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About Jack

Jack is really a storyteller, international explorer, and humanitarian and everything else rolls out from there. As a writer, its what he does.  As a trial lawyer, its his most important tool.  As a former CIA officer, the only way to truly motivate people is to connect and to tell them a story that they can feel viscerally.  As a media analyst, what better way to make a point.  In the end, he tries to captivate his audience about the world and its people as much as he himself is captivated. 

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Entries in afghanistan (42)

Tuesday
Aug222017

[KOA Denver] August 22nd: Jack Talks Never Ending War in Afghanistan

I appear on KOA Denver on August 22nd.  Mr. Trump sausd he can win in Afghanistan.  OK . . . Genghis Khan couldn't take Afghanistan.  Alexander the Great couldn't either.  Neither could the Russians.  The Brits tried twice. And yet, somehow the Americans are different? Um, yeah, right! That is part of the problem. Afghanistan is barely a country in the current sense. Biding it together is almost impossible. To make matters worse, thinking that you can do it at the point of a gun is pretty foolhardy because this is exactly what everybody else tried to do as well.  And frankly, this will fail.  It may take another 10 or twenty years and billions of dollars and countless lives, but it too will fail.

On that uplifting note . . . 

Tuesday
Aug222017

[RTTV Washington DC] August 21st: Jack Talks Trump's Afghanistan Speech

I appear on RTTV Washington DC on August 21st.  President Trump just gace his first major prime time speech and it was on Afghanistan.  While the speech was very short on specifics, it does does appear to have two elements: more troops and no end date. Of course, the problem is that the U.S. had 100,000 troops in Afghanistan as recently as 2011 and the U.S. didn't win then either. They now have less than 9000 and may increase by around 4000.  its hard to fathom how this is going to turn the tide.

The President says its not about nation building anymore.  However, if you have an incompetent Afghan government, how do you possibly unite a country.  Rather, you deivide it further.  

This is going to be fun.

Tuesday
Aug012017

[Russian TV Moscow] August 1st: Jack Talks Pentagon Report on Afghan Military Sex Abuse

I appear on Russian TV Moscow on August 1st. I recognize that the Russians have an agenda and I also recognize that Russian media is driven from the Kremlin. I know that the Kremlin likes to report on things that make the U.S. look bad. Again, all of that is not shocking. That being said, the real question is whether what they are reporting is true and whether or not the U.S. is also reporting it. As a result, I am willing to comment on certain things.

The U.S. government's Afghanistan watchdog, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction's latest quarterly report, has asked the Pentagon to declassify a report about alleged sexual abuse of children by members of the Afghan security forces. I agree. This needs to come out and needs to be addressed. I recognize that this is embarrassing the U.S. government and for the Pentagon who continues to work closely with the Afghan military. However, to ignore it and act like it doesn't exist makes the U.S. complicit and that is simply unacceptable. 

The U.S. has to stand up for human rights and fight abuse where they can. There is no excuse or way to turn away and act like it doesn't exist when its own watchdog organization says there is a problem.  

This is going to be an interesrting conversation and an important one.   

Friday
Jul212017

[Russian TV Moscow] July 21st: Jack Talks U.S. Losing in Afghanistan

I appear on Russia TV Moscow on July 21st. The U.S. is losing the war in Afghanistan.  Its objetively true.  In fact, the Taliban now controls more terrirtory in the country than anytime since 9/11.  Contemplate that for a second.

The U.S. acknowledged today that they inadvertantly bombed Afghani soldiers and civilians in Helmund province.  In fact, record numbers of Afghani civilians have have been hit by American and Afghani Airforce airstrikes. What doesn't help is that the numbers of U.S. and Ag=fghani sorties has increased to more than 1500 in 2016 and already more than 1000 this year.  As a result, statistically, the chance for inadvertant bombings simply increases.  However, everytime this happens, it makes it even harder for the Americans to be successful.  And again, they aren't winning. 

