Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Afghanistan: Tactical Brilliance, Strategic Failure

Meddling in the Muslim world has poisoned us

The embers have gone cold from the latest holy roller Koran burning, but Muslim outrage still flares red hot.  We've bowed, we scraped, but all to no avail...
Our Middle East policymakers can no longer distinguish between evil and stupidity. They go out of their way to genuflect to the scriptures that catalyze our enemies while willfully ignoring bible burning, church burning and infidel burning, which are everyday events in Islamic countries. (Andrew McCarthy – No More Dhimmitude)
Our government is too weak to stand up for our values and too stupid to prevail in propaganda battles with 7th century obscurantists

I have been thinking for quite awhile now that Afghanistan is a failed project and we need to leave.  It pains me to say it; I served over there.

I like to check myself against when I really get to thinking this way, and here’s what I found

Time To Leave Afghanistan?
Below the title was a link to a post at another blog.

There was some back and forth in the comments section of Blackfive, with no one really defending staying, but rather arguing over how to get out and how to deal with future problems emanating from that region. Here are a few typical comments:
"Agree. And if the Taliban miss-behaves or AQ comes back - that's why we buy bombers and drones and train Rangers and SF types. Just knock 'em down again, don't try to make Afghanistan into New Hampshire."

"Yeah, I am also coming around to the opinion that we need to cut sling on these idiots. There was never any nation to rebuild in the first place. (At least with Iraq, we had something to work with) I agree we need to have a plan for the aftermath but I think that almost anything would be better than this waste of our finest men and women and our treasure."
These are not college kids, bankers or angry leftists. They are patriotic warriors who’ve “been there, done that.”

I am not a warrior, but I served with quite a few. I can tell you that leaving that God-forsaken place to whatever fate awaits it would not be a betrayal to anyone who died or was wounded there. We kicked the Taliban’s ass and then we gave the benighted inhabitants a chance to improve their country.  They failed.  Our fighting forces, especially the Army and the Marines, fought like the heroic lions they are. Nothing to be ashamed of.  We win, they lose.  Our forces return to the greatest country in the world, and they remain stuck in the toilet we tried to pull them out of.

Here are excerpts from the original article, written by a libertarian/conservative, socially moderate Army Vet:
It’s time to leave Afghanistan. In fact it’s time to leave most of the Middle-East. We tried folks. We tried to help them. We tried to free them. But the plain facts are they aren’t ready for freedom. They aren’t worth our lives and money. We won the war in 2002 when we removed the Taliban and killed most of Al-Qaida.

Further Reading:
Mark Steyn – Re: Lindsay Graham and the First Amendment
Andrew McCarthy - More on Koran Burning


Anonymous said...

You can add me to that list. I can't say much now, but in a few months, I'll have a lot to say about the MIC.

Silverfiddle said...

I'm eager to hear it, Trestin.

I just want everyone to know that I am not a pacifist, and I believe we need a strong defense. I just can no longer buy that being in Afghanistan is in our national interest.

Let Pakistan, China, Iran and Russia deal with it--it's their neighborhood, not ours. India is the only country in that region worth anything, and worthy of our cooperation.

Anonymous said...

"I just want everyone to know that I am not a pacifist, and I believe we need a strong defense. I just can no longer buy that being in Afghanistan is in our national interest." (Silverfiddle. 2011)

You know I have to agree with you. There was a time that we needed to be in Afhanistan, but that time has long since past. It would be nice, in a perfect world, to know when to come, and when to go. In the real world things are just not that simple, though I wish they were. It would save us all such grief.

Jersey McJones said...

I also agree it's time to leave.

That said - let's look at the domestic politics of it...

Whatever Obama does with regard to Afghanistan will be lambasted by the right. When he escalated, they called it "Obama's war of choice" (nice, sleazy little turnabout there). If he tries to with draw he'll be tarred a capitulator and appeaser, a loser of his owen "war of choice."

Obama needs to go to congress and put the onus on them. If they want to withdraw, then do so. If they demand we stay, and things don't improve, then come back to them and request a new opinion.

Given the Republican reaction to the recent action in Libya, this seems to be the course they rhetorically, at least, demand. So, let them have it. It is and always was THEIR WAR after all.


Silverfiddle said...

That's politics, Jersey.

Obama took ownership when he announced our withdrawal at the same time he announced the troop increase.

Our government (repubs and dems) needs to learn to go big or go home or don't go at all. Libya was a don't go at all.

Anonymous said...

I agree. The job was finished quite some time ago. Somebody forgot to declare victroy and bring our heroes home.

Jersey McJones said...

Yes, that is politics, Silver - sleazy, incorrect, crooked, inhumane politics.

Obama has made his effort to rescue the failed nation-building in Afghanistan. It is now apparent the failure was already fait accompli before Obama ever took office, as was the recession and the housing collapse.

Let's face it - Democrats have plenty of problems, but Republicans can never do a good thing, let alone do it right.


Silverfiddle said...

Yeah, it's all Bush's fault!

You're a broken record Jersey

Most Rev. Gregori said...

I sincerely don't believe it is stupidity on the part of this administration, and unlike Bill O'Reily, I am not willing to give Obama the benefit of the doubt. It is my belief that if Obama is not a Muslim himself, he has enough love for them he is deliberately selling out Israel and the United States to the Muslims.

Everything that is going on both in the middle east and here in the U.S. is just too much to believe it is all coincidence.

Always On Watch said...

Bowing and scraping to Islam is worse than counterproductive! Islam respects "the strong man" -- not the dhimmi.

In my view, we've done exactly the opposite of winning hearts and minds in Afghanistan. I'm sad to be saying this as my USMC cousin is now on active duty there.

Silverfiddle said...

AOW: Your cousin is in excellent hands. Marines know how to take care of themselves and one another. That's the tactical brilliance.

The strategic stupidity comes from DC, including the big building with five sides.

BB-Idaho said...

Good points all; we recall
the USSR foundered in that
area (and the Brits the century prior). As I understand it, the original intent was to
convince the Taliban to hand over bin Ladin. That was nine years ago. Time to

Silverfiddle said...

BB: I am happy we can find a point of agreement every now and then

MathewK said...

"Our government is too weak to stand up for our values and too stupid to prevail in propaganda battles with 7th century obscurantists"

Amazing isn't it, that the western world is confounded and gutless in the face of a bunch of savages and pedophiles.

The problem with places like Afghanistan is that you're essentially trying to turn a nation of savages into some sort of country with a semblance of civility. It cannot happen because the culture is one of barbarity and savagery thanks to a religion/cult that has always been the same and doesn't want to change. Or to use your language, they like the toilet.

If you want them to succeed, you have to burn all their korans, hang all the pedophiles and wife-beaters and covert the rest to Christianity. And we all know that's never going to happen, as it is, enough of the western world is so stupid it would rather replace Christianity with the religion of death and savagery.

Consider yourselves lucky if we don't fashion a toilet of our own.

Silverfiddle said...

MK: Again, you've said it better than I ever could.

We have lost our way and we (our gutless leaders) don't even know if our culture is superior to theirs. As I said, this is dangerous, and if we're really this gutless and stupid we have no business in such a dangerous part of the world.