I think I’m losing my patience as I get older. I’d rather not hear anymore about Iraq, and especially Afghanistan.
We Americans are in love with the impossible. No matter how many countries have tried in the past, whatever it is, we can surely do it. We’re Americans.
Afghanistan, in terms of what we want to do, is impossible. We have set out to transform a people. We plan to take a 4th century country, and change its culture, it’s governmental structure, it’s very technology base. We want to do this over several years, with less than 100,000 teachers (soldiers, NGOs, etc). Impossible.
In WWII, the objective was to kill the enemy, up to a point that they surrendered, or to a point where there just wasn’t too may of them left alive. We bombed Dresden, Tokyo, and other major civilian structures into oblivion. Collateral damage was off the chart. Civilian casualties were also off the charts. No more enemy, job done.
We are after Osama Bin Hidin, and his organization. We think he and it is now in Pakistan. We don’t want Afghanistan to become a terrorist staging area. So take the money we save from the war and send up a new spy satellite. Keep a few more SR-71s flying. Buy a few more Global Hawks. But don’t send more troops to chase shadows. Recruit more people into the CIA.
Western Armies are very useful. But, they are best used against other like armies. in Iraq and Afghanistan, they are more like security guards. The biggest killer, the roadside bomb and the suicide bomber, continue with success.
Western Armies are typically very good at swift large scale destruction. The typical America 4 tank platoon routinely trains to defeat 14 or more opposing weapon systems entering their engagement area, in under a few minutes. Unfortunately, this kind of fight doesn’t happen in Afghanistan.
Coaching the Afghans to do their own fighting and ruling is like going through little league with your son. He cant grow up fast enough, no matter how hard you want him to. It’ll take years, and you’ll never be finished.