Trump Now Owns Our Forever Afghan War

Despite campaigning on a promise to end America’s longest war, as President last night Trump signed on to another lease without end in Afghanistan.

“My original instinct was to pull out, and historically I like following my instincts, but all of my life I heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office. So I studied Afghanistan in great detail and from every conceivable angle. After many meetings, over many months, we held our final meeting last Friday at Camp David, with my cabinet and generals, to complete our strategy.”

Beyond that semi mea culpa I don’t know what Trump was saying, other than making it clear he’s not changing anything in Afghanistan, and that he owns it now, and that there’s no end in sight.

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Author: craigcrawford

Trail Mix Host

60 thoughts on “Trump Now Owns Our Forever Afghan War”

  1. Trump the war president.  I think he should visit the troops in Afghanistan.  Last night he read from a teleprompter.  Tonight in Phoenix he will be on his own and we know from experience that he cannot remember a speech.  He will wing it, freedom of speech so to speak.  I can hardly wait.

  2. am really surprised he didn’t announce a new coalition with Russia (since he seems to think the one in syria is such a success) in Afghanistan.

    this unending war can’t qualify as one of those “tails that wag the dog”… either all tail no dog or all that’s left is the dog whistle which no one hears except the corrupt contractors.  interesting story in wapo on same and other unsuccessful attempts there: Here are six costly failures from America’s longest war. No. 1: cashmere goats.

    a friend, formerly served a few tours in Mideast, suggested that rather than spending that $8.5 billion on poppy eradication we should have just bought the crops outright (converting the opium to medicinals sold to big pharma) on condition the farmers plant edibles for future crops we would subsidize.

  3. Sounded like someone channeling Bush……
    Deja-vu all over again.
    Same old crap in a different can.

  4. Just read SF’s address. Pablum. Delusional pablum. Funny how he didn’t mention the fact that during the American effort to eradicate or at least reduce poppy production in Afghanistan America suffered through one of the biggest heroin epidemics it’s ever known. Where was the line that said “the American people are now ready to support an increased military engagement in Afghanistan?”

  5. Yeah…  I watched it.  OMG…  he called terrorists the biggest and baddest word he could come up with….   LOSERS!  Then he said …   we will win…   and we will have peace.  My first thought….  oh yeah…  that’ll happen…  when unicorns come flying outta his butt.

    putz….

  6. from oped by eugene robinson in wapo:
    It’s time to talk about Trump’s mental health
    [….]

    I have spoken with people who have known Trump for decades and who say he has changed. He exhibits less self-awareness, these longtime acquaintances say, and less capacity for sustained focus. Indeed, it is instructive to compare television interviews of Trump recorded years ago with those conducted now. To this layman’s eyes and ears, there seems to have been deterioration.

    I am not professionally qualified to assess the president’s mental health; psychiatrists and psychologists who have the proper credentials and experience to do so are silenced by ethical rules. The stakes are so high, however, that the officials who work alongside Trump and observe him closely bear a tremendous responsibility. There is a huge difference between sounding as unhinged as North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and actually being that unstable.

    It is of some comfort that Trump is surrounded by levelheaded military men — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, national security adviser H.R. McMaster and Chief of Staff John Kelly — who are unlikely to do anything rash. But no one elected them.

    It is uncomfortable to talk about the president’s mental health. But at this point it is irresponsible not to.

  7. patD – Your friend had an original idea & sounds good if they could get the farmers to comply.  Wasn’t M Karzai’s family a bunch of poppy pushers?  Need to keep whomever we install on a shorter chain.  Ah well, it’s Afghanistan.   That place has been a money pit for everyone who fought there.   I think the Chinese have mineral rights there.

  8. Patd, having a great time. Haven’t found a worm. Been eating only where there aren’t any holes.

    Saw Billy Joel blow the roof off Madison Square Garden last night. 2 1/2 hours of all the songs he did that I loved. Wonderful showman.

