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Afghanistan: Another Disgusting Pullout?

Updated on May 29, 2012

Just my opinion, but refuting it may be difficult.

Didn't anyone stop to think this through?
Didn't anyone stop to think this through? | Source

Applying historical lessons to the present....

"Nature abhors a vacuum."

That quote variously attributed to a writing of Francois Rabelais in 1534, and to Aristotle of a much earlier time, has continuing applicability today in Afghanistan, just as it did to the fall of South Vietnam.

The relevance and importance today is enormous, and we need to pause in this political season and just think a moment amidst the hyperbole of American policy related to pulling our troops out of Afghanistan sooner (now) or later (2013-2014).

We have a well-trained, modern military force of combined arms in Afghanistan, which includes support personnel of doctors, nurses, medics, quartermaster, and everything a modern army needs to conduct the ongoing war using satellites, drones, and other sophisticated intelligence, all run by personnel on the ground and behind the lines with the best education and training available in the world.

With our military serving overlapping tours, we have current tactical expertise which has been gained at a very high price in personnel, equipment, and national treasure, but the sum total of our current involvement is a competent, modern military force, waging a sustained effort to once again defeat a determined Taliban enemy.

Admittedly we have problems with a neighboring Pakistan, and a trouble-making Iran, which allow sanctuaries for the Taliban, and expensive headaches for our commanders on the ground. Both of these neighboring countries give clear signs of intending to meddle in Afghanistan for many years to come, no matter what United States commitments are made toward a strong and viable Afghanistan following our military's departure.

In my opinion, our military's departure (no matter now or later) will create that vacuum which nature abhors, and it cannot be filled by the best trained and educated Afghanistani military we can prepare between now and that future date.


Putting Afghan corruption and neighboring troublemakers aside, and recognizing that an inspired mix of Afghan and foreign mujaheddin kicked the Soviet troops out of Afghanistan with what was not inconsiderable help from the US, do we really expect an Afghanistan regime led by President Karzai and other Afghan leaders to be able to duplicate anything similar to the American military's present contribution to Afghanistan's security in the forseeable future?

Where will the doctors, nurses, quartermaster, pilots, and sophisticated intelligence, much less the supplies and financial investment to maintain the current momentum come from once the US military withdraws all of that which America is planning to withdraw?

Using the lessons of South Vietnam where the South Vietnamese started with leadership we had trained for years and a military equipped with what they already had and all we left behind for them, an indigenous underground and forces from the north steam rollered over those forces in a very short time when Congress and the American public withdrew all military and logistical support. Nature abhorred the vacuum we left in a country we were more heavily invested in than we are in Afghanistan.

Furthermore, the level of education of the South Vietnamese was superior to the level of education in Afghanistan. South Vietnam had the doctors, nurses, pilots, and other personnel which will be so hard to train and prepare in a less sophisticated country where the educational system such as it exists is devoted to religious instruction and until very recently had excluded women and girls from gaining an education.

If the current modern, well trained, equipped, and sophisticated US military cannot decisively dismantle the Taliban (which can now bide its time and prepare for the eventual withdrawal), can we not look ahead and clearly see already another disgusting American withdrawal and the resulting vacuum?

If what we see, is what we will get, how can we expect our leaders (or theirs) to fashion a different outcome?


© 2012 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.


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    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      It is interesting to look back four years and see how the policy has changed over time, and know that we are still there for some time to come.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      And now we are at "the end game." What, if anything, has changed? If China and Pakistan like what they see in Afghanistan, then I suspect Mike Long is right. (Above) Those currently in power in Afghanistan will continue to get rich, and the Taliban will also get rich in the drug trade China's "Silk Road" for direct access to the west will go ahead as part of their strategic plan for a Chinese empire of "partner countries" swayed by bribes for any access they want. The US will get bogged down countering Putin's adventurism, and hostile terrorist groups at home and abroad, while trying to support allies paying for limited military budgets.

      It's time for a strong American leader, serious thinking, and effective government.

    • mikelong profile image

      mikelong 5 years ago from The largest convict colony in the United States

      China has always been involved in the "Afghan resource game."

      Afghanistan continues to be controlled from Pakistan, which is how things have been for decades. Pakistan is not going to relinquish its hold, for the trade routes into central Asia are too important, the strategic point is too strong, and the resources under the soil are too valuable.

