The flaks in the Pentagon's press office seem to be working overtime to convince you that everything is fine, remain calm over in the dumpster fire that is the War in Afghanistan.
Exhibit A comes from a Defense.gov story from a few days ago:
That lead sentence certainly took my fucking breath away.
And then just one day later, "reporter" Jim Garamone, who works for the Pentagon's official DoD News, knocked out this even higher-quality bullshit from a forward operating base in Afghanistan.
The propaganda piece notes that "Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford told reporters traveling with him 'that from a military dimension, I am enthusiastic about the prospects for 2018.'"
Oh boy, you're right, Joe. If you look at the Afghan War purely from a military dimension, it really hasn't been a miserable failure for over a decade.
Speaking of Dunford, he testified last October alongside Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to the Senate Armed Services Committee, where they both argued that relaxed rules of engagement and an increase in airstrikes would help to do the trick.
I, for one, think we should definitely increase our bombing of North Vietna... I mean the Taliban.
And Dunford went on to tell a skeptical panel of congressional leaders that the U.S. military drew down in Afghanistan "too far and too fast" from a high of 100,000 troops in 2011 down to roughly 10,000 in 2016.
Apparently for Dunford, reducing the number of U.S. troops by about 18% each year over a five-year period seems to be at the speed of NASCAR. And the four-star general was intimately involved in that drawdown as the commander of the International Security Assistance Force there from 2013 to 2014.
"The Afghans no longer need much help fighting the Taliban — they can do that on their own," Dunford wrote in July 2014.
Now in 2018, perhaps we should let them handle things. From a military dimension.
(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 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."
Members of Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 462, Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, and 1st Transportation Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, prepare a seven-ton Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTRV) to be lifted by a CH-53E Super Stallion at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., on Jan. 16, 2019. (U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Clare J. McIntire)
If you are in the market for any size of military surplus vehicle, keep an eye on GovPlanet. The online auction house is about to start selling U.S. Navy and Marine Corps surplus M1161 ITV Growlers and seven-ton Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement trucks.
Airmen with the 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron pump water from a flooded common living area to an area with less impact on the local population, Dec. 13, 2009, in Southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force/ Staff Sgt. Sharon Singer)