  9. mediaite: Trevor Noah on GOP Approval of Trump’s ‘Both Sides’ Remarks: ‘Clearly No Cross That They Won’t Burn’

    The Daily Show returned from break this evening and host Trevor Noah took the opportunity to address the violence in Charlottesville for the first time. And, as expected, he took shots at President Donald Trump. Along with knocking the president for his “both sides” remarks, Noah took aim at Republican voters for largely embracing POTUS’s response.
    After pointing out that he spent his vacation in South Africa and saw political strife, he noted that he came back to America to chill but it turned out he “left the Third World and landed in the Third Reich.”

    https://youtu.be/sObl_DXyvSE

  10. Used to enjoy Eugene Robinson on Countdown. Too bad he’s a couple years behind the times with this op-ed. Mr Olbermann has been at the forefront of this topic since #45 announced he was a candidate. Strangling that baby in the bassinet would have changed history, literally.

    Agree with the sentiments written by fellow Trailmixers that perhaps Mr Crawford could update his brilliant Attack the Messenger with a chapter on how a great number of media enabled the election of #45. The ball got dropped, not by a few players but by the team & management. Freak show came to town & instead of calling it out for what it was it was milked for every ratings point & resulting advertising $.  Great to find religion now (or fear being caught on the wrong side of history) but begs the question why & how the heck did we get here? #45 had millions of dollars of free advertising at the expense of the sane candidates. If the same situation occurs in the future I have no confidence things will be different. It’s all about money, access, the right parties, status. Our Media in-action.

    God dammit Mr Crawford’s & Mr Olbermann’s voices are integral to Democracy. They are the gold standard of integrity & truth in media. They represent competence & the good in journalism. No For Sale signs on either. Just saying.

     

     

  11. Cicadas are going wild.  Deafening.  Dog went out, watered the weeds, looked around and came running back in instead of laying down on the deck to watch the world.

     

  12. hitting the road to Florence SC today, on to Orlando tomorrow. Plenty of time think about your book ideas, which I appreciate. Would be helpful to get contributor posts next couple days.

  13. Forgive me, but SF’s plan sounds all too familiar. Is this a surge?

    God help us and the men who have to fight it.

     

  14. Ordinarily I’d tell you of something of interest to see in Florence….but, like, there’s nothing there……

  15. whatever he said, Jace, we know he doesn’t mean it when he’s reading a teleprompter

  16. Craig,

    correct no doubt. His generals and staff are probably sweating bullets about now, wondering how badly he will fuck it all up tonight when he goes off script.

    Pardon Arpiao and start world war three all in one rally. Not a bad day’s work in Trumpland.

  17. yep Sturg, re: Florence. That’s why i’m leaving mid afternoon. get there for dinner and then right to sleep. Looks like a good weather day for travel.

  18. He did a number of things in the speech.
    –He did not exclude anyone serving from the title of “soldier” (there were uniformed members of the other services in the audience and there has not been another word by him since his tweets on excluding specific, other Americans from service.)
    –He declared his strategy. It is the marching order for our military leadership. It lets our citizenry know where their sons and daughters will be going. It lets those young people make their own choice on subjecting themselves to service with those objectives.
    –It placed the military branches in charge of the tactics and manning levels needed to implement his strategy. That, to my mind, is an abrogation of his responsibility as Head Civilian.
    –He was not interrupted by a single noise or movement during the entire address; the people in the audience, serving military of all ranks, were keenly aware that he was talking matters of life and death importance to their cohorts.
    –Upon his conclusion, audience response was on the positive side; I saw no “Oh, fuck” expressions.

  19. The VA cemetery in Florence is interesting in a reflective sort of way. War dead going back a long ways Motivational material for your book?

  20. Flatus, I still don’t see how any of that is significant change from pre-Trump policy, how it leads to better outcomes.

  21. Bannon is wasting no time: “With Bannon back in charge, Breitbart is crushing Trump for his Afghanistan speech” (WAPO)

     

  22. The alt right has no appreciation of the ‘white obama’ that trump has become regarding the longest war in history. At least Obama did get osama.   Why are we fighting there instead of getting a deal on health insurance?

  23. To add to the woes…the mueller investigation seems to have turned into a bad corner last week with the demotion of stryok…we may be stuck with this bankrupting trumpence junta for the next four years although I cannot see how this can be sustained.  We haven’t paid for the last war in iraq.  Nation building on an aging military sounds so expensive and does anyone else think that the Afghan military is un-trainable?   Or is our real mission to babysit?

