By saying that the war in Afghanistan is a lost cause, I could be accused of being unpatriotic and a traitor to those in uniform who are “fighting for our freedom.” My closest American friends would be very angry with me for making such an un-American claim. We should show our constant support for our troops who are “fighting for freedom” and “making the sacrifice for my right to disagree.” Patriotic fervor can escalate until the general public forgets that a dissenting opinion is indeed the American way.
But I think it’s a lost cause. More war for this war-ravaged country is making a bad situation worse. What I can say, more politely, is that Afghanistan—not unlike its people and the US soldiers fighting there—has lost its way. Saying that we’ve “lost our way” has become quite popular in the US lately. I think it could apply to the Afghan debacle as well.
The recent prison break in Kandahar freed hundreds of potential Taliban guys. That’s bad because it shows the increasing power and bravado of the oppressive old regime. The regime that is being used to defend the poppy fields that the Afghan farmers are growing for their survival.
Even though growing poppies is against traditional Islam law, it provides income for the farmer’s family and it is used to make drugs that hurt and kill the western infidels so it’s not really so terrible.
When the Taliban ruled, growing poppies was illegal and brutally discouraged. The US “liberated” the Afghan people and overthrew the Taliban. The jobless population turned to farming a crop they knew was profitable: poppy. Now production from this country is exploding.
From poppies you can make both heroin and opium, both of which are becoming a problem in Europe and N. America because of the increased availability, lower price, and potency. According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, heroin is being produced at twice the rate of global demand, leading to wider availability and lower prices.
The new Afghan government is not as powerful as the Taliban was in controlling the poppy growth. There are still farm raids where soldiers destroy the poppy crops, but the farmers are using the old Taliban fighters to protect their fields and shipments. This is returning authority to the Taliban, which is probably why the recent Kandahar prison break was so successful.
I’ve even read reports that the US soldiers have been discouraged from destroying the poppy fields, so as not to destroy the farmers’ only source of income and anger those farmers enough that they join forces with the Taliban.
What a mess. And the US soldiers over there are going to come back to the US in pieces and with PTSD. Human time bombs. Given enough time without therapy, they’ll snap and commit violent crimes against their friends and family. We’ll read about those shocking crimes in the papers, then I might comment on those crimes from my comfortable climate-controlled apartment.
What does it take for us to declare a war lost? Obviously not the human sacrifice.