The only reason I can imagine for keeping our troops in Afghanistan is to protect the women there from the Taliban. Unlikely that we can root the Taliban out militarily or form a dependable Afghan army, but we might shift our direction now from killing Afghans to persuading them that getting the Taliban out of their lives is worth it to them. Apparently only about 6% are pro Taliban.
However, this is obviously not what our generals have in mind and our hawks (Republican or Democratic) either. What I hear both arguing for is the height of unreality. No way can we force the Afghans to do what WE want. We have to reach out to them and offer to assist them with what they see as THEIR best interests.
I am not sure that we can trust the present generals to move in the suggested direction of PERSUASION. This is not a military game. It is a diplomatic one. And we need there far more people who know what Afghanistan is all about. Whenever I do research on it, I find a far different world than that of Iraq in every way. I get corrected when I get things wrong by intelligent and well informed Afghans — not the Karzai team of crooks.
While we are at it, we had better get rid of him ASAP — challenge the phony election, deny protection for which he depends on us, whatever.
What do you think?
“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)
Ed Kent 212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]