For several months Army. Lt. Colonel Daniel L. Davis has told the country and its leaders that he thinks the war in Afghanistan is a failure on nearly every level, and now, a group of bi-partisan lawmakers in Washington, D.C. are joining him.
Lance Bacon at The Military Times reports nine Washington lawmakers are rallying behind Davis' accusations with a long list of their own complaints.
"Rep. Timothy Johnson, R-Ill., said the troops are fighting a “'war that cannot be won.'” Rep. James McGovern, D-Mass., said “'there is no reason for this war to continue.'”
Re. Walter Jones, R-N.C. said the country's leaders need to use the $10 billion spent every month in Afghanistan to rebuild America, "and to hell with Afghanistan."
“We need for you, the American people, to start raising hell about staying in Afghanistan,” Jones said. “Why the American people are not demonstrating across this nation I do not know. ... Especially when our young men and women are dying for a corrupt leader [Afghan President Hamid Karzai], and actually dying for nothing.”
Here's what Davis said in February that started it all:
"What I saw bore no resemblance to rosy official statements by U.S. military leaders about conditions on the ground," Davis says in a piece in the Armed Forces Journal (AFJ).
He says that while he wanted to believe U.S. efforts in Afghanistan were succeeding, that he would have been content to witness even minimal progress, he failed to find even that.
"I witnessed the absence of success on virtually every level," he says.
Across the board, U.S. troops say the Afghans they're training are cowards and that they can't stand them.
The violence is also taking its toll. From AFJ:
In August, I went on a dismounted patrol with troops in the Panjwai district of Kandahar province. Several troops from the unit had recently been killed in action, one of whom was a very popular and experienced soldier. One of the unit’s senior officers rhetorically asked me, “How do I look these men in the eye and ask them to go out day after day on these missions? What’s harder: How do I look [my soldier’s] wife in the eye when I get back and tell her that her husband died for something meaningful? How do I do that?”
One of the senior enlisted leaders added, “Guys are saying, ‘I hope I live so I can at least get home to R&R leave before I get it,’ or ‘I hope I only lose a foot.’ Sometimes they even say which limb it might be: ‘Maybe it’ll only be my left foot.’ They don’t have a lot of confidence that the leadership two levels up really understands what they’re living here, what the situation really is.”
Check out the full piece at the Armed Forces Journal >
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