Tuesday, July 17, 2012 4:04 AM
Australian Sgt. Blaine Diddams, RIP
From the Sydney Morning Herald a report titled ""Fears over Afghan army, Taliban collusion." As you read it, ask yourself at what point in this tragically familiar, numbingly repetitive cycle of Afghan army/Taliban collusion do Western commanders, both civilian and military, bear responsibility for KNOWING FULL WELL that such collusion is commonplace?
In the act of betrayal described below, the target of the raid mounted by Australian troops and their Afghan "partners" was a Taliban leader of 100 men from a handful of villages. Ask yourself also: How is that those 100 measly fighters in the Afghan bush magnetically draw the concentrated might of the Western democracies? Better: tell me how is it that those 100 fighters threaten the Western democracies in the first place? The strategic vision driving this and other such assaults is a joke. The COIN strategy of remaking Afghanistan in our PC image has failed. It is time to declare victory over madness, over delusion, and leave. That's a "winning strategy" according to an ex-Green Beret friend with multiple stints in Afghanistan, who wrote: "By 'winning' I mean leaving Afghanistan as soon as possible, burning in place or blowing up all our materiel we can't carry with us quickly."
Ten years on, we can now say with certainty that, try as we might, we did not win the people's "hearts and minds"; we did not win the people's "trust" -- the fundamental goals of the Bush-Petraeus-Obama-Mullen-McChrystal policy. This failure was preordained by the decision to ignore the truth about Islamic culture, by our arrogant assumption that we could win over its collectivist, supremacist, misogynist, totalitarian heart with bribery and blood, with self-sacrificial ROEs and training procedures that have killed innumerable troops. The fact is, COIN didn't work in Afghanstan -- just as COIN didn't work in Iraq (or anywhere analogous). But we fight on till our deadline, and send our Sgt. Diddams into danger, day after day.
To what end?
Read and weep.
A TALIBAN fighter hiding in a tree is believed to have shot special forces Sergeant Blaine Diddams in an act that has raised fears Afghan soldiers have been collaborating with insurgents.
A Herald investigation into the seven-tour veteran's death in Oruzgan province has found Afghan soldiers in the same district had been suspected of negotiating an unofficial truce with the Taliban leading to concerns of information leaks to the insurgents and an unpredictable security situation.
Sergeant Diddams was killed in the July 2 mission that had been aimed at trying to capture or kill prominent local Taliban commander Najibullah ''Najib'' Haibat in the Qala-e-Naw district about 20 kilometres north of the provincial capital Tarin Kowt.
As if capturing Najibullah najbatbullah whatever is any kind of decisive military action. It is a pinprick for which our leaders expend our national treasure -- with no accountability. Make that with no notice.
When the raid occurred at about 5pm, Sergeant Diddams was reported to have been among a group of special forces soldiers who moved to surround the compound where Haibat and his fighters were supposed to be meeting.
However an insurgent in a tree fired on the 40-year-old father of two, killing him instantly, according to Afghan sources. They told the Herald the angle of the shot meant the bullet went through his shoulder, missing his bulletproof vest, and ended up in his chest.
Chora tribal elder Nik Mohammed, who is the district's former public works director, said the shooting happened in daytime, very soon after the Australian arrived by helicopter into the remote district. He said it was suspected the local Afghan army unit responsible for providing security in the district had been in contact with the Taliban and had previously negotiated some form of truce.
Mr Mohammed said in the past three months, there had been no attacks on the local Afghan soldiers and their vehicles had not been targeted by roadside bombs, while those of the police and foreign forces were still being targeted.
Mr. Mohammed is one frank fellow. But one seemingly solid citizen -- former "public works director"? -- is not a marker of success after ten long years of war.
The Taliban had ''great power in the district''. ''There is some sort of connection between the Taliban and the soldiers,'' he said.
''Not a single vehicle of the ANA [Afghan National Army] has been blown up and there are some people in the army that may have some sympathy for the Taliban. They tip off the Taliban before operations,'' he said.
''The Taliban put their guns away and pick up tools so they look like farmers.''
Mr Mohammed said he did not have any confirmation that the Taliban had been warned of the latest raid but he said that after the operations the Taliban always come back.
He did reveal that prior to the July 2 operation local villagers had officially met Haibat's fighters and asked them not to stay in the area - a request that was rejected. ''The Taliban insisted they will fight against the foreign forces,'' he said.
Haibat was powerful in the district, he said, with control over five or six villagers and able to call on over up to 100 fighters. ...
Big deal. If the Afghan "people" want to do something about 100 brethren in the Taliban, they have more than ample opportunities and support to do so. They don't.
Of course, as the Great Society with Guns bleeds on in Afghani$tan, the West continues to be penetrated ever deeper by agents of Islam through immigration, through accommodation, through appeasement, through submission.
When it's all over, Afghanistan will still be blighted by sharia. And so will we.
Unless we wake up.