Monday, September 28, 2009

The Absurd Idea of 'Winning in Afghanistan"

Twice in the past 24 hours I heard a US Government official speak of 'winning the war in Afghanistan. The latest was Defense Secretary Gates. Winning in Afghanistan is about as absurd as that idiotic concept during the Bush years: winning in Iraq. After all, the salient question is: what does 'win' mean?

When was the last 'win' in a war in which the U.S. was involved? WWII, perhaps. Clearly not Korea or Vietnam, and hardly Iraq. These last two were particularly specious anyhow and begged the question, What are we fighting for, anyhow? The Bush Propaganda Team attempted to link Iraq with 9-11 and many ill-informed citizens waved their patriotic flags and nodded and yelled in lockstep.

Fortunately, the truth won out and the voices muted and the flags were taken down, not before 4000 deaths and 30,000 injured American troops.

And now Afghanistan. The 9-11 link. Eight long years of fighting an illusive enemy which has morphed into fighting a well-armed and entrenched group of fundamentalists who wish to keep Afghanistan locked into a middle ages society. The al Qaeda 'guests' of the Taliban are mostly dead or gone.

The question arises: does the United States continue to fight the Taliban on the chance that al Qaeda may reform in the mountains there? If so, will the US be unable to watch them from their drones? And, what are the chances of another 9-11 style event, now that our nation has stringent anti-terror methods in place?

Seems to me that we ought to pull our troops out and continue aerial surveillance as the preferred method of gaining intelligence against al Qaeda.

One final question: what about Pakistan?

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