challenged by the unprecedented pace and scope of the civilian buildup, the report said.

“Even with the able leadership of senior officers, the best of intentions and the most dedicated efforts, Embassy Kabul faces serious challenges in meeting the administration’s deadline for ‘success’ in Afghanistan,” the 146-page report said.

The report said about 100 groups including more than 700 people had visited by October and that a dozen more congressional delegations were expected by the end of 2009.

“Some describe the incredible volume of visitors from all branches of the federal and even state governments as ‘war tourism,'” the report said

“Although congressional and other VIP travel builds crucial support for U.S. efforts in Afghanistan, it also taxes the same military and civilian assets that would otherwise be deployed in the vital counterinsurgency and reconstruction efforts that the visitors seek to evaluate,” the report said.

Because the majority of assignments to Kabul are for one year with multiple rest and recreation breaks, most U.S. staff spend approximately two months of their tour on leave. The report said that hinders their ability to develop expertise, hurts continuity, requires more people on the ground, and results in what one former ambassador called “an institutional lobotomy.'”

The report makes more than 100 recommendations on a wide range of issues, from managing resources to morale and quality of life.

March 6, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Media, Men, Military, Other Things, Politics, Updates, Women | , , , | 1 Comment

Charges against Blackwater guards shootings in Iraq in 2007 thrown out……..

The charges lodged against five Blackwater guards, arising out a shooting in the Nisour Square, in Iraq, (resulting in several civilian deaths) while they were escorting a State Department motorcade, have been dismissed by U.S. Federal District Court Judge Ricardo M. Urbina in a 90-page opinion ……..That is summed up by this…….

In a “reckless violation of the defendants’ constitutional rights,” the judge wrote, investigators, prosecutors and government witnesses had inappropriately relied on statements that the guards had been compelled to make in debriefings by the State Department shortly after the shootings. The State Department had hired the guards to protect its officials.

The incident and its immediate media uproar put the State Department in a hot and glaring spot light….And forced State Department investigators to push hard for information, quickly about the incident……which turned the investigation a witch hunt that bent or completely disregarded basic criminal and judicial rules…..

The judge hi lighted the facts that…..

The guards had been told by State Department investigators that they could be fired if they did not talk about the case, but that whatever they said would not be used against them in any criminal proceeding.

Nevertheless, Judge Urbina found that “in their zeal to bring charges,” investigators and prosecutors had extensively used those statements, disregarding “the warning of experienced, senior prosecutors” that “the course of action threatened the viability of prosecution.”

“The explanations offered by the prosecutors and investigators in an attempt to justify their actions and persuade the court that they did not use the defendants’ compelled testimony were all too often contradictory, unbelievable and lacking in credibility,” Judge Urbina wrote.

The judge also criticized prosecutors for withholding “substantial exculpatory evidence” from the grand jury that indicted the defendants, as well as for presenting “distorted versions” of witnesses’ testimony and improperly telling the grand jury that some incriminating statements had been made by the defendants but were being withheld.

While the State Department’s special agents provide investigative services every day in criminal cases….and provide protection for its charges ….this case was not a shinning moment for the service…..In addition, this  isn’t the first time that Bush Department of Justice attorney’s have been slapped d on the chin by judges for sloppy legal work…….

Note:…..Blackwater has changed its name to Xe Services…….

Note #2:…They were not happy in Iraq about the judges decision…….from the Washington Post…..

In Baghdad, relatives and victims of the shooting expressed frustration when told of Urbina’s decision. “There is no justice. These [people] have to have a trial in Iraq,” said Hussein Ali, the brother of Sa’di Ali, who was killed in Nissor Square.

January 1, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Crime, Government, Law, Media, Men, Military, Politics, Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Honduras Update….No Deal…..

Contrary to the United States political and diplomatic efforts…there is no deal to return Manuel Zelaya to power (for the remaining 3 months of his term)……The countries congress must vote to implement the process…and they are in no hurry to do so…The people of the country are suffering because things remain unstable and influx ….

…And the United States is not getting the props it has worked to get, by returning the ex-leader to the helm of a country who’s military, judicial and legislative branches do not trust him….

November 6, 2009 Posted by | Government, Media, Military, Politics | , , , , | 2 Comments

The US Embassy in Bagdad has some problems…….ah, a lot of problems…..

It seems that the place is $100 million over it initial $592 million budget……it has problems with the work, that are so bad, the State department is gonna be working on for  them (and spending money) for years to come….

Examples ” The walls are in danger of cracking; the “safe areas” for emergencies aren’t safe; the fire protection systems might not protect from fires; and oh, by the way, the plumbing and electrical systems don’t work.”

A report from the State Departments own IG office blasts the agencies (Bureau for Oversea Building Operations) oversight on the project……which will cost the taxpayers millions of dollars to repair shoddy work under the contract supervision of First Kuwaiti Trading and Contracting which continues to do terrible work in the country with shipped in help from third world countries……….

Question?….are they doing work in Afghanistan?….just checking………

October 23, 2009 Posted by | Military, Politics, Travel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment