Incompetence, haste costs US $80 million and consulate in Northern Afghanistan; Update: CODEL reports Taliban gaining strength

posted at 5:01 pm on May 6, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

The city of Mazar-e-Sharif rests in the middle of what used to be Northern Alliance territory in Afghanistan, dominated by ethnic Tajiks, Turkomen, and Uzbeks, and far from the major fighting among the Pashtun-heavy areas to the south.  With the northern part of Afghanistan mainly secured, the late Richard Holbrooke proposed in 2009 to build a consulate quickly in the area’s most important city, as a means of expressing American commitment to the country.  Three years later, the project mostly demonstrates American incompetence and wasteful attitude towards funding, and the project looks permanently derailed:

After signing a 10-year lease and spending more than $80 million on a site envisioned as the United States’ diplomatic hub in northern Afghanistan, American officials say they have abandoned their plans, deeming the location for the proposed compound too dangerous.

Eager to raise an American flag and open a consulate in a bustling downtown district of the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e Sharif, officials in 2009 sought waivers to stringent State Department building rules and overlooked significant security problems at the site, documents show. The problems included relying on local building techniques that made the compound vulnerable to a car bombing, according to an assessment by the U.S. Embassy in Kabul that was obtained by The Washington Post.

Be sure to read it all, as it is a tale of incompetence and corner-cutting, but there are a couple of points to highlight.  First, the geniuses in charge of the project managed to pick the one spot surrounded by panoramic high ground.  The overlook of the consulate location from high vantage points goes 360 degrees.  But even worse, the location gave no way for US forces to respond effectively in an emergency:

“The entire compound is surrounded by buildings with overwatch and there is almost no space on the compound that cannot be watched, or fired upon, from an elevated position outside the compound,” Kelly wrote.

Responding effectively to an emergency at the consulate would be next to impossible, Kelly noted, because the facility does not have space for a Black Hawk helicopter to land. It would take a military emergency response team 11 / 2 to 2 hours to reach the site “under good conditions,” he said.

The construction issues could have been fixed.  The decision to park an American consulate in such a location suggests a special kind of stupid that could easily have been fatal had plans continued through to fruition.  As it is, the US now will own a lease on this spot for the next several years, with no purpose whatsoever, and $80 million has been flushed down the drain.  On top of that, we now look weak and vacillating in an area where sentiment towards the US should have been positive.

Smart power.

Update: And here’s more good news:

As 10,000 U.S. troops prepare to leave the Afghanistan over the next six months, two top lawmakers, just back from a trip to the region, on the House and Senate Intelligence Committee said they are concerned that the Taliban is growing stronger.

“I think we both say that what we found is the Taliban is stronger,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, agreed with her assessment.

This display of weakness won’t help, either.

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It’ll be the Taliban HQ in two years.

Akzed on May 6, 2012 at 5:04 PM

The Taliban is waiting them out and getting stronger.

Plus, I’m waiting for Obama, Biden and Hillary to condemn the new shariah, co-signed by Karzai and the Taliban.

Crickets!

Lefties, here and everywhere, you have blood on your hands.

Schadenfreude on May 6, 2012 at 5:05 PM

You’re getting it wrong.

Here’s how it works:

.

/Obama Administration Smart Powers, ACTIVATE!

… dammit, activate, will ya? Please? Sheesh. No wonder nobody shows up at our smart power rallies anymore. Harumph.

Key West Reader on May 6, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Did my memory fail me or did bho say he/team was talking to these slugs and everything was going to be A OK?

Better get dear hill there stat with billions to stop this till election time for bho? We can’t have bho look bad now can we?
L

letget on May 6, 2012 at 5:14 PM

…it’s Booooooshes fault!

…Hillary will be discussing the problem with Tingles on MSLSD

KOOLAID2 on May 6, 2012 at 5:16 PM

“The US will leave Afghan as responsible as we left Iraq.”

Electrongod on May 6, 2012 at 5:18 PM

“Helloooow, Tahl-ee-bahn? It’s me Buh-Rock”.

Hullow?

Pick up, Tahl-ee-bahn!

“Helloooow, Buh-Rock to deh Tahl-ee-bahn”

/Hillary? They’re not picking up.

Key West Reader on May 6, 2012 at 5:18 PM

cripe

EPIC FAIL

dear leader’s mission accomplished…

cmsinaz on May 6, 2012 at 5:19 PM

On top of that, we now look weak and vacillating in an area where sentiment towards the US should have been positive.

The consequences of all Obama’s failures in both Iraq and Afghanistan will be pretty ugly. Not to mention Iran.

dogsoldier on May 6, 2012 at 5:19 PM

Key West Reader on May 6, 2012 at 5:18 PM

heh

cmsinaz on May 6, 2012 at 5:19 PM

Hey we waste money on things like Food Stamps and Pell grants why not on this consulate?

/

CW on May 6, 2012 at 5:20 PM

Hmmmmm, that little beam in and out of Afghanistan is starting to look like W’s “Mission Accomplished” sign without the cool flight suit.

