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Afghanistan: Whose War?


Afghanistan: Whose war?
By Doug Bandow | Daily Caller

America has achieved its objectives in Afghanistan: al-Qaeda has been dispersed, the Taliban has been punished, an anti-terrorism message has been sent. But Washington’s broader attempt at nation-building has been far less successful, despite the expenditure of nearly 1,000 American lives more than $220 billion. For all this, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, calls the situation in Afghanistan “deteriorating.”

There is no better time than the present for Washington to learn humility. The U.S. cannot impose liberty, prosperity, democracy, and stability on Afghanistan. The Obama administration should focus on protecting Americans from terrorism while leaving nation-building in Afghanistan to the Afghan people.

The easiest way for an American to fly into Afghanistan is on Kam Air from Dubai. But it appears that only Americans fly into Afghanistan on Kam Air from Dubai. Almost, anyway.

The vast majority of passengers on my flights into and out of Kabul were white males, many with military-style haircuts and several with military tattoos. A few may be on active duty. Most probably are private security consultants. As in Iraq, contractors have come to play an increasing role in the way America fights wars.

More significant, though, is the appearance that this is America’s, not Afghanistan’s, war. Afghans are doing most of the dying, of course. But the conflict is what it is because of American (and Western) men and money.

As a city of several million, Kabul is most definitely Afghan. Nevertheless, the city’s organization—to the extent that it exists—is Western. Traffic, commerce, government, and much else revolves around foreign soldiers, diplomats, consultants, aid workers, journalists, and other outsiders who typically show up during war.

Taliban attacks in the capital are few, but no one feels safe. The airport is ringed by barbed wire; the road leading in is filled with concrete blocks and checkpoints. Travelers face multiple bag and body checks. Humvees topped with machine guns stand guard.

Note: The author, Doug Bandow, is the Robert A. Taft Fellow at the American Conservative Defense Alliance, advisor to Campaign for Liberty, and a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute. He is also a former Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan. Read more.

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Bandow's half-assed in his words in the first paragraph of what you excerpted.

Bandow: "America has achieved its objectives in Afghanistan: al-Qaeda has been dispersed, the Taliban has been punished, an anti-terrorism message has been sent. But Washington’s broader attempt at nation-building has been far less successful, despite the ...."

Very funny man!

The objective about Al Qaeda (AQ) depends on which we are or wish to consider, the stated or the real objective. In the forner case, the stated objective was not about "dispersing" AQ; it was about hunting down and either capturing or else killing the AQ leadersip. But that was only the officially stated objective, without, btw, first indicting Osama bin Laden for having allegedly been responsible for the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

Conversely, the real objective really had nothing to do with AQ; otherwise, they would at least have been indicted OBL.

Re. the Taliban

What were they punished for? Was it because they offered to hand over OBL and three times, to boot? After all, they never did anything to the US or any western country, and Bush said that they had had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks, which scores one important truth that somehow came out of his mouth. Or maybe they were to be punished because they drastically eradicated poppy cultivation and, therefore, heroin production and HUGE profits for western elites. Or perhaps it was because they had backed out of the oil pipeline talks with US elites. And the reason might be the latter two, while with some stretch of the imagination, we could hypothetically say that the reason was three-fold, that is, the three reasons I just stated.

Bush said the Taliban had nothing to do with 9/11, and they did offer to hand over OBL.

Bandow: "But Washington’s broader attempt at nation-building has been far less successful, ...."

What a liar. "Nation building" was never part of the plans and even the public wasn't told that the wars were for this purpose.

But perhaps he is using some lies to try to avoid overly disturbing the Obama administration and the military brass who basically run the administration when it comes to the wars on Iraq, Afghanistan and northern Pakistan, as well as the question of Iran, as Seymour Hersh said earlier this year at a GUC 2010 conference in, I believe, Geneva; a conference on or for investivative journalism.

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