Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Op-ed: Why We Are Still In Afghanistan

Why We Are Still In Afghanistan
By: Diane Sori / The Patriot Factor / Right Side Patriots on American Political Radio

This past Friday, in an impromptu White House press briefing regarding President Trump's new strategy towards Afghanistan, National Security Advisor Gen. H.R. McMaster was careful not to allow the words 'radical islamic terrorism' to cross his lips when talking about the taliban nor did he speak of the atrocities they have committed. But if you cannot call the enemy by their true name...if you cannot speak of the enemy's actions taken...then you simply cannot defeat that enemy. 

But then again maybe that is not the goal of McMaster and some others...maybe the best they hope for is a Soviet-style withdrawal if even that...'face-saving' at its not very best.

And while war is known to change even brave men...some wars are so horrific and the cost in both blood and treasure so high that what is known to be wrong gradually but surely morphs into the new right, with that new right turning into acquiescing and then excusing the actions of those they know are so morally wrong.
So it seems to be with the enemy we fight in the theater of war called Afghanistan...a war the Afghan people themselves see as nothing but a foreign invasion for the invader's profit alone. A never ending war so many decades long...a war whose invader's uniforms might change yet a war that has seen the one constant being that the taliban alone grow stronger with each passing day. The taliban...an enemy skilled in the art of guerilla warfare...an enemy who uses the country's rocky grounds, barren mountains, and its deep caves that lead straight down to hell as their impenetrable lair from which to control what passes for the Afghan government. And that government has long been impotent to stop the carnage and blood shed for said government is overrun with both corruption and incompetence, and sadly lacks the much-needed desire to initiate positive change. 

And dare we forget that democracy is a foreign concept to a people still living like they did centuries ago...a people whose enemy is seen as any and all not of their village...making it impossible for democracy to take hold no matter if Afghanistan does become an American war won...because our political leaders refuse to understand that democracy cannot be born if a country's people do not want it nor are willing to fight for it. Nation building in our image has proven to be a failed objective time and time again and will be so with Afghanistan again for it remains a war that sees powerful warlords and tribal chiefs sitting back and enjoying the spoils of said war...spoils financed by incompetency sadly on both our and the Russians side. 

For the Russians their war with Afghanistan was the Soviet Union’s final foreign military stand before its ultimate collapse in 1991. Soviet troops invaded the capital of Kabul on December 25, 1979, on Moscow's order to replace the radical islamist Hafizullah Amin with the Soviet-endorsed Babrak Karmal as head of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. Moscow believed that by their overthrowing Amin they could somewhat control the timing of Afghanistan’s communist revolution and protect the communist regime from collapsing due to its being domestically unpopular, fearing this could result with Afghanistan ceding either to islamist or Western forces.
And while a 1989 armistice saw the failed Soviet army leaving Afghanistan with the above stated 'face-saving' of sorts, that 'face-saving' resulted in “no common front of resistance fighters which could have effected a smooth political transition.”* This left the country whose people were so tired of war...coupled with the ongoing rivalry between the different war lords...seeing the taliban easily occupying Kabul as well as other parts of the country. And the taliban did so with help from Pakistan...help that continues to this day no matter that the Trump administration has decided to reduce the level of U.S aid to Pakistan because of their not taking decisive action against the taliban and its offshoot known as the Haqqani network.
So why hasn't the U.S. military...the greatest military the world has ever known...won a decisive victory against these backwards taliban fighters...simply because we are fighting with 21st century weapons and bombs against those who hide deep within caves in mountains of rocks that our bombs do little damage to. And those that our bombs have killed, for the most part, have been the collateral damage known as women and children, with collateral damage being the bane of civilian populaces more times than not. And this particular type of collateral damage has led the Afghan people's allegiance to actually turn more towards sympathy for their taliban oppressors than towards those seeking to set them free. And why...because true freedom the likes of which we take for granted is something the Afghan's have never really known.
And let's not forget that a war is not truly won if there is no plan in place for the peace that comes when weapons are finally laid down.

No tangible plans for peace meaning in the end even the military might of America will possibly go the way of all others who tried to conquer a country whose warlords and tribal chiefs are experts in the art of what we now call guerrilla warfare. And remember, Afghanistan is a country that has never been totally conquered. A brief history lesson...in the mid-4th century B.C., Alexander the Great tried to conquer this barren and inhospitable land, but the warlords and their fighters fought them off. In the 19th century the British tried not once but twice, but they too were driven back and done so with heavy casualties. And only a century later did the Soviets invade...a full invasion with their sole prize being to take and occupy Kabul...and yet after a decade of occupation, they too, were driven out to be replaced by American forces in the aftermath of 9/11...with a handful of U.N. forces thrown in for good measure.

And amid all these loses why do many of those currently holding political positions of power deem Afghanistan important enough to risk even more American lives...to further deplete American treasure...treasure that has already cost we taxpayers $800+ billion in a still failed attempt to overthrow the taliban when there remains no definitive win in sight...and especially when a 2014 U.S. government report stated that the cost of reconstruction in Afghanistan would total more than the entirety spent under the Marshall Plan...so why?

The answer to that for some of these political folks, I believe, is their erroneous assumption that we...like the Russians thought...must win to 'save-face.' Remember, while failure is rightfully not in America's vocabulary being obligated to undo the 'supposed' damage done to our reputation as the world's number one super power is not reason enough for more American blood to be shed or for treasure to be spent. Again why...because our 'supposed' reputation destroyed was done so by the words and actions...or lack thereof...of America's own enemy within...one Barack HUSSEIN Obama...and that damage has now become but perceived damage and no longer tangible damage thanks to the election of Donald Trump as president and his strong stance against those out to kill us all.

