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Author: TriSec    Date: 06/11/2019 09:52:40

Good Morning.

I was musing last night that on the next President's watch, we'll be "celebrating" the 20th anniversary of the events of 9-11. We'll also be passing our 20th anniversary at war.

Longtime readers of this column will remember our old ticker-tape, and to revisit, we've been at war in Afghanistan since October 7, 2001. That's a whopping 6,456 days...or 17 years, 8 months, and 4 days.

That's a hell of a legacy.

Every now and again, something flares up over there...there is a wee bit of news, and then we go back to the same baseline we always have. It's 1984. But every now and again, there's also take of peace. There may be some rumblings as we speak, but given what is in charge right now, any progress would seem unlikely.

ISLAMABAD — Renewed efforts are underway to jumpstart stalled peace talks with the Taliban as a U.S. envoy is in Kabul and Pakistani and Afghan officials are meeting in Islamabad.

U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad says he's holding meetings with Kabul officials on Monday, seeking to bring about a new round of Afghan-to-Afghan talks, which he describes as essential to resolving the country's nearly 18-year war.

The Taliban carry out near-daily attack, inflicting staggering casualties on Afghan forces, and now control about half of Afghanistan. Washington, meanwhile, has accelerated efforts to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict and has been pressing for direct talks between the Taliban and Kabul.

Meanwhile, Afghan and Pakistani officials from a group tasked with finding ways to cooperate on diplomatic, military and intelligence-sharing are meeting in Islamabad.

But...as we all know, we can never have enough war. Shifting gears a bit, I want you to think about what country on Earth has suffered the most abuse at the hands of foreign military. You could make a compelling argument for Poland.

It is one of those unfortunate 'buffer states' that always seems to be in-between enemies. But they are now on our side, and is the frontier against a resurgent Russia. Whether it is sardonic or not, some are taking to calling our increased presence in that nation "Fort Trump".

WARSAW, Poland — An aide to Polish President Andrzej Duda says that negotiations to increase the U.S. military presence in Poland have concluded and were a success.

The comments came days before Duda’s visit in Washington with President Donald Trump this week.

Citing concerns over Russia’s military activity, Poland has been pushing for an increased, permanent presence of U.S. troops in the country, currently numbering around 4,000, in a rotational system.

Duda aide Krzysztof Szczerski said Monday the negotiations on what Poland has dubbed “Fort Trump” would provide for an increase in the “quality and quantity” of U.S. presence in the NATO country. He said the deal still needs formal approval from both presidents.

An announcement is expected when Trump hosts Duda for talks Wednesday at the White House.

But on the other hand, there are places where cooler heads can still prevail. They don't have a lot of troops in Iraq today, but New Zealand is giving up and going home.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand announced Monday that it will withdraw all of its troops from Iraq by next June.

New Zealand has a small contingent of 95 so-called noncombat personnel deployed at the Taji Military Complex northwest of Baghdad, where they are tasked with training Iraqi security forces.

The training mission is a joint operation with Australia, which has about 300 troops stationed at Taji.

New Zealand’s Defense Minister Ron Mark said Australia also planned to downsize its presence in Iraq, although he didn’t offer any details. Australia had not made any formal announcements about its plans by Monday afternoon.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it would reduce the number of troops to 75 by July and then to 45 by January before they were all withdrawn.

"When it comes to Iraq, it's time to go," Ardern said.

I often wonder what it's like living in a country with a functional government.


2 comments (Latest Comment: 06/11/2019 14:52:54 by Raine)
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