Unlike the wars in Vietnam and Iraq, the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 had near-unanimous public support. At first, the goals were straightforward and clear: to defeat al-Qaeda and prevent a repeat of 9/11. Yet soon after the United States and its allies removed the Taliban from power, the mission veered off course and US officials lost sight of their original objectives. Just as the Pentagon Papers changed the public's understanding of Vietnam, The Afghanistan Papers contains startling revelation after revelation from people who played a direct role in the war, from leaders in the White House and the Pentagon to soldiers and aid workers on the front lines. In unvarnished language, they admit that the US government's strategies were a mess, that the nation-building project was a colossal failure, and that drugs and corruption gained a stranglehold over their allies in the Afghan government. The Afghanistan Papers is a shocking account that will supercharge a long overdue reckoning over what went wrong and forever change the way the conflict is remembered.
Today's guest on the Danger Close podcast is Craig Whitlock. Craig Whitlock is a three-time Pulitzer Prize finalist who has specialized in reporting on national security issues for The Washington Post since 1998. Since 2001, he has covered the Global War on Terrorism as a foreign correspondent, Pentagon reporter, and national security specialist. His new book, The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War, asks and answers the question every American is asking in the wake of the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan: after 20 years of war, thousands of lives lost with even more suffering the physical and emotional trauma of the battlefield, and trillions of dollars spent - what went wrong in Afghanistan? To gain access to what are now known as The Afghanistan Papers, The Washington Post had to sue the federal government twice under the Freedom of Information Act to force them to release unclassified interviews with 428 generals, diplomats, aid workers and Afghan officials. These documents along with 59,000 pages of Donald Rumsfeld's memos obtained through another Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the National Security Archive at George Washington University and 600 unclassified interviews with veterans of the war conducted by the Army's Combat Studies Institute and another series of interviews with Bush White House officials from the Miller Center at UVA form the foundation of research for Craig's book. If you suspected that elected and appointed officials, diplomats, government bureaucrats and senior level military leaders have been lying to congress, the tactical level troops, reporters and the American people about the war in Afghanistan for the past 20 years, this book provides you the truth - in their own words. You can follow Craig on Twitter @CraigMWhitlock. Presented by SIG Sauer. Gear Spotlight: The Life of General Ulysses S. Grant by J.S.C. Abott Petzl Headlamps Ten Thousand “Interval” Short
Craig Whitlock is an investigative reporter for the Washington Post, covering the Global War on Terrorism since 2001, and the author of the new best-selling book The Afghanistan Papers. He has won the George Polk award, the Scripps Howard award, the Robert F Kennedy award, as well as other awards for his journalism, and has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize three times. https://terryvirts.com/ Twitter: @AstroTerry Instagram: astro_terry
In 2019, through FOIA requests and lawsuits, the Washington Post obtained hundreds of interviews conducted by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) for its Lessons Learned Program. The interviews showed that behind the scenes, U.S. military and government officials in Afghanistan presented a far gloomier picture of the war and reconstruction efforts than was presented to the American public by officials in Washington. Washington Post investigative reporter Craig Whitlock, author of "The Afghanistan Papers," joins us to talk about the Post's efforts to obtain the SIGAR interviews, the war in Afghanistan, his reporting on the U.S. Navy's "Fat Leonard" scandal, and more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Larry is joined by Washington Post journalist Craig Whitlock to talk about his new book ‘The Afghanistan Papers' which details America's long, un-winnable war in Afghanistan and how the public was deceived. Host: Larry Wilmore Guest: Craig Whitlock Producer: Kaya McMullen Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Feminist writer and independent scholar Sara Ahmed joins us to discuss Complaint! (Duke University Press, Sept. 21), a critical-philosophical consideration of what happens when professors and students file formal complaints against abuses of power in academic institutions. And in a sponsored interview, Megan talks with Julie Morstad, author-illustrator of Time Is a Flower (Tundra Books, Sept. 21; starred review). Then our editors join with their reading recommendations for the week, with books by Craig Whitlock, Colson Whitehead, and Yoon Choi.
The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War details interviews with people who played a direct role in the war and their stunning admissions; that the U.S. government's strategies for Afghanistan were a mess, the nation-building project was a colossal failure and drugs and corruption infiltrated their allies in the Afghan government. Newt talks with the author and Washington Post investigative reporter, Craig Whitlock, a three-time Pulitzer Prize finalist. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Guests: Rep. Joe Neguse, Brandy Zadrozny, Dr. Celine Grounder, Craig Whitlock, Rep. Ro KhannaTonight: Barricades at the Capitol, as threats of physical violence helped scare a United States Congressman into retiring. Then, making sense of the FDA's split decision on vaccine booster shots. And Rep. Ro Khanna on the hearings to investigate fossil fuel's role in climate change.
George Noory and Washington Post investigative reporter Craig Whitlock explore the American leaders and military experts who have been attempting to win the war in Afghanistan since the terrorist attacks of 2001, and if facts presented to the public were distorted to continue the war. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Unlike the wars in Vietnam and Iraq, the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan had near-unanimous public support at the time. Their goals were straightforward: defeat Al-Qaeda and prevent a repeat of 9/11. But after the Taliban was ousted from power, U.S. officials lost sight of their original objectives as the military became mired in an unwinnable guerrilla conflict in a country it did not understand. Washington Post reporter Craig Whitlock brings us The Afghanistan Papers, which, similarly to the Pentagon Papers after Vietnam, contains startling revelations from people who played a direct role in the war, certain to change the public's understanding of the conflict. From leaders in the White House and Pentagon to soldiers and aid workers on the front lines, many are candidly admitting that the U.S. government's strategies were a mess, that the nation-building project was a colossal failure, and that drugs and corruption gained a stronghold over their allies in the Afghan government. Whitlock's account is based on interviews with more than 1,000 people who knew that the U.S. government was presenting a distorted, and sometimes entirely fabricated, version of the facts on the ground—all upheld by three presidents unwilling to admit failure. Join us for this timely event with Craig Whitlock as he reveals the alarming truth behind the longest war in American history, forcing us to reckon with what went so horribly wrong in Afghanistan. SPEAKERS Craig Whitlock Investigative Reporter, The Washington Post; Author The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War In Conversation with Mitch Jeserich Host, "Letters and Politics," KPFA Radio In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are currently hosting all of our live programming via YouTube live stream. This program was recorded via video conference on September 8th, 2021 by the Commonwealth Club of California. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The astonishing fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban after nearly 20 years of American occupation has had many wondering what went wrong in our nation's longest war, not just in recent days but in the two decades that preceded it. Award-winning investigative reporter Craig Whitlock offers an authoritative perspective. Whitlock has covered the war in Afghanistan for the Washington Post as a foreign correspondent, Pentagon reporter, and national security specialist. His new book, The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War, tells the story of an unwinnable campaign that had gone awry almost from the beginning, sparking a military and government conspiracy to keep the failure of the war from the American people. As he explains in this interview, “America was losing a war it thought it had won.”
Sam and Emma host Craig Whitlock, investigative reporter at the Washington Post, to discuss his recent book The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War. Sam and Emma first touch upon the resounding victory for Gavin Newsom in the California recall election from last night, and discuss Newsom's nationalizing of the recall/pinning the results to the "shadow president" for the Republicans (Trump) as a telegraph of the political strategy going forward into 2022. Then Emma and Sam are joined by Craig, who starts out by discussing how him and the Washington Post obtained the Afghanistan Papers, the trove of documents the Post obtained via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that serve as the basis for the book, and how the book timed up perfectly with Biden's announcement of the withdrawal of troops in August, as well as the context behind the "Lessons Learned" project run through a little known federal agency called the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) that was the source of the lion's share of the notes and transcripts that comprised the papers. Craig goes deeper into describing the testimony from the interview transcripts of "Lessons Learned", citing how many past, present, and current military officials considered the war in Afghanistan "much worse than you think", and that "we didn't know what we were doing" in terms of strategic goals in Afghanistan. Craig goes so far as to report that former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had no appreciable strategy for the war in Afghanistan beyond "chasing terrorists". Sam and Emma dive deeper into the idea that these transcripts and notes were intentionally hidden by the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations, noting that the SIGAR reports that were publicly disclosed were significantly edited and sanitized. Craig then goes back to the early 2000's, stating that there was a pretty clear game plan for the first 60 days of the war, but that there was no recognizable strategy or timetable for what the United States was doing occupying Afghanistan, especially when George W. Bush made it clear that this was not a "nation-building" project to begin with. The emphasis was also very clearly on Iraq over Afghanistan, to the point where Rumsfeld asked Bush to meet with the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan as well as the commander in Iraq. Bush only wanted to meet with the Iraq commander, and didn't even know who the Afghanistan commander was, and didn't want to meet with him anyways. Craig then pivots to the Obama years, where the Administration very clearly wanted to continue the war without calling it a war, so as to not step on the toes of their allies whose presence in Afghanistan would violate some of their own war-making laws and practices if it was called a war by their allies. Not wanting to call it a war, but not being accurate enough to call it a "peacekeeping mission", the Obama administration landed on the clunky "non-conventional war effort" to split the difference. Afterwards, Craig discloses the combustible report that the Bush Administration furiously attempted to cover up, that former Vice President Dick Cheney was almost killed in a suicide bombing at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, and how this pattern of attempting to spin every negative outcome into a positive one throughout the war persisted across every presidential administration in the 21st century. They end on the warped and strange arc of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's career, how he was a widely respected military official until his full throated embrace of Trump and QAnon stifled that perception, as well as Craig hoping that previous, current, and future administrations will learn from the mistakes of the past 20 years, but doesn't have too much hope because, well, Bush and Rumsfeld didn't learn from the mistakes of Vietnam outlined in, you guessed it, another trove of documents that made clear how badly we were losing a protracted war: The Pentagon Papers. In the Fun Half, Sam gives a brief primer on the fight over taxation between the House and the Senate Dems in the reconciliation mockups going around the Hill, the crew checks in on the House and Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings where in the House Ilhan Omar grills Secretary of State Blinken over the drone strike that may have killed a foreign aid worker instead of an ISIS-K operative, and in the Senate Idaho Senator Jim Risch gets to more pressing matters, namely: who the heck is pressing the button that controls when Biden talks? Then the crew check in on Ben Shapiro melting down over Cara Delevingne's "Peg the Patriarchy" look at the Met Gala, to which Ben feels the great need to describe what pegging means to him. And FINALLY the crew has the honor of dissecting Tucker Carlson's fascination with Nicki Minaj's cousin's friend's balls after his COVID vaccination (Tucker corrected the record to reflect it was Nicki's cousin's friend, not cousin), Tucker's quest to get him on the show, and we get a real time dispatch from the Trinidad and Tobago Health Minister over whether this dude's balls actually swelled post-vax. Plus, your calls and IM's! Become a member at JoinTheMajorityReport.com Subscribe to the AMQuickie newsletter here. Join the Majority Report Discord! http://majoritydiscord.com/ Get all your MR merch at our store https://shop.majorityreportradio.com/ (Merch issues and concerns can be addressed here: firstname.lastname@example.org) You can now watch the livestream on Twitch Check out today's sponsors: Grove: Companies around the world produce two billion pounds of new plastic every day. 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It's been 20 years since the attacks of 9/11. Next month, we'll mark the 20th anniversary of the arrival of American troops in Afghanistan who toppled the Taliban regime and hunted down Osama bin Laden. Now, as American combat troops leave Afghanistan, we sit down with Craig Whitlock who has pieced together the secret history—warts and all—of America's war in a land long-called “the graveyard of empires.” Craig Whitlock is an investigative reporter for The Washington Post. He has covered the global war on terrorism for the Post since 2001 as a foreign correspondent, Pentagon reporter, and national security specialist. In 2019, his coverage of the war in Afghanistan won the George Polk Award for Military Reporting, the Scripps Howard Award for Investigative Reporting, the Investigative Reporters and Editors Freedom of Information Award, and the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for international reporting. He has reported from more than sixty countries and is a three-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Washington Post investigative reporter Craig Whitlock says the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan was cloaked in lies, to cover up the fact the US and its allies were losing. As part of our series, Afghanistan, in the Shadow of the Taliban, he tells us about his new book The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History Of The War.
The war in Afghanistan is over. In this episode, we document how and why the Biden administration finally admitted defeat in our 20 year attempt to create a new government in Afghanistan and we take a hard look at the lessons we need to learn. Afghanistan is a country in a far away land, but there are disturbing similarities between the Afghanistan government that just collapsed and our own. We'd be wise not to ignore them. Executive Producer: Rachel Passer Executive Producer: Anonymous Please Support Congressional Dish – Quick Links Contribute monthly or a lump sum via PayPal Support Congressional Dish via Patreon (donations per episode) Send Zelle payments to: Donation@congressionaldish.com Send Venmo payments to: @Jennifer-Briney Send Cash App payments to: $CongressionalDish or Donation@congressionaldish.com Use your bank's online bill pay function to mail contributions to: 5753 Hwy 85 North, Number 4576, Crestview, FL 32536. Please make checks payable to Congressional Dish Thank you for supporting truly independent media! Background Sources Recommended Congressional Dish Episodes CD236: January 6: The Capitol Riot CD218: Minerals are the New Oil CD210: The Afghanistan War CD124: The Costs of For-Profit War How We Got Here Craig Whitlock. The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War. Simon and Schuster, 2021. Patrick Tucker. August 18, 2021. “Trump's Pledge to Exit Afghanistan Was a Ruse, His Final SecDef Says.” Defense One. Eugene Kiely and Robert Farley. August 17, 2021. “Timeline of U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan.” FactCheck.org. Eric Schmitt and Jennifer Steinhauer. July 30, 2021. “Afghan Visa Applicants Arrive in U.S. After Years of Waiting.” The New York Times. Craig Whitlock, Leslie Shapiro and Armand Emamdjomeh. December 9, 2019. “The Afghanistan Papers: A secret history of the war.” The Washington Post. Mark Landler and James Risen. July 25, 2017. “Trump Finds Reason for the U.S. to Remain in Afghanistan: Minerals.” The New York Times. John F. Harris. October 15, 2001. “Bush Rejects Taliban Offer On Bin Laden ” Washington Post. The Evacuation: Those Left Behind William Mauldin. September 2, 2021. “Afghanistan Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Staff Left Behind.” Wall Street Journal. Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Annie Karni. August 29, 2021. “Series of U.S. Actions Left Afghan Allies Frantic, Stranded and Eager to Get Out.” The York Times. Sami Sadat. August 25, 2021. “I Commanded Afghan Troops This Year. We Were Betrayed.” The New York Times. Marjorie Censer. August 18, 2021. “US contractors rush to get former employees out of Afghanistan.” Defense News. Siobhan Hughes. August 18, 2021. “Afghanistan Veterans in Congress Trying to Prevent ‘a Death Warrant' for Helping America.” Wall Street Journal. Alex Sanz and Tammy Webber. August 18, 2021. “US friends try to rescue brother in arms in Afghanistan.” AP News. Seth Moulton. June 04, 2021. "Moulton, Bipartisan Honoring Our Promises Working Group to White House: Evacuate our Afghan Partners.” Contractors in Afghanistan Matt Taibbi. August 18, 2021. “We Failed Afghanistan, Not the Other Way Around.” TK News by Matt Taibbi on Substack. Jack Detsch. August 16, 2021. “Departure of Private Contractors Was a Turning Point in Afghan Military's Collapse.” Foreign Policy. Matt Stoller. July 15, 2021. “‘A Real S*** Show': Soldiers Angrily Speak Out about Being Blocked from Repairing Equipment by Contractors.” BIG by Matt Stoller. Lynzy Billing. May 12, 2021. “The U.S. Is Leaving Afghanistan? Tell That to the Contractors.” New York Magazine. Oren Liebermann. March 29, 2021. “Pentagon could open itself to costly litigation from contractors if US pulls out of Afghanistan this year.” CNN. Lucas Kunce and Elle Ekman. September 15, 2019. “Comment Submitted by Major Lucas Kunce and Captain Elle Ekman.” [Regulations.gov(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulations.gov). Aaron Mehta. Oct 25, 2016. “30 Years: William Perry — Reshaping the Industry.” Defense News. Jared Serbu. August 22, 2016. “DoD now awarding more than half its contract spending without competitive bids.” Federal News Network. 41 U.S. Code § 3307 - Preference for commercial products and commercial services. Money: Lost and Gained David Moore. August 23, 2021. “Lawmakers Benefit From Booming Defense Stocks.” Sludge. Lee Fang. August 20, 2021. “Congressman Seeking to Relaunch Afghan War Made Millions in Defense Contracting.” The Intercept. Anna Massoglia and Julia Forrest. August 20, 2021. “Defense contractors spent big in Afghanistan before the U.S. left and the Taliban took control.” OpenSecrets.org. Stephen Losey. April 16, 2021. “The Bill for the Afghanistan War Is $2.26 Trillion, and Still Rising.” Military.com. Eli Clifton. February 16, 2021. “Weapons Biz Bankrolls Experts Pushing to Keep U.S. Troops in Afghanistan.” Daily Beast. Open Secrets. 2021. Defense: Lobbying, 2021. Open Secrets. 2021. Defense: Money to Congress. Laws S.1790 - National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 Sponsor: Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) Status: Became Public Law No: 116-92 on December 20, 2019 H.R. 3237: Emergency Security Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 Sponsor: Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) Status: Signed into law, 2021 May 20 House Vote Breakdown Congressional Budget Office Score Law Outline TITLE IV: BILATERAL ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE GENERAL PROVISIONS EXTENSION AND MODIFICATION OF THE AFGHAN SPECIAL IMMIGRANT VISA PROGRAM Sec. 401: Amends the Afghan Allies Protection Act of 2009 to expand eligibility to include Afghans who worked not only for the US Government for more than 1 year but also our allies as an off-base interpreter or if they performed "activities for United States military stationed at International Security Assistance Force (or any successor name for such Force). Increases the number of Special Immigrant Visas (SIV) to Afghan partners by 8,000, for a total of 34,500 allocated since December 19, 2014. Sec. 402: Authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security and Secretary of state to jointly waive for 1 year (maximum 2 years with an extension) the requirement that Afghan partners eligible for SIVs get a medical exam before they can receive their visa. The Secretary of Homeland Security has to create a process to make sure Afghan SIV holders get a medical exam within 30 days of entry into the United States. Sec. 403: Allows the surviving spouse or child or employee of the United States Government abroad to be eligible for immigration into the United States if the employee worked for our government for at least 15 years or was killed in the line of duty. It also expands entry permissions for Afghan SIV applicants in addition to those who have already been approved. This is retroactive to June 30, 2021. Policies for Visa Processing: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Policy Manual, Chapter 9: Certain Afghan Nationals U.S Department of State -- Bureau of Consular Affairs. “Special Immigrant Visas for Afghans - Who Were Employed by/on Behalf of the U.S. Government.” Audio Sources Gen. Mark Milley: "There was nothing that I or anyone else saw that indicated a collapse of this army and this government in 11 days." August 18, 2021 General Mark Milley: The time frame of rapid collapse that was widely estimated and ranged from weeks to months, and even years following our departure, there was nothing that I or anyone else saw that indicated a collapse of this army and this government in 11 days. Central Command submitted a variety of plans that were briefed and approved by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Defense and the President. These plans were coordinated, synchronized and rehearsed to deal with these various scenarios. One of those contingencies is what we are executing right now. As I said before, there's plenty of time to do AARs(After Action Reviews) and key lessons learned and to delve into these questions with great detail. But right now is not that time. Right now, we have to focus on this mission, because we have soldiers at risk. And we also have American citizens and Afghans who supported us for 20 years also at risk. This is personal and we're going to get them out. President Biden on Afghanistan Withdrawal Transcript July 8, 2021 Sound Clips 01:30 President Biden: When I announced our drawdown in April, I said we would be out by September, and we're on track to meet that target. Our military mission in Afghanistan will conclude on August 31. The drawdown is proceeding in a secure and orderly way, prioritizing the safety of our troops as they depart 3:40 President Biden: Together with our NATO allies and partners, we have trained and equipped nearly 300,000 current serving members of the military, the Afghan national security force, and many beyond that are no longer serving. Add to that hundreds of thousands more Afghan national defense and security forces trained over the last two decades. 04:04 President Biden: We provided our Afghan partners with all the tools, let me emphasize, all the tools -- training, equipment -- of any modern military. We provided advanced weaponry, and we're going to continue to provide funding and equipment and we'll ensure they have the capacity to maintain their Air Force. 