Trolling for yet more evidence of ignorance and incompetence, Bob Woodward’s crude smear job, Fear, witlessly documented something else altogether: President Trump’s honest, moral understanding of the Afghanistan morass, and its unconscionable impact on our troops:
At a July 2017 National Security Council meeting, Trump dressed down his generals and other advisers for 25 minutes, complaining that the United States was losing, according to Woodward. “The soldiers on the ground could run things much better than you,” Trump told them. “They could do a much better job. I don’t know what the hell we’re doing.” He went on to ask: “How many more deaths? How many more lost limbs? How much longer are we going to be there?”
The continuing phenomenon of so-called “insider killings,” or “green on blue attacks”—where a member of the Afghan Muslim security forces (military or police), in uniform, turns his weapon on U.S. troops, killing or wounding them—validates Trump’s grave concerns.
When U.S. Army Sergeant Major Timothy Bolyard, on his 7th deployment, was murdered by one of our Afghan “ally” insider killers (and Afghan National Policeman), on Spetember 3, he was the highest-ranking enlisted soldier of the Army’s latest advisory brigade dispatched to Afghanistan. Two months earlier, in July, Corporal Joseph Maciel of Task Force 1st Battalion, another unit under the umbrella command of 1st Security Force Brigade, was similarly killed at the Tarin Kowt Airfield in Afghanistan’s southeast Uruzgan Province. An additional two U.S. service members were wounded during this “insider” attack.
Following the July killing and wounding, Gen. Mark Milley, Army chief of staff, noted that the three soldiers shot were protecting members of the new U.S. advisory brigade that deployed to Afghanistan for the first time just five months beforehand. He stated the Army was moving ahead with plans to create more of the training brigades for deployment, primarily, in Afghanistan. Gen. Milley then added that despite the (July) attack, he would not, “change the mission of the new advisory teams—working closely with their Afghan partners.”
After Sgt Maj Bolyard’s killing less than two weeks ago, Defense Secretary Gen. Mattis concurred, making plain the “advisory” program would continue apace, without questioning either its basic safety for U.S. military personnel, or strategic validity, despite a comprehensive report by the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction, which determined that “training” Afghan security forces continuously for over a decade had been an abject failure. Mattis averred only that “Afghan leaders” had “increased [the] vetting going on… they are bringing in more people that we have helped train to know how to do it, to make certain we’re catching people who have been radicalized.”
Mattis’ comments about “increased vetting” by Afghan leadership to detect “radicalization,” and subsequent remarks at a Pentagon 9/11 remembrance ceremony characterizing the mass murderous jihad terror attacks as “hatred disguised in false religious grab,” are depressingly consistent with his development and evangelistic application of the counterinsurgency (COIN) doctrine. COIN, as adapted by Mattis in 2006 to Muslim battlegrounds, rivets upon his thoroughly bowdlerized view of mainstream, sharia-based Islam, and the creed’s central institution of jihad warfare. John Dickerson’s 2010 hagiography of General Mattis describes the key feature of the COIN manual—“a new concept of risk: troops use less force and accept more short-term vulnerability to build ties with locals that will bring longer-term security”—and how Mattis conceived and acted upon this overarching directive. Mattis “called in experts in Arab culture to lead cultural sensitivity classes.” He also:
…constantly toured the battlefield to tell stories of Marines who were able to show discretion and cultural sensitivity in moments of high pressure,” insisting his troops “accept more immediate risks—to not shoot, to remove helmets — in order to plant seeds for future peace. [E]ven at the end of the heaviest fighting [in Fallujah, Iraq], Mattis met with sheiks to continue the effort to win over the locals.
With her singular clarity, Diana West, in a June,2010 essay, further identified the Gordian knot intertwining Mattis’ COIN doctrine and our troops’ hideously self-destructive Afghanistan rules of engagement [ROEs]—which she aptly termed “a post-modern form of human sacrifice”:
It is this COIN theory that is directly responsible for the unconscionably restrictive ROEs that have been attracting media attention, a postmodern form of human sacrifice staged to appease the endlessly demanding requirements of political correctness regarding Islam. There is no separating the two. If we have COIN, we have these same heinous ROEs.
