December 24, 2009

Afghan Arms Race

McClatchy is reporting the debut of the US Army's new Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All Terrain Vehicle, or M-ATV, which included Afghanistan in its design. The armored carrier is larger and lighter than its predecessor, the MRAP used in Iraq, and allegedly climbs 45 degree angles with ease.

They should for up to a million dollars a piece. 5,000 M-ATV's are headed for Afghanistan, another 5$ billion off to counter homemade explosives made from sodium nitrate, and RPG's that go for 200$ on the black arms market. They're a good morale boost though, and that's hard to buy.

But Obama must be careful not to shut US soldiers back into their spaceships à la Iraq, removing them from the population they must befriend, especially if the Taliban evolves its own offensive tactics.

A propaganda attack, albeit coincidental, has already been launched in the form of a two dollar video tape. A caption below a man reads, "War prisoner: Bowe Robert Bergdahl," and in turn the man identifies himself as Bergdahl, his date of birth, blood type, and mother's maiden name.

Most likely staring down AK's off screen, the man says, "I was continuously treated as a human being with dignity. I had nobody deprive me of my clothes and take pictures of me naked. I had no dogs barking at me and biting me, as my country has done to Muslim prisoners in the jails that I mentioned."

He then blames the US government, "for leading us to the same holes that America keeps falling into over and over and over again, be it Vietnam, Japan, Germany, Somalia, Lebanon, Iraq. And now it's simply, now it's Afghanistan. It's the next hole for us to fall into... This is just going to be the next Vietnam unless the American people stand up and stop all this nonsense."

One thing is for sure - the Taliban is making its message to Americans an integral part of its psy-ops.

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