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Afghanistan Action Plan: January 2009

Dear Friends:

A number of people have wondered whether any of the things included in my previous post were being said when it was soon enough to make a difference. They were. I wish I had to hand documents that others wrote or notes of arguments they made. May I assure you: I was not alone.

It is unsightly to witness former officials and current experts arguing about who said what when, and who should be held accountable for the suffering, frustration, and deep disenchantment now unleashed. May I just say that a further parallel between Afghan and U.S. leadership seems to be an imperviousness to the human emotion of shame.

I feel shame. I feel a deep foreboding for what lies in store if American elites refuse to look at the mirror now held out. Afghanistan is a reflection of us.

But just to return to the historical record, the attached PDF was recently sent to me by a British officer with whom I shared it at the time. I had passed it throughout the headquarters of the International Security Assistance Force, and to the commander in chief of NATO, for whom I worked at the time, along with the incoming Obama team. Please forgive the wordy style. I hadn't yet learned succinct military headquarters speak.

More soon,


Afghanistan Action Plan 2009-01
Download PDF • 173KB


Fred Kolo
Fred Kolo
Aug 29, 2021

Surely one underlying feature of the industrial world's relationship to Afghanistan is the richness of the mineral deposts there, rich in precisely the minerals used in the manufacture of digital equipment, for one current example, but there are also historic examples and I'm not educated on the details.

Nevertheless the greedy need to plunder the country has been the author of much of its history, and we should not overlook the corporate power that controls more of our own government that we will ever be willing to admit. Nobody seems to use the term "military-industrial complex" any longer, which is not to say that the power of that "complex" has in any way subsided.

(I spent roughly 3 weeks in…


Were ANY of your wise, well-founded recommendations implemented?


Tom Hilton
Tom Hilton
Aug 23, 2021

Your 2009 suggestions could have applied to any number of US nation-building efforts. Your advice was common sensical, and yet it was patently ignored by policy wonks. Sadly, the grunts on the ground would have embraced the changes you recommended. But politicians in a far-off capitol were always calling the shot - just like in Vietnam, Yemen, Iran, Iraq.....

It sure seems to me that in a capitalist democracy, psychopaths are the only ones who get elected, and thus, pursuit of profit is all that drives government policies. Thus. the purpose of our military is to promote global profits for a handful or obscenely-rich psychopaths. By psychopaths I mean people who lack the capacity for empathy, and see pain …


Unknown member
Aug 22, 2021

Taliban was sent by Jesus to Destroy weak fake Presidente Biden and stuff Rússia hoaxers into their cuss holes. MAGA!


Dear Sarah, thank you so much for speaking out.

The world needs to know Truth 🌹

Safety of women and girls, I think with you wyliegoodman what to do.

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