Michael Yon: Afghanistan will become far more deadly for our troops than even the darkest days in Iraq

When I hit the ground in Afghanistan in 2006, it was flatly obvious that we were losing the war.  The prevailing thoughts in the media and Washington held that we were winning in Afghanistan but Iraq was hopeless.  I was saying nearly the opposite during many dozens of interviews and articles.

And so amid torrents scathing criticism, during 2006, I wrote a series of one dozen dispatches saying in the clearest terms that we were losing the war in Afghanistan.  I have been warning for a long time that this war shows every sign that it will overshadow anything we saw in Iraq when it comes to danger to our troops.

The warnings are over.  Here we are.  There is little doubt that the Afghanistan war, at least on a per capita basis, will become far more deadly for our troops than even the darkest days in Iraq.  People still scoff when I say these things, but they do not see clearly.  This is a “no kidding” war.  Don’t be fooled by the slow buildup.  The dark potential of AfPak is enormous.

Please read today’s dispatch, which I published in the Washington Times (YON: Girl with no future)

And please support this mission.

Your Writer,
Michael Yon

Why Limit Your Worldview To The Opinions & Presentations Of Big News Media?

FOX News, BBC, CNN and even our own CBC each have their spins and agendas on world events. At Barbados Free Press we believe that people who confine their sources to the major news media are being fed carefully structured information. You can pick up a newspaper in Narita Airport Japan, San Francisco, Glasgow or Bridgetown on the same day and read the same stories, the same quotes and often the exact same words.

That is why blogs, websites, twitter and facebook are flourishing for news and analysis – and that is one of the reasons why people keep coming back to Barbados Free Press. Our readers judge everything with a critical eye and they know that they will find stories at BFP that they won’t see in the oldstream Barbados news media. And as we continually remind our readers, don’t believe us either!

We at BFP and our readers enjoy hearing all sides and then deciding for ourselves.

That curiosity brought us to Michael Yon as one of our sources of information on the wars, and now we are going to share him with you.

Michael Yon is a former U.S. Green Beret soldier who has been reporting from the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Myanmar and the Philippines since 2004. (Oh, you didn’t know that there is a war on in the Philippines? Check it out and then ask yourself why you don’t know that.)

Sometimes he is embedded with troops from many nations, and sometimes he is just walking around in Iraq and Afghanistan by himself. (!) He has warned of the dangers and the realities of Afghanistan and Iraq for five years and often is totally at odds with what you will read in the big news media or hear from government.

Yet battlefield commanders from many nations continue to let Yon embed with the troops – because they know he will tell it like it is.

Dear readers, we give you a man who blogs from the battlefields of the world: Micheal Yon…

Afghanistan War Women

“Iraq is 1,000 years more advanced than Afghanistan. Nepal is far more connected to and cognizant of the outside world.

After nearly eight years of war and billions spent, there is not a single Afghan soldier in this entire province. There is not a meter of paved road. There is a single television station that operates for maybe four hours a night when it has fuel.”

From Michael Yon’s article: The girl with no future

(Barbados Free Press editor’s comment… What a waste of eight years and trillions of dollars. Where is all the money that was supposed to be building new government, security, infrastructure and a free society in Afghanistan?)


If you value Michael’s reporting, you can support him at his website

Dear Reader,

I am back in Afghanistan.   There is progress on many fronts, but in sum, we are still losing the war at an increasing rate.  All is not hopeless, but it’s not looking good. The fighting promises to be far more deadly for our troops here than we ever saw in Iraq. The big media has done an abysmal job of covering the latest fighting. Yes, there are many stories from Afghanistan, but if you look at the bylines, many are filed from places like Kabul.

When you see “Kabul,” think “Saigon” or “Green Zone” with hotels and bars.

I’m heading back to combat and will be right there, up close, in the middle like usual. The risks are severe and expenses such as insurance skyrocket when in combat. I can maintain this pace for long periods, but only if you have my back. Nobody else does. Your support is crucial to this front-line reporting. This site accepts zero advertisement.

If you want hardcore, frontline reporting, stay tuned and please support this mission by making a direct contribution. Without your support, this mission will end. Thank you for helping to bring untold stories from the struggles for Afghanistan, Iraq, the Philippines and elsewhere.

Thank you and God bless.

Your Writer,
Michael Yon

Michael Yon Blog & Website

Michael Yon Support Page (make a donation to keep him blogging in the field)


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9 responses to “Michael Yon: Afghanistan will become far more deadly for our troops than even the darkest days in Iraq

  1. Maat

    Giving the title of “war” to what is going on in Afghanistan is legitimizing genocide.

    Remind me; To whom was Afghanistan proving to be an international threat? Which country had the armies of Afghanistan attacked? Why is America and NATO killing people in this country? Was it not the American CIA that set up and trained the Mujahadeen in camps across Afghanistan to fight the Soviets? Was it not these same Mujahadeen that became the Taliban? If the International forces withdrew from Afghanistan tomorrow, would Afghanistan become a threat to any of it’s neighbours or anyone else for that matter?

    Reporters from the front countries that are under military occupation need to report on the genocide for what it really is.