Careful re-reading of a May 12, 2011, unclassified report by a U.S. Army “Red Team,” commissioned at the outset of a spate of “insider attacks”—applying Mattis’ “COIN tactics,” notwithstanding—revealed the yawning gap between U.S. (and Canadian) soldiers, and Afghans. The report was based upon extensive interviews with U.S. and NATO troops. It showed they were (understandably) disgusted with, and highly suspicious of practices and behaviors of their Afghan military “allies,” the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), and Afghan National Army (ANA.), as well as Afghan civilians, sanctioned by traditional Islam, and/or the indigenous culture:
US soldiers… reported pervasive illicit drug use, massive thievery, personal instability, dishonesty, no integrity, incompetence, unsafe weapons handling, corrupt officers, no real NCO [non-commissioned officer] corps, covert alliances/informal treaties with insurgents, high AWOL rates, bad morale, laziness, repulsive hygiene, and the torture of dogs (“given the standing of dogs in Islam.”). Perceptions of civilians were also negative stemming from their insurgent sympathies and cruelty towards women and children.
The report also noted:
… numerous accounts of Canadian troops in Kandahar complaining about the rampant sexual abuse of children they have witnessed ANSF personnel commit, including the cultural practice of bacha bazi [dancing boys], as well as the raping and sodomizing of little boys.
U.S. soldiers were absolutely revolted by such “abuse and neglect” of Afghan children, while excoriating the “poor treatment and virtual slavery of women in Afghan society,” which they found “repugnant.”
But the most critical observation, diametrically opposed to the delusive and dangerous premises of Mattis’ Islam-bowdlerized COIN doctrine, appeared on page 50, item No. 40, regarding recommendations about how to counter the Afghan attacks on U.S. soldiers:
Better educate US soldiers in the central tenets of Islam as interpreted and practiced in Afghanistan. Ensure that this instruction is not a sanitized, politically correct training package, but rather includes an objective and comprehensive assessment of the totalitarian nature of the extreme theology practiced among Afghans.
The report lamented, in an edifying and alarming elaboration (on p. 38), that a majority of ANSF members believed self-immolating homicide bombers attained “salvation,” while U.S. soldiers killed in action did not. Concordantly, most ANSF members accepted that killed “infidel” U.S. soldiers were condemned to Hell. Moreover, the report further warned about ANSF “religious officers” who espoused that such homicide bombers are Islamic martyrs who gain “Paradise,” and/or promoted the notion that these homicide bombers’ actions are justified. Such Afghan Muslim views, in turn, reiterate classical, authoritative—not “radicalized”—Islamic doctrine on jihad and jihad martyrdom from Islam’s most important canonical sources, i.e., the Koran (see Koran 9:111, 43:70; 36:56; 55:70; 37:48 on martyrdom, and Islam’s cosmic brothel for Muslims, vs. 98:6 mandating Hell for non-Muslims), and the traditions of the Muslim prophet Muhammad (“hadith,” such as Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Numbers 53 and 54).
A contemporaneous February 17, 2011, Washington Post story demonstrated how the U.S. military’s utter failure of imagination engendered the absurd belief that U.S. largesse would solve a millennium of Afghan Muslim hatred of Jews and other infidels, and the related historic use of mosques to foment and physically supply murderous jihadism. In Kabul’s largest and most famous “blue” mosque, distinguished cleric Enayatullah Balegh pledged support for “any plan that can defeat” foreign military forces in Afghanistan, excoriating what he called “the political power of these children of Jews.” Balegh, who was also a professor of Islamic law at Kabul University, stated in an interview, “I don’t think even a single Afghan is happy with the presence of the foreign military forces here.” May 2011, the Vancouver Sun ran a story about Canadian journalist Mellissa Fung’s “chilling memoir” of her experiences (during 2008) in Afghan captivity for 28 days—stabbed, confined in a dark prison hole, and raped, while being held for ransom. Noting that her captors were not “hardcore” Taliban, Fung characterized them (all too benignly) as a “cunning” family business that abducted foreigners for ransom. Most significantly, one of her captors shared this honest and pathognomonic observation which still eludes Mattis and his COIN-indoctrinated military policymakers: “We are all the same. Taliban is Afghanistan. Afghanistan is Taliban.”
