The War in Afghanistan Is A No-Win Situation
By Stephen C. Rose
The situation in Afghanistan weighs more and more heavily on us. I took it up in a Huffington Post piece a while back titled Could Barack Obama Suffer The Fate of LBJ?
Many wish the war on terror to be translated from a military trap into a POLICE ACTION, something sane observers believe it should have been from the very start.
Today, comes a sad vindication of the reality and a stark warning that there can be no winning in Afghanistan. It will be Barack Obama’s task to cut a deal and be honest about why
Violence in Afghanistan has reached its highest levels since the U.S.-led invasion ousted the Taliban regime in 2001 Source
A Pakistani decision to temporarily bar some trucks from a key passageway to Afghanistan threatened a critical supply route for U.S. and NATO troops on Sunday and raised more fears about deteriorating security in the militant-plagued border region.
The suspension of oil tankers and trucks carrying sealed containers came as U.S.-led coalition troops in eastern Afghanistan reported killing five al-Qaida-linked fighters and detaining eight others, including a militant leader.
Al-Qaida and Taliban fighters are behind much of the escalating violence along the lengthy, porous Afghan-Pakistan border, and both nations have traded accusations that the other was not doing enough to keep militants out from its side.
The tensions come as violence in Afghanistan has reached its highest levels since the U.S.-led invasion ousted the Taliban regime in 2001 and as a surge in U.S. missile strikes on the Pakistani side of the border has prompted protests from Pakistan government leaders.
And this piece from UK notes that the answer lies in cutting a deal with the Taliban, period. Source
There is no question that British troops win almost every battle and firefight, but the Taliban refuse to go away.
For every 10 men they lose, there are 10 more waiting to take their place.
The insurgents have a saying: “You have the clocks, we have the time.”
The British and American strategy seems to be to fight on with increased numbers of troops and try to train the Afghan forces to take over.
Building a country virtually from scratch, containing the Taliban and developing a national army in a land that’s riven by ethnic rivalries and feuding warlords is probably a challenge too far.
Cutting and running is not an option – so cutting a deal may have to be.
Repeat: The War in Afghanistan is a no-win situation. The answer lies in talking to the Taliban, something Barack has already advocated. A protracted military engagement should be avoided like a plague.
A comparison with the 1980s is in order. The 100,000-strong Soviet army operated alongside a full-fledged Afghan army of equal strength with an officer corps trained in the elite Soviet military academies, and backed by aviation, armored vehicles and artillery, with all the advantages of a functioning, politically motivated government in Kabul. And yet it proved no match for the Afghan resistance.
In comparison, there are about 20,000 US troops in Afghanistan, plus roughly the same number of troops belonging to NATO contingents, which includes 5,400 troops from Britain, 2,500 from Canada and 2,300 from the Netherlands. Nominally, there is a 42,000-strong Afghan National Army, but it suffers from a high rate of defection.
War on Taliban cannot be won, says army chief
Britain’s most senior military commander in Afghanistan has warned that the war against the Taliban cannot be won. Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith said the British public should not expect a “decisive military victory” but should be prepared for a possible deal with the Taliban.
The U.S. bombing upon Afghanistan has been a low bombing intensity, high civilian casualty campaign [in both absolute terms and relative to other U.S. air campaigns]. Secondly, this has happened notwithstanding the far greater accuracy of the weapons because of U.S. military planners decisions to employ powerful weapons in populated regions and to bomb what are dubious military targets. Thirdly, the U.S. mainstream corporate media has been derelict in its non-reporting of civilian casualties when ample evidence existed from foreign places that the U.S. air war upon Afghanistan was creating such casualties in large numbers. Fourthly, the decision by U.S. military planners to execute such a bombing campaign reveals and reflects the differential values they place upon Afghan and American lives. Fifth, this report counters the dangerous notion that the United States can henceforth wage a war and only kill enemy combatants. Sixth, the U.S. bombing campaign has targeted numerous civilian facilities and the heavy use of cluster bombs, will have a lasting legacy born by one of the poorest, most desperate peoples of our world. In sum, though not intended to be, the U.S. bombing campaign which began on the evening of October 7th, has been a war upon the people, the homes, the farms and the villages of Afghanistan, as well as upon the Taliban and Al Qaeda.
At least 706,899 people have been killed, and
1,354,224 seriously injured in Afghanistan and Iraq
since the U.S. and coalition attacks, based on lowest credible estimates.
The estimate that over a million Iraqis have died received independent confirmation from a prestigious British polling agency in September 2007. Opinion Research Business estimated that 1.2 million Iraqis have been killed violently since the US invasion.
We must not forget these people who died at the hand of the US.
Autopsy reports reveal homicides of detainees in U.S. custody up to October 2005
Many of the prisoners that died of “Natural Causes” may have died because they didn’t receive Medical treatment or Medication, which is still Murder. Others died because they were tortured. There are many ways to kill a person. Cause and Affect.
There have been more deaths since then. How many, well that is yet to be determined.
The death toll in both wars is staggering to say the least. The number of civilian deaths alone is enough to infuriate anyone.
There no winners in War.