  24. Just for fun, everyone can watch “Charlie Wilson’s War” when we were funding freedom fighters to chase the Soviets out of Afghanistan in the 1980s.  Our “16 year war” has actually been going on for about 30.

  25. Meanwhile…we are feeding and paying for the travel and security of billionaires and millionaires.   Bankrupting America, not over food stamps, but pampering the uber wealthy while they are trying to govern.  How the rich react on their visit to Ft. Knox.

    As for the food insecure in this country?  Let them eat fake (news)!

  26. When you have go out and assure everyone within earshot, that you are not nation building, chances are pretty good that you are engaged in nation building.

     

  27. Charlie Wilson’s war was interesting. SFB’s war is going to be bloody. Up to now the troops were not fighting to win. Now they are suddenly killing “losers”.

    The idiot is going to get people killed.

  28. re Afghanistan & the cash crop : they need the money to buy more ammo. Pay them to grow food, and they’ll have the 3 things every army needs : personnel, food, and weapons.

    Obviously, the answer to three of our biggest problems can be easily solved with a three part strategy.

    1. Draft the nra and all the urban gangsters.

    2. Send them to Afghanistan.

    3. Leave them.

  29. of the TEEVEE generals i’ve been listening to the ones who make the most sense to me say draw down troops and maintain basing in the region to allow strikes if our intel detects the bad guys coming back to train and organize for 9/11 type threats against us. Perhaps not ideal, but seems better than sinking our fortunes and lives on the ground trying to run the whole country. And if the Taliban come back that’s terrible but they never directly threatened our national security other than harboring Bin Laden. Keeping that from happening again with intel and strikes is really about all we can do.

    Now I’m heading off for my 6 hours on I-95. I’m already enjoying the freedom of not being an airport prisoner.

  30. Even in this carefully scripted speech the real Donald Trump comes through, trying to have it both ways. He said that his instinct was against committing more troops, and he instinct is almost always right. Nonetheless he has relied on his ‘generals’ and will follow their advice. Now, if things don’t go well (and why would they?) he can say that his mistake was in not following his instinct, which is superior to any analysis. Remember during the campaign when he ‘knew more than any of the generals?’

     

  31. Maybe it was a complete mis-direct.  He’s not telegraphing our next move?  Maybe it’s cover to get us out of that money pit of death.  Yeah, I know wishful thinking.

  32. China is the only one benefiting in Afghanistan (mineral rights). And Afghanistan is getting plenty o’ money from them.

  33. cajunjoe, bet his Arizona speech tonight includes exactly what you pointed out.  unerring instincts to find a way never to have to say he’s sorry.

    actually, we all know he’s sorry,  a sorry example of a man.

  34. Former military son comment:  4000 isn’t very many people, but it will keep the government contracts running and a lot of people employed me included.

    There are times when he can be a bit cynical.

  35. To quote the Prophet:

    “Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another totally inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned,  there’ll be war.” -Bob Marley

  36. The way to settle things in Afghanistan is to kill everyone who supplies the country with weapons and ammo. The perps appear to be russia, Iran, commieChina, India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kirgizstan, and NATO. Until the weapons dumping ceases, the war won’t.

    For insight into the wars of today, tomorrow and forever, please read Haldeman’s The Forever War and Harrison’s Bill, The Galactic Hero. The latter is a great satire of Heinlein’s Starship Troopers. And, of course, Wells’ 1984. 

  37. His effing “instinct”……in stink, just like W…..I don’t need to know anything, I trust my gut…..

    the hollow men

     

  38. Don’t know if calling those two the hollow men has anything to do with Eliot’s poem, been a long time since I read it last…..I doubt if I ever read it all the way thru as it looks a bit longish….

    but The Hollow Men is a perfectly apt description of those two guys.

  39. I love the cadence, though…….

    We are the hollow men
    We are the stuffed men

    Exquisite.

  40. Symbol Analysis
    Everything around the Hollow Men is broken – nothing is complete. You wouldn’t want to lend anything valuable to the Hollow Men or it would probably come back broken. Images of broken objects symbolize the fragmented spiritual condition of the Hollow Men.

