More Obama bucks to be extended! It iss (typo) time once again to play “name all those jackasses” that are still in the State Department and Pentagon!
The U.S. is offering Taliban narco-jihadists — the killers behind most American military fatalities during the ongoing Afghan war and fully supported by Pakistan for it’s benefit as well as to benefit China and Iran — safety and job opportunities as part of a peace deal ($35,000 a pop)
Report: U.S.-Afghan Peace Deal Includes Safety and Job Offers to Taliban
The U.S. is offering Taliban narco-jihadists — the killers behind most American military fatalities during the ongoing Afghan war — safety and job opportunities as part of a peace deal, Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper reported on Thursday, citing a Pentagon plan.
Dawn quotes the Pentagon’s plan sent to Congress this week as saying, “Although some members of the Taliban may be weary of fighting and ready to lay down their weapons, they will only rejoin society if they believe their safety and the safety of their families are guaranteed, and if they have an opportunity to earn enough money to provide for their families.”
The Taliban has reportedly indicated it is willing to allow a residual U.S. military presence to remain in Afghanistan to train local forces, including prospective ex-Taliban jihadis, to take on the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) and other terrorist groups.
Despite millions in American taxpayer funds devoted to a similar initiative — the Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Program (APRP) — the program closed its doors in 2016 due to a lack of progress in keeping so-called reintegrated terrorists away from jihadi activities.
Between the program’s creation in 2010 and 2014, over 9,000 Taliban terrorists were reportedly reintegrated into Afghan society at the cost of about $35,000 each, with the United States bearing most of the burden.
In 2017, the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), a watchdog agency, reported that the Trump administration was preparing to launch a successor to the APRP.
“According to [the] State [Department], the APRP is expected to shift from the disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration focus of the APRP to negotiating political settlements with armed opposition groups, forging national and international consensus on a peace process, and promoting and institutionalizing a culture of peace,” SIGAR explained.
Consistent with ongoing campaigns from China, Pakistan, Russia, and other world powers, U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has intensified efforts in recent months to convince the Taliban to make peace with Kabul. The Trump administration has come out in full support of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s offer to the jihadi group of a ceasefire and official recognition as a legitimate political power, which could lead to the terrorist group governing Afghanistan again as they were before U.S. troops overthrew the Taliban regime at the end of 2001.
Citing the Pentagon, Dawn reports that Kabul has failed to develop “a national reintegration program.”
“While the Trump administration appears keen to start withdrawing US forces from Afghanistan, the Pentagon advocates maintaining enough troops in Afghanistan to force the Taliban to join peace talks” the newspaper notes, adding:
The Pentagon also supports the peace process initiated by US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation (SRAR), Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, who has already held a series of meetings with Taliban in Qatar and the UAE and regularly visits Afghanistan and its neighboring states, like Pakistan and India. Increased military pressure on the Taliban, international calls for peace, and the new SRAR’s engagements appear to be driving the Taliban to negotiations, says the Pentagon report.
Last week, news reports surfaced claiming Trump is considering plans to reduce America’s military presence in Afghanistan by half to 7,000. However, Gen. Joseph Dunford, the highest-ranking military official in the United States as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, dismissed the reports as “rumors.”
“There’s all kinds of rumors swirling around,” Dunford told U.S. forces, Stars and Stripesreports. “The mission you have today is the same as the mission you had yesterday.”
A day after Dunford’s comments, Army Gen. Scott Miller, the top commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, also stated that he had received “no orders” to withdraw American forces from the country yet.
Opium cultivation and its heroin derivative are the top sources of funding for the Taliban. Although the vast majority of opioid-linked drugs enter the U.S. from Latin America, a small amount of Afghan heroin makes onto American soil and is fueling, if only slightly, the drug overdose epidemic that kills tens of thousands each year. It remains uncertain what role the Taliban’s heavy involvement in opium cultivation and heroin trafficking is playing in ongoing peace talks led by the U.S.
Joint Statement of the 2nd Afghanistan-China-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue
KABUL – Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi of the People’s Republic of China, and Foreign Minister Makhdom Shah Mahmood Qureshi of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan held the 2nd Afghanistan-China-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue in Kabul, Afghanistan on 15th December 2018. The meeting was chaired by H.E. Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani.
China and Pakistan congratulated Afghanistan on the completion of the parliamentary elections, and welcomed the efforts of the Afghan government for holding the presidential elections in 2019.