Segue forward 7 years to the resurgent Afghan Muslim vox populi Taliban three months ago in June, and their announcement marking the end of Ramadan, 2018. Admonishing the infidel “American invaders” to leave Afghanistan, while assuring Afghan Muslims of a bright, fully-sharia compliant future, Taliban leader Sheikh Haibatullah Akhunzada claimed it had already liberated “vast areas” of the country—an assessment quite consistent with the latest SIGAR accounting that the Taliban contested or controlled over 40 percent of Afghanistan’s 407 districts The good sheik’s message, reiterating traditional Islamic Jew hatred (as Kabul University “academic,” and prominent cleric Enayatullah Balegh had done 7-years before), also denounced the U.S. relocation of our embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, which “further exposes the absolute hatred of American officials towards Islam.”
Almost a century ago, aviation pioneer and nonpareil “poet of the air” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, recounted a mid-1920s episode of “insider” killings of French officers in the North African desert by their ostensible Muslim “ally,” one al-Mammun. Per Diana West’s apt characterization in 2012, “beneath the simple language, the French writer conveys a terrible, irreconcilable truth about Islamic redemption through infidel blood,” Chapter 3 of de Saint-Exupéry’s Wind, Sand, and Stars describes the setting, which foreshadows the grisly event.
Here were men who had never seen a tree, a river, a rose; who knew only through the Koran of the existence of gardens where streams run, which is their name for Paradise. In their desert, Paradise and its beautiful captives could be won only by bitter death from an infidel’s rifle-shot, after thirty years of a miserable existence. But God had tricked them, since from the Frenchmen to whom he grants these treasures he exacts payment neither by thirst nor by death. And it was upon this that the chiefs now mused… I had known of Mammun when he was our vassal. Loaded with official honors for services rendered, enriched by the French Government and respected by the tribes, he seemed to lack for nothing that belonged to the state of an Arab prince. And yet one night, without a sign of warning, he had massacred all the French officers in his train, had seized camels and rifles, and had fled to join the refractory tribes in the interior. Treason is the name given to these sudden uprisings, these flights at once heroic and despairing of a chieftain henceforth proscribed in the desert, this brief glory that will go out like a rocket against the low wall of European carbines. This sudden madness is properly a subject for amazement. And yet the story of Mammun was that of many other Arab chiefs. He grew old. Growing old, one begins to ponder. Pondering thus, el Mammun discovered one night that he had betrayed the God of Islam and has sullied his hand by sealing in the hands of the Christians a pact in which he had been stripped of everything. Indeed, what was barley and peace to him? … [B]ecause of his pact he was condemned to wander without glory through a region pacified and voided of all prestige. Then, truly, for the first time, the Sahara became a desert. It is possible that he was fond of the officers he murdered. But love of Allah takes precedence. “Good night, el Mammun.” “God guard thee!” The officers rolled themselves up in their blankets and stretched out upon the sand as on a raft, face up to the stars. High overhead all the heavens were wheeling slowly, a whole sky marking the hour. There was the moon, bending toward the sands, and the Frenchmen, lured by her tranquility into oblivion, fell asleep. A few minutes more, and only the stars gleamed. And then, in order that the corrupted tribes be regenerated into the past splendor, in order that there begin these flights without which the sands would have no radiance, it was enough that these Christians drowned in their slumber send forth a feeble wail. Still a few seconds more, and from the irreparable will come forth a new empire. And the handsome sleeping lieutenants were massacred.
Secretary of Defense Mattis remains stubbornly and callously oblivious to the timeless wisdom of Saint-Exupéry, reaffirmed by more than a decade of identical bloody experiences with our Afghan Muslim “allies,” whose own “love of Allah takes precedence.” Simply put, “insider killings” are a direct consequence of Mattis’ failed, morally repugnant COIN doctrine.