"Can we guarantee a future? No," he adds. "Yes, it has been an incredibly costly and frustrating decade . And yes, we do not seem to have clear plans for the future."
However, he adds, "We can create a situation where we can show the world that we were not defeated, and at the same time avoid a decision that would deprive Afghanistan of any chance of stability." In all cases emphasis is mine. Cordesman fails to note that the lack of "stability," which is a euphemism for the Afghan's 3,000-year history of distaining a central government, preferring the tribe to provide security along with local and social needs, is a matter of their choice, not ours. They don't want what Americans want for them. Want proof. Over eleven years of fruitless war, and our leaders are too dumb to have learned that simple fact. The "show the world" comment is incomprehensible at best and illustrates that Afghans do not live in a different world. Cordesman does.
I do not necessarily wish to pick on Cordesman. He was simply a convenient target thanks to Ms. Mulrine. He is representative of the ludicrous remarks we hear from the President to the Pentagon publicity strategists to the generals. He was merely a servant to his leaders. They all fail to realize that Americans have learned of the follies of bad wars like Iraq and Afghanistan. Our leaders simply have not learned that lesson yet. Only God knows when they will.
In the meantime the actual enemy, the supposedly declining Taliban, has surged in its southern homeland. They recently launched the most devastating attack on a military base of the war, resulting in at least $200 million in allied loses. It's their first attack that might even faintly be compared to those the Vietnamese launched against American bases in the 1960s.
Earlier, I stated that the joint Afghan-American patrols that are a key part of the training mission have been suspended, deemed too dangerous to risk American lives. Those patrols were recently reinstated. Guess what happened next.
After a heavy weekend of violence, in still another green-on-blue incident a suicide bomber attacked NATO and Afghan forces, killing at least 14 on Oct 1st in the southeastern town of Khost. The attack came just two days after the 2,000th American died in Afghanistan in a green-on-blue confrontation between US and Afghan soldiers southwest of Kabul.
The Christian Science Monitor reported recently that while the US has seen a consistent drop in the rate of fatalities starting last year, attacks by Afghan soldiers and police on NATO forces have become a high-profile problem with no obvious solution.
Gen. John Allen, the top US commander in Afghanistan, expressed his frustration about insider attacks and warned that more should be expected. He stated, ""I'm mad as hell about them, to be honest with you. We're going to get after this. It reverberates everywhere, across the United States. You know, we're willing to sacrifice a lot for this campaign. But we're not willing to be murdered for it."
"At some level, when you make a decision to continue waging a war, losing lives and money, you make a decision that hopefully what you can get in exchange for that is worth it," says Stephen Biddle, professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University and a former adviser to retired Gen. David Petraeus.
"At some point it will reach the point where what we get is no longer worth American lives."
Tom Engelhardt of TomDispatch and Arthur Bright , staff writer for the Christian Science Monitor contributed to this report.
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