More on Wikileaks. Just some thoughts

by

Stream of conscious posting.  

WL_Helping_Hand

I’ve been thinking about the whole Wikileaks issue. A lot of people I would normally agree with have a slightly different view of Wikileaks. Some thinks Julian Assange is a criminal, a vicious immoral person whose anti-Americanism will get people killed. Now I don’t necessarily disagree with that but should we then treat Assange and Wikileaks as a terrorist organization and eliminate them?

Some also argue that his latest document release of diplomatic cables doesn’t reveal any real new information but is embarrassing. Yeah gotta agree there. But here is the catch, that information while a no brainer too many of us who follow foreign affairs, is news to the great masses that simply follow what their social group promotes. Then there are those that know what’s happening but because of political agendas would never admit to the goings on.

For example: The Afghanistan political leadership is corrupt. So wouldn’t it be better to have this in the open so our leaders will make honest decision (with constituent emphasis) on how we pursue our war / nation building there? Shouldn’t we be more closely watching how much money we just hand over to these guys or maybe not hand over any and run things ourselves? When we hear our leadership express confidence in Karzai and then in private talk of how poor he is doing doesn’t that make you wonder what our plan is?

I’m all for diplomatic secrets and I don’t think it’s a good thing to have you diplomatic cables out in the open but we have to start saying what we mean in public and private. The “great game” is not a game to those of us who have been on the ground and watched the actual cost. To us this is a war and should be either fought or we should leave.

When I hear that the VP of Afghanistan was carrying 52 million in cash to Dubai I have to question what the hell we are doing. I don’t want some third world (if you can call it that) countries VP having access to anything like that amount of OUR money. It’s either our money or drug money so it’s wrong either way.

Would we have heard about this without Wikileaks? I don’t know. But I’m sure this is just the tip of the iceberg in the amount of corruption and just plain piss poor operations in this war. I’m not talking about the military who are actually trying to accomplish something. Who are in fact probably our best diplomats in country? The military waste while sure is considerable generally doesn’t rise anywhere near the levels of the State Department or the multiple three letter agencies running around.

I’m still in favor of hammering the people that leaked and continue to leak classified information but if we hammer Wikileaks don’t we have an obligation to approach every news outlet that releases classified information the same way? Remember it was normal media outlets the revealed what Wkileaks put out first since their servers were being hit with a DoS attack. It’s the high level leaker that piss my off that never get charged with anything.

My suggestions are: we shouldn’t classify as much stuff as we do. It’s insane the amount and kind of information we classify.

Say what we truly mean in diplomatic situations. Confusion was a issue in the Iraq war where Saddam didn’t think we’d invade.

Don’t invade a country if you don’t plan on a complete and total victory or taking over and running the damn place. Paying off crooks isn’t the answer. If you plan on installing your own puppet government make damn sure they don’t waste your money and do what you want, otherwise you’re wasting OUR money and we don’t have much of that left.

Enforce our laws of treason and start public hanging again.  Then Wilileaks won’t have much of an information stream.  Just saying…..

Enhanced by Zemanta
Advertisements

Tags: , ,

7 Responses to “More on Wikileaks. Just some thoughts”

  1. anan Says:

    Why do you assume the Afghan VP was carrying American money?

    Countries other than the US are giving Afghanistan tens of billions of dollars in grants. Japan recently pledged another $5 billion in grants for Afghanistan, in addition to what they have already pledged. The EU has pledged about $20 billion [and will probably end up giving a lot more], India is likely to give several billion dollars more, ditto with Russia, Iran, China, South Korea.

    Afghanistan has always been corrupt, a certain amount of corruption is to be expected.

    But even a corrupt ANA and ANP is a lot cheaper than keeping 100 K American troops and over 50 K non US troops in Afghanistan. Even a corrupt ANA and ANP can defeat the Taliban.

    “If you plan on installing your own puppet government make damn sure they don’t waste your money and do what you want, otherwise you’re wasting OUR money and we don’t have much of that left.”

