Reflections by Comrade Fidel
THE EMPIRE FROM THE INSIDE
yesterday’s Reflection there appears a key paragraph taken from Woodward’s
book: “One important secret that has never been reported in the media, or
anywhere else, was the existence of a covert army of 3,000 men in
The American government was faced with an
unsolvable problem. In one of the last meetings of the National Security
Council during the Bush presidency, a report was approved that stated that the
One might add that the problem is more serious if one
takes into account the
Without enormous amounts of fuel, food and ammunition no army can move itself. The very struggle of the Afghans and Pakistanis, on one side or the other of the border, has discovered the weakness of the sophisticated American and European troops. The long supply routes are turning into a graveyard of enormous trucks and tankers destined for that task. Unmanned planes, the most modern of communications, sophisticated conventional, radio-electrical and even nuclear weaponry, abound.
But the problem is much more serious than these lines express.
However, let us continue with the summary of Woodward’s spectacular book.
Jack Keane, the retired General, a man who is very close to Hillary Clinton, advised that the strategy being followed in Afghanistan was incorrect, that the high toll of victims wasn’t going to put an end to the insurgency, that these were having the opposite effect, that the only option was a counterinsurgent offensive to protect the Afghans. McKiernan wasn’t interacting with the governors of the provinces. Keane told him that they were resorting too much to the antiterrorist struggle and that the counter insurgency strategy wasn’t keeping pace.
proposed replacing McKiernan with Lieutenant General Lloyd Austin III,
the second in command in
had run good antiterrorist campaigns in
At his confirmation hearing as CIA director before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Leon Panetta stated that the Agency would no longer be sending alleged terrorists to another country to be tortured because this was forbidden under the new president’s executive orders. He said that he suspected that the CIA was sending people to other countries to be interrogated using techniques that “were violating our norms”.
was watching him on TV and, bothered, he was wondering whether Panetta had
overlooked the conversation the two had had the month before. Hayden
contacted Jeff Smith, the former CIA general adviser who had been assisting in
the transition from Hayden to Panetta and he threatened him, saying that either
tomorrow he retract what he said in the public testimony or they would have a
show where the current CIA director tells the future CIA director that he
doesn`t know what he’s talking about. Hayden said he would say it
publicly and that it wouldn’t benefit anyone. The next day it was Sen. Kit
subsequently met with Panetta and told him that he had read his work where he was
saying that the Bush government had chosen the best intelligence information to
allege the existence of weapons of mass destruction in
February 13, the president again met with the National Security Council to
discuss four options for the deployment of troops in
Gates, Mullen and Petraeus backed sending 17,000 troops immediately. This
was also Jones` recommendation. Richard Holbrooke, in a security
video, warned that 44 years ago President Johnson was discussing the same thing
with his advisors in the case of
objective for the Obama government was clear: dismantle and finally defeat Al
Quaeda and its extremist allies, its support structures and its sanctuaries in
At a meeting with the National Security Council, Obama said that he was hoping on counting with popular support for his strategy for at least two years. Biden stated that the die had been cast, even though he remarked that he was in disagreement he assured that he would support the president`s strategy.
was appearing to be worried. He was worried about becoming the victim of
his earlier successes in
Secretary of Defense Gates appeared comfortable with the decision: two days later he declared that he didn’t see the need to ask for more troops or to ask the President to approve them until such time as the performance of these could be seen.
chairman of the Joint Chiefs realized that the solution to
May 26, 2009, one of the most sensitive reports from the world of deep
intelligence appeared in the TOP SECRET/ CODEWORD Presidents’ Daily Brief. Its
title was: North American al Qaeda trainees may influence targets and tactics
Upon leaving the White House, Blair was convinced that they were living on different planets in terms of the matter. He was seeing, evermore, a flaw in the government.
Jones was used to travelling to
visits the wounded soldiers; he meets with the colonels and talks with
McChrystal. McChrystal confesses to him that
Jones was insisting that the new strategy had three stages:
2. Economic development and reconstruction
3. Governance by the Afghans under the rule of law.
was insisting that the war was not going to be won by the army alone, that
during the next year the part of the strategy that would be starting to work
was economic development, and if this wasn’t done well there wouldn’t be enough
troops in the world to achieve victory. Jones pointed out that this was a
new phase and that Obama was not going to give all the forces the army
commanders were asking for, like Bush used to do during the
Helmand province, Jones made clear that the Obama strategy was designed to reduce
his return, Jones informs Obama that the situation is disconcerting; that there
was no relationship between what he was being told during the last few months
and what General McChrystal was facing. Finally Obama asks him how many
troops are needed and Jones informs him there is no definite number yet.
