Operation “The Surge Is a Success–Bury the Afghanistan NIE”

John McCain has a narrow road to the Presidency. He has to bank on his claimed greater qualifications to be Commander-in-Chief to attract the votes of those who still believe the Global War on Terrorists and the Nations We Occupy (GWOTANWO) is our biggest concern. To win his Commander-in-Chief argument, McCain has to downplay the fact that Obama’s gradual withdrawal from Iraq is in fact the plan Maliki supports (and McCain has to hope Bush remains successful in shutting Maliki up about it), emphasize the spin that Obama has said the surge was a success, and hope no one remembers that McCain was a big hawk on the Iraq war back when we could have avoided it.

Oh, and he has to hope no one talks about how the McCain-Bush Iraq myopia led to the utter neglect of Afghanistan, thereby letting the terrorists regain a foothold in Pakistan’s tribal areas.

And to that end, the Bush Administration will not tell us what its NIE on Afghanistan says.

Officials say a draft of the classified NIE, representing the key judgments of the US intelligence community’s 17 agencies and departments, is being circulated in Washington and a final "coordination meeting" of the agencies involved, under the direction of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, is scheduled in the next few weeks.

According to people who have been briefed, the NIE will paint a "grim" picture of the situation in Afghanistan, seven years after the US invaded in an effort to dismantle the al Qaeda network and its Taliban protectors.

After all, the only way the Iraq surge can look even remotely successful is if we remain ignorant of the opportunity costs we paid to execute it.

  1. KestrelBrighteyes says:

    OFF TOPIC – Sorry, but this jumped out at me this morning and it’s haunting me. Anyone besides me getting that “oh s**t” feeling?


    Army Unit to Deploy in October for Domestic Operations

    Beginning in October, the Army plans to station an active unit inside the United States for the first time to serve as an on-call federal response in times of emergency. The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team has spent thirty-five of the last sixty months in Iraq, but now the unit is training for domestic operations. The unit will soon be under the day-to-day control of US Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command. The Army Times reports this new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to Northern Command. The paper says the Army unit may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control. The soldiers are learning to use so-called nonlethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals and crowds.

    • FrankProbst says:

      The paper says the Army unit may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control.

      It’s definitely not good, but my sense is that a lot of people are buying into the the Conventional Wisdom that angry black people all over the country are going to go on a rampage if Obama loses. The pundits seem to think that we’re going to have a nationwide version of the riots we saw after the Rodney King verdict. So this whole thing is going to be spun as “the army is on hand to protect people from Them should there be any problems with the election”.

      That being said, the obvious question is: Why is the army here while the National Guard is in Iraq?

        • dakine01 says:

          Well, it’s also possibly a move to forestall a revolt by a bunch of governors who have seen their state national guards by virtually destroyed by continuing to deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan.

          And if the governors were allowed to bring their guard outfits home, then the regular army would have to extend their deployments that much further, meaning the army would be in open revolt. The stated mission of this outfit is to basically perform a lot of the tasks that have been performed by the individual state national guard unit.

          The size of this outfit is roughly 5K total. It is not a positive move but it is also not a move that should cause everyone to go into Chicken Little mode.

  2. FrankProbst says:

    Oh, and he has to hope no one talks about how the McCain-Bush Iraq myopia led to the utter neglect of Afghanistan, thereby letting the terrorists regain a foothold in Pakistan’s tribal areas.

    Also note that our Pakistani “allies” are now shooting at us.

    • LabDancer says:

      I’ve been under the impression that it’s shortsighted to think if you shoot at someone they’re unlikely to shoot back. It would have to be explained to me how giving them billions of dollars worth of your own best weapons before you ever started shooting at them undermines that impression.

    • R.H. Green says:

      “…our Pakistani allies are now shooting at us.”

      Nothing personal to the author but I have to take exception to some of the loose languge I’m seeing here. (Note also in #3 the term “our military operations”.) The’re not shooting at me, nor at “us”; they’re shooting at an invading/intruding military force, and I don’t blame them. The way I look at is that there was no need to attack the Taliban in the first place. Sure, they are barbarians, who mistreat people, and they blew up those statues, but they didn’t attack the USA. The military adventure in the middle east took time, money, and a great deal of logistical preparation to put into effect. Without Afganistan to serve as the headfake objective, it might have been discernable that the real objective was Iraq, and discerned in time to mobilize against it. What is unfolding in Afganistan/Pakistan is the logical consequences of the Iraq war objective, and it probably will come to roost against “us”, but it isn’t us thats being shot at there now, just the American forces of Commander codpiece.

