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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

President Trump's path to victory

Obama said Afghanistan was the real war, and Iraq the fake. He let the Islamic State take over large parts of Iraq, and ramped up the war in Afghanistan. But he had Washington make the calls. We forgot everything we learned in Vietnam.

President Trump had his generals come up with a plan for Iraq. The Islamic State is on the run.

Now for Afghanistan.

From President Trump on Monday night:
“My original instinct was to pull out, and historically I like following my instincts. But all my life, I have heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the oval office. In other words, when you are president of the United States. So I studied Afghanistan in great detail and from every conceivable angle. After many meetings over many months, we held our final meeting last Friday at Camp David with my cabinet and generals to complete our strategy. I arrived at three fundamental conclusion about America's core interests in Afghanistan.
“First, our nation must seek an honorable and enduring outcome worthy of the tremendous sacrifices that have been made, especially the sacrifices of lives. The men and women who serve our nation in combat deserve a plan for victory. They deserve the tools they need and the trust they have earned to fight and to win.
"Second, the consequences of a rapid exit are both predictable and unacceptable. 9/11, the worst terrorist attack in our history, was planned and directed from Afghanistan because that country by a government that gave comfort and shelter to terrorists. A hasty withdrawal would create a vacuum that terrorists, including ISIS and al Qaeda, would instantly fill, just as happened before September 11. And as we know, in 2011, America hastily and mistakenly withdrew from Iraq.
“As a result, our hard-won gains slipped back into the hands of terrorists enemies. Our soldiers watched as cities they had fought for bled to liberate and won were occupied by a terrorist group called ISIS. The vacuum we created by leaving too soon gave safe haven for ISIS to spread, to grow, recruit and launch attacks. We cannot repeat in Afghanistan the mistake our leaders made in Iraq.
“Third and finally, I concluded that the security threats we face in Afghanistan and the broader region are immense. Today, 20 U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organizations are active in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The highest concentration in any region anywhere in the world. For its part, Pakistan often gives safe haven to agents of chaos, violence, and terror. The threat is worse because Pakistan and India are two nuclear-armed states, whose tense relations threat to spiral into conflict, and that could happen.”
Now, I watched the ballgame. The Browns and the Giants played, and I got to see Myles Garrett make his first sack, and DeShone Kizer's first running touchdown. I could have waited and watched the replay, but why?

The significance of Trump's speech is not that he has come up with a plan to win, but that he has won.

Sun Tzu taught that "Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win."

Donald Trump is going to war only after winning it. He telegraphed that when he said his instinct was to abandon Afghanistan. But he figured out a way to win (have the generals win it) and is going to war, rather than withdrawing.

Winning first and then going to battle was how he ran for the presidency. He knew exactly what his message would be, and how he would win by dominating the news. He was light and deft. His opponents were large and slow.

The dropping of MOABs (and sending in troops to kill any survivors) in April came from the field, not the White House. Trusting the military maximizes the education all these generals get at Command and General Staff College.

This will not be a cakewalk, but we will win by redefining victory as something winnable.

From Trump:
“Ultimately, it is up to the people of Afghanistan to take ownership of their future, to govern their society, and to achieve an everlasting peace. We are a partner and a friend, but we will not dictate to the Afghan people how to live or how to govern their own complex society. We are not nation building again. We are killing terrorists."
Americans should rally behind that sentiment.

Kill the terrorists. Let Afghanistan build its own nation.


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  1. The real war is here. This will keep the neocons placated for a few weeks.

  2. Trump's instincts seem to run along the lines of "Don't **** over your own side".

    Pleasant change from previous administrations.

    1. Not to split hairs but no one has ever accussed Barak Hussein Obama of being on America's side. Other than that, great point and one up vote!

  3. Honestly, I was hoping he'd announce a pullout. But, like so much else involving the Muzzies, there's downsides - big ones - to every alternative. I will just that A) We have a clear and measurable set of objectives defining victory, and B) The ROE are modified whatever ways they need to be so that none of them hinder the achievement of the objectives.

    1. I am a Muzzie and I love me some Don Surber almost as much as I love Trump himself.

    2. It's not just Iraq that Obama pulled out of. He also let Syria up for grabs, and that started the biggest migration of people on the continent since pre-WWII. Obama and Hillary then did who knows what for who knows why in Libya, which further stuck a knife into Italy and then the rest of Europe.