If a reason to fight on in Afghanistan is needed...one not just to 'save face'...let that reason be to prevent an all-out Afghan civil war coupled with country wide chaos that would deprive our military of much needed counter-terrorism bases...bases needed to help secure the U.S. homeland from terrorist attacks. Also, not having those counter-terrorism bases in Afghanistan would create a vacuum of power that would allow not only the taliban...who currently control 40% of the country and one-third of the population...but al-Qaeda and possibly even ISIS to establish and/or expand already existing areas of sanctuary throughout the rest of the country... areas from which they can continue to launch said terrorist attacks...attacks internet chatter promises will soon be on the scale of 9/11. 

And know that the taliban already has sanctuaries within Pakistan itself...sanctuaries that harbor much of the taliban's leadership command. And knowing this has led our military commanders being unable to militarily target that leadership command because doing so would translate into an attack on Pakistani soil itself...an act of war against a country we are not at war with.

And this in turn allows Pakistan...who is well-known as the chief monetary sponsor of the taliban...to become the region's centralized terror hub...a hub to rival that of even Iran. 

So what is it about Pakistan that has turned a once ally into 'terror central'...and why is Pakistan's military and intelligence service (ISI) trying to under-cut our attempts to stabilize Afghanistan by their supporting the taliban?

To answer that one must go back to the Durand Line...the still in dispute 1,510 mile long internationally decided upon border between Pakistan and Afghanistan...a border that was established after an 1893 memorandum of understanding between Mortimer Durand of British India and Afghan Amir Abdur Rahman Khan...a border established when Pakistan was still part of India. This disputed border with its corresponding disputed territories translates into Pakistan having a vested interest in making sure that the Afghan government never gets strong enough to keep their current claim on the still disputed territories.

Therefore, logic to the Pakistani government dictates their siding with any and all who are against the Afghan government...hence their support for the taliban and their not aiding us in our fight against said taliban. 
But why does Pakistan want those disputed territories...what drives them to support an enemy akin to the likes of ISIS? To answer that think back to the 'Land Grab' series** my Right Side Patriots partner and friend Craig Andresen and I wrote just a few years ago and the answer becomes clear...for just like Obama's wanting certain areas of America to come under federal government control, Pakistan wants control of certain disputed areas for the very same reason...as in what is under the surface of the land.

And what territory is at the heart of Pakistan's want...it is the Wakhan Corridor...a narrow finger strip of mostly mountainous land tucked into the northeastern corner of Afghanistan...a desolate and inhospitable place which all of a sudden, in 2014, was set up by the corrupt Afghan government as a national park...a national park in a war-torn country...a national park being protected at all costs by a for the most part bankrupt government whose what little money they have would be better served aiding its poverty-stricken people than on what appears to most to be on the surface nothing but ruggedly barren mountainous land.

But we know that appearances can be deceiving for the seemingly barren land Pakistan wants that the Afghan government still controls is brimming to a tune of an estimated $1 trillion with iron, silver, gold, copper, cobalt, lithium, oil, natural gas, emeralds, rubies, azure, other precious and rare minerals, and most importantly it is brimming with uranium...and those heading Pakistan's government know that if they secure a major source of uranium they gain an all-important upper hand over their enemy India.

And to secure that specific territory and make sure it becomes part of Pakistan, I would bet Pakistan's government made a deal with the taliban that would have the taliban giving them the territory they want after we finally pulled out just like the Russians did in order to 'save-face'...that is something the Pakistanis are counting on. And with us gone the Pakistanis would give the taliban their so-wanted nuclear weapon...or two or three...in return for a deal completed...with one to keep for themselves...the others to sell to the highest islamic bidder. 
Clearly, Pakistan knows what is under the ground and wants it as much as we want them not to have it, and I believe that is one of the real reasons why we continue to fight a war in a country whose people do not want us there...with the other reason being that what lays under the ground would not only help finance the devastated country's rebuilding...instead of us paying for it all...but would also go a long way into Afghanistan paying us back for both American lives lost and treasure spent.  
And the Afghan government knows well that by their losing control of certain key areas of Afghanistan gives the taliban not just the 40% of the country they already control but gives them the entirety of Afghanistan to do with what they wish. And we know we cannot allow any of these players to control Afghanistan for he who controls Afghanistan controls not only what up until this point in time Iran has controlled...as in terrorist operations worldwide...but would now allow Pakistan to arm with nuclear weapons any and all who meet their price or agenda...and that we cannot under any circumstances allow.

From New Delhi to Tehran when we talk about South Asia and a critical element of our strategy in the region has to be Pakistan. And we cannot be successful in Afghanistan -- we've seen that over the last several years -- unless we have a higher degree of cooperation from Pakistan. So Pakistan is absolutely an integral part of the strategic review that's ongoing,” were the recent words of Gen. Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and we best listen and act upon those words for the alternative will surely not be pretty.
*Guerrilla Warfare: A Historical and Critical Study, By Walter Laqueur
** Government Land Grabs: The Truth Exposed
Part 1

Part 2

Part 3 http://thepatriotfactor.blogspot.com/2014/05/op-ed-government-land-...
Part 4
Copyright @ 2017 Diane Sori / The Patriot Factor / All Rights Reserved
Today, Tuesday, August 29th from 7 to 9pm EST on American Political Radio, RIGHT SIDE PATRIOTS Craig Andresen and Diane Sori discuss the real reason why we are still in Afghanistan, Craig presents the first ever 'binky' award, updated news on Hurricane Harvey, and the pardoning of Sheriff Joe.

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1 comment:

cimbri said...

In this situation, using the term radical islamic terrorism is not that important. The bottom line is that the Taliban don't want us there; they want the power and that's it. It doesn't matter that much why they want power. There are power struggles in every country.

It is important to recognize and apply the term when it comes to vetting people who are moving to the US. We can't have radicals moving here.