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Dunford Says Taliban 'Not Losing' Right Now, Which Is A Very Interesting Way Of Putting It
Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Saturday the Taliban is "not losing right now," which sounds a whole lot like the Taliban is f--king winning right now.
"They are not losing right now, I think that is fair to say," Dunford said during a discussion at a security forum in Halifax, Canada, according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Liberty.
"We do believe the Taliban know that at some point they do have to reconcile," he said. "The key to success is to combine all that pressure to incentivize the Taliban" to negotiate.
Meanwhile, a number of big NFL games will be kicking off on Sunday, to include the Steelers at Jaguars and Colts vs. Titans. When any one of these teams score a touchdown, I'm sure the announcer will say the higher-scoring team is "not losing right now."
Still, some fans may likely use a different word to describe what is happening in a competitive event taking place between two opposing teams.
Dunford also added that there was no "military solution" in Afghanistan — echoing a phrase previously offered by the commander of NATO troops there, Gen. Austin "Scott" Miller — implying that a negotiated settlement between the Afghans and the Taliban after 17 years of war is the only way for the U.S. to withdraw.
Those negotiations have been ongoing for months. The most recent meeting was between high-ranking members of the Taliban and the new U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who held three days of peace talks in Qatar, according to a Nov. 18 report from the Associated Press.
Returning to the subject of "not losing" phraseology, it's worth noting that in July 2014, Dunford wrote: “The Afghans no longer need much help fighting the Taliban — they can do that on their own." And more recently in March 2018, Dunford said the Afghan government had made "breathtaking progress" in its military capabilities. He also said, from a "military dimension," that he was "enthusiastic about the prospects for 2018."
Army Brig. Gen Michael R. Fenzel, then chief of plans for Resolute Support, while traveling with Dunford, also said at the time: "I won’t purport to speak for the Taliban, but I have to imagine that their big plans to march on Kabul as we left, and now they see us with no time line, additional commitments, overwhelming commitment of enablers that comes with this shift of the main effort from Iraq and Syria to Afghanistan, and they are seeing it on the ground. … It’s got to be demoralizing from the Taliban’s perspective."
Since Fenzel said that, Afghan government forces "failed to gain greater control or influence over districts, population, and territory this quarter," according to a November report from The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR).
It went on:
However, it reported that only 55.5 percent of the total 407 districts were under government control or influence, the lowest level since SIGAR began tracking district control in 2015.
SIGAR quoted the Resolute Support mission as saying the average number of casualties among Afghan security forces between May 1 and October 1 was “the greatest it has ever been during like periods.”
That indeed sounds like the Taliban is not losing right now. Hmm, Alexa, what's a synonym for not losing?
For U.S. service members who have fought alongside the Kurds, President Donald Trump's decision to approve repositioning U.S. forces in Syria ahead of Turkey's invasion is a naked betrayal of valued allies.
"I am ashamed for the first time in my career," one unnamed special operator told Fox News Jennifer Griffin.
In a Twitter thread that went viral, Griffin wrote the soldier told her the Kurds were continuing to support the United States by guarding tens of thousands of ISIS prisoners even though Turkey had nullified an arrangement under which U.S. and Turkish troops were conducting joint patrols in northeastern Syria to allow the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, to withdraw.
"The Kurds are sticking by us," the soldier told Griffin. "No other partner I have ever dealt with would stand by us."
Defense Secretary Mark Esper has confirmed that a nightmare scenario has come to pass: Captured ISIS fighters are escaping as a result of Turkey's invasion of Kurdish-held northeast Syria.
Turkey's incursion has led to "the release of many dangerous ISIS detainees," Esper said in a statement on Monday.
Video footage of a purported "bombing of Kurd civilians" by Turkish military forces shown on ABC News appeared to be a nighttime firing of tracer rounds at a Kentucky gun range.
The U.S. military's seemingly never-ending mission supporting civil authorities along the southwestern border will last at least another year.
On Sept. 3, Defense Secretary Mark Esper approved a request from the Department of Homeland Security to provide a total of up to 5,500 troops along the border until Sept. 30, 2020, Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson, commander of U.S. Army North, said on Monday.