Why are we in Afghanistan? We shouldn’t be.

I don’t understand why we are in Afghanistan. I don’t understand what we are fighting  for. I don’t understand what our men – and women – are getting wounded and dying for. I don’t know, even, how we would know if we were winning.

We are paying for truck companies to bring supplies in from Pakistan and up the highways across Afghanistan that, in many cases, we paid to build; then the truckers have to pay off the Taliban to pass on those highways. Or get killed. We are fighting the Taliban and funding them. And we can’t stop because we need the supplies to fight the Taliban but, if we were not fighting them, they wouldn’t be getting all that money. It is more bazaar than Catch 22.

Our strategy is to develop Afghanistan but almost everybody we hire is corrupt and Karzai’s family is especially corrupt. Because we are there, houses in Kabul rent for over $6,000 per month. The owners now live in Bahrain or Dubai, or some other nice safe place on the Gulf Coast. Drug export is a – if not the –  major source of export income for Afghanistan and  the counter narcotics mission is a waste of time and resources that just alienates the Afghans we are trying to get on our side.

Paradoxically, under Obama we now have more troops in Afghanistan so we can fight the “big war” with American troops, just as we did in Vietnam. The plan in Afghanistan is to flood an area with troops, secure it, then rebuild it, and leave then new, rebuilt area, in control of our “good” Afghan allies. In Vietnam, this was called the Oil-blot Strategy with fortified Strategic Hamlets. It doesn’t work.

When Obama first started talking about Afghanistan being the good war, I thought it sounded like such a good idea. I was wrong – which means nothing – and Obama was wrong – which means alot. We should get out. Say it was a mistake, say we got Osama and we won, say whatever; just get out. This will not end well and it is time to cut our losses.

 

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