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The War of Conflicting Objectives: Afghanistan
To a lesser extent, it happened in Vietnam, you know, that other war America lost from 1965-75. The situation is similar in Afghanistan, which is war of conflicting objectives that sometimes make no sense. I can only imagine what the soldiers there privately think.
The problem is no better displayed than in Camp Bastion area near Boldak (you know, the Taliban recently attacked the base and destroyed millions in aircraft in a daring night attack). This area is loaded with farmers and taliban mingled together to farm and harvest the poppy crop from which opium is made and is Afghanistan's main export to the West's drug cartels.
When the US troops chase the Taliban through the fields of poppy, they are careful not to destroy the poppy crops, in fact, the local farmers thank the Americans for doing this because when the Afghan police arrive, they try to eradicate the poppy fields. Huh? Well, when President Obama ordered the surge in the summer, the US troops did destroy many of the poppy fields along the rivers, but all this did was cause poppy cultivation in the desert and thousands of farmers tend to them using tractors and wells for irrigation.
US Marines take pains not to damage the poppy crops that funnel money to their enemy, the Taliban. The Marine commander is on record saying that, "Americans are not here to tell people they cannot grow poppies". Huh? The commander further explained that they want to win the hearts and minds and cooperation of the locals and to do this, they are not allowed to destroy the poppy crops, Afghan police are, yet, they seldom venture out in the middle of nowhere where the American bases are.
The trouble with this BS is that the farmers play both sides when it benefits them and unless caught redhanded, US troops can do nothing. This happened in Vietnam also.