The Expendables: US changes guard at the garden of opium

US Marines walk through opium poppy field at Maranjan village in Helmand province on April 25, 2011 as they take patrol with their team and Afghanistan National Police. (AFP Photo/Bay Ismoyo)

US Marines walk through opium poppy field at Maranjan village in Helmand province on April 25, 2011 as they take patrol with their team and Afghanistan National Police. (AFP Photo/Bay Ismoyo)

RT

The White House, unable and unwilling to change its decade-long mismanagement of Afghanistan and Pakistan, has suddenly decided to change its top brass – military and civilian alike – on both sides of the Durand Line.

The latest turn of this revolving door is described as ‘a work in progress,’ with mid-term terminations for the US ambassadors to Kabul and Islamabad, followed shortly by the sacking of the US Commander in Afghanistan.

On the July 4, 2006, against a backdrop of the 82nd Airborne Division’s band playing country western hits in full BDU, I had the honor of introducing the Russian Deputy Chief of Mission to the American Ambassador at the newly unveiled US embassy compound.

I had no idea at the time that Ronald E. Neumann, a distinguished career FSO in his own right and the son of former ambassador Robert G. Neumann (the only second-generation US Ambassador to Afghanistan), would be the last of his post to complete his mission without being cut off at the knees by the very White House he served.

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