(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
As per the military command, War Is Actually Going Fine
Never mind the riots, the fratricides, the burned holy books and the bloody slaughter of civilians. The commander of the Afghanistan war believes the decade-long conflict is “on track.”
That’s Gen. John Allen’s message to Congress at perhaps the most politically precarious moment in the decade-long war. Allen, in Washington for his first round of congressional testimony since taking command in July, told the House Armed Services Committee, “our troops know the difference they are making and the enemy feels it every day.”
Since Allen took charge of the war, the following has happened in Afghanistan: A U.S. special operations Chinook helicopter crashed, killing 27 troops, possibly after an insurgent attack. A different U.S. helicopter killed 24 Pakistani troops during a chaotic exchange of fire that lasted hours. Photos of Marines urinating on Afghan corpses emerged. U.S. troops burned the Koran at a giant wartime prison, prompting nationwide riots. In apparent retaliation, an Afghan employee of the Interior Ministry murdered two U.S. officers. A U.S. staff sergeant in Panjwei allegedly murdered 16 Afghan civilians, mostly women and children. The Taliban has suspended peace talks with the U.S. and Afghan President Hamid Karzai has proclaimed himself “at the end of the rope” with Washington.
“To be sure,” Allen testified, “the last couple months have been trying.”
MSNBC Political Analyst Ezra Klein sits in for Chris Hayes, and is joined by Elise Jordan, former speechwriter for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, CBS contributor Nancy Giles, The New York Times’ Jodi Kantor, and Wired.com’s Spencer Ackerman, for an in-depth discussion on the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan that has spanned over a decade.