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?
(From left to right) Chris Osman, Chris McKinley, Kent Kroeker, and Talon Burton
At least four American veterans were among a group of eight men arrested by police in Haiti earlier this week for driving without license plates and possessing an arsenal of weaponry and tactical gear.
Police in Port-au-Prince arrested five Americans, two Serbians, and one Haitian man at a police checkpoint on Sunday, according to The Miami-Herald. The men told police they were on a "government mission" but did not specify for which government, according to The Herald.
They also told police that "their boss was going to call their boss," implying that someone high in Haiti's government would vouch for them and secure their release, Herald reporter Jacqueline Charles told NPR.
What they were actually doing or who they were potentially working for remains unclear. A State Department spokesperson told Task & Purpose they were aware that Haitian police arrested a "group of individuals, including some U.S. citizens," but declined to answer whether the men were employed by or operating under contract with the U.S. government.
A photo shared by Hoda Muthana on her now-closed @ZumarulJannaTwitter account. (Twitter/ZumarulJannah)
The State Department announced Wednesday that notorious ISIS bride Hoda Muthana, a U.S.-born woman who left Alabama to join ISIS but began begging to return to the U.S. after recently deserting the terror group, is not a U.S. citizen and will not be allowed to return home.
A top Senate Republican and fierce ally of President Donald Trump reportedly exploded at Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan recently about the U.S. military's plans to withdraw all troops from Syria by the end of April.
"That's the dumbest f******g idea I've ever heard," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) reportedly replied when Shanahan confirmed the Trump administration still plans to complete the Syria withdrawal by April 30.
Later, Graham told Shanahan, "I am now your adversary, not your friend."