    From the beginning Afghanistan was a UN, NATO and international action. We Americans were not contributing our fair share to the Afghan international effort 2002-2007. We Americans didn’t even really start training to ANP until Obama was elected, since we thought the EU, Germany, UN, and international community should do that.

    The Afghan government is not a puppet government. In fact, to my knowledge almost every country on earth, if not every country, publicly declares the GIRoA the legitimate government of Afghanistan. It is unrealistic to believe that the current GIRoA can be overthrown. If such an attempt were made, the 146 K ANA + 122 K ANP would likely fight it.

  2. Chuck Says:

    Anan, I’ve held you mildly in contempt for a while now, and when you make statements like, “We Americans were not contributing our fair share to the Afghan international effort 2002-2007. We Americans didn’t even really start training to ANP until Obama was elected, since we thought the EU, Germany, UN, and international community should do that.”, I move to not only direct contempt, but outright dismissal of anything you will or have ever said. It was a fairly benign discourse that you’ve had before this. You insult, myself, JB and the other people who have given blood, sweat and tears to the effort of standing up the ANA. JB and I were part of the effort that stood up the very first ANA battalions. We were boots on the ground reality while you were doing nothing but sipping coffee and complaining about the how everybody who was actually involved in making things happen sacrificed so much. I saw with my own eyes what ISAF contributed. Good beer and creature comforts. WE took the fight to the enemy with a very few notable exceptions. I look at you and all like you with the contempt that true warriors look at all the liberals that sleep under the blanket of protection that we provide you. Why don’t you get your nose out a book or report or the internet and get your ass on the ground and actually see what we do overseas. The protection of the Green Zone or ISAF compound in Kabul is the closest most people like you ever get to reality. Talk to a first line leader on the ground and you’ll hear a much different story than what you’ve been gleaning from whatever hole you hide in. This is the last time I will ever dignify a response to you. I will give my life for you, but that doesn’t mean I have to waste my precious freedom and time on the likes of you.

  3. anan Says:

    Chuck, we are on the same side. Thank you for your service. Thank you for standing up some of the first ANA combat battalions. I am grateful to you for standing up the first ANA combat battalions. The 33 million Afghan people owe you a debt of gratitude.

    Unfortunately there were far too few American trainers, and American combat advisors until recently. As a result far too few ANP [and to a lesser degree ANA] were being trained at any given time.

    The reason why the former commander of CSTC-A said in November, 2009, that the ANA was 5 years ahead of the ANP, was because America didn’t contribute in a major way to ANP training before Pres Obama was elected, while America did contribute to ANA training.

    The Iraqi MoI has been training about 40 thousand Iraqi Police at any given time since 2006 despite Iraq’s population being similar to Afghanistan’s 33 million population. By contrast when Obama was elected, only about 1 or 2 thousand ANP were being trained at any given time. And there was essentially no real program to train ANP officers in more than symbolic numbers [limited training focused on enlisted.]

    Today there are 100 K American troops in Afghanistan versus about 30 K when Obama was elected in 11-2008, and about 15 K in early 2007. We are contributing now. And bleeding for it.

    On the ANA, you did good work on building the first ANA bns. However, there wasn’t a sizable program to train ANA officers and ANA NCOs before they were assigned to their units [which wouldn’t have cost that much to do.] Rather, you were forced to give them on the job mentoring.

    Even today, only 4 thousand ANA NCOs are being trained at any given time, up from around 500 in November, 2009. This is for the ANA, where America did contribute in a major way since 2002.

    Even today, many Afghans who want to join the ANSF can’t because of a lack of training seats. This has been a perpetual problem since 2001, and it directly relates to the refusal of the US congress and other ISAF countries to fund the ANSF.

    The Turks claim that they offered to train a lot more ANSF, but America did not cooperate. In other words, the Turks were willing to donate trainers if ISAF would have paid the salaries and operational costs of the ANSF. This we Americans didn’t want to do, since we wanted others to pay the ANSF’s operational costs.

