I hate to entitle this blog so bluntly, but the war in Afghanistan is lost. The huge cost in lives, blood and money that has been expended by the USA is all going down the tubes. I do not always agree with Pat Buchanan, but his column (see first link below) states the case for this conclusion both succinctly and convincingly. Even Sen. John McCain is quoted as saying the war is headed toward “crisis.” You can read the column below, but the basic facts are clear.
The Afghan government does not trust the Obama administration and Obama’s setting a deadline for withdrawal guarantees all Afghans will move to the Taliban’s side. They know that the Taliban will always be with them; whereas, America’s time in Afghanistan is drawing to a close. Afghans want to live, and that means they need to side with the Taliban now or be executed later. The Taliban is now stronger than ever as the people and even the Afghan government try to ensure their future survival when the USA leaves. Buchanan’s column states Pakistani intelligence is now “collaborating fully with the Taliban.” Other Taliban allies are killing aid workers from India, Pakistan’s perennial enemy. The voters of the USA and European nations barely support this war now, and in the next economic crisis, they will demand that remaining resources be spent at home, not fighting the Taliban for control of rocks in a medieval nation. The question is not whether the USA and NATO will leave Afghanistan, the question is when they will leave. Both the British Empire and the USSR faced this question in previous years in Afghanistan. Both cut their losses and got out. America must decide how much blood and money it will waste in this war which lacks any strategic goal or meaningful definition of victory.
America must also make a full and final decision re: whether it will be Pakistan’s or India’s ally. It cannot be an ally to both of them. The USA must choose India. Strategic interests demand it. While President Bush’s administration had many faults, it did realize that the USA needed a strategic alliance with India and pursued it. Obama must face reality and realize that Pakistan has already chosen to be allied to Russia, China and the “Gog Magog” alliance prophesied in Ezekiel 38-39. It is America’s “ally” only as long as the USA is dumb enough to print more money from the Federal Reserve’s fantasyland printing press to support the Afghan War and buy off the Pakistanis with billions of aid “money.” Buchanan’s observation that Pakistan’s intelligence agency is now working directly with the Taliban confirms Pakistan has already made a choice to abandon any allied relationship with the USA.
There is another side to this tragedy that is extremely harmful to the USA’s security interests. All governments of all nations have a central core duty to be sure that they maintain armies that can defend its nation. America’s long and costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have weakened the US ground forces to the breaking point. Not only has the military equipment worn out prematurely, it has caused the military to buy the wrong kinds of weapons for the future all-out war that it will have to fight simultaneously against Russia, China, Iran and all their allies, as prophesied in Ezekiel 38-39. Because of the IED explosives that blew up US Humvees and armored vehicles from buried charges, the US army has expended billions of dollars to buy armored vehicles that are unusually tall, and very heavy. These vehicles resist IEDs, but they are sitting ducks in combat against Russian or Chinese tanks due to their high profiles. They make easy targets for any kind of anti-armor weapon, in other words. These IED-resistant armored vehicles will be coffins in the future Ezekiel 38-39 war.
Even worse, these wars have worn out America’s armed forces with endless redeployments (as many news articles have documented). America’s overdeployed soldiers are committing suicide in rising numbers as their lives, families and health fall apart. Massive numbers of Vets will need PTSD counseling for many years, as more articles have reported. The second and third links reveal just how bad the stresses are getting in the US Army. One reports that General McChrystal, the top US general in Afghanistan, poured his heart out to Rolling Stone magazine about the situation. In his mandated “apology,” notice the photo of the sideways glances by the Obama administration officials which speak volumes about what was said behind closed doors. The other reports that General Petreus fainted during his congressional testimony about the war. That also speaks volumes about the stresses this brave warrior is under as he tries to be a “good soldier” and serve a civilian commander-in-chief who came into office knowing next to nothing about military matters and who makes foolish decisions that a plebe at a US military academy wouldn’t make. It is utter foolishness to send a large portion of your army into Central Asia to expend your soldiers and equipment with no strategic goal. It is foolish to send that army into Central Asia where it has no secure lines of supply, no secure flanks and no safe routes of retreat. The Iraq war had all these positive requirements for waging war. Afghanistan offers none of them.
Let’s talk about the worse case scenario, which is not admitting defeat in Afghanistan and bringing the troops home for a desperately needed rest. The worst case is that the US Army will mutiny in its ranks. The soldiers could finally reach the breaking point where some of them simply refuse to obey orders because they know the war is lost and that they daily are risking their lives and futures for nothing. That sentiment could spread throughout the ranks like wildfire if it ever starts. Ancient empires fell when they became overextended and their militaries collapsed or rebelled. The Roman Empire had cases where armies revolted and displaced emperors. That is how Julius Caesar became emperor. He was a Roman general who “crossed the Rubicon” and got rid of his superiors. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t think such a risk is imminent in the USA, but the risk is growing that entire units could mutiny in the ranks and stop fighting a lost war. I think the army realizes that the Commander-in-Chief is a “community organizer” who is way over his head in the White House. You may have noticed that Obama’s lack of military skills is so profound he called a Navy Corpsman (a medic) a “corpseman” (mispronouncing the word). Everyone in the military noticed Obama’s “newbie” mistake, and, doubtless, rolled their eyes and groaned inwardly. How long will soldiers fight for a leader who knows nothing about their profession and their sacrifices?
The military has to be careful about openly criticizing their civilian leaders even if what they would say is the truth. I am a civilian and I have Constitutional First Amendment rights of freedom of speech to speak for them. I think I just did.