Joint U.S.-Afghan Military Operations Suspended

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Jim Miklaszewski, NBC’s Pentagon correspondent, reports that in the aftermath of the insider attacks that killed six NATO troops yesterday, all joint U.S.-Afghan military operations have been suspended:

“We’re to the point now where we can’t trust these people,” a senior military official said. So far this year, 51 NATO troops have been killed in these so-called blue-on-green attacks.

“It’s had a major impact on our ability to conduct combat operations with them, and we’re going to have to back off to a certain degree,” the official said. The suspensions of the joint operations are indefinite — according to one official, they “could last three days or three months.”

If it’s three days, this might not be too big a deal. If it’s three months it’s a very big deal indeed. After all, Obama’s whole justification for doubling up in Afghanistan was to provide enough support to fight the Taliban and train Afghan troops at the same time. If the training isn’t working, then the whole plan isn’t working. Remember this conversation from Jonathan Alter’s The Promise?

Inside the Oval Office, Obama asked Petraeus, “David, tell me now. I want you to be honest with me. You can do this in 18 months?”

“Sir, I’m confident we can train and hand over to the ANA [Afghan National Army] in that time frame,” Petraeus replied.

“Good. No problem,” the president said. “If you can’t do the things you say you can in 18 months, then no one is going to suggest we stay, right?”

“Yes, sir, in agreement,” Petraeus said.

This was at the end of 2009. It’s been 30 months since then, and I think it’s pretty safe to say that our training of the ANA has not been a rousing success. And yet, we stay. Why?

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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