Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Other War

Meanwhile things are not going so well in Afghanistan. This is why we should not have gone into Iraq and why we should be trying to extricate ourselves from that nation as soon as we can. Bush's insistence in 2002-2003 that we needed to redirect our forces toward Iraq was a towering strategic blunder that we need to correct. It is an elementary rule of military strategy that you concentrate your forces, do not disperse them. Taking on both Iraq and Afghanistan was a unnecessary dispersal of forces for which we are paying the price.

Now it is not the case that we are on the verge of utter defeat in Afghanistan. But considering how important success there is, the current situation is grave. Keep in mind that the Taliban was close aligned with those who actually attacked us. For them to be resurgent is a serious blow to American prestige. If we take someone out, they should stay taken out (out like the German Nazi party). What then of these reports
The civilian deaths are a byproduct of the intensifying conflict over the past year between thousands of Taliban fighters and about 47,000 U.S.-led and NATO forces. Significant armed clashes now occur regularly in a half-dozen provinces, and the Taliban has launched a campaign of suicide blasts and bombings triggered by remote control in urban areas, as well as against military targets.
Thousands of Taliban fighters, and the Taliban launching a campaign of bombing against civilian and military targets. This is not a group that has been defeated. Furthermore, our efforts to combat the Taliban is cutting away support for the Karzai government.
In eastern Nangahar province this week, hundreds of demonstrators repeatedly blocked a main highway, accusing U.S.-led forces of killing six civilians, including a woman and child, during a counterinsurgency raid. Some students burned President Bush in effigy and shouted "Death to America"; they also demanded that Karzai resign.
The problem is exacerbated by the length of time this has been going on. Afghanistan was supposedly cleared of the Taliban in 2001-2002 and yet the fighting continues and actually grows worse.
"The intention may be very good to fight terrorism, sometimes mistakes are made, but five years on, it is very difficult for us to continue to accept civilian casualties," Karzai said. "It's not understandable anymore." He said he had worked hard to improve coordination between foreign and Afghan forces, especially during raids on villages. "Unfortunately, that has not given results, and we are not happy about that."
Afghanistan needs peace, it is in the US interests for Afghanistan to have peace. If we could serve to create a peaceful, prosperous, democratic Afghanistan, that would serve to help stabilize the Middle East. The principal thing standing in the way of accomplishing this, however, is our instance on continuing the wasteful and failed mission in Iraq.

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