5:54 President Biden: We're also going to continue to make sure that we take on Afghan nationals who worked side by side with US forces, including interpreters and translators. Since we're no longer going to have military there after this, we're not going to need them and they'll have no jobs. We're [sic] also going to be vital to our efforts. they've been very vital, and so their families are not exposed to danger as well. We've already dramatically accelerated the procedure time for Special Immigrant Visas to bring them to the United States. Since I was inaugurated on January 20, we've already approved 2,500 Special Immigrant Visas to come to the United States. Up to now, fewer than half have exercised the right to do that. Half have gotten on aircraft and come commercial flights and come and other half believe they want to stay, at least thus far. We're working closely with Congress to change the authorization legislation so that we can streamline the process of approving those visas. And those who have stood up for the operation to physically relocate 1000s of Afghans and their families before the US military mission concludes so that, if they choose, they can wait safely outside of Afghanistan, while their US visas are being processed. 8:13 President Biden: For those who have argued that we should stay just six more months, or just one more year, I asked them to consider the lessons of recent history. In 2011, the NATO allies and partners agreed that we would end our combat mission in 2014. In 2014, some argued one more year. So we kept fighting. We kept taking casualties. In 2015, the same, and on and on. Nearly 20 years of experience has shown us that the current security situation only confirms that just one more year of fighting in Afghanistan is not a solution, but a recipe for being there indefinitely. It's up to the Afghans to make the decision about the future of their country. Others are more direct. Their argument is that we should stay with the Afghans and Afghanistan indefinitely. In doing so they point to the fact that we we have not taken losses in this last year. So they claim that the cost of just maintaining the status quo is minimal. 9:19 President Biden: But that ignores the reality, and the facts that already presented on the ground in Afghanistan when I took office. The Taliban is at its strongest militarily since 2001. The number of US forces in Afghanistan had been reduced to a bare minimum. And the United States and the last administration made an agreement that they have to with the Taliban remove all our forces by May 1 of this year. That's what I inherited. That agreement was the reason the Taliban had ceased major attacks against US forces. 9:55 President Biden: If in April, I had instead announced that the United States was going to go back on that agreement, made by the last administration, the United States and allied forces will remain in Afghanistan for the foreseeable future, the Taliban would have again begun to target our forces. The status quo was not an option. Staying would have meant US troops taking casualties, American men and women back in the middle of a civil war, and we would run the risk of having to send more troops back in Afghanistan to defend our remaining troops. Once that agreement with the Taliban had been made, staying with a bare minimum force was no longer possible. 10:34 President Biden: So let me ask those who want us to stay: how many more? How many 1000s more Americans' daughters and sons are you willing to risk? How long would you have them stay? Already we have members of our military whose parents fought in Afghanistan 20 years ago. Would you send their children and their grandchildren as well? Would you send your own son or daughter? After 20 years, a trillion dollars spent training and equipping hundreds of 1000s of Afghan National Security and Defence Forces. 2,448 Americans killed, 20,722 more wounded, and untold 1000s coming home with unseen trauma to their mental health. I will not send another generation of Americans to war in Afghanistan with no reasonable expectation of achieving a different outcome. 11:51 President Biden: Today the terrorist threat has metastasized beyond Afghanistan. So, we are repositioning our resources and adapting our counterterrorism posture to meet the threats where they are now: significantly higher in South Asia, the Middle East and Africa. 12:07 President Biden: But make no mistake, our military and intelligence leaders are confident they have the capabilities to protect the homeland and our interests from any resurgent terrorist challenge emerging or emanating from Afghanistan. We're developing a counterterrorism over-the-horizon capability that will allow us to keep our eyes firmly fixed at any direct threat to the United States in the region and act quickly and decisively if needed. 12:38 President Biden: We also need to focus on shoring up America's core strengths to meet the strategic competition competition with China and other nations that is really going to determine our future. 14:58 Reporter: Is the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan now inevitable? President Biden: No. It is not. Because you have the Afghan troops, 300,000. Well equipped, as well equipped as any army in the world, and an air force against something like 75,000 Taliban. It is not inevitable. 15:45 President Biden: Do I trust the Taliban? No, but I trust the capacity of the Afghan military who is better trained, better equipped, and more competent in terms of conducting war. 18:07 Reporter: Your own intelligence community has assessed that the Afghan government will likely collapse President Biden: That is not true 18:53 President Biden: And I want to make clear what I made clear to Ghani, that we are not going to walk away and not sustain their ability to maintain that force. We are. We're going to also work to make sure we help them in terms of everything from food necessities and other things in the region. But there is not a conclusion that in fact, they cannot defeat the Taliban. I believe the only way there's going to be -- this is now Joe Biden, not the intelligence community -- the only way there's only going to be peace and secure in Afghanistan, is that they work out a modus vivendi with the Taliban, and they make a judgement as to how they can make peace. And the likelihood there's going to be one unified government in Afghanistan, controlling the whole country is highly unlikely. 21:30 Reporter: Mr. President, how serious was the corruption among the Afghanistan government to this mission failing there? President Biden: First of all, the mission hasn't failed yet. 22:00 President Biden: There were going to be negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan national security forces, and the Afghan government that didn't come to fruition. So the question now is where do they go from here? The jury is still out, but the likelihood there's going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely. 23:20 Reporter: Mr. President, "speed is safety," as you just said in your remarks. Are you satisfied with the timeline of relocating Afghan nationals? Is it happening quickly enough to your satisfaction if it may not happen until next month at the end? President Biden: It has already happened, there have already been people, about 1000 people have gotten on aircraft and come to the United States already on commercial aircraft. So as I said, there's over 2500 people, that as from January to now, have have gotten those visas and only half decided that they wanted to leave. The point is that I think the whole process has to be speeded up -- period -- in terms of being able to get these visas. Reporter: Why can't the US evacuate these Afghan translators to the United States to await their visa processing as some immigrants of the southern border have been allowed to? President Biden: Because the law doesn't allow that to happen. And that's why we're asking the Congress to consider changing the law. President Biden Remarks on Afghanistan Strategy Transcript April 14, 2021 Sound Clips 00:38 President Biden: I'm speaking to you today from the Roosevelt -- the Treaty room in the White House -- the same spot where in October of 2001, President George W. Bush informed our nation that the United States military had begun strikes on terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. It was just weeks, just weeks after the terrorist attack on our nation that killed 2,977 innocent souls, that turned Lower Manhattan into a disaster area, destroyed parts of the Pentagon and made hallowed ground in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and sparked an American promise that we would never forget. We went to Afghanistan in 2001, to root out al Qaeda to prevent future terrorist attacks against the United States planned from Afghanistan. Our objective was clear, the cause was just, our NATO allies and partners rallied beside us. And I supported that military action along with the overwhelming majority of the members of Congress. More than seven years later, in 2008 weeks before we swore the oath of office -- President Obama and I were about to swear -- President Obama asked me to travel to Afghanistan and report back on the state of the war in Afghanistan. I flew to Afghanistan to the Kunar Valley, a rugged, mountainous region on the border of Pakistan. What I saw on that trip reinforced my conviction that only the Afghans have the right and responsibility to lead their country. And that more and endless American military force could not create or sustain a durable Afghan Government. I believed that our presence in Afghanistan should be focused on the reason we went in the first place: to ensure Afghanistan would not be used as a base from which to attack our homeland again. We did that, we accomplished that objective. I said, along with others, we would follow Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell if need be. That's exactly what we did. And we got him. It took us close to 10 years to put President Obama's commitment into form. And that's exactly what happened Osama bin Laden was gone. That was 10 years ago. Think about that. We delivered justice to Bin Laden a decade ago. And we've stayed in Afghanistan for a decade since. Since then, our reasons for remaining in Afghanistan have become increasingly unclear, even as the terrorist threat that we went to fight evolved. Over the past 20 years, the threat has become more dispersed, metastasizing around the globe. Al Shabaab in Somalia, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, on Al Nusra in Syria, ISIS attempting to create a caliphate in Syria and Iraq and establishing affiliates in multiple countries in Africa and Asia. With the terror threat now in many places, keeping 1000s of troops grounded and concentrated in just one country at a cost of billions each year makes little sense to me and our leaders. We cannot continue the cycle of extending or expanding our military presence in Afghanistan, hoping to create ideal conditions for the withdraw and expecting a different result. I'm now the fourth United States President to preside over American troop presence in Afghanistan: two Republicans, two Democrats. I will not pass this responsibility on to a fifth. After consulting closely with our allies and partners, with our military leaders and intelligence personnel, with our diplomats and our development experts, with the Congress and the Vice President, as well as with Mr. Ghani and many others around the world. I concluded that it's time to end America's longest war. It's time for American troops to come home. 5:01 President Biden: When I came to office, I inherited a diplomatic agreement, duly negotiated between the government of the United States and the Taliban, that all US forces would be out of Afghanistan by May 1 2021, just three months after my inauguration. That's what we inherited. That commitment is perhaps not what I would have negotiated myself, but it was an agreement made by the United States government. And that means something. So in keeping with that agreement, and with our national interest, the United States will begin our final withdrawal beginning on May 1 of this year. 8:11 President Biden: You all know that less than 1% of Americans serve in our Armed Forces. The remaining 99%, we owe them. We owe them. They've never backed down from a single mission that we've asked of them. I've witnessed their bravery firsthand during my visits to Afghanistan. They've never wavered in their resolve. They paid a tremendous price on our behalf and they have the thanks of a grateful nation. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) High-Risk List Center for Strategic and International Studies Transcript March 10, 2021 Speaker: John Sopko - Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction Sound Clips 7:40 John Sopko: But right now, that state is under threat. In the wake of the February 2020 withdrawal agreement, all is not well. Compromise appears in short supply on either side. Taliban attacks have actually increased since the agreement was signed. Assassination of prominent officials, activists, journalists, aid workers and others have also increased, including an unsuccessful attack on one of the female members of the peace negotiating team. And the Taliban offensive on Kandahar city last October, as peace negotiations were ongoing, may well have succeeded, were it not for U.S. air support. Peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban have achieved little for Afghanistan so far, and only time will tell as to whether the new Biden administration initiative will bear fruit. And the Afghan people's fears for its own government survival are exacerbated by the knowledge of how dependent their country is on foreign military and financial support. 12:56 John Sopko: Another equally serious threat to Afghanistan's stability has also largely been ignored as we focus on the boots on the ground in Afghanistan. And that is the provision of last year's U.S.-Taliban agreement that stipulates that in addition to the departure of U.S. and coalition troops, or non-diplomatic civilian personnel: private security contractors, trainers, advisors, and supporting service personnel also must leave the country by May 1. Should this come to passSIGAR and many others believe this may be more devastating to the effectiveness of the Afghan security forces than the withdrawal of our remaining troops. Why is that? Because the Afghan government relies heavily on these foreign contractors and trainers to function. In the first quarter of fiscal year 2021 there are over 18,000 Defense Department contractors in Afghanistan, including 6000 Americans, and 7,000 3rd country nationals, 40% of whom are responsible for logistics, maintenance, or training tasks. Now, it is well known that the Afghan security forces need these contractors to maintain their equipment, manage supply chains, and train their military and police to operate the advanced equipment that we have purchased for them. For example, as of December, the Afghan National Army was completing just under 20% of its own maintenance work orders, well below the goal of 80% that was set and the 51% that they did in 2018. So that's actually going down. The Afghan National Police were just as bad if not worse, undertaking only 12% of their own maintenance work against a target of 35% and less than the 16% that we reported in our 2019 high risk list. Additionally, and more troubling. The Department of Defense does train, advise and assist command air, or commonly called TAC air recently reported that since late 2019, they have reduced their personnel in Afghanistan by 94%, and that the military drawdown now requires near total use of contract support to maintain the Afghan Air fleet. They assess that quote “further drawdown in the associated closure basis will effectively end all in country aviation training contracts in Afghanistan.” Again, why is this significant? Why do we view this as a high risk? Namely because contractors currently provide 100% of the maintenance for the Afghan Air Force, UAE 60 helicopters and CE 130 cargo aircraft and a significant portion of Afghans Light Combat Support aircraft. TAC air this January gave a bleak assessment, namely, that no Afghan airframe can be sustained as combat effective for more than a few months in the absence of contractor support. 17:51 John Sopko: Continued funding for U.S. reconstruction programs aimed at promoting economic development, rule of law, respect for human rights, good governance and security for the Afghan people may be more significant, because it may be the primary lever left for the US and other donors to influence that country. It appears that even the Taliban understand Afghanistan's dire need for foreign assistance. Because, as one of the few commitments that the US had to make last year was, “to seek economic cooperation for reconstruction, with the new post settlement, Afghan Islamic government.” Now how much the donor community wishes to stay involved will of course depend on what that government looks like and how it behaves. Numerous officials, including then Secretary of State Pompeo and Ambassador Halley, have stated that the US will be able to advance its human rights goals, including the rights of women and girls with the Taliban by leveraging or conditioning this much needed financial assistance. But unfortunately, as SIGAR has long reported, even when conditionality involved only dealing with the Afghan government, donors do not have a stellar record of successfully utilizing that conditionality to influence Afghan behavior. 27:19 John Sopko: Today our report suggests the donor community should realize the Afghan government is focused on a single goal, its survival. Afghanistan is more dependent on international support than ever before. It may not be an overstatement that if foreign assistance is withdrawn and peace negotiations fail, Taliban forces could be at the gates of Kabul in short order. Hearing: A PATHWAY FOR PEACE IN AFGHANISTAN: EXAMINING THE FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE AFGHANISTAN STUDY GROUP House Committee on Oversight and Reform: Subcommittee on National Security February 19, 2021 Testimony was heard from the following Afghanistan Study Group officials: Kelly A. Ayotte, Co-Chair; News Corp Board of Directors since April 2017 BAE Systems Board of Directors since June 2017 Blackstone Board of Directors Boston Properties Board of Directors Caterpillar Board of Directors Board of Advisors at Cirtronics General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. (Retired), Co-Chair Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Obama and Trump presidencies. Lockheed Martin Board of Directors since February 2020 Nancy Lindborg, Co-Chair President and CEO of the David Lucile Packard Foundation Former President and CEO of the US Institute for Peace Former Assistant Administrator for the bureau for democracy conflict and humanitarian assistance at USAID During the mid-Obama years. Sound Clips 3:13 Rep. Stephen Lynch (MA): I'd also like to take a moment to thank the nonpartisan US Institute of Peace for the support and expertise they provided to the study group during the course of its work. 3:23 Rep. Stephen Lynch (MA): In the fiscal year 2020 omnibus bill Congress led by Senator Graham Senator Patrick Leahy and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee of state foreign ops and related programs. They tasked the independent and bipartisan Afghanistan study group to quote, consider the implications of a peace settlement or the failure to reach a settlement on US policy, resources and commitments in Afghanistan. After nearly nine months of review and consultation with current and former US and Afghan government officials, allies and partners and other key stakeholders, the Afghanistan study group issued its final report earlier this month. 15:12 Kelly Ayotte: We recommend that US troops remain beyond may 1. We believe a precipitous withdrawal of US and international troops in May, would be catastrophic for Afghanistan, leading to civil war, and allow the reconstitution of terror groups which threaten the United States within an 18 to 36 month period. 15:41 Kelly Ayotte: Let me be clear, although we recommend that our troops remain beyond may 1, we propose a new approach toward Afghanistan, which aligns our policies, practices and messaging across the United States government to support the Afghan peace process, rather than prosecute a war. Our troops would remain not to fight a forever war, but to guarantee the conditions for a successful peace process and to protect our national security interests to ensure that Afghanistan does not become a haven again, for terrorists who threaten the United States of America. 37:15 General Joseph F. Dunford: Do we need to increase forces if the Taliban don't accept an extension past the first of May, and if they then would re initiate attacks against US forces? and Chairman, we heard exactly what you heard. In the fall. What we were told by commanders on the ground in the department of fence was that 4500 US forces, in addition to the NATO forces that are there was the minimum level to address both the mission as well as protection of our forces in the context of the conditions that existed in the fall in as you've highlighted, those conditions have only gotten worse since the fall so in in our judgment 2500 would not be adequate. Should the Taliban re initiate attacks against the United States Hearing: Examining the Trump Administration's Afghanistan Strategy House Committee on Oversight and Reform, Subcommittee on National Security January 28, 2020 Witness: John Sopko - Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) Sound Clips 48:54 John Sopko: We've almost created a system that forces people in the government to give happy talk success stories because they're over there on very short rotations. They want to show success. The whole system is almost geared to give you, and it goes up the chain of command, all the way to the President sometimes. He gets bad information from people out in the field because somebody on a nine month rotation, he has to show success, and that goes up. 54:24 John Sopko: Maybe incentivize honesty. And one of the proposals I gave at that time,be cause I was asked by the staff to come up with proposals, is put the same requirement on the government that we impose on publicly traded corporations. Publicly traded corporations have to tell the truth. Otherwise the SEC will indict the people involved. They have to report when there's a significant event. So put that onus, call it The Truth in Government Act if you want, that you in the administration are duty bound by statute to alert Congress to significant events that could directly negatively impact a program or process. So incentivize honesty. 1:10:25 John Sopko: Over 70% of the Afghan budget comes from the United States and the donors. If that money ended, I have said before and I will stand by it, then the Afghan government will probably collapse. Wartime Contracting Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs September 21, 2011 Witnesses: Charles Tiefer: Commissioner on the Commission on Wartime Contracting Clark Kent Ervin: Commissioner on the Commission on Wartime Contracting Sound Clips 1:11:30 Charles Tiefer: Our private security in Afghanistan appears to be a major source of payoffs to the Taliban. Our report has the first official statement that it's the second-largest source of money for the Taliban. Sen. Carl Levin: After drugs. Charles Tiefer: After drugs, that's right. 1:25:18 Clark Kent Ervin: It's critical that the government have a choice, and that means that there needs to be at least a small and expandable, organic capacity on the part of these three agencies to perform missions themselves, so the next time there's a contingency, the government has a choice between going with contractors and going in-house and the determination can be made whether it's more effective to do it either way, whether it's cheaper to do it either way. As we said at the inception, right now the government doesn't have an option. Contractors are the default option because they're the only option. President George W. Bush announces U.S. Military Strikes on Afghanistan October 7, 2001 President George W. Bush: Good afternoon. On my orders, the United States military has begun strikes against Al-Qaeda terrorist training camps and military installations of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. These carefully targeted actions are designed to disrupt the use of Afghanistan as a terrorist base of operations and to attack the military capability of the Taliban regime. More than two weeks ago, I gave Taliban leaders a series of clear and specific demands: close terrorist training camps, hand over leaders of the Al-Qaeda network, and return all foreign nationals including American citizens unjustly detained in your country. None of these demands were met and now the Taliban will pay a price by destroying camps and disrupting communications. We will make it more difficult for the terror network to train new recruits and coordinate their evil plans. ** International Campaign Against Terrorism Senate Foreign Relations Committee October 25, 2001 Witness: Colin Powell: Secretary of State Sound Clip 27:00 Colin Powell: Our work in Afghanistan though, is not just of a military nature. We recognize that when the Al Qaeda organization has been destroyed in Afghanistan, and as we continue to try to destroy it in all the nations in which it exists around the world, and when the Taliban regime has gone to its final reward, we need to put in place a new government in Afghanistan, one that represents all the people of Afghanistan and one that is not dominated by any single powerful neighbor, but instead is dominated by the will of the people of Afghanistan. Executive Producer Recommendations Elect Stephanie Gallardo 2022 Krystal Kyle and Friends. August 21, 2021. “Episode 35 Audio with Matthew Hoh.” Cover Art Design by Only Child Imaginations Music Presented in This Episode Intro & Exit: Tired of Being Lied To by David Ippolito (found on Music Alley by mevio)
Washington Post reporter Craig Whitlock says the U-S government misled the public about our failures in Afghanistan -- for years . His new book is titled "The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War."
