SITREP for the Week George H. W. Bush Died


Hope you all had a better week than the newly-minted Most Prolific Serial Killer in US history.

George H.W. Bush had a spectacular life. Navy pilot, CIA director, Vice-President, President. Prolific humanitarian. A blue blood, he never needed to do what he did, but, like a true aristocrat, he embraced duty, honor, forgiveness and humility. He was overly cautious, lacked a common-man appeal and was too milquetoast in both his accomplishments and objectives. So he wasn’t perfect — who is? But he was gentleman, through and through. And in the age of Trump that is something to honor. RIP to a good and faithful public servant.

Meanwhile, fallout continues from the Kerch Strait incident. This piece makes the issues in Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov a little more 3D. World leaders respond. Trump can’t manage much, but the US Mission in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OCSE) spelled out Russia’s violations in Ukraine. Putin said that Ukraine can expect no secession of hostilities until they change governments. Merkel ponders a blockade of Russian ships. Ukraine asks her to do more than ponder.

Afghanistan is a train wreck. On Twitter this week, news of 3rd SF Group deaths prompted a lot of calls for us to get out of Afghanistan already, including a lot of calls from vets I respect. I understand the sentiment. There is the concept of “dog deaths:” the worst thing is not for a soldier to die; it is for a soldier to die for no reason. And to most in the US, both in and out of the military, there is no reason for us to be in Afghanistan. Of course, the fact that neither the current president nor his predecessor have ever articulated much of a rationale to fight in AFG — much less win — certainly has demoralized the effort. But, the hard truth is that we still have as much of a reason for staying in AFG as we had for going in September 2001. Our campaign has suffered from neglect, under-resourcing and political expediency. The facts on the ground haven’t changed. To leave now means that the deaths in AFG will not have mattered. It is a harsh reality, but victory justifies death. Perhaps understanding that somewhere in our core, the US continues to wrestle with ways to leave Afghanistan, if not victoriously, at least “honorably.” We are artificially attempting to jump start a peace process in which we have little leverage — essentially begging the Taliban to give us just enough leeway so we can withdraw under the pretense of marginal success. It is a pathetic attempt to extricate ourselves. It is also shortsighted. The very reason we went to AFG was to deny terrorists a safe haven. As of right now, we will leave it an even safer haven. If we leave now, we will be back soon…

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