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US Drone Policy Misfires Again, This Time Killing Seven Children

Once again US military intelligence blows it big time. The result, ironically after bragging about getting their target, was actually 10 innocent civilians killed.
Author:
Sorry Kids, Wrong Target

Changing Drone Story

On August 29, the launched a drone strike targeting suspected suicide bombers near the Kabul airport.

US military labeled the strike a success. Supposedly two highly-valued targets were killed.

General McKenzie subsequently changed the story to we got the bombers but some civilians were killed. 

Today the final assessment is in, and it's not pretty.

10 Civilians, No ISIS Killed

This happens time and time again. And as always, "US military stands by intelligence leading to strike."

Righteous Strike

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley earlier this month said that the strike was “righteous.”

It appears the US may have followed the wrong white Toyota. Well, white is white, and Toyotas are Toyotas, and the intelligence speaks for itself.

Warmongers Still Defend the War

The idiotic comment of the day goes to writer Walter Russell Mead for Biden’s Chamberlain Moment in Afghanistan.

Comparing events in Afghanistan to Hitler is of course idiotic, but it was only a matter of time before some warmonger fool did just that.

A Welcome Peace

Please consider Many in Rural Afghanistan Welcome an Unfamiliar Peace After Taliban Victory.

In one of the last night raids of the Afghan war, government commando units backed by combat aircraft descended after dark last month on a cluster of mud-brick villages in a fertile valley of Logar province south of Kabul.

 Eighteen cows were killed in the Aug. 10 raid, villagers say, motorbikes were burned, and an 800-year-old Muslim shrine was badly damaged.

“We were civilians, not supporting either side. Just poor people,” said Noor Rahman Khalili, a 45-year-old farmer whose leg was injured when his home was hit by the aircraft and who now walks with a crutch. “Our house got destroyed and we have lost everything,” he said.

For many in the Afghan capital and other big cities, particularly women and those who had worked with the U.S. and allies, the Taliban triumph meant the disappearance of hard-won freedoms and a personal threat. 

But in Afghanistan’s rural districts like Baraki Barak, where Taliban rules don’t differ that much from existing conservative customs, the calculation is different, particularly in the mostly Pashtun southern and eastern provinces. To villagers here, the collapse of the Afghan republic and the U.S. withdrawal mean, above all, that the guns have fallen silent for the first time in two decades.

“There was war here day and night, every day. It never ceased. The land wasn’t ours, the fields weren’t ours, the house wasn’t ours, we didn’t even have honor,” said village elder Daud Shah Khan, as he stood by the remains of the wrecked shrine. “Now, there is peace. And when someone doesn’t feel danger, doesn’t fear war, and can walk with a peace of mind, he is happy even if he is hungry,” he said.

Sixteen members of his family, Mr. Khan added, were killed during the war: three nieces, three nephews and 10 cousins. “Their graves are over there,” he said, pointing at the cemetery in the dusty field, where faded white and green flags fluttered above small gravestones.

In 2012, the top American commander in Afghanistan, Marine Gen. John Allen, flew to Logar to apologize for the killing of 18 members of a wedding party in a U.S. air strike on Baraki Barak.

In many Afghan villages, some served in the Afghan army and police, while others joined the Taliban. The Taliban have proclaimed an amnesty, and some of these former soldiers have been back to their homes after Aug. 15. “We’re Muslims, humans and Afghans, our hearts are wide enough,” said Mr. Khan, the village elder. “We forgive them all.” 

Earlier this year, the school was frequently caught in the crossfire between the Taliban and government forces. Its roof still has a hole from a rocket, its walls pockmarked by volleys of fire and mortar shrapnel. In April, two students, aged 12 and 13, were killed and eight were injured as skirmishes erupted during classes, said Abdullah Jan Abed, the boys’ school’s academic director.

Five days after the fall of Kabul, classes resumed, and Mr. Abed’s school now is teeming with hundreds of boys. The curriculum has remained the same as before, he said. The only change so far has been a small white Taliban flag that stands next to a globe on his desk.

Understanding the Rapid Surrender

To understand the rapid collapse of cities and even Kabul, just read those paragraphs. 

The US never won the hearts and minds of the locals. And if the US stayed for another two decades, nothing would change.

Out at Last! US Troops Leave Afghanistan After 20 Years

On August 30, I commented Out at Last! US Troops Leave Afghanistan After 20 Years

Here are a few excerpts.

What Went Wrong

  1. Other than to get Bin Laden, we should not have been there in the first place
  2. There was never a defined mission.
  3. The US attempted to nation build and such attempts never work.
  4. Troop reduction before getting out everyone who needed to get out.

Trump's Ironic Prophecy

  • I am thinking the same thing as I have for the last number of years.
  • What are we doing there? These people hate us.
  • As soon as we leave it's all going to blow up anyway.

If Trump could have gotten us out of Afghanistan without creating a mess, then why did he purposely leave it up to Biden to execute his plan instead of withdrawing by the end of 2020 as he originally promised?

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The US has had failed policy in Afghanistan for 20 years. There's plenty of blame for 4 administrations over that pathetic course.

The final result, owned by 4 administrations speaks for itself. But despite making a huge mess of the exit (thanks in large part by Trump), it was Biden who got us out.

Who Won?

Citing the Brown University study, the Brookings Institute concluded "In his long war against America, Osama bin Laden has won a sweeping if posthumous victory."

Laden scored a tremendous strategic victory for the cost of less than two dozen people and $500,000.

Result

  • The US engaged in two wars at the total cost of $6 trillion or more (including long-term health costs) and thousands of lives.
  • The Patriot Act weakened Constitutional protections for individuals and the rise a subtle surveillance state (as Edward Snowden first exposed).
  • The fall of Iraq (Cheney’s and Rumsfeld’s’ crazy fixation) led to ISIS when the Iraq military was disbanded. That helped to destabilize Syria.
  • Destabilization in the Middle East helped create a surge of migration to Europe which has caused major issues for Europe/EU.

Bin Laden never imagined the long-term damage those “four sorties” would cause. Even the current humiliation of the US in Afghanistan is a reverberation.

On August 26, I wrote Pakistan is the Real Winner of the Afghanistan War

Perhaps the Brookings institute has the better proposal, but looking ahead, Pakistan looks like the next big problem.

Messy Exit But Congratulations Anyway

Finally, at long last we are out.

Blame whomever you want, for whatever you want, but no more US military will lose their lives on the ground in a place we should not have been once Bin Laden was killed.

Please give thanks to that but misguided policy continues.

An Accurate Assessment 

"Biden WH, facing rage over the attack at Kabul Airport that killed 13 Marines, was desperate to do *something* -- anything -- to make Biden look tough, so they wiped out a whole family to avoid a bad news cycle accusing him of weakness."

Regarding Military Intelligence

Inept US drone policy goes on and on. People make excuses.  

Gen. Mark Milley said that the strike was “righteous.” 

Gen. McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command says "US military stands by intelligence leading to strike."

I have had enough of "sorry kids, wrong target."

Stop. Just Stop! 

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