Category Archives: Afghanistan

Random Thoughts Locally, Nationally, and Internationally

Some people dared exercise freedom of speech and advocated for a pro-business mayor of Newark. Hundreds of jobs were on the line and their side won. Now some people are decrying the notion that a group "bought" the election by spending a mere 45k. What really happened? Some people got motivated, worked the streets, bought advertisement, and made contact with like minded individuals on their own. The last time I checked, that is their right. I am glad to see people stand up and fight for their future as they see it. Labor and business joined with private citizens to fight the anti-job mafia in Newark. I say, good for them. Dover wants to tear down one of its parks and recreation buildings when space is at a premium. It can't afford to spend 80k to repair it, but watch out for proposals to spend millions to build another one. Talk has already started. Senator Rand Paul R-KY Read more

Afghan President Says U. S. Collaborating With Taliban

President Karzai said during New Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's visit that the U.S. and Taliban were collaborating while the Taliban was setting off bombs by homicide/suicide agents. He went as far to say the bombs were at the service of the U.S. The typical reaction is that he has come unhinged. I am not so sure. Karzai Accuses U.S. of Taliban Collusion as Hagel Visits By Gopal Ratnam - Mar 10, 2013 6:05 PM ET Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was greeted on his first visit to Afghanistan since taking office by suicide bombs, threats and Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s accusation that the U.S. is colluding with the Taliban. As Hagel prepared to leave a U.S. military compound in Kabul on March 9, a Taliban suicide bomber blew himself up outside the Ministry of Defense, and another suicide bomb detonated in Khost province. Yesterday, Karzai said that those attacks, which Read more

38

38 heroes never made it off a chopper that was apparently blown out of the sky over Afghanistan.  It is worse news than even the loss of 30 American troops.   It is now believed the mission was to go after the Taliban leadership.   The Army Rangers were bogged down.  The elite Seal Team 6 was sent to join them.  They never made it.  Some are advocating that we turn over the Afghan operation to the locals with special forces.  We tried that here in one of the most important operations of the year.   They were waiting for us.  It could be that they were prepared for such an assault.  It could be that they were tipped off.  You risk that when you bring in local elements to run your ground security.  In important operations, we still need to control our own destiny and not outsource it.   They are not ready for the big time yet.  Will they be ready in a year?  I pray so, Read more

Rep. Carney statement on President Obama’s Afghanistan speech

 WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative John Carney (D-DE) tonight released the following statement in response to President Obama’s Afghanistan speech: “I am encouraged to hear that President Obama will begin to bring our troops home from Afghanistan next month. It concerns me that the plan we heard tonight will leave more U.S. troops in Afghanistan at the end of 2012 than were there in early 2009. “In the last 18 months, we’ve made significant progress across Afghanistan, specifically in two former terrorist safe havens in the Helmand and Kandahar provinces in southern Afghanistan. We’ve trained an additional 100,000 Afghan security forces. We’ve seen a considerable number of Taliban members switch sides and join the Afghan people. It is estimated that only between 50 and 75 members of al-Qaeda remain in the country. “This progress is encouraging and it should enable Read more

Hooray for Mary Spicer and Republican Women!!!

Under the leadership of Mary Spicer, the Delaware Federation of Republican Women have taken the next step to impacting public policy.  Based on a resolution within their own group, the Republican Women have recognized that those who defend our freedoms, including our right to vote, are being penalized by the late primary election in Delaware.  The Brave Men and Women who defend our freedoms are not able to have absentee ballots sent to them in some cases within 7 weeks of a general election.  For those who serve our nation in far flung locales such as Iraq or Afghanistan, this is unrealistic.  Getting an election document to a GI 150 miles outside of Kabul and back to Wilmington Delaware in 50 days or less strains the reality of combat conditions and penalizes our brave men and women for serving their country.    Let's keep in mind that in certain cases U.S. Navy submariners Read more

Courageous or Dumb: Tell me

The famous Army doctor Lt. Col. Terrance Lakin who refused to deploy with his unit because the President was "not a native born American" has pleaded guilty to one count and is expected to be booted from the Army two years short of retirement.  Obviously, he should not go to prison when others who do not deploy for other reasons are just booted.  Losing his retirement and benefits as well as a less than honorable discharge for failure to obey a lawful order should work. The Colonel let the troops down.  Doctors with his skill are needed.  The issue was one for the electors and Congress to decide.  The issue was brought before the courts, can we allow everyone to be the judge of qualifications beyond their own vote?  This war did not start with President Obama.  It was duly authorized by the Congress of the United States.  The order was confirmed by the Secretary of Defense who Read more

