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IPFS News Link • Cost of Empire

Americans, Listen to the Ruling Elite... Give Up Your Wealth for Nothing

• S. Rozeff

The U.S. attacked Afghanistan on October 7, 2001. The war continues to this day.

How is this war going? Lousy. It has to be lousy if it’s still going on after 10 years. Americans seem to agree. A recent CNN/ORC poll shows 63 percent of those polled oppose the war in Afghanistan.

What does an expert who commanded U.S. military operations in Afghanistan for 19 months say about the war? I refer to Lieutenant General David W. Barno, USA (Ret.).

Barno is a Senior Advisor and Senior Fellow of a Washington think tank on national security named Center for a New American Security. He is as eminently qualified as any member of the ruling elite to take your money and waste it in Afghanistan:

"In 2003, he was selected to establish a new three-star operational headquarters in Afghanistan and take command of the 20,000 U.S. and Coalition Forces in Operation Enduring Freedom. For 19 months in this position, he was responsible for the overall military leadership of this complex political-military mission, devising a highly innovative counterinsurgency strategy in close partnership with the U.S. embassy and coalition allies. His responsibilities included regional military efforts with neighboring nations and involved close coordination with the Government of Afghanistan, the United Nations, NATO International Security Assistance Force, the U.S. Department of State and USAID, and the senior military leaders of many surrounding nations and numerous allies."

Barno testified at length on November 3, 2011 before the House Foreign Affairs Committee (the Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia). He had just returned from a seven-day visit to Afghanistan. I will quote from Barno’s testimony on this occasion.

"In early 2009, it became evident the international effort in Afghanistan was ‘drifting toward failure’ and success could be achieved only if dramatic changes were applied — most of all, a dramatic re-assertion of American leadership. Success required ‘Leadership plus Strategy plus Resources.’ In 2009, our efforts were falling deeply short in all three components of this equation."