Whither Afghanistan?

The ever-vigilant, thoughtful commentator and stalwart Op-For loyalist George W ’64 sent in two articles on Afghanistan for consideration. The first is here, “Why Afghanistan is going to fall…” This is one of the first paragraphs: After covering the invasion of Afghanistan, former NPR journalist Sarah Chayes decided to stay in the country to try to help turn it around. She opened a business in Kandahar and probably spent more time living directly with the Afghan people — without security guards — than any other American since 2001. Chayes ultimately went to work for coalition forces in the region, sharing the […]

Mullah Omar: Is He or Isn’t He

Dead? Maybe.

He Came Home With a Brand New Plan

PLEASE READ EVERY WORD OF THIS. Then pass it on. U.S. Army Captain Saleem Sharif seemed like one of those extraordinary American success stories. He grew up poor near Charleston, South Carolina, and was raised by his single mother—an African-American Muslim who wanted her son to be the first in the family to graduate from college. Whip smart and hardworking, Sharif received a recommendation from the late Sen. Strom Thurmond [wait– not that awful racist??], and in 1996 he earned a coveted appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. (Plot spoiler– it goes downhill from there.) I will […]

ISIS Strikes In Afghanistan

Breaking this morning: Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN): A suicide bomber on a motorbike blew himself up in front of the Kabul Bank in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, early Saturday, a local government spokesman said. Terror group ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack. The explosion killed at least 33 people and wounded more than 100 others, said public health spokesman Najibullah Kamawal. Interestingly, the Taliban disavowed it. Not good news.

“Desertion and Misbehaving Before the Enemy”

CHARGED: Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the U.S. soldier who slipped away from his patrol base in Afghanistan in 2009 and was held in captivity for five years, has been charged with desertion and misbehaving before the enemy, Army officials said Wednesday … Get on with it, then. I expect the testimony and evidence to be revealing and damning, and not just for the accused.

The Case of Major Golsteyn’s Silver Star

DaveO brought this up a few days ago– “Afghanistan War Hero Stripped of Silver Star”— and George W ’64 is one of several who have mentioned it too. It’s a true story of heroism and treachery. From the original article, we learn that: [Then] Capt. Mathew L. Golsteyn was leading a Special Forces team in Afghanistan in 2010 when an 80-man mission he assembled to hunt insurgent snipers went awry. One of the unit’s five vehicles sank in mud, a gunshot incapacitated an Afghan soldier fighting alongside the Americans, and insurgents maneuvered on them to rake the soggy fields with […]


MDL sent this in. Sadly, it appears that the individual who wrote it is (was? should never have been??) an officer in the Army Reserve. I can’t even bring myself to quote from it.

Hang Him

(If he’s proven guilty, that is.)

“US, NATO Mark End of Mission in Afghanistan”

Annnnd, there you have it. Sixty-three percent of me says it’s going to go downhill real fast. Thirty-one percent says no, the Afghans will pull it out in their own strangely endearing hippity-hop/mob-stop way. The remaining six percent is undecided. Either way, that’s it. For now. We’ll see what the future holds.

“Accomplished Nothing” in Afghanistan

So says SIGAR, in the realm of economic development: SIGAR’s chief, John Sopko, told reporters Tuesday, that the agency has opened an “in-depth review” into the Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TFBSO), a Defense Department unit aimed at developing war zone mining, industrial development and fostering private investments. “We have gotten serious allegations about the management and mismanagement of that agency, as well as a policy question about what they were doing and whether they should have existed,” Sopko said. Not “news” in the strict sense, but still disheartening and damning. I did my time in NTMA/CSTC-A, so […]