But the lawyer doesn't regret his role in the Clinton impeachment saga. Also on the latest New Abnormal, whether Texas spells the end of Roe, where Georgia is headed, and more. Later in the episode, Washington Post reporter Craig Whitlock, author of The Afghanistan Papers, talks about American officials' doublespeak on Afghanistan over 20 years. He also shares with Molly his take on how Michael Flynn went from respected, level-headed three-star general to QAnon crank. Finally, Georgia state Sen. Jen Jordan, who's running for attorney general, talks about how gerrymandering is likely to produce more Marjorie Taylor Greenes, whether how Texas' abortion ban will inspire Republicans to replicate it in Georgia.If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast's membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O'Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes it's just discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you'll support The Beast's fearless journalism. Plus! You'll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
It is America's longest war with over 2,300 dead and more than 20,000 casualties. Washington Post reporter Craig Whitlock, author of the new Washington Post book “The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War,” discusses stunning revelations about the war in Afghanistan and offer powerful, inside perspective on new evidence that the recent Afghan collapse was years in the making. Whitlock was joined by former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker and former U.S. Army Lieutenant General Douglas Lute (Ret.).
Despite American presidents and military leaders providing years of positive assessments that the U.S. was winning the war in Afghanistan, behind the scenes there were clear warnings of an unsuccessful end. Those stories of failure, corruption and lack of strategy are the focus of Craig Whitlock's discussion with Judy Woodruff and his new book "The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War." PBS NewsHour is supported by - https://www.pbs.org/newshour/about/funders
Despite American presidents and military leaders providing years of positive assessments that the U.S. was winning the war in Afghanistan, behind the scenes there were clear warnings of an unsuccessful end. Those stories of failure, corruption and lack of strategy are the focus of Craig Whitlock's discussion with Judy Woodruff and his new book "The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War." PBS NewsHour is supported by - https://www.pbs.org/newshour/about/funders
In May of 2003, then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, flew to Kabul to declare that combat operations were indeed over in Afghanistan. "The country is now secure." This was quite the misleading statement as our guest Craig Whitlock explains. Just one example of numerous half-truths told over four administration about the US' now longest war. On this day, the last flight out of Afghanistan carrying American troops has left, ending the endless war. We'll take a deep dive as to how we got here with the aforementioned author the brand new book, THE AFGHANISTAN PAPERS: A Secret History of the War.GUEST:Craig Whitlock (@CraigMWhitlock), Investigative reporter for The Washington Post AuthorHOSTS:Michael Isikoff (@Isikoff), Chief Investigative Correspondent, Yahoo NewsDaniel Klaidman (@dklaidman), Editor in Chief, Yahoo NewsVictoria Bassetti (@VBass), fellow, Brennan Center for Justice (contributing co-host) RESOURCES:Whitlock's new book, The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War - Here.Whitlock's Washington Post bio page - Here.Yahoo News' latest article on the end of the war in Afghanistan - Here. Follow us on Twitter: @SkullduggeryPodListen and subscribe to "Skullduggery" on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.Email us with feedback, questions or tips: SkullduggeryPod@yahoo.com. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Recent research suggests that making a few lifestyle changes can curb memory decline and fight off dementia. KCUR's Alex Smith reports on a Kansas City-area woman who decided to take action when her own memory started to slip. And, in a new book, author Craig Whitlock looks at what went wrong in Afghanistan over the two decades the U.S. had troops there. He joins us to discuss "The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War."
"Two years ago he and a team at The Post published a prescient and ground-breaking project called “The Afghanistan Papers,” revealing hundreds of secret interviews with U.S. officials candidly discussing the failures of the war.By Martine PowersThe interviews with some 400 people were part of a project called “Lessons Learned,” undertaken by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR, and The Post obtained them after a three-year legal battle. These Afghanistan papers are a secret history of the war, Whitlock tells Martine Powers, and “they contain these frank admissions of how the war was screwed up and that what the American people were being told about the war wasn't true.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/tablet/2021/08/20/afghanistan-papers-revisited/?utm_campaign=ext_rweb&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=extensionSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/TheDarrellmcclainshow)
Afghanistan. If you're listening to this show you've probably been following the news. Despite what the Pentagon or White House will tell you, the evacuation isn't going great. There is a dichotomy between what officials tell us and what's actually happening that—in the age of mass communication—seems … insulting.That dichotomy and how it affected America's view of Afghanistan is at the heart of the new book—The Afghanistan Papers. Craig Whitlock, its author, is here with us today. Whitlock is an investigative reporter for The Washington Post who has covered America's War on Terror since the beginning.Recorded August 25, the day before the attacks. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Air Date 8/25/2021 Today we take a look at the history of the war in Afghanistan. First of all, do you think that it's been going on for 20 years? Think again, it's been a lot longer than that. From British Empire Building to Cold War gamesmanship, Afghanistan has been a center of conflict since long before American citizens bothered to take notice. Be part of the show! Leave us a message at 202-999-3991 or email Jay@BestOfTheLeft.com Transcript BestOfTheLeft.com/Support (Get AD FREE Shows & Bonus Content) BestOfTheLeft.com/Refer Sign up, share widely, get rewards. It's that easy! OUR AFFILIATE LINKS: BestOfTheLeft.com/Descript CHECK OUT OUR FANCY PRODUCTION SOFTWARE! BestOfTheLeft.com/Advertise Sponsor the show! SHOW NOTES Ch. 1: Afghans Try to Flee U.S.-Caused Crisis - The Intercept - Air Date 8-18-21 The Taliban have taken over Afghanistan, forcing the U.S.-backed Afghan government out. The Intercept Vanessa Gezari, who also reported from Afghanistan for years after the U.S. war began, breaks down the historical trajectory that led to this moment. Ch. 2: Matthew Hoh on Afghanistan Withdrawal - CounterSpin - Air Date 8-20-21 We'll prepare ourselves with insights on Afghanistan from Phyllis Bennis, director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies, and from Matthew Hoh, senior fellow with the Center for International Policy. Ch. 3: The Afghan Pentagon Papers & An Illicit History Of The War - The Michael Brooks Show - Air Date 12-14-19 Michael Brooks breaks down the history of the modern military establishment. Ch. 4: War presidents - Rachel Maddow Show Ch. 5: The Afghanistan Papers Docs Show How Bush, Obama, Trump Lied About Brutality & Corruption of War - Democracy Now! - Air Date 8-19-21 We speak with Washington Post investigative reporter Craig Whitlock, author of the new book “The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War,” which reveals how multiple U.S. presidents deceived the public about progress in the war. Ch. 6: The Pentagon Papers Of Our Time with Craig Whitlock - On the Media - Air Date 12-20-19 Bob Garfield talks with Craig Whitlock about the Afghanistan Papers and the comparison to the Pentagon Papers. Ch. 7: Spencer Ackerman Todays Crisis in Kabul Is Direct Result of Decades of U.S. War & Destabilization - Democracy Now! - Air Date 8-20-21 As thousands of Afghans try to flee Afghanistan after the Taliban seized control, we look at the roots of the longest U.S. war in history and spend the hour with Pulitzer Prize-winning national security reporter Spencer Ackerman. MEMBERS-ONLY BONUS CLIP(S) Ch. 8: 30,000 speech - The Daily Show President Obama channels George W. Bush in his speech announcing the deployment of an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan. Ch. 9: The Afghanistan Papers with Steven Miles - News Beat with Rashed Mian and Christopher Twarowski - Air Date 12-23-19 We speak with Washington Post investigative reporter Craig Whitlock, author of the new book “The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War,” which reveals how multiple U.S. presidents deceived the public about progress in the war. VOICEMAILS Ch. 10: No bipartisanship for now - Rich from Oregon FINAL COMMENTS Ch. 11: Final comments on questioning a theory of change before supporting an idea MUSIC (Blue Dot Sessions): Opening Theme: Loving Acoustic Instrumental by John Douglas Orr Voicemail Music: Low Key Lost Feeling Electro by Alex Stinnent Activism Music: This Fickle World by Theo Bard (https://theobard.bandcamp.com/track/this-fickle-world) Closing Music: Upbeat Laid Back Indie Rock by Alex Stinnent Produced by Jay! Tomlinson Visit us at BestOfTheLeft.com Listen Anywhere! BestOfTheLeft.com/Listen Listen Anywhere! Follow at Twitter.com/BestOfTheLeft Like at Facebook.com/BestOfTheLeft Contact me directly at Jay@BestOfTheLeft.com
Today on the RealClearDefense podcast "Hot Wash," host John Sorensen and RealClearDefense Editor David Craig speak with Craig Whitlock, Investigative Journalist at the Washington Post and author of "The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War." Based in part on confidential Pentagon interviews obtained through two Freedom of Information lawsuits, the book reveals the doubts policymakers and military leaders were sharing in private throughout the war in stark contrast to their optimistic assessments in public. We are also joined by Steve Liewer, who covers the military for the Omaha World-Herald, and previously wrote for Stars and Stripes. Most recently he has been reporting on how Gold Star families and veterans are dealing with the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. What can we learn from looking back over the past 20 years to the internal criticisms expressed by those fighting the war? And how is that affecting today's veterans? Subscribe to the Morning Recon newsletter at https://www.realcleardefense.com/daily_newsletters/ for a daily roundup of news and opinion on the issues that matter for military, defense, veteran affairs, and national security. Be sure to subscribe to Hot Wash on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/realclear-defense-presents-hot-wash/id1575373700
Craig Whitlock is the Washington Post reporter behind The Afghanistan Papers. Whitlock obtained a trove of government documents that revealed the false narrative the U.S. government had been pushing about the war for decades.
This week, Americans watched in disbelief as Afghanistan fell to the Taliban in a matter of days — and we wondered what Craig Whitlock was thinking. Two years ago he and a team at The Post published a prescient and ground-breaking project called “The Afghanistan Papers,” revealing hundreds of secret interviews with U.S. officials candidly discussing the failures of the war.The interviews with some 400 people were part of a project called “Lessons Learned,” undertaken by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR, and The Post obtained them after a three-year legal battle. These Afghanistan papers are a secret history of the war, Whitlock tells Martine Powers, and “they contain these frank admissions of how the war was screwed up and that what the American people were being told about the war wasn't true.” “They really do bring to mind the Pentagon Papers, which were the Defense Department's top-secret history of the Vietnam War,” Whitlock says. These recordings have new resonance this week. Read excerpts from Craig Whitlock's new book, ‟The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War”.Deceptions and lies: What really happened in AfghanistanThe grand illusion: Hiding the truth about the Afghanistan war's ‘conclusion'
In today's podcast Savage analyzes the events surrounding the fall of Afghanistan, and shares TWO GREAT INTERVIEWS. First, investigative journalist Craig Whitlock of The Washington Post joins to talk about his new book “The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War” which details how the U.S. military misled us for years regarding the readiness of the Afghan army. Savage says we too often fail to understand the culture of a foreign land; Whitlock agrees and describes problems with Afghanistan's intense tribalism. Whitlock & Savage also discuss the opium trade, the "silk road" that may bring rare earth minerals to China, and the implications for Taiwan. A scintillating and wide ranging interview between two very intelligent and knowledgeable men! The SECOND interview is a historic conversation with General Alexander Haig about Iraq in 2007. He warned us that the neocons are "ideologues" who "want to impose democracy at the point of a bayonet." He also said that if you DO want to impose regime change on a foreign country, you'd better "rally all the assets needed to do it effectively." Savage also points out the political ramifications of the events. Images of people falling to their deaths from a great height is horribly reminiscent of 9/11. Gross failures of military intelligence, and feckless non-leadership of a not-very-bright U.S. President. And, like 9/11, this casts doubt on America as a world leader. After four years of strong leadership by President Donald Trump, this is a difficult pill to swallow. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
There are nearly five times as many Americans in hospital with Covid-19 as there were two months ago. With the delta variant surging, the President announces the rollout of booster shots for fully vaccinated adults in the U.S. to start September 20th, pending sign-off from the FDA. Experts are split on the third dose. Dr. David Rubin, Director of PolicyLab at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, joins to give his perspective. Americans and the world watch as disaster unfolds in Afghanistan. The U.S. Embassy in Kabul warns it cannot ensure safe passage to Hamid Karzai Airport despite the Pentagon saying the Taliban guarantee safe passage. President Biden now says troops may stay past his August 31st deadline if all Americans are not evacuated. President Biden has slammed Governors who have banned mask mandates in schools for their own political gain, including Texas Governor Greg Abbott who issued an executive order banning school districts from requiring masks and Florida Governor Ron Desantis, who reacted negatively to the Miami-Dade School Board's vote today in favor of a mask mandate. CNN Political Commentators Ana Navarro and Scott Jennings join to discuss the mask mandate controversy in these high coronavirus transmission states. President Biden is on the defensive insisting the chaos in Afghanistan amid the U.S. troops withdrawal is not a failure of intelligence planning or execution and says there is no way the U.S. could have withdrawn without Afghanistan falling into chaos. CNN's John Harwood and USA Today's Kirsten Powers join to give their perspectives. Finally, right-wing commentators continue to use the crisis in Afghanistan to push an anti-refugee sentiment, stoking fears in the immigration debate. CNN's Juliette Kayyem and The Washington Post's Craig Whitlock join to discuss the myths and misinformation around this issue. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
To become a Breaking Points Premium Member and watch/listen to the show uncut and 1 hour early visit: https://breakingpoints.supercast.tech/To listen to Breaking Points as a podcast, check them it on Apple and SpotifyApple: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/breaking-points-with-krystal-and-saagar/id1570045623Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/4Kbsy61zJSzPxNZZ3PKbXlMerch: https://breaking-points.myshopify.com/Craig Whitlock's Book: https://www.amazon.com/Afghanistan-Papers-Secret-History-War/dp/B08WTDGSFH/ref=sr_1_1?crid=30S357ZCC32DH&dchild=1&keywords=the+afghanistan+papers&qid=1629147122&sprefix=the+afghanist%2Caps%2C235&sr=8-1
Guest: Matthew Hoh. We talk about the Afghanistan Papers that were published in the Washington Post at the end of 2019 and the media treatment of these issues. We discuss Matthew’s experience in the military and in foreign service, the war in Afghanistan during the Bush and Obama administrations, and the culture of lying that has developed in the military. Matthew resigned in protest in 2009 over the war in Afghanistan. Matthew Hoh is a Senior Fellow with the Center for International Policy in Washington, DC. He’s a disabled veteran, a former US Marine Corps officer and Department of Defense and State Department official. Matthew was in the Iraq War with the Marines and in both Afghanistan and Iraq with State Department teams. He is on the Boards and Advisory Boards of a number of organizations including Expose Facts, Institute for Public Accuracy and Veterans For Peace. He writes and speaks regularly on issues of war and peace, has appeared on numerous media networks and his work has been published by a wide array of online and print media FOLLOW Matthew on Facebook. Find his recent writings at CounterPunch, antiwar.com and on his website https://matthewhoh.com Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Find all links at aroundtheempire.com. SUBSCRIBE on YouTube. FOLLOW @aroundtheempire and @joanneleon. SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, Facebook or on your preferred podcast app. Reference Links: Matthew Hoh website: https://matthewhoh.com At War With the Truth, Washington Post, Craig Whitlock (first WaPo article on Afghanistan Papers) The Secret History of the War, Washington Post, Craig Whitlock (Afghanistan Papers) Wiki: Afghanistan Papers Those who ran the Afghanistan war lied. They must be held to account, Washington Post, Katrina vanden Heuvel Afghan Papers Inadvertently Document WaPo’s Role in Spreading Official Lies, FAIR WaPo’s Afghan Papers Propagate Colonial Narrative of Noble Intentions Gone Awry, FAIR Book: The Cost of Loyalty: Dishonesty, Hubris, and Failure in the U.S. Military, Tim Bakken Lying to Ourselves: Dishonesty in the Army Profession, Army War College, Dr Stephen J Gerras, Dr Leonard Wong
