“Don’t either of them even know we’re still fighting over here?” That question was posed by one of the U.S. Marines with whom we have been keeping company in southwestern Afghanistan. His query followed this week’s presidential debate at Hofstra University, during which the word “Afghanistan” was uttered only once in the 90-minute exchange between the two men bidding to be commander in chief.
Last year when we were in this part of Helmand province, there were four Marine battalions providing security and mentoring Afghan soldiers and police. Now there is just one — 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment — the last Fleet Marine Force unit in which I served.… Seguir leyendo »
Wardak Province, Afghanistan
“If you leave here like you left Iraq, I am a dead man,” says the blunt-speaking district governor. His district chief of police, a newly appointed civil judge and the chief of the Afghan Local Police detachment all nod their heads in assent. None of them is smiling.
We are reminded by the commander of the Special Operations unit with whom we are living not to broadcast names or faces of Afghan security force personnel. The local district governor is speaking through an interpreter. He doesn’t pull any punches: “You must not abandon us again. You helped us expel the Soviets — then left us to the Taliban and al Qaeda.… Seguir leyendo »
“We are at war.” So said the 44th president of the United States on Jan. 7, 2010. These four words, a profound statement of the obvious, were belatedly uttered as our commander in chief transitioned from tropical sunsets on his “Hawaiian holiday” to klieg lights at the White House in the aftermath of the Christmas Day “near-miss” terror attack aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 enroute from Amsterdam to Detroit. The phrase was startling – because it wasn’t an affirmation of a mindset Mr. Obama brought to office. Rather it was the reluctant admission of facts Mr. Obama has spent a year in office diligently trying to deny.… Seguir leyendo »