NATO’s Next Stuff Up Close

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This is a guest post by Mark Leon Goldberg, a correspondent for UN Dispatch, who is attending the NATO Summit. This post was written for UN Dispatch and The Washington Note. Among many previous avocations, Goldberg used to work with Steve Clemons at the New America Foundation.
mark leon goldberg dc.pngAs I write this I am en route to Lisbon, Portugal, courtesy of the Atlantic Council for which I am attending the NATO summit as part of their Young Atlanticist Network.
The Lisbon summit is shaping up to be one of the most important NATO meetings in many years. For one, NATO is at a turning point in Afghanistan. There are some 100,000 American troops and 50,000 troops from NATO countries on the ground. In Lisbon this week, President Obama is set to unveil a new Afghan strategy that pushes away from the July 2011 drawdown date to a plan that foresees American troops in Afghanistan until at least 2014. It remains unclear, however, how structured the July 2011 to 2014 draw down will be, what forces will remain, for how long and for what purpose? In the meantime, a number of NATO members are growing weary of this decade long war. Canada and The Netherlands, for example, are set to withdraw combat troops next year.
Beyond Afghanistan, the NATO summit is an opportunity for NATO to engage in a moment of self-reflection about its goals and purpose. NATO has not updated its strategic guidance in over a decade, and for the past year a group of experts led by Madeline Albright has worked on a new strategic guidance for “NATO in 2020” and beyond. Most press reports suggest that the draft guidance will strongly resemble the final version to which NATO heads of state will agree this week. That would mean a new focus on non-conventional threats like cyber warfare; a ballistic missile defense system to deter a potential attack from Iran; and a new focus on looking beyond the North Atlantic to forge new strategic partnerships with emerging powers.
Throughout the week, I will be given fairly intimate access to newsmakers who will be participating in a meetings arranged by the Atlantic Council. This includes people you know well – though I am not sure that the schedule is public yet so I will have to keep it a tease for now. I’ll be posting regular updates throughout the week, and hope to parlay my access into a number of scooplets.
In the meantime, I owe it to readers to lay out some of my own biases going into this meeting. I’m strongly skeptical of both the current United States-led counter-insurgency strategy in Afghanistan and of the underlying assumption that deploying large numbers of troops in Afghanistan is necessary for securing the American mainland. On top of that, I am becoming increasingly unconvinced that the extraordinary financial costs of maintaining this posture–$100 billion last year alone – are a worthy investment for American national security.
That said, anyone who follows my writing knows that I have a deep and abiding fidelity to human rights and morality in international relations. We – the United States, NATO, and the world–have an obligation to the Afghan people. We cannot let the Taliban return. We must protect gains in human rights and women’s rights that have been made over the past ten years. We have to invest in the long term economic development in Afghanistan and support international efforts to build Afghanistan’s governing institutions.
And finally, we must maintain this commitment long after Afghanistan fades from the headlines. Unfortunately, the United States has a poor track record on that account. It is worth noting that the same month that the United States announced that combat operations in Iraq were over, a $367 million United Nations appeal for Iraqi refugees and internally displaced was only 18% funded, with the United States contributing about $17 million. We have to do better than this. We owe it to the Afghan people.
That said, I am entering this meeting with an open mind. I hope to have my biases challenged by both my fellow Young Atlanticists and by the many dignitaries, soldiers and diplomats with whom we will interact throughout the week.
This brings me to my last point. Because of the access I’ve been given by the Atlantic Council, I will have the opportunity to put questions to some top officials in NATO and NATO member countries. Please send me a note on twitter @undispatch or via email–undispatch-at-gmail-com if you have any burning questions or provocations that you would like to see raised during the summit.
In the meantime, you should check out the Young Atlanticist blog and Facebook page for regular updates.
— Mark Leon Goldberg

Comments

27 comments on “NATO’s Next Stuff Up Close

  1. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Well dang, I was kinda thinkin’ Mark might “engage” with us for a while. Seems like these guest bloggers are usually hit and run.
    Me? If I advanced an opinion here in essay form as a topic of discussion, I’d wanna defend it. Particulary if the commentors were nipping at my hamstrings. Sometimes I wonder at the motive behind not launching a defense. Are they advancing these opinions, ideas, and observations sans conviction, or just sans a logical and astute intellectual foundation for their musings.
    Uh, with all due respect, I mean, just askin’.

