Sunday, March 18, 2012


Our ‘war ‘ in Afghanistan is a disaster. If you’re surprised, you haven’t been paying attention.

Our goal (10 years ago) was to prevent Al Qaeda from using Afghanistan as a safe haven and – I guess – to get rid of the Taliban. About the former, that happened long ago. The safe haven has relocated to Pakistan. About the latter, they’re waiting in the wings and ready to come back.

But somewhere along the way this war on ‘terror’ morphed into working with a new Afghan government, which is in place and corrupt from top to bottom. And doing a few other things.

We decided that counter-insurgency was a good idea – winning the hearts and minds of the people by going out to the villages, working with them, being benevolent occupiers. That goal never got off the ground, and now the Afghan President, who is mad at us, is telling us to stay in our armed bases and stay away from the villages. So much for the hearts and minds.

Also it seemed like a good idea to train the Afghan military and police so they could take over security in their country. A noble idea – absolutely impossible to achieve in a generation, let alone a few years. So their internal security is woeful.

I say we go back to a simpler idea. Get our troops out of there – so we stop having them killed and wounded, and at the same time keep them from killing innocent civilians and children. That’s win-win.

Set up an effective network of spies and local informants who will help us direct our drones to blow up bad guys. Do this in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, whether they like it or not. And about the Paks, Afghanistan is an easy problem compared to what it would take to turn Pakistan around. Ain’t gonna happen.

So we can save money and lives and keep suppressing terrorists. We just have to admit how most of what we’ve done up to now has been a misguided disaster.


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