Some like to claim that America is built on greed and corruption. That all’s that’s needed to make lots of money is an overriding love for money.
After seeing Afghanistan and getting a picture for what’s happening here, I can honestly say that most people in the US don’t understand real systemic and cultural corruption. The only side that many people are on here is the side that can pay them the most money, NATO or Taliban. Or the side that threatens them the most.
Almost daily, in my week of flying around Logar and Sayed Abad Districts, the areas I was in were attacked by rockets, and RPGs. One time, a US route clearance team was attacked by a group of insurgents right outside the gate of the FOB I was staying at. For almost an hour, I could hear small arms fire before the insurgents were finally driven off.
There is virtually no one that can be trusted in this country.
The distrust of Americans is largely born from Taliban and HIG terror. Fear works. Guns work. Propaganda works. Nothing will happen here until security is established. We hand out money, build roads, schools, waterworks, electrical grids, but still the Taliban move in at night and threaten the people. Cooperation with NATO and ISAF means death. The fear is more powerful than our gifts. And even when we can get the tribes to cooperate for more than a day, their military simply does not have the tradition of discipline that ours does. We were blessed by the Prussians. Afghanistan is cursed a warrior spirit combined with no regard for order.
If we win, it will be by an inexorable crawl to victory. Nothing will be quick. And we still need more troops. 100,000 more probably. That won’t happen. So we’ll do everything right here, but have no promise of victory. We need to be in more places at once.
But now I know just how much is right with America.