An Inkwell Institute paper
Subject: Foreign Policy
Just recently Sen. McCain has called for more troops for deployment to Afghanistan–of all the people in the Congress, I do not understand McCain position. Did he not learn anything from his deployment to Vietnam? Does he not recall that an increase in troop strength came with an increase of American lives? Has he not seen the polls that show a gradual but steady decline in the people who support the war in Afghanistan?
Eight years and counting and what has the US really accomplished in Afghanistan? A question that needs to be asked and answered if the US is to succeed. But first, What is the US mission in Afghanistan?
Before we go there we must understand the history of Afghanistan. Thanks to afghancitizen.blogspot.com for the history lesson.
The land that is now Afghanistan has a long history of domination by foreign conquerors and strife among internally warring factions. At the gateway between Asia and Europe, this land was conquered by Darius I of Babylonia circa 500 B.C., and Alexander the Great of Macedonia in 329 B.C., among others. Mahmud of Ghazni, an 11th century conqueror who created an empire from Iran to India, is considered the greatest of Afghanistan’s conquerors.
Genghis Khan took over the territory in the 13th century, but it wasn’t until the 1700s that the area was united as a single country. By 1870, after the area had been invaded by various Arab conquerors, Islam had taken root. During the 19th century, Britain, looking to protect its Indian empire from Russia, attempted to annex Afghanistan, resulting in a series of British-Afghan Wars (1838-42, 1878-80, 1919-21).
And then Hell came to the country.
Khan is killed in a communist coup. Nur Mohammad Taraki, one of the founding members of the Afghan Communist Party, takes control of the country as president, and Babrak Karmal is named deputy prime minister. They proclaim independence from Soviet influence, and declare their policies to be based on Islamic principles, Afghan nationalism and socioeconomic justice. Taraki signs a friendship treaty with the Soviet Union. But a rivalry between Taraki and Hafizullah Amin, another influential communist leader, leads to fighting between the two sides.
At the same time, conservative Islamic and ethnic leaders who objected to social changes introduced by Khan begin an armed revolt in the countryside. In June, the guerrilla movement Mujahadeen is created to battle the Soviet-backed government.
American Ambassador Adolph Dubs is killed. The United States cuts off assistance to Afghanistan. A power struggle between Taraki and Deputy Prime Minister Hafizullah Amin begins. Taraki is killed on Sept. 14 in a confrontation with Amin supporters.
The USSR invades Afghanistan on Dec. 24 to bolster the faltering communist regime. On Dec. 27, Amin and many of his followers are executed. Deputy Prime Minister Babrak Karmal becomes prime minister. Widespread opposition to Karmal and the Soviets spawns violent public demonstrations.By early 1980, the Mujahadeen rebels have united against Soviet invaders and the USSR-backed Afghan Army.
The U.S., Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the Soviet Union sign peace accords in Geneva guaranteeing Afghan independence and the withdrawal of 100,000 Soviet troops. Following Soviet withdrawal, the Mujahadeen continue their resistance against the Soviet-backed regime of communist president Dr. Mohammad Najibullah, who had been elected president of the puppet Soviet state in 1986. Afghan guerrillas name Sibhatullah Mojadidi as head of their exiled government.
Then after the withdrawal of the Soviets, the Taleban took control and began enforcing rigid fundamentalism on the population. 9/11 happened and after a short while the US and its allies invaded and removed the Taleban from power and began a search for the now infamous Osama. He escaped capture and is still at large.
The US original task was to eliminate al Qaeda and in particular Osama, that has bee a bust…..the US slowed them down but they are just across the border gaining strength and allies as I write. That task was a bust and now it has been retasked to providing security to the population from the terrorism of the Taleban and its allies. That task is not going so well for there is daily suicide attacks killing Afghans and others.
The US task whatever it is deemed to be is NOT working well at all. Why do we say such? Easy answer…..recently elections have been deemed fraudulent…..the killing drones are killing as many civilians as bad guys……the drug trade still flows openly….Taleban is still a viable force….al Qaeda is still a viable force…..and finally as best we can tell Osama and his cronies are still breathing.
Once you take history and the tasks into consideration…then NOTHING is working well….and it seems to be all a waste of money and manpower and lives.