President Obama gave another speech last night about the Afghan war. Here is a nikitas3.com editorial encore from Spring 2011 advocating an end to US involvement in that nation.
After the killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, and after the murder in late April of nine Americans – 8 soldiers and one civilian contractor – in Afghanistan by a veteran Afghan military pilot said to be frustrated over his private life, it is time to read the handwriting on the wall and pull all of our troops out of Afghanistan entirely and immediately.
We don’t really even know what the real instigation was for the Afghan killing in the first place. It could well have been a Taliban hit job masquerading as a personal crisis.
Whatever it was, we need to use it as a convenient excuse to leave. And whatever happens in Afghanistan afterwards happens. America cannot save a nation from itself.
Which brings up the question: What are we doing in Afghanistan anyway? Why did we go there in October 2001?
It is a mystery. After the 9/11 attacks, we could have run bin Laden out of Afghanistan – perhaps even killed him – with special-ops attacks and some well-placed cruise missiles. We could have destroyed every terror training camp in the country with smart bombs and drone attacks. After all, we can see everything with satellite surveillance. So why did we commit our troops to that nation?
Answer: It was part of George Bush’s post-9/11 strategy which has not only cost more than 5,000 American lives, but tens of thousands dead in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with extreme disruption of those nations.
Sure the Taliban was brutal, but what else is new. It is a brutal part of the world. What are we going to do? Police every neighborhood in the Middle East?
The people of that region are not prepared for democracy. Even in post-Mubarak Egypt, where freedom is alleged to be breaking out all over, a public opinion poll showed a frightening lack of awareness of the meaning of liberty. Afghanistan is much worse, and, unlike Egypt, it is of zero national security interest to America.
Meanwhile the terrorists who were training in Afghanistan before 9/11 have moved to safer havens and, frankly, they have changed their strategy too. They now work in small, disconnected cells like the Mumbai hotel attackers. Or they operate out in the open like the Fort Hood murderer, relying on Western apathy and political correctness to allow them to do their dirty deeds.
Indeed while we cannot even stop a known maniac from committing murder on a US Army base in Texas (Fort Hood), we certainly are not going to tame a feral, uncivilized boondocks full of competing tribes and radical political factions like Afghanistan.
Long known as The Good War in contrast to Iraq, Afghanistan today is a bleak failure. It is not a real society with any organization that we can compare to the West. It is a nation full of disparate clans with conflicting interests. There is no developed infrastructure like roads and water and sewers and an electrical grid. And worst of all, the people there no longer want us around after almost 10 years of war and occupation.
So what are we doing there? Who and what are we defending?
Answer: Nobody really knows.
Indeed the American critics who said that we cannot impose our Western-style democracy on the Middle East were absolutely correct. Iraq has been a disaster. We have upset that nation’s social/political balance which a brutal dictator unfortunately maintained.
Meanwhile quagmires in Afghanistan have defeated forces as dissimilar as Alexander the Great and the brutal Soviet communist army. And it is not the type of place where any democracy will last – tenuous as it is today – unless we want to make it a permanent US military outpost. And even then, it would be nothing more than a rattlesnake that will bite us again and again.
In addition, do not have the money any more to fight on in the Middle East. We are spending deficit money now on everything, and Afghanistan is what might be called the ‘low hanging fruit’ of debt relief. We should bring our troops home now and stop spending billions on a nation halfway around the world that is of no security interest to the US.
Here is a great idea: Pull our troops out of Afghanistan and put them in our airports for security, and on our southern border to repel the hordes coming in. These deployments would be much cheaper and infinitely less dangerous than Afghanistan, and our good soldiers would be close to home.
Yes, that’s much better.
Please visit my website at www.nikitas3.com for more. You can read excerpts from my book, Right Is Right, which explains why only conservatism can maintain our freedom and prosperity.