Friday, December 17, 2010

Heads They Win, Tails We Lose

Fred Kaplan writes that the situation in Afghanistan is worse than ever.

We're in a position of having to depend on an unstable  nation (Pakistan) with a political agenda that does not sync with ours. Moreover, that country's stance is dictated by its acrimonious relations with a third country that are beyond our control or influence. Moreover, we're in bed with a notoriously corrupt regime. This is the definition of an untenable position.

If containing the Taliban in Afghanistan is a vital national interest, then Americans must accept the reality of an indefinite and dangerous police presence there.

If containing the Taliban is not a vital interest, we must withdraw.

Those are the realistic terms of the debate. We should cease the fiction that any sort of conventional victory is in the cards.

4 comments:

injaynesworld said...

No invading force in the history of that country has ever won a military victory there. None. Ever. We are so arrogant and stupid. And we never, never learn. Boggles the mind, it does.

Roy said...

Russia twice (the second time as the Soviet Union), the British three times, not to mention Alexander the Great, Babur the Tiger, and other world conquerors; they all tried to subdue Afghanistan and they all failed spectacularly. Does anybody in DC ever read a history book?

TaraDharma said...

I laughed when the US invaded Afghanistan. Like Roy asks, Does anybody in DC know history?! Gee, The Prez just reported today that things were moving along well in that region.

We need to get out ASAP, but you know it's not going to happen. So sad.

K. said...

No one in DC believes that history applies to them. That's a historical fact.

Excellent novel about the 1839 British invasion of Afghanistan (of which only one survived): Flashman!, by George MacDonald Fraser.