8:02 AM, Mar 17, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
As the war in Afghanistan winds down, commanders face the question of what to do with all that equipment. It costs too much to bring it home where it is not needed so, as Richard Sisk at DoD Buzz reports:
The U.S. has been looking to sell about 4,000 vehicles that the services have said are “in excess” of their needs — MRAPs, Humvees, medium trucks and others – to friendly countries but so far there have been few takers, said Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, commander of the coalition and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan.
One option that looks increasingly likely and unavoidable is the destruction of all this rolling stock. (At the cost of about $10,000 per vehicle.) This seems especially wasteful in the case of the MRAPs:
… (Mine Resistant/Ambush Protected) vehicles, which originally cost about $1 million apiece. If any friendly countries want to buy them, it’s an “as is-where is” deal, Dunford said. By that he meant the buyer would have to pick up the vehicles from Afghanistan, Dunford said.
One wonders … has anyone mentioned this opportunity to the Ukranians?
Perhaps we could help with the financing.
Hamid Karzai and his enemies. Feb 24, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 23 • By DAVID DEVOSS
With a presidential election less than two months away, all eyes in Afghanistan should be on the coming vote. It could be Afghanistan’s first-ever peaceful transfer of power, and 11 candidates are running. Instead, Kabul is buzzing over the actions of term-limited outgoing president Hamid Karzai, whose strange behavior confounds allies and enemies alike.
8:45 AM, Feb 10, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The war in Afghanistan is winding down and al Qaeda is on the run. Perhaps. But the war goes on.
1:16 AM, Jan 29, 2014 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
President Barack Obama delivered a State of the Union Address on Tuesday that was important less for what he said than for what it says about him.
10:37 AM, Jan 16, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
This is the year when the U.S. Military withdraws from Afghanistan. Entirely, if status-of-forces negotiations go badly. Not quite that severely if things can be worked out with the regime of President Karzai. Either way, the bases from which U.S.
Al Qaeda’s grand strategyJan 20, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 18 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
In the summer of 2008, Barack Obama, senator and presidential candidate, toured the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq. Obama had endeared himself to the antiwar left by denouncing President Bush’s decision to topple Saddam Hussein and repeatedly claiming that the war in Iraq had diverted resources from defeating al Qaeda and its allies in South Asia. Obama did not tone down this criticism even as he spoke with CBS News from Kabul on July 20, shortly before proceeding to Saddam’s former abode. “We got distracted by Iraq,” Obama said.
2:45 PM, Dec 31, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
A recent intelligence report on the future of Afghanistan, as outside support (from the U.S., largely and other NATA nations at the margins) is slowly withdrawn, is not encouraging.
11:22 AM, Dec 13, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
It is taken as a given that the Obama administration has lost interest in Afghanistan and cannot get out of that country soon enough. And that the Karzai regime is doing its part by dragging its feet on a status-of-forces agreement. But to have things come to this:
President Obama’s brain trust on Afghanistan does not know much the U.S. spends on the war each year or the American cost in lost lives on the battlefield.
3:54 PM, Dec 2, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Back when he had not been in the White House very long, President Obama called the fight in Afghanistan as “a war of necessity.” That, to distinguish it from his predecessor’s “war of choice,” in Iraq and to justify the decisions he would make and the actions he would take to make sure that the conflict in Afghanistan went our way. Among these decisions was a troop “surge,” modeled after the one that had been successful in Iraq.
10:08 AM, Nov 13, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
In a November 8 letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) warned that a contractor that had been identified with the insurgency had been granted access to a Coalition facility last November, and that the threat of further access by such contractors remains. SIGAR uncovered the information while conducting an investigation of the structural defects at the Parwan Justice Center, a new courthouse being jointly constructed by the State and Defense Departments.
12:11 PM, Oct 23, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
A recent report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) recalls the 1980s stories of $640 toilet seats and $500 hammers.
2:02 PM, Oct 13, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Secretary of State Kerry and Afghanistan's Karzai say they are this close to an agreement that will keep some U.S. forces in the country after the big, 2014 pullout. As Indira A.R. Lakshmanan & Eltaf Asefy Najafizada of Bloomberg report: