352000 ANSF force size sham

Acknowledgement of Failure in Afghanistan Spreads Throughout US Government

Mostly abandoned $7.3 million Border Police facility in Kunduz Province, Click on photo for a larger view.

After staying out of the headlines while the military carried out its panty-sniffing investigation of his emails, General John Allen is back in today’s Washington Post in the first of what will be many valedictories of his time as commander of US forces in Afghanistan. He is the 11th commander there since 2001, so a year seems to be about all anyone can stomach. But Allen’s reappearance comes at an inauspicious time, as two different documents released yesterday show that despite the continued “we won” attitude from Allen and his minions, many of the rest of the branches of the US government (h/t to Marcy for pointing me toward both these documents) now openly admit that we have failed there.

McClatchy’s Jonathan Landay tweeted Monday afternoon: “State Dept #Afghanistan travel warning: Afghan govt has “limited ability to maintain order and ensure security.” Did White House read this?” Following up on his tweet, the travel warning paints a bleak picture of the security situation in Afghanistan:

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against travel to Afghanistan. The security threat to all U.S. citizens in Afghanistan remains critical.

/snip/

No region in Afghanistan should be considered immune from violence, and the potential exists throughout the country for hostile acts, either targeted or random, against U.S. and other Western nationals at any time. Remnants of the former Taliban regime and the al-Qaida terrorist network, as well as other groups hostile to International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) military operations, remain active.

The next sentence, though, is the most devastating and is what Landay referenced:

Afghan authorities have a limited ability to maintain order and ensure the security of Afghan citizens and foreign visitors.

As Landay asks, has the White House read this? After a long string of no longer operational explanations for why we are still in Afghanistan, the current line is that we must stay long enough to train and support the 352,000-strong Afghan National Security Force so that it can take responsibility for security as we withdraw. Although the Post article does note that the future for Afghanistan does not look good, when Allen is quoted, victory language returns, and it is in stark contrast to the State Department view of conditions:

With 11 days left in his tour, Allen says he’s proud of the growth of the Afghan security forces and the success of NATO’s troop surge in places such as southern Helmand, where four years ago the Taliban operated freely.

The State Department would appear to dispute that claim that the Taliban no longer operates freely in Helmand.

As if the State Department’s travel warning isn’t devastating enough to the Afghan war situation, a report released yesterday by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) (pdf) demonstrates that the claim that ANSF force size has achieved the 352,000 goal is a sham. The photos above depict a $7.3 million facility built by the US for Afghan Border Police in Kunduz Province. The findings of the report are devastating: Continue reading

Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel @JimWhiteGNV It amazes me CSPAN keeps renewing that series where Jack Keane says, over and over, Surge will bring Victory! @joanneleon
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emptywheel I finally found someone claiming Section 215 permits govt to "intercept communications"! https://t.co/ZvtY2EMTT2 http://t.co/Jw20bgCUgJ
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JimWhiteGNV RT @JohnFugelsang: Last Fall Michelle Duggar robocalled that trans people might molest your children. Today irony and karma got married.
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JimWhiteGNV @joanneleon @emptywheel I can't watch those things these days. I would undoubtedly just have a stroke and die from the stupid on display.
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emptywheel @dnvolz Right. So he should be deprived of all claims about this being a fix. If it were, he would have suggested it in March.
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emptywheel Everyone should take this test. As someone who has taught The Trial and knows a bit abt FISC I did horribly. http://t.co/SnpF0g66wI
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JimWhiteGNV RT @KagroX: When it comes to pronouncing acronyms, I still maintain that the "Century" in PNAC requires a "soft C" sound.
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emptywheel @dnvolz Basically all coverage of Burr's gambit to expand surveillance today should start from premise that he already missed the deadline.
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emptywheel @dnvolz Yes, which is why the claim that House can just vote on June 1 is patently false claim--unless they have slumber party.
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bmaz @OKnox @armandodkos @anitakumar01 But we love you nevertheless!
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bmaz @OKnox @armandodkos @anitakumar01 Also, after way press treated Clintons in past+is ALREADY doing again, why wouldn't they be stand-offish?
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bmaz @OKnox @armandodkos @anitakumar01 You all in the press have 17 months to do that. Chill.
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May 2015
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