      There is 24/7/365 coverage news by the American media. Yet they fail to explain what is really going on - that Europe (in the words of Obama) is being "transformed". The most popular first name in the UK is now "Muhammad". There are more mosques in the UK, France, and Germany then churches. London, Paris, and Berlin have banned billboard advertising showing women in bikini's. No-Go zones are the norm in most European countries - with only a handful such as Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia being exceptions. These historical changes will be felt for the next hundred years and may well never be reversed.

      With all this going on, the American media can only concentrate on spreading petty rumors about anyone they don't like.

      In the 1970's Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan warned about the "Dummying Down of America". That, along with 2-3 generations of a good portion of the population being kids raising kids has brought us to this point. The fight being waged single-handedly by President Donald Trump is on a level with the American Revolution, President Lincoln's actions, and the 2 World Wars. A pity the US media is so busy backing the wrong sides instead of making Americans aware of what it is we're living through. And heaven knows that most high schools and colleges are not teaching any of this.

  4. Excellent article and consistently superior quality on the blog.

    Thank You.

    More is said to the point here then to have to listen to talking heads bloviating on TV or reading the snarky nonsense coming from the New York Times and Washington Post, whose articles and columns are picked up and run in newspapers around America because they can no longer afford to pay their own writers.

    President Trump keeps winning!

  5. I support him--it would be a disgrace to the fallen to pull out; regardless of how much the Bannonites stomp their feet. And yes, it needs to be remembered that Afghanistan ruined the Russians. At least what Trump is doing is eliminating the DC micromanagement. Talk to any warrior there--they are handcuffed by PC.

    There's a caution though, mentioned above, namely Vietnam. Trump's plan is to make Pakistan own it via economic leverage. He pits India vs. Pakistan. It's the same plan as with the Saudis, Syria, etc. However, we clearly had the military going full Arc Light in VN, and the Soviets and China clearly owned it. Yet we ended up pushing Hueys off flatops in the south china sea. That's a long political story.

    The bottom line is that we've had a hell of a time ever defeating local insurgencies based on ideologies. Just look at the latent battlefront at home--we're still fighting the first civil war.

  6. He is also going to put the economic screws to Pakistan to get its act in order. PDJT is using economics to assist in solving problems like Iran, North Korea and now Afghanistan. Good

  7. this is a terrible decision and a harbinger of how Trump will ultimately fail. there is nothing keeping us in that shit hole of a country except neocon madness. this is a huge mistake; i tmakes me doubt Trump for the first time.

    1. Really,you were never a President Trump backer,your whole post smells of left wing liberal dribble.

  8. I doubt that anyone, or anyone's forces, could make Afghanistan a real state (with a central government). The Russkis wanted to take over. We don't, which is in our favor. The Afghans might be able to form a government of valley states, though that seems unlikely.

  9. Terrific piece, Don. Love the point about winning first, then going to war.

    Brilliant concept. Will be brilliant in the actual outcome on the ground.

  10. Think of the Afghans as a bunch of backward hillbillies, because that is exactly what they are. Now mix in militant Islam and stir thoroughly. They are a tough bunch and somewhat cowardly at the same time. Hard to make deals with and impossible to trust. As has been noted, we cannot leave and we should not stay. But we have excellent troops and weapons and tons of support. We need to go full Patton on them until they see the light or are dead. And we need to pay special attention to interdicting any attempts to supply the enemy with any kind of arms. - Elric

  11. This vet's big relief was the change of the ROE. In Afghanistan in 2010, and maybe Iraq before that, some of our troops were operating on patrol NOT being locked and loaded. Col. Hackworth told me that from recognizing a threat to being ready to fire took 5 seconds. Plenty of time to get you killed. This was supposedly a policy because the enemy hid behind civilians and our guys may react too fast and kill civilians. So my sons life was worthless to the ass wipes who thought up this great policy.

    1. I forgot to include that the 243 Marines killed in Lebanon during Reagan's Presidency were given a death sentence by orders for the sentries to be in Amber status.

    2. I forgot to include that the 243 Marines killed in Lebanon during Reagan's Presidency were given a death sentence by orders for the sentries to be in Amber status.

    3. Agreed. If the enemy wants to risk civilian casualties by hiding behind them, fine. After a few collateral losses they might think twice about it. Kill the bad guys, period. And in a combat zone all weapons should be locked and loaded and ready to fire. A safety switch on at the most. - Elric

    4. Elric, civilian casualties are what they WANT. The enemy is not risking them, they expect them to be living shields--just not for long.

  12. The only two options that will work are Kill them all and.....

    Make that one option.

  13. Bush went into Afghanistan so an attack on America couldn't be launched from a failed state.

    Obama went into Iran so it could.