I don't think a war is winnable in Afghanistan. Even if we won... how would we know???? I mean… Hamid Karzai is President of WHAT, exactly? A city block, perhaps? We KNOW he cannot speak for the entire country. So who does? Who will come to the surrender table and sign the surrender documents? Who?
Look, the Afghanis have been fighting, since, well, FOREVER! As far back as Afghan history goes there is the parallel story of an Afghan insurgency. Look it up! For the last 30 years Afghanistan has been fighting a civil war. Now, recall the trepidation our Congress had over US troops becoming involved in a civil war in Iraq. Remember? Now, however, with one of their own in the White House, it is perfectly OK to involve American troops in a civil war in Afghanistan? How do they figure that?
I learned recently that we have dropped more bombs on Afghanistan that we have dropped on Iraq! I also learned that the Afghanistan police force we have been training... well, it seems they are being killed off faster than we can get them trained, in uniform, and out on the streets! Afghanistan is a wild and wooly place.
Now, I am not one of those gung-ho armchair generals who is all for inserting US troops into a fight and when the going gets rough raise cries to Congress to get them out! No, that is not my way. BUT, having said that, I understand there is a time and a place to fight and a time and a place to not get involved. Problem is… we are already involved.
There is the story, and I cannot confirm it, that among the brave men in the Alamo, so outnumbered by Santa Anna’s Mexican Army and facing certain defeat and death, the commanding officer Travis brought them together and explained the situation and invited those who wanted to leave to do so. The story goes that one Frenchman, a former solider in Napoleon’s army, elected to leave. When asked why an obviously brave man would choose to leave, he answered that if there was even a slim chance of winning he would stay and fight to the death. But no such chance existed. Therefore to stay, and die, would be a waste. So he went over the wall and away to safety.
We cannot win in Afghanistan. Not ever. The best we can hope for is to be able to manage the fighting. But an outright victory is unattainable. It ain’t gonna happen. Unfortunately, we may even wind up with a “meat grinder” situation, much like Vietnam, with a steady stream of American bodies being flown back to the states for burial.
Some say we CAN win the war in Afghanistan, but first we must win the hearts and minds of the Afghanis. That is pure bovine scatology. Again, for those of you too young to remember, that was the policy in Vietnam. Winning the hearts and minds of the ordinary people. The problem is, you see, the ordinary Afghani does not think or exist as the ordinary American does. Where that policy might work on the people of a western culture, it has a snowball’s chance in hell of working on an eastern culture. It is not even worth consideration.
And there is the dope. The national economy is founded on the growing of Opium/Heroin poppies in Afghanistan. If we destroy the dope fields, and if, somehow, we make it impossible for them to grow the dope, what will they replace it with? Have you seriously looked at the land there?
“U.N. drug control officers said the Taliban religious militia has nearly wiped out opium production in Afghanistan -- once the world's largest producer -- since banning poppy cultivation last summer.
Last year, Afghanistan produced nearly 4,000 tons of opium, about 75 percent of the world's supply, U.N. officials said. Opium -- the milky substance drained from the poppy plant -- is converted into heroin and sold in Europe and North America. The 1999 output was a world record for opium production, the United Nations said -- more than all other countries combined, including the "Golden Triangle," where the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet.” SOURCE.
The State Department counter narcotics official said the department would make its own estimate of the poppy crop. Information received so far suggests there will be a decrease, but how much is not yet clear, he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
"We do not think by any stretch of the imagination that poppy cultivation in Afghanistan has been eliminated. But we, like the rest of the world, welcome positive news."
The Drug Enforcement Administration declined to comment.” SOURCE. (Note: This story dates from 1999) Did the DEA know something the others didn’t? My guess is that they did and they do.)
There has never been a successful invasion and occupation of Afghanistan by a military force of any size.
Even today the flow of arms, coming into Afghanistan from Pakistan, remains unabated. Some say Iran is behind the arms smuggling. There is the suspicion that Russia is actually aiding the insurgency as a way to retaliate against the US and NATO. Some reports have Iran assisting the illicit opium and heroin trade as a way to weaken the western efforts in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan is most likely the most lawless place on the planet today. To bring any semblance of peace to that country will take far and away more troops than we have committed to the effort today and far more troops than we have to commit.
But, it is now Obama’s War. Regardless of what the liberal press tells you Obama’s stamp IS on the Afghan War. He cannot duck this one.
It will be most interesting over the next year or two to see how the Obama press will handle the reports coming out of Afghanistan as they try to put a successful face on a hopeless cause. And try they will. Never doubt it.