I suppose just about any theory could be right, but from what we know regarding the Mideast is whatever we think or predict is usually wrong. Maybe, had we gone into Afghanistan and quickly marginalized al Qaeda, then worked a deal with Pakistan, we could have left shortly after entering that region. But we never quite know in the Mideast, and it's because the reality of the mideast is very, very foreign to the US. We will likely never understand one another. The best we can do is let the nations of that region know that we are prepared to leave and never interfere again, but, if attacked, we'll return with force -- not with money, and troops as sitting ducks, but with plain force. Otherwise, let's declare peace and move forward. If can peacefully trade, then let's trade, but let's stop killing one another, because in the War on Terror, there are no winners, just plenty of losers.
Entries in Pakistan (14)
The Editors at NRO are smart people, and I can't think of any ulterior motive they would have supporting a continued effort in Afghanistan. Obviously, they really believe that staying longer and fighting harder in Afghanistan will eventually create a situation in which we can leave the country in relative stability free from Taliban and al Qaeda control, and the danger of terrorists getting hold of Pakistan's weapons will be dealt with. Or, do they believe, like McCain believes, that we need a permanent base in Afghanistan?
That has to be the case, because only with a permanent base can we influence events, but even then, a base will be a constant source of attacks and high costs. Having bases in Germany and Japan after WWII was much different from a base in Afghanistan. The people in the region are not as industrious and civilized as the Germans and Japanese. The Japanese were not as civilized and reasonable as the Germans, but the people of Afghanistan are dangerously ignorant and religiously fanatic, for the most part. I don't know how we could control a base in that region without having constant armed conflicts, and at some point the Arab League, Russia and China would protest in the UN our presence there.
I just don't understand NRO. The only other possible reason I can think of for Americans to support a continued effort is that we want to save face. This is a dangerous reason to stay in the war, and it puts troops at risk for political reasons. There are ways to leave and declare victory, and there are ways to leave without it turning into another Viet-Nam -- these are weak rationalizations. With the weapons technology we have now, we can control the small groups of Taliban and al Qaeda from lounge chairs on a beach. The reality is that our enemies are scattered and rag-tag, but they can make us look foolish if we continue to think foolishly. Let's find a way out, get out, and never look back.
Although I think it's past time to streamline our national defense, we still need to keep in mind the difference between military interventionism and national defense. Creating small special force units in Afghanistan and Pakistan and the mideast in general will not make our interventions invisible and consequence free. The region will react to small interventions in the same way they react to big interventions. As long as we maintain a military presence in the mideast which attempts to influence governments and tribes, there will be suspicion and resentment. The idea that we are just now training Afghanistan forces is ludricrous, whether it's true or not. We've had time to train the military forces of 20 nations.
The Big Heads of our military/industrial complex are planning a decades long presence in Afghanistan and Pakistan and any other mideast country they feel needs adjustment. This will be less expensive in the short-run, and it'll be sold as minor involvement to ensure Afghanistan troops can handle any challenges, but long term it will waste billions of dollars and create far more enemies than are eliminated.
We should be very concerned if the new plan is to create hi-tech, invisible killing groups with general directives to stealthily intervene and influence. They'll be hidden from the public eye, and it'll no doubt evolve into a small group of technocratic military leaders within the State controlling the direction throughout the mideast, or attempting to control. I expect to read revelations of abuse from these new missions, with each revelation dismissed as conspiracy lunacy -- there will be a joke about black helicopters thrown in for good measure. From Clinton to Bush to Obama, our Presidents are a tad too enthralled with the hi-tech potential for power games and intrique. This kind of dark, secret power is too dangerous in the hands of a few individuals. Congress has to step up their oversight -- transparency, although all hawks will resist it by claiming a vital need for secrecy, has to be part of any military transformation.
Perhaps Obama can stop campaigning and smearing industrious Americans long enough to realize that by keeping US troops in the mideast he's putting their lives in danger for no good reason except political expediency, but expediency is no good reason, but expediency is no good reason. This is criminal. The US had better wake up and get out of this region before anymore lives are wasted and before the whole situation implodes.
Here's an excerpt:
Fourteen U.S. soldiers were also killed in combat-related incidents in June, the largest loss of life among U.S. troops in Iraq since 2008, according to CNN figures.
The roughly 47,000 American troops in Iraq are due to withdraw by January 1, 2012, under a U.S.-Iraqi security pact, though Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is consulting with lawmakers over whether to request troops stay beyond the deadline.
I couldn't find any other reports in major media outlets. Iran is biding its time, waiting for us to become totally toxic in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. We should have ended these wars years ago.