The US Has Already Lost The Afghanistan War

Discussion in 'Americas' started by fatman17, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. fatman17

    fatman17 PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    The US Has Already Lost The Afghanistan War

    By Eric S. Margolis

    In his majestic poem “Recessional,” Rudyard Kipling was writing of the fading British Empire, but his words are as vivid and pertinent today as a century ago:

    “Far-called our navies melt away –
    On dune and headland sinks the fire –
    Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
    Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!”


    The objective of war is to achieve political objectives, not to kill enemies. Politically, the United States has achieved nothing in Afghanistan after 10 years of desultory, destruction, and titanic expenditure.


    So in this sense, the US has already lost the Afghan conflict, its longest war. Militarily its forces have been stalemated, meaning that it has lost the all-important military initiative and is now on the strategic defensive. We have seen this before – in Vietnam.

    Once more, Afghanistan fulfills its grim title as “graveyard of empires.”

    The US has failed to install an obedient regime in Kabul that controls Afghanistan. It has made bitter foes of the nation’s Pashtun majority, and, in pursuing this war, gravely undermined Pakistan. Claims that US forces were only in Afghanistan to hunt the late Osama Bin Laden were widely disbelieved.

    Near the end of June, President Barack Obama bowed to public opinion, approaching elections, military reality and financial woes by announcing he would withdraw a third of the 100,000 US troops from Afghanistan by the end of next summer. Pentagon brass growled open opposition. Mr. Obama should have smacked them down, but did not, adding to the growing belief that he is weak and overawed by the military chiefs.

    US allies France and Germany announced similar troop reductions. All foreign troops are supposed to quit Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

    This staggered withdrawal will take the US garrison roughly back to the size it was before President Obama sent 30,000 reinforcements to Afghanistan. This means enough soldiers to hold the main urban centers and connecting roads, but not enough to defeat Taliban guerillas in the field, or to block the Afghan-Pakistan border.

    Washington currently spends at least $10 billion monthly on the Afghan war, not counting “black” payments, CIA and NSA operations. The US has poured $18.8 billion in development aid into Afghanistan since 2001 with nothing to show for the effort. Pakistan has been given $20 billion (over 10 years) to support the Afghan War. Each US soldier in Afghanistan costs $1 million per annum, not counting full support costs.

    None of these costs is covered by taxes; all are piled onto the gargantuan national debt.

    The US deficit is heading over $1.4 trillion. The national debt, when unfunded pensions and benefits are added, is likely $100 trillion, according to the chief of PIMCO, the world’s largest bond trader. This means America, top-heavy with unsustainable debt, risks capsizing financially.

    Forty-four million Americans now receive food stamps; the national infrastructure of roads, airports, bridges and schools is crumbling from neglect. Unemployment, officially at 9.5 percent, is probably closer to 20 percent.

    The cry is being heard: “Rebuild America, not Afghanistan.”

    In spite of intense pro-war propaganda, over half of Americans now oppose the Afghan War. Even US-installed Afghan president calls it, “in Hamid Karzai effective, apart from causing civilian casualties.”

    So will the US really pull out of Afghanistan? That remains to be seen. There are many contradictory signs.

    Mid-level talks between the US and Taliban have been conducted for over a year. Washington’s plan was to try to split Taliban through such talks.

    US Afghan supremo Gen. David Petraeus tried to buy off Afghan resistance in the same manner he had bribed Iraq’s Sunni tribes into quiescence. This gambit did not work with Taliban’s hardened warriors, for whom honor holds as much value as money.

    The US will probably keep a sizeable number of its remaining 66,000 soldiers in Afghanistan after 2014, rebranding them training troops. The huge US bases at Kandahar and Bagram will be retained as permanent US fortified enclaves.

    Billions more will be spent on the Afghan government army and police. They have so far proved ineffective because most are composed of Tajik and Uzbek mercenaries who are hated and distrusted by the Pashtun.

    A similar process is underway in Iraq where “withdrawal” means keeping combat brigades in Iraq, renamed “training units” and “counter-terrorism units,” thousands of mercenaries, and mobile US combat forces in neighboring Kuwait and the Gulf.

    New US embassies in Baghdad and Kabul – huge, fortified complexes with their own mercenary combat forces – will be the world’s biggest. Kabul will have a staff of 1,000 US personnel. Bin Laden called them “crusader fortresses.” Fortified US consulates are under construction in other parts of Afghanistan.

    In addition, the US will still arm and finance allied Tajik and Uzbek militias in Afghanistan, and CIA-run mercenary forces. Financing Pakistan’s US-backed regimes and Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan must also continue at around $3 billion yearly. What political concessions the US is giving Moscow to allow passage of war supplies through its territory remains a secret.

    The US appears to be going and staying at the same time. By contrast, Taliban’s position is clear and simple: it will continue fighting until all foreign troops are withdrawn. US Special Forces, drones and hit squads have been unable to assassinate enough Taliban commanders to make the mujahidin stop fighting.

