Lindsay Lohan has something in common with whoever put together Lieutenant General Austin’s recent testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee this past week: they’re both completely out of touch with reality. And his briefer? Probably hates math. I know, it’s an aspersion, but bear with me. Ms. Lohan may be opening a restaurant. Of the “high-end Mexican” variety. In New York City.
What’s more, the word is that the plans are for a “high-end Mexican restaurant.” Lohan may not be officially involved, but she has allegedly been there twice. (Also, does anyone else think there will come a day when people decide she’s totally badass?)
So what’s that got to do with General Austin’s testimony? Nothing, really, except that while Lindsay apparently has not read her own track record on, well, anything, Austin (or whoever prepped his brief to the SASC) doesn’t actually read ISAF‘s own releases. From CNN’s Security Clearance blog:
Reducing the number of Afghan security forces could lead to an increase in Taliban violence inside that country as U.S. forces prepare to leave by the end of 2014, Army Gen. Lloyd Austin said Thursday.
Austin was testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee during a hearing to confirm him as the next top U.S. commander to oversee military operations in the Middle East. Austin said keeping a larger Afghan force would allow the Afghan government to mature under a bigger security umbrella.
Trouble is, that doesn’t make sense based on what ISAF itself has released about the reduction in violence in 2012. After the last of the surge troops left the country. ISAF’s numbers for October to December of 2012 showed an 18% decrease over the previous year in what they’re currently referring to as “Enemy Initiated Attacks” (EIAS). So what ISAF’s own releases state is that the reduction in troops actually led to a reduction in violence.
Which brings me back to being worried that General Austin’s briefer can’t read. And Lindsay Lohan shouldn’t open a restaurant. Since continuing in Afghanistan as we have for the last 10 years makes about as much sense as…well, Lohan. Restaurateur. So suggesting that we need more troops when ISAF’s own numbers are saying the opposite seems to be spectacularly out of touch with how the rest of us understand reality. And maths.
I’d say you could check those numbers for yourself, but for some reason ISAF took down the web page that used to show their monthly trends.
— Gary Owen (@ElSnarkistani) February 14, 2013
Since they’re redefining everything else, why not transparency, too?
I have nothing but the utmost respect for Austin and all those like him who have to keep shining this place up. But sometimes it gets old. Especially when it seems like he and other senior leaders have an agenda other than the successful execution of the operation. Testimony like this, in the face of evidence like this, sounds like a way to keep defense dollars flowing, since nothing pays better than a war.
Until next time, sunny side, etc.