GO ARMY: SSG Giunta Awarded Medal of Honor

Under Fire, but undaunted, hit, but undeterred.  Army Staff Sergeant Salvatore A. Giunta earned the coveted Congressional Medal of Honor.  He became the first living recipient in a generation. Then-Specialist Salvatore A. Giunta distinguished himself by acts of gallantry at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a rifle team leader with Company B, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry Regiment during combat operations against an armed enemy in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan on October 25, 2007. When an insurgent force ambush split Specialist Giunta's squad into two groups, he exposed himself to enemy fire to pull a comrade back to cover. Later, while engaging the enemy and attempting to link up with the rest of his squad, Specialist Giunta noticed two insurgents carrying away a fellow soldier. He immediately engaged the enemy, killing one and wounding Read more

Enduring Freedom Silver Star Series Pt. 3

Cpl. Pat Tillman WASHINGTON — Pat Tillman died while leading a team of Army Rangers up a remote southeastern Afghan hill to knock out enemy fire that had pinned down other American soldiers, the Army said Friday. The Army released details of the former Arizona Cardinals football player's death as it announced that he was posthumously awarded the Silver Star, its third-highest award for combat valor. Tillman, 27, and his team were initially not in danger from the hostile small-arms and mortar fire when the April 22 ambush began. But when the rear section of their convoy became pinned down in rough terrain, Tillman ordered his team out of its vehicles "to take the fight to the enemy forces" on the higher ground. As Tillman and other soldiers neared the hill's Read more

Enduring Freedom Silver Star Series Pt. 2

Staff SgtMatthew Blaskowski - Chosen Company, 2/503rd PIR. On 3 May 2005, elements of 3rd Platoon, 1st Platoon and the Company Headquarters were called forward into the Arghandab River Valley to the village of Bulac Kalay to assist fellow Rock Paratroopers under attack by enemy forces. The ensuing 6 hour fight left 17 enemies killed and 10 captured. Chosen Company evacuated four of our own to medical facilities in Germany - SSG Matthew Blaskowski, SGT Tim Brumley, PFC Matthew King and PFC Tyler Wilson. Several other soldiers received minor wounds and are back to duty with the company. Chosen Company performed their duty against America’s enemies in truly remarkable fashion with ferocious and raw courage. As events transpired, each paratrooper rose to the challenge Read more

Afghanistan War is more than a body count: The Silver Star for Enduring Freedom Pt. 1

I believe the War in Afghanistan has produced great valor.  I  was reading about the attack on the police headquarters today and I noticed that it never mentioned who lost.  The U. S. military has won many battles because of the valor of the American serviceperson.  This series is in their honor.  All quotes are from the official accounts which are not copyrighted. gt 1st Class Bradly M. Felix Sgt 1st Class Roger G. Watts Staff Sgt. David G. Colucci All assigned to the 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), stood before more than 60 guests at a Valor Awards Ceremony June 28, 2005 at U. S. Army Special Operations Command here as Lt. General Philip Kensinger, USASOC commander, awarded each the Silver Star. Listening to the retelling of their fearless actions was emotional for the Soldiers. “It was humbling because I Read more

Do the Neo Cons Own the GOP?

There is a  dust up over minor remarks by National Republican Committee Chairman Michael Steele in which he called the War in Afghanistan a war of Obama's choosing (refering to the surge and refocus from Iraq).  He noted correctly that over the centuries not foreign power has conquered the land through a land war.  The Neo Con faction of the party is demanding that Steele resign.  Bill Crystal, Liz Cheney, and Charles Krauthammer are leading the charge.  Readers here know that I support the President's resolve to winning this war so that we can come home and not go back latter when hundreds or thousands of Americans have died again.   General Petraeus put it well when he said that we are in this to win it.  On this I agree with the Neo Cons.  Where I am disagreeing with them is the idea that a little noted comment which was retracted by the RNC before the digital ink could dry Read more

Petraeus says he will review the rules of engagement

General Petraeus said that the application of the rules of engagement has put our troops and coalition allies in difficult positions. I wonder will the commenters who criticized my post on the rules of engagement have the same view of the General's view which happens to match mine. The rules of engagement must be designed to protect innocents, but they must not be designed to protect our enemies. Right now the Taliban can fire at us until they run out of ammunition and instead of us demanding surrender, they can just toss their weapons down and walk away. In the past, they walked to other weapons stashes and started firing again. I do not call that a rule of engagement. I call that the rule of insanity. While most of the attention today went to the justice to be, I believe an equally consequential hearing was General Petraeus' hearing. The committee recommended approval. "In Read more

