Can We Admit Afghanistan is Unwinnable?
by Brent Smith | May 12, 2017 12:03 am
The supposed war in Afghanistan, or whatever we are calling it these days, is unwinnable. We have a better chance of converting Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to Constitutional conservatism than prevailing in Afghanistan.
I believe this is the 16th year of this – whatever it is. I have friends in various branches of the military and frankly I don’t want to see another sent over there to die or be dismembered. How many more years will it take before someone in charge comes to their senses and admits to this folly?
It’s looking like several to an eternity, for president Trump, the man who in 2013 tweeted, “Let’s get out – our troops are being killed – we waste billions there,” is now considering adding up to 5,000 troops to the force of almost 8,500 already in Afghanistan.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said
the President’s goal is “reducing the threat, especially when it comes to ISIS and the Taliban.”
Now, I get why President George W. Bush went into Afghanistan. In October 2001, the stated goal was to stamp out Afghanistan’s Islamic fundamentalist Taliban regime, which had aided and abetted al-Qaida and its leader, Osama bin Laden.
There was certainly good and actionable intelligence that bin Laden was there – so strikes went on for about a year and a half. It was then, in March of 2003, that Bush announced an escalation with the start of the war in Iraq.
Regardless of the reasons put forth, the real reason for attacks in both countries was the nation squeezed between them – Iran. The Bush administration was convinced that they could defeat both the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, after which, they could magically democratize both nations. In other words – nation build – which always works so well.
Seeing the miraculous success on both sides, this would compel the oppressed citizens of Iran to rise up and throw off the fundamentalist Iranian regime. It worked as well as did the Arab Spring.
The region would then become the next enclave of great Jeffersonian republics. By cutting off the head of the Iranian snake, the region would live, terror free and happily ever after.
As anyone can see, we’ve had zero success, in either theater. In fact, by toppling Saddam, we made it worse. As bad as Saddam was, what we have now is far worse. We simply created a power vacuum and further emboldened Iran.
In March, head of U.S. Central Command, Army Gen. Joseph Votel, recommended sending more troops. Earlier this week the Pentagon reiterated that, and requested an additional 3,000 troops, adding to the 8,400 American, 5,000 NATO and roughly 10,000 PMCs (Private Military Contractors).
This, it is said, will break the supposed stalemate between the Afghan Security Forces and the Taliban/ISIS Khorasan group – will break the back of the Taliban and bring them to negotiate with the Afghan government.
And then what? Do we then declare victory? If not – when? What exactly does victory in Afghanistan look like? If anyone knows, can you clue me in? In my opinion, the only way to declare victory in Afghanistan is to redefine what victory means.
As far as I can see we have three choices. We can just pack up, pick up and leave – allowing the tribes of Afghanistan to either solve or make worse the problem. We could install our own version of a brutal, bloodthirsty Dictator, give him the money and military backing he will need to squash all comers and hope he doesn’t eventually set his sights on us or our allies. Or we can decide that Afghanistan will be the next Korean DMZ, and dispatch a many thousand strong permanent force to kind of keep a lid on things – which is what we are effectively doing now. And when I say permanent, I mean permanent.
After all these years our “leaders,” I believe, still have not figured out that the Islamists are working on a different calendar than are we. Americans are impatient – Islamists are anything but. When we describe 16 years as our longest “war,” the Islamists laugh. To them, 16 years is the blink of an eye.
They are patient if nothing else. No matter how long we stay – they’ll have a plan to move in the minute we leave. They’ve been doing this tribal dance for centuries before America was even founded. Whether it is a year or two decades from now – it matters little to them in the long haul.
What I’m saying is that Afghanistan is unwinnable. Sooner or later, we’re going to conclude this and eventually pull out. Doing it later than sooner will not change the outcome – so let’s make it sooner and save some Americans from needless death and dismemberment.
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