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Victory in Afghanistan August 11, 2017

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.

After sixteen years of war, thousands of American deaths, tens of thousands wounded, and hundreds of billions of dollars poured down an insatiable whirlpool of corruption it is time to achieve victory in Afghanistan.

What would victory for the American people look like in Afghanistan?

A complete withdrawal of all American combat troops as quickly and as safely as possible.

After 9-11 the entire world supported our invasion of Afghanistan to punish Al-Qaeda and the Taliban that sheltered them.  We accomplished that goal in a few weeks.  Sixteen years of nation building later after squandering the support of the world, wasting American lives, treasure, and trust everyone in the world knows the moment we pull out the Taliban move in and our Afghan puppets will be on 747s filled with American tax-payer cash on their way to Switzerland.

Now the generals want more troops and more equipment.  Here’s a news flash; generals always want more troops and more equipment.  That is what they do.  President Trump has surrounded himself with generals.  They may be good administrators.  They may even be good warriors.  However, they miss the political and diplomatic reality that we cannot win in Afghanistan.  No one ever has.  That is why it is called the Graveyard of Empires.

Yes we could move in enough troops and equipment to pacify the nation, although there would always be partisan fighters in the remote mountains, there always are.  But unless we’re committed to turning the country into a permanent colony with a massive and expensive garrison force as soon as we leave it will revert back to what it has always been, an ungovernable area bounded by nation states that the civilized world has decided to call Afghanistan.

What we should have done was take down the Taliban, drive out Al-Qaeda then leave with a note on the fridge saying, “If it happens again…we’ll be back again.”

If we had done that (and avoided the pre-emptive debacle that was Iraq imagine the lives saved, the funds available for making life better at home, and the goodwill we would still have in the world.

When your cut the first thing to do is stop the bleeding.  If you are mired in a hole the first thing to do is stop digging.

We are mired and bleeding in Afghanistan.  We can all see how this is going to end.  Eventually we will withdraw and then it will be seen as the mirage of competent leadership it has always been.

Obama called it the good war.

Look at the results so far.  Look at the obvious end point.  Look at the lost and shattered lives.  Look at the bankruptcy of our nation.  How is any of that good?

In 1966, in the middle of the Vietnam War, the late Senator George Aiken of Vermont famously recommended that the United States simply declare victory and get out.

I am saying declare a victory for America.  Discard the nation bankrupt building policies of the past and bring our troops home.  If we need a mission, how about securing our own borders or standing ready when America’s vital interests are actually at stake?

All of this is beginning to feel like Déjà vu all over again.

We are all familiar with the quote from George Santayana:

“Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

Which always reminds me of the impact America’s general Historical illiteracy as summed up in the qualifier to that famous quote:

“History repeats itself because no one was listening the first time.”

This in turn, brings me to the realization that after more than fifty years of daily Historical study, decades of teaching History, and a lifetime devoted to trying to share the insights of History through literature the truth of the matter is aptly summed up by a quote from Aldus Huxley:

“That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.”

President Trump, prove that to be wrong.  Ignore the generals, ignore the neocons, ignore the clamoring agents of the military-industrial complex end the war in Afghanistan and bring our troops home.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2017 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens




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