Oh, I Thought Things Were Going Well There – Guess Not

U.S. abandons consulate site in Afghanistan, citing security risks

By Ernesto Londoño, Published: May 5 The Washington Post

After signing a 10-year lease and spending more than $80 million on a site envisioned as the United States’ diplomatic hub in northern Afghanistan, American officials say they have abandoned their plans, deeming the location for the proposed compound too dangerous.

Eager to raise an American flag and open a consulate in a bustling downtown district of the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e Sharif, officials in 2009 sought waivers to stringent State Department building rules and overlooked significant security problems at the site, documents show. The problems included relying on local building techniques that made the compound vulnerable to a car bombing, according to an assessment by the U.S. Embassy in Kabul that was obtained by The Washington Post.

Whole lot more here:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/citing-security-us-abandons-consulate-site-in-afghanistan/2012/05/05/gIQA9ZkD4T_story.html

But, but, but, I thought BO said things were going well in Afghanistan. He was just there!!! But I guess this stuff happens when you give an exit date and remove fear of retribution by the US. All I can say is I hope my friends from the Corps of Engineers get out before TSHTF

2 Comments

  1. In York’s post only officials in 2009, are identified as our overly eager but stunningly incompetent representatives who stupidly fast-tracked a symbolic display of long term US involvement in Northern Afghanistan only to have the obvious fatal flaws, clearly present all along, blow up in the faces of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Of course, as usual, taxpayers foot the bill for official foolishness.

    The WaPo article (links inop) names the Obama administration official who is said to be behind the violation of established security protocols which has resulted in another embarrassing failure, one which should have been easy to avoid.

    In March 2009, Richard C. Holbrooke, who had recently been appointed President Obama’s envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, lobbied for the establishment of a consulate in Mazar-e Sharif within 60 days, according to the memo. The city was deemed relatively safe at the time, far removed from Taliban strongholds of the south. A consulate just a short walk from Mazar-e Sharif’s Blue Mosque, one of the country’s most sacred religious sites, was seen as a way to reassure members of the ethnic Tajik and Uzbek minorities that dominate the north that the United States was committed to Afghanistan for the long haul.

    “At the time, [Holbrooke] pushed hard to identify property and stand up an interim consulate, on a very tight timeline, to signal our commitment to the Afghan people,” according to the January memo by Martin Kelly, the acting management counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul…

    Since Holbrooke died in 2010 of complications from heart surgery he isn’t around to deny the accusations or to defend his decisions if he was actually behind the wrongheaded project. Given Hillary Clinton’s slippery reputation for evading responsibility when her initiatives fall flat or even result in deadly carnage, I’m inclined to hold off condemning the dead man till more facts emerge.

  2. ropelight says:
    May 7, 2012 at 10:54

    In York’s post only officials in 2009, are identified as our overly eager but stunningly incompetent representatives

    Rope, that’s a great opening line that fits a lot of things like job creation.

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