According to our recent survey, more than a few members of our Armed Intelligentsia think TTAG should stay away from politics. This site didn’t start in a market research group and it isn’t going to slavishly follow one either. If it has a trigger, it runs. Saying that, I killed yesterday’s question of the day—War. Huh. What Is It Good For?—because it wasn’t gun enough. I reckon this one is. “NATO has scaled back operations with Afghan soldiers and policemen to lower the risk of insider attacks and reduce local tensions over an anti-Islam video that prompted protests in Afghanistan,” marinecorpstimes.com reports. Ditto the U.S. . . .
“The U.S. military has suspended the bulk of joint field operations with Afghan troops amid a wave of so-called insider attacks and concern about protests over an anti-Islam film,” foxnews.com reveals.
Insider attacks (a.k.a., green on blue) have taken out 51 troops so far this year. Despite new rules for keeping a watchful eye on Afghani “partners,” including mandating that soldiers keep a loaded gun on their person during any and all joint ops, the killing continues. An Afghan police officer gunned down four U.S. troops in Zabul yesterday.
The same day that U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta [above, right] said, basically, it’s a war. Shit happens. Today, however, Panetta issued a more sophisticated, more politically palatable assurance. Fox:
He said the attacks do not mean the Taliban are succeeding. Instead, he said the Taliban “are resorting to efforts that try to strike at our force, try to create chaos, but do not in any way result in their regaining territory that has been lost.”
Territory? As in actual territory? ‘Cause I was under the impression that our presence in Afghanistan was more of a “hearts and minds” than a “capture the flag” type deal. Make no mistake, this is an enormous shift in U.S. policy with far-reaching consequences. marinecorpstimes.com:
Until now, coalition troops routinely conducted operations such as patrolling or manning outposts with their Afghan counterparts. Under the new rules issued on Sunday by Lt. Gen. James Terry, such operations are no longer routine and require the approval of the regional commander.
In any case, if a few armed Taliban (one assumes) “insurgents” can shoot down U.S. Armed Forces’ operations in the region simply by assassinating 50 soldiers what does that tell our enemies about our strength and resolve? In that sense, doesn’t this move put U.S. troops at greater risk?
Back to guns per se . . .