Afghanistan: 8 Years of War
Our mission in Afghanistan is to get rid of the Taliban. It is hard to understand how the most powerful military in the World, America, cannot get rid of a terrorist gang in one year, let alone 8 years. Never-the-less we proceed to wage a War to do something that seems like we could have accomplished years ago. OK, is there an end in sight?
We have heard the generals ask for more troops. That is because our generals have been tasked with winning the conflict, and cannot question if the goal is achievable. Soldiers in active duty are usually only allowed to follow orders, and that includes officers. So it should be no surprise that no matter how impossible a fight is, that our soldiers will fight regardless of how impossible it is.
Therefore it is our responsibility, as free-thinking citizens of the United States of America, to analyze the realities of Afghanistan. Has Afghanistan ever changed in the face of invasions? If they have not, how are we doing things different to insure positive change over there? What are the chances that anything we do in the next 10 years will get rid of the Taliban and any organization like them, forever? Will it be worth it to stay in a perpetual state of War, and police Afghanistan indefinitely? Can we afford to better arm Afghanistan and leave the Country? Isn’t that what has happened to Afghanistan for hundreds and thousands of years?
There are many questions that have not answered properly, publically or privately. Afghanistan is similar to Vietnam in a few ways, although it is not a jungle. Both resistance fighters use guerilla warfare. Both conflicts are not dependent on how many troops we send, if our politics stop us from going all out. One important way that they are different is that North Vietnam had more of an actual army and location, instead of being scattered all over as the Taliban are. In some ways, we could say that attacking Afghanistan is like attacking the Confederate Southern States of America. If Union forces continued to police and invade the South even to this day, would we defeat the KKK and racism in the South? Or would we strengthen the underground opposition to our own forces, promoting terrorism?
Just as there are Neo-Nazis today, there will be remnants of our enemies after we defeat them in the future. Perhaps we have already won the Iraq War in 2004, and perhaps we can claim victory in Afghanistan in 2009. If we win a War, does that mean that terrorism from enemy sympathizers will not exist? No. If we do not exterminate the entire enemy, man, woman, and child; there will always be an enemy, even if no more are created through warfare.
We will not nuke or exterminate another people to the extent that we did in the past, because we as Americans are striving to be better than the enemy, better than Hitler. So if we are not willing to go all out and be merciless even beyond the bitter end, then we will not be terrorists, and we will have won the War on Terror. Self-defense deserves its own essay, and War is not self defense against an enemy far smaller than ourselves. We are hands-down the strongest, best trained, most equipped, and largest military power in the World. What do we have to fear? Fear itself.