GI Resistance to Afghanistan War Planned for 2011


White House Afghanistan Progress Means Staying the Course

This was sent to Veterans Today from Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW). Posted on behalf of IVAW by

Robert L. Hanafin, Veterans Issues Editor, Veterans Today News Network

Is it any surprise that last week’s White House progress report on Afghanistan showed little ‘progress’ at all?

Sure, there have been a few tactical military ‘successes,’ but these have been overshadowed by significantly larger negative trends:

  • A marked increase in civilian casualties, maintaining Afghan resentment of U.S. occupation;
  • An overall increase in Taliban strength;
  • A continued lack of legitimacy for the Afghan government; and
  • A weakening of our military fighting force by a suicide epidemic caused by multiple deployments.

The larger story here is that the Afghan war strategy is a complete failure.

And those in Washington lack the political will to do anything about it.

To IVAW though, this is about more than just politics.

As veterans and service members, this is about our lives, our health and well-being, and that of Afghan civilians.

We are the ones whose lives are on the line in Afghanistan every day, and we are challenging the political status quo to say enough is enough.

Will you stand with us?

Your year-end donation will support our important work to end the stay-the-course Afghanistan policy that prevails in Washington.

Building GI resistance among new troop deployments in 2011

IVAW has learned that beginning in January, 23,000 troops from ten different military bases will be dispatched to Afghanistan to replace troops finishing up their deployment cycles.

For some of these troops – like the 1st Cavalry Division’s Air Cavalry Brigade and Headquarters Company leaving from Fort Hood, TX – this will be their fourth combat deployment.

So this is what the ‘stay the course’ political policy means for us – more deployments for troops who are already suffering from war trauma, more casualties, and more broken families.

That is why IVAW will be starting our GI resistance outreach drive to all affected military bases in February.

With your help, we will send outreach teams to the ten military bases that are sending troops to Afghanistan and talk to soldiers and military families about:

– the problems of multiple deployments,

– dialogue about their views on whether the Afghanistan mission is worthwhile,

– and bring them into our Operation Recovery campaign to stop the deployment of traumatized troops.

Your financial contribution today will help sustain these outreach efforts to those preparing to deploy.

Make a donation now.

New poll reveals 60% of Americans think Afghanistan war is not worth fighting

It is heartening to know that many Americans see that this war is not worth us risking our lives and the lives of Afghan civilians.  But it is time to translate this belief into action.

Join us in building a GI resistance movement that can stop the Pentagon in its tracks and end the occupation of Afghanistan by making a year-end gift right now.

Your donation will make all the difference in helping us sustain our work in the New Year.

Donate today.

Thank you!

Iraq Veterans Against the War

Afghanistan Veterans Against the War committee*

* IVAW’s Afghanistan Veterans Against the War committee was formed in 2010 to provide a platform for our Afghanistan veteran members to speak to their unique experience.

Donate Now

VETERANS TODAY EDITORIAL COMMENT: Over a year ago (Sep-Oct 2009) the Army had to do some quick damage control when Col. David Haight, of the 10th Mountain Division’s 3rd Brigade Combat team, sent the letter to the 3,500 men and women after two of them were killed in combat and his chaplains reported that many were disillusioned about the war. Colonel Haight said he wrote the letter after a request by Capt. Jeffery Masengale, a chaplain who told British newspaper The Times that many soldiers worried their mission was pointless and the Afghans reluctant to help them.

SOURCES: See for the video interview that highlighted chaplain concerns about depression and despair that forced an Army Field Commander to write a letter to 3,500 men and women under his command telling them what the chaplain(s) meant to say was…See also the ABC News report of Army damage control in the article Commander’s Letter Tackles Troops’ Morale in Afghanistan: The Letter Was Sent After Chaplains Reported Soldiers’ Disillusionment About the War ALSO Commander’s letter tackles troops’ morale in Afghanistan in USAToday

These reports were way back in Oct 2009, but I personally believe that given the growing problems of multiple deployments, the need for the Army to do damage control (rest assured this chaplain or any other talking to the media without being screened on what to say (propaganda) most likely was not promoted or worse. Despite the Pentagon and field commanders’ genuine attempts at damage control, I seriously believe that troops morale remains very low or lower than 2009, except any one [this includes Military Chaplains] who is involved in the treating or counseling our troops with depression and despair [PTSD] due to multiple deployments is NOW monitored and not allowed to express what they observe publicly.

I would assess that part of said Army damage control including briefing Army Chaplains on what they could and could not say publicly that may place the Army or the war effort in a negative light.

Bobby Hanafin, Major, U.S. Air Force-Retired, U.S. Civil Service-Retired

Author Details
Readers are more than welcome to use the articles I’ve posted on Veterans Today, I’ve had to take a break from VT as Veterans Issues and Peace Activism Editor and staff writer due to personal medical reasons in our military family that take away too much time needed to properly express future stories or respond to readers in a timely manner. My association with VT since its founding in 2004 has been a very rewarding experience for me. Retired from both the Air Force and Civil Service. Went in the regular Army at 17 during Vietnam (1968), stayed in the Army Reserve to complete my eight year commitment in 1976. Served in Air Defense Artillery, and a Mechanized Infantry Division (4MID) at Fort Carson, Co. Used the GI Bill to go to college, worked full time at the VA, and non-scholarship Air Force 2-Year ROTC program for prior service military. Commissioned in the Air Force in 1977. Served as a Military Intelligence Officer from 1977 to 1994. Upon retirement I entered retail drugstore management training with Safeway Drugs Stores in California. Retail Sales Management was not my cup of tea, so I applied my former U.S. Civil Service status with the VA to get my foot in the door at the Justice Department, and later Department of the Navy retiring with disability from the Civil Service in 2000. I’ve been with Veterans Today since the site originated. I’m now on the Editorial Board. I was also on the Editorial Board of Our Troops News Ladder another progressive leaning Veterans and Military Family news clearing house. I remain married for over 45 years. I am both a Vietnam Era and Gulf War Veteran. I served on Okinawa and Fort Carson, Colorado during Vietnam and in the Office of the Air Force Inspector General at Norton AFB, CA during Desert Storm. I retired from the Air Force in 1994 having worked on the Air Staff and Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon.
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