The murders in Afghanistan were all too predictable
By Michael Yon / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Published: Thursday, March 15, 2012, 4:37 AM
Updated: Thursday, March 15, 2012, 4:37 AM
The mass murder in Afghanistan was predictable. Twice in the past three weeks, I published that it was coming. Why was I able to write this with sad confidence? I’ve spent more time with combat troops in these wars than any other writer: about four years in total in country, and three with combat troops.
About 200 coalition members have been killed or wounded from insider attacks. Afghan President Hamid Karzai is tantamount to being Taliban and has not bothered to apologize. Instead, Karzai whips up anti-U.S. fervor at every opportunity. Twice, Karzai has threatened to leave politics and join the Taliban.
Even our most disciplined troops — not the few problem troops — have lost all idealism. They have not lost heart for the fight. Mostly, they just don’t care. They fight because they are ordered to fight, but they have eyes wide open. The halfhearted surge and sudden drawdown leave little room for success.
We face a discipline collapse. The bulk of our force is solid — then there’s a small fraction, probably a sliver of a percent, who might be crushed by the pressure.
On Feb. 24, I published
“That could lead to a meltdown. We are at risk of losing control of more than some people might imagine. There is only so much that U.S. forces will put up with before fringe U.S. combat troops start taking matters into their own hands. Believe me.”
The next day, I published, “If things keep going this way, my expectation is that it’s a matter of time before discipline breaks and the gun turns.”
I’ve seen a few men on our side precariously close to the edge. In fact, my official embed status was ended by the Army in August 2011 after I wrote about issues with three soldiers.
I was accused of saying there were issues because I was disembedded. Yet the written trail and chronology is clear: I publicized discipline problems, then the Army circled the wagons and I was shown the door.