Cindy Munford on May 6, 2012 at 5:22 PM

Well it appears that a al quaeda Cole murderer was killed?

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/05/06/airstrike-kills-al-qaeda-leader-wanted-in-uss-cole-bombing-yemeni-officials-say/
L

letget on May 6, 2012 at 5:22 PM

This is going to be on “60 Minutes” right?

LeftCoastRight on May 6, 2012 at 5:23 PM

Waitimg for the Obama lickers to roll in and rationalize explain it all to us.

a capella on May 6, 2012 at 5:26 PM

Didn’t Obowma just make a speech from Afghanistan telling us everything was hunky-dory…?

… Geesh, too bad this isn’t an election year.

/

Seven Percent Solution on May 6, 2012 at 5:26 PM

But over the last three years, the tide has turned. We broke the Taliban’s momentum. We’ve built strong Afghan Security Forces.

Barry was saying that on Tuesday after spending a bundle of taxpayer’s money flying to Afghanistan for a photo-op. You mean what he said was not true? Do you mean it is a rainy day in Manhattan?

galtani on May 6, 2012 at 5:28 PM

S-M-R-T !!!!!
S-M-R-T !!!!!
D’Oh !!!

ExpressoBold on May 6, 2012 at 5:28 PM

I guess Dear Receiver needs to stop spiking the ball and get back in the game.

Electrongod on May 6, 2012 at 5:28 PM

Incompetence is the primary hallmark of this administration.

crosspatch on May 6, 2012 at 5:30 PM

obama can screw up a — dream………..

crosshugger on May 6, 2012 at 5:31 PM

I guess Dear Receiver needs to stop spiking the ball and get back in the game.

Electrongod on May 6, 2012 at 5:28 PM

Reminds me of those videos where the guy goes to spike the ball a yard shy of the endzone and the defensive player knocks the ball out of the runner’s hands or this which is possibly a bigger fail. Heh or even this.

CW on May 6, 2012 at 5:35 PM

This man’s F**k-ups are going to cost us and the world quite a bit of blood and treasure, many of the consequences have not even been talked about yet.

What are our interest payments on 16 trillion in debt going to be if our rates return to anywhere near the historic norm? Right now they are effectively zero.

$4 gas will tip us into another recession, no matter who gets elected. What sane major company would expand operations in the US, even if allowed to, with Obamacare and Taxamageddon and the EPA hanging over their heads. It will takes years to fix these problems, even without Democrats fighting tooth and nail against it all the way.

Obama is a LOCK in november. Suck it Wingnutz.

Mord on May 6, 2012 at 5:35 PM

obama can screw up a — dream………..

crosshugger on May 6, 2012 at 5:31 PM

Good dream?

CW on May 6, 2012 at 5:35 PM

OT: At least France’s socialist is honest about it…
Sarkozy concedes.

d1carter on May 6, 2012 at 5:39 PM

First, the geniuses in charge of the project managed to pick the one spot surrounded by panoramic high ground. The overlook of the consulate location from high vantage points goes 360 degrees.

Seriously? I mean, I wasn’t alive at the time, but this screams Dien Bien Phu. How do you not try to hold the high ground?

rbj on May 6, 2012 at 5:39 PM

This display of weakness won’t help, either.

Staying in Operation Enduring Insanity/Trillion Dollar Bridge to Nowhere in Afcrapistan for over 10 years now (officially the longest war in U.S. history) is a display of … … shear stupidity, if not utter madness.

VorDaj on May 6, 2012 at 5:41 PM

A complete waste of blood and treasure for this nation.

We didn’t fight this war to win……we fought it for politically correct purposes.

Bush wasted 7 1/2 years there, and Obama has wasted 3 1/2 with more to come apparently.

Waste. Disgusting.

PappyD61 on May 6, 2012 at 5:43 PM

Schadenfreude on May 6, 2012 at 5:05 PM

I’ve never forgiven the Left for trying to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in Iraq (“The war is lost.” Harry Reid) to score points with their base during elections at the cost of our troops in the field yet try to claim Iraq as some kind of political victory now because the troops have been pulled out with a semblance of stability in Iraq.

I don’t just disagree with them for that, I despise them.

Yakko77 on May 6, 2012 at 5:45 PM

Let’s look at the bright side. The troops are using solar power at some outposts.

Wigglesworth on May 6, 2012 at 5:45 PM

Thousands of Americans maimed, and mutilated for the sake of a bunch of 7th century goat herders that are happy to treat women like dogs and grow opium to destroy their lives and others.

Yes, let’s pour a trillion dollars into this hellhole.


This $80 mil is a drop in the bucket.

PappyD61 on May 6, 2012 at 5:45 PM

Iraq is now an ally of Iran and has been for years. As of several years ago 2/3 of Iraq’s Christians had been ethnically cleansed from Iraq. They have a U.S. sponsored Islamic Law (Shariah) constitution. Around 5,000 Americans were killed there. I am quite sure the Iranian leadership is very pleased.

