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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 10/6/12

Let's Leave Afghanistan; What Is the Problem?

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As many readers know I have written several articles regarding Afghanistan on OEN. They have to do with our country recognizing that we have lost still another war that we caused and was a result of sheer ignorance and arrogance.

Imagine my surprise when I read an article by Anna Mulrine,  Staff writer for the Christian Science Monitor entitled Afghanistan: Why don't we leave now? It can be argued that there are a few of us sane writers left, noting that the mainstream media hardly gives a thought to Afghanistan today let alone our insurmountable problems there.

Mulrine wrote, "Why can't we just leave Afghanistan now?" That makes a bit of sense when one considers that is exactly what the Soviet Red Army did after eight years of war ending in defeat. They left with their tail between their legs rather unceremoniously. The same is true of the British Empire who tried for years during the 19th Century to tame this wild land. Going back a few thousand years Afghanistan resisted successfully other empires including Alexander, the Great. These were lessons in history that our leaders ignored, and, can you imagine the absolute absurdity of our military leaders when we invaded this country the size of Texas with 3500 ground troops in Oct. 2001!

It is not that Afghanistan has some great military machine to defend its country. She cannot afford it. She is one of the poorest countries on Earth, her military ranks at the bottom of the scale, and she is at the bottom as a threat to the national security of any nation in her region let alone the mighty U.S. a half a world away.

What Afghanistan does have are extremely high mountains with extremely steep passes that rival the Himalayas where a few can hold off an enemy regiment. From their hideouts in the mountains raids can be made on their enemies after which they scurry back to their hideaways. Combine this with their fierce independence and a total reliance on their tribe. They cannot tolerate even an Afghan central government, let alone outsiders like the British, Soviets, and Americans.

Still another factor is that Afghan society is one that lives by the gun. The average 12-year old boy in Afghanistan is a sharpshooter with an AK-47. That might be a slight exaggeration but the reader gets my point. The average Afghan has a gun, knows how to use it, and has been using it to kill others. It is a way of life in Afghanistan. Moreover, the average American views the Afghan people as being from a different planet. I cannot stress this more strongly. The Afghan people have a perfect right to live just the way they want to live. They don't have much, but who gave Westerners the right to determine their fate?

The above paragraphs mirrors another society with its high mountains, steep passes, warlike defiance, and an urge for fierce independence, the American Indian in our vast West during 19th Century. How did the U.S. military solve the Indian problem? We eradicated the Indian. After we took their lands we killed most of them, including women and children, and imprisoned the rest on reservations, many of which still exist today.

Is this how we solve the Afghan problem? Well, that is not done these days, but the two societies parallel one another. The Afghan will never accept a Western-oriented central government in Kabul with its corruption and weakness self-evident. The Afghan has never accepted a central government.   They rely -- you guessed it -- on the tribe. Sound familiar? 3,000 years of history ought to prove something.

The logic of our situation is inescapable. The only way to subdue the Afghan is to eradicate him. Since we cannot possibly do that in the 21st Century, the only other option is leave now. Eleven years of war and futility ought to prove something.

To paraphrase President Clinton it depends on what the meaning of the word now is. Mulrine is a Pentagon staff writer for CSM. There is little doubt that she is familiar with the logistics of the situation in Afghanistan. There is little doubt that she did not mean dropping everything, meaning our trucks, APC'S, tanks, computers and what all else, and head for the exits. No one is suggesting that. What Mulrine is talking about is a directive for an orderly strategic withdrawal from the region "now," meaning the very near future. No other recourse makes sense. Americans have had it with Afghanistan.

To illustrate, Obama and Romney rarely mention Afghanistan. This forgotten war has even been all but forgotten by our two Presidential candidates.

Following the statement made above, Mulrine added, "It's the unspoken question that top Pentagon officials are endeavoring to answer in their assurances that America must stay its course in the war-torn country." What follows is the usual pious platitudes from a military high command that is facing defeat and their political cronies. The comments are similar to Hitler who proclaimed that a German victory was inevitable as German cities were burning while his armies were retreating on every front.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, stressed recently that the surge's purpose was "to buy us some time on some Taliban initiatives," he said, adding "and to buy us some space to grow the Afghan security forces." Well, that did not work.

But Dempsey says it did with a caveat that suggests Obama's plan did not work. Read between the lines to understand what Dempsey said. "The surge had its intended effect. I think it was an effort that was worth the cost -- and don't forget, it did have its cost."

Despite Dempsey's feel good remarks that fell well short of being encouraging, there is this indisputable fact. With the sharp increase of green-on-blue attacks on US forces, the joint Afghan-American patrols that are a key part of the training mission were suspended, deemed too dangerous to risk American lives. The good general failed to mention that fact.

The innocuous comments continue. The dunce cap for obsequious remarks is awarded to Anthony Cordesman, an Afghanistan analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, who estimates that it will take "at least 13 months to clear the equipment we've got deployed. People forget that there are very real physical limits. We cannot leave the things behind at random -- they're worth too much and are potentially dangerous." True, we cannot leave behind our tanks, APC's, drone aircraft, trucks, computers, and God knows what all else, but we can leave behind airfields and mega bases that we built to the tune of hundreds of billion dollars. His remark implies that he knows that the vast majority of Americans and our leaders want out yesterday. But Cordesman says we have to wait at least 13 months. That is total nonsense and an insult to our military. If our military forces in Afghanistan got the word we are leaving, gather up your sh*t, and let's go, it would take two months, three months tops. Folks on the home front are not the only ones who want us to leave now.

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I am the author of two novels, "The Bode Testament" and "Impeachment." I am also a columnist who keeps a wary eye on other columnists and the failures of the MSM (mainstream media). I was born in Minnesota, and, to this day, I love the Vikings (more...)
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