The Trump administration has made a deal with the Taliban which has been reported as "the beginning of the end" of the Afghanistan war... But is it? In this episode, an examination of Afghanistan's past helps us understand our current role in Afghanistan and by looking into the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, 2020 government funding law, and some key Congressional hearings, we get some insight into our possible future in terms of America's "forgotten war". Please Support Congressional Dish – Quick Links Click here to contribute monthly or a lump sum via PayPal Click here to support Congressional Dish for each episode via Patreon Send Zelle payments to: Donation@congressionaldish.com Send Venmo payments to: @Jennifer-Briney Send Cash App payments to: $CongressionalDish or Donation@congressionaldish.com Use your bank’s online bill pay function to mail contributions to: 5753 Hwy 85 North, Number 4576, Crestview, FL 32536 Please make checks payable to Congressional Dish Thank you for supporting truly independent media! Recommended Congressional Dish Episodes CD093: Our Future in War CD208: The Brink of the Iran War Bills HR 1158: Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020 Page 53: Operation and Maintenance, Defense-Wide: Allows up to $225 million to be given to other countries for military operations in Afghanistan in addition to over $1 billion that can be giving to “foreign security forces or other groups or individuals” for any “Department of Defense security cooperation programs” Page 55: Afghanistan Security Forces Fund: Provides over $4.1 billion to the security forces of Afghanistan that can be spent on equipment, supplies, services, training, facility and infrastructure repair, construction, and “funding”. Out of this $4.1 billion, $10 million musth be used for recruiting women into the Afghanistan National Security Forces Section 9021: Funds for the Afghanistan Security Forces are allowed to be transferred to them even if they have conducted human rights abuses that are so bad that funding them would be illegal, as long as the Defense Secretary certifies that “a denial of such assistance would… significantly undermine United States national security objectives in Afghanistan” and that Afghanistan’s officials have promised to do better. National Defense Authorization Act - 1,119 pages Signed December 20 Sec. 1211: Extends the authority for the Defense Department to transfer weapons and provide military services to the security forces of Afghanistan for two more years, until December 31, 2022. Section 1213: Allows (but doesn’t not require) a maximum of $3 million per year to be paid to people injured or killed by US forces or our partners. The Defense Secretary gets to write the regulations determining the amounts of payments and to whom they will go. Section 1216: The Secretary of State “shall seek to ensure the meaningful participation of Afghan women in the peace process in Afghanistan” Section 1520: Requires $10 million of the Afghanistan Security Forces fund to be spent on women’s integration and other women’s program Articles/Documents Article: Retired Army 4-Star Jack Keane to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom by Gina Harkins, Military.com, March 4, 2020 Article: Afghan conflict: Taliban to resume attacking local forces after deal with US by Cat Schuknecht, BBC News, March 2, 2020 Article: Taliban and U.S. Strike Deal to Withdraw American Troops From Afghanistan by Mujib Mashal, The New York Times, March 1, 2020 Article: Afghan President Rejects Timing Of Prisoner Swap Proposed In U.S.-Taliban Peace Deal by Cat Schuknecht, npr, March 1, 2020 Article: Afghan conflict: US and Taliban sign deal to end 18-year war by Lyse Doucet, BBC News, February 29, 2020 Article: The Saudi Connection: Inside the 9/11 Case that Divided the F.B.I. by Tim Golden and Sebastian Rotella, The Nation, February 14, 2020 Article: The Members of Congress Who Profit From War by Donald Shaw and David Moore, Sludge, January 23, 2020 Article: The Members of Congress Who Profit From War by Donald Shaw and David Moore, Sludge, January 13, 2020 Article: US military presence in the Middle East and Afghanistan by Alia Chughtai, Sludge, January 13, 2020 Document: MILITARY CONSTRUCTION, VETERANS AFFAIRS, AND RELATED AGENCIES, 2020, Senate Appropriations Committee, 2020 Document: DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, 2020, Senate Appropriations Committee, 2020 Article: I Knew the War in Afghanistan Was a Lie By Maj. Danny Sjursen, truthdig, December 9, 2019 Article: What Did the U.S. Get for $2 Trillion in Afghanistan? By SARAH ALMUKHTAR and ROD NORDLAND, The New York Times, December 9, 2019 Article: At War With the Truth by Craig Whitlock, The Washington Post, December 9, 2019 Article: The U.S. Opioid Epidemic By Claire Felter, Council on Foreign Relations, September 17, 2019 Article: Afghanistan profile - Timeline BBC, September 9, 2019 Article: Timeline: US military presence in Afghanistan by Ellen Mitchell, Aljazeera, September 8, 2019 Article: Afghanistan’s Hired Guns by Paul D. Shinkman, U.S. News, April 26, 2019 Article: A retired general has twice turned Trump down to be defense secretary — a sign Trump has a self-inflicted personnel problem by Christopher Woody, Business Insider, January 8, 2019 Article: Here’s the blueprint for Erik Prince’s $5 billion plan to privatize the Afghanistan war By Tara Copp, Military Times, September 5, 2018 Article: Israel’s hugely controversial “nation-state” law, explained By Miriam Berger, Vox, July 31, 2018 Article: How the heroin trade explains the US-UK failure in Afghanistan By Alfred W McCoy, The Guardian, January 9, 2018 Article: At stake in US military efforts to stabilize Afghanistan: At least $3 trillion in natural resources By Mariam Amini, CNBC, August 19, 2017 Article: QUARTERLY REPORT TO THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS SIGAR - Special Inspector General forAfghanistan Reconstruction, July 30, 2017 Article: Trump Aides Recruited Businessmen to Devise Options for Afghanistan By Mark Landler, Eric Schmitt and Michael R. Gordon, The New York Times, July 10, 2017 Article: The MacArthur Model for Afghanistan by Erik D. Prince, WSJ, May 31, 2017 Article: What We Know About Saudi Arabia’s Role in 9/11 By Simon Henderson, Foreign Policy, November 20, 2016 Article: Ret. Army Gen. Jack Keane Says He Declined Trump's Defense Secretary Offer, npr, July 18, 2016 Article: What Sort of Foreign-Policy Hawk Is Hillary Clinton?, John Cassidy, The New Yorker, April 22, 2016 Article: How Hillary Clinton Became a Hawk, Mark Landler, The New York Times, April 21, 2016 Article: 10 years later, did the Big Dig deliver? by Anthony Flint, Boston Globe, December 29, 2015 Article: Robert Bales Speaks: Confessions of America’s Most Notorious War Criminal by BRENDAN VAUGHAN, GQ, October 21, 2015 Article: Why Ashraf Ghani Succeeded on his Rocky Road to the Afghan Presidency by Ali M Latifi, Vice, October 1, 2014 Article: Natural Resources Were Supposed to Make Afghanistan Rich. Here’s What’s Happening to Them. by Antony Loewenstein, The Nation, December 14, 2014 Article: A Historical Timeline of Afghanistan PBS, May 4, 2011 Article: From Errand to Fatal Shot to Hail of Fire to 17 Deaths By By James Glanz and Alissa J. Rubin, The New York Times, October 3, 2007 Additional Resources Homepage SIGAR - Special Inspector General for Afganistan Reconstruction Video Joe Rogan Experience #1436 - Adam Curry Mar 4, 2020 Sound Clip Sources Hearing: United States Strategy in Afghanistan, United States Senate Armed Services Committee, February 11, 2020 Witnesses Jack Keane: Chairman of the Institute for The Study of War Appointed by John McCain when he was Chairman to the Congressional Committee on the National Defense Strategy Dr. Colin Jackson: Professor at the United States Naval War College Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia Transcript: 27:30 Jack Keane: General, Scott Miller, one of our very best commanders in Afghanistan who was due to brief you next month, was working on reducing U.S. troop presence before negotiations began with the Taliban. He concluded after he took command and did his assessment that he had more troops than are required to do the mission. In other words, the troop reduction that we will undergo to 8,600 is an acceptable risk in the mind of the Commander in Charge. Second, we need to reduce the financial burden on the United States. Currently it's around $45.5 billion from a high down from a high of 110 billion in 2010 during the Afghan surge. Let's get it down. It's possible, certainly below 30 billion initially and eventually below that. Not just because of the troop reductions, but by reductions also in contractors who represent a $27 billion cost of the 45 billion. Ashraf Ghani, who I've spoken to on more than one occasion, if he forms a new government, wants to reduce the U.S. burden of $5 billion to the Afghan national security forces, he wants to provide more funds himself. He thinks he can do that, and he's had negotiations with the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the UAE and a couple of others to assist in the financing. 1:51:00 Sen. Angus King (ME): We're doing counter terrorism in other countries without a military presence. Colin Jackson: Absolutely. Sen. Angus King (ME): Would that be possible in Afghanistan? Colin Jackson: Not in the same way. In other words, it's much more...it's much easier for us geographically and politically to operate in a place like Yemen from offshore than it is for us to operate offshore into Afghanistan. It has to do with distances. It has to do with agreements with neighboring countries, that type of thing. 1:52:20 Sen. Angus King (ME): Is this a case, would you make to the American people that this is a place where we need an indefinite presence? Not at a terribly high level but as at a level that will enable us to keep, as I think you use the term "keep a foot on the throat of the terrorists." Jack Keane: I totally agree with that assessment. I think it's a political apple that leaders are not willing to swallow and talk to the American people honestly about - this is a multigenerational problem that we've got. We are being selective about which radical Islamic groups are threatening the American people. And you can make a case that we could possibly have to have a counterterrorism for us someplace in central South Asia, best place is Afghanistan, as long as that threat is there indefinitely. Sen. Angus King (ME): And it will require a military presence to support the counter terrorism function, is that what you're saying? Jack Keane: And I think we will eventually, frankly, get down below 8,600, at some point, and we'll narrow that down to Intelligence, Counter-Terrorism and Air Power that's outside the country to be able to support our activities. But it could possibly lead to an indefinite commitment of a small number of forces in that country. Much like we have less than a thousand now trying to keep our foot on ISIS, keep our foot on their throat in Syria to make sure that they don't re-emerge. Sen. Angus King (ME): I think you'd agree on it and I'm out of time, but I think you'd agree that if that's going to be the case, somebody's got to tell the American people. Jack Keane: I totally agree with that, Senator. Totally agree with that. Sen. Angus King (ME): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 1:53:48 Sen. Jim Inhofe (OK): I think there's merit in having a closed hearing for this committee. But not necessarily, we can do it ourselves. Good thought. We'll follow through. Hearing: Examining the Trump Administration’s Afghanistan Strategy, United States House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Homeland Security, January 28, 2020 Watch on Youtube Watch on CSPAN Witnesses John Sopko: Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction Transcript: 17:35 Rep. Jody Hice (GA): To date, American taxpayers have spent $780 billion on combat operations, $137 billion on reconstruction efforts since 2002, so we're pushing $1 trillion here during that time. And in spite of that money, we've lost 2,400 courageous American service members during the conflict and one stat that often is overlooked is over 20,000 who had been wounded in action, many of them very seriously. 18:15 Rep. Jody Hice (GA): The United States is drawn down our military presence from a peak of about a hundred thousand under the Obama administration to less than 14,000 today. 26:30 John Sopko: Unfortunately, since my last appearance, not much has changed on the ground in Afghanistan to diminish our concerns. The military situation is still a deadly stalemate. The Afgan economy - extremely weak. Corruption - rampant. Narcotics production - growing. Reintegration of ex-combatants - problematic. Women's rights - threatened. And oversight restricted by widespread insecurity. Our newest quarterly report, which will be released in a few days, discusses all of these threats and in particular highlights that if peace is to be sustainable, financial support from donors will need to continue and may need to continue for years to come. 28:00 John Sopko: Now more than ever, I caution that if there is a peace agreement and continued assistance provided to the Afghan people, oversight needs to remain mission critical. Otherwise you might as well pile up all the dollars and euros in Masood Circle and downtown Kabul and burn them for whatever good they can accomplish. 32:55 John Sopko: Every metric that we used to provide you the Congress and the American people in our quarterly reports. Every metric that you would find useful is now either classified or no longer available. Now it's available, some of it in a classified setting, and I know Chairman, you and I spent some time there briefing on it. You know how difficult it is to use that, but this was information that we'd been providing publicly for years, and then it's been taken away. So that is a problem, but I can't answer why they eliminated that. 46:00 John Sopko: We decided to embark upon trying to learn some lessons from those 18 years. And what happened is in the course of that, we got a lot of information, reviewed a lot of cables, interviewed a lot of people. Some of the people we interviewed were reflective of what happened 10 years ago. And they basically were saying...I think General Lute and others that...we didn't know what was going on, but that was sort of after the fact. They're reflecting. It was very useful information in some areas, but a lot of the information was also talking about the warfighting and none of our reports deal with the warfighting. We deal with reconstruction and the training. We don't look at whether we should be in Afghanistan or not. So when Ambassador Lute or General Flynn say, we shouldn't be there, that's nice. It's his opinion, it's their opinion. But it doesn't help us do these lessons learned reports, which we've done seven. So that explains it. It's not that these people were evil, they're just reflecting on what they saw and observed seven, eight years ago. 48:55 John Sopko: We've almost created a system that forces people in the government to give happy talk - success stories because they're over there on very short rotations. They want to show success. The whole system is almost geared to give you, and it goes up the chain of command all the way to the President sometimes. He gets bad information from people out in the field because somebody on a nine month rotation, he has to show success and that goes up. 50:25 John Sopko: Well, Congress, I don't know if I can answer the bigger question about whether we are wasting our time or not. I'm going to leave that to you and the President to decide. But we are giving them systems, whether it's military hardware or other systems, that they can't use. And one of the questions we asked early on is do the Afghans and know about what we're giving them? Will they use it? Do they want it? And we couldn't even get government agencies that asked those questions. And I have run across Afghans who said, "I didn't know that clinic was being built until it was given to us by the donors." 53:05 John Sopko: We also have this hubris, which I think was identified before, that we think we can turn Afghanistan into little America or another Norway. We can't. That's the hubris. 54:25 John Sopko: Maybe incentivize honesty. And one of the proposals I gave at that time, cause I was asked by the staff to come up with proposals, is put the same requirement on the government that we impose on publicly traded corporations. Publicly traded corporations have to tell the truth. Otherwise the SEC will indict the people involved. They have to report when there's a significant event. So put that on us, call it The Truth in Government Act if you want, that you in the administration are duty bound by statute to alert Congress to significant events that could directly negatively impact a program or process. So incentivize honesty. 56:15 John Sopko: Well, I think now more than ever, because there are fewer state department aid people and DOD people there, you need somebody watching the store. And there will be a tendency, because of a security situation, decrease staffing to give the money directly to the Afghan government or to give the money through third party monitors such as the world bank and UN and other international organizations. And we have reported in the past that, first of all, the Afghan government's incapable of handling the money. We really need to do a ministerial assessment ministry by ministry to determine whether they can handle our taxpayer money. And then secondly, we have some real questions about some of these international organizations. The UN and the World Bank we've already identified have serious problems with monitoring it. So what we're saying is don't just focus on the troop level. Don't just focus on the amount of money, focus on how we are going to protect the U.S. taxpayers dollars. That's why I think now more than ever, we have to keep our focus on that. 59:11 Rep. Tom Massie (KY): Can you tell us how much we have spent on Afghanistan reconstruction at this point? John Sopko Congressman Massey, I can. The latest figure is 136.97 billion as of December 31st. So 136, you can round it off to 137 billion. That's staggering to me. But just for reference, the entire federal budget for roads and bridges is 50 billion to 60 billion. It's gone up a little bit. We could double our spending on our nation's infrastructure for two or three years for what we've spent in Afghanistan. 1:04:10 John Sopko: This building of this empire. You talk about it, you don't want to see, well, there is a soldier or somebody from the Pentagon who is trying to oversee that. If he comes back and the first traunch who's going to be protecting your money? That's my concern. That is the big concern. Getting out as a concern. But we've kind of worked our way around that. But you can't cut the oversight capabilities of Aid, State, and DOD in this, this drive for what they called right-sizing. 1:06:35 John Sopko: It has been our goal from the beginning is that kicked the Taliban out and try to help to create an Afghan government to keep the bad guys out from attacking us. So that's been a constant goal of all of the administrations. Rep. Virginia Foxx (NC): However, that goal seems to be very far in the distance. I mean, we have a great difficulty in achieving that. Correct? John Sopko: Well, I think the obvious answer is that we got 80,000 or 60,000 Taliban plus you have five to 10,000, I think ISIS members, and you got 20 over terrorist groups there. So obviously we have not succeeded in keeping the bad guys out or creating a government that can keep them out. 1:10:25 John Sopko: 70%. Over 70% of the Afghan budget comes from the United States and the donors. If that money ended, I have said before and I will stand by it, then the Afghan government will probably collapse. 1:10:45 Rep. Stacey Plaskett (VI) I can only think of those soldiers, those USA ID individuals who had been there all these years through their rotations, risking life, supporting the Americans objective, to have that thrown away because we believe we need to withdraw our troops at this point is just such a slap in their face. 1:13:15 Rep. Virginia Foxx (NC): And the American people, be sure the money being sent to Afghanistan is being spent for legitimate purposes and not being used for corrupt purposes. John Sopko: As hard as we all try, I don't think I have a warm, fuzzy feeling about the money being spent and its intended purposes. And I don't mean to be facetious ma'am, but the former head of CSTCA is an example. That's the Combined Security Training Command Afghanistan - estimated at one point that 50% of the fuel that we purchase for the Afghans disappears. 50%, so we're talking billions. So it is a significant problem, ma'am. 1:16:30 Chairman Carolyn Maloney (NY): I'd like to focus my questions on the importance of women in Afghanistan and the differences that has made with a America allowing them to participate in the economy and an education. I recall when we first went to Afghanistan, women were murdered and killed if they went to school. And now I'm told that they have made a tremendous progress over the past 18 years. They make up a 14% of a kindergarten to 12th grade and 30% of university students now are women. And there are more than 170 public and private higher education institutions across the country, even in the most difficult parts of Afghanistan. And I'm told that women are the majority of teachers at these schools, which is important. And according to some government reports, women make up to 27% of government employees before they were not even allowed to work. And they serve as ministers, deputy ministers, judges, and in many other positions. According to the United nations, maternal mortality rates...They used to be second in the world and they have fallen substantially. And that is because there are so many women that are trained as midwives and health professionals now and are working to help other women. And I understand they're over 530 public and private hospitals and hundreds of health and sub health centers. And even if these numbers are exaggerated women appear to be an important part of the success that is happening, certainly in education and healthcare. And so, wouldn't that alone makeup our investments, wouldn't that alone justify our investments in the country? I know the United nations has made several reports that when women are educated and empowered and respected, the amount of terrorism in that country or in that village goes down. So investing in women and allowing them to be part of of the country and not killing them if they go to school. I think we've made a tremendous impact in that country. And I'm afraid if we retreat and leave, it'll go back to the way it was before. 