The three sides, once again, reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthening their relations, deepening cooperation and advancing connectivity under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA) and other regional economic initiatives. The three sides agreed to promote China-Afghanistan-Pakistan trilateral cooperation under the framework of jointly building the Belt and Road Initiative. The three sides reiterated their strong resolve to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and without any distinction. The three Foreign Ministers agreed to jointly continue their efforts for building political mutual trust and support reconciliation, development cooperation and connectivity, security cooperation and counter-terrorism as the three areas of the trilateral cooperation.
The three sides reiterated their support to the Afghan-owned, and Afghan led inclusive peace process that is fully supported regionally and internationally, as the most viable way to bring peace in Afghanistan. In this regard, China and Pakistan appreciated the efforts of H.E. President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani especially for the comprehensive peace plans that came out of the second Kabul Process and the Geneva Conferences on Afghanistan, and therefore called on the Afghan Taliban to join the peace process at an early date. While efforts are underway to start the peace process, the three sides call upon the parties concerned to end violence and the loss of innocent lives in Afghanistan.
The three sides agreed to continue economic development cooperation in areas of mutual interest. The three sides will continue to implement and expand the “soft” projects such as exchange and capacity building programs, and explore “hard” projects of livelihood facilities and connectivity. China expressed its readiness to support Afghanistan and Pakistan in building immigration reception center and drinking water supply schemes at each side of the Ghulam Khan Khel crossing point, and to explore cold storages at Chaman and Spin Boldak. China supports enhanced coordination between Afghanistan and Pakistan on major energy and connectivity projects including the construction of Quetta-Kandahar railway and Kabul-Peshawar Motorway and Railway. The three sides reiterated their firm commitment to implement the activities and projects agreed to under practical cooperation.
The three sides expressed their strong determination not to allow any country, organization or individual to use their respective territories for terrorist activities against any other countries. The three sides took stock of trilateral cooperation in their fight against terrorism and underlined the need to further strengthen counter-terrorism coordination and cooperation in an effort to combat all terrorist groups and individuals without any discrimination. They also agreed to counter terrorist’ logistical capabilities including financing, recruitment, training, and strengthen trilateral cooperation for counter-terrorism capacity building, deny terrorist use of the internet and to take joint steps for deradicalization, as well as work together to break the nexus between narco-trade and terror financing. To advance their cooperation in the fields of Counter-Terrorism, the three sides signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Counter-Terrorism.
The three sides agree to implement the consensus of the 2nd Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue through the trilateral Vice-Ministerial Strategic Dialogue, Vice-Ministerial Consultation on Counter-Terrorism and Security, and Director Generals’ Practical Cooperation as well as other agreed mechanisms.
China and Pakistan thanked Afghanistan for the successful organization of the 2nd China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue and its warm hospitality, and the three sides agreed that the 3rd Afghanistan-China-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue would be held in Islamabad in 2019.
MG Paul E. Vallely (US Army Ret) has proposed the establishment of an enhanced security zone twenty miles deep on each side of the U.S. – Mexican border to be jointly monitored. Any group or persons occupying this zone engaging in criminal or illegal activities against Mexico or the United States would be targeted, engaged and neutralized.
The unfettered movement of transnational criminals, Islamic extremists, and illegal border crossers transiting our porous southern border poses a clear and immediate national security threat. The sophistication of the illicit networks that traffic in narcotics, foment terror and exploit human suffering for profit has exceeded our current ability to protect the homeland.
The northern states in Mexico; Baja California Norte, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, and Tamaulipas are under rogue control, and the Mexican Police and Army are helpless to stop them. It is, therefore, in the national interest of the United States and the responsibility of the federal government to restore order on the border as well across our borders. Because of this clear and present danger to US Citizens and our economy, positive action must be taken without further delay.
We must continue to be vigilant but adopt a more aggressive, offense-oriented border strategy. You cannot win and defeat this national threat by being on defense all the time using limited assets and restrictive rules of engagement.
The U.S. government has not yet formulated a comprehensive and integrated National Border Security Strategy, which, in addition to law enforcement brings to bear all the instruments of national power – diplomatic, intelligence, military and economic – and coordinated by a single command and control system spanning our southern land border and ports of entry.