    We Americans also blocked India and Russia from training the ANSF.

    The ISI provided the Taliban many trainers, embedded advisors and training camps. ISAF didn’t provide a comparable quantity of training to the ANSF until recently. This is a major reason why we are where we are.

    Chuck, have I criticized the quality of training that we provided the ANSF or the GIs who provided it? Please, we are on the same side. My issue is with the quantity of training, not with the quality of training.

    If you ever visit the Bay Area, I owe you a lunch or a beer.

    My apologies for offending you. It was not intentional.

  4. JB Says:

    “Why do you assume the Afghan VP was carrying American money?”

    I don’t assume. And yes other have contributed. The point doesn’t change.

    “Afghanistan has always been corrupt, a certain amount of corruption is to be expected.”

    Anan, of course the Taliban can be beaten but to what end if the government officials are more interested in their own fortunes and the not their countries. There are acceptable amounts but there are limits.

    “From the beginning Afghanistan was a UN, NATO and international action. We Americans were not contributing our fair share to the Afghan international effort 2002-2007. We Americans didn’t even really start training to ANP until Obama was elected, since we thought the EU, Germany, UN, and international community should do that.”

    A joint UN, NATO international plan huh? You can spin all you want but we invaded we ran it, we run it and it’s ours for better or worse. I don’t recall seeing many NATO forces in the outlying areas much (except for some various countries Special Forces units)in the beginning. Now NATO did take the lead on training after we moved on to Iraq. How good that training depended on the unit training that time frame. Did we spend the effort we should have after 2003? Hell no we didn’t and we are paying for it now.

    “The Afghan government is not a puppet government. In fact, to my knowledge almost every country on earth, if not every country, publicly declares the GIRoA the legitimate government of Afghanistan. It is unrealistic to believe that the current GIRoA can be overthrown. If such an attempt were made, the 146 K ANA + 122 K ANP would likely fight it.”

    That was my point. The Afghan government isn’t a puppet government yet we (international forces if that’s better for you) are paying the bills.
    Now understand I want Afghanistan to succeed. But we can’t continue to look the other way when we know it’s going wrong. We can’t continue to ignore the problems. It’s not their Army, it’s their leadership and our political class that can’t make a damn timely decision and back up what we say and promise. Wikileaks only confirmed much of this.

    We probably agree on many of the issue with Afghanistan as it’s often difficult to convey the complete story in a posting or comment.
    However the post really wasn’t about Afghanistan as much as Wikileaks. A force for good or the cousin of SPECTRE….

    Also, appreciate your comments on here so don’t let our discourse discourage you. We do sometimes get a bit touchy on these and other subjects.

    I think we made a huge mistake in not fully supporting the ANA / ANP in the beginning. We took our eyes off the ball and let Iraq become the key objective even when we had direct support for the 9/11 terrorist in other places. We should have had more troops in Afghanistan earlier but we didn’t and we don’t seem to have a coherent policy right now. If you ask the general public if we are staying or leaving Afghanistan they probably don’t know or think we are leaving. I still don’t see a firm commitment to making Afghanistan a stable country. We hint at continued help but no one wants to actually make that call.

    Now I hope that beer is not just for Chuck as I’m actually from the Bay Area. 😦 of course I haven’t been back in many years.

  5. 11thacr Says:

    I hate to Discuss Politics so I won’t. My War was many years ago and I know alot about that , But this War is different and can’t be won. Hopefully our Government can Just keep us Safe.
    JB and Chuck , I’ll have a beer for the three of us tonight……

    11th

  6. Chuck Says:

    11th, I hope mine was a good lager…

  7. 11thacr Says:

    I can enjoy a Good Lager once in a While. My Beer is still PBR. Been drinking that Since Nam…I’m the reason they are still in Business….

    11th

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: