Civilian Irregular Information Defense Group a question was asked to my response on the war in Afghanistan. I felt the response should be shared here. I hope they don’t mind. I visit there often.
This is not a simple and easy issue and deserves many minds thinking and putting ideas and thoughts out there.
Wars can be won or lost. If we quit, we lose. It took from 1975 to 1991 to get over losing the last war we lost.
How do we unass Afghanistan without it looking like we were run out?
How do we achieve Obama’s version of Peace With Honor without psychologically damaging the men and women America sent to Afghanistan and denigrating the heroism of those who did not come back?
Leave in good order, at our own pace, with enough wailing widows and smoking villages in our wake to preclude much Taliban triumphalism.
2011/04/03 at 18:43
We won in 2002. What we are in now is neither war nor peace.
2011/04/03 at 20:51
What exactly did we win in 2002, JB, and why, having won, did we stick around?
I think we lost at Tora Bora in 2002 and haven’t been able to admit that failure, and stay primarily because we haven’t been defeated militarily, yet.
2011/04/05 at 11:37
We removed the Taliban from government for their support of Al-Qaeda; we installed a government (not necessarily a good one). We stayed to build the national government. To install a national army in a place that has never successfully known such a thing. It was a noble idea yet we put very little effort into it as we had another war to fight at the same time. We let the gains we made slip away and only years later did we realize we let the wolf back in.
If our goal is a democratic Afghanistan that supports the same basic ideas of the US we may never leave the place. This is where solid goals are important. A definition of victory needs to be addressed before we commit. How do we know if we’re done if we continually change the goals? Someone tell me how we will know when we’ve won?
Currently I have seen little evidence that the people of Afghanistan expect us to stay and as a result they are hedging their bets.
I’m not against continuing the fight necessarily but I don’t want to see our officials’ apologizing for being American. I don’t want to hear our leaders commit to leaving in the middle of a fight. Are leaders have encouraged the enemy with talk of departure dates. In this kind of environment I don’t see victory but prolonged frustration for those that fight the fight.
A appreciate the opinions of those that find progress in this fight. On the battlefield we are unbeatable. The Marines (as an Army alumni hate to admit) have been doing an amazing job. But politically we haven’t committed to winning.
The spring offensive is beginning, what will happen in July when we begin the drawdown? Even if we don’t pull any combat troops out (which appears we will do) this has already been a victory for the enemy. Yet we are asking our troops to continue the fight? Again to what end?