This should be an interesting conversation.  Further, considering  

Tuesday
Jun202017

[Russian TV Moscow] June 20th: Jack Talks Green on Blue Attacks in Afghanistan

I appear on Russian TV Moscow on June 20th.  This isn't the first time that this has happened.  In fact it has happened many times and it will sadly happen again.  In fact, this is absolutely one of the things American soldiers need to be conscious of: attacks from allied Afghan soldiers with whom they are conducting joint operations.  The Russians wants me to come on and talk about a recent attack where three U.S. soldiers were killed by an Afghanistan soldier.  What does this say?

I remember being in Iraq and out on joint patrol with the Americans and poorly trained Iraq soldiers in the streets of Baghdad.  First of all, the Iraqis at the time weren't very good.  That's certainly a problem but its not the only problem.  Another big problem is whether they have been vetted very well.  The fear is that at any point, one of those allied soldiers could turn around and take down a half a dozen of their American counterparts.  It is a petrifying possibility and, again, has happened again and agin.

In my case, we were storming  a building and I was running up a flight of stairs with the American and Iraqi solders and at some point through all of the confusion, I was in the middle of a very dangerous environment and something occurred to me: there were no American or other Western soldiers around me at all.  I was surrounded by a very poorly trained and marginally vetted Iraqi unit.  I can tell you, I have rarely felt more exposed.  Sometimes being completely alone would be more preferred.  Thankfully, things played out just fine but it could have just as easily gone a different direction.  

We will talk history, experience and the political situation in Afghanistan.  This will be interesting.

Thursday
Apr132017

[Fox 9 Minneapolis] April 13th: Jack Talks Why the U.S. Loves Big Bombs.

I appear on Fox 9 Minneapolis on April 13th at 9 p.m. c.s.t.  I like big bombs and I cannot lie . . . or something like that.  Its strange how America'as citizens seem to wake up and instinctively cheer when we kill people, blow things up or pound our collective chest.  It is a really interesting phenomenon but it continues to hold true.  And then this latest story of a bomb that carries 11,000 lbs of explosives known as a MOAB?  Oh, the rapture.  It's pretty wild actually.nn I will appear and talk about what the UlS., was trying to do, whether it was successful and whwther it will make any difference.   

Thursday
Apr132017

[Kare 11 Minneapolis] April 13th: Jack Talks The Mother of All Bombs

I appear on Kare 11 in Minneapolis on April 13th at 5 p.m. c.s.t.  The U.S. military just dropped the largest conventional they have in their arsenal in eastern Afghanistan known as a MOAB.  They decided to target an ISIS cave complex. This comes just after a U.S. attack in Syria and as the situation heats up in North Korea. This is an interesting development and may be foreshadowing of things to come. All of this is taking place while the investigaiton involving Terump and the Russians continues to gain steam.  Many continue to ask is these two issues are interconnected.  Fascinating.

Hope you can watch.

 

Wednesday
May132015

[Russian TV - Moscow] Thursday, May 13th - Jack Talks the U.S. Drug War Failure in Afghanistan

I appear on Russian TV Moscow on May 13th to talk about the U.S. and Western policies to eradicate opium in Afghanistan. The Americans claimed that this was one of their major efforts and this has been a cataclysmic failure.  Poppy cultivation and opium production is still the major industry in the country.  So why did the Americans failure so dismally?  What are the ramifications of this failure?

This should be a really interesting conversation.  I hope that you can catch it.

Saturday
Nov082014

[The Jack Rice Show] Archive - Jack on the Cover of Talkers Magazine in Afghanistan

Thursday
Jun192014

Archive - Just Arriving in Kabul, Afghanistan, 2009

Just found the rough audio from my first radio show for Air America in Afghanistan in December of 2009.  I'm laughing because I'm exhausted and yet so keyed up.  Hope you enjoy it.  reall a blast from the past for me.

Arrival in Kabul