Jack's Enclave - Afghanistan War
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It was my understanding that because al Qaeda was responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, and because al Qaeda was based in Afghanistan, our objective in Afghanistan was to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Whether a large-scale, long-term military presence was the best approach to accomplish this objective is at this point irrelevant. What is relevant is that to the extent possible this objective has been accomplished. So why are we still there?

It seems that our objective now is to build key institutions and create a legitimate political system in Afghanistan to prevent the Taliban from regaining control and again allowing Afghanistan to be used as a base of operations for terrorists operations. News Flash: Ain't Gonna Happen.

I assume the Afghans are a proud and noble people and given their druthers would prefer not to live under Taliban rule. But it's like an outsider trying to intervene in a family dispute. The family will ban together, at least temporarily, against the outsider. When the outsider is gone they will then continue their squabble. The Afghan people are the family. The US is the outsider. And the Afghan people are not going to allow the US to determine their future, build their key institutions or create what it considers a legitimate political system.

As for the members of congress favoring our continued presence in Afghanistan I'm reminded of a quote attributed to Texas Guinan; "A politician is a fellow who will lay down your life for his country." When each congressional member supporting a "stay the course" position has an immediate family member serving in the Afghan theater I might give some credence to their position.

Get out now. If and when intelligence identifies a threat to the vital interest of the United States inform the ruling whatever they have one week to eliminate the threat. If they do not, we will, through targeted surgical strikes, regardless of sovereignty or borderers.

Postscript: "Afghanistan and the United States reached a deal on Sunday to curb night raids on Afghan homes, giving Kabul a veto over the operations despised by most local people ...", "The night raids deal follows an earlier memorandum signed on the transfer of authority over detentions to the Afghans ..." What next? Rubber bullets and water cannons only.

February, 2012