My younger brother, Vincenzo, returned from the greater Kandahar metropolitan area yesterday. He's finished a year-long tour of duty that he'd started while my baby brother Gomez was still there. For the first time in a long time, both of my younger brothers aren't in the theatre of war. It's a relief for my family, but there are other families that have members still involved in a war with no real objectives, and no real exit strategy. The military presence hasn't been matched by adequate humanitarian aid or diplomatic efforts.
Personally, I think our biggest failure in Afghanistan was our lack of involvement in the region after the Afghan-Soviet War. We armed a coalition of tribal partisans, nationalists, and religious fanatics to the teeth and trained them how to wage a guerrilla war with modern weapons, and set them loose, then made no efforts to get them to stand down and to learn to form a normalized, modernized society. We blew it then, we blew it in 2001, and we're still blowing it, and the end result is lost and shattered lives (both NATO and Afghan) Right now, our policy is, basically, to swat mosquitoes with a howitzer- it's dangerous, counterproductive, and destined to be unsuccessful.
It's time to bring all of the NATO troops home.