VorDaj on May 6, 2012 at 5:49 PM

Seriously? I mean, I wasn’t alive at the time, but this screams Dien Bien Phu. How do you not try to hold the high ground?

rbj on May 6, 2012 at 5:39 PM

I was alive at the time…

… and the answer is always the same.

Democrats…

Seven Percent Solution on May 6, 2012 at 5:53 PM

Hell of a time for Obama to be sending mixed signals to our troops and encouraging news to the Taliban. My son is returning for his fifth tour next month. It rattles the nerves and doesn’t get any easier over time. While they aren’t allowed to say so publicly, many of our brave fighting men have little faith in our Celebrity-in-Chief. Not so when Bush was running the show. My son has served under both, and the difference is palatable.

fogw on May 6, 2012 at 5:53 PM

Must have been one of those ‘shovel ready jobs’ that Barry was always talking about.

GarandFan on May 6, 2012 at 5:54 PM

It’s 3am…

txhsmom on May 6, 2012 at 5:55 PM

the late Richard Holbrooke proposed in 2009 to build a consulate quickly in the area’s most important city, as a means of expressing American commitment to the country.

Holbrooke always was an arrogant pompous fool.

Hey, let’s do some nation-building and turn the consulate into a Walmart Supercenter.

#BetterUsesForTheAfghanConsulate?

petefrt on May 6, 2012 at 5:56 PM

fogw on May 6, 2012 at 5:53 PM

God bless your family, especially your son.

txhsmom on May 6, 2012 at 5:57 PM

Thank you txhsmom. He’s a warrior who loves his country and his job.

fogw on May 6, 2012 at 6:02 PM

Obama’s diplomatic Power Rangers?

More like The Powerpuff Girls, out to save the world before bedtime.

A Consulate serves three fairly standard purposes:

One is to serve US Citizens residing in a foreign country.

The second is to issue visas and otherwise assist foreigners coming to the US as immigrants or businessmen or tourists or students.

The third, at least back in the old days, was to provide “cover” for various US intel personnel.

[Yes, there is showing the flag thing…but…not at this price. $80 million? That’s just stupid.]
.

Now…let’s take a look at all the consulate locations in Afghanistan.

Kabul,: Embassy/consular section…not much ado about that one.

Mazar-i-Sharif: Consulate, big one, $80mil.

How many hundreds and hundreds of expat Americans are residing in Mazar-i-Sharif these days?

How many expected?

How many tourists, businessmen, students and immigrants we intend to funnel through Mazar-i-Sharif FY 2013?

Beyond FY2013?

And, if they are planning on using it to provide “cover”…fella, that is dumb…especially in these times.

Same for Herat, Kandahar and Jallalahbad.

Compare the expense of Mazar-i-Sharif to most US Consulates in fairly benign places….Melbourne, or Pusan, Munich, Chennai, Vancouver and so forth, places where we have Americans residing, want to do business, have universities and real students wanting to come here. Or have a pool of desirable or needed immigrants with skills, talents, and can adapt easily to life here…seriously, an actual consideration.

All of these actual and proposed consulates across Afghanistan, just seems, well, kinda dumb.

But, I blame Haliburton. :-)

coldwarrior on May 6, 2012 at 6:04 PM

80 Million? Chump change, after all it’s an Obama world.

jeffinsjvca on May 6, 2012 at 6:07 PM

It would seem that the Taliban was not very impressed when Obama made his great great speech in Egypt. Come on Obama has made some great speeches. Maybe if Obama sent the Taliban I-Pods with Obama speeches the Taliban would understand how great Obama is and why they should respect Obama.

DVPTexFla on May 6, 2012 at 6:08 PM

Bet the Taliban loved Obama’s Kabul speech last week…first official observation of “I Killed Osama Day.”

Solid and resolute. The Taliban, not Obama.

[Did Obama know beforehand that at least two dozen Taliban “negotiators/friendlies” were murdered by other less friendly Taliban forces before Obama’s Kabul speech….just because they were talking to the US?]

coldwarrior on May 6, 2012 at 6:14 PM

I don’t know if this says more about: 1) the incompetence of the U.S. government or 2) our hopeless position in Afghanistan.

We need to get out NOW!!!

bw222 on May 6, 2012 at 6:18 PM

A complete waste of blood and treasure for this nation.

We didn’t fight this war to win……we fought it for politically correct purposes.

Bush wasted 7 1/2 years there, and Obama has wasted 3 1/2 with more to come apparently.

Waste. Disgusting.

PappyD61 on May 6, 2012 at 5:43 PM

You’re right, and this waste is only the tip of the iceberg. $80 is an incredibly small sum compared to what’s already been ‘invested’ in building infrastructure throughout that country.

bayam on May 6, 2012 at 6:23 PM

It is agreed that the Kenyan Traitor has sold out the American military trying to receive credit for their accomplishments while undermining them at every opportunity! Overlooked is his disdain for the American taxpayers who have paid mightily for victories in these wars. Americans have sent their sons, daughters, cousins, neighbors, etc. into the battles many of whom seem to have died or been maimed just so the Communist CIC can play politics with their treasure and good faith!!Obama dishonors us all by turning victory into defeat in order to have more money for reparations and welfare!! He really should be impeached!! Remember in November!!

