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    In March of 1954 the French put into motion a plan to devastate the Viet Minh forces in Vietnam.  The problem was they did not understand their enemy, had no compelling reason for being there and they failed to anticipate their own weaknesses.  Viet Minh general Giap had made every effort to study his enemy and to understand his own weaknesses.  The result was victory.  The USA in Afghanistan is repeating the French mistakes.  We arrogantly refuse to understand the people and continue to believe we can fool ourselves into the fantasy that things are better there.  The New York Times article today by  describes how the US military is leaving and the Taliban is still attacking and preparing to attack and destroy any Afghan army we leave behind.  This has happened before with both the British and the Russians.  The Afghan army will change sides the minute the last US soldier is gone.  Better we follow the successful past route here and pay off everyone, leave a ton of material so that the Taliban will be too busy carrying back the loot to their caves and get out while we can.  This is Brer Rabbit and Tar Baby land if we do not.

Cost of Afghanistan
   The Budget office estimates about $600bn to date and by 2020 another $600bn (http://www.fas.org/...) to support any further operations or surviving Afghan forces friendly to us.

 Cost of Iraq to date (http://usliberals.about.com/...) over one $1trillion.  Cost of Iraq for 2012 is about $10 billion according to the Washington Post (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/...).  We left Iraq like the Russians left Afghanistan, we paid off the warlords, gave everyone a load of weapons and then made the photo opt retreat.  When the experts are asked why the level of violence seems to be rising in both Iraq and Afghanistan they have a variety of illogical answers, the only one that fits the history of Afghanistan is that everyone makes money when the foreigner is there, when they leave so does the money.  By intensifying the attacks the Taliban extends the money train and any other answer is simply inconsistent with the history.  Every other group facing foreign invaders gets into the same situation. Then when the enemy leaves everyone goes at it as they did before.  They simply change uniforms and sides when the colonial force is present.  This "makes progress" for consumption at home and results in investment and aid, which fuels corruption and rebellion, which requires more money for troops and cash for "allies."

Invasion Just Created More Radicalism

    Hasan Kakar noted in an article in a book edited by Anthropologist Louis Dupree in 1971 that the mullahs were closely associated with the people who they led in prayer and instructed. They acted to arbitrate quarrels and feuds acting as "qazi" in rural areas. Prior to the British invasion their influence was " entirely moral and they possessed no political power." The British invasions of Afghanistan changed this giving much more power to the religious figures like the mullahs as they became conduits through which the political leaders gave sums to incite the people against the invaders.

   To extract ourselves from Afghanistan now would be common sense, "good money after bad." Or as Kipling said of Afghanistan, it exists for the manufacturers of weapons and uniforms.  For anyone who has read anthropologist Louis Dupree's books on Afghanistan and the various attempts to conquer it, or former CIA chief Bearden's estimation of involvement there (http://0-www.jstor.org.opac.sfsu.edu/...), our continued presence is as close to insanity as a nation can get in decision-making.

  We are in the phase Bearden calls, the put an unpopular emir on the throne period.  The British and Soviets both arrived at this point and both thought that their task was nearly done.  Instead this is when things get really bad.  The only route out, if two terrible lessons are not enough to learn the drill, is to leave now, leave totally and leave without looking back.  The geopolitical crisis has been in place for decades and as I detail in my earlier two segments on the history, in dailykos (http://www.dailykos.com/... and http://www.dailykos.com/... and http://www.dailykos.com/...) interests will fill the gap, a gap that American soldiers do  not have to die for.  Both India and Iran are eager to use Afghanistan for their own ends, as is Russia and Pakistan.  With our departure the game will go on, but will not change very much.
  The only detail will be the names of the foreign soldiers who will die and the number of Afghans who will suffer.  This is a long story and even Alexander the Great was bothered by the powers of the Afghans and the difficulty of changing them.  When everyone gives up and leaves them alone, that is when Afghanistan will enjoy some stability.  One has to remember that the Taliban were a creature of the USA/Pakistan military intelligence, if that can be call "intelligent."
  Nevertheless, the arrangement of warlords and their foreign backers will continue after our demise, or exit.  The only question for us now is how much the cost will be to Americans.
Pakistan Next Theater of Military Fantasy

