Michael's Dispatches

Afghanistan: CUT LOSSES

23 August 2012

image001-1000U.S. Rocket Strike, Kandahar Province, 2011

Most people likely wish to hear that everything will turn out right in Afghanistan.  The reality is that it will not end well.  This bastard war will have a thousand fathers and nobody will claim it.

In 2009, I wrote, “If a writer wants to make money, he should avoid truth and tell people what they want to hear.  Yet to win the war, tell the truth.”

Since 2006, at minimum, the AfPak war on the whole has been going down.  Only in 2010 [correction 2011] did I see some flicker of hope for a change of direction.  In my view, that flicker has been snuffed.  And writing truthfully about Afghanistan will never pay the bills, because I have nothing to say that people want to hear.  It is just bad news atop more bad news.

image003-1000USAID project came to standstill in Nimroz Province, Afghanistan, 2011

Our continued losses in Afghanistan are for nothing.  We should continue with a smaller presence to harass and kill terrorists, and losses from that are expected and part of the fight.  But the ongoing larger war is going nowhere.  We have been there since 2001.  This is 2012.  There is no vaguely discernible end.  We should look at Afghanistan as a century-long project, to be put on a far backburner.  The United States has problems to deal with at home.

image005-1000Shortly after IED strike, Kandahar Province, 2011

On 21 January 2012, I published the following, and wish to reiterate today:

Time to Leave Afghanistan

This war is going to turn out badly. We are wasting lives and resources while the United States decays and other threats emerge.  We led the horse to water.

Importantly, there is no value in pretending that Pakistan is an ally. We should wish the best of luck to the Afghans, and the many peaceful Pakistanis, and accelerate our withdrawal of our main battle force. The US never has been serious about Afghanistan. Under General Petraeus we were starting to gain ground, but the current trajectory will land us in the mud.

The enemies will never beat us in Afghanistan.  Force on force, the Taliban are weak by comparison.  Yet this is their home.  There is only so much we can do at this extreme cost for the many good Afghan people.  We must reduce our main effort and concentrate on other matters.  Time to come home.

Michael Yon


+7 # RE: Afghanistan: CUT LOSSESrobin yatess 2012-08-23 14:40
the quality of American Generals is equal to the British Generals in WW1,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,donkey s leading lions.
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+15 # RE: RE: Afghanistan: CUT LOSSESThe Sanity Inspector 2012-08-23 15:27
Quoting robin yatess:
the quality of American Generals is equal to the British Generals in WW1,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,donkeys leading lions.

Disagree: The fault lies in Afghanistan itself. There's only so much civilization a First World power can stomp into a culture like that.
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+17 # Retired Gruntrsbradley 2012-08-23 15:54
LTC (R)Ralph Peters put it bluntly the other day, All we are doing now is feeding egos. This country is again not interested in winning, but in decorating Senior Officers to enhance their records and OPMF's.

Leave the 7th the to the 7th Century. Let Karzai have it.
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+19 # Thank you!Travis 2012-08-23 14:41
Thanks for always being honest Michael, the truth hurts sometimes! God bless our troops!
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+12 # RE: Afghanistan: CUT LOSSESPat 2012-08-23 14:44
Unfortunately you are correct. Time to blast a final swath through the country as we withdraw and let the chips fall. Recent news clips have talked about how the Afghan war has been relegated to the background by the national news media. To Obama it is just a side issue and all he is concerned with is his re-election.
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# From PakistanKhan 2012-09-02 18:12
I wish obama is taken to afghanistan and handed a gun to experience a fight with the taliban , If not fighting atleast he should have once visited a warzone , and spends atleast a month , sleep and eat exactly the way soldiers over there do ! a true leader must know the exact feelings his people have to understand their problems and solve them , Obama is the servant to each and every single american who voted him ! He literally is their servant :P and he should act as one !
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+15 # RE: Afghanistan: CUT LOSSESChris Higgins 2012-08-23 14:50
Thanks for post Michael. Your words are sad but true. While our politicans point fingers, we are simply spilling blood for no reason. Time to rest our military and give our soldiers a break.
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+9 # RE: Afghanistan: CUT LOSSESJohn Smith 2012-08-23 14:51
If we leave now, what about all those who actively or passively helped the Coalition in Afghanistan?

Taliban et al. do not seem like the merciful types to let that slide.
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# RE: RE: Afghanistan: CUT LOSSESDaniel Whin 2012-08-31 20:01
How about if we offer US citizenship to those in Afghanistan that actively supported and helped our efforts? Bring them and our troops home tomorrow. Let our enemies and those who failed to support us fall to their own fate.
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+10 # Ending BadlyJonW505 2012-08-23 14:57
From the beginning I have always thought that we are creating a time space - time to let the afghan forces train propery- time to get the rule of law in place- to get teaching working- to allow tribal leaders to become politicians - to allow famers to grow something else than opium- to allow a chance to interdict with the drug barrons - to allow cross border dialouge - to allow trade - to get finance running. All this and more yet here we are years after 9/11 with thousends of our soldiers killed and injured to come to the same realisation as others before and think hard- are we going to make the difference?