1:19:40 John Sopko: I must admit, for all the trips I've gone there and all of the Afghan women I have talked to, I have not met one Afghan woman who trusts the Taliban. And the concern is if they're excluded from the negotiations or if the negotiations are done by men and they ignore the advances, it is going to be very bad for women in Afghanistan. 1:29:45 John Sopko: Well, we actually, at the request of former Congressman Walter P. Jones and others, we did an analysis on how much money was wasted in Afghanistan. It was a very difficult, long term project. So we looked at all of our contracts that we have reviewed. And so 52 billion of that, 136 billion we looked at, and we basically determined that up to 15 billion. So about 30% was either wasted or stolen. Now, that was just of the universe that we had already looked at. 1:31:00 John Sopko: And again, how do we define waste? You notice three variables that we as IGs look at inputs, outputs, and outcomes. We look at the outcome that the administrations told Congress they were supposed to resolve. So like in counternarcotics, it was to lessen the amount of opium, it was to end that scourge. Well, it's been a total waste. None of our programs have led to any reduction in opium in Afghanistan. As a matter of fact, opium is the largest export of Afghanistan. It's more than the licit crop. I think it's 1.2 to $2 billion in export. The licit, the pine nuts and everything else they sell comes to less than a billion. So we looked at that program and said, that's a waste. We spent, we wasted $9 billion. We've accomplished really nothing. 1:32:25 John Sopko: Back in 2013, I sent a letter to the Sec Def, Sec State and Administrator of USAID and I said, can you list your top 10 successes and your bottom 10 failures and why? And this would have forced the administration to rack and stack their programs, list what works, what doesn't, and try to understand what works there. They refused to answer the mail in 2013. So in 2014 we basically came up the lessons learned program. I was trying to answer my mail to you. You got to force the administration to be honest. And, and it's not political, Republican, Democrat. The administration has to come in and tell you specifically, why are you spending this money? What do you expect to accomplish at the end, you're going to spend $9 billion in counter narcotics and the end result is that there's actually more opium been grown. Are you going to spend $500 million on airplanes and they can't fly? You're going to spend millions of dollars on air on buildings that melt. I mean, you need to hold people accountable. You need to bring in the head of those programs and say, "what were you thinking?" And don't be negative about it. Just say, look at if it doesn't work, stop, do something else. 1:38:15 John Sopko: But if you decide this is important, then the biggest stick you have for the Afghans as well as the Taliban, because the Taliban want foreign assistance too. That's what's been reported, is that 70% of the budget, those billions of dollars that they will want, and you have to hold their feet to the fire. It's called conditionality. So if you want assistance, you can't go back to your old ways. I mean, that would be the way I would bargain this. 1:42:55 John Sopko: We need to have a government that the Afghan people trust and believe in, and it offers a modicum of services that those people want. Because the difficulty we have is that, for example, Afghan people want a little bit of justice. They don't want to have to pay a bribe to get it. What we gave them were a bunch of courthouses that looked nice. They would fit in any American city, but that's not what the Afghan people wanted. They wanted a modicum of justice that they didn't have to pay a bribe. Hearing: Craig Whitlock on the Afghanistan Papers, C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, January 6, 2020 Guest Craig Whitlock of the Washington Post Transcript: 1:45 Bill Scanlan: The Special Inspector General - SIGAR...They've done monthly reports, almost weekly updates. They're very transparent and open. What was the purpose they told you of these, these interviews and why had they been held secret or classified or unavailable to the public? Craig Whitlock: Right. So the reason they did these interviews was for a special project called Lessons Learned in which they were trying to figure out the mistakes made during the war in Afghanistan. This started in 2014 and it's important to remember, this was five years ago, people thought the war was coming to an end. You know, President Obama had declared an end to combat operations. He had promised to withdraw all U.S. troops by the end of his presidency. So the Inspector General thought it'd be a good time to figure out what mistakes were made that they could learn about for the future if they were ever involved in another war. So they did hundreds of these interviews and did publish a number of reports about these lessons learned. But what they did is they left out all the good parts, all the striking quotes, all the unvarnished commentary from people who were involved in the war about just how bad things were. They left all that out, and so we had to go in under the Freedom of Information Act and obtain those. That way. They're not classified, these are public documents. It's just we had to persuade the Inspector General to finally release them. Speech: U.S. Strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, C-SPAN, White House Speech, March 27, 2009 Full Transcript Guest Craig Whitlock of the Washington Post Transcript: 5:00 Barack Obama: So I want the American people to understand that we have a clear and focused goal: to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and to prevent their return to either country in the future. 12:00: Barack Obama: We will shift the emphasis of our mission to training and increasing the size of Afghan security forces, so that they can eventually take the lead in securing their country. 13:55 Barack Obama: to advance security, opportunity and justice -- not just in Kabul, but from the bottom up in the provinces -- we need agricultural specialists and educators, engineers and lawyers. That's how we can help the Afghan government serve its people and develop an economy that, isn't dominated by illicit drugs. And that's why I'm ordering a substantial increase in our civilians on the ground. That's also why we must seek civilian support from our partners and allies, from the United Nations and international aid organizations. 15:20 Barack Obama: As we provide these resources, the days of unaccountable spending, no-bid contracts, and wasteful reconstruction must end. So my budget will increase funding for a strong Inspector General at both the State Department and USAID, and include robust funding for the special inspector generals for Afghan Reconstruction. Testimony: International Campaign Against Terrorism, C-SPAN, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, October 25, 2001 Witness Colin Powell: Secretary of State Transcript: 26:50 Colin Powell: Our work in Afghanistan though, is not just of a military nature. We recognize that when the Al Qaeda organization has been destroyed in Afghanistan, and as we continue to try to destroy it in all the nations in which it exists around the world, and when the Taliban regime has gone to its final reward, we need to put in place a new government in Afghanistan, one that represents all the people of Afghanistan and one that is not dominated by any single powerful neighbor, but instead is dominated by the will of the people of Afghanistan. 27:10 Colin Powell: We need to put in place a new government in Afghanistan. 27:25 Colin Powell: Ambassador Richard Haass, the Director of Policy Planning at the State Department is my personal representative working with the United Nations. 42:45 Colin Powell: I think once the Taliban regime is gone and there's hope for a new broad-based government that represents all the people of Afghanistan, and when aid starts to flow in, I think that will cause most of the groupings in Afghanistan to realize this is not the time to fight this as the time to participate in this new world. That's our hope. Public Address: U.S. Military Strikes, C-SPAN, President George W. Bush, October 7, 2001 Transcript: President George W. Bush: Good afternoon. On my orders, the United States military has begun strikes against Al-Qaida terrorist training camps and military installations of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. These carefully targeted actions are designed to disrupt the use of Afghanistan as a terrorist base of operations and to attack the military capability of the Taliban regime. More than two weeks ago, I gave Taliban leaders a series of clear and specific demands, closed terrorist training camps, hand over leaders of the Al Qaeda network, and return all foreign nationals including American citizens, unjustly detained in your country. None of these demands were met and now the Taliban will pay a price by destroying camps and disrupting communications. We will make it more difficult for the terror network to train new recruits and coordinate their evil plans.
2020 began with a bombing in Iraq - ordered by President Trump - which killed one of Iran's highest ranking military officers. In this episode, we take a close look at the recent history of our relationship with the Iranian government in order to understand how we started the year on the brink of another war. Also, since our President is a total wildcard, we look at what Congress authorized for 2020 in terms of war with Iran, Iraq, and Syria. 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CD096: Fast Tracking Fast Track (Trade Promotion Authority) CD108: Regime Change CD131: Bombing Libya CD141: Terrorist Gifts & The Ministry of Propaganda (2017 NDAA) CD156: Sanctions – Russia, North Korea & Iran CD172: The Illegal Bombing of Syria CD175: State of War CD190: A Coup for Capitalism CD191: The “Democracies” Of Elliott Abrams CD195: Yemen Bills Bill: S.1790 - National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 Congress.gov, December 20, 2019 Sec. 1208: Eliminates the authorization for payments that started in late 2016 “for damage, personal injury, or death that is incident to combat operations of the armed forces in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen. Sec. 1210A: Allows the Defense Department to give the State Department and USAID money for “stabilization activities” in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Somalia and authorizes an additional $100 million for this year (bringing the limit up to $450 million) Sec. 1217: Allows the Defense Secretary to use War on Terror money for paying “any key cooperating nation (other than Pakistan)” for logistical, military, or other support that nation gives to our military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, or Syria. Sec. 1221: Withholds at least half of the $645 million authorized by the 2015 NDAA for “military and other security forces of or associated with the Government of Iraq, including Kurdish and tribal security forces or other local security forces” for “training, equipment, logistics support, supplies, and services, stipends, facility and infrastructure repair and renovation, and sustainment” until the DoD submits a report that includes an estimate of the funding anticipated to support the Iraqi Security Forces through September 2025. The report also needs to include how much and what kind of assistance if being given to forces in Iraq by the Government of Iran. Also, a new stipulation is added saying that our military assistance authorized since 2015 “may only be exercised in consultation with the Government of Iraq.” Sec. 1222: Changes the authorization from 2015 that allowed the Defense Department to train, equip, supply, give money to and construct facilities for “vetted elements of the Syria opposition” so that the “opposition” is no longer allowed to get the money or training. The new language eliminates all mentions of the “opposition” groups and deletes “promoting the conditions for a negotiated settlement to end the conflict in Syria” from the list of authorized purposes. The new language focuses specifically on providing assistance to combat the Islamic State and al Qaeda. It also limits the kinds of weapons that can be given to Syria groups to “small arms or light weapons” (there is a way for the Defense Secretary to waive this) and it limits the amount that can be spent on construction projects to $4 million per project or $20 million total. Sec. 1223: Eliminates the authority for the Defense Department to fund “operations and activities of security assistance teams in Iraq” and removes the authority to pay for “construction and renovation of facilities”. The law still allows $30 million for the Office of Security Cooperation in Iraq (a $15 million funding cut). The authorization will then sunset 90 days after enactment (mid March 2020). The OSCI can’t get more than $20 million until they appoint a Senior Defense Official to oversee the office, develop a staffing plan “similar to that of other security cooperation offices in the region”, and they create a five-year “security assistance roadmap” that enables “defense institution building and reform.” Sec. 1284: “Nothing in this Act, or any amendment made by this Act, may be construed to authorize the use of military force, including the use of military force against Iran or any other country.” Sec. 5322: Creates a “Foreign Malign Influence Response Center” under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which will “be comprised of analysts from all elements of the intelligence community, including elements with diplomatic an law enforcement functions” and will be the “primary organization” for analyzing all intelligence “pertaining to foreign malign influence.” The foreign countries that will specifically be reported on are, in this order, Russia, Iran, North Korea, China, and “any other country”. “Foreign malign influence” means “any hostile effort undertaken by, at the direction of, or on behalf of or with the substantial support of, the government of a covered foreign country with he objective of influencing, through overt or covert means the (A) political, military, economic or other policies or activities of the United States Government… including any election within the United States or (B) the public opinion within the United States.” Sec. 5521: “It is the sense of Congress that, regardless of the ultimate number of United States military personnel deployed to Syria, it is a vital interest of the United States to prevent the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hezbollah, and other Iranian backed forces from establishing a strong and enduring presence in Syria that can be used to project power in the region and threaten the United States and its allies, including Israel.”A report is required within six months that will include how Iran is militarily training and funding the Syrian government led by President Bashar al-Assad and the threat that Iran’s forces pose to “areas of northeast Syria that are currently controlled by local partner forces of the United States.” The report also must outline “how Iran and Iranian backed forces seek to enhance the long-term influence of such entities in Syria through non-military means such as purchasing strategic real estate in Syria, constructing Shia religious centers in schools, securing loyalty from Sunni tribes in exchange for material assistance, and inducing the Assad government to open Farsi language department at Syrian universities.” The report must also include “How Iran is working with the Russian Federation, Turkey, and other countries to increase the influence of Iran in Syria.” The NDAA assumes the Iranian goals in Syria are "protecting the Assad government, increasing the regional influence of Iran, threatening Israel from a more proximate location, building weapon production facilities and other military infrastructure, and securing a land bridge to connect to run through Iraq and Syria to the stronghold of Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.” The report also must include descriptions of "the efforts of Iran to transfer advanced weapons to Hisballah and to establish a military presence in Syria has led to direct and repeated confrontations with Israel”, "the intelligence and military support that the United States provides to Israel to help Israel identify and appropriately address specific threats to Israel from Iran and Iranian-backed forces in Syria”, “The threat posed to Israel and other allies of the United States in the middle east resulting from the transfer of arms to… Hezbollah”, and “Iranian expenditures in the previous calendar year on military and terrorist activities outside the country, including the amount of such expenditures with respect to each of Hizballah, Houthi rebels in Yemen, Hamas, and proxy forces in Iraq and Syria.” Sec. 6706: The 2017 Intelligence Authorization (Section 501) created a committee made up of the Director of National Intelligence, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of the Treasury, Attorney General, Secretary of Energy, FBI Director, and the heads of “each of the other elements of the intelligence community” for the purposes of countering “active measures by Russia to exert covert influence over peoples and government by exposing falsehoods, agents of influence, corruption, human rights abuses, terrorism, and assassinations carried out by the security services are political elites of the Russian Federation or their proxies.” This NDAA adds China, Iran, North Korea, “or other nation state” to the target list. Sec. 6729: Orders an Intelligence Assessment into the revenue sources of North Korea, specifically requiring inquiries into “(1) Trade in coal, iron, and iron ore. (2) Fishing rights in North Korea’s territorial waters (3) Trade in gold, titanium ore, vanadium ore, copper, silver, nickel, zinc, and rare earth minerals.” They also want to know what banking institutions are processing North Korean financial transactions. Sec. 7412: Effective starting in June 2020, the President “shall” enact sanctions on a “foreign person” if that person gives money, material or technical support to the Government of Syria, is a military contractor working for the Government of Syria, the Russian government, or the Iranian government, sells items that “significantly facilitates the maintenance or expansion of the Government of Syria’s domestic production of natural has, petroleum, or petroleum products”, or “directly or indirectly, provides significant construction or engineering services to the Government of Syria.” If the sanctions are violated, the President “shall” use his power to “block and prohibit all transactions in property and interests in property of the foreign person” if that property “comes within the United States, are come within the possession or control of United States person.” The foreign persons will also be ineligible for visas into the United States except to permit the United States to comply with the agreement regarding the headquarters of the United Nations or to assist with US law-enforcement. Sec. 7402: Statement of Policy: …”to support a transition to a government in Syria that respects the rule of law, human rights, and peaceful co-existence with its neighbors.” Sec. 7411: Gives the Secretary of the Treasury until late June to determine “whether reasonable grounds exist for concluding that the Central Bank of Syria is a financial institution of primary money laundering concern.” If it’s a yes, the Secretary of the Treasury “shall” impose “special measures” that could require banks to retain more records about transactions in Syria, give the government information about the people who conduct financial transactions with people in Syria, or prohibit US banks from opening accounts for Syrian banks. Sec. 7413: Orders the President to submit a strategy to Congress by June 2020 to “deter foreign persons from entering into contracts related to reconstruction” in areas of Syria under the control of the Government of Syria, the Government of Russia, or the Government of Iran. Sec. 7424: Authorizes the Secretary of State to “provide assistance to support entities that are conducting criminal investigations, supporting prosecutions, or collecting evidence” against those that have committed war crimes in Syria. The