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Eric Margolis: US Manipulating Afghanistan Election to Extend US Military Presence

Much American public attention is focused on the US military escalation in Iraq and, to some extent, the rivalry for leadership in that nation where Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has worn out his US government welcome. Among other offenses, Maliki failed to ensure Iraq agreed in 2011 to a status of forces agreement that would have enabled the continued presence of thousands of US troops by protecting them from liability for violations of Iraqi laws.

Americans seem to be paying much less attention to the continuing, drawn-out Afghanistan national election. International reporter and columnist Eric Margolis suggests the election is being orchestrated by the US government to establish a new status of forces agreement with Afghanistan.
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Ron Paul on 'The Strange Case of Bowe Bergdahl'

The current debate over whether Pvt. Bowe Bergdahl, recently swapped for five Guantanamo detainees, was a traitor or hero obscured what should be the real debate of our foreign policy, Ron Paul told Charles Goyette in his weekly podcast today. Many on the pro-war side wanted at first to make him out to be a hero because he was a veteran, and to deny that the veterans who fought in Afghanistan were all heroes might be to suggest that all the war dead died in vain.

But then it got rather complicated when it was discovered that Bergdahl developed second thoughts about the war in Afghanistan and may have even deserted his unit. Then the neocons began screaming for his blood -- and for Obama's impeachment for trading him for the imprisoned Taliban members.
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Eric Margolis: US Afghanistan Elections Not Up To Standard of Soviet Afghanistan Elections

While reviewing media reports of democracy in action in the Afghanistan election to select a replacement for President Hamid Karzai, consider the comments of RPI Academic Board member Eric Margolis on the Scott Horton Show on Friday. Margolis starts off the interview explaining that the United States Afghanistan elections, including what he calls the “latest Afghanistan election carnival,” are not even up to the low standard of the 1980s Soviet Afghanistan elections...
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Rep. Walter Jones: More Spending on Afghanistan is 'Insanity'

Congressman Walter Jones (R-NC), an RPI Advisory Board Member, delivers hard-hitting questions and comments during a House Armed Services hearing this week on the "State of Al Qaeda, its Affiliates, and Associated Groups: View From Outside Experts." On the continuing controversy over the US/Afghanistan status of forces treaty and the prospect of ten more years of spending money in Afghanistan, Rep. Jones  has this to say:
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Rep. Walter Jones: Declassify 9/11 Report and End Afghanistan War

Rep. Walter Jones, on the Alex Jones Show Thursday, discusses his resolution in the United States House of Representatives calling for making public the 28 classified pages of a congressional 9/11 report “so we can wake up America to who financed 9/11.” Rep. Jones, an RPI Advisory Board Member, also discusses his effort to end the US government’s spending and military action in Afghanistan immediately instead of keeping the US military in Afghanistan another ten or more years. Watch the interview here:
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'Muddled Thinking' on Afghanistan

Barry McCaffrey told Chuck Todd of MSNBC this morning that the proposed Afghan security agreement reflects "muddled thinking" in terms of the foolishness of leaving a necessarily embattled remnant in a "vast and hostile country." He also pointed out the fact that the remnant would be 800 miles from the sea and the US Navy.

I could not agree more. The fate of the British mission at Kabul in 1879 comes to mind. Major Sir Louis Cavagnari and his escort of soldiers from the Guides were wiped out to the last man after a pitched battle with a Kabul mob. McCaffrey insisted that there are no important US security interests in Afghanistan. Once again, I agree. The civil war in Afghanistan is an intra-Pushtun war. It is not a war against the shattered al-Qaeda who once were a powerful force in the country.
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Afghan Attack: Who's to Blame, Marines or the Policy?

The Washington Post yesterday carried the extraordinary story of two Marine generals fired after a 2012 Afghan insurgent attack on Camp Leatherneck/Camp Bastion in Afghanistan's Helmand province. The attack by a handful of Afghan fighters resulted in two dead Marines, as well as the destruction of half a dozen AV-8B Harrier jets at a cost of some $200 million.

Maj. Gen. Charles M. Gurganus, the top Marine commander in southern Afghanistan at the time, and Maj. Gen. Gregg A. Sturdevant, the senior Marine aviation officer in the area, were fired for "failing to assign sufficient military personnel to secure the area" and for failing “to exercise the level of judgment expected of commanders of their rank,” respectively.

It was "the first time since the Vietnam war that a US general has been fired for negligence after an enemy attack," the Post wrote.
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