Sunday, December 28, 2014

Afghan War, Now 90% Over!

Finally, after thirteen years, the war in Afghanistan is "formally" over- or 90% over, as about 14,000 troops are staying in-country. The Soviet war in Afghanistan was was a bit shorter. It has to be noted that the U.S. government backed, trained and armed the Muslim fanatics who created the Taliban and Al Qaeda in order to fight a proxy war against the Soviets.

As if that weren't bad enough, we didn't maintain a large presence in order to create the civil society that could have enabled a peaceful Afghanistan to develop. Now, a quarter century later, Afghanistan is still a mess, and still a threat. We used to treat our enemies well, and helped them to rebuild after armistices- at some point, we started treating our "allies" poorly, with predictable results. Well, now the Afghan War is 90% over, why am I not 90% happy?


mikey said...

2300 American dead. We don't count the Afghans, but you can assume that American firepower killed them in very large numbers. A trillion dollars - yes, that's a thousand billion, if you're counting - spent to what end? That's the most appalling thing, isn't it? Nobody can say why. What we were doing, why we were doing it, what might be accomplished.

That said, a few quibbles. Funding and arming the resistance to the Soviet occupation was in fact the RIGHT way to do war - not understanding the very simple concept of 'blowback' is pathetic, and worthy of questioning.

Enemies are not nation states today, and it's important to understand 21st century warfare, which, sadly, the Pentagon has failed to get their mind around....

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

The War Is Over


Chickpea said...

The hatred and fear of communists,and now the hatred and fear of muslims and the wars that have been fought because of it. Do we never learn or are we doomed to repeat our mistakes. Same shit different enemies.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

. Well, now the Afghan War is 90% over, why am I not 90% happy?

Because, first of all, using percentages to express both of those things is pretty much meaningless and I would actually expect better from you rhetorically.

Also, it is the kind of reductionist arguing that refuses to acknowledge that sometimes, backing off from this stupid all-military foreign policy is difficult and needs to be done in steps. It's a bitter point of view for people who think there is a magic political character that will solve everything in the stroke of three Bully Pulpit Pronouncements and two Hail Naders,

It's easy to say this is too little, too late; but if we try to consider alternatives, is there any possibilty that RMoney/Ryan would have even bothered? Or that they were far more likely to re-direct the Perpetual War Machine to some other poor mideast sector?

Smut Clyde said...

We used to treat our enemies well, and helped them to rebuild after armistices

Izzat generally so, or is the Marshall Plan something of an anomaly, a response to Cold War exigencies?

The thing to remember is that Afghanistan was never an enemy, it was just a battlefield -- first with the Soviet Union, then with the more nebulous concept of Islamic Terror -- and no-one has ever cared about treating battlefields well... nor the people so foolish as to inhabit them.