assistance can’t be given as long as President Bashar al-Assad is in power, can’t be used to build judicial capacities of the Syrian government, or for prosecutions in the domestic courts of Syria. Sec. 7438: This title (Sections 7401-7438) sunsets in 5 years. Bill: H.Con.Res.83 - Directing the President pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution to terminate the use of United States Armed Forces to engage in hostilities in or against Iran. Congress.gov, January 9, 2020 Bill: H. R. 1158 - Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 GPO, January 3, 2019 Sec. 9007: No funds from this year’s funding or any other law can’t be used to “establish any military installation or base for the purpose of providing for the permanent stationing of United States Forces in Iraq” or to “exercise United States control over any oil resource of Iraq” Bill: H.R.3107 - Iran and Libya Sanctions Act of 1996 Congress.gov, August 5, 1996 Articles/Documents Article: More US service members diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries following Iran strike by Barbara Starr and Zachary Choen, CNN, January 30, 2020 Article: House Votes 'No War Against Iran,' In Rebuke To Trump by Merrit Kennedy, npr, January 30, 2020 Article: Overnight Defense: White House threatens to veto House Iran bills | Dems 'frustrated' after Iran briefing | Lawmakers warn US, UK intel sharing at risk after Huawei decision by Ellen Mitchell, The Hill, January 28, 2020 Article: T‘Demeaned and Humiliated’: What Happened to These Iranians at U.S. Airports by Caleb Hampton and Caitlin Dickerson, The New York Times, January 25, 2020 Article: The Iranian revolution—A timeline of events by Suzanne Maloney and Keian Razipour, Brookings, January 24, 2020 Document: Iran Sanctions by Kenneth Katzman, Congressional Research Service, January 24, 2020 Article: KEY ARCHITECT OF 2003 IRAQ WAR IS NOW A KEY ARCHITECT OF TRUMP IRAN POLICY by Jon Schwarz, The Intercept, January 16, 2020 Article: INSTEX fails to support EU-Iran trade as nuclear accord falters by Alexandra Brzozowski, Euractiv, January 14, 2020 Article: The Members of Congress Who Profit From War by Donald Shaw and David Moore, Sludge, January 13, 2020 Article: Under pressure, Iran admits it shot down jetliner by mistake by Nasser Karimi and Joseph Krauss, AP, January 11, 2020 Article: Jet Crash in Iran Has Eerie Historical Parallel by Karen Zraick, The New York Times, January 11, 2020 Article: U.S. STRIKE ON IRANIAN COMMANDER IN YEMEN THE NIGHT OF SULEIMANI’S ASSASSINATION KILLED THE WRONG MAN by Alex Emmons, The Intercept, January 10, 2020 Article: New Iran revelations suggest Trumps deceptions were deeper than we thought by Paul Waldman and Greg Sargent, The Washington Post, January 10, 2020 Article: On the day U.S. forces killed Soleimani they targeted a senior Iranian official in Yemen by John Hudson, Missy Ryan and Josh Dawsey, The Washington Post, January 10, 2020 Article: Venezuela: Guaido Installs Parallel Parliament After Washington Threatens More Sanctions By Ricardo Vaz, Venezuelanalysis.com, January 8, 2020 Article: US-Iran tensions: Timeline of events leading to Soleimani killing Aljazeera, January 8, 2020 Article: The Quiet Billionaires Behind America’s Predator Drone That Killed Iran’s Soleimani by Deniz Çam and Christopher Helman, Forbes, January 7, 2020 Article: U.S. contractor killed in Iraq, which led to strike on Iranian general, buried in Sacramento by Sawsan Morrar and Sam Stanton, The Sacramento Bee, January 7, 2020 Article: US won’t grant Iran foreign minister visa for UN visit by Matthew Lee, Associated Press, January 7, 2020 Article: Iran's Zarif accuses U.S. of violating U.N. deal by denying him a visa by Michelle Nichols, Reuters, January 7, 2020 Article: What Is the Status of the Iran Nuclear Agreement? by Zachary Laub and Kali Robinson, Council on Foreign Relations, January 7, 2020 Article: For Some Never Trumpers, Killing of Suleimani Was Finally Something to Like by Michael Crowley, The New York Times, January 6, 2020 Article: Who Was The Iraqi Commander Also Killed In The Baghdad Drone Strike? by Matthew S. Schwartz, npr, January 4, 2020 Article: Will There Be a Draft? Young People Worry After Military Strike by Sarah Mervosh, The New York Times, January 3, 2020 Article: Four Years Ago, Trump Had No Clue Who Iran’s Suleimani Was. Now He May Have Kicked Off WWIII. by Mehdi Hasan, The Intercept, January 3, 2020 Article: WITH SULEIMANI ASSASSINATION, TRUMP IS DOING THE BIDDING OF WASHINGTON’S MOST VILE CABAL by Jeremy Scahill, The Intercept, January 3, 2020 Article: America is guilty of everything we accuse Iran of doing by Ryan Cooper, The Week, January 3, 2020 Article: Hashd deputy Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis: Iran's man in Baghdad Aljazeera, January 3, 2020 Article: Well, that escalated quickly By Derek Davison, Foreign Exchanges, January 2, 2020 Article: After Embassy Attack, U.S. Is Prepared to Pre-emptively Strike Militias in Iraq By Thomas Gibbons-Neff, The New York Times, January 2, 2020 Article: U.S. Sanctions Have Cost Iran $200 Billion RFE/RL staff, OilPrice.com, January 2, 2020 Article: Protesters storm US embassy compound in Baghdad Aljazeera, December 31, 2019 Article: US strikes hit Iraqi militia blamed in contractor’s death Ellen Knickmeyer and Qassim Abdul-Zahra, AP, December 30, 2019 Article: Saudi Arabia oil attacks: UN 'unable to confirm Iranian involvement' BBC News, December 11, 2019 Article: Six charts that show how hard US sanctions have hit Iran by Franklin Foer, BBC News, December 9, 2019 Article: At War with the Truth by Craig Whitlock, The Washington Post, December 9, 2019 Article: Foundation for Defense of Democracies Militarist Monitor, October 18, 2019 Article: Gulf tanker attacks: Iran releases photos of 'attacked' ship BBC News, October 14, 2019 Article: US-Iran standoff: A timeline of key events Aljazeera, September 25, 2019 Article: US Offered Millions To Indian Captain Of Iran Oil Tanker Heading To Syria NDTV, September 5, 2019 Press Release: Remarks by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini following the Foreign Affairs Council by European Union External Action, July 15, 2019 Article: Pentagon nominee Esper, a former Raytheon lobbyist, must extend recusal, says Warren By Joe Gould, DefenseNews, July 15, 2019 Article: INSTEX: Doubts linger over Europe's Iran sanctions workaround By Siobhan Dowling, Aljazeera, July 1, 2019 Press Release: Chair's statement following the 28 June 2019 meeting of the Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action by European Union External Action, June 28, 2019 Article: Iran executes 'defence ministry contractor' over spying for CIA Aljazeera, June 22, 2019 Article: Saudi oil tankers show 'significant damage' after attack – Riyadh By Patrick Wintour, The Guardian, May 13, 2019 Article: Bolton: US deploying bombers to Middle East in warning to Iran Aljazeera, May 6, 2019 Statement: Statement from the National Security Advisor Ambassador John Bolton WhiteHouse.gov, May 5, 2019 Article: Iran responds in kind to Trump's IRGC 'terrorist' designation Aljazeera, April 8, 2019 Statement: Designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a Foreign Terrorist Organization WhiteHouse.gov, April 8, 2019 Document: The European Deterrence Initiative: A Budgetary Overview By Pat Towell and Aras D. Kazlauskas, Congressional Research Center, August 8, 2018 Article: Mike Pompeo speech: What are the 12 demands given to Iran? By Aljazeera News, May 21, 2018 Article: Trump Jr. and Other Aides Met With Gulf Emissary Offering Help to Win Election By Mark Mazzetti, Ronen Bergman and David D. Kirkpatrick, The New York Times, May 19, 2018 Article: If the Iran deal had been a Senate-confirmed treaty, would Trump have been forced to stay in? Nope. By Andrew Rudalevige , The Washington Post, May 9, 2018 Article: Trump Abandons Iran Nuclear Deal He Long Scorned By Mark Landler, The New York Times, May 8, 2018 Article: Valiant picks up another government business in $135M cash deal By Robert J. Terry, The Washington Business Journal, April 19, 2018 Article: 64 Years Later, CIA Finally Releases Details of Iranian Coup By Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, Foreign Policy, June 20, 2017 Article: CIA Creates New Mission Center to Turn Up the Heat on Iran By Shane Harris, The Wall Street Journal, June 2, 2017 Article: CIA establishes mission center focused on North Korea By Max Greenwood, The Hill, May 10, 2017 Article: The Shadow Commander By Dexter Filkins, The New Yorker, September 23, 2013 Article: Iran and Iraq remember war that cost more than a million lives By Ian Black, The Guardian, September 23, 2010 Document: Executive Order 12959—Prohibiting Certain Transactions With Respect to Iran Administration of William J. Clinton, GPO, May 7, 1995 Document: Middle East Peace Process, Executive Order 12957—Prohibiting Certain Transactions With Respect to the Development of Iranian Petroleum Resources Administration of William J. Clinton, GPO, March 15, 1995 Additional Resources Biography: Reuel Marc Gerecht Foundation for Defense of Democracies Budget: EUROPEAN DETERRENCE INITIATIVE, Department of Defense Budget Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 By Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, March 2019 Budget: EUROPEAN REASSURANCE INITIATIVE, Department of Defense Budget Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, February 2017 Fundraising Summary: Sen. James E Risch - Idaho OpenSecrets.org Joint Resolution: Public Law 107–40 107th Congress GPO, Congress.gov, September 18, 2001 Podcast Episode: GHOSTS OF MOSSADEGH: THE IRAN CABLES, U.S. EMPIRE, AND THE ARC OF HISTORY Document: TITLE 31—MONEY AND FINANCE GovInfo.gov Video: Why I Voted Against The Sactions Bill Bernie Sanders Video: MORE THAN JUST RUSSIA — THERE’S A STRONG CASE FOR THE TRUMP TEAM COLLUDING WITH SAUDI ARABIA, ISRAEL, AND THE UAE By Jeremy Scahill, The Intercept Vote Results: ROLL CALL 33, Merchant Mariners of World War II Congressional Medal Act Clerk of House of Representatives Vote Results: ROLL CALL 34, Merchant Mariners of World War II Congressional Medal Act Clerk of House of Representatives Sound Clip Sources Press Conference: Trump tells GOP donors that Soleimani was 'saying bad things' before strike, The Hill, January 10, 2020 Hearing: From Sanctions to the Soleimani Strike to Escalation: Evaluating the Administration’s Iran Policy, United States House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, January 14, 2020 Watch on Youtube Watch on CSPAN Witnesses DID NOT SHOW: Mike Pompeo Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations Avril Haines, Columbia University (formerly NSA and CIA) Stephen Hadley Transcript: 44:55 Richard Haass: Here, I would highlight the American decision in 2018 to exit the 2015 nuclear agreement, the JCPOA, and the decision to introduce significant sanctions against Iran. These sanctions constituted a form of economic warfare. Iran was not in a position to respond in kind and instead instituted a series of military actions meant to make the United States and others pay a price for these sanctions and therefore to conclude they needed to be removed. It is also important, I believe, to point out here that the United States did not provide a diplomatic alternative to Iran when it imposed these sanctions. This was the context in which the targeted killing of Qassem Suleimani took place. This event needs to be assessed from two vantage points. One is legality. It would have been justified to attack Suleimani if he was involved in mounting a military action that was imminent. If there is evidence that can responsibly be made public supporting that these criteria were met of imminence, it should be. If, however, it turns out criteria were not met, that what took place was an action of choice rather than the necessity, I fear it will lead to an open ended conflict between the United States and Iran. Fought in many places with many tools and few red lines that will be observed. The President tweeted yesterday that the question of this imminence doesn't really matter. I would respectfully disagree. Imminence is central to the concept of preemption, which is treated in international law as a legitimate form of self defense. Preventive attacks though are something very different. They are mounted against a gathering threat rather than an imminent one, and a world of regular preventive actions would be one in which conflict was prevalent. 47:20 Richard Haass: First, there were other, and I believe better ways to reestablish deterrence with Iran. Secondly, the killing interrupted what I believe were useful political dynamics in both Iran and Iraq. Thirdly, U.S.-Iraqi ties were deeply strained. Fourthly, we've been forced to send more forces to the region rather than make them available elsewhere. Fifthly, given all worldwide challenges, I do not believe it is in our strategic interest to have a new war in the middle East. And six, Iran has already announced plans to take steps at odds with the JCPOA, which will shrink the window it needs to build a nuclear weapon if it decides to do so. And if this happens, it will present both the United States and Israel with difficult and potentially costly choices. 50:16 Richard Haass: Let me just make a few recommendations and I know my time is growing short. One, the United States should work closely with its allies and other signatories of the JCPOA to put together the outlines of a new agreement. Call it JCPOA 2.0 and present Iran with a new deal. It would establish longer term or better yet open-ended limits on Iran, nuclear and missile programs. In exchange for sanctions relief, Congress should approve any such agreement to remove the concern that this pack could be easily undone by any President, and such initiatives should emerge from consultation with allies. Our policy toward Iran has become overly unilateral and is less effective for it. 1:02:50 Stephen Hadley: The problem was that the strike occurred in Iraq. The fear of becoming the central battleground in a military confrontation between the United States and Iran is being used to justify calls for the expulsion of us forces from Iraq. But a U.S. withdrawal would only reward Kata'ib Hezbollah's campaign of violence, strengthen the uranium backed militias, weaken the Iraqi government, undermine Iraqi sovereignty, and jeopardize the fight against ISIS. A terrible outcome for both the United States and Iraq. To keep U.S. Forces in Iraq, Iraqi authorities will have to manage the domestic political fallout from the strike on Suleimani. U.S. Administration and the Congress can help by making public statements reaffirming that America respects the sovereignty and independence of Iraq that U.S. Forces are in Iraq to train Iraqi security forces and to help them protect the Iraqi people from a resurgent ISIS that the United States will coordinate with the Iraqi government on matters involving the U.S. Troop presence, that so long as U.S. Troops and diplomats in Iraq are not threatened, America's confrontation with Iran will not be played out on Iraqi territory, and that the United States supports the aspirations of the Iraqi people for a government that can meet their needs and expectations, and is free of corruption, sectarianism and outside influence. 1:49:30 Richard Haass: The other thing I think you heard from all three of us is the importance of repairing the U.S.-Iraqi relationship. I mean, think about it. Qasem Soleimani's principle goal was to drive the United States out of Iraq. Why in the world would we want to facilitate his success there after his death? We ought to make sure that doesn't happen. And Steve Hadley gave, I thought, a lot of good ideas about ways we could signal almost to help the Iraqi government manage the Iraqi politics. We could also look at some creative things. When I was in the Pentagon years ago, when we were building what became Central Command, we used to look at the idea of presence without stationing. There's ways to have a regular force presence without necessarily having forces be permanent. This may help the Iraqi government manage the politics of it without a serious diminuition of our capabilities. 1:58:20 Richard Haass: I think there's a fundamental difference between taking out a member of a terrorist organization and taking out an individual who is, who was an official of a nation state, who happens to use terrorist organizations to promote what the state sees as its agenda. I'm not saying it's necessarily wrong, I'm saying it's a big step. We've crossed a line here. So I think one thing this committee needs to think about is when it looks at AUMF's, none is on the books that allows us to do this as best I understand. So I think it's a legitimate question for this committee to say, do we need to think about an AUMF towards Iran that deals with this set of scenarios, where Iran would use military force to promote its ends, and also with the one that both Steve Hadley and I have talked about here, about the gathering threat on the Iranian nuclear side. 2:07:50 Avril Haines: Clearly the strike had an enormous impact on our relationship with Iraq. Iraq has come out and indicated that they did not provide consent for this particular strike on their territory. And it has brought the parliament to the point where they've actually passed to vote calling for the U.S. Forces to leave. And we've seen that the Prime Minister has indicated that in fact, they want a delegation to talk about leaving Iraq. And I think, as Dr. Haass noted, this is in many respects exactly what Solemani had wanted. And as a consequence, we're now in a position where I think it will be likely that it is unsustainable for us to have the presence that we've had. I hope that's not true. I hope that we can in fact, get through this period with them and that their domestic politics don't erupt in such a way that it makes it impossible for us to stay. 2:42:15 Rep. Adriano Espaillat: My question to you individually, this is a yes or no answer question, is whether or not you feel you gathered enough information or evidence, that from the inspectors or otherwise that you feel that Iran complied with the provisions established by the JCPOA. Mr Hass, do you feel that they complied? Yes or no? Richard Haass: Based on everything I've read, the international inspectors made the case that Iran was in compliance. Rep. Adriano Espaillat: Ms. Haines? Avril Haines: Yeah, same. Rep. Adriano Espaillat: Mr. Hadley? Stephen Hadley: So far as I know, yes. Interview: Pompeo on Soleimani Justification: I Don't Know Who Used "Imminent Threat" First, "But It Reflects What We Saw", Bret Baier with Fox News Channel Interviews Mike Pompeo, RealClear Politics, January 13, 2020 Speakers Mike Pompeo Bret Baier Transcript: Mike Pompeo: Not only when I was CIA director did I see the history and then what was the current activity for the first year and a half of this administration. But when I was a member of Congress serving on the house intelligence committee, I saw too, Suleimani's been a bad actor for decades in the region. He has the blood of hundreds of Americans on his hand. He's killed, or contributed to the killing of hundreds of thousands of people in Syria, Muslims, mostly throughout the region. This was a bad actor. And when we came to the point where we could see that he was plotting imminent attacks in the region to threaten Americans, a big attack, we recommended to the President he take this action. The president made the right decision. Press Conference: Pompeo Imposes Sanctions on Iran, Sticking to Assertion That U.S. Faced Imminent Threat, White House Press Briefing, The New York Times, January 10, 2020 Transcript: Mike Pompeo: We had specific information on an imminent threat, and that threat included attacks on U.S. embassies, period. Full stop. Reporter: What's your definition of imminent? Mike Pompeo: This was going to happen, and American lives were at risk, and we would have been culpably negligent, as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said, that we would've been culpably negligent had we not recommended the President that he take this action with Qasam Suleimani. He made the right call and America is safer as a result of that. I don't know exactly which minute, we don't know exactly which day it would have been executed, but it was very clear. Qasam Suleimani himself was plotting a broad, large scale attack against American interests, and those attacks were imminent. Press Conference: The most troubling part of Mike Lee's broadside against the Trump administrations Iran briefing, The Washington Post, January 8, 2020 Transcript: Mike Lee: They're appearing before a coordinate branch of government, a coordinate branch of government responsible for their funding, for their confirmation, for any approval of any military action they might undertake. They had to leave after 75 minutes while they're in the process of telling us that we need to be good little boys and girls and run along and not debate this in public. I find that absolutely insane. I think it's unacceptable. And so I don't know what they had in mind. I went in there hoping to get more specifics as far as the factual, legal, moral justification for what they did. I'm still undecided on that issue in part because we never got to the details. Every time we got close, they'd say, well, we can't discuss that here because it's really sensitive. We're in a skiff. We're in a secure underground bunker where all electronic devices have to be checked at the door and they still refuse to tell us. I find that really upsetting. Interview: CNN Interview with Mike Pompeo The Hill, January 3, 2020 Transcript: Mike Pompeo: We know it was imminent. This was an intelligence based assessment that drove our decision making process. Hearing: Full Committee Hearing: “U.S. Policy in Syria and the Broader Region” House Armed Services Committee, December 11, 2019 Witnesses Mark Esper - Secretary of Defense General Mark Milley - Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Transcript: 25:20 Mark Esper: Since May of this year, nearly 14,000 U.S. military personnel have deployed to the region to serve as a tangible demonstration of our commitment to our allies and our partners. These additional forces are not intended to signal an escalation, but rather to reassure our friends and buttress our efforts at deterrence. 