America Are You Paying Attention?


While I rarely venture outside the topic of economics, Mike ‘Mish’ Shedlock featured an article yesterday to which I was compelled to respond.  Today, he featured my correspondence to him on his site. 

Email from FedUpUSA regarding Afghanistan

In response to Afghanistan is a “Lost Cause”; Leaked Documents Show Futility of Afghanistan WarI received an email from Stephanie Jasky, founder of FedUpUSA.org. Her son is currently in Afghanistan. Stephanie writes ….

Hello Mish,

Just wanted to say thanks for the balanced and objective view on Afghanistan. My son is on the front lines with the 101st Airborne (Infantry). He’s been there since the first week in May.

The things I could tell you would make your hair stand on end. What civilian leadership, with some complicity of military leadership is doing to our young men and women is repulsive.

The war is getting a little more coverage in the media now, but for a while there, it looked like all these fine men and women would be led to their deaths and no one would even know.

It has been hard as a parent (and there are MANY of us) not able to speak up. Most people have no idea what it is like to live 24/7 being terrified of the doorbell ringing.

Thanks again for the article on Afghanistan. The more people talk about it, the better chance something will be done.

Stephanie S. Jasky, Founder, Director – FedUpUSA.org


Troops Do Not Support The Mission

Several people have informed me that OPSEC bars the military from saying things like “Troops Do Not Support The Mission” no matter how true that might be. Thus, all those stuck in Afghanistan, not supportive of the mission, wanting to speak their minds have no means of doing so.

Worse yet, inability to speak ones mind not only applies to military, but their family’s ability as as well. I am not just talking about sensitive data like troop, size, location, strength, etc, but simple matters of freedom of speech as to whether or not troops believe in what they are doing.

Freedom of speech means nothing anymore. It’s the new American way.

The Vietnam Afghanistan Song

Well, come on all of you, big strong men,
Uncle Sam needs your help again.
He’s got himself in a terrible jam
Way down yonder in Vietnam Afghanistan
So put down your books and pick up a gun,
We’re gonna have a whole lotta fun.

And it’s one, two, three,
What are we fighting for ?
Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn,
Next stop is Vietnam Afghanistan;
And it’s five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain’t no time to wonder why,
Whoopee! we’re all gonna die.

Come on Wall Street, don’t be slow,
Why man, this is war au-go-go
There’s plenty good money to be made
By supplying the Army with the tools of its trade,
But just hope and pray that if they drop the bomb,
They drop it on the Viet Cong Taliban.

And it’s one, two, three,
What are we fighting for ?
Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn,
Next stop is Vietnam Afghanistan.
And it’s five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain’t no time to wonder why
Whoopee! we’re all gonna die.

With thanks to Country Joe and the Fish I wonder “Where are the protest songs?” Are boomers too worried about stock market and housing prices to care if our youth is getting slaughtered?

What ARE we there for anyway? Oil? Empire Building? Obama’s Reelection Bid? All Three?

By the way, I neither endorse nor denounce other positions of FedUpUSA.org. I have not followed them closely enough to know. Rather, and as always, I support specific policies on a case by case basis. In this case we both seem to agree on the need to get the hell out of Afghanistan.

The best way to “Support the Troops” is to not put them needlessly in harm’s way in the first place. It’s time to declare the war won and bring them home.

President Obama has been a huge disappointment in regards to war, torture, Guantanamo Bay, and of course the economy. Youth of America, are you paying attention?

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
Click Here To Scroll Thru My Recent Post List

To what I refer most in my message to Mish is the current Rules of Engagement.  Oh sure, the administration and civilian leadership will tell you it’s just a wonderful strategy, but in reality of application, our soldiers waging this war will tell you from their perspective, it’s much like fighting with one hand tied behind your back.  The fact is, one cannot tell friend from enemy on the battlefield in Afghanistan.  The Taliban and the terrorists do not follow any rules of decorum and they know darn well that we do.  Does anyone doubt that people with the same mindset as those who drove planes into buildings in 2001 would not exploit such a handicap? 

But you know what?  Don’t take it from me.  How about you hear it from those fighting on the ground in Afghanistan:

(Video courtesy of NPR; Photography by David Gilkey)

If that doesn’t make you open your eyes, perhaps the words of a USMC veteran that has 26-years of experience, who lost his son in Afghanistan in August 2009:

R.O.E. Responsible for All U.S. Deaths in Afghanistan!

There are few things in life worth saying if they are not completely truthful. It came to me as a harsh reality when in the past few days I came to grips with this truth and that our combined efforts to force Congress to pay attention to the strategy/non-strategy in Afghanistan was off the mark. We have been fighting for a simple review of COIN and to question whether or not it is viable in this kind of environment and relaying specific evidence of the effect of it’s ROE on our Warriors. The problem is that the ROE is affecting every Warrior on the plains of Afghanistan and is specifically responsible for EVERY U.S. AND NATO DEATH there.