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  2. erichwwk says:

    Worth a read on NATO,
    http://counterpunch.com/johnstone11182010.html
    “While it searches for threats, NATO itself is a growing threat to the world. The basic threat is its contribution to strengthening the U.S.-led tendency to abandon diplomacy and negotiations in favor of military force.”

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  3. samuelburke says:

    So tell us mr Goldberg, who is telling the truth, pepe escobar or the
    u.s press?
    “Incidentally, Petraeus’ counter-insurgency myth has been buried in
    the plains south of the Hindu Kush (not that many in the US noted).
    The counter-insurgency (COIN) myth implies that Washington, the
    North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and what passes for
    “Afghan security forces” could “take, clear, hold and build” areas
    previously controlled by the Taliban. They could not accomplish any
    of this even in Marjah, insistently sold by the Pentagon and
    compliant corporate media as a success, not to mention much
    bigger Kandahar.”

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  4. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Ya gotta love that Pepe Escobar, doncha? You won’t find his kinda honest display of the facts in the NYTs, or on MSNBC or Fox. This toddler Mark oughta attach himself to Pepe’s pants leg for a while, at least until he gets through wonk puberty…..
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/LK18Df02.html
    Excerpt….
    And all this while a 71-page Council on Foreign Relations report written by 25 “experts” gets a lot of traction in Washington. The report finds that the war costs a fortune, may not serve US interests and it’s not “clear that the effort will succeed”. Do people get paid to conclude this? The report also meekly suggests that depending on President Barack Obama’s December strategic AfPak review, the US “should move quickly to recalculate its military presence in Afghanistan”. It won’t.
    Let’s try following the money. The AfPak war costs roughly US $7 billion a month – money that Washington needs to borrow from Beijing. Afghanistan in itself costs $65 billion a year – not counting NATO and humanitarian aid. Afghanistan’s gross domestic product is only $22 billion. So Washington is spending three times the wealth of a whole country just to occupy it. Money for nothing. Properly invested, by this time Afghanistan would be the new Singapore.
    AfPak costs nearly $100 billion a year. Surrealist as it may seem, polls indicate that for most Americans the US federal budget deficit is not a priority. No wonder no election candidates on November 2 emitted a peep about the ridiculously expensive quagmire.
    Let’s face it. Whoever is writing this screenplay deserves an Oscar.

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  5. Don Bacon says:

    Simple — give him more airplanes!

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  6. Don Bacon says:

    Well said on Clinton, POA. It’s important to know who (all) our enemies are.
    “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic,. .”

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  7. PissedOffAmerican says:

    BTW, WTF happens if we give this deal, IN WRITING, to Netanyahu, and the Palestinians justifiably don’t return to direct talks?
    Are we still going to give this arrogant bloodsucker Netanyahu his airplanes?
    Food for thought.

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  8. Don Bacon says:

    Blowing stuff up and killing folks is ‘advancing human rights’ — except when they do it back to us.
    Now Christians are being attacked in Iraq, the place where the US ‘won’ the war (per McCain & others).

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  9. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Hey, off topic, but I just noticed that Foreign Policy has brought back their old “Madame Secretary” blog – although the new incarnation seems more serious that the idiotic fangirl fashion site that used to go by that name’
    This “thing” about Clinton is bizzarre and inexplicable. On the “Clinton is God” sites like Taylor Marsh’s, or “SecretaryClintonBlog”, etc, you find criticism of policies that Clinton has a huge part in instituting, but you rarely find Clinton being the target of that criticism. The criticism is usually framed in the context of “this administration”, or “Obama”.
    Even here on this blog, despite Clinton being SOS, you see policies criticized, but you don’t see criticism of Clinton, even when she is immersed in the construction of those policies.
    For instance, Steve will criticize Gohmert for stupid statements in regards to Isr/Pal, but where is the criticism leveled at Clinton for ACTUAL STUPID POLICIES. Which is more damaging, the stupid comments, or the stupid policies?
    What is more egregious, Cantor or Gohmert’s words, or the actions of Hillary Clinton, who as Secretary Of State has time and again rewarded Netanyahu for shitting in Obama’s hand. The Goldstone report is “seriously flawed”. Congratulating Netanyahu for “concessions” that THE ENTIRE WORLD COMMUNITY knows were bullshit. And now this latest Clinton concocted steaming pile of shit, a “deal” that the Palestinians would be insane to accept.
    But thats Clinton and Netanyahu’s intent, is it not? Reframe the discourse so that the Palestinians are once more cast as the spoilers? This SOS Clinton has colluded with Netanyahu from day one, only an idiot can fail to recognize that fact. I consider Clinton’s ACTUAL ACTIONS far more “treasonous” than Cantor’s words, far more sinister and damaging than Gohmert’s ignorant prattling.