The proposed plan uses elements of the conventional and unconventional military and law enforcement assets. It combines the best use of already-existing forces that will encompass intelligence, targeting and structural organization to accomplish the mission, including base operations, offensive, and defensive operations.
The first step is to organize three Joint Border Task Force Groups (JBTFG) and position them in three operational bases, one in Texas, one in Arizona and another in Southern California. These bases have been identified but will be kept confidential for now. Each JBTFG will be organized based on joint task forces of Special Ops, Army, Air Force, and Navy. Selected units and personnel will be relocated and moved to the designated bases. A Joint Operations Center will be established for US and Mexican personnel.
Approximately 5,000 military personnel would be assigned to each JBTFG. The organization would be commanded by a Two Star “Warrior” and each of the three JBTFGs would be commanded by a Brigadier General. The mission for the military element of the Command would be to target and conduct offensive operations on the Mexican side of the border in coordination with Mexican authorities, when possible. National Guard, Border Patrol, DEA, and local sheriff’s units would conduct border security operations on the United States side of the border. This initiative does not violate any existing Posse Comitatus laws. Integrated operations will be conducted with the National Guard on the border states as well as US Border Patrol and DEA.
“The concerns and anxiety of Americans, particularly in the Border States have grown significantly in the past year. Changes in law enforcement operations have forced smugglers of drugs and illegal aliens into ever more isolated areas, increasing the number of deaths and the level of violence to a point where even the most hardened enforcement officials are alarmed. The political ferment over illegals has never been greater – much concern as the result of the Kate Steinle murder verdict in San Francisco Seventy-eight percent of Americans think and know that the government is not doing enough to control our borders; talk shows bristle with demands for action. Additionally, Global jihad and jihadis are a major threat as they eye the southern border as a path of least resistance to strike inside the United States.” said Vallely.
MG Vallely presented his plan to the White House, DOD, and DHS three months ago and the President has, in Phase One, moved Active Duty Forces to the Border.
MG, US Army (Ret)
Chairman, Stand Up America US Foundation
Chairman – Legacy National Security Advisory Group
Founding Member – Citizens Commission on National Security
Mexico’s new president takes aim at violence during first day in office
By David Alire Garcia, Miguel Gutierrez
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – On his first full day in office, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador defended a plan to end lawlessness with a new national guard, an initiative that risks upsetting some supporters who favor a less militarized approach.
In a Sunday morning speech, Mexico’s first leftist president in decades continued to pivot from an emphasis during the campaign on peaceful reconciliation and even amnesty for some involved in the country’s grueling drug war to a more traditional approach defined by more soldiers and police.
“We must adjust to a new era,” he said, flanked by generals at a military base in the capital, while emphasizing that his security policy will also respect human rights.
In the first phase of his plan, a 60,000-strong national guard force made up of army, navy and other federal police will battle crime while a constitutional reform will be pursued to cement the new strategy.
Lopez Obrador has said the strategy will be put to a public vote, likely in March.
A second phase will add additional military forces to the effort.
“The people of Mexico need their armed forces to address this grave problem of insecurity and violence right now,” said Lopez Obrador, often turning toward the uniformed officers assembled behind him to address them directly.
“We’ve opted for this plan because we trust the armed forces,” he said.
Over the past dozen years, Mexican security forces have toppled some high-profile drug kingpins but more than 200,000 people have been killed and tens of thousands more disappeared since a military-focused approach was initiated in 2006.
The last couple years have seen record numbers of murders, including in some of the country’s most fabled tourist destinations like Acapulco and Los Cabos.
Lopez Obrador’s new security focus has already stirred unease among some human rights activists, who argue the plan ignores past abuses stemming from the “militarization” of public safety.
“We call on the new government to back a civil security model that can create conditions for a gradual withdrawal of the armed forces in public security work,” a coalition of leading human rights groups said in a statement late last month.
In addition to the national guard plan, Lopez Obrador has offered a six-year security blueprint that criticizes drug prohibition as both ineffective and arbitrary. The new president’s allies in Congress have already proposed legislation to decriminalize and regulate the use of marijuana.
During the campaign, his security aides outlined plans to reduce jail time for some crimes, as well as stiffer controls on weapons. The strategy leaned heavily on “transitional justice,” which often involves leniency for those who admit guilt, truth commissions to investigate atrocities and the granting of reparations for victims.
The landslide election winner has not yet detailed how those policies will the implemented.