But now -- why, we have got into a mess, a quagmire from which each fresh step renders the difficulty of extrication immensely greater. I'm sure I wish I could see what we were getting out of it, and all it means to us as a nation. ~ Mark Twain, Returning Home, New York World, London, 10/6/1900Any deployment of Combat Troops also includes the follow on support troops, news sites broke a story about the additional 13,000 troops Obama approved for deployment to Afghanistan corollary to the 21,000 Troop increase in March. But, this is not an Obama Apology post.
I'd like to know what War proponents think we are achieving by continuing to occupy the area and increasing the number of US service members in the Afghanistan AO. The Unites States is now in the position to defend Hamid Karzai, called disdainfully the Mayor of Kabul because of the limited scope of his authority, and his corrupt government.
Karzai's August election will only be accepted by some of the powerful Afghan Warlords if they are allowed to have a stake in the new government. This will include giving power to the likes of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar who was responsible for the fighting which destroyed Kabul (and divided the country allowing the Taliban to move in) and possibly assisted Bin Laden in escaping from Tora Bora into Pakistan when Bush purposefully allowed Bin Laden to escape rather than let Delta kill/capture him.
More importantly the US Troops are going to be occupying, policing and nation building in Afghanistan for years. And Counter Insurgencies have a nasty habit of being decades long struggles of alternating low and medium conflict.
From The NATO Afghanistan 2009 Report: Decades of conflict, a nearly non-existent national infrastructure, high levels of illiteracy, endemic poverty and chronic underdevelopment place Afghanistan 174th out of 178 countries on the UN Human Development Index. The Bonn Process provided for a Constitution,an elected President and Parliament and the beginnings of a functioning government. In early 2006, the Afghan Government and the International Community came together in London to develop a strategy for Afghanistan’s recovery. The result was the ANDS which aims to create and develop effective national, provincial and district government institutions capable of delivering basic services. It is a long-term and challenging task that has produced mixed results so far.
The question is: Is it worth it for the US to send more and more men into the AO and have those men return in flag draped coffins?
Getting and Letting (Getting In, Getting Bin Laden, Getting Out, Letting the "Afghans" figure out the rest) would seem to have been a better choice. That plan may have failed and Afghanistan could have turned into another Somalia, or the Taliban could have reclaimed power or Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Burhanuddin Rabbani could have restarted their battle for Kabul or Heroin Drug Lords could have turned the nation into a new Golden Triangle Drug Empire or any number of terrible futures could have happened.
But what we, The US, and ISAF forces are doing now is defending an Administration, labelled by General McChrystal full of "rampant government corruption", who warns that the additional Troops he wants may not stem the Taliban's resurgence. And then it's only a short step to when the locals begin to see Karzai's government as illegitimate, the Guerilla forces as legitimate and our forces as Occupiers.
Of course, the Warfare Proponents who exert massive control over the US Government want continued war and continued transfer of wealth to their coffers. And they don't care about dead Marines and the decades long angst of everyday pains which come home when those who live.