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  10. DonS says:

    I guess this Atlantic Council thing is a way of trying to make NATO relevant into the foreseeable future since it’s actual raison d’etre is gone. That’s probably a good idea since it appears the US is intent on using NATO as part of it’s mercenary force and NATO, it’s constituent nations still reaping considerable largess from the US, continue wrapped up in the shared delusion of threat. (I notice Iran and it’s hapless leader are conveniently providing the supposed threat de jour). Still I have to agree with erich that it is highly unlikely that hanging with the likes of Albright is going to nourish one’s ‘human rights’ genes.
    More fundamentally, reconciling the cost of the Afghan war, the tortured rationale for transitioning Western militarily intervention into a progressive social architecture — supported into the God-knows-how-far future — is not intellectually honest, and maybe even anathema to any intellectual honesty based on common sense. Several commenters above have gone into detail.
    The most reasonable question, to you, would be “Do you really think it is possible to hold paramount human rights concerns, as a personal and professional goal, and not become an opponent of US/NATO action in Afghanistan, and who knows where next”? I fully understand the need to put food on the table, but it’s not healthy to try to simultaneously grok such dissonance.
    Some contradictions just can’t be successfully bridged. Turning Afghanistan into whatever social experiment is used to justify our presence is dishonest in the ultimate. The creeps that are trying to do just that, I would venture, for the most part, don’t even believe what they say. They’re just looking for another excuse.
    Cut through the bullshit. We, having messed with Afghanistan for many years, don’t “owe it” to the Afghanis to continue to mess with their society, even if there were gold plated proof that we were doing ultimate good. We owe it to them to get out ASAP. Surely the diplomatic type can come up with the CYA scenario.

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  11. Don Bacon says:

    The “experts,” led by Madeleine Albright, have concocted an enduring role for NATO as a sort of Concert of Democracies, since the UN doesn’t work for the US so well any more, what with all those non-Europeans in it.
    17 May. 2010
    Experts group presents report on new Strategic Concept for NATO
    On 17 May, the Group of Experts appointed by Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen to lay the groundwork for a new Strategic Concept for NATO presented its analysis and recommendations to the North Atlantic Council (NAC).
    Secretary Albright explained the report

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  12. erichwwk says:

    “the past year a group of experts led by Madeline Albright has worked on a new strategic guidance”
    Pretty over the line, Mark. Try getting your advice from “experts” that are not also pretty serious war criminals. Any group under this leadership is not one I find any value in “putting questions to”.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2irN1G5HiRo
    I hope you take some of these comments here to heart. To many of us you sound as part of the problem, not the solution.

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  13. fromthedeskof... says:

