Douglas County, CO GOP gets briefing on Afghanistan
(Highlands Ranch, CO 5/29/09) - Over the past several years, the Republican Party gained a reputation as the party that values national defense while the Democrats have been openly hostile to our nation’s Veterans. The Democrats’ antipathy toward our men and women in uniform reached new lows under the Obama Administration. Last month, the Department of Homeland Security under Secretary Napolitano issued a Report with insulting language targeting "disgruntled" military veterans as potential recruits for violent (likely "right-wing") organizations. On the issue of our military, the two parties couldn’t be further apart. Military personnel are trained to tell Friend from Foe.
Today, the Douglas County Colorado Republican Party got an involved briefing from U.S. Army Major Steven B. Howery at the Douglas GOP’s "sold-out" Highlands Ranch Breakfast Meeting. The subject was Afghanistan.
Howery’s credentials are impressive. Mobilized as an Army reservist for Operation Enduring Freedom, Howery served as counter-terrorism officer in Southeast Asia, where he coordinated the collection and exchange of operational intelligence on Islamic extremists in the world’s most populous Muslim region. Major Howery has spent the bulk of the past three years in Afghanistan as an Intelligence Officer.
At the meeting, Major Howery gave the Republicans a concise history of the region tracing the rise of Al Qaeda and the Taliban from the assassination of Ahmad Shah Massoud of the Northern Alliance in 2002, through the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. by Al Qaeda that ensued, and the American Military Operations that have followed since 9/11.
Major Howery shared the following little-known facts about the current condition in Afghanistan:
** There are estimated to be 10 million unexploded land mines in Afghanistan left over from previous civil wars and conflicts with the Soviet Union.
** Most suicide attacks on the U.S. Military have been carried out by non-Afghanis, such as Saudis and Pakistanis.
** Continued military and economic aid may be necessary for at least a generation.
Major Howery likened fighting the Taliban to squeezing a balloon. "If you squeeze the bottom the top expands. If you squeeze the top and bottom, the middle expands. Our goal is to continue squeezing the balloon until it is weakened to the point that it bursts." Howery became quite emotional when describing the twelve soldiers under his command that had been killed or wounded while fighting.
Major Howery has authored a novel, Without Reserve, about the War on Terror. At the breakfast meeting he signed copies of the book. It is a good read and may be purchased online at www.khukuripublishing.com.
Since soldiers and sailors like Major Howery have been fighting the real war on terror, the Obama Administration, and DHS Secretary Napolitano in particular, should ask him for a briefing. After all, the Douglas County Republicans shouldn’t be the only ones who care about protecting our country.