Remember Afghanistan? Anybody?
As America winds up its 13-year war in Afghanistan, where do things stand?
Is it going to end up like Vietnam, won the battles, but lost the war.
That’s the take-away of the last ten years for me.
The public now have a perception that the war is over, because of the lack of media coverage which fuels the public’s perception, it’s becoming a check-back-in-and-see story.
Not too long ago the word “Afghanistan” was mentioned in the media almost every day, coverage now is that it barely make a blip on the media’s radar unless something big happens, a horrific event. The weight of media coverage has been drawn elsewhere.
This war was and is an abomination.
In addition to the thousands of US and other NATO troops who have been killed or impaired for life, physically and/or mentally, the US-led invasion/occupation of Afghanistan has resulted in a huge number of Afghan casualties, with estimates running from several hundred thousand to several million.
Afghanistan is already a distant memory for the news. It is fast becoming the all-but-forgotten war an afterthought, like Somalia, Panama, Colombia, Rwanda, Iraq after the first gulf war–countries that quickly faded from the news or hardly made the headlines in the first place.
In late February that Afghan President Hamid Karzai (at least we all remember him) came to Washington to deliver the message “Don’t forget Afghanistan.”
Afghanistan now has democracy, and the results are not altogether encouraging; nor are they likely to lead to cohesion and peace and prosperity. Many Afghans see their current government, hastily formed under US influence, as a continuation of the power and impunity of warlords rather than a reflection of true democratic participation.
Deaths among Afghan National Security Forces almost doubled from 2012 to 2013, according to RT.com. The Defense Department announced in November that the death rate among Afghans rose to above 100 per week during the peak of the summer fighting season for the first time ever. Last week, al Qaeda claimed control of Fallujah, the town in western Anbar province where scores of Americans lost their lives in house-to-house fighting in 2004.
So why are we losing interest.
Is it because the war has never being legally justified, therefore, the war in Afghanistan has never been morally justified.
Or is that our perception of the Afghan government is still corrupt and unjust has impeded long-awaited peace and well-being in Afghanistan.
Or perhaps we are being keep in the dark on purpose so as not to hand a psychological victory for an Islamist movement who will claim they defeated the U.S. like the Soviet empire.
Or it is more likely that our vital interests in Afghanistan are limited and military victory is not the key to achieving them.
The big questions remain over how much the U.S. will continue to be involved there to provide support to Afghan forces, and how stable Afghanistan is. Will it again become a threatening hive of terrorist activity? Will the years of fighting there be considered to have been worth the cost, in both human lives and the billions of dollars spent?
What is the use of waging a lengthy counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan which may well do more to aid Taliban recruiting than to dismantle the group, help spread conflict further into Pakistan, unify radical groups that might otherwise be quarreling among themselves.
When the US leave, whenever that might be, what happens if the Taliban regains control? U.S. presence hasn’t intimidated the Taliban, and when American troops leave, whether it’s 2014 or 2024, Afghan forces will inherit a huge task in trying to stabilize the country and keep the Taliban from gaining ground. Continued U.S. military presence hasn’t worked so far, it might not work in the future. And since it’s highly unlikely that American troops will remain in Afghanistan forever.
Where do we stand?
People are still dying in Afghanistan. The fighting is not over and it won’t be over once U.S. troops leave. Afghan forces will still be up against the Taliban, but they would be in a much more advantageous position if the U.S. worked to set up institutions through which the country is able to sustain itself, not just in the immediate aftermath of troop withdrawal, but well into the future.
It’s obvious to anyone that the effects of war are devastating.
If I were a betting man there is a collision coming, one-third of those Afghan Security Forces trained at fabulous expense to protect them will fight for the government (whoever that may be), one-third will fight for the opposition, and one-third will simply desert and go home. That sounds almost like the plan.
But this time there will be little or no Media coverage as the war has already displaced Afghans from their homes and from their country for over three decades creating over 5.7 million refugees.
So don’t be amazed when the US lead war has no lasting influence other than long-term ramifications for possible terrorist attacks against the U.S/UK and the spread of Islamic fundamentalism and rage, destabilizing the whole region of years to come – ISIS.
The West is a paper tiger like bin Laden said and it’s only a matter of time.
Afghanistan will not be unable to recover from 20-plus years of conflict. In order to do that they have to believe in something first and be willing to assert that.
Governments cannot really do this; only people can. This is what happens when cultures come together, like in Andalusia. It’s messy and chaotic and sometimes violent. … There is a ton of risk involved, but the payoff is huge. This is when cultures come together and new ones are created. This is the risk that Hellenization embraces—that people can engage on this level without reflexive recourse to violence. This is the how cultures engage.
“Meanwhile, in other news,”
We have not apprehend the terrorists responsible for the 9/11 attacks.