Lack of strategic goals in Afgan war brings Vietnam to mind

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” 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.


2 thoughts on “Lack of strategic goals in Afgan war brings Vietnam to mind

    Bill said:
    August 5, 2009 at 6:10 am

    YOu’ve really opened my eyes up regarding Afghanistan recently. It’s like the whole world, present company included, forgot what a screwed up place it is (thinking bafck to when we gave them 35 milllion as a partner in the drug war – a few months prior to 9/11 – or when we gave them additional aid and they blew up the Buddhist statues). After that YouTube vid though of our soldiers discussing their soldiers – Jesus H , I was immediately sold on the “lets get the f*ck out of there” line of thought. Just for entertainment value, we should find Omar and put him back in power – he might be a nut but he seriously challenged GW to a Duel in dowtown Kabul – GW would have kicked his a55 all over the place but from a purely entertainment POV, he’s worth having around.

    The only thing I can say about it though is that I hope no more US servicemen are wounded, killed, hurt or maimed over there. And I hope that all the poor natives who want out of that hellhole can get out. At first I thought the “Dark Ages” comments were hyperbole but as I’ve followed up on what you’ve been posting – that’s about as accurate a desrcription as one can make. Here we are where 4g network connectivity is available to pretty much everyone I know (here) and over there people are still chopping off limbs. What a tragedy

    Amos Volante said:
    August 9, 2009 at 2:22 am

    I have a coworker there now.

    The sad thing with Afghanistan is simple; obviously we can’t do shit there, any more than if the Juarez Police Dept invaded the shanty village in Anapra, so it again goes back to a policy problem.


    If your fish tank is filthy it won’t do any good to toss some more fish food in there.

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