     Matthew Green’s article in Feb 12/13 2011 Financial Times, “US hopes tribal highway will be path to stability,” addresses the issue of how to pacify tribal areas in Pakistan without a reference to history. It is another example of how we prepare poorly for future conflict.  The Obama administration's policies have not changed an iota and the situation is simply a reproduction of the same old play book of the Soviets and the British. The American military has learned nothing since Vietnam, except how to market itself and its defeats. One might recall the efforts in this from Vietnam (both the French and Americans) but a more pertinent example would be the Soviets. In building roads the British depended on this strategy in the 19th Century and model villages were tried in the 1950s and 1960s by the USA as Stephen Farrell noted in his
February 2010 article in the New York Times,” The area was settled with hundreds of new families in the late 1950s and early 1960s to be “model villages” under a vast scheme to rejuvenate the entire Helmand River Valley — using an American company that helped build the Hoover Dam.”

Roads have not resulted in pacification as the Jamestown Foundation noted, “The Kabul-Kandahar portion was first made into a modern highway by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers between 1961 and
1966, with most of the funding provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) At around the same time, the Soviets constructed the highway between Kandahar and Herat. ”. In both cases, the interventions led to corruption and disruption of local economies, created antagonism against the builders and made matters generally worse. The current proposal for Pakistan’s Waziristan will fail to produce the stated goals but will line some pockets on both sides of the border and increase chaos, cost lives and leave matters worse when the builders leave.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You are actually too kind (3+ / 0-)

    History progresses .  Nkruma wrote about how the US would be the loser with neocolonialism.  This is much worse.  The French are actually much smarter than we are.

    An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

    by don mikulecky on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 05:47:44 PM PST

  •  That which is truly important, remains. (10+ / 0-)

    We have finally reversed the low-crop yield of 2001.



    Denial is a drug.

    by Pluto on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 06:05:56 PM PST

  •  This has nothing to do with anything. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Love, Hoya90
    In March of 1954 the French put into motion a plan to devastate the Viet Minh forces in Vietnam.  The problem was they did not understand their enemy, had no compelling reason for being there and they failed to anticipate their own weaknesses.
    What does this have to do with 9/11?
    The USA in Afghanistan is repeating the French mistakes.  We arrogantly refuse to understand the people and continue to believe we can fool ourselves into the fantasy that things are better there.
    Again, what does this have to do with 9/11? We are in Afghanistan ONLY because of 9/11, the French were in Vietnam to rule their empire. The Taliban aren't driving us out. We were leaving anyway.
    To extract ourselves from Afghanistan now would be common sense,
     
    which is why we're doing it!
    This is a long story and even Alexander the Great was bothered by the powers of the Afghans and the difficulty of changing them.
    Actually, there were NO Afghans in Afghanistan during the time of Alexander the Great. The Macedonian Greeks, BTW managed to stay there, and for the most part thrive there for at least three hundred years. (and before you say I'm ignorant and thought there was no one living there, the population were Tochorians, who were kind of Irish, linguistically, and Sogdians, who's language is nearly extinct in Tajikistan)
    One has to remember that the Taliban were a creature of the USA/Pakistan military intelligence, if that can be call "intelligent."
    Wrong again! The US had nothing to do with the Taliban's creation. It was first created in the mid-1990s by the Pakistani ISI, with no help or support from the US.

    Always remember, Ho and Giap were in the pay of the USSR and Red Chinese.

    •  So (2+ / 0-)

      What did the Taliban have to do with 9/11, and really we are there because of 9/11?  Did you even read what I have here?  Do you have any sources at all for your opinions?  What do you call the Chinese today, not red?

      •  The Taliban government provided al Qaeda (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aargh

        with a base of operations. Al Qaeda could not have operated openly under any other government in the region.

        And 9/11 was an al Qaeda operation.

        These two points are accepted by pretty much everyone except conspiracy theorists. Do you dispute these points?

        "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

        by Bob Love on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 08:36:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Who (0+ / 0-)

          do you cite on this?  Remember the Taliban originated in Pakistan and Omar is from kandahar where he began a rebellion against a local warlord.  See my sources, do you have any?

