Operation WTF?

Gaddafi has to go, but we’re not targeting Gaddafi. WTF, what manner of confused, conflicting Obama clown posee cluster[expletive deleted] mission objective is this?

Obama insists Gaddafi ‘needs to go’

U.S. President Barack Obama has reiterated U.S. demands for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to step down, stressing that the goal of the international military operation in Libya was to protect citizens.

Speaking during a joint news conference with Chilean President Sebastian Pinera in Santiago on Monday, Obama said the UN-sanctioned operation was aimed at averting “the humanitarian threat posed by Col. Gaddafi to his people.”

The United States could not “simply stand by with empty words” while Gaddafi, who had “lost his legitimacy,” was “carrying out murders of civilians” and “threatened more,” the U.S. president said.

“It is U.S. policy that Gaddafi needs to go,” he added.

Gaddafi not on the target, mission is to protect civilians: US

The Obama Administration has reiterated that the Libyan leader Muammar Al Gaddafi is not on the target of the US-led coalition forces, whose mission is to take all necessary steps protect the civilian population of Libya.

“No”, said Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, Ben Rhodes, when asked if Gaddafi is on the target of coalition forces.

See also:
Obama Says Qaddafi ‘Needs to Go,’ Downplays Scope of Missile Strikes
Obama: Qaddafi must go, but current Libya mission focused on humanitarian efforts
Gaddafi must go: Obama
Why Colonel Gaddafi must go
If the goal is ‘Gaddafi needs to go’ Obama will have to commit more forces
Muammar Gaddafi not the target; strikes in Libya successful: US
Qaddafi Not the Target: Coalition
Gaddafi not on target list as multinational forces “degrade” Libyan air defense
Coalition Expands No-Fly Zone; Gaddafi Not a Target
UK armed forces head says Gaddafi not a target
Gaddhafi ‘not a target’: British military chief
Gadhafi Not A Target Of Western Airstrikes

Does Obama seriously think that Gaddafi will leave Libya just because Obama says he has to? Gaddafi isn’t going anywhere unless it’s through force or death. What kind of half ass military operation is this where we risk the lives of our men and women in uniform without a coherent plan to prevail, which would obviously include the objective of regime change in Libya? If Gaddafi is to be somehow left in power, what on Earth is the point of Operation Odyssey Dawn?

/when confronting a rabid dog, you shoot it, you don’t try to wipe the lather off its face

Iran Plays Cash For Karzai

Could Hamid Karzai be any more corrupt? Iran arms the Taliban against Coalition forces and the Afghan army.

Karzai: We receive cash from Iran

Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, has said that his office receives cash in bags from Iran.

The Afghan leader said on Monday that this method of aid distribution is transparent and helps cover government expenses. He also said that the US makes similar cash payments.

The comments came after a report on Sunday that Karzai’s chief of staff, Omar Dawoodzai, receives covert bagfuls of money – possibly as much as $6 million in a single payment – sent by neighbouring Iran in a bid to secure influence.

Karzai said the money was used for palace expenses, salaries and for “people outside,” but gave no further details.

The New York Times, citing an unnamed Afghan official, said that millions of dollars in cash channelled from Iran are used to pay Afghan parliamentarians, tribal elders and Taliban commanders.

US concern

Bill Burton, a White House spokesman, said world leaders should have “every reason to be concerned about Iran trying to have a negative influence on Afghanistan.”

He added Iran had a responsibility to exert “a positive influence on the formation of a government there, and to ensure that Afghanistan is not a country where terrorists can find safe harbour, or where attacks can be planned on their soil.”

Karzai said he gets money from several “friendly countries” but named only the US and Iran, the latter contributing almost $1 million twice per year. Karzai said he will continue to ask for Iranian money.

“The government of Iran assists (my) office with five or six or seven hundred thousand euros once or twice a year, which is official aid,” Karzai told reporters at a joint news conference in Kabul with visiting Tajik President Imomali Rakhmon.

See also:
Afghan president confirms large cash payments by Iranian officials
Karzai Says Iran, US Give Afghanistan ‘Bags Of Money’
Iran Is Said to Give Top Karzai Aide Cash by the Bagful
Karzai Admits Getting Cash From Iran
Hamid Karzai confirms Iranian cash
Karzai Says Iran Provides `Transparent’ Financial Aid in Euros or Dollars
White House says concerned about Iran’s “negative influence” on Afghanistan
US ‘concerned’ about Iran influence in Afghanistan
US ‘Skeptical’ of Iranian Motives in Cash Payments to Karzai Aides
Karzai’s bags of cash a conundrum for the U.S.
Karzai calls Iran payments to Afghanistan ‘normal’
Afghan President Karzai downplays cash from Iran; calls it ‘normal’
‘Let’s not make this an issue,’ says Karzai
Three Questions About Karzai Accepting Iranian Cash

The situation in Afghanistan gets more farcical by the day. Who the hell is the enemy, everybody?

/I’m getting to the point where I’m starting to think [expletive deleted] it, what’s the point of us even being there anymore?

The Afghanistan War Explained, A PowerPoint Too Far

“When we understand that slide, we’ll have won the war.”
General Stanley McChrystal, the US and NATO force commander

“PowerPoint makes us stupid.”
Gen. James N. Mattis of the Marine Corps, the Joint Forces commander

Afghanistan Stability/COIN Dynamics

Wow, what a way to fight a war, whatever happened to just going out and killing the enemy?