For the people of Sangin whose market was opened under the Brit Rifles yes it made a difference but for others I cannot speak.

As an old saxon wrote over a 1,000 years ago. The British are buying time so we may meet with them. By meet he meant marry, interact and trade and they became Anglo Saxons. None of this happens in Afghanistan.

All this with 3M supporters just across the border in Pakistan.

We are at that defining elemant where the political will may force the military hand and it all un-ravells with tears before bed time. I hope I am wrong, I have seen to many boys come home to see this recorded as a wasted effort.
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+13 # OutRandy 2012-08-23 15:14
I think it was Jim Coyne who had a withdrawal plan for VN even a politician could understand: "On the planes. Now." It's still valid.
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+13 # RE: Afghanistan: CUT LOSSESTheOldMan 2012-08-23 15:27
"This bastard war will have a thousand fathers and nobody will claim it." I often say "Success is a bastard, failure is an orphan!"

#Ending Badly
You wrote " I have seen too many boys come home to see this recorded as a wasted effort." I presume you meant killed and injured soldiers. In finance there is a term "sunk costs". It refers to money, time, effort, etc... that cannot be recovered and is often a mental trap where people keep going in the wrong direction because they do not want to admit that they wasted the resources that have already gone into an effort. I am in no way equating soldiers' deaths or injuries to finance but the concept is the similar. Who has the "courage" to say that it is time to leave without fearing that saying so cheapens the lives of the soldiers who have died or are griviously injured?

I'm not a brilliant strategic "Great Game" thinker, I've never served, I don't purport to know military or political strategy, I'm just an old man and father. I cannot pass judgement on the overall success or failure of our Western effort in AF. If the goal was to punish and kill AQ members and deny them sanctuary, it seems to have been done. If the goal was to create a Central Asia version of Texas, well that can never happen.

At one time, I thought that the West should simply buy the poppy harvest at a higher price than the Taliban can afford. It would help farmers prosper, cut Tali finances, and keep opium out of the market. On further reflection I realized that this can only work in a rule of law market. The Talis will just kill farmers who sell to the West and the rest will go back to selling to the Talis.

It's a wacked out part of the world, I am saddened by the children who through no fault of their own are stuck in that place. Remember the horse and water, some people just cannot be helped. And with PK next door just as riven with ancient hatreds, this problem cannot be "solved" in a few generations.
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+14 # I could not agree moreDave Carlton 2012-08-23 15:34
I could not agree more and have been saying the same thing for months. I just don't understand why we are there. As a retired Air Force combat veteran with a son who has had four tours I think it is time to come home.
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+18 # retired reporterJoseph Galloway 2012-08-23 15:35
There may be 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover...but there's only one way to leave Afghanistan: Load everything and everyone American on the trucks and LEAVE NOW!
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# McKellar's LodgeHeywood Jablomi 2012-08-23 15:36
Pull conventional forces back to the FOBs, and consolidate to the bases that will be required to project force into Pakistan and Iran.

Evict all Afghans from them, so that they can no longer collect intelligence on coalition forces and engage in so-called "green on blue" attacks. Use the FOBs to support SOF. Keep enough arty to maintain good range fans. Keep enough helicopters and fixed-wing to support SOF with an "embarrassment of riches." They should have tactical air on-call at all times.

If SOF wishes to continue to train their dedicated commando units, and to go tear-assing around the country killing Talibs and AQ and drug dealers, then support that. Afghanistan should replace the Republic of Pinelandia and Robin Sage should become a live-fire capstone exercise. Let Afghanistan revert to a Rod and Gun Club for SOF. But the priority should be targets in Iran and Pakistan.

We should no longer prioritize the creation of Afghan military and police units. Too many of the Afghans that would staff such units are illiterate, their loyalties are to tribes, not to a nation-state, and such units too often degenerate into muscle for warlords. Better to train them and to make them loyal to SOF as hired guns. We should recognize that our idealism is not realistic. We cannot "nation-build." It is a bad theory.

The most important thing that can be done for modern Afghanistan is the removal of the Karzai clan, all of it, from the country. Their stolen assets in Dubai and elsewhere should be frozen and seized. They should be prosecuted, all of them, for theft from America.

Then a systematic cleansing and purge of all corrupt political actors in Afghanistan should be executed. If this leaves a vacuum, so be it. Somebody will fill it. If they are corrupt, we should purge them, too. We should continue cleansing until a Darwinian process of evolution finally produces strong, honorable leaders that can lead Afghanistan into the 21st century.

Support them, but within limits, and never losing sight of the fact that we retain forces in Afghanistan purely to project power into Pakistan and Iran.

This, at least, would be an honest endeavor.
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+1 # RE: McKellar's LodgeVespasian 2012-08-23 16:11
Full agreement on the Karzai clan, but leaving any forces in Afghanistan -- even under a clear-eyed, hard-nosed policy of SOF training ground & Central Asian Power Projection hub -- is impractical; what Central Asian nations would continue to allow us their airspace & rail for transit & logistics if we openly declare such? If we decide we need to pressure Pakistan, the way to do so is via India & the Indian Ocean. Even so, better to leave that to the Indians.
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# Eh?BSJ 2012-08-23 17:46
That's just silly.
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+5 # Pretty spot onJohn-Capt in ANG 2012-08-23 19:57
What you describe is basically whats planned to happen. Most of the conventional forces are pulling out this year and into next. Most will be gone by 2014. SOF is already pulling together and consolidating and will be here long after all the others have left. The next ISAF 4-star commander is supposed to be a Marine, so that's a huge tell. Due to congressional limitations I'm told the Army may have to give up a 4-star to make room.

Time will tell. I just surprised Michael seems to discount the SOF affect post-convention al. It was successful coming in. In principle, though, I might agree. As I watch the Afghans every day, watching what is their priority, who are their friends, how do they define an enemy, etc.... This country will not catch up to the 19th century for another couple hundred years and will revert back at least 100 the moment we turn control of security over.
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+1 # JAFOJoe 2012-08-23 20:19
Quoting Heywood Jablomi:

The most important thing that can be done for modern Afghanistan is the removal of the Karzai clan, all of it, from the country. Their stolen assets in Dubai and elsewhere should be frozen and seized. They should be prosecuted, all of them, for theft from America.

AMEN to that. However, the minute we leave they are ALL dead anyway. Our hand would NOT be on it.
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+8 # I concurLarry 2012-08-23 15:52
The biggest problem is that this war is again run by rookie politicians and their lack of commitment to follow through. From being too politically correct to the ROE, Medevacs, it just one big clusterfudge. Our warriors are the ones who ultimately pay the price.
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# but...Toaster 2012-08-26 17:30
You are right in a sense; however, the politicians' mistake was committing ground forces in Afghanistan in the first place. If you think the USA is fighting "The Taliban", then consider that the Taliban have mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters who more or less agree with their cause. How else do you think the Taliban replenishes itself? The Taliban essentially represents the culture of a significant portion of the region. How are you going to fight that in a way that Americans can accept?

We are better off with limited or no feet on the ground, 'coping' with problems as they surface, and evaluating our immigration policy for Muslims.
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# RE: Afghanistan: CUT LOSSESMiguel 2012-08-23 15:57
Take the gloves off, and we could have the whole thing wrapped up in 3 weeks. Since we arn't going to do that I have to agree that it's time to go.

We should have re-written their entire constitution like we did in post-WWII Japan, instead of letting the Afghans elect "Taliban-lite". We should have cleaned out the Taliban safe-haven in Pakistan, instead of letting the Pakistanis pretend like they are our allies and "take care of the Warzistan problem" for us. We should have used ROE that put the lives of our troops above the lives of the enemy, instead of twisting ourselves in double-jointed pretzels to adhere to conventions that our enemy wasn't even a signatory to.

Unfortunately, in war it's the side who makes the least mistakes that wins.
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# momKathy Brown 2012-08-23 16:02
Michael, this question is totally off-point with today's post, but, I've been searching for the article and pictures you posted of grapes growing in/under/around /through a solid structure in AF. No luck finding the associated post. Could you direct me to it's date?
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# Grapesmasaryk 2012-08-26 16:19
I think this is what you want
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+3 # Old vetBudster 2012-08-23 16:25
Mike, I have worked in Afghanistan as a contractor twice. Once at a FOB and once at a megabase. You are completely correct. We are throwing good money after bad which is secondary to the loss of even one of America's valiant warriors. That country only knows the pain of history and it is satisfied with it. We need to leave the horse at the well.
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+4 # RE: Afghanistan: CUT LOSSESFrank 2012-08-23 16:32
Personally I don't recall one not ending badly. I'm from the Nam era. We loose for the most basic reasons. Politicians, Military Brass riding a desk at the Pentagon, the liberal news media and most of all the American public who actually pays to support wars that kill our soldiers because we don't know how to win. We care more about our reputation in front of our enemy. I always believed that the ones who have the best and smartest atitude when it comes to war and fighting to win is Israel. They take no S*** from anyone except our stupid politicians in Washington. The name of the game is to get in with everything and get out with least ammount of casualties. We do not need to make a career or be the beta test team for contractors when it comes to dealing with any enemy in the 21st century. Drop a small Nuke and it would be the last time anyone would think about threatening this country. History needs to repest itself except we have a bunch of weak people running this country. Never had these problems in the 30's 40'or 50's ask your parents or grand parents. We are a doomed nation and our enemies think we are weak and to caring! Thank your liberal neighbors for this. Time to go to Mexico!!! Were our real problem is.
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+2 # RE: RE: Afghanistan: CUT LOSSESwoodNfish 2012-08-23 20:05
Frank, this isn't a war. It is a police action and we have no business acting as the police of the world.
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+2 # RE: RE: RE: Afghanistan: CUT LOSSESFrank 2012-08-23 22:16
It may not be a war to you but tell that to all the families that lost their loved ones. If the USG is giving out Purple Hearts to Medal of Honor medals. You better believe its a war! The people of this country are the blame for where we are today I include myself. These politicians need to go on both sides of the aisle. We are here because of them.
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+1 # RE: RE: RE: RE: Afghanistan: CUT LOSSESsimon_tpd 2012-08-26 12:35
Quoting Frank:
. . . We are here because of them.