          •  These two points were reported thousands of times (0+ / 0-)

            daily in the rightwing, left and mainstream press from 9/11/01 forward. I cite every press source writing on the subject during that 12 year period.

            1) The Taliban government in Afghanistan gave safe harbor to al Qaeda.  2) 9/11 was an al Qaeda operation. I repeat: do you dispute these two points? Yes or no.

            "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

            by Bob Love on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 10:32:54 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  No (0+ / 0-)

              source is cited in your post.

              •  Here ya go. (0+ / 0-)
                "From 1996 to 2001 the Al Qaeda of Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri became a state within the Taliban state.[88]"
                http://en.wikipedia.org/...
                "Two weeks after the September 11 attacks, the Federal Bureau of Investigation identified the hijackers[citation needed] and connected them to al-Qaeda,[1] a global, decentralized terrorist network. In a number of video, audio, interview and printed statements, senior members of al-Qaeda have also asserted responsibility for organizing the September 11 attacks.[2][3][4] It is believed that Osama Bin Laden, Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, and Mohammed Atef were the ones who plotted the attacks after meeting together in 1999[5] It is also believed Khalid Sheikh Mohammad was the one who planned the attacks[5] and that Atef was the one who organized the hijackers.[5]"
                http://en.wikipedia.org/...
                Don't bother to respond. Your agenda appears to be counter-factual, and I don't have the time to quibble with CT enthusiasts, none of who seem to be able to answer basic yes/no questions.  Sheesh.

                "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

                by Bob Love on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 11:52:08 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, we're there b/c of 9/11 (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        walkshills, northsylvania

        The Taliban provided safe haven and a base of operations for Al Qa'ida and Bin Laden.  That's where 9/11 was planned from and where the guidance came from.  We invaded Afghanistan to eliminate that safe haven and the Taliban leadership that made it happen.  We stayed because we had the vain hope that we could prevent it from ever again becoming a safe haven.  There we fell into the same trap as the British and Soviets - believing that we could remake Afghans into an image of our liking.

        The Taliban themselves were a product of Pakistan's ISI intelligence service and Saudi Arabia's aggressive funding of radical Salafist Islam outside of Saudi Arabia.  Bin Laden was a firm believer and practitioner of that radical strain of Islam and had kindred spirits among the Taliban.  The US abetted that process in the name of supporting the Mujahedin against the Soviets in Afghanistan and the  administration of Zia Ul-Haq in Pakistan, which promoted the growth of radical Sunni Islam in the region.

        You make some good points in the post about the many failures of our policy, but I agree with aargh that your analogy to Vietnam is weak and misguided.  France was trying to preserve its control of Vietnam and grossly misunderstood both the battlefield on the ground and the political stakes.  In Afghanistan, we fooled ourselves into thinking that we could remake a country in our own image.  

        - "You're Hells Angels, then? What chapter are you from?"
        - REVELATIONS, CHAPTER SIX.

        by Hoya90 on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 09:52:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The reason Iraq and Afghanistan will revert to (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, worldlotus, walkshills, Mnemosyne

    low-level civil war and/or tyranny is that they're not really counties but rather heterogenous agglomerations of mutually antagonistic ethnic and religious groups slapped together into Rube Goldberg contraptions by colonial powers.  Eventually some way is going to have to be found for them to devolve into separate countries ala Yugoslavia.  

    Vietnam, of course, was an entirely different situation.  Even Ike said that Ho would've gotten 80% of the popular vote in a free election for President of a united Vietnam in the early 50's.  Aside from a few very small isolated ethnic groups like the Hmong, the major division in the population of Vietnam was between the collaborators with the French colonialists, many of whom had become Catholics and Francified, and the large bulk of the non-collaborating population.

    In neither of the above types of situations --Iraq/Afghanistan v. Vietnam -- is a foreign colonial power likely to be going to be able to impose a lasting, stable settlement.  

    •  Sounds like the USA... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      truong son traveler, gffish

      "but rather heterogenous agglomerations of mutually antagonistic ethnic and religious groups slapped together into Rube Goldberg contraptions by" gerrymandered voting districts.

      At least this is what it looks like from a dozen time zones away.

      I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

      by shann on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 10:50:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "This is Brer Rabbit and Tar Baby land" (0+ / 0-)

    An absurd reference.

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