    My advice to you, and your mentors, young man — go listen to Noam Chomsky and then consider the implications of your (i.e. NATO’s) irrelevance to the future.
    http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=5869
    Afghanistan is a grave yard — not an obligation.
    It’s a global drug supply system for organized crime and nothing else. The US/NATO military are simply the hired guards running a protection racket. Look at the heroin production and export statistics! A system’s purpose is what it does!
    The US is broke … and printing money is bringing the house down. These are the twin towers of US demise this decade.
    The US/NATO are not going to win this Afghan war — not unless they can change the meaning of ‘win’. And globalization and ‘free-trade’ are fast sinking into protectionism while ‘Nero’ plays his fiddle! (or in this case, fiddles with his play.)
    “NATO to engage in a moment of self-reflection about its goals and purpose.” … oh, please: it’s business-as-usual. Simply a solution looking for a problem. Why not spend the $zillions on protecting us from the Martians! Worked in the 1950s! They never came! Success!!!
    “We owe it to the Afghan people.” … what!!! … just like you owed it to the Vietnamese people, and the Cambodian people and the Chilean people and the …
    You can’t even prosecute sociopath jerks like Henry Kissinger, Chaney or GWBush for war crimes.
    Obama cannot even shut Gitmo Bay! (I’m wondering whether he can even shit without a lobbyist helping him.)
    You own it to no one — no one owes to to you — just get the fuck out of this gruesome war business in other people’s countries and commit the energy and resources to real change in the way we live so as to actually leave a viable future to your kids and grand kids!
    The US has a lot of what it takes to powerful, but very little of what it takes to be honorable, just, wise and well respected.
    The biggest strategic danger for the US? The world is getting bored with it!
    Cut the crap young man. You want a front-row seat in that cesspool? Then you ain’t gonna come out smelling like roses. Eat that caviar and enjoy it — but know this: it’s aftertaste will just sit in the gut like putrid offal gurgling along with the blood of millions of innocents in Iraq and Afghanistan who just wanted to live their small human-scale lives.
    NATO, as Chomsky implies, is a captive of the huge corporations that need it to keep their huge tax-payers’ funded enterprises going, their grizzly business of killing people. They do their ‘war’ business through our governments — that is the only purpose of governments for these corporate types and their invisible shareholders.
    My question to the NATO forum is: why don’t they just pack up and go home and help clean up the mess?
    The NATO ‘job’ was done when the USSR dissolved. WW2 is long gone (Japan & Germany have done very well since). The Cold War is long gone. Today it is all about global organized crime. Russia is leading, with the US coming in a close second.
    The Iranians are not going to invade anyone — they, like China and India, have what the US cannot even dream of: civilizations where time is the key to their viable sustainability.
    There is now wide spread systemic failure (financial and economic) on a global scale — at least in most developed economies. The capitalist system does just not add up — and more importantly, it is seen to be so by billions of people who are increasingly online. There is no real attractive alternative and the poor and unemployed will be eating the rich within a decade or so (and dying from the toxins) unless fundamental change is implemented. Doing crime and getting into prison will be the safest option for millions in the US. NATO’s future role, if there is any, will be to maintain domestic law and order in what we now call the developed ‘free world’.
    WW3 just around the corner? 05:50 imo … and NATO is not the glue to avoid that scenario.
    The core values conflict at the moment is: G20 espousing ‘cooperation’ while practicing competition.
    Sure, some policy-wonk wizzo will work out a PR synthesis … but the average man and woman on the street — with kids getting ready for school and college, jobs and careers, etc — will smell the rat and eventually, probably when it’s too late, demand their share of the caviar as well. Then we’ll see how much Columbia and Afghanistan et al can really produce!
    Perhaps NATO has a future role as crop pest exterminators!

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  14. Dan Kervick says:

    “Spc. Shane H. Ahmed” sounds like a Muslim. So it was a good thing to ship him out to Afghanistan. Otherwise he would be hanging around in the US, in close proximity to Ground Zero, waving his Muslim victory flag and engaging in lots of unseemly praying.

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  15. PissedOffAmerican says:

    GEE!!! Those are real names!!! Golly, they musta been real people.
    You mean its not just a video game?

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  16. Dan Kervick says:

    Hey, off topic, but I just noticed that Foreign Policy has brought back their old “Madame Secretary” blog – although the new incarnation seems more serious that the idiotic fangirl fashion site that used to go by that name. When did this happen? Was it around the time of Bill’s recent self-promotion campaign?

    Reply

  17. Don Bacon says:

    “I have a deep and abiding fidelity to human rights and morality in international relations.”
    That’s nice.
    Women can’t vote in Saudi Arabia– what to do. Sell them more jet fighters? check. More missiles? check. etc.
    Myself, I have a deep and abiding fidelity to my fellow Americans who because they happen to be in uniform are being foolishly sent to a graveyard of empires to be killed by the people who don’t want US troops there.
    In others words these Afghans are doing exactly what we would do in similar circumstances — shoot us a few enemies.
    from the Pentagon:
    The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of five soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
    They died Nov. 14 in Kunar province, Afghanistan, when insurgents attacked their unit with small arms fire.
    Killed were:
    Spc. Shane H. Ahmed, 31, of Chesterfield, Mich.
    Spc. Nathan E. Lillard, 26, of Knoxville, Tenn.
    Spc. Scott T. Nagorski, 27, of Greenfield, Wis.
    Spc. Jesse A. Snow, 25, of Fairborn, Ohio.
    Pfc. Christian M. Warriner, 19, of Mills River, N.C.
    They were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.

