I have had it, I have been pushed beyond any patience or consideration I could humanly posses for the policies and strategy in Afghanistan. I have been wanting to blog for several months that is is time time bring our troops home.
Afghanistan has had us in their country for over ten years and with US Forces (mostly Army National Guard) embedded with and mentoring, leading and teaching their forces right about 10 years now.
As I have stated many times on this blog and in interviews, we would need to be in Afghanistan until around 2020 for us to make a difference there. However now we have year after year of a more restrictive Rules of Engagement (ROE) being put on our forces, Afghan forces turning on our US and coalition forces and murdering them, and a military strategy that seems to be more about not offending people than killing the enemy. I was at a point where I was saying “that’s it, we are done”.
However, a story broke today that pushed me over the edge.
As part of an effort to quell violence and ensure peace with the Taliban, the United States for several years has been secretly releasing high-level prisoners from a military prison in Afghanistan.
According to the peace deal, insurgent commanders or local elders have promised to reduce violence, or cease fighting altogether, if certain insurgents are released from Parwan, The Washington Post reports.
However, the deal is a gamble as the freed detainees are generally notorious fighters who would not have been released under the legal system for military prisoners in Afghanistan.
U.S. officials have asked these prisoners to promise to give up violence, and if they are caught attacking American troops, they will be detained once again.
However, officials have not said that those who have been released under the program have later returned to attack U.S. and Afghan forces again.
The insurgents released through the secret program are the only detainees at Parwan who are able to circumvent the prison’s judicial review board.
The releases have come amid efforts to end the decade-long war through negotiation, which is a central feature of the Obama administration’s strategy for leaving Afghanistan.
Those efforts, however, have yielded little to no progress in recent years. In part, they have been stymied by the unwillingness of the United States to release five prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, a gesture that insurgent leaders say they see as a precondition for peace talks.
I can’t count the number of known bad buys we detained (we called them PUCs for Persons under confinement) where we had turned them over to the Afghan security forces to hold and process because the rules put on US forces was so limiting that we would have had to let them go. Since the Afghans could keep them easier, and to he honest they should be the ones to detain and process them, it was appropriate they did anyway.
Many times when we did turn the PUCs over to the Afghans they would release they with a “promise” they would not do it anymore or fight US or Afghan forces. I remember my team and I would shake our head and think “how could these Afghans be so dumb or gullible?”. These people will never have a secure country if that is how the handle people who attack them. We would get so pissed at the Afghans for releasing them when we KNEW they were bad. These were guys who most of the time were caught red-handed.
To wake up this morning and read that our own US leadership (military and civilian) are now doing the same thing turns my stomach. These are people who cut off heads of people while they are alive, that rape children and that murder their own countrymen, women and children. So who the hell thinks making them “promise” means anything. Why even waste their time, just friggen release them and wish them well along with “see ya on the battlefield” as they walk out the front gate. Hell, why not give them their weapons back as they walk out too?
I know if I was still over there right now as this news came out, I would be furious. Our men and women doing the fighting are watching their buddies and innocent people get shot and blown up by these people and then watch their leadership release them. So tell me, what motivates our warfighters to take prisoners? If you know or think they might just get released, why take that chance, just shoot them.
This type of action by our leadership puts our troops in a very difficult place by making them question what is lawful and what SHOULD be done. I fear for the day when a soldier gets charged with murdering Afghans and then hear him/her say “well if I detained them, they would just be released so I killed them instead”.
So that is it, I am now pushing for all of our troops home now. They are professionals who are trained to the highest standard to take lives and destroy our enemy while protecting and helping out innocent people, all at the same time. They need to be allowed to do their jobs. If the Administration is going to tie their hands behind their backs and allow them to be slaughtered without holding our enemies accountable then lets bring them home.
I know our troops could win this war once and for all, but they have to be allowed to. If they aren’t going to be allowed to do their jobs and win, then they don’t need to be there. Our troops could have won this, our leadership is going to lose it.