Marco on May 6, 2012 at 6:27 PM

I hate it when I’m right.

kingsjester on May 6, 2012 at 6:28 PM

I guess Dear Receiver needs to stop spiking the ball and get back in the game.

Electrongod on May 6, 2012 at 5:28 PM

You mean good old Double Zero – Ochocinco Obama?

bw222 on May 6, 2012 at 6:33 PM

Hullow? Tahl-ee-bahn?

I thought we had a deal!

Hullow? Hull… awwe, dangit.

/Obama. He’s smart.

Key West Reader on May 6, 2012 at 6:38 PM

mudskipper on May 6, 2012 at 6:33 PM

Obama apparently did not want to “waste” wasting Osama for the mid-term election campaign. Had to save it for his own election campaign.

coldwarrior on May 6, 2012 at 6:39 PM

As it is, the US now will own a lease on this spot for the next several years, with no purpose whatsoever, and $80 million has been flushed down the drain. On top of that, we now look weak and vacillating in an area where sentiment towards the US should have been positive.

We could put in a good BBQ joint…

trigon on May 6, 2012 at 6:40 PM

“Herrow, Obama? Dis the Tari-Bahn. You want talk? We talk. About you. Here in China. You what call laffy-man”

Aha! Tuna

Key West Reader on May 6, 2012 at 6:40 PM

You’re right, and this waste is only the tip of the iceberg. $80 is an incredibly small sum compared to what’s already been ‘invested’ in building infrastructure throughout that country.

bayam on May 6, 2012 at 6:23 PM

building “infrastructure” for the goat herders and Opium dealers to get their animals and drugs to Pah-Kee-Stahn quicker, beautiful.

Man cannot rule himself, we have more proof everyday.

PappyD61 on May 6, 2012 at 6:43 PM

“Herrow, Obama? Dis is Columbian hookah. Si. She say you stupid like secret service man. And cheap. She no pay you no more never mind evah again. She say you big lie”. You hang up phone, but we call back. Tell Michelle.

Key West Reader on May 6, 2012 at 6:43 PM

“Herrow, Obamam? Where we give you signs? You order 72,000 signs and only 14,000 white people show up. You order sign. You pay for sign. You owe me $58,000. You pay now. And tell wife all you can eat buffet not mean stay all day eat way to China buffet.

Humph.

Key West Reader on May 6, 2012 at 6:47 PM

PappyD61 on May 6, 2012 at 6:43 PM

Build infrastructure?

Maybe all those new roads and stuff are designed to help get a new government up and running in Afghanistan.

Have you given that any thought?

Really?

I mean, last time the Taliban moved into Afghanistan and finally took over in Kabul, it took them years…years.

This next time, with nice roads and such….couple months, tops.

coldwarrior on May 6, 2012 at 6:50 PM

This man’s F**k-ups are going to cost us and the world quite a bit of blood and treasure, many of the consequences have not even been talked about yet.

What are our interest payments on 16 trillion in debt going to be if our rates return to anywhere near the historic norm? Right now they are effectively zero.

$4 gas will tip us into another recession, no matter who gets elected. What sane major company would expand operations in the US, even if allowed to, with Obamacare and Taxamageddon and the EPA hanging over their heads. It will takes years to fix these problems, even without Democrats fighting tooth and nail against it all the way.

Obama is a LOCK in november. Suck it Wingnutz.

Mord on May 6, 2012 at 5:35 PM

Hush up, dude. You’re harshing my DWTS buzz. Where’s the teat again?

/<—- for the slow

kim roy on May 6, 2012 at 7:07 PM

The Taliban are getting stronger. The Obama administration has no problem with the Taliban being a part of the Afghani government. This should provide all the enabling that al-Qaeda needs; a few more years and they will be back to full strength, once they have what they can use as a ‘homeland’.

By his efforts, policies, and diplomacy, Obama has managed to set the stage for completely undoing one of the principle goals of the GWoT, and destroying the entire effort of the past 10 years.

And the women of Afghanistan will be re-enslaved. How could they have dared to go to school, get educated, walk around freely, open business, and all? They trusted the USA, and that trust has been betrayed. The payback – closed schools, acid, whipping, enslavement, confinement, relegation to chattel property – the Talibani payback will be brutal.

God help the women of Afghanistan, because Allah sure as hell won’t.

ss396 on May 6, 2012 at 7:29 PM

“The US will leave Afghan as responsible as we left Iraq.”

Electrongod on May 6, 2012 at 5:18 PM

..and like they left Viet Nam..

The War Planner on May 6, 2012 at 7:31 PM

“Herrow, Obama? Dis is Columbian hookah. Si. She say you stupid like secret service man. And cheap. She no pay you no more never mind evah again. She say you big lie”. You hang up phone, but we call back. Tell Michelle.