    Reply

  18. John Waring says:

    Mark, please consider the following. Become a resolute skeptic. Familiarize yourself with the opinion of Andrew Bacevich concerning NATO, that as a resounding success, NATO perhaps no longer needs billions in American largess. Read his book, “Washington Rules” and see for yourself if it does not provide a sounder and more precient view of the world than the news-makers you will be covering. Read the latest post from David Kaiser “And Woodward Rides Again” at his blog “History Unfolding” and consider using his devastating insights as additional arrows in your quiver.
    Above all, please also consider that you may be mistaken and misinformed, that the gains in human and women’s rights have been damn near nonexistent these past ten years, that Karzai and his warlord allies don’t care a fig about either, and that there’s little to distinguish any of the factions in Afghanistan on that score. Please consider the only investment American cash is making in Afghanistan is in corruption, that $100 billion in American expenditure in a $16 billion Afghan economy can only produce corruption, inflation, fattened Swiss bank accounts, and sumptuous villas in Dubai, certainly not economic growth. Consider the insuperable problem of legitimacy. The natives and their neighbors will make the final political dispositions, not NATO, no matter how long its colonial occupation may last.

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  19. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Too many questions, Dan, and far too complex. Poor Mark is undoubtedly befuddled by such a barrage. You should confine your questions to far shallower parameters.
    Like;
    “Gee, Monkey Boy told us that the Taliban were defeated. Are you sure the Crips haven’t moved in to fill the void?”
    Be clear and concise, Dan, in composing your queries. And at least have the decency to confine them to the realm of the easily answered.
    Like so;
    “Mark, have you tried heroin? And how do you feel about its easy availability, and unprecedented low price?”

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  20. Don Bacon says:

    “We cannot let the Taliban return.”
    Where have we heard anything similar to THAT before?
    Right, Vietnam, where over fifty thousand young Americans gave their lives in an earlier misguided war to prevent the hated commies from taking over all of Vietnam.
    But some US politicians, and would-be politicians, stood up against that war.
    John Kerry [who now supports the Afghanistan war]:
    “In our [returning Vietnam Veterans’] opinion, and from our experience, there is nothing in South Vietnam, nothing which could happen that realistically threatens the United States of America. And to attempt to justify the loss of one American life in Vietnam, Cambodia, or Laos by linking such loss to the preservation of freedom, which those misfits supposedly abuse, is to us the height of criminal hypocrisy, and it is that kind of hypocrisy which we feel has torn this country apart.”
    Vietnam? The commies DID defeat the US and take over all of Vietnam, and so what. There was a subsequent vietnamese ‘invasion’ of California and Louisiana and no0body got hurt. President George W. Bush visited Vietnam twice, after the war of course. Earlier this summer US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Vietnam and last month Hanoi hosted the East Asian Summit.
    Robert S. McNamara, a chief US architect of that war, wrote later that “We were wrong, terribly wrong.”
    The US is terribly wrong again in Afghanistan. The US is again tied up in a expensive war in a desperately poor land-locked country on the other side of the earth, a war that is making the US less safe, not more. The effort to build a new nation is a hopeless exercise whose only rationale is to enrich war profiteers.
    “We cannot let the Taliban return.”
    The Taliban have a say in that.
    Washington Post, Oct 27, 2010:
    “An intense military campaign aimed at crippling the Taliban has so far failed to inflict more than fleeting setbacks on the insurgency or put meaningful pressure on its leaders to seek peace, according to U.S. military and intelligence officials citing the latest assessments of the war in Afghanistan.
    ‘The insurgency seems to be maintaining its resilience,’ said a senior Defense Department official involved in assessments of the war. Taliban elements have consistently shown an ability to ‘reestablish and rejuvenate,’ often within days of routed by U.S. forces, the official said, adding that if there is a sign that momentum has shifted, ‘I don’t see it.’ http://tinyurl.com/2c2kl48
    Itr’s time for the US to get out of Afghanistan. President Karzai is attempting to mediate a solution and he’s not getting any US support. He should get it.
    Everyone connected with this fiasco has said that there is no military solution. So why is all the discussion about how long troops will bet there? It’s irrelevant. Work on diplomacy is what’s needed. Smart diplomacy — does that ring a bell?