    Yup

  41. bw, good line earlier.  suggest a variation which could and should also be the motto inscribed on the drumpf coat of arms: “Let them eat fake!”

    here’s background of current shield from ny times story The Coat of Arms Said ‘Integrity.’ Now It Says ‘Trump.’
    The regal emblem, used at President Trump’s golf courses across the United States, sports three lions and two chevrons on a shield, below a gloved hand gripping an arrow.
    A different coat of arms flies over Mr. Trump’s two golf resorts in Scotland. The lions on the shield have been replaced by a two-headed eagle, an image the company has said represents the “dual nature and nationality” of Mr. Trump’s Scottish and German roots.
    But this emblem was not just about honoring his heritage.
    The British are known to take matters of heraldry seriously, and Mr. Trump’s American coat of arms belongs to another family. It was granted by British authorities in 1939 to Joseph Edward Davies, the third husband of Marjorie Merriweather Post, the socialite who built the Mar-a-Lago resort that is now Mr. Trump’s cherished getaway.
    In the United States, the Trump Organization took Mr. Davies’s coat of arms for its own, making one small adjustment — replacing the word “Integritas,” Latin for integrity, with “Trump.”
    Joseph D. Tydings, a Democrat and former United States senator from Maryland who is the grandson of Mr. Davies, learned that Mr. Trump was using the emblem, at least at Mar-a-Lago, when he visited the property. Mr. Trump had never asked permission.

    “There are members of the family who wanted to sue him,” said Mr. Tydings, a lawyer who wears his family’s coat of arms on a ring. “This is the first I’ve ever heard about it being used anywhere else.”
    Mr. Trump tried to bring the American version to Scotland a decade ago.
    He used the emblem on promotional materials when he started marketing a new golf course development in Aberdeenshire, on Scotland’s east coast. But the materials ran afoul of the coat-of-arms authorities in Scotland — a uniquely British problem.
    […goes into detail about applying etc…..]
    There is one historical parallel between Mr. Trump and Mr. Davies.
    Both men were controversially pro-Russian. Mr. Davies, who played an important role as a go-between for President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Soviets, has been criticized for being taken in by Stalin’s propaganda machine.
    Mr. Tydings was asked what Ms. Post and his grandfather would make of Mr. Trump.
    Ms. Post, he said, “would be pleased that everything is the same” at Mar-a-Lago, “except for the Trump name and portraits.”
    His grandfather, he added, “would be rolling over in his grave to think he was using his crest.”

  42. Burger King Krowns – way to go.

    SFB has reportedly (multiple sources) stated he will not pardon arapio today.  Key word today.  Possibly tomorrow or the day after, but not today.  I don’t trust him anyhoo.  I think during the excitement of the cult meeting he will feel hard enough to spew out the pardon.

    Sadness is I had to look at the official portrait of the orange buffoon this afternoon.  If it were not for ten people in front of me I could have stumbled and put an elbow through it.  But, I am sure someone thought of that and it is covered with a shatter proof product.

  43. Jamie….yup, seems I’ve read the beginning and the end but the in-between part might as well be Greek….lol

  44. Eliot : A snobbish upstart who pretended to be more English than Hengist or Horsa.

    He was a depressing Cassandra and stereotype-monger with a flair for meter, come out of St Louis, MO.

  45. He couldn’t make up his mind whether he was hollow or stuffed. Alas, a triumph of style over substance.

  46. Sturgeone

    Less Grecian and more Italianate (Dante’s Inferno) or Italian description of Greek events ????

  47. Jamie, he had on front & back o his jacket.   Billy is a class act. He pointed out the stars to the audience.

    did anyone watch drumpf’s address?  What the FUCK?

  48. pogo, sadly, I got to Florence in time for dinner and then. Trump on TV. Wish I had stayed on the road.

    getting your posts folks. Will publish in order received. thanks very much. Nite all. Heading out early tomorrow.

  49. Poobah, unfortunately got back from dinner early enough to see part of the “speech “. Worst. Presidential. Speech. Ever.  Sad.

    I’m thinking it’s time to reassess his medication regimen. Whatever combination and levels he’s on isn’t making things any better.

  50. The deadbeat’s victory address last November was the kickoff for his 2020 campaign.

    I suppose this is what happens when you let Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey die.

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