Feb 8, 2015
The National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) is prepared for the president by 16 US National Intelligence agencies and last year they predicted the collapse of the Afghan government by 2016, unfortunately the process is steamrolling well ahead of schedule. Last week Special Inspector General of Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) loudly announced that US Army General John Campbell, commander of all International Forces in Afghanistan, classified much of the Inspector General’s reporting on taxpayer spending inside the crumbling Islamic nation. The Inspector General, John Sopko, and the American press corps embarrassed the US military commander on Twitter and TV broadcasts that forced him to reconsider opening the books for taxpayers to examine.
Unfortunately, General Campbell’s retreat from last week’s headline wasn’t the whole story.
The real story behind the Pentagon’s failed decision to close the books on Afghanistan lies in the diminishing Afghan Security Forces; last fiscal year 30,000 Afghans fled the military! The numbers were released in an October 2014 Department of Defense report. “ANA (Afghan National Army) manning was approximately 165,000 personnel (significantly below its 195,000 cap), to include approximately 6,000 AAF personnel. The attrition rate in the ANA continues to pose challenges to ANSF development,” the report said.
America and its allies highlight the main area of concern for the Afghan Security Forces remains “shortfalls of MoD (Ministry of Defense) human capital,” in other words, they have a big recruiting and retention problem. This is problematic because if the locals refuse to fight the Taliban and other jihadist movements on behalf of their country – why should US taxpayers continue to spend treasure and blood for them?
Another unresolved challenge remains corruption within the government of Afghanistan. The government is incapable of balancing its books, and insists the US cover the shortfall, which cost the American taxpayers an additional $500 million in a nation with a national GDP of $45Billion. (Read this reporter’s articles on Afghan corruption filed in 2011 describing billions flown off shore.)
The latest report also explains America’s responsibility; “The United States intends to maintain a military presence of approximately 9,800 personnel in Afghanistan beginning January 1, 2015, to pursue two separate but linked missions. First, the United States will provide the bulk of forces for the NATO-led train, advise, and assist (TAA) mission, known as Resolute Support, to develop further Afghan security institutions (ASI) and their capabilities, enabling them to conduct the various national-level functions that are crucial to generating resourcing, and sustaining fielded forces. Second, as Operation Enduring Freedom ended on December 31, 2014, the remainder of U.S. forces will continue to put pressure on the remnants of core al Qaeda and its affiliates in the U.S. counterterrorism (CT) mission. By the end of 2015, the United States will reduce its overall force by roughly half and will transition to a Kabul-based mission by the end of 2016 with a robust security assistance component to focus on managing and overseeing continued Department of Defense (DoD) funding for sustainment support of the ANSF.”
Further lamenting the bad news, Lt. General Joseph Anderson said last month that Afghan forces “were having trouble sustaining troop numbers in the face of defections and soaring casualty numbers. Nearly 20 percent of Afghan army positions were still unfilled as of October. Recruiting and retention aren’t matching – and, of course, don’t forget losses,” he explained Anderson, who leads NATO’s International Security Assistance Force Joint Command (ICJ) also said, “close to 5,000 Afghan police and army personnel have been killed fighting the Taliban since the start of the year.” The French general went on to say the Afghan Security Forces were simply “inept” and not capable of performing basic maintenance on equipment provided by the US and its allies.
US politicians ignore the facts as reflected in the NIE intelligence reports that conclude Afghanistan can never sustain itself in the region, something terrorist groups are well aware of. Foolishly they continue to push the US war machine trying to fool taxpayers into believing their Middle East adventurism is a viable and successful policy. Realities on the ground dictate a losing cause, while the winners include the corrupt politicians who line their bank accounts with dwindling US taxpayer funds.
US intelligence report predicts failure in Afghanistan (Updated Article)
The classified National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) suggested Afghanistan would quickly fall into chaos if US and NATO forces failed to sign a security deal leaving military troops beyond the 2014 drawdown, according to a Washington Post story.
The security deal on the table would leave boots on the ground and provide billions more in aid to the impoverished country. But shockingly, the NIE report acknowledges the Taliban would likely takeover the country by 2017 EVEN IF the U.S. provides the corrupt country $8 billion per year.
The National Intelligence Estimate, which includes input from 16 intelligence agencies in the U.S., predicted that the Taliban would become more influential as the American military draws down its troops in Afghanistan.
The report also added “Afghanistan might fall into chaos if Kabul refuses to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) that allows the U.S. forces to remain in Afghanistan beyond the planned 2014 pullout. The assessment comes amid Washington’s pressure on Kabul to sign the controversial security agreement for continued U.S. military presence in Afghanistan.” That argument has proven to be misguided as Afghanistan’s devolution into Taliban control has accelerated since the U.S. security agreement was signed.
Corroborating the NIE report are 1,000’s of WikiLeaks documents that chronicle U.S. knowledge of the unlimited corruption and a likely return to tribal rule in Afghanistan.
Additional WikiLeaks embassy cables highlight the country’s utter failure to establish a centralized functioning government. One of the key obstacles blocking progress remains the infighting among warring tribal elders. The result of continued incompetence is billions of missing U.S. dollars. Further, the cables demonstrate that once US/NATO forces depart chaos will ensue, much like the current sectarian violence in Iraq.
Even with the mounting death toll in neighboring Iraq, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai says he won’t be intimidated by the U.S. into signing the BSA deal and will likely wait until the April elections in Afghanistan.
A major sticking point for Karzai was the continued U.S. airstrikes and neighborhood raids to flush out Islamic extremists. The U.S-chosen leader is also said to be brokering a peace deal to bring the Taliban into the new government.
Another factor to keep in mind is former Commander of the International Coalition General David Petraeus who directed CIA analysts in 2011 to work more closely with military leaders on the ground in Afghanistan in order to paint a clearer picture regarding conditions in the tribal nation. However, many detractors saw the change in directives as the preverbal fox guarding the chicken coop, rather than independent analysis used in prior administrations.
The National Intelligence Estimate last reported on Afghanistan three years ago and according to intelligence community officials such reports are typically produced ahead of major policy decisions.
But with war fatigue, many Americans wonder if this a good deal for the country? While others contend America needs to rebuild its infrastructure before throwing more money at terrorists.
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