Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Back in time

We hear a lot abut how the Afghan War has been the longest war in US history. Why haven't we been able to win, and more pointedly, didn't we realize that no one since Alexander the Great has been able to militarily prevail there(and even he had to marry one of the local princesses).

Bush is justifiably criticized for not finishing the job and diverting attention to Iraq. Why did Bush neglect Afghanistan all those years. What went wrong?

Then I began to remember what actually happened in the beginning of the Afghan War.

Recall that the Bush Administration actually realized that we should not invade ourselves; but rather our strategy was to give air and special forces support to local anti-Taliban forces known as the Northern Alliance. It was the Northern Alliance who would, and did, defeat the Taliban. They were fierce and competent fighters ( no U.S. training required) and, most importantly, they had the support of the people.

What changed and why? I don't know the answer, but it's surprising to me that almost no one mentions the original strategy and how effective it was; without a massive US ground presence.

Why are the Afghans, who are born fighting and raised with a rifle in their hands, in such need of our training now? What happened to the fighters of the Northern Alliance? It's leader Massoud had been killed, but that was before the war began. Has our support been such a corrupting influence on the government to turn the people back toward the Taliban?

Why don't we just go back to the original strategy-- air support and, at most, special forces on the ground. The rest is up to the Afghans, as it was in the beginning.