Tag Archive for Afghan War

Finding an End to Endless Wars

President Barack Obama announces on May 27, 2014, plans for ending U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan by the end of 2014 and withdrawing all U.S. forces by 2016. (White House photo)

For Official Washington’s neocons all wars should go on indefinitely and any timetable for leaving Iraq, Afghanistan or any other country subject to American military assault in recent years represents defeatism. But such open-ended commitments would likely mean endless occupations, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

One More Casualty of US Wars

President Barack Obama shakes hands with U.S. troops at Bagram Airfield in Bagram, Afghanistan, Sunday, May 25, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Official Washington’s cavalier attitude about war – with pundits and pols often puffing out their chests and out-tough-talking the other guy or gal – ignores the terrible damage inflicted by war on civilians and soldiers alike, like the case of Cody Young, writes Richard L. Fricker.

Too Many VA Delays, Too Many Wars

Graves at Arlington Cemetery

The scandal about excessive waiting times for U.S. veterans to get medical coverage is a fresh reminder about the delayed costs from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, indeed from the excessive use of the American military, as Michael Winship reflects on the message from Memorial Day.

How ‘Looking Forward’ Tripped Up Obama

CIA Director John Brennan.

Exclusive: President Obama has stumbled into a constitutional firefight between the CIA and Senate Intelligence Committee over the spy agency’s attempted cover-up of its Bush-era torture practices, a clash he could have averted by wielding a declassification stamp, reports Robert Parry.

What Will the Discharged US Soldiers Do?

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in his official "portrait" at the Pentagon.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s plans to trim the size of the standing U.S. army may represent a welcome step toward reining in the huge military budget, but the lack of training and work for discharged soldiers could contribute to the social crisis facing America, writes JP Sottile.

Is Hillary Clinton a Neocon-Lite?

Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on May 1, 2011, watching developments in the Special Forces raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Neither played a particularly prominent role in the operation. (White House photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: As a U.S. senator and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton often followed a neocon-style foreign policy, backing the Iraq War, teaming up with Defense Secretary Robert Gates on an Afghan War “surge,” and staking out an even more hawkish stance than Gates on Libya, Robert Parry reports.

Obama Ignores Key Afghan Warning

Gen. David Petraeus, as commander of allied forces in Afghanistan in 2010.

From the Archive:  As the 12-year Afghan War grinds to what many Americans see as failure, ex-Defense Secretary Robert Gates and other hawks won’t admit their counterinsurgency “surge” in 2009 was a waste of lives and money – or that U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry was right when he warned President Obama, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern wrote in…

Is US Military Spinning Out of Control?

A U.S. Army soldier provides security at a school in Farah City, Afghanistan, on Aug. 1, 2012. (Photo credit: U.S. Navy Lt. Benjamin Addison)

The United States was built on the idea of civilian control of the military, but – as the burden of fighting overseas wars is carried disproportionately by a sliver of the population – that control seems to be slipping, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar reflects.

An Afghan War for Drones?

A Predator drone firing a missile.

Amid the Afghan government’s growing resistance to an extended U.S. military stay, the Obama administration is trying out a new rationale: the need for a launching pad for drones. But it may be a case of a weapons system causing more trouble than it’s worth, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

No Tears for the Real Robert Gates

gates-duty

Exclusive: In Official Washington, the gap between image and reality can be wide, but there is a virtual canyon separating the mainstream’s awestruck regard for Robert Gates as a “wise man” and his record as a deceitful opportunist known to his former colleagues, like ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.