Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The End of Afghanistan

The Taliban are celebrating the victory of their system over our system. But how could it have been any other way. Afghanistan is not an entity in and of itself. Its ties to Pakistan and Iran meant that the Taliban would not go away until the Pakistani and Iranian regimes did. We could have cut the supply lines, but that is something we chose not to do in Korea. We haven't done it in Iraq. And that turned the Taliban into the proxy armies of Iran and elements of Pakistan.

This particular mistake is one that we have kept making over and over again in every war from Korea on up. The Cold War mentality of refusing to be drawn into larger conflicts has bled us and gotten us into unwinnable conflicts against guerrillas who are cannon fodder for their masters. We rack up kill ratios against the cannon fodder, who retreat and regroup, accept fresh supplies from their backers, recruit more peasants, and come back at us again.

Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Four wars and the same lesson that General MacArthur was drummed out for trying to get through Truman's thick head, has still gone unlearned. After almost a 100,000 dead, we still suffer from a political and military leadership that refuses to understand that the micro-conflict is unwinnable without either confronting the puppet masters or driving out the civilian population who provide shelter and manpower to the insurgents.

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