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  21. Dan Kervick says:

    You sound conflicted Mark. You say you are deeply skeptical about the counterinsurgency effort and the $100 billion dollars. But you have a far-reaching vision of US moral commitments to Afghanistan that amounts to a moral imperative to secure and govern the entire country of Afghanistan from Washington; to rebuild the country of Afghanistan and its economic infrastructure; to guarantee the survival of western human rights inside Afghanistan. All of these commitments probably add up to a price tag that probably equals the current military price tag. And how exactly do expect to achieve those wide-ranging and comprehensive security goals without a COIN plan for the whole country.
    The Soviet Union once believed it had a commitment and national imperative to secure the survival of socialist government in Afghanistan. The costs of that self-assumed commitment helped bring down their entire country.
    How did we acquire that moral commitment to Afghanistan? Do we have such an obligation toward every country? Or did we only acquire that commitment when we were attacked by Al Qaeda folks who happened to to headquartered in some way in Afghanistan? Are you saying that if Al Qaeda attacks us tomorrow from a base in Yemen, we will thereby acquire a moral commitment to nation-build Yemen into a Salafist-free haven of human rights?

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  22. Carroll says:

    For the sake of transparency and so we know where you are coming from in your observations Mark.
    Do you think keeping Iran off the UN Women Council was good? Some might think including them would have been a good way to encourage and bring them into the fold.
    http://www.undispatch.com/iran-denied-a-seat-on-un-women
    Iran Denied A Seat on UN WOMEN
    November 10, 2010
    Mark Leon Goldberg
    Category: Women
    Topics: Iran, UN Women
    Moments ago, the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations selected 41 members of the executive board of the newest UN body, UN Women. And much to everyone

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  23. Carroll says:

    Posted by PissedOffAmerican, Nov 17 2010, 12:53PM – Link
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Ah yes, the current clueless FP wonkers mentoring the young and upcoming clueless FP wonkers for the next generation of Think Tank establishments.
    We should tax them by the word, we would soon be out of our deficit.
    Meanwhile I get more reminders every week of what I said in 2003 about Iraq destined to always be Iraq, not a US outpost.
    “Iran-backed al-Maliki Tapped to form Government in Iraq
    November 12, 2010
    – I don

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  24. non-hater says:

    “I am becoming increasingly unconvinced that the extraordinary financial costs of maintaining this posture–$100 billion last year alone – are a worthy investment for American national security.”
    The US is spending well over $100B per year to occupy a country that has a GDP of about $25B. That makes no sense. The whole mission hasn’t made any sense since the buildup for the Iraq War started taking resources from Afghan operations. The US and NATO need to declare victory, go home, and send Afghanistan $25B in aid each year for a generation.

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  25. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Oh, give the youngster some slack. Look at his pic, he’s still got diaper marks on his hip bones.
    Besides, look at the culture he has chosen to immerse himself in. Do you actually expect him to pick up a clue or two while swimming in a cesspool of deception, unstated motives, and war profiteers?
    He asks for advice, try giving him some. My contribution is as follows…
    Take you, and yours, as far away from this shithole enclave of unspeakable scum, known as Washington DC, that you can get, and find an honorable calling. If there was still a Fourth Estate, I’d suggest you start there. But there hasn’t been a Fourth Estate for some time now, and trust me, if you seek to revive its membership, they won’t put one single word of yours into the narrative.
    Good finish carpenters are getting scarce, you might consider that. But if you want a REAL future, learn to speak Chinese.

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  26. Carroll says:

    “I am becoming increasingly unconvinced that the extraordinary financial costs of maintaining this posture–$100 billion last year alone – are a worthy investment for American national security.”
    “We have to invest in the long term economic development in Afghanistan and support international efforts to build Afghanistan’s governing institutions.”
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Uh, not to be critical but you are just now realizing the cost of occupying Afghan? You didn’t foresee the cost like us Old Atlanticist?
    Yet, despite that cost and our current debt problem you want us to take on the economic development of a country that is so resourceless that the average life span of it’s people is 44 years?
    I have to go, every time I see’women’s rights’ used as justifications for this masters of the universe crap my hair starts falling out.

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  27. JohnH says:

    “Anyone who follows my writing knows that I have a deep and abiding fidelity to human rights and morality in international relations. We – the United States, NATO, and the world–have an obligation to the Afghan people.” How touching!
    If human rights were the guide post for US foreign relations, then what about US obligations to the people of, say, Saudi Arabia and Honduras? Wouldn’t it be easier for the US to act where it actually has a smidgen of influence–among its friends and allies? Why not get them to clean up their acts, instead of engaging in some quixotic adventure in Afghanistan, where US military action, allegedly acting in the name of human rights, is actually the source of much of the human rights problem there?

    Reply

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