Wednesday, December 9, 2009

More Afghanistan Commentary

I've let this sit for a while, but the more I think about it, the more ridiculous the war seems to be. And my opinion is very well-supported by recent editorial activity.

For a comparison between our present efforts and those worked by the Soviets long ago, you can check out:

Basically, what we should come to understand is that Afghanistan is not so much a country per se, but rather, various fiefdoms controlled by the local population and the applicable warlord. The Taliban is free to terrorize the enclaves, hide out among them or even, just stay quiet and out wait us...our recent troop commitments are either feeble, or else the administration is being hugely disingenuous with the American public. Either way, this war, conducted according to the published plans is a bad idea, and I suppose that we will spend years, untold resources and our credibility in achieving a result no more satisfying than what the Soviets did.

A better idea is to concentrate on building morale within the local population (which presently often sees us as unwelcome occupiers) by erecting schools, constructing infrastructure and showing them societal alternatives. The following article by Nick Kristof beautifully illustrates this point:

If we proceeded as Mr. Kristof suggests, we would save money ($30 billion per year funds plenty of schools), preserve our integrity and quite possibly, actually do some good in Afghanistan.

This war effort now belongs to Obama, and in typical "waffling" fashion, he has somehow managed to immerse us in ambiguity. Are we committing troops for the long haul or is there a disengagement planned for 2011? Does fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan make any difference, or are they simply going to maintain their positions in Pakistan? For that matter, will either the Pakistan or Afghanistan governments really lift a finger to help us? There are so many questions and so few answers emanating from our government that it is positively disgusting.

The American people do not like this war. Those families who are contributing soldiers like it even less. I believe that we deserve better than to do what we are doing which is to "back into" an ill-advised military strategy in Afghanistan.