    Americans never study history, not even their own. We don’t recall founding father, the great Benjamin Franklin, who said, “There is no good war, and no bad peace.” Or that the Pashtun Taliban and its allies are dedicated, undefeated warriors who fight where they live, and have all the time in the world.

    I’ve been in combat with Pashtun fighters and remain in awe of their courage and love of combat. The Pashtun mujahidin will keep fighting as long as their ammunition lasts.

    America, for all its B-1 heavy bombers, strike fighters, missiles, helicopter gunships and drones, armor, super electronics, spies in the sky and all the other high tech weapons of modern war has failed to defeat some 30,000 tribal fighters armed with nothing more than light weapons and legendary valor.

    The US has lost the political war in Afghanistan. It may linger there, but it cannot win.

    (Eric Margolis is the author of War at the Top of the World and the new book, American Raj: Liberation or Domination? Resolving the Conflict Between the West and the Muslim World. He can be reached at: Margolis@foreigncorrespondent.com)

    Source Alarabiya
     
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  2. Juice

    Juice SENIOR MEMBER

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    Won the "war" a while ago (destroyed the government and ran out Alquaida). The problem is using troops as cops. Not thier job. Let the Afghans deal with that.
     
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  3. Chogy

    Chogy PROFESSIONAL

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    Agreed. The military performed their primary task brilliantly. A handful of SF did the bulk of the work in late 2001.

    The book Horse Soldiers reveals this in detail.

    The problem came with nation building and policing. Wars are destructive, not reconstructive.

    The same issues came in Iraq. What they should have done - finish their military task aggressively, destroy enemy combatants, then post about a billion leaflets - "Look what we have done in a matter of weeks. We are now leaving. If you ever export violence, we will return and do it all over again."
     
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  4. nomi007

    nomi007 SENIOR MEMBER

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    it is the history of Afghanistan that no foreigner force win the war
    1st Alexander loss
    2nd British loss
    3rd USSR loss
    now its time for America
    waka waka America
    i read about Vietnam war that USA defeat from poor Vietnamese
    but i see American defeat by my eyes
     
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  5. Tiki Tam Tam

    Tiki Tam Tam <b>MILITARY PROFESSIONALS</b>

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    The US will be leaving sizeable troops in Iraq and Afghanistan in what Gates, the US Secretary of Defence, called 'enduring bases'.

    With endless Drones at their command, they have the option of surveillance and intervention.

    And none will be able to blame them if they use for they will pretend it was not theirs.
     
  6. DV RULES

    DV RULES SENIOR MEMBER

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  7. 53fd

    53fd MEMBER

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  8. Tshering22

    Tshering22 ELITE MEMBER

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  9. 53fd

    53fd MEMBER

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    If it is concerned in exterminating them, why does it want to negotiate with the Taliban to have a transfer of power there? Why did David Cameron say the Taliban are like the IRA, & have a future in political leadership in Afghanistan? You're just contradicting yourself now. Not unexpected though.
     
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  10. Mabs

    Mabs FULL MEMBER

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    And then you were supposed to hold the land which was vacated by AQ. How much percent of the total land of Afghanistan is NATO in control of today ? You have won the war in Kabul and Bagram airbase but that's probably it. Your objective was to topple the government of Taliban so the Afghans could run their country without the fear of AQ and the Talibs, is that the case right now ? If not, then you have lost the war in Afghanistan.
     
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  11. Solomon2

    Solomon2 ELITE MEMBER

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    We are NOT empire-builders!
     
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  12. Major Ram

    Major Ram BANNED

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    If USA lost the war, then who won it?
    Taliban?
    And how did they win this war?
    by hiding in the mountains and making small children suicide bombers?
    WOW

    USA got into their house, killed majority of them and still killing. But if these Talibani losers are not showing up and hiding then what the one can do?

    If hiding is winning war, then WOW
     
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  13. Pablo Belisario Ochoa

    Pablo Belisario Ochoa BANNED

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    you are idiot, you don't know nothing about the real Taliban.
    People of Afghan are fighting the US and NATO like Mujahedeens, islamic emirate of afghanistan etc.
    USA and NATO just can't beat them, Pashtun people just don't support them.
     
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  14. Major Ram

    Major Ram BANNED

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    No need to get angry my friend. Even I can use some good words like you did in your 1st statement, but my upbringing doesn't allow me. Besides we're all having a civilised (if you know what that means) conversation here.

    Looks like you're badly hurt of my post about Taliban. Ask your Taliban to show up and fight a real war rather than hiding, then we can decide who's the winner. Don't give me this gorilla and mujahidin logic.

    If you think that hiding in the mountains is winning war then I can't tell you anything. And don't even reply as you don't have that level.
     
  15. khurasaan1

    khurasaan1 FULL MEMBER

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    U told the truth! ...US is not empire builder but the destroyer.....so this means the claim of rebuilding Afghanistan and Iraq by the US govt is an open lie......:coffee:
     
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