Eight years in Afghanistan

It’s eight years since Former President George W Bush launched a major offensive in Afghanistan better known as the Global War on Terror. The US was looking to rid the world of the Taliban and Al Qadea  in the Middle East after the US was hit on September 11th 2001 in New York, Washington DC an a farm field in Pennsylvania.

Since then we also engaged in a war in Iraq, much to the anger, outrage by left int e United States and Europe. The anger that many claimed took many live (over 5000 dead soldiers and hundred of injured military personnel. and so scores of dead and wounded of civilians. The US in a gradual reduction of forces after a successful surge campaign that started  in 2007.

During that the Taliban was tamed and Al Qaeda fled to neighboring Pakistan and US and NATO build cities and towns  with infrastructure.

But in late 2006 The Taliban began to rebuild  and today it is nearing full 2001 strength. Now suicide bombing  are growing with intensity,  ambushing are happening  a pace not seen since 2001 and 2002. The number of heroes dying in firefights  almost daily. The Commander appointed by President Obama  in March Select General Stanley Mc Chrystal as the top commander in the field. McChrystal has President Obama to increase the troop levels of face dire consequences. So far the president has not made a decision. What worse due to the number of dead (over 800) the American People are feeling skittish about the War and the need increase the number of troops for a successful campaign.  On Thursday, 17 people were and 80 injured when a car bomb exploded at  the Indian Embassy.

“Under the current security threat, I think it would be reasonable to say that 40,000 troops will be needed. That would be the minimum required,” Said Jawad, Afghanistan’s ambassador to the United States, told Reuters, urging the U.S. public to support sending more troops.

A Article on the Time of London tells the tales of American Troops some are becoming demoralized. Two Chaplains tells of people tired, listless, losing morale. Watching fellow solider killed or maimed  by enemy fire, IED’s  and suicide bombing. Many fell that they Don’t know what they were fight for.  They are trying to avoid casualties.  The Afghan people are not supportive or helpful to them. Many soldiers are suffering from PTSD post traumatic stress disorder.

“The many soldiers who come to see us have a sense of futility and anger about being here. They are really in a state of depression and despair and just want to get back to their families,” said Captain Jeff Masengale, of the 10th Mountain Division’s 2-87 Infantry Battalion.

“They feel they are risking their lives for progress that’s hard to discern,” said Captain Sam Rico, of the Division’s 4-25 Field Artillery Battalion. “They are tired, strained, confused and just want to get through.” The chaplains said that they were speaking out because the men could not.

“Everyone you meet is just down, and you meet them everywhere — in the weight room, dining facility, getting mail,” said Captain Rico. Even “hard men” were coming to their tent chapel and breaking down.

“The soldiers’ biggest question is: what can we do to make this war stop. Catch one person? Assault one objective? Soldiers want definite answers, other than to stop the Taliban, because that almost seems impossible. It’s hard to catch someone you can’t see,” said Specialist Mercer.

Lieutenant-Colonel Kimo Gallahue, 2-87’s commanding officer, has denied the men are demoralized and they significant progress against the Taliban over the last nine months. Gallahue says it the Taliban insurgents that have intensified the battle instead of retreated in the Wardak province of Afghanistan. If wasn’t for the troops stationed in the area, the highway between Kabul and Khandar open. The traffic and trade would not exist.  Also the Wardak Province could have a  launching pad  for attack on the National capitol of Kabul.

Lt. Co. Gallahue says takes time more than a year to have a strong counter insurgency including winning hearts and minds, good governance and strong security.

“These 12 months have been, for me, laying the groundwork for future success,” he said.

Times of London

Yahoo News

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