  3. FormerFed says:

    Not surprised about the Afghan NIE, the Bushies will keep everything they can behind the Green Door that tells the truth about our military operations. That is unless they can slice and dice it to their benefit like “the surge”.

    Even with “the surge” they don’t tell a complete story. Without the Sunni Awakening and Muqtada al-Sadr’s standing down of his Mahdi forces, they wouldn’t even be able to claim “the surge” was such a success.

  4. LabDancer says:

    As to the notion that hiding the NIE is in any way efficacious, more recently I’ve been under the impression the two main schools of thought on the Afghan situation are pretty well represented by the ‘reporting’ of David Ignatius on the Post, sometimes overflowing onto PBS’ Newshour, and the analysis of Juan Cole’s web-mate Barnett Rubin.

    Might it come down to simply assessing whose depiction best qualifies to be called “grim”?

  5. Minnesotachuck says:

    OT Re the previous, “We’re asking the wrong guys” thread, here are some depressing facts from Ken Silverstein at Harpers:

    What you might not know is that there have been 258 parties this year alone for members of the House Financial Services Committee-the very folks who are making crucial decisions about this legislation-a number of them hosted by lobbyists for the finance, insurance, and real estate industries.

    • LabDancer says:

      Staying with that theme and back on topic: wouldn’t you think, what with the first debate Friday being on foreign policy and all, the Dems could have at least made some low risk move to get the attention of the voters back onto Middle East Clusterfiasco #1 and Middle East Clusterfiasco #2 in advance? I mean, by this point, he must have lied right to the face of every single House rep at least once by now, and probably soul-destroying multiple number of times to every member of the Senate. After 7 and half years, with 230 plus fact witnesses in the House, 49 fact witnesses in the Senate and at least a few Republicans willing to sell their children if it would help keep them in office, even bearing in mind the irrational fear of taking on the president and the quite understandable fear of taking on the vice president, and considering his role as the Decider’s mindreader and that his fingerprints are all over every conceivable crime scene, couldn’t they have at least initiated the impeachment of Hadley?

  6. DeadLast says:

    Bush is the ultimate failure. He has failed in absolutely everything he has ever undertaken was a failure and had to be bailed out. Except maybe the Governor of Texas. Everything else: College, National Guard, Arbusto, Harkin, even the Texas Rangers (it would have failed if it were not for eminent domain providing an healthy subsidy), and now his biggest failure: The United States of America (maybe Jesus will forgive him).

    Tonight we get to see pure Shakespeare on TV. The bumbling idiot making what I hope is his last public appearance, while the audience alternates between laughing and crying. And Syria moves on Lebanon, China takes over Taiwan, and Blackwater moves operations to Paraguay and Dubai. Bush will shake his fist, pound the table, and lead a rag-tag party of whiners.

    Where are the would-be patriots? They are in shackles of mortgage and 401K indenture. And all we have to show for it is millions of flat-screen digital TVs that are totally useless if our satellite communication systems fail because no one paid the bill. At least we get to watch Bush’s Waterloo address life size in high living color definition.

  7. freepatriot says:

    now mcchicken mcsame wants to cancel the debate


    goin down



    if you ever wondered what wile e coyote would look like as a politician …

  8. freepatriot says:

    remember the Lamont campaign, when the guy made the lieber-bush statues and drove around outside joezoe tortureman’s campaign events

    can we find a chicken suit in the fdl closet

    mayday mcsame needs some companionship on the now suspended campaign trail

    can we get his canceled schedule and have a chicken appear in his place ???

  9. bobschacht says:

    Can I go slightly OT? I finally saw Beyond Treason a few days ago. It is a powerful documentary about how the U.S. for the past 40? years has been hugely mistreating its own armed services personnel, and has covered up its own involvement in chemical and biological warfare (we do what we accused Saddam of doing, but I guess its OK because he did it to HIS OWN people, while we merely are doing it to our own troops and to, you know, like foreign people.) The documentary devotes a lot of attention to the use of “depleted Uranium,” and to secret projects such as MKUltra.

    You can get a copy here, but I won’t get one red cent (or anything else) if you do.

    Its very powerful, and will probably make you mad. Again.

    Bob in HI

  10. Dismayed says:

    So we’ve helped lower violance in a nation that we occupied, that never had weapons of mass distruction, and only after most ethnic clensing has already happened, meanwhile:

    We’ve ignored Afganistan and Pakistan, allowing the problems of one to completely destabilize the other which is a NUCLEAR POWER.

    Non WMD “stable”, Nuclear Power, falling into hands of our ignored and more proximate enemy – priceless.