Friday, December 4, 2009

AFGHANISTAN Q&A

-How many US plus NATO and other nation’s troops are in Afghanistan right now?
ANSWER: 65,000 US + 38,000 NATO and other nations

-How many more US troops has President Obama committed to send there?
ANSWER: 30,000

-How many more NATO and other nations troops have been committed to Afghanistan?
ANSWER: 7,500

-What will be the total troop strength of US/NATO and other nations in Afghanistan?
ANSWER: 140,500

-How many fighters does the Taliban have in Afghanistan?
ANSWER: 25,000 (US Govt. report 10/2009)

-Say again?
ANSWER: 25,000

-What are the main weapons of the 25,000 Taliban?
ANSWER: small arms (rifles) and IEDs

-What exactly are IEDs?
ANSWER: homemade bombs

-What are the main weapons of the US and NATO forces?
ANSWER: a full range of all the most modern and most expensive weapons of war including advanced technology, artillery and the latest in fighter aircraft, both fixed-wing and helicopters, plus unmanned drones capable of dropping bombs computer/satellite guided in real-time from US bases 8,000 miles from the target.

-How much does all this cost the US?
ANSWER: billions of dollars a year

-How much does it cost the Taliban to keep its fighters in the field?
ANSWER: nobody knows

-How long have we (the US & NATO) been training the Afghans to defend themselves?
ANSWER: 8 years

-How much money has the US spent training the Afghans to “stand up”?
ANSWER: tens of billions

-Are the Afghans ready yet to “stand up” and defend themselves?
ANSWER: no

-When will the Afghans be ready?
ANSWER: nobody knows

-How much money does the Taliban spend training its forces?
ANSWER: there is no record or evidence of any Taliban training

- If the US has been funding and training the Afghans, which nations have been funding and training the Taliban fighters and where do they do this?
ANSWER: there is no record or evidence of any Taliban training or any funding

-Without a nation/sponsor or known funding, how then are the Taliban able to conduct a war for 8 years against the US and NATO?
ANSWER: nobody knows

-How much does it cost the Taliban to fight every year?
ANSWER: nobody knows

-Where does the Taliban get its money? (It has to have some money, doesn't it?)
ANSWER: supposedly from the Afghan drug trade - heroin

-But… isn’t the biggest “drug lord” in Afghanistan the President’s own brother?
ANSWER: yes

-Is President Karzai’s brother or perhaps President Karzai himself helping the Taliban?
ANSWER: good question

-What about the "real enemy" al Queda – how many of them are in Afghanistan?
ANSWER: according to the US Government there are maybe 100 of them there

-Wait a minute! Did I miss some zeros in the last answer? 100? Really?
ANSWER: no missing zeros – only about 100 al Queda still in Afghanistan

-Why can’t 140,500 of the world's best-equipped military troops defeat 100 al Queda and 25,000 Taliban insurgents armed with rifles and homemade bombs who use donkeys, not helicopters, for transportation?
ANSWER: you tell me… nobody seems to know

-Why are we still in Afghanistan – and increasing our multi-billion dollar military presence there?
ANSWER: according to President Obama, we are there to stabilize Pakistan

-What? Are you sure that’s what he said?
ANSWER: yes, that’s what he said

-When will the last US soldier die in Afghanistan and all US troops come home?
ANSWER: nobody knows

4 comments:

jastover said...

Papa:

1) The fact that no one knows exactly how and by whom the Taliban are funded is not evidence they are NOT FUNDED.

2) The distinctions between the Quetta Shura Taliban and Al Qaeda are no longer clear either, since both are primarily based in Pakistan.

3) I doubt anyone has been training any Afghan army for very long...there really isn't much of one...nor does the authority of the Afghan government extend far beyond Kabul and Khandahar. The rest of the country is more or less governed(?) by a mix of tribes and warlords, many of whom have grievances with each other dating back centuries.

4) Does Afghanistan give indications of another quagmire?? YES!!! But a quagmire within which the Taliban and Al Qaeda can easily assassinate warlords, tribal leaders, and intimidate the rest, thereby creating very safe havens from which to operate against the ISAF and Karzai's government.

5) Should we just ignore Afghanistan because it's too messy and difficult with which to deal?? ONLY AT OUR OWN PERIL!

jastover

jastover said...

And a follow up: Papa wrote:

ANSWER: a full range of all the most modern and most expensive weapons of war including advanced technology, artillery and the latest in fighter aircraft, both fixed-wing and helicopters, plus unmanned drones capable of dropping bombs computer/satellite guided in real-time from US bases 8,000 miles from the target.

All very true, but that's not the kind of forces which are targeted for Afghanistan. It will be 'feet on the ground'...and the same kind of forces used in the Iraqi "surge" in which we penetrated, encamped, and defended various neighborhoods, ensuring their safety and loyalty.

To the extent that we need to use the "Buck Roger's" stuff, it's already in place.

jastover

papadablogger said...

jastover... answer these quick questions:
1. How much more money would you be willing to spend in Afghanistan? (please reply with a number)
2. How much longer are you prepared to keep US troops in Afghanistan? (please reply with a number)
3. How many more American lives (not one of them being either yours or one of your family) are you willing to lose in Afghanistan? (please reply with a number)
Thanks...

Papa

aranazo said...

I recall a figure given somewhere that the going daily rate for a Taliban fighter is about $20 a day, a couple of orders of magnitude cheaper than a US infantry man. As Kipling said "The odds are on the cheaper man".