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Taliban Rocket Attack Damages JCS Chairman’s Plane in Afghanistan

I’ve been lax in getting around to the disturbing acceleration of “green-on-blue” incidents in Afghanistan. The entire situation is kind of too depressing to contemplate. We’re coming up on the 11th anniversary of war in that country, and even a process like recruitment for the local security forces, which everyone has touted as the best chance to actually extricate ourselves from Afghanistan, cannot proceed without the recruits killing their teachers.

Worse, today militants were able to damage the plane of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as he visited the country.

Two rockets or other projectiles fired by insurgents from outside the heavily fortified Bagram Airfield damaged the C-17 transport plane of Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff, as it was parked at the giant base either on Monday night or early Tuesday, American and NATO officials said.

“General Dempsey was in quarters asleep when the rockets hit the airfield. He was not nearby and not in danger,” said Col. David Lapan, a spokesman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

I’m glad for that, but just the fact that the Taliban can get rockets into Bagram Air Base should provoke concern.

I don’t have the first clue what we’re doing in Afghanistan. Earlier in the year, hopes were high about peace agreements and prisoner swaps and getting the Taliban to renounce Al Qaeda. You hear very little about that now. US forces have dropped, as per the schedule, to around the pre-surge level. But they face danger from the recruits they’re standing up to replace them. The famous phrase “how do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?” comes to mind.

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David Dayen

David Dayen

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