Monday, December 24, 2012

More Coda for a War

Another sign of American/NATO/Western failure in Afghanistan.  Students of either gender can no longer attend school in many Taliban controlled areas.  The number of those places are increasing as American/NATO/Western forces draw down.  The one hopeful note is that students still make sacrifices to become educated.  Perhaps someday they will lead their nation to a peaceful future.

Two comments liken America's fate in Afghanistan to its fate in Vietnam.  One strategic thinker describes the draw down as a:
... facade of peace [that] will crumble within few years after the departure of US troops and Pakistan will bring Afghanistan under its suzerainty with reimposition of Taliban rule just as it did in 1996 while tired and financially broke Uncle Sam will helplessly look the other way just as it did in 1975.
A lesson we should have learned in 1975.  Foreign war is a losing proposition.  Maybe this time the lesson will take.

A second comment is from a two-tour US officer who worked with South Vietnamese forces Vietnam:
The countryside was left pretty much to the VC and NVA, unless we conducted sweeps. It was like sticking your finger into a glass of water. As soon as we finished a sweep the water level (VC/NVA) assumed its former level.   
Afghanistan these days does sound much like Vietnam in the early 70's.  The US is exiting and leaving behind a semblance of non-Taliban government and will, no doubt, also leave behind advisors, contractors and others to assist in various ways.  The Karzai government will last as long as he keeps the Western money spigot flowing.  Sooner or later, the money may dwindle.

If Vietnam is the analogy, then is Afghanistan's future Vietnam's present?  That's a better fate than I would predict.  Vietnam present would be a considerable improvement for most Afghans.

As for the United States, we'll call the mission a success as long as we don't have to evacuate from the embassy rooftop.  That way we can say no one died for a mistake.

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