Thursday, October 29, 2009

What The West Can Learn From The Soviet Experience In Afghanistan

Soviet troops preparing to withdraw from Afghanistan in 1988
(Photo from Mish'a Russia Blog)

Transcripts of Defeat -- New York Times

THE highly decorated general sat opposite his commander in chief and explained the problems his army faced fighting in the hills around Kabul: “There is no piece of land in Afghanistan that has not been occupied by one of our soldiers at some time or another,” he said. “Nevertheless much of the territory stays in the hands of the terrorists. We control the provincial centers, but we cannot maintain political control over the territory we seize.

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My Comment: Long time readers of this blog know that I have been saying the same thing for the past few years. The West is repeating the same mistakes that the Soviets did in their long war against the Afghan people in the 1980s.

I want us to win in Afghanistan. I want the Taliban and their Al Qaeda allies exterminated. And I want to spend the rest of my life not even thinking about Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and Islamic extremism.

But I know that it is not going to happen.

The mistake that the Soviets did in Afghanistan are the same mistakes that we are doing now .... we are embroiled in nation building coupled with a desire to improve the life of the regular Afghan family. But in the interim, we are engaged in a bloody war with people who have no desire or interest in receiving our "charity" and our "goodwill".

In the past 2-3 years our presence in Afghanistan has now morphed this conflict from a fight against remnants of the Taliban and Al Qaeda into a conflict that is now involving almost everyone in the country against us. There is no mas support for what we are trying to do there. There is no enthusiasm for our presence and sacrifice, nor is there any desire by the Afghan people to lay the groundwork for peace and reconciliation.

This should not surprise us. The Afghan people are a doomed and lost people. Heavily addicted to opium and their opium based economy. Abusive to tribes that are not their own. A medieval mindset that cannot reconcile to what the 21rst century is now bringing into their country, and as a result are lashing out in the only way that they know how. Through armed conflict, violence, and indiscriminate murder and terrorism.

Within the next few weeks President Obama is going to give a license to our military to continue this war at a different level. There will be more bloodshed, violence, and a bleeding of our naitonal treasury. And while the Afghan war has proven to be very messy and bloody this past year, I predict that next year will make the past year a cake walk in comparison.

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