Sunday, July 31, 2011

Afg - Keane and West in HASC Testimony

General Keane is just back from Afg and Bing West has visited many times and written an important counter-orthodoxy book on the war. This 2 hour long youtube video of their testimony to the House Armed Services Committee is well worth a look.

Keane didnt pull any punches, here are some highlights:

Recognize our “soft” policy with Pakistan as it pertains to the
sanctuaries has failed. There is NO doubt that Gen. Kyani and Gen.
Pasha, the Chief of Staff and the Director of ISI are complicit in
supporting the sanctuaries.

The President’s recent drawdown decision of 33,000 troops no later than
Sept. 12, 2012 has increased the risk significantly and threatens overall
mission success.

The Taliban have suffered a stunning defeat in the South, in Kandahar and
Helmand providence. So much, so, that it is not reversible unless we
drawdown ISAF troops in those provinces, prematurely.

I am making the 3 statement it is not reversible after considerable analysis and there are 3
major reasons:
1) We own the ground and are staying on it, with the ANSF, and not
departing as we have done so many times in the past. The Taliban
have tried to come back and have failed time and time again during
the spring and summer offensive.
2) We have destroyed the Taliban’s logistical infrastructure (IED
factories and caches) which prevents the Taliban from sustaining their
3) The people are aligned with ISAF and the ANSF and as such are
providing assistance with tips, early warning and cache locations. In
fact, a highly respected intelligence chief with considerable
experience believes the Taliban and the people in Kandahar province
after many years, “are getting a divorce”.

We cannot discuss the security situation in Afghanistan without
mention of the sanctuaries in Pakistan, which are the “engine of the
insurgency”. They are Charman and Quetta in the South and Mirham
Sha in the East. Almost all of the middle and senior level leaders of the insurgency come from these sanctuaries, many of the fighters and 80% of all the material for IED’s originate in Pakistan factories.

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