Key West Reader on May 6, 2012 at 6:43 PM

“Herrow, Obamam? Where we give you signs? You order 72,000 signs and only 14,000 white people show up. You order sign. You pay for sign. You owe me $58,000. You pay now. And tell wife all you can eat buffet not mean stay all day eat way to China buffet.

Humph.

Key West Reader on May 6, 2012 at 6:47 PM

..even before my Sunday evening G&T, this is funny! You’re too much, KWR! Except you need to work on those accents, old son. Your Columbian hooker sounds like that lady of the evening in Full Metal Jacket.

“..me so hohny! Me so hohny!”

The War Planner on May 6, 2012 at 7:36 PM

We didn’t fight this war to win……we fought it for politically correct purposes.

Bush wasted 7 1/2 years there, and Obama has wasted 3 1/2 with more to come apparently.

Waste. Disgusting.

PappyD61 on May 6, 2012 at 5:43 PM

..yeah, but Bush left the ‘Stan “manageable” — the “good” war as Obama characterized it — and Obama threw over Iraq for that and then made a pig’s breakfast out of it by ignoring his commanders, dithering, and all of that.

The War Planner on May 6, 2012 at 7:44 PM

The number of total US casualties had risen to its highest rate of the war in October 2011, despite the infusion of 30,000 additional Soldiers 18 months ago.

From 1 January 2010 to 30 September 2010, we suffered a total of 4,155 casualties (363 killed and 3,792 wounded). From 1 January 2011 to 30 September 2011 the enemy inflicted 4,662 casualties on American forces (353 killed and 4,309 wounded).

An interesting observation that is difficult to explain: General Stanly McChrystal warned in the famously leaked 66-page report in September 2009 that we either surge more troops or we risked losing.

In order to understand what led General McChrystal in part to arrive at this stark conclusion, let’s look at the casualty rate comparing January-September 2008 to January-September 2009. What we discover is that in fact the total casualty rate jumped 48% from 2008 to 2009. When you look at the numbers making up that percentage increase, however, and compare it with the number of casualties we’ve suffered in the two years since, you discover that;

1. The Taliban survived the near-annihilation inflicted on it by the US in the immediate aftermath of 9/11;

2. Between 2005 and 2009 the Taliban increased in strength and capacity, despite an annual increase in American and later NATO troop strength;

3. After General Stanley McChrystal warned in 2009 that we were in danger of losing the war, we surged a combined 40,000 additional US and NATO troops, bringing the total number of uniformed ISAF personnel to more than 150,000;

4. Despite this surge of men and material, the Taliban weathered this storm also and somehow managed to continue increasing both in terms of number of attacks and numbers of casualties inflicted on NATO;

5. We have already withdrawn 10,000 surge troops and over the next nine months will pull out the next 23,000 (along with a withdrawal conducted by our allies of some of their troops).

6. After all the foregoing, the American people are being asked to expect that with the removal of the surge troops that General McChrystal said were necessary to prevent defeat and which in fact failed to accomplish the objectives on which they were deployed in the first place, that somehow the Taliban will now fail!

JustTheFacts on May 6, 2012 at 8:08 PM

FIRST:
In 2009 General McChrystal suggested our mission was in peril as evidenced by the growing casualty and violence rates in effect at the time. But when one examines the casualty rates over time we discover there is an interesting nexus, a direct correlation between that rise in losses and the rise in troop strength.
http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=5345009n

69% in new NYT/CBS poll say U.S. should not be fighting in Afghanistan
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/27/world/asia/support-for-afghan-war-falls-in-us-poll-finds.html

Rasmussen: Majority want an immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan
Only 29% of voters think of Afghanistan as a “vital national security interest” any more; literally no demographics in this poll think otherwise, majority or plurality.

If Afghanistan is not a vital national security interest any longer, then most people would draw the rational conclusion that the reward hardly matches the risks and the costs of continuing the effort.
http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/afghanistan/53_favor_immediate_withdrawal_of_all_u_s_forces_from_afghanistan

The U.S. military said in a secret report that the Taliban, backed by Pakistan, are set to retake control of Afghanistan after NATO-led forces withdraw, raising the prospect of a major failure of Western policy after a costly war…
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/taliban-poised-to-retake-afghanistan-after-nato-pullout-report/article2322130/

According to the BBC, the report also describes “unprecedented interest” by Afghans, including members of the Afghan government.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-16821218

James Joyner’s short piece at the Atlantic arguing that the war now seems like a lost cause, in which case we might as well save American lives by giving up in 2013 instead of in 2014.

SECOND:
Taliban suspends peace talks with U.S.
“The problem with the talks is that the U.S. is talking from the position of a winner, but we are in the position of victors, so the U.S. should meet our demands.” http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/03/15/afghanistan-s-karzai-and-taliban-to-u-s-go-away-and-shut-up.html

“The Taliban also believe that the U.S. mission in Afghanistan is in disarray and their hardliners want to take advantage of that by launching a new fighting season.” http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/taliban-suspends-talks-us_633947.html?nopager=1

The Taliban CURRENTLY have more of Afghanistan under their control than they did BEFORE the US invasion.