See also:
Afghanistan PowerPoint slide: Generals left baffled by PowerPoint slide
Afghanistan: the PowerPoint solution
We Have Met the Enemy and He Is PowerPoint
American army declares war on Microsoft PowerPoint
The U.S. Military’s War On PowerPoint
Why the Military Declared War on Powerpoint
Can DOD really defeat PowerPoint?
PowerPoint backlash grinds onward
The Biggest Enemy In The War On Terror? PowerPoint
The PowerPoint Problem in the Military — and Science?
So what is the actual surge strategy?

/gee, imagine that, another insidious Microsoft software product spreading human misery across the planet

Game On

NATO launches major Afghanistan offensive

U.S.-led NATO troops launched a major offensive on Saturday against the Taliban’s last big stronghold in Afghanistan’s most violent province, a test of President Barack Obama’s troop surge strategy.

The assault, the first since the U.S. president ordered an extra 30,000 troops to Afghanistan in December, is the start of a campaign to impose government control on rebel-held areas this year, before U.S. forces start to withdraw in 2011.

“The offensive in Marjah has begun. Our company is preparing to secure key terrain to facilitate stability and security for the people of Marjah,” Lt. Mark Greenlief of Bravo Company, First Battalion, Sixth Marines, told Reuters.

A dozen helicopters flew from south of Marjah in Helmand province and the first objective of U.S. Marines was to take the town center despite the risk of being blown up by bombs rigged by the Taliban.

“So far there has been no contact,” Gunnery Sergeant Brandon Dickinson, waiting in a muddy field, told Reuters.

The U.S. military said about 4,500 U.S. Marines, 1,500 Afghan troops and 300 U.S. soldiers were taking part in the offensive.

The operation, codenamed Mushtarak, or “together,” may have been labeled as such to highlight that NATO and Afghan forces were working closely to bring stability to Afghanistan, a country battered by decades of conflict.

See also:
U.S., allies attack Taliban stronghold in Afghanistan
U.S. Marines attack Taliban-held town
Coalition Begins Major Afghan Offensive
U.S. Starts Afghan Surge
Before day breaks, NATO troops descend on Taliban stronghold
US says Marines, Afghan troops launch main attack on Taliban-held town of Marjah
US, Afghan troops encircle Taliban stronghold
Civilians flee besieged Afghan town ahead of US-Afghan assault

So initial reports have it that the Taliban up and ran away with the civilians, probably wearing burkas.

/48 hour rule in effect

The Noose Is Tight, There’s Nowhere For The Marjah Taliban To Go But Down

US and Afghan troops ring Taliban stronghold

U.S. and Afghan forces ringed the Taliban stronghold of Marjah on Thursday, sealing off escape routes and setting the stage for what is being described as the biggest offensive of the nine-year war.

Taliban defenders repeatedly fired rockets and mortars at units poised in foxholes along the edge of the town, apparently trying to lure NATO forces into skirmishes before the big attack.

“They’re trying to draw us in,” said Capt. Joshua Winfrey, 30, of Tulsa, Okla., commander of Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines.

Up to 1,000 militants are believed holed up in Marjah, a key Taliban logistics base and center of the lucrative opium poppy trade. But the biggest threats are likely to be the land mines and bombs hidden in the roads and fields of the farming community, 380 miles (610 kilometers) southwest of Kabul.

The precise date for the attack has been kept secret. U.S. officials have signaled for weeks they planned to seize Marjah, a town of about 80,000 people in Helmand province and the biggest community in southern Afghanistan under Taliban control.

NATO officials say the goal is to seize the town quickly and re-establish Afghan government authority, bringing public services in hopes of winning support of the townspeople once the Taliban are gone. Hundreds of Afghan soldiers were to join U.S. Marines in the attack to emphasize the Afghan role in the operation.

A Taliban spokesman dismissed the significance of Marjah, saying the NATO operation was “more propaganda than military necessity.”

Nevertheless, the spokesman, Mohammed Yusuf, said in a dialogue on the Taliban Web site that the insurgents would strike the attackers with explosives and hit-and-run tactics, according to a summary by the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors militant Internet traffic.

In preparation for the offensive, a U.S.-Afghan force led by the U.S. Army’s 5th Stryker Brigade moved south from Lashkar Gah and linked up Thursday with Marines on the northern edge of Marjah, closing off a main Taliban escape route. Marines and Army soldiers fired colored smoke grenades to show each other that they were friendly forces.

U.S. and Afghan forces have now finished their deployment along the main road in and out of Marjah, leaving the Taliban no way out except across bleak, open desert — where they could easily be spotted.

See also:
Outreach Precedes U.S. Offensive
Marines roll out Assault Breacher Vehicles for Marjah Afghanistan offensive
Taliban vow guerrilla warfare against Afghan, NATO troops
Taleban ‘ready to talk’ as Nato prepares for huge assault
Region known as Marjah won’t be another Fallujah
Countdown To A Battle
Washington begins new Afghan offensive
Afghan campaign seeks to avoid Iraq mistakes
Special Forces Assassins Infiltrate Taliban Stronghold in Afghanistan
SITE Intelligence Group
In Your Face Taliban, The Coalition Is Coming To Take Marjah And There’s Not A Damn Thing You Can Do About It

More than a few appropriate songs come to mind, but I like this one (unfortunately there’s no original video):

/hey Taliban, mind if we sit down right in the middle of your primary opium area of operation and kill or capture about 1000 of your “martyrs”?