No one is paying attention to this war – not even Congress – very few are asking questions – but everyone needs to care about what is happening in Afghanistan.
Lobbyists continually pressure Congress to keep war going, war is a lucrative business
According to a Pew Research Center Poll last summer, 59% of Americans want an Immediate Withdrawal from Afghanistan
If we want the war to end we must pressure our President and Congress. Call, write, email, or visit your local congressional offices. Click here to find your Senators and Representatives contact information.
- The Human Costs of War – Afghanistan – as of March 1, 2012: 1,909 U.S. service members dead and over 15,000 injured (Injuries do not include Post Traumatic Stress or Traumatic Brain Injury)
- Afghanistan is the 2nd most corrupt country in the world behind North Korea and Somalia which are tied for first place (Transparency International).Why should any more Americans die or be injured in support of the Karzai government? The Karzai government’s corruption actually pushes Afghans to the insurgency.
- We have spent (actually borrowed) $440 billion on Afghanistan alone and will spend another $113 million in 2012.
- The cost of keeping one American service member in Afghanistan costs between $850,000 and $1.4 million a year, depending on who you ask. (CNN, L. Shaughnessy)
- More U.S. Troops Killed by Afghans They Armed and Trained In 2012 (March 4, 2012 by Alex Newman)
- at least 1 out of 4 coalition troops slain in Afghanistan this year (as of March 4, 2012) was killed by Afghan security forces.
- Pentagon data cited by the Associated Press show that, since 2007, more than 75 coalition personnel have been killed by Afghan security forces and over 110 have been wounded.
- A recent Washington Post analysis revealed that the numbers are likely greater than NATO has been willing to admit.
- After $52 billion spent training and equipping the Afghan National Security forces, Pentagon officials estimate that 1% of Afghan units can operate without NATO assistance. (Afghanistan Study Group)
- Afghan Police and Afghan Army members, trained by the U.S., continue to desert in droves
- The SURGE has not worked. As we escalated the war, the insurgency fought harder and got more recruits to fight against us – Afghans consider us foreign occupiers in their homeland. (Information below from interviews with Matthew Hoh and Lt Col Davis)
- In 2011 there was a 10% increase in IED attacks from the previous high in 2010
- In 2011 there were 16,000 IED attacks against our troops – 45x a day – a record
- We have not stopped the insurgency’s momentum if they can carry out 16,000 IED attacks in one year
- 24 months BEFORE surge – 3,400 Americans killed and wounded (472 killed – the rest wounded)
- 24 months AFTER surge – 11,000 Americans killed and wounded (917 killed – the rest wounded)
- Over, 5,500 Americans killed and wounded in 2011 (418 killed – the rest wounded)
- A ratio of about 1 dead to every 10 wounded – in past wars the ratio was 1 dead to every 3 wounded
- Al-Qaeda is gone and Osama Bin Laden is dead, our presence in Afghanistan is counterproductive. It hurts our national security by creating more enemies and hurts our economy.
- A recent report by U.N. Mission in Afghanistan states that 2011 was the 5th straight year in which Afghan civilian casualties rose. We are not winning the hearts and minds of the Afghan people, so obvious in the current rioting over the burning of the Koran.
- Leaked Kabul reports state that the Taliban feel they are winning putting the U.S. in a much more difficult negotiating position
- Our military gains mean very little when up against a corrupt Karzai government and an inept Afghan police and Afghan Army – How Do We Justify Continued Sacrifice for an Unsustainable Result?
- “Our military men and women have succeeded in everything we’ve asked of them. It’s our political leaders – from both parties – who have failed us. It’s Time to Declare Victory in Afghanistan and Come Home – Before we have to Shoot our Way Out, .” KT McFarland, Feb 29, 2012
- Congress has lost sight of their responsibility to learn the truth about war, instead simply deferring to whatever the military generals recommend. Congress has not asked the hard questions getting to the truth about war, demanding that the military backup its recommendations with solid, detailed military evidence.