This is why the US is complying with the Taliban’s demands. No matter how you look at it the US has lost the war.

JustTheFacts on May 6, 2012 at 8:20 PM

To paraphrase Will Smith in MIB, when Teh One snaps on those sharp shades and that trim black tee, he can say “Yea, but I make Epic Fail look cool…”

These people really aren’t going to notice the problems.

eeyore on May 6, 2012 at 9:21 PM

“I think we both say that what we found is the Taliban is stronger,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Events, dear boy, events! British PM Harold MacMillan supposedly gave this answer to the question, “What do politicians fear?” Obama’s chickens are coming home to roost.

Oh, and another thing. Remember when the press was in such a lather to publish photos of the caskets coming in from overseas? Funny, they don’t seem to be so interested in that anymore.

smellthecoffee on May 6, 2012 at 9:31 PM

To paraphrase Will Smith in MIB, when Teh One snaps on those sharp shades and that trim black tee, he can say “Yea, but I make Epic Fail look cool…”
These people really aren’t going to notice the problems.
eeyore on May 6, 2012 at 9:21 PM

Comrade 0 makes Epic Fail look routine…

affenhauer on May 6, 2012 at 10:09 PM

“The entire compound is surrounded by buildings with overwatch and there is almost no space on the compound that cannot be watched, or fired upon, from an elevated position outside the compound,” Kelly wrote.

Everyone from the PM on up should be summarily dismissed.

This goes well beyond incompetence and straight through negligence.

CorporatePiggy on May 6, 2012 at 10:37 PM

proposed in 2009

All you need to know.

Kenosha Kid on May 6, 2012 at 11:25 PM

are concerned that the Taliban is growing stronger.

Were negotiating with them so its ok./

tommer74 on May 6, 2012 at 11:35 PM

That should be We’re.

tommer74 on May 6, 2012 at 11:42 PM

bayam on May 6, 2012 at 6:23 PM

….but your hero said he had a “smarter plan” and would win the “good war”…
……what happened?????

…………I mean really….why would the architect of “smart power” be worried about the Taliban gaining more power…
…..he says “the Taliban are not our enemy”…..
………….he!!…Obama said the “War on Terror” is over…..
He killed Bin Laden dont’cha know.

Yea…I remember all those democrats yelling and screaming for years how “dumb” and “stupid” Bush was …even when he won the war in Iraq they claimed was “lost”. All we heard was how Obama was going to save the day now that somebody “smart” was in the White House…..

Remember this:

This is what Obama says:

Losing is not an option

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZRspJg1VYA

I will . . . finish the fight against al-Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Barack Obama

…instead we got a President who took over a year to enact this fantastic plan that it turned out never existed….having to wait on firing one of his Generals only to jump to Petreaus…the General that orchestrated the successful surge that Obama claimed would not work.
Even then Obama only accepted the lowest troop level plan that only enabled our Military to clear and hold the South..leaving the East and North open for the Taliban to run to(along with running to Pakistan).
He proceeded to compound this by doing nothing but talk about “exit dates”..never about victory or the consequences of losing.
Then Obama started pulling troops and declaring “peace talks” with the Taliban….the same kind of agreements that the Taliban have never honored.
We get spin like “we are taking out al-qeada” as if they are not attached to the hip of the Taliban and share the same goals…….
……Then we get “The Taliban is not our enemy” nonsense that I am sure every Soldier just loves to hear as there brothers and sisters are gunned down and bombed by them.All in an attempt to claim some kind of faux victory while Obama runs to the exits.
This is a disaster of Obama’s making and the loss of this war sits firmly on his shoulders.
Every move Obama has made in this war has been based on what benefits him politically….not on the success of the mission or what is best for the security of America.

Herschel Smith at Small War Journal makes a great point:

On January 23, 2012 at 1:35 am, Herschel Smith said:

Sir, rest assured that at some point in the future we will regret this. I don’t subscribe to the “Taliban are no ally of al Qaeda” narrative. We will encounter problems and sustain risk that we don’t want. But at the current time, I see no other alternative. America isn’t ready to fight this fight. We aren’t ready to fight militant Islam on our own terms, and so we will fight it on their terms. We will suffer for it.

…Obama is going to leave our enemies in Afghanistan stronger than when we came in after 9/11.There is no doubt this is a disaster for the security of our Country and how we will deal with the threat of radical Islam in the future.Nothing will have emboldened the terrorist and massively increased the recruitment of other muslims to join the jihad like defeating the “great satan” in Afghanistan.This enemy is not going away and we will have to fight them again in the future except they will be much stronger and better armed (especially with Egypt,Libya,Yemen,Somali being taken over by the jihadist and joining the fight).

Obama’s legacy will be that radical islam will have gained more power and control under his Presidency than at any time in modern history.

Obama killed Osama but lost the war……

Baxter Greene on May 7, 2012 at 1:50 AM

“I think we both say that what we found is the Taliban is stronger,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

…So we are losing ground with tens of thousands of troops on the ground but somehow Joe Biden and the Obama White House think that “using drones and special ops” will save the day after we withdraw…..

