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We’ll get an update on the latest troubles in Afghanistan with Washington Post Pentagon reporter Craig Whitlock.
Afghanistan is our longest war. It costs over $100 billion per year. It harms our soldiers, it strains our alliances, and itdamages our international reputation.
Afghanistan is CLEARLY not worth it - it never was. Bin Laden was in Pakistan, not in Afghanistan. He is dead. His supporters are on the run.
Invading and occupying Afghanistan - was NEVER worth it - throughout recorded history from Alexander the Great to the Soviets to us.
The question is *HOW* DO WE GET OUT NOW.
1) Don't wait for the Taliban to approve.
We do not need a treaty - we merely need a PUBLIC STATEMENT OF DOCTRINE :
a) We're leaving now.
b) We reserve the right to continue anti-terrorism strikeswithin Afghanistan against terrorists and their supporterswho threaten us - into the indefinite future.
c) This means we may conduct air strikes, drone strikes andspecial forces raids as we believe needed.
d) We will try to minimize innocent Afghan casualties, however,if anyone threatens to STOP or impede our anti-terroriststrikes, we will destroy those targets.
e) If you don't like this, feel free to take it up with theU.N. security council - we will veto it there.
f) If you don't bother us, we are delighted to leave you alone.
2) Don't wait for the current government to approve.
They won't. They are making a personal fortune from the funds we pour into their country and make additional money from corruption on all sides.
All of Afghanistan probably never produced $1 Trillionworth of anything in the past 50 years. (or perhaps EVER).
If necessary, they will secretly collude with the Taliban to keep us there for longer.
They'd also rather have us fight their various enemies thando it themselves. But while our soldiers die for them, theywill continue to treat us with blatent open disrespect.
3) It's their country and it's their culture.
Don't try to force our cultural values on theirthousands of year old back-water society. It's their country and culture - AND it is NOTWORTH OUR TIME, MONEY AND BLOOD.
They will no doubt go back to their unpleasant bigoted, mysogynistic, xenophobic and ignorant ways.If we want to get involved in humanitarian or missionarywork there are MANY MANY places in the world where ourefforts and resources would do FAR MORE GOOD, FOR FARMORE PEOPLE, WITH FAR BETTER LONG TERM RESULTS, WITH FARLESS RISK AND COST TO US, and WHERE OUR WORK WOULD BEAPPRECIATED.
How much good could say - $50 billion do for humanitarianand educational efforts sponsored by charities and/or the UNthroughout the world ? Don't waste our time, money and bloodin Afghanistan.
(Ctd next post)
(Part II - continued from previous post)
4) Don't wait until the Afghan forces are "trained".It takes less than 1 year to train US police or new army recruits.They've had more than 10. If they were sincere, they'dhave been ready a long, long time ago. But it's far too lucrativefor them to keep us there (see 2 and 3 above), so they will NOTbe sincere. When we leave, they will learn very quickly anything they actually need to know but haven't learned yet (probably very little ifanything). If they don't, they'll die.
5) Manage our military leaders.Nobody likes to "lose". Many of our current military leadershave built their entire careers in Afghanistan - they've beenthere for over 10 years - they cannot emotionally (or career-wise)let go.
Unfortunately, they keep doubling down with OTHER PEOPLE'S LIVESAND TREASURE. This is the classic quagmire/escalating commitmentproblem. They have to be ORDERED OUT - NOT ASKED WHEN THEY'DLIKE TO (OR THINK IT BEST TO) LEAVE.
The President - as commander in Chief - should TELL THEM - NOT ASKTHEM - When they WILL BE OUT. They should then be told to suck it inand do what they're told. The PRESIDENT is commander in chief andas soldiers it is their duty to obey to the best of their abilitythe US Civilian leadership not to bureaucratically resist andundermine the STRATEGIC decisions of their Commander in Chief.
The military is a master of tactics. The PRESIDENT'S JOBis STRATEGIC.
Even IF we could EVENTUALLY "win" in Afghanistan,STRATEGICALLY it would not be worth it.
It never was.GET OUT NOW.
WHAT ARE WE DOING IN AFGHANISTAN?!?!?!?
Maybe another reason for the difference in the reactions to the Qur'an burning & to the murders is that the Qur'ans were burned (even if inadvertently) by soldiers carrying out their official duties, while the Afghan civilians were murdered by a soldier acting on his own. Of course, that may not be how they're perceived by many Afghanis.
100's of US marines were disarmed for Panetta's visit. What kind of message does that send the troops? Panetta and Dempsey recently indicated that they don't answer to the US Congress, but to the UN and NATO. Is the real fear that our troops could arrest him?
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