  2. Green Monkey

    As British troops moved into the village newly freed from Taliban control, they heard one message from the anxious locals: for God’s sake do not bring back the Afghan police.
    Afghans turn to Taliban in fear of own police

    U.S. and British troops have launched a campaign to seize control of Helmand province, about half of which was in Taliban hands, and restore Afghan government institutions.

    But as they advance, they are learning uncomfortable facts about their local allies: villagers say the government’s police force was so brutal and corrupt that they welcomed the Taliban as liberators.

    “The police would stop people driving on motorcycles, beat them and take their money,” said Mohammad Gul, an elder in the village of Pankela, which British troops have been securing for the past three days after flying in by helicopter.

    He pointed to two compounds of neighbors where pre-teen children had been abducted by police to be used for the local practice of “bachabazi,” or sex with pre-pubescent boys.


  3. The cold winds of anti-WAR protest are begin to blow with a winter chill here in the UK…

    Frankly, what are we doing in these people’s country?

    Why aren’t Tony Blair’s and George Dubyah’s kids on the front lines of Afghanistan?

    We lost 15 young men in less than 2 week period. The youngest just turned 18 in June.

    This is MADNESS!!!

    Any person who is sanctioning this war need a cerebral examination with a 16th century scalpel….

  4. Gunner825

    I would not set too much score in the fact that the locals are now clamouring for the retension of British troop presence in their area.In the final analysis, these very people will turn upon the British.I can still recall the early days of Northern Ireland Troubles, when we were initially met with tea, buns and kisses, which quickly turned to stones and bombs.

  5. Gunner825

    And after what occured in the 19th Century one would have thought that the British would never again set foot in Afghanistan.
    But sorry to say, many more British troops will die in Afghanistan. The British politicians would never sanction a strategic withdrawal from Afghanistan. They expect nothing less than a military victory in their favour, while denying the troops vital equipment.

  6. Maat

    How can you have a military victory when you are not fighting an army? When a population resists invasion forces, they become freedom fighters. This old roman notion of military victory does not work for an occupying army. The forces in Afghanistan can only continue to kill civilians and people who are fighting for their right to choose their form of government. The contributor ‘Gunner825’ is correct in so much as what the British forces need is vital equipment, such as planes to get on and go home!


  7. rhubarb

    Another documentary on Afghanistan,”Fixer”, to air on HBO August 17th.

    What I want to focus on, though, is the way the film resonates with conditions in Afghanistan today. Olds has the good sense to insert a quick history lesson in this film, on the grounds that you can’t understand the Taliban without knowing about America’s covert operations in the region in the 1980s. Back then, President Ronald Reagan’s administration, mainly through the CIA, used the Pakistani Intelligence services to fund, arm, and train Afghan and foreign Islamist jihadis to defeat the Soviet army in Afghanistan. Pakistan subsequently used “channels built with U.S. money” to install in Afghanistan a friendly government — the Taliban.

    Later, after the George W. Bush administration invaded the country and the U.S. ousted the Taliban, it installed Hamid Karzai as president and returned many of the old Islamist jihadis to power in his government. Thus, this peculiar, well-established fact underlies the current war in Afghanistan: the United States sponsored both sides.

    Some analysts say the U.S. “invented” all the “enemies” involved; others, that the U.S. (and Saudi Arabia) merely paid the bills, while Pakistan directed the action to its own advantage. Either way, this history — much of it still secret or repeatedly re-spun — leaves all parties to the current conflict in an intellectual sweat. They must plan for the future on the basis of a past they can’t acknowledge. With national elections set for August 20th, the United States is planning for an Afghan future that still includes the jihadi buddies its officials know they should long ago have left behind.


    International agencies responsible for mounting the election have already abandoned the goal of a “free and fair” vote. They’re aiming for “credible,” which is to say, an election that looks pretty good, even if it’s not. In the context of accumulated illusions, this goal is called “realistic,” and perhaps it is. As the fixer’s grieving father says, “Our government is a puppet of foreigners. That is why we expect nothing from it.”

    As I write, 4,000 newly arrived U.S. Marines are trudging through the blistering heat of Helmand Province to push back the Taliban so local Pashtuns can turn out to vote next month for Karzai, their fellow Pashtun. What’s wrong with this new Obama strategy? For one thing, in some areas the local Pashtun population has instead turned out to fight against the foreign invaders, side by side with the Taliban (who, it should be remembered, are mostly local Pashtuns). They’re as fed up as anybody with the puppet Karzai. Like millions of other Afghans, they say Karzai has done nothing for the people. But saddled with history, Karzai remains the horse the U.S. rode in on.

    Let me make it clear that Olds and Parenti don’t draw these comparisons to current affairs in Afghanistan. Fixer is simply and appropriately subtitled The Taking of Ajmal Nashqbandi. It’s a tribute to a trusted colleague. But watch the film yourself and you’ll be immersed in duplicity: officials manipulate the truth, citizens fear to tell it, Americans can’t bear to look it in the face. Watch the film and maybe you’ll understand how hard it has become, here behind the Hescos where history is being re-spun, to size anything up, pin anything down, recognize an enemy, or help a friend.

    [Note: Fixer will first be shown on HBO on Monday night, August 17th. It will be re-aired on August 20th, 23rd, 25th, 29th, and 31st. Check your local listings for the exact times.]

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