Every Army assembled for combat must do several things if it is going to win:

1. Take the Commander’s Intent statement and assemble a Strategy and Force component to complete a mission consistent with that Intent

2. Define the Battle Space

3. Control the Battle Space

4. Determine and Exploit the weaknesses of the enemy

5. Continue to pressure the enemy

6. Deftly employ every means and capability it possesses to Locate, Close with and Destroy the Enemy.

7. Be relentless and unforgiving in it’s determination to force the enemy to do it’s will

As of June of 2009, at the latest, CentCom and ISAF made a deliberate decision, under the leadership of this sitting President, to not win. It even went as far as to redefine the war effort and to expunge words like ‘win’, ‘success’, ‘terrorism’ and ‘Islamic Extremists’ from the lexicon. It further determined that the new ‘goal’ was to protect Afghan civilians at all cost. It included a vigorous plan to ‘re-build’ Afghanistan as a nation from the very foundations of its government. It instituted a theater-wide, controversial doctrine known as Counter Insurgency which has a historical record of failure in all except one engagement and fielded an ROE (rules of engagement) that all but eliminate the use of Air Support and Field Artillery Support for US and NATO forces except in the ‘safest’ possible applications (no civilians around…problematic when you consider the Taliban are civilians).

It has been said there has been a ‘resurgence’ on the field of battle by the Taliban; that they essentially re-constituted/regrouped and have re-emerged refreshed and emboldened in the past year. That is a deception. This suggests that, all other things remaining constant, this group of murderous thugs conjured new found courage and purpose. This is patently untrue! The reality is that the Taliban are the same as they were. What changed was our desire to prosecute this war as though we intended to win. What changed was our focus. The original Commander’s Intent was to go into Afghanistan and destroy/scatter/remove Al Qaida from Afghanistan and to hold those who aided them accountable for their actions, ie the Taliban. That mission took a dramatic turn in 2009 when we chose to seek the good graces of the Afghan people instead of seeking justice for the assault on our land by Islamic Hordes.


1. By refusing to doggedly follow the steps outlined above, we effectively turned over control of the battle space to the Taliban. Because of this they are free to set more IED’s than they would have been and free to establish yet more ambush sites thus placing our Warriors in a far more dangerous environment (See Step 3).

2. Intentionally publishing the ROE and our intent to no longer kill but protect, we have allowed the Taliban to reassert themselves and given them the opportunity to exploit our well-published weaknesses (See Step 4).

3. By diverting attention from Pursuit of the Enemy to Security Patrols in hamlets, towns and villages, we have opened lanes of effort for the Taliban to pursue us and given them freedom to set even more IED’s and to pressure the locals into participating (See Step 5).

4. By removing our most valuable supporting fires from the equation, in the most desperate of situations, we have allowed more Taliban to survive engagements (See Step 6).

What we have done in the past year is to allow the enemy the opportunity to re-consider it’s capability, given them maneuver space, garner support from foreign sources and increase their potential with more advanced weapons (see stories about Taliban sniper capability in British held areas of Khandahar).In addition; the number of aircraft now harassed by Taliban fire has increased making even medivacs difficult. Add to that, the Red Cross’s insistence on aiding the enemy and NATO field medical facilities being forced to include Taliban in Triage decisions and even the staunchest supporter of anti-american sentiment in this country has to question the sanity of the plan.

Given all of the above, it is clear that all US and NATO deaths in Afghanistan are directly and indirectly due to the institution of the current ROE and our having intentionally given control of the battle space to the Taliban. And it is intentional because there is no way a clear thinking military mind could not fully understand the ramifications of not continuing to pressure the enemy, keeping him off balance, with every weapon in his arsenal.

The hard truth is that America’s Sons and Daughters will continue to pay the ultimate price for high-minded thinkers, politicians and inept leadership until the true ‘King’ of the country, the Citizens decide they have had enough. And that is unlikely to happen until Islam is once again successful in attacking our homeland.

Far too many Americans have far too short a memory. God protect our Warriors.

Semper Fidelis;

John Bernard 


Let me make this clear:  our troops are not ‘against the war.’  They are however, opposed to being unable to defend themselves and opposed to the mandate that the lives of the enemy, which at most times is indistinguishable from ‘friends,’ is considered more important than their own.  As John Bernard so eloquently put it, if they aren’t allowed to fight, then they have no reason for being there. 

If at this point, you have been pulled out of your comfortable slumber, and perhaps feel compelled to aid those who have fought for your freedom and liberties, please visit the Facebook Group RoE (Rules of Engagement) and help change these dangerous and irresponsiblel rules.  (A link to this Group will be a permanent feature on the right sidebar.)