It's Time for a New Policy Face in Afghanistan
By John Grant
Here’s a modest proposal for President Obama and our policy wizards to consider:
General Petraeus has provided laudable service to his great nation by pulling counter-insurgency theory from the wreckage of Vietnam and giving it CPR, and after his predecessor self-immolated in Rolling Stone, he stepped in and assumed command of US forces in Afghanistan.
But, now, as a New York Times military analysis makes very clear, the mission in Afghanistan has moved on into new territory. According to an independent think tank known as PHOOA, it is time to replace the good General Petraeus with a new commander more appropriate to the reality of the mission.
The new candidate is Bozo The Clown. PHOOA (pronounced P-Hooo-ah!) is an acronym for Pull Head Out Of Ass. It’s time to put someone in charge who perfectly symbolizes the reality of current US war policy in Afghanistan, which is simply in-your-face absurdity.
Reading the latest news from Afghanistan – especially as we approach the annual commander’s briefing to Congress – is reminiscent of that famous Monty Python routine where the Black Knight's arms and legs are cut off, yet he insists, “It’s just a flesh wound. C’mon, you pansy!”
Sure, we could bomb them "into the stone age," and we could muster the resources to keep troops there forever. And our troops are as tough and as brave as any on the planet. But every sign indicates it is our vast national wealth and far superior firepower that allows us to stay while the logic of our occupation runs out of gas. As in late Vietnam, saving face is now our most important mission.
We insist on remaining committed to an enterprise dependent on vast and unaccountable amounts of US tax resources, involving notorious levels of US and Afghan corruption, countless outright lies and delusions, the usual degree of high-powered incompetence, and finally, the resultant destruction and killing.
The reason a policy becomes absurd is that it is formulated at the top from ten thousand miles away based on reasoning and political motivations far removed from the battlefield. Absurdity is defined as: "The state of being ridiculous or wildly unreasonable."
But don't take it from me. According to the Times analysis, many soldiers are finding it an impossible mission -- ie. absurd. Consider the colonel who had the bravery to speak to the New York Times reporter – at his insistence, anonymously.
“You can keep trying all different kinds of tactics. We know how to do that. But if the strategic level isn’t working, you do end up wondering: How much does it matter? And how does this end?”...
For the rest of this article by JOHN GRANT in ThisCantBeHappening, the new independent alternative online newspaper, please go to: ThisCantBeHappening!