- “Both the Senate and House Armed Services Committees have exhibited little or no interest in probing behind the official claims of success in Afghanistan. That passive role reflects what many political observers, including some members of Congress, see as cozy relationships among most committee members, military leaders, Pentagon officials and major military contractors.” (quote from Gareth Porter article Army Officer’s Leaked Report Rips Afghan War Success Story – http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=106726
- More time, money, and resources will not change the realities in Afghanistan – end combat operations now – work toward a diplomatic political solution for Afghanistan and the region – continue humanitarian aid to independent agencies (not attached to the military) working to assist the Afghan people.
Lt. Col. Davis
- Lt. Col. Davis – a highly respected, active duty Army officer, wrote a scathing report about the actual state of affairs in Afghanistan after his recent return from Afghanistan, his 2nd tour of duty there.
- Davis was a staff officer of the “Rapid Equipping Force” traveling more than 9,000 miles to every area where U.S. troop presence was significant and had conversations with more than 250 U.S. soldiers from privates to division commanders.
- The Afghanistan Report the Pentagon Doesn’t Want you to Read – Rolling Stones, Feb 10, 2012 – http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/national-affairs/the-afghanistan-report-the-pentagon-doesnt-want-you-to-read-20120210
- Dereliction of Duty II: Senior Military Leaders’ Loss of Integrity Wounds Afghan War Effort – The Unclassified Report by Lt. Col Davis – Draft Jan 27 2012 http://www1.rollingstone.com/extras/RS_REPORT.pdf
Lt Col. Davis’ remarks:
“Senior ranking U.S. military leaders have so distorted the truth when communicating with the U.S. Congress and American people in regards to conditions on the ground in Afghanistan that the truth has become unrecognizable This deception has damaged America’s credibility among both our allies and enemies, severely limiting our ability to reach a political solution to the war in Afghanistan.”
On Afghan army and police:
”What I saw first-hand, in virtually every circumstance,” “was a barely functioning organization – often cooperating with the insurgent enemy…”
- The inaccurate assigning of the reason for the 2007 Iraq surge’s success has profound implications for our current war in Afghanistan and doubly so for the surge forces ordered by the President in late 2009.
- Had the President known the truth of what really happened in 2007 Iraq it is a virtual certainty he would not have made the decision he did in November / December 2009.
- The turning point in the Iraq War was in 2007 when the heart of the Sunni insurgency turned against Al-Qaeda and joined US forces against them, dramatically reducing the violence in Iraq almost overnight
- We did not win Sunnis to our side with COIN (protecting the population) and the surge in troops (only played a supporting role)
- In 2007 the Sunnis were fighting the U.S. – they wanted us out of their country. The Sunnis only turned to the Americans when Al-Qaeda instituted a campaign of absolute terror against the Sunnis. The Sunnis sided with Americans to stop Al-Qaeda’s slaughter of Sunnis.
- “had Al-Qaeda not turned to such brutality and begin slaughtering what ought to have been their natural Sunni allies, they would have almost certainly never come to the American’s side.”
- The National Intelligence Estimate (signed by all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies) backs up Lt. Col Davis’ claims – THE NIE finds the war in Afghanistan a “stalemate”.
- Reps. McGovern, Jones and others are calling for the release of an unclassified NIE report
- Our leaders and the American people need the truth and all the facts about Afghanistan to make informed decisions about the war.
Our troops and all Americans deserve the truth.
Lt. COL. DAVIS RECOMMENDS:
- U.S. Congress – the House and Senate Armed Services Committees – “should conduct a bi-partisan investigation into the various charges of deception or dishonesty in this report and hold broad hearings as well,” “These hearings need to include the very senior generals and former generals whom I refer to in this report so they can be given every chance to publicly give their version of events.”
- “In other words, put the generals under oath, and then see what story they tell.” (quote from Rolling Stones article author, Michael Hastings)
- Testimony should include not only senior military officials but platoon leaders, sergeants, as well as mid- and senior- level intelligence analysts from the Defense Intelligence Agency and other intelligence agencies.
Visit, call, write, or email the President and your Congressional representatives today. Tell them to end combat operations in Afghanistan now and work on a diplomatic political solution for Afghanistan and the region.