25:40 Mark Esper: We are also focused on internationalizing the response to Iran's aggression by encouraging increased burden sharing and cooperation with allies and partners from around the world. The International Maritime Security Construct, which protects freedom of navigation in the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman, and the more nascent integrated air and missile defense effort led by Saudi Arabia are two such examples. Through these activities, we are sending a clear message to Iran that the international community will not tolerate its malign activities. Hearing: Review of the FY2020 Budget Request for the State Department Senate Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, April 9, 2019 Watch on CSPAN Witnesses Mike Pompeo Transcript: 15:15 Sen. Lindsay Graham (SC): Do you agree with me that having a stabilizing force in Northeastern Syria will prevent Iran from coming down and taking over their oil? Mike Pompeo: It is an important part of our overall Middle East strategy, including our counter-Iran strategy. Sen. Lindsay Graham (SC): So, containing Iran, would include you having a policy in Syria that would keep them from benefiting from our withdrawal. Mike Pompeo: That's right. It's one piece of it. Yes. Sen. Lindsay Graham (SC): Okay. Hearing: State Department Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Request House Foreign Affairs Committee, May 23, 2018 Witnesses Mike Pompeo Transcript: 18:05 Mike Pompeo: On Monday I unveiled a new direction for the President’s Iran strategy. We will apply unprecedented financial pressure; coordinate with our DOD colleagues on deterrents efforts; support the Iranian people, perhaps most importantly; and hold out the prospect for a new deal with Iran. It simply needs to change its behavior. Speech: Pompeo vows U.S., Mideast allies will ‘crush’ Iranian operatives around the world, Heritage Foundation, May 21, 2018 Transcript: Mike Pompeo: We will apply unprecedented financial pressure on the Iranian regime. The sanctions are going back in full effect and new ones are coming. These will indeed end up being the strongest sanctions in history when we are complete. Mike Pompeo: As President Trump said two weeks ago, he is ready, willing and able to negotiate a new deal. But the deal is not the objective. Our goal is to protect the American people. Speech: Bolton: 'Our Goal Should Be Regime Change in Iran' Fox News, January 1, 2018 Transcript: John Bolton: Our goal should be regime change in Iran. Hearing: IRANIAN TERROR OPERATIONS ON AMERICAN SOIL SUBCOMMITTEE ON OVERSIGHT, INVESTIGATIONS, AND MANAGEMENT and the SUBCOMMITTEE ON COUNTERTERRORISM AND INTELLIGENCE of the House Homeland Security Committee, October 26, 2011 Watch on CSPAN Witnesses: Reuel Marc Gerecht: CIA Officer who became a director at the Project for a New American Century. Also a former fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Supported the Afghanistan regime change and Iraq regime change. Currently a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracy, which was founded after 9/11 and it funds “experts” who pushed Congress to fight the “war on terror”. Transcript: 1:30:25 Reuel Marc Gerecht: Again, I have nothing against sanctions. I think there are lots of sanctions the United States should tighten. I'm in favor of most of what we might call central bank sanctions, the Iran oil free zone. There are lots of different things you can do, but again, I just emphasize the people who rule around Iran rose up essentially through killing people. They have maintained a coercive system. It's become more coercive with time, not less. They do not respond in the same rational economic ways that we do. Iran would not look like the country it is today if they were concerned about the bottom line. So, I don't think that you are going to really intimidate these people, get their attention unless you shoot somebody. It's a pretty blunt, but I don't think you get to get around it. I think for example, if we believe that the Guard Corps is responsible for this operation, then you should hold Qasem Soleimani responsible. Qasem Soleimani travels a lot. He's all over the place. Go get him. Either try to capture him or kill him. 1:32:10 Reuel Marc Gerecht: You could aggressively harrass many of their operations overseas. There's no doubt about that. But you would have to have a consensus to do that. I mean, the need is to say the White House, the CIA would have to be on board to do that. You would have to have the approval to do that. We all know it's Washington, D C these things are difficult to do. So you may find out that this type of covert action is actually much more difficult to do than going after, say Qasem Soleimani when he travels. Cover Art Design by Only Child Imaginations Music Presented in This Episode Intro & Exit: Tired of Being Lied To by David Ippolito (found on Music Alley by mevio)
Chris Brose of Anduril Industries joins Chris and Melanie to talk about Joseph Nye’s Texas National Security Review article, “What is a Moral Foreign Policy?” Should morality be taken into consideration when making foreign policy? How should we assess whether or not a president’s foreign policy is moral? Does using the language of morality make our foreign policy more or less clear? Do people in other countries view our foreign policy as moral? Should perception matter at home or abroad? Also, Chris Preble gets another opportunity to stick it to Saudi Arabia, Melanie shows some love for history, and Chris Brose recognizes the excellent work of some friends. Links Joseph S. Nye Jr., “What is a Moral Foreign Policy?” Texas National Security Review, November 2019 Joe Heim, "National Archives Exhibit Blurs Images Critical of President Trump," Washington Post, January 17, 2020 Craig Whitlock, "Afghan War Plagued by 'Mendacity' and Lies, Inspector General Tells Congress," Washington Post, January 15, 2020 Barack Obama, Presidential Study Directive 10, White House, August 4, 2011 Rahul Sagar, "Rediscovering Indian Thought: How a Scholar Built a Database of Pre-Independence Magazines," Scroll, November 24, 2019 "War with Iraq Is not in America's National Interest," New York Times, September 26, 2002 Marc Fisher and Steven Zeitchik, “Saudi Crown Prince Implicated in Hack of Jeff Bezos’s Phone, U.N. Report Will Say,” Washington Post, January 21, 2020 Heritage Pride Productions' Elf: The Musical, January 23, 24, and 25th “The Future of Progressive Foreign Policy: 2020 and Beyond,” Cato Policy Forum, January 28th, 5:00 PM "Is War Over?” Cato Policy Forum, February 6th, 12:00 PM
Air Date 1/18/2020 Today we take a look at The Afghanistan Papers which reveal in stark detail much of what the anti-war movement has known or strongly suspected since the beginning. Going beyond the scope of The Pentagon Papers of the Vietnam War era, The Afghanistan Papers feature interviews and documentation from top-ranking officials admitting from the start that they had no idea what they were doing in Afghanistan. Be part of the show! Leave us a message at 202-999-3991 EPISODE SPONSORS: Clean Choice Energy SHOP AMAZON: Amazon USA | Amazon CA | Amazon UK MEMBERSHIP ON PATREON (Get AD FREE Shows & Bonus Content) SHOW NOTES Ch. 1: Headlines: The Afghanistan Papers - Democracy Now - Air Date 12-10-19 Breaking the news of The Afghanistan Papers Ch. 2: The "Pentagon Papers" Of Our Time with Craig Whitlock - On the Media - Air Date 12-20-19 Bob Garfield talks with Craig Whitlock about the Afghanistan Papers and the comparison to the Pentagon Papers. Ch. 3: They Lied To Us All Along with Danny Sjursen - The Real News with Marc Steiner - Air Date 12-15-19 Marc Steiner talks with Danny Sjursen about the lies of war and the lack of accountability for leadership. Ch. 4: The Truth About The War In Afghanistan with Craig Whitlock - The Brian Lehrer Show - Air Date 12-16-19 Brian talks with Craig Whitlock about the Afghanistan Papers and the history of the endless war on terror. Ch. 5: The Afghan Pentagon Papers - The Michael Brooks Show - Air Date 12-14-19 Michael Brooks breaks down the history of the modern military establishment. Ch. 6: The Afghanistan Papers - Eyes Left with Spenser Rapone and Mike Prysner - Air Date 12-16-19 Spenser and Mike bring context to the Afghanistan Papers and delve into the history of the endless war. Ch. 7: The Afghanistan Papers with Steven Miles - News Beat with Rashed Mian and Christopher Twarowski - Air Date 12-23-19 An in-depth discussion of the history and corruption of the Afghanistan war. VOICEMAILS Ch. 8: I didn't realize I was a socialist - Sarah from Cool, CA Ch. 9: Balancing policy and identity - Pat from Chicago FINAL COMMENTS Ch. 10: Final comments on making diversity part of our process of learning and growing Bonus: A Song From US Military Officer In Afghanistan - Eyes Left with Spenser Rapone and Mike Prysner - Air Date 12-16-19 MUSIC (Blue Dot Sessions): Opening Theme: Loving Acoustic Instrumental by John Douglas Orr Algea Trio - Algea Fields Cases to Rest - Bodytonic Waltz and Fury - Macrame Tar and Spackle - Plaster Beast on the Soil - Desert Orchard God's Playground - Nathanael Christy Voicemail Music: Low Key Lost Feeling Electro by Alex Stinnent Closing Music: Upbeat Laid Back Indie Rock by Alex Stinnent SHOW IMAGE: "Afghanistan War Anniversary", Jayel Aheram on Flickr / License / Changes: Zoomed in and cropped Produced by Jay! Tomlinson Thanks for listening! Visit us at BestOfTheLeft.com Support the show via Patreon Listen on iTunes | Stitcher | Spotify | Alexa Devices | +more Check out the BotL iOS/Android App in the App Stores! Follow at Twitter.com/BestOfTheLeft Like at Facebook.com/BestOfTheLeft Contact me directly at Jay@BestOfTheLeft.com Review the show on iTunes and Stitcher!
In this bonus "thank you" episode, Jen provides an update on the last work days of 2019 in Congress, which included an offensive amount of legislation that passed while the country was distracted by the Trump Impeachment Show. Also in this episode is the announcement of a new podcast Jen is co-hosting called Talking Fat and Jen shares contributor notes and emails. Please Support Congressional Dish – Quick Links Click here to contribute monthly or a lump sum via PayPal Click here to support Congressional Dish for each episode via Patreon Send Zelle payments to: Donation@congressionaldish.com Send Venmo payments to: @Jennifer-Briney Send Cash App payments to: $CongressionalDish or Donation@congressionaldish.com Use your bank's online bill pay function to mail contributions to: 5753 Hwy 85 North, Number 4576, Crestview, FL 32536 Please make checks payable to Congressional Dish Thank you for supporting truly independent media! References Article: $1.4T spending package crammed with unrelated provisions by ANDREW TAYLOR, AP News, December 16, 2019 Article: Praise for Rep. Van Drew From Trump, Scorn From Those at Home by Tracey Tully, The New York Times, December 16, 2019 Article: Ukraine could get new, deadlier missiles, thanks to Congress by Aaron Mehta and Joe Gould, Defense News, December 15, 2019 Article: House passes ‘progressive’ defense bill, 377-48 by Joe Gould, Defense News, December 13, 2019 Article: Powerful patrons duel over California projects in final spending package by Paul M. Krawzak, Roll Call, December 11, 2019 Article: Florida Republican Ted Yoho announces he won’t seek a fifth term by Stephanie Akin, Roll Call, December 10, 2019 Article: AT WAR WITH THE TRUTH by Craig Whitlock, The Washington Post, December 9, 2019 Article: 3 strange things GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter paid for with campaign funds The Week, December 9, 2019 Press Release: Statement of the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Ethics Regarding Representative Duncan Hunter Committee on Ethics, December 9, 2019 Press Release: Statement of the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Ethics Regarding Representative Duncan Hunter Committee on Ethics, December 5, 2019 Article: California Sues to Sink Planned Expansion of Shasta Dam by Nick Cahill, Courthouse News Service, May 14, 2019 Cover Art Design by Only Child Imaginations Music Presented in This Episode Intro & Exit: Tired of Being Lied To by David Ippolito (found on Music Alley by mevio)
Last week the Washington Post published The Afghanistan Papers—a blockbuster piece of reporting that details every little thing about what’s gone wrong with the Afghanistan War. As the war grinds through its second decade, the Afghanistan Papers make clear what many defense reporters, government officials, and soldiers have known for years. The Afghanistan War is a costly, pointless, unwinnable mess.Here to walk us through the Afghanistan Papers and its implications is Craig Whitlock. Whitlock is the author of the Washington Post report and an investigative reporter who specializes in national security issues. He has covered the Pentagon, served as the Berlin bureau chief and reported from more than 60 countries.You can listen to War College on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play or follow our RSS directly. Our website is warcollegepodcast.com. You can reach us on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/warcollegepodcast/; and on Twitter: @War_College. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
For only the third time in U.S. history, the American press is covering a presidential impeachment. On this week’s On the Media, a look at a few of the coverage missteps made along the way. And, the reporting process behind the Washington Post "Afghanistan Papers" scoop. Plus, the story of an unprecedented trove of TV news history, and the media activist who made it possible. 1. Jon Allsop [@Jon_Allsop], writer for Columbia Journalism Review, on the impeachment coverage that's been less-than-perfect. Listen. 2. Craig Whitlock [@CraigMWhitlock], investigative reporter for the Washington Post, on a once-secret internal government history of the Afghanistan War. Listen. 3. Matt Wolf, documentarian, on the life and work of the activist-archivist Marion Stokes. Listen.
Plus, Mark Lukasiewicz on the 'deliberate deception' of conspiracy theories; Tara Dowdell on the 'powerful forces' supporting Trump; fact versus fiction in Clint Eastwood's new movie 'Richard Jewell;' and how the Afghanistan Papers reveal 'the truth about the war.' Masha Gessen, Mark Lukasiewicz, Tara Dowdell, Jim Lehrer, Gretchen Carlson, Kevin Riley, Brian Lowry, and Craig Whitlock join Brian Stelter.
Craig Whitlock led the Washington Post's years-long effort to obtain hundreds of secret interviews about the Afghan war. The result: A week-long series and a database of the Afghanistan Papers. Whitlock speaks with Brian Stelter about the Post's legal battles, his main findings, and the information he is still seeking. Through this treasure trove of documents, "we've finally broken through with the truth about the war," he says. He also discusses comparisons to the Pentagon Papers.
Afua Hirsch, author and social commentator, Simon Fraser, former head of the UK Foreign Office and Mark Landler, the London Bureau Chief for the New York Times join Christiane Amanpour on set to discuss the Conservative Party landslide victory in the historic UK election. Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the former Danish Prime Minister discusses Boris Johnson's Brexit plan. Craig Whitlock, a lead investigative reporter for the Washington Post, discusses his work uncovering the Afghanistan papers.
If you’re not talking Army/Navy game, we’re here to change that; Truth, misinformation, and classic blunders, we look into Craig Whitlock’s WashPost report; Navy faces separate active shooter events - and if it’s the Patriots, is it cheating…? All this and more on this week’s 3C’s in a Pod... Welcome ladies and gentlemen, with host Bashon Mann and with me on as well as Chris Servello, and John Schofield. We thank you for coming onboard with us. For more of the Provision Conversation, follow us on Twitter and give us your thoughts at @ProVadvisors or check us out on the web www.provisionadvisors.net ...as always, we look forward to hearing from you.
The Net Assessment crew is back and this week they are breaking down an article written by Brian Stewart in Quillette titled, "Tensions in NATO and the Looming End of Pax Americana." Is NATO worth American attention and money? Why don't the Europeans just get their act together? The crew discusses what threat NATO is designed to counter and whether it should forget about Russia and focus on terrorism. Also, Bryan has a grievance with attorney general Bill Barr, Melanie takes issue with the Danish Atlantic Council, and Chris gives an attaboy to the students at the University of California, Washington Center. Join Melanie, Chris, and Bryan as they dive once more into the breach. Links Brian Stewart, "Tensions in NATO and the Looming End of Pax Americana," Quillette, December 5, 2019 Bret Stephens, "NATO is Full of Freeloaders. But It's How We Defend the Free World," New York Times, December 5, 2019 "Emmanuel Macron in His Own Words," Economist, November 7, 2019 Katie Benner, "Barr and Durham Publicly, Disagree with Horowitz Report on Russian Inquiry," New York Times, December 12, 2019 Ben Werner, "CNO Gilday Releases New, Simplified Command Guidance to Fleet," USNI News, December 4, 2019 Christopher Preble, "Cops of the World No More," CATO, January 30, 2015 Craig Whitlock, “At War with the Truth,” Washington Post, December 9, 2019 James Laporta, "Afghan War Report Enrages Veterans and Gold Star Families: Even as More of Us Died, They Lied," Newsweek, December 9, 2019 Jonah Schepp, "A NATO Summit to End All NATO Summits," New York Magazine, December 5, 2019 Mariel Padilla, "NATO Conference is Canceled after US Ambassador Barred a Trump Critic," New York Times, December 8, 2019 "The Day Will Come," Netflix Orlando Parfitt, "The Day Will Come' Claims Top Prize at Denmark's Robert Awards," Screen Daily, February 6, 2017
New revelations from the Washington Post have blown the lid off almost two decades and two administrations lying about the war in Afghanistan. Dive into the damning details with your hosts on this week's Told You So! Discussed on this show:At War With The Truth by Craig Whitlock from the Washington Post
On Monday, the Washington Post released the fruits of a three-year investigative effort: the "Afghanistan Papers," a once-secret internal government history of a deadly, costly, and ultimately futile entanglement. The hundreds of frank, explosive interviews — along with a new tranche of memos written by the former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld — revealed the extent to which American leaders misled the public on their efforts to hunt down Osama Bin Laden, rout the Taliban, expel Al Qaeda, install democracy, and undo corruption. In this podcast extra, investigative reporter Craig Whitlock tells Bob about the monumental story that the Post uncovered — and the extraordinary effort it took to report it out.
Following the publication of the Washington Post's explosive series, The Afghanistan Papers, Armstrong & Getty are joined WaPo investigative reporter, Craig Whitlock, with details on the dismaying report.
