I do not believe Mr. Friel recognized I was disgruntled that the media reports always tend to blame US military for the failures with interviewee quotes (and no subsequent facts to clarify positions with factual history of just who has been in charge), and that I was ecstatic that the US was reassuming command. Plus I am also happy that the Congress has agreed to grant the additional requested funds.
However he's a busy guy in the thick of it. And I merely thank him for visiting Sea2Sea and contributing his thoughts.
KABUL (Reuters) - The Taliban threatened a spring offensive of thousands of suicide bombers as the United States, doubling its combat troops in Afghanistan, took over command of the 33,000-strong NATO force on Sunday.
The Taliban warns 2007 will be "the bloodiest year for foreign troops," saying they have 2,000 suicide bombers ready to go into action when winter snows melt in a few months.
"We have made 80 percent preparations to fight American and foreign forces and we are about to start war," Mullah Hayatullah Khan, a 35-year-old black-bearded guerrilla leader, told Reuters at a secret base in the east on Saturday.
"The first 3-5 months of 2007 are absolutely crucial to the entire Afghan effort as the mission has been defined -- that is, in bringing security to the southern provinces," Sean Kay, a security expert and professor of international relations at the Ohio Wesleyan University, told Reuters.
From the beginning, he said, the United States had failed to field enough forces in Afghanistan to prevent the re-emergence of a counter-insurgency and NATO continued to suffer from this particularly in the south.
Thus the interviewees' in Reuters Kabul author Terry Friel's article, manage to take yet another UN/NATO military failure and lay it squarely on the shoulders of US forces which were "from the beginning" insufficient. Let me insert here.... I agree. The US cannot "police" the world. However what are we expected to do when the rest of the world refuses to contribute to the needed int'l "policing, as they promised? Don't forget... the world was united in the Afghan action. Big "bleepin'" deal.
For those of you sound-byte educated, the UN and NATO have been in charge of the "security" of Afghanistan since late 2003 in all but the far east provinces. And even those were turned over to UN/NATO completely July 31st. (Note correction on this date above... was transferred officially as of Oct 5th, 2006) Translation - the group in charge when the increased violence and renewed thrust of the Taliban commenced was... ta da... the UN/NATO "supreme'os". Gee... what a surprise. Has the UN/NATO every had a success in history?
"The United States had failed to field enough forces..."???? I bet your pardon, but what about all those pledges by the UN members, promising not only military support but cash, that are not being honored? When the 26-member UN coalition fails to do the job, and fails to cough up the necessary manpower and bucks needed, just how does this become OUR fault?
Typical "blame America" crap. This amidst the anti-Iraq-success-Congress who will, again, strive to put Iraq and their future under the UN/NATO flag ASAP so that when failure happens, it won't be the US's fault. Guess again... we'll still get the blame.
Iraqi future under UN/NATO control. That will certainly be in the "plans" by a Dem controlled Congress, and supported by the wimpy Republicans who are more worried about their re-election that what is right. What a recipe for failure. And that, folks, is the only "plans" our lily-livered, politically correct, poll driven Congress can come up with... plans to fail.
At least now our forces are going back under the control of US military commanders. That will be the only way Afghanistan has a chance to again beat the Taliban down. However the way it got to the present situation lies not on our soldiers, but on the inept management of the UN and NATO, and the countries who refuse to honor their promises to contribute.