” I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy the enemies of the United States of America, in close combat.”
This is a line from the Soldier’s Creed. Yes, killing people who want to kill US citizens IS the military’s number one job. And we should be killing the right people in Afganistan. But or current “strategy” is a flop. Actually, it’s a lack of a realistic strategy that’s going to flatline our war effort. Counterinsurgency you say? Protecting the people in order to gain their trust and fight the real enemy–the Taliban? Nope, not a strategy, sorry. Counterinsurgency is a technique, not a strategy. We are fighting the equivalent of Islamic backwoods rednecks. The Taliban is not Al-Qaeda–a global terrorist network financed and run by non-state extremists. Remember, the Taliban was the Afgan State before our invasion in 2001. The Taliban never attacked the United States. They did not run terror schools. They made the mistake of harboring Al-Qaeda and refusing the US access to the training camps when we asked them for admittance. Were it not for the foolish ideology of Mullah Omar, the Taliban’s leader, the fundamentalists would be fully in power to this day, and no one would be calling Afghanistan “The Right War.” We never cared that the Taliban was in power and we shouldn’t care now, because the people there don’t seem to care much themselves. Do we really think that some country bumpkins with AK-47s could take over without the people’s support? No tanks, assault helicopters, satellites; just stacks of dusty Korans and belt-fed machine guns and the whole country belonged to the Taliban. Add in a few public beheadings for entertainment, and you’ve got the Afghan populace hooked. Oh–don’t forget the magic of opium.
Can we make Afghanistan into a viable democracy? No. Will we endear ourselves to the peoples in remote villages? No. Can we transform the populace into Western-minded lovers of Law and Order? Never. Afghanistan is NOT Iraq.
It’s fortunate for the Obama administration that Afghanistan resides in the Dark Ages. Had it organization and up-to-date technology, like North Vietnam did in the Indo-China conflict, we’d be having an even rougher time because we’re making similar mistakes. No strategy, just walk around in random places hoping to kill things, all the while putting troops in danger of ambush. We refused to invade North Vietnam for understandable political reasons: We didn’t want China to get involved. But we really didn’t try to fight a defensive war either. We didn’t seal the border. We got distracted by Vietcong guerrillas who were never the real threat. Just like in Afghanistan. We’re concentrating on the dope smokers in the hills instead of the remnants of Al-Qaeda in the mountains of Pakistan. Our Soldiers and Marines are dying for it, too.