Friday, October 16, 2015

Wishful Thinking!

So Obama is not withdrawing our military from Afghanistan next year as promised.  That he has broken his promise to end this longest war we’ve ever been in is not a surprise.  After what happened in Iraq when we left there (you may recall the country went in the toilet and is still in it) there has been mounting pressure to not repeat the same ‘mistake’ in Afghanistan.  The point that is lost, of course, is that it wasn’t a mistake.  Nor would getting out of Afghanistan be a mistake.

I can accept the broken promise part.  What I cannot accept is the ongoing wrong conclusion that a U.S. military presence can fix a country that is broken.  It has never happened and this is not going to be the first time.  There is a better chance in Afghanistan than there was in Iraq because we are being asked to stay by a government that at least on the surface is trying to follow a path toward a better future.

But ‘better chance’ doesn’t guarantee a different result.  Hey, this is Afghanistan, guys.  What’s going on follows in the proud tradition of centuries of clans, violence, corruption and disunity.  It has a different face, with a central government in Kabul and an effective enemy in the Taliban, but the basics haven’t changed.  And a few thousand Americans aren’t going to change this flow of historical inevitability.

So Obama can kick the can down the road and leave the problem for the next president who may or may not engage in the same kind of wishful thinking that we’re seeing now.  My bet: It’ll be more wishful thinking.  Good luck to us all.


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