What a heck are we doing in Afghanistan right now?
we ask this really critical doubt given President Donald
Trump’s comparison advisers are proposing promulgation thousands of
additional US infantry there so they can “start winning” again,
according to one
central who spoke with The Washington Post.
That would be good if a word “winning” could be defined.
Let’s put this into perspective: Since Oct 2001, a United
States has had a infantry participation in Afghanistan.
Over scarcely 16 years of war, some-more than 2,200 use members have
been killed, and some-more than 20,000 have been wounded. We have
spent roughly $1
We have paid a complicated cost for a loosely tangible end.
After 9/11, we went into Afghanistan to bottom out Al Qaeda and the
Taliban so we could repudiate them a protected haven. But in 2004, when I
was on a belligerent as a US Marine, a pursuit we was given was a
easier one: expostulate around in a wish we get shot at. That’s how
we found a enemy.
Fortunately, Trump has
been deeply doubtful of his tip infantry advisors — and
that’s indeed a good thing. As we voiced recently
on Twitter, a generals will give you rosy assessments; the
sergeants will give we a truth.
A existence check
For years, we have been offering flushed assessments from the
military’s tip commanders in Afghanistan. Gen. John Abizaid
pronounced in 2005 that
“interesting progress” had been made. Gen. Dan McNeill pronounced in 2007 that we were
creation “significant progress.” And Gen. David Petraeus
swell done in 2010.
In 2013, Gen. John Allen pronounced we were “on a highway to winning” in
Reality check: We’re not. And we substantially never will be. The war
in Afghanistan has been a mislaid means for a prolonged time.
It’s not a “stalemate,” as a Pentagon has taken
to characterizing it. The latest comment from the
Institute for a Study of War, expelled in February
2016, shows a conditions has been deteriorating, especially
given couple levels were lowered significantly after 2011.
we remember pushing around Kabul in early 2005. We were stranded at
an Army bottom nearby a city removing some Humvees repaired, so my
gunnery sergeant motionless to take us on a small debate of a city.
We gathering by a bustling streets, went to a “boneyard” of
aged Soviet planes and tanks, and visited a training academy for
Afghan National Army soldiers. Soon after a invasion, he said,
he had helped set adult a academy to sight Afghan troops.
The US infantry can sight a municipal off a travel and spin them
into a rarely able infantryman or Marine in about 3 months.
But we still can’t explain Afghan confidence army are a “strong, tolerable force”
after training them for 15 years.
It’s tough to see that changing anytime soon.
we don’t wish to “lose” in Afghanistan. There might still be options
to spin a conditions around, yet a nickname as the
empires” might infer loyal once again. But a approach brazen is
not to send in a few thousand some-more soldiers who would inevitably
The fight requires a full, eccentric examination of a conditions —
and, many importantly, picturesque goals and a transparent plan for
This is a perpetually war, and we can pledge those 3,000 troops
would solemnly though certainly increase, only as a couple levels have
increasing in Iraq and Syria given 2014.
When “the rivalry is digging a hole, don’t stop them,” Defense
Secretary Jim Mattis told an interviewer in 2014. “Let
them continue to puncture themselves into a hole.”
We should not, as Mattis knows, keep digging ourselves into a
hole we can never get out of.
we don’t know how or if this fight will end. But we know what comes
next: some-more flag-draped coffins alighting during Dover, mothers crying
over children they have lost, and reverence posts for
years to come in respect of a brothers and sisters who never
That’s not a plan in Afghanistan.
But it is a reality.