Weirick is joined by Craig Whitlock of The Washington Post to discuss the ever-widening Fat Leonard scandal. Also in this episode, Weirick gives an update on the Bowe Bergdahl court-martial. Guest: Craig Whitlock Twitter: @CraigMWhitlock Bergdahl story from Bloomberg: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/audio/2017-08-22/bowe-bergdahl-opts-for-judge-over-jury-in-trial-audio Bergdahl update from @CrimeWritersOn http://www.crimewriterson.com/listen/2017/7/20/oj-gets-out-and-leaving-a-trace-g2nzw-ajhkd-mawee Host: James W. Weirick Website: www.militaryjusticepodcast.com Twitter: @PodcastMJ Instagram: thepodcastmj FaceBook: @MilitaryJusticePodcast Email: email@example.com Editing and Mixing: Hannah McCarthy: @hmccarthyNHPR For Advertising Inquiries Contact: Executive Producer Mital Telhan: firstname.lastname@example.org
The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act grants permission for next year's wars. In this episode, we look at how the new law, in partnership with a reckless Executive Order, will provide weapons to terrorists and legalize American wars fought with foreign humans. Also in this episode, learn about the new Ministry of Propaganda (the "Global Engagement Center") that the United States will open in July. Please support Congressional Dish: Click here to contribute with PayPal or Bitcoin; click the PayPal "Make it Monthly" checkbox to create a monthly subscription Click here to support Congressional Dish for each episode via Patreon Mail Contributions to: Congressional Dish 5753 Hwy 85 North #4576 Crestview, FL 32536 Thank you for supporting truly independent media! Bill Highlighted in This Episode National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 Explanatory Statement Title III—Operation and Maintenance Subtitle B—Energy and Environment Sec. 312. Waiver authority for alternative fuel procurement requirement. The Secretary of Defense can waive the requirement that Federal agencies only purchase alternative fuels if the greenhouse gas emissions are equal or lower to the conventional fuel typically used, as long as he notifies Congress. Sec. 316. Sense of Congress on funding decisions relating to climate change. “It is the sense of Congress that... "decisions relating to the funding of the Dept. of Defense … should prioritize the support and enhancement of the combat capabilities of the Dept" funds should be allocated among the programs of the Dept in the manner that best serves the national security interests of the US decisions relating to energy efficiency, energy use, and climate change should adhere to the principles described above Title VI—Compensation and Other Personnel Benefits Subtitle A—Pay and Allowances Sec. 601. Fiscal year 2017 increase in military basic pay. Effective January 1, 2017, the rates of monthly basic pay for military members is 2.1 percent Sec. 604. Reports on a new single-salary pay system for members of the Armed Forces. Gives the Defense Dept one year to report to Congress on a new pay structure: A “single salary system,” which will take effect on January 1, 2018. Subtitle E—Commissary and Nonappropriated Fund Instrumentality Benefits and Operations Sec. 661. Protection and enhancement of access to and savings at commissaries and exchanges. They are going to test a "variable pricing program” which would price commissary goods “in response to market conditions and customer demand" Sec. 662. Acceptance of Military Star Card at commissaries. Subtitle F—Other Matters Sec. 671. Recovery of amounts owed to the United States by members of the uniformed services. Allows the Secretary of Defense is allowed to waive collections of overpayments to military service members if the collection starts over 10 years after the overpayment occurred. The Defense Department will conduct a review of the bonuses paid to California National Guard members from 2004 - 2015, determine how many bonuses were awarded improperly, and determine which ones will be granted a repayment waiver. Waivers will be denied only if the board can make an affirmative determination that the member “knew or reasonably should have known that the member was ineligible for the bonus pay” Title VII—Health Care Provisions Subtitle A—Reform of TRICARE and military health system Sec. 701. TRICARE Select and other TRICARE reform. Creates TRICARE Select: “Eligible beneficiaries will not have restrictions on the freedom of choice of the beneficiary with respect to health care providers.” Cost sharing table Title VIII—Acquisition Policy, Acquisition Management, and Related Matters Subtitle F—Provisions Relating to Commercial Items Sec. 874. Inapplicability of certain laws and regulations to the acquisition of commercial items and commercially available off-the-shelf items. Exempts the purchase of “commercial items” from a bunch of procurement laws Sec. 876. Preference for commercial services. Prohibits defense agencies from entering into contracts for services that are NOT commercial services, unless it’s determined in writing that there are no commercial services available. Subtitle G—Industrial Base Matters Sec. 881. Greater integration of the national technology and industrial base. Orders a written plan to be completed by the end of 2017 to” reduce the barriers to the seamless integration between the persons and organizations that comprise the national technology and industrial base" Entities to be “integrated” include government entities, universities, nonprofits, and private contractors (including weapons manufacturers) operating in the United States, Canada and (added) the UK, Northern Ireland, and Australia. Title IX—Department of Defense Organization and Management Subtitle B—Organization and Management of the Department of Defense Generally Sec. 915. Repeal of requirements relating to efficiencies plan for the civilian personnel workforce and service contractor workforce of the Department of Defense. Repeals the requirement that the Secretary of Defense have policies and procedures to determine the most appropriate cost efficient mix of military, civilians, and contractor personnel to perform the mission of the Dept. of Defense. Title X—General Provisions Subtitle B—Counterdrug Activities Sec. 1011. Codification and modification of authority to provide support for counterdrug activities and activities to counter transnational organized crime of civilian law enforcement agencies. "The Secretary of Defense may provide support for the counter drug activities… of any department or agency of the Federal Government or of any State, local, tribal, or foreign law enforcement agency for…: "Training of law enforcement personnel of the Federal Government, of State, local, and tribal governments…" “Intelligence analysis services" “Aerial and ground reconnaissance” Sec. 1013. Extension of authority to support unified counterdrug and counterterrorism campaign in Colombia. Extended through 2019 Subtitle D—Counterterrorism Sec. 1032. Prohibition on use of funds for transfer or release of individuals detained at United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cub, to the United States. Sec. 1033. Prohibition on use of funds to construct or modify facilities in the United States to house detainees transferred from United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Sec. 1034. Prohibition on use of funds for transfer or release to certain countries of individuals detained at United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Specifically prohibits transferring anyone to Libya, Somalia, Syria, or Yemen. Sec. 1035. Prohibition on use of funds for realignment of forces at or closure of United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Subtitle G—Other Matters Sec. 1090. Cost of Wars. Secretary of Defense needs to post the costs of each the Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria wars onto a public website. No due date or web address. Title XII—Matters relating to foreign nations Subtitle A—Assistance and training Sec. 1201. One-year extension of logistical support for coalition forces supporting certain United States military operations. Sec. 1202. Special Defense Acquisition Fund matters. Authorizes the amount of money appropriated to the fund to more than double, from $1.07 billion to $2.5 billion. $500 million must be to purchase precision guided munitions for partner and allied forces Sec. 1203. Codification of authority for support of special operations to combat terrorism. The Defense Secretary is allowed to spend $100 million per year to “support foreign forces, irregular forces, groups, or individuals engaged in supporting or facilitating ongoing military operations by United States special operations forces to combat terrorism" The money will come from the money appropriated for operations and maintenance Repeals a provision from the 2005 NDAA that provided $25 million a year for this purpose Subtitle B—Matters relating to Afghanistan and Pakistan Sec. 1218. Extension and modification of authority for reimbursement of certain coalition nations for support provided to United States military operations. The United States can use $1.1 billion to pay any country that helps our military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, and the United States can pay Pakistan for “activities meant to enhance the security situation in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region and for counterterrorism" Subtitle C—Matters relating to Syria, Iraq, and Iran Sec. 1221. Modification and extension of authority to provide assistance to the vetted Syrian opposition. Extends the authority to “provide assistance to the vetted Syrian opposition” until December 31, 2018. Sec. 1224. Limitation on provision of man-portable air defense systems to the vetted Syrian opposition during fiscal year 2017. State Dept: “Countering the proliferation of Man-Portable Air Defense Systems is a top U.S. national security priority. In the hands of terrorists, criminals, or other non-state actors, MANPADS - also known as shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles - pose a serious threat to passenger air travel, the commercial aviation industry, and military aircraft around the world. The United States is working closely with numerous countries and international organizations to keep the skies safe for all." The 2015 NDAA authorized the transfer of “man-portable air defense system” or “MANPADs” to the “vetted Syrian opposition”. They are allowed to continue to do so after a 30-day waiting period if a report is submitted to Congress Subtitle D—Matters relating to the Russian Federation Sec. 1233. Extension and modification of authority on training for Eastern European national military forces in the course of multilateral exercises. Amends Section 1251 of the 2016 NDAA to extend the authority to pay to train “national security forces” in “multilateral exercises” through 2018. Adds the European Reassurance Initiative to the list of authorized activities, although it has been renamed the “European Deterrence Initiative” This training is allowed to go to NATO countries and “countries that are a signatory to the Partnership for Peace Framework Documents, but not a member of NATO” Sec. 1237. Extension and enhancement of Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative. Increases the amount allowed to be spent on “security assistance” to Ukraine by $50 million, up to $350 million A minimum of $50 million MUST be spent on “Lethal assistance” including anti-armor weapon systems, mortars, grenade launchers, small arms, and ammunition This NDAA adds equipment and technical assistance for a border surveillance network for Ukraine to the list of authorized uses of funding $175 million will be withheld until the Secretary of State certifies that Ukraine has taken steps towards reforms including civilian control of their military and “potential opportunities for privatization in the defense industrial sector” Subtitle E—Reform of Department of Defense Security Cooperation Sec. 1241. Enactment of new chapter for defense security cooperation. Repeals the authorization from the 2012 NDAA that allowed civilian employees of the DoD to be “advisors” to foreign defense ministries Inserts a new chapter into law outlining procedures for training and equipping foreign militaries The training can be for the following purposes: Counterterrorism Counter weapons of mass destruction Counter-drug trafficking operations Repeals a law limited the support that can be provided to Columbia & Peru Counter organized crime Border security Intelligence “Operations or activities that contribute to an international coalition operation that is determined by the Secretary to be in the national interest of the United States” Repeals the law that authorizes programs only for counter-terrorism, support of on-going military operations, and border security. The Secretary of Defense and Secretary of State will develop and plan train and equip programs together Repeals the law saying that the Secretary of State will be responsible for coordinating development activities The Secretary of Defense is allowed to change the definition of “developing country” “from time to time” The Director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency will be responsible for “all security cooperation programs" The train and equip programs are authorized to provide “defense articles”, training, “defense services”, supplies, and construction valued under $750,000 per project. The “support” programs are limited to five years unless a written justification for extending it is provided or if funding is shifted to another part of the government or another country. 2017 Funding: Will come from: The Operations and Maintenance account, the “defense-wide” section and “Defense Security Cooperation” section = $6.6 billion + $621 million = $7.2 billion Funds for “Drug Interdiction and Counter-Drug Activities, Defense-Wide” = $720 million Funds for “Operations and Maintenance, Defense-wide, for overseas contingency operations” and money for the “Defense Security Cooperation Agency” = $7.1 billion Money appropriated for the “Counter-ISIL fund" in Iraq and Syria can be spent in countries other than Iraq and Syria as long as Congress is told = $1.1 billion Funds for “Drug Interdiction and Counter-Drug Activities, Defense-Wide for overseas contingency operations” = $191 million + $24 million = $215 million Money made available in previous years = unknown Total = At least $16.3 billion Subtitle H—Other matters Sec. 1281. Enhancement of interagency support during contingency operations and transition periods. The Secretaries of Defense and State can enter an agreement to swap “support” to each other’s departments during and up to two years after any “contingency operation" “Support” = food, transportation, petroleum, oils, communication services, medical services, ammunition, base operations support, use of facilities, spare parts, and maintenance services. Sec. 1285. Limitation on availability of funds to implement the Arms Trade Treaty. Prohibits any funds being used to implement the Arms Trade Treaty, which is a 2013 UN treaty designed to regulate and limit the international weapons trade. We signed it in September. Sec. 1287. Global Engagement Center By mid-June 2017, the Department of State will create a Global Engagement Center Purpose: “To lead, synchronize, and coordinate efforts of the Federal Government to recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining United States national security interests” Functions Track and evaluate stories abroad that threaten the interests of the US and the US allies and partner nations. Support the creation and distribution of “fact-based narratives” to counter propaganda and disinformation directed at the United States, our allies, and partner nations. Promote “fact-based narratives” to audiences outside the United States The head of the Global Engagement Center will be appointed by the President Any Federal Government employee may be assigned to the Global Engagement Center for a maximum of three years. The State Department can hire domestic and foreign contractors to work for the Global Engagement Center for a maximum of four years each, with a maximum of 50 employees The Global Engagement Center can pay (“provide grants”) to “civil society groups, media content providers, nongovernmental organizations, federally funded research and development centers, private companies, or academic institutions” to: Collect and store examples in print, online, and on social media of disinformation and propaganda directed at the US, its allies, and partners. To “counter efforts” to use information to influence the policies and stability of the United States, it’s allies and partner nations. The Global Engagement Center will end in December 2024 (8 years after enactment) Sec. 1288. Modification of United States International Broadcasting Act of 1994. The Broadcasting Board of Governors is a global media agency tasked with “informing” other countries in a way that pursues US national interests (aka: our propaganda networks). BBG networks include: Voice of America Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty Office of Cuba Broadcasting Radio Free Asia Middle East Broadcasting Networks Changes made by NDAA The head of the Broadcasting Board of Governors will be a Chief Executive Officer, appointed by the President, instead of a Director who has been appointed by the Board. Extends immunity from civil liability to all board members at Radio Free Liberty/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks, or “any organization that consolidates such entities” Sec. 1294. Extension and expansion of authority to support border security operations of certain foreign countries. The 2016 NDAA authorized $150 million per year for each Jordan and Lebanon for border security “support" This provision adds Egypt and Tunisia to the list of counties eligible for “support” funding The money is authorized until the end of 2019 Title LIV—Court-Martial Jurisdiction Detailed procedures for court martial cases Title LX—Punitive Articles A list of all the offenses eligible for a court martial Executive Order Executive Order: Presidential Determination and Waiver - Pursuant to Section 2249a of Title 10, United States Code, and Sections 40 and 40A of the Arms Export Control Act to Support U.S. Special Operations to Combat Terrorism in Syria, The White House Office of the Press Secretary, December 8, 2016 Sound Clip Sources Hearing: U.S. Strategy and Policy in the Middle East, Senate Armed Services Committee, January 20, 2016. - Available on C-SPAN Witness General Jack Keane Chairman, Institute for the Study of War Former Vice Chief of Staff of the Army during the key Bush years, 1999-2003. Board of Directors at General Dynamics Timestamps & Transcripts 27:30 General Jack Keane: Partnering for training and military education is essential to raise the level of operational competence. There is no substitute for an effective ground force supported by air power. Air power is an enabler; it is not a defeat mechanism. This is about alliance members providing the predominant military response. It’s not the United States military. The United States military would provide a certain level of support. Hearing: U.S. Policy and Russian Involvement in Syria, House Foreign Affairs Committee, November 4, 2015, Witness Anne W. Patterson Assistant Secretary Department of State->Near Eastern Affairs Ambassador to Columbia during Bush years Ran the drug war for Bush in 2005 Ambassador to Pakistan Bush/Obama Ambassador to Egypt right after the “uprising” Timestamps & Transcripts 16:40 Anne Patterson: We are pursuing four interlinked goals: (1) to defeat ISIS militarily in both Syria and Iraq, (2) to develop a political transition that gives Syria a future without Bashar al-Assad, (3) to ease the suffering of the Syrian people, and (4) to stabilize our allies as they cope with massive refugee outflows. 36:44 Anne Patterson: Patterson: The idea is to have a transitional government, to work on a time table for Assad’s departure—and let me be clear that that’s a critical element of this policy—and then to work on constitutional review, and, ultimately, an election in Syria. That’s the basic outlines of Secretary Kerry’s strategy. Rep. Karen Bass: So, at this point, if there were to be a transitional government, who do you see composing that? Anne Patterson: Well, a number of opposition figures and people already on the ground. It would be key—and this was in the communiqué—that Syria’s institutions—the military, intelligence, police, civil service—would remain intact, so you wouldn’t have a total collapse of state authority. The idea is just to remove Bashar Assad… Rep. Bass: Like that happened in Iraq? Patterson: …and his cronies from power. 1:30:50 Anne Patterson: The president and certainly the secretary has said many times that Assad’s departure is absolutely critical to any future in Syria. 1:32:45 Ileana Ros-Lehtinen: Those allies, do they see Assad’s removal from power as imperative to deal with this situation? Anne Patterson: Currently, our European allies, our Gulf allies, and Turkey do see that. They’re absolutely determined that he will not remain in power. 1:47:30 Anne Patterson: There’s broad consensus in the international community that these institutions in Syria would remain intact—the intelligence; the military; the police; the civil service; the ministerial structures, like health structures; and that the goal is to remove Bashar al-Assad and his closest advisors and have this political process that would lead to a new government. 1:56:10 Anne Patterson: Let me stress that that is our goal, to get Assad out. Press Conference: Arms Trade Treaty, US State Department, September 25, 2013 Transcript Secretary of State John Kerry: What this treaty does is simple: It helps lift other countries up to the highest standards. It requires other countries to create and enforce the kind of strict national export controls that the United States already has in place. Additional Reading Article: Rex Tillerson's Company Exxon, Has Billions at Stake Over Sanctions on Russia by Andrew Kramer and Clifford Krauss, New York Times, December 12, 2016. Article: Adding 200 more troops to Syria, U.S. deepens involvement by Robert Burns, Associated Press, December 10, 2016. Press Release: Senate Passes Major Portman-Murphy Counter-Propaganda Bill as Part of NDAA, Senator Rob Portman, December 8, 2016. See S. 3274: Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act See H.R. 5181: Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act Article: Pentagon buries evidence of $125 billion in bureaucratic waste by Craig Whitlock and Bob Woodward, The Washington Post, December 5, 2016. Article: Congress authorizes Trump to arm Syrian rebels with anti-aircraft missiles by Julian Pecquet, Al-Monitor, December 2, 2016. Article: U.S. arms export boom under Obama seen continuing with Trump by Mike Stone and patricia Zengerie, Reuters, November 9, 2016. Report: Armed Conflict in Syria: Overview and U.S. Response by Carla E. Humud, Christopher Blanchard, and Mary Beth Nikitin, Congressional Research Service, September 28, 2016. Article: How Many Guns Did the U.S. Lose Track of in Iraq and Afghanistan? Hundreds of Thousands. by C.J. Chivers, New York Times Magazine, August 24, 2016. Blog Post: Resurrecting the Special Defense Acquistition Fund (SDAF) and Why It Matters to You by Todd Dudley, LinkedIn, February 23, 2016. State Department Cable: "The best way to help Israel with Iran's growing nuclear capability is to help the people of Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad", author unknown, November 30, 2015. Also available in the Wikileaks directory Report: The Defense Business Board's 2015 study on how the Pentagon could save $125 billion, January 22, 2015. Article: Syria intervention plan fueled by oil interests, not chemical weapon concern by Nafeez Ahmed, The Guardian, August 30, 2013. Article: U.S. Repeals Propaganda Ban, Spreads Government-Made News to Americans by John Hudson, The Cable, July 14, 2013. Bill provision: Section 1078: Dissemination abroad of information about the United States, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013. Article: Iraq, Iran, Syria Sign $10 Billion Gas-Pipeline Dead by Hassan Hafidh and Beniot Faucon, The Wall Street Journal, July 25, 2011. Article: The Redirection: Is the Administration's new policy benefitting our enemies in the war on terrorism? by Seymour Hersh, The New Yorker, March 5, 2007. Webpage: Arms Trade Treaty, US Department of State Webpage: Federal Spending: Where Does the Money Go, National Priorities Project Document: S. 2943: The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 summary, House Armed Services Committee, December 2017. Music Presented in This Episode Intro & Exit: Tired of Being Lied To by David Ippolito (found on Music Alley by mevio) Cover Art Design by Only Child Imaginations