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Our Lost Cause in Afghanistan

Updated on May 17, 2010

 More and more, despite the reluctance to accept the fact, Afghanistan is looking more and more like a Vietnam in the outcome. It's too bad.

Remember how the offensive for Marjah occupied the headlines, the long build up, the over careful rules about who to fire at and not to fire at, how some 15000 US troops were deployed against maybe 1000 Taliban. Those odds are right out of the Vietnam kill rate book, where bodycounts meant that battles were only fought when the odds were 10-1 in US favor and air support was available.

The showcase battle of Marjah, to secure the area from the Taliban, did work for some time, as long as the US presence remained to protect the locals. But, like in Vietnam, as soon as the US presence was reduced to an ineffective level, the Marjah locals are bowing to the Taliban threats and tactics. These locals are fleeing the area because American troop strength now cannot protect them. The Taliban terrorizes the locals. Like the Viet Cong in Nam, the Taliban has infiltrated the areas of Marjah, undermining everything the US had won only three months ago! The locals fear both the Americans and Taliban as they trust neither and gunfights now occur with more frequency as US troops leave to prep for yet another showcase battle at Kandahar. Many of the claimed Tailban never were killed, they did what the VC did in nam, dropped their weapons, assumed their farmer status until now. The locals refuse to help ID Taliban fighters in fear of reprisals-just like Vietnam.

None of this is a good omen.

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    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

      perrya 

      8 years ago

      Afraid so.

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 

      8 years ago from South Africa

      It seems that no-one is able to learn the lessons of history. The USSR tried and failed in Afghanistan, the US tried and failed in Viet Nam, and now they try again in Afghanistan. It will never work. The US is going to have to leave with bruised egos and billions of dollars effectively thrown down the drain, not to mention the thousands of lives lost, for a cause that had no hope of success from the start.

      The only positive in all this is that the Taliban will also not succeed in the long run. They will also come up against a people that is fragmented along tribal lines and unwilling to let go of ancient animosities. Afghanistan is not a country but a collection of peoples with very different interests compounded by tribal loyalties and religious differences.

      Obama inherited a no-win situation here and unfortunately will be saddled with the final disaster. It's going to be a real test of his leadership when the final retreat has to be sounded. All one can hope is that it happens sooner rather than later, for all concerned.

      Thanks for sharing your perspective on this.

      Love and peace

      Tony

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