      China and Pakistan are partnered at the hip, and I guarantee that "terrorist" attacks in India (their common opponent) have been deriving from Pakistan as well (just as those that struck us on September 11th). These are not vacuous places....

      I suggest the following sources:

      "Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Ladin, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001" by Steve Coll

      There's too much money to be made.... We are financing Pakistan and Afghanistan through loans (that word is used loosely) and other "aid". We also support the Saudis directly through government support, and indirectly from oil they sell to us. The Saudis, in turn, financially and materially support Pakistan and Afghanistan. China funds and backs them, but the Chinese get a huge amount of their money from us, through aid and our consumption of products made there...

      A tangled, twisted web of interdependence....with the only common denominator between them being weapons/defense spending and increased militarism all around.

      Just as Haliburton sold Iran centrifuges in order to enrich uranium (under Dick Cheney's watch:

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 6 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      I notice China entering the Afghanistan game looking for natural resources. Big surprise, anyone?

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 6 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Good points one and all. As for 9/11, I continue to write Hubs on terrorism and the terrorists' determination you mention. Whether Iran, Pakistan, Taliban, or whatever, the vacuum will be filled when we leave, and I suspect that a lot of educated, richer-now Afghanistanis will leave, too.

    • profile image 6 years ago from upstate, NY

      There are most likely reasons for being in Afghanistan that are generally not known to the public because of US security concerns. Afganistan provides valuable airfields from which to strike Iran if need be, it also provides a containment for the dangerous Iranian influence in the area.

      The worse strategy is usually to sit back and do nothing. Poeple have already forgotten 911 and the intent of radical Islam to intimidate and diminish American influence worldwide.

      The war with al-Queada and other elements of militant Islam is unlikely to go away because we decide to withdraw from Afghanistan, 911 demonstrates thier resolve to go on the offensive.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 6 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      Perspycacious, yes I understood your points. Like you, I do not think it is a realistic goal that can be achieved. But I do not think the United States military's biggest objective is to secure a moderate Afghanistan. Well, in cloaked terms, I guess, but isn't the main goal of the U.S. government in this era to have a platform, military readiness and network in place, to protect from nuclear madness? All the doctors and nurses and extra time put in there would not make this risk diminish. Other strategies and intelligence must be used. I'm definitely no political expert. That's just my take on things at this point in time and I need to become more educated on this subject.

      My brother was in the Airforce as a jet fighter pilot. His son is becoming a Manager Battalion in the USAF. So it behooves me to read more and more. Thanks again for a great hub.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 6 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Mikelong has voted for getting out immediately which would certainly seem a defeat. I am not opposed to that, but the thrust of my opinion was that thinking we can have a viable regime in place to secure a moderate Afghanistan by 2014 (which can at least control the Taliban to the level that the American military there now "control" them) is to fly in the face of what it will take in just 18 months to achieve that...given what the present Afghan government has to work with. Hospitals, doctors, nurses, supply systems, etc., have to come from a base level Afghanistan's government simply doesn't have, and seems unlikely to have when American and international forces take their hospitals, doctors, nurses, supply systems, etc. home.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 6 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      These were very insightful thoughts you put together in this hub. I also enjoyed reading the comments above by mikelong -- which are sort of opposite in nature but very good points.

      The United States certainly does have one of the best trained and best equipped military in the world (one of the best, not the best).

      Voting up and interesting. Great hub, Perspycacious.

    • mikelong profile image

      mikelong 6 years ago from The largest convict colony in the United States

      There wouldn't be a vacuum in Afghanistan. The first fallacy is to separate the Taliban from Pakistan...they are the same thing. Pakistani ISI created and maintains this group. Pakistan has long term goals in Afghanistan, which it sees as (among other things) its direct route for trade into Central Asia. Then we, of course, have to then analyze Pakistan's ties with China.

      Treating the Taliban as an independent entity is flawed.

      Afghanistan is a cesspool that the United States cannot continue to subsidize to such a level. We already finance Pakistan directly and indirectly (directly through aid to Pakistan, and indirectly through Saudi Arabia...where do they get their money from?).

      There is no excuse, especially in these deficit cutting mindset days for continuing to use our wealth in a broken, misunderstood region of the world such as this. Our objective was accomplished...Osama is gone, as are the majority of his henchmen.

      Our troops' presence will do nothing beneficial at this point. We need to bring our men and women home (even though the contractors..who are paid more...will still remain) and put more work into Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.


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