Welcome to the American Revolution II

Welcome to the American Revolution II
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.
"We face a hostile ideology global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose and insidious in method..." and warned about what he saw as unjustified government spending proposals and continued with a warning that "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex... The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist... Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."Dwight D. Eisenhower

Monday, May 11, 2009

Barack Obama sacked Top general

Top general sacked as US bids to turn around Afghan war

Barack Obama replaced his top general in Afghanistan yesterday in an attempt to turn round a war that has been going badly for the US and to step up the hunt for Osama bin Laden.

General David McKiernan, who was in overall charge of the Nato-led ­mission and had been appointed for 18-24 months, lost the job after only 11 months.

Taliban forces have been making steady advances in Afghanistan, in a war that the US thought it had won in 2001.

The defence secretary, Robert Gates, speaking at a Pentagon press conference, indicated there was a need for a less conventional approach. McKiernan is to replaced by Lieutenant General Stanley McChrystal, a soldier who has ­specialised in unconventional warfare, having spent most of his career in the most secretive special forces in the US. The sacking effectively brings to an end McKiernan's military career.

Gates told reporters: "Our mission there requires new thinking and new approaches by our military leaders." Asked for a specific reason why ­McKiernan was being removed, Gates said: "Nothing went wrong and there was nothing specific."

McChrystal, who has been in ­overall charge of special forces in Iraq, was responsible for the army's Delta Force and led operations in Iraq aimed at targeting particular individuals, such as the one that resulted in the killing of the al-Qaida leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, in 2006.

George Bush outed him at the time by publicly praising him for hunting down Zarqawi.

McKiernan's approach to the ­worsening situation in Pakistan was to ask for more US troops, saying he needed at least 30,000 more troops for what he warned was going to be a tough 12 months.

Obama gave him only two-thirds of that, and this included troops who would not have a combat role but instead are to train Afghan forces.

The Obama administration wants different approaches in Afghanistan, one that concentrates on building up the Afghan army and police forces and entering into deals with local warlords or provincial leaders. At the same time, it wants to try to win hearts and minds with agricultural and other economic developments.

Gates touched on this yesterday, saying that Afghanistan's problems cannot be solved by military means alone. But, in an apparent rebuke to McKiernan, he added: "And yet, from the military perspective, we can and must do better."

Obama made a big play during the presidential election campaign of ­capturing Bin Laden, who is believed to be in hiding across the border in Pakistan. US special forces have crossed the border from Afghanistan in the hunt for al-Qaida suspects and the Obama administration may have decided that McChrystal, ­having found Zarqawi, might stand a better chance than McKiernan.

There was initial speculation that McKiernan was taking the fall for a US air raid in Farah province last week in which more than 100 civilians were killed. But McKiernan, who led US ground forces in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, was informed by the Pentagon of his removal several weeks before the air raid.

The coming months are potentially fraught for US and Nato forces as the ­Taliban in past years have used spring and summer to mount their offensives. The Afghanistan election scheduled for this year gives them even more of an incentive to create chaos.

McChrystal could turn out to be a controversial choice. He faced a Senate confirmation hearing last year, with senators asking about alleged mistreatment of detainees by army rangers, navy seals and other special operations troops in under his command in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In a statement issued yesterday, ­McKiernan said it had been an honour to command forces in Afghanistan, adding: "I have never been prouder to be an American soldier".

He said last year that the problem posed by Afghanistan was tougher than Iraq. He described Afghanistan as "a far more complex environment than I ever found in Iraq".

The country's mountainous terrain, rural population, poverty, illiteracy, 400 tribal networks and history of civil war all made for unique challenges, he said.

Stan's 'The Man'. And any Soldier/Warrior that's been within 10 feet of him knows damn well that's true. He leads from the front. It would be a blessing for the United States if this man ever became President. And if I may say so myself ,..it was the greatest honor of my life to serve under his Command. Strike Hold Sir ;)

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