Just a Reminder who the Taliban are

They sent a suicide bomber into a wedding party killing 40 including children. They hung a 7 year old boy for spying. They put AIDS infected needles and razors around bombs so the people decommissioning them may get infected if they are successful. Those are just the stories from the last two days. Some people say they do not want us there so we should leave. The Taliban received about 3% of the vote in the election. Almost no one wants them. Our allies received almost 90% of the vote. They are evil and walking away with them intact is not an option.

Cpl. Jacob Leicht, USMC age 24 #1000

Here is the inspiring story of American casualty # 1000 in the Afghan war. The 1,000th American serviceman killed in Afghanistan had already fallen once to a hidden explosive, driving his Humvee over a bomb in Iraq in 2007. The blast punched the dashboard radio into his face and broke his leg in two places. Marine Cpl. Jacob C. Leicht didn't survive his second encounter with a bomb this week. The death of the 24-year-old Texan born on the Fourth of July marks a grim milestone in the Afghanistan war. Leicht, who spent two painful years recovering from the Iraq blast, was killed Thursday when he stepped on a land mine in Helmand province that ripped off his right arm. He had written letters from his hospital bed begging to be put back on the front lines, and died less than a month into that desperately sought second tour. An Associated Press tally shows Leicht is the 1,000th U.S. serviceman Read more

Red Cross Right

The International Red Cross is a non-partisan, non-sectarian, impartial humanitarian organization. They were established to bring humanitarian aid to all nations. There is some controversy about the fact that they taught first aid to the Taliban terrorists recently. First Aid training is not some secret that changes the war. It is available to everyone. The International Red Cross has always helped people who were injured on both sides of the battlefield. It has helped people in disasters in almost every nation. The U. S. government actually helps wounded Taliban and treats them medically which is far more than the Red Cross is doing. I do not understand the controversy.  We do not expect background checks before classes.  We have a long tradtion in America regarding the provision of care to all.  The International Red Cross grew from it.  It is something worth keeping. Read more

1000

In the last few days, We lost our 1000th American in Afghanistan. I do not need to say how much I regret the loss of a single life let alone 1000. It is not just Americans. 2500 civilians have gotten caught in the cross fire of war just this past year. They were people who just wanted to go to a market, school, or sleeping at home. Some were sympathetic to the enemy, and others to us. Some were just children who became pawns sacrificed in another phase of a 30 year war. The Taliban shoots, bombs through IED's, and terrorizes civilians then uses them as human shields. Some died because they were too near the guilty. Death and destruction rained down on the just and unjust in the blind fog of war. We too killed civilians even though we try to avoid it. Our intention is honorable, but dead is dead. This is why we mourn them all. I look forward to the day when peace comes to that land torn Read more

McChyrstal to take Away Taste of Home

If it were a movie, we could call it The Grinch General who stole Pizza Hut.I guess life away isn't hard enough, but the Afghan theater will be losing some of the few luxuries that make mitigate its harshness. Too bad the regime in Washington will not invest in logistical support in the front. This may be the best way to equalize resources given that reality. This move is not one that I support. We live in an era of repeated deployments. The way that we have found to mitigate the historically high burden on the same troops is to attempt to normalize life a little. In the active duty military we have people on their 6th or 7th war tour. The average time in a war zone for a soldier or marine in this military is the highest in American history. Retention suffered. The way the Pentagon was able to mitigate it was to show troops that they cared by upgrading the camps as the resources became Read more

Let’s have a nice war

Who should choose what a civilian is? Should it be the enemy or normal standards? Should enemy combatants be able to fire from bunkers until they run out of ammo then toss their weapons away and walk out to another weapons cash and be considered unarmed civilians until they are seen holding a weapon. That is what the Ruling Regime seems to be requiring. Troops in the coalition including American enlisted have complained that the latest offensive is being hindered by the new rules. Minimizing civilian casualties is right, smart, and important in the long run. Defeating those who would enslave and kill civilians is equally important. Weakness costs lives. But Brig. Gen. Sher Mohammad Zazai, commander of Afghan army troops in the south, said there is no plan to revise the rules. "The aim of the operation is not to kill militants," he said. "The aim is to protect civilians and bring in Read more