…going to rank right up there with Biden’s “let’s divide Iraq up into 3 pieces” and Obama’s ” the surge will not work..it will actually make things worse”.

What a Clown show Obama is running up there on Capital Hill.

Baxter Greene on May 7, 2012 at 1:57 AM

Funny how the “update” article up top leaves out this important paragraph that you will find at this link:

Feinstein, Rogers agree the Taliban is stronger

(CNN Political Ticker)

Rogers, agreeing with her on the Taliban’s impact, added other reasons for what he assessed as the group’s increasing strength.
“This is a huge problem. And what we have found is maybe the policies, the announced date of withdrawal, the negotiations with the Taliban, have worked against what our endgame is here,” Rogers said.
He added: “And we ought to have a hard discussion about saying, listen, war is when one side wins and one side loses.”

….going to go out on a limb and guess that the updated article left this out for the same reason’s SNL went full on whussie and ditched the Obama skit.Must protect the One.

This certainly sheds some light on how the jihadist view “Obama’s exit dates” strategy:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/374565/al-qaedas-revenge-in-bajaur/

A Mohmand cleric, Maulvi Faqir Muhammad arose as the al Qaeda-backed leader of the Taliban in Bajaur, who has escaped capture for the last six years, although it was rumoured earlier this year that he may have been killed. He is an important commander with approximately 3,000 warriors under his wing and is expected to fight the post-withdrawal war in Afghanistan.

..Yes…the same al-qaeda that Obama and his followers are bragging about being “defeated” are not only regrouping…but actually have a name and plan for the fight after Obama’s surrender there……”Post-withdrawal war”.
Catchy…..but I’m betting not what Obama was counting on to add to his “smart power” resume’.

Baxter Greene on May 7, 2012 at 2:22 AM

House and Senate Intelligence Committee said they are concerned that the Taliban is growing stronger.

That’s what happens when your traitor of a President announces a deadline for American troops leaving. The Taliban just have to bide their time and kill as many Americans as they can between now and 2014.

1275 American troops (69% of the total) have been killed in Afghanistan since Obama took office. He has recklessly sqaundered American blood and should not be reelected for this reason alone.

As to the consulate SNAFU, hardly the first time. Remember when STATE built a new embassy in Moscow that was so riddled with Soviet bugs that the whole structure had to be torn down?

Happy Nomad on May 7, 2012 at 9:08 AM

What a Clown show Obama is running up there on Capital Hill.

Baxter Greene on May 7, 2012 at 1:57 AM

Well then they all have a future career booking gigs at GSA conferences once we kick the bastards out of office in November.

Happy Nomad on May 7, 2012 at 9:10 AM

Better get dear hill there stat with billions to stop this till election time for bho? We can’t have bho look bad now can we?
L

letget on May 6, 2012 at 5:14 PM

You don’t need to worry about that. The MSM will never report on any of the mess Obama has made in Afghanistan — or about anything else that reveals just how clueless and incompetent he really is.

Just look at how NBC stopped that SNL-proposed skit mocking Obama’s victory dance over bin Laden and replaced it with a skit ridiculing Fox News the other night. And notice how CNN and other media outlets no longer mention U.S. casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan? When Bush was president, they kept a running daily total. Now . . . nothing.

AZCoyote on May 7, 2012 at 9:10 AM

Weren’t we told that Holbrooke was the smartest guy in the room at State? I think he was even on the short list for Sec. Nothing but a bunch of self inflated egos running this country.

Kissmygrits on May 7, 2012 at 9:15 AM

Well then they all have a future career booking gigs at GSA conferences once we kick the bastards out of office in November.

Happy Nomad on May 7, 2012 at 9:10 AM

Heh!!

Baxter Greene on May 7, 2012 at 9:16 AM

Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee

.
.
We are doomed.

askwhatif on May 7, 2012 at 9:39 AM

If the Taliban are one thing, they are patient.
O-jerk-face has not only squandered precious American lives, he has squandered any window of opportunity to do them damage.
.
.
All according to plan.

askwhatif on May 7, 2012 at 9:43 AM

The Taliban are getting stronger. The Obama administration has no problem with the Taliban being a part of the Afghani government. This should provide all the enabling that al-Qaeda needs; a few more years and they will be back to full strength, once they have what they can use as a ‘homeland’.

By his efforts, policies, and diplomacy, Obama has managed to set the stage for completely undoing one of the principle goals of the GWoT, and destroying the entire effort of the past 10 years.

And the women of Afghanistan will be re-enslaved. How could they have dared to go to school, get educated, walk around freely, open business, and all? They trusted the USA, and that trust has been betrayed. The payback – closed schools, acid, whipping, enslavement, confinement, relegation to chattel property – the Talibani payback will be brutal.