He thought it was necessary to complete the first two phases of the strategy
–economic development and governance –otherwise
The reaction was very different at the Pentagon. Jones was accused of wanting to set limits on the numbers of troops. He was claiming that it wasn’t fair for the president to make the decision he took in March, and before reaching the number of 21,000 troops stationed there, to decide that since the situation was going so bad, 40,000 to 80,000 additional troops were needed.
The chasm between the White House and the Pentagon was growing deeper and this was happening only four months after the President informed of his new strategy.
The Taliban defeat required more men, money and time than its dismantling. Defeat meant unconditional surrender, total capitulation, victory, winning in the broadest sense of the word, completely destroying the Taliban.
Holbrooke was looking pretty pessimistic closet o the August 20th elections in
As soon as the polling booths shut down on August 20th, there were reports of voting fraud. Many officials from the UN and the State Department did not leave their residences to visit the voting locations for security reasons.
The day after the elections, Holbrooke and the American ambassador met with Karzai, and they asked him what he would do if there were a second round. Karzai said that he had been reelected and that there would be no second round.
After the meeting Karzai called the State Department operations centre and asked to speak to either Obama or Hillary. The American ambassador recommended that the president not take the call since Karzai had taken the offensive saying that a second round was impossible. Obama agreed not to speak with him.
Intelligence reports would describe Karzai as a person who was increasingly more delusional and paranoid. Karzai told them: “You guys are oppossing me. It’s a British- American plot.
In August, a group was created to interview the members of General McChrystal`s strategic group who had just returned from Afghanistan in order to know what was happening in the terrain, how the war was going, what was working and what was not. McChrystal gave the group three questions as a guide for his study: Is the mission achievable?; if so, what needs to be changed to accomplish the mission?; are more resources necessary to complete the mission?
McChrystal told the group to be pragmatic and focus on things that would actually work.
The group came to the conclusion that the army understood relatively very little about the Afghan population. They couldn’t understand how the intimidation campaigns launched by the Taliban were affecting the population. The intelligence information gathering was a disaster. The group discovered that 70 percent of the intelligence requirements were enemy-centric. Some group members thought that within one or two years the war would be completely Americanized. The Americans preferred that the NATO allies supplied money and advisors for the Afghan security forces, instead of wandering throughout the country asking for air support to attack suspicious-looking Afghans.
The group had only bad news for McChrystal. They could carry out the best counterinsurgency campaign in the history of the world, and even so it would fail because of the weakness and corruption existing in the Afghan government. McChrystal looked as if he’d been hit by a train. In any case, he thanked the group.
McChrystal told Gates he would need 40,000 more troops. After lengthy discussions, Gates promised to give him as many troops as he could, while he could. “You’ve got a battle space over there and I’ve got a battle space over here”, he told him.
“Biden had spent five hours trying to design an
alternative for McChrystal
“Biden thought that Al Qaeda would take the path of least resistance and that they would not return to their former places of origin if:
“1. The U.S. mantained at least two bases- Baram y Khandahar- so Special Operations Forces could raid anywhere in the country.
“2. The U.S. had enough manpower to control Afghan air space.
“3. Human intelligence networks inside Afghanistan provided targeting information to Special Operations Forces.
“4. The CIA’s elite, 3,000-Afghan-strong-Counterterrorism Pursuit Teams (CTPT) could move freely.
“Afghanistan had to become a slightly more hostile environment for Al Qaeda than Pakistan so that they would decide to not return.
“Obama needed someone to guide him. He had been in the Senate for only four years and Biden had been there for 35. The President thought that the military couldn’t put pressure on him, but they could crush an inexperienced President. Biden came to Obama’s aid and Obama said to him: ‘You know these guys. Go after it. Push’.
“Later Obama confessed that he wanted his vice president to be an aggressive detractor, and that he said exactly what he was thinking, that he would ask the most difficult questions, because he was convinced that that was the best way to serve the people and the troops, establishing a strong discussion about these matters of life or death.
“Obama called on a small group of the most experienced members of his national security staff in order to analyze the 66-page classified assesment written by McChrystal which, in summary, said that if more troops were not going to be sent it was probable that the war would likely end in a failure in the next 12 months. The President added that the options in this case were not good and he made it clear that he would not automatically accept the solution proposed by the general or by anyone else. ‘We need to come this with a spirit of challenging our assumptions’.
“Obama wanted to know if it were possible to defeat Al
Qaeda and how; if it were necessary to defeat the Taliban to defeat Al Qaeda;
that it could occur in the next few years; what kind of presence was it
necessary to have in
“What wasn’t said and what everyone knew was that a President could not lose a war nor could he be perceived as losing it. Obama said that it was going to be necessary to work for five years and he was proposing that other national priorities be considered.
Fidel Castro Ruz
October 11, 2010