The Brookings Institute ranked Afghanistan second only to Somalia as the worst viable state in the world. Somalia however, ranks better in security and social welfare. And yet, many of Obama’s allies are vehemently insisting that we need to stay in Afghanistan.
Perhaps I’m harping here; it’s worth harping for the lives of our soldiers and the reputation of our fighting forces. But stay there in what capacity? The intellectual dishonesty on display here is astounding. We are now fighting this war in th way that only a liberal Democrat could envision a war being fought: Without trying to kill the enemy. We have neutered ourselves twice, first by trying counterinsurgency tactics in a land that has very little infrastructure, and then by severely restricting our troops’ ability to fight back. The Taliban are simply not cooperating. They are fighting a hard, irregular war. We are playing catch up instead destroying the problem.
We have the best trained, best equiped soldiers in the world. Do not doubt that they are performing their given mission with the utmost competence and valor. They fight hard–something our NATO allies should learn to do. While NATO sits behind reinforced concrete walls in a “defensive posture”, our troops roam the barren countryside seeking contact with an enemy who knows the limits set upon our soldiers by politicians. We are simply not employing our troops correctly.
Opium is not the issue, either. Not in terms of the war. This is the fight against international terrorism, not a war on drugs. The problem is a lack of a Social Contract in Afghanistan. No honest observer can say that true change will come to Afghanistan in less than several decades–several decades of military intervention. This is simply not acceptable given the payback that America will receive.
The tired old statement that this is the fault of the Bush administration is a moot point, regardless of its truthfulness or lack thereof. And the longer Obama fails admit that we must kill our enemies and then leave, the more his opponents will have a valid argument that this mess is indeed his.