What Should We Do With Afghanistan?
President Trump just gave a speech to the American people. He is asking for an escalation of war efforts in Afghanistan. Will it be successful? or should we leave this part of the Middle East?
- Aug. 2017
There has been 3 administrations since the war in Afghanistan started in 2001. It was a response to the 9/11 attack on our homeland by OBL. Now, 14 years later, unfortunately, after lives lost and money spent, we are no closer to a peaceful conclusion. What should we be doing?
Given the long history of the region and the wars that have taken place there, we should have learned from the past. The Russians were involved in a long drawn out war there back in the 1980s and they finally had to withdraw in defeat.
When we started this war, our mission was clear and we were tremendously successful. What happened?
What Have We Tried?
It is useful to review what we have done so we can determine our best path forward.
Under President Bush, we tried nation building after we invaded it. We thought we can institute a democratic style government there. We helped them build infrastructure like schools and bridges and roads... Unfortunately, it was not well accepted.
Under President Obama, we tried a softer approach. We reduced out forces and use the "lead from behind" model of diplomacy. It failed miserably.
Under President Trump, it appears he wants to change strategy again and get the neighbors like Pakistan to help and step up.
The one thing we haven't tried is leaving.
If you recall, when an interview of OBL surfaced many years ago, he was asked by the interviewer what was the source of his anger against the West? And his answer was straightforward. He said he wanted the US to stop meddling in their affairs In the Middle East. So, why don't we just leave and abide by his wish. Just perhaps, he would then leave us alone. When I say he, I am referring to his followers of course. He is long dead and his son is taking up his cause.
The bottom line for me is this. We have spent almost 16 years there trying all kind of strategies and diplomacy...and none has worked. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. We can't afford this any more. Our country is 20 trillion dollars in debt. Our own infrastructure at home is falling apart. Our economy is in low gear and have been for many years. We just can't keep doing this without any signs of a conclusion.
The argument that Trump used and probably taken from his generals, is that we can't just leave hastily and which will lead to chaos. But, that was the exact same argument Obama used 8 years earlier. So if we leave after 8 years, it can't be described as "hastily" can it? I rest my case.
© 2017 Jack Lee