God help the women of Afghanistan, because Allah sure as hell won’t.

ss396 on May 6, 2012 at 7:29 PM

.
So true, dat.
Any cooperating tribe was bought and paid for with our money.
When the money runs out, so does any Afghan loyalty.
No wonder many people hate us. Through our pResident, our word means NOTHING. We have no honor in the world.

askwhatif on May 7, 2012 at 9:50 AM

Kissmygrits on May 7, 2012 at 9:15 AM

The same Holbrooke who engineered that peace in Bosnia…and we were supposed to be out of there in a year, two, tops.

They’ve permanent barracks, PX’s, commissaries and Burger Kings all over the place out there for our troops….Bosnia, that is, not A-stan.

coldwarrior on May 7, 2012 at 10:39 AM

The pro-war left will be defending Obama and his leadership shortly.

sdbatboy on May 7, 2012 at 11:05 AM

You are incorrect.

1. The mission was never to “Help Afghan women achieve equality”.

According to the women of Afghanistan and the Afghan Women’s Mission, “The fact is that life for women in Afghanistan has gotten worse since the Taliban were removed from power.”

The U.S.-backed Karzai government pushed a law supporting rape in marriage, and the only two rights women are guaranteed by the Constitution are the right to obey their husbands and the right to pray, but not in a mosque.

“Afghan women are confined to their homes to an even greater extent than under the Taliban. More and more women are being forced by war into prostitution, often for a clientele of foreign troops.

Self-immolation among Afghan women today is at an all-time high. This war is doing more to destroy women’s lives than the Taliban ever was able to.” Sonali Kolhatkar, Co-Director of the Afghan Women’s Mission.

Living conditions, including the situation of women, has gotten worse. The people of Afghanistan have suffered horribly, subjected to massacres, bombings, night raids, torture, covert assassinations, drone strikes… and more.

JustTheFacts on May 7, 2012 at 11:05 AM

The mission was never to decrease or eliminate poppy farming/heroin production.

The Taliban bans poppy growing in Afghanistan. As a result, the opium yield drops dramatically in 2001, from 3,656 tons to 185 tons. Of that, 83 percent is from Northern Alliance-controlled lands. [Observer, 11/25/2001; Guardian, 2/21/2002;

But since the US invasion poppy production has increased year after year in areas under NATO control.

The CIA lacked the billions of dollars need to fund the Afghan resistance. “As a result, they decided to generate funds through the poppy-rich Afghan soil and heroin production and smuggling to finance the Afghan war. Afridi was the kingpin of this plan. All of the major Afghan warlords, except for the Northern Alliance’s Ahmed Shah Massoud, who had his own opium fiefdom in northern Afghanistan, were a part of Afridi’s coalition of drug traders in the CIA-sponsored holy war against the Soviets.”

The Asia Times speculates that Afridi, an ethic Pashtun, was released to help unify Pashtun warlord support for the new US supported Afghan government. Afridi also served three years in a US prison for drug smuggling in the mid-1990s. [Asia Times, 12/4/2001]

Undersecretary of Defense Doug Feith argues in a White House meeting that since counter-narcotics is not part of the war on terrorism, the Pentagon doesn’t want to get involved in it.

The former official complains, “We couldn’t get [the US military] to do counter-narcotics in Afghanistan.” Author James Risen comments, “American troops were there to fight terrorists, not suppress the poppy crop, and Pentagon officials didn’t see a connection between the two.

The Pentagon feared that counter-narcotics operations would force the military to turn on the very same warlords who were aiding the United States against the Taliban, and that would lead to another round of violent attacks on American troops.” [Risen, 2006, pp. 154]

Immediately after 9/11, the US had decided not to bomb drug-related targets in Afghanistan and continued not to do so (see Shortly After September 11, 2001).

A State Department report on world drug production suggests that, as the Associated Press puts it, “Afghanistan has been unable to contain opium poppy production and is on the verge of becoming a narcotics state.”

The area in Afghanistan devoted to poppy cultivation (the raw material for opium and heroin) in 2004 more than tripled the figure for 2003. The report suggests this situation “represents an enormous threat to world stability.” [Associated Press, 3/4/2005]

September 2, 2006: Afghanistan’s Opium Production Hits Record Levels Again

The United Nations says Afghanistan’s latest opium harvest is the biggest ever. The harvest was 6,100 metric tons (enough for 610 tons of heroin), an increase of nearly 50 percent from the year before.

And it continues like this year after year after year.

JustTheFacts on May 7, 2012 at 11:24 AM

But, I blame Haliburton. :-)

coldwarrior on May 6, 2012 at 6:04 PM

You forgot the library. How else is Newsweek supposed to keep up its circulation without “American corners” at every consulate?

TexasDan on May 7, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Waitimg for the Obama lickers to roll in and rationalize explain it all to us.
a capella on May 6, 2012 at 5:26 PM

Shut up, they explained.

/s

Marcola on May 7, 2012 at 2:11 PM

Certainly looks like someone (or some group of someones) got it into their mind that getting the consulate in place overrode all objections that might be raised about security and operations. It seems likely that the someone didn’t think he or they would be there when it actually came time to occupy and operate the consulate. Other people would have to cope with any problem that manifested itself.

Russ808 on May 7, 2012 at 3:58 PM