When You Are . . .

a hammer, every problem becomes a nail. The military is called on to solve problems using military force. Guns. Airplanes. People die.

General McChrystal is a soldier, a member of the military. He currently appears to be the “Chief-Hammer-In- Charge” in the Afghanistan/Pakistan theatre.

In a country (U.S.A.) where the military is supposed to be subservient to the civilian side of the government, why isn’t Richard Holbrooke, President Obama’s Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, the person who is making the bottom line recommendations to the White House?

Scott Ritter, at TruthDig has this 3-part article up that certainly makes more sense that any other pundit about what and why in south Asia.

Afghanistan has, over the centuries, earned its reputation as the graveyard of empires. Just ask the Greeks, Mongols, British and Russians. If Barack Obama ultimately agrees to dispatch more American troops to Afghanistan, he will ensure not only that America will add its name to the list of those who have failed in their effort to conquer the unconquerable, but also that his name will join the ranks of those leaders throughout history who succumbed to the temptations of hubris when given the choice between war and peace. The Nobel committee will have failed in its gambit to motivate America’s 44th president to embrace the mantle of peacemaker, and the American people will be left to sort through the detritus of war brought on by yet another failed president.

Afghan’s cannot conceive of the concept “nation” the way western Europeans and their successors do. Afghanistan is 14th century tribal. No matter how long we stay there, the U.S. and NATO and anyone else we bring therewill not be able to catapult the afghanis into the 21st century.  It is a fool’s mission to think we are going to change the Afghani mindset.

The problem is not Afghanistan.  Not really.  The problem is us.  We Americans.  We don’t have any patience.  We are an instant gratification society.  We see something wrong and we know we can fix it.

It is high time to reduce our military presence in Afghanistan and Pakistan and let the civilian diplomats have a shot at solving the problems.

Explore posts in the same categories: Foreign Policy, Politics


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4 Comments on “When You Are . . .”

  1. jonolan Says:

    You assume our objective is a unified, modern Afghanistan. Is that really the case? If do, you’re not completely wrong in your thoughts.

    On the other hand, if our objective is the extermination of the Taliban and any who adhere to their beliefs, then military force is the only answer to the problem.

    Obama does need to make up his mind what war he’s fighting though. He wanted it more than candy; he got it. Now he needs to prosecute it or fail.

  2. Chief Says:

    I have made numerous posts about Afghanistan here at Liberty Street. As stated in one or more of my previous posts, I have no idea why we are still in Afghanistan. I do not assume our objective is a unified, modern Afghanistan.

    If we as a country continue to borrow instead of raising taxes to pay for our military adventurism in the Af/Pak theatre, we will bankrupt ourselves. That would be failure on an monumental scale.

    It is in the best interests of the U.S.A. to get our troops out of Afghanistan as soon as possible.

  3. oldephartte2 Says:

    I agree Chief – and have made numerous posts on Afghanistan myself at Opit’s LinkFest! on Blogger ( Blogspot ). OTOH – and I am accustomed to being completely in opposition to Jonolan – I believe also the Taleban are a creation of Psyops.
    The narrative America uses to go to war is an echo of all the techniques used by Britain to go to war…and hoodwink the people with drivel.
    http://www.veteranstoday.com has a lively debate on the Whys and Wherefores…and bullshit is in disrepute. I’m in the middle of a post – but will give you the same link I put in their comment thread…which fit right in
    It’s one of a list of collected articles sorted by general topic at http://my.opera.com/oldephartte/links/
    and listed in Collections Forwarded to Blogger.
    There’s a Visitor Orientation on the Nov articles list – Blogger – , which refers itself to My Opera’s ‘About’ header in the bar at the top.

  4. oldephartte2 Says:

    Sorry. I should have said ‘al Qaeda’. A look at some recent posts should tell you why.

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