I'm in total agreement with you Frank, this is where our apathy has gotten us.
Much easier to blame our leaders than to accept the fact that we elected them.
Sadly, there's no end in sight on that front either.
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+3 # Attention returning soldierswoodNfish 2012-08-23 16:57
Attention returning soldiers; would the last one out please put a bullet in Karzai's head?

Thank you.
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+1 # RE: Attention returning soldiersFrank 2012-08-23 22:18
Good one! I agree Double Tap Please!
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+4 # Yep,BSJ 2012-08-23 17:02
Yep, Time to go.

All that time, blood and treasure wasted. So sad.
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-6 # RE: Afghanistan: CUT LOSSESRudy 2012-08-23 17:06
I do agree that George Bush and Dick Chaney were (and still are idiots) and possibly O'dumbo for listening to the Pentagon morons (who war-fight from a desk).. I am a Republican and I hope and pray that Romny and Ryan have better sense than the last 3 Presidents. Syria is an Arab problem as Iran is an Israeli problem.. all of this s*&t is lining up just like it God said it would in Revelations and there's not a damn thing anyone can do about it other than wait and watch - amazing that even our best and brightest (right) don't understand prophecy.
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# JFOJoe 2012-08-23 20:23
The 'regular army" should have gotten out of the way of SF and let SF prosecute this conflict. It would have turned out differently here and in Iraq.
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+3 # RE: Afghanistan: CUT LOSSESphyllis 2012-08-23 17:31
I agree Michael. Why fight a war we will not win. Enough of our young men have been lost on this losing cause. Bring them home.
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+5 # Getting the word outRose W 2012-08-23 17:49
Don't stop telling the truth. Don't stop trying to get more people to listen. Don't stop shouting about what needs to be addressed.

You do this for our military men and women, and they are worth ALL our effort. I will do what I can, which is talk to people about it, write about it, and pray.

God bless you,Michael. Keep at it. We need you.

- your friend and reader, Rose in Wyoming
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-4 # Countries don't get stronger through retreatsCharles, Bath 2012-08-23 18:19

Can you please name one country which has emerged stronger after abandoning a war?

American retreat will be seen as a victory by Islamists worldwide.

Don't forget that Bin Laden was motivated partly by a perception of American weakness.

You are kidding yourself if you think you can get out cost-free. It will be remembered that you were defeated and that you abandoned those Afghans who sided with you.

Cutting and running will cost America dear one day. What do you think the Chinese will think of it? Or the Iranians?
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+4 # RE: Countries don't get stronger through retreatsZack 2012-08-23 19:26
Hadrian is recognized as one of the greatest emperors of Rome because he pulled back the empire to defensible boundaries and build walls and fortifications. You could also arguably cite the British withdraw from AF a century ago. You could also argue about the American revolution. Although the British lost the colonies, it lead (for many reasons) to the height of the British Empire.

Withdrawing from Vietnam didn't hurt American power in the long run, nor did the loss of bases in the Philippines.
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-1 # Vietnam did hurt American powerCharles, Bath 2012-08-24 09:59

there is no doubt that America would be a more self-confident and respected power if it had won in Vietnam. If America had preserved a reputation for always winning in the end, your enemies of today (including Iran) would be more wary. America still lives with the loss of Vietnam today.

Equally there can be no doubt that the loss of the American colonies hurt British prestige and power. Our empire survived and increased it is true, but I would argue that nonetheless we still emerged from the loss of the American colonies as a weakened power. In addition, we did not abandon America, we were genuinely defeated. There is a difference between going down fighting and simply withdrawing.

The Romans always made sure that they won in the end, even if it took 100 years. That was partly why they were so respected and powerful. A Roman army just had to show up and enemies thought they should probably submit because Roman armies always won in the end.
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+1 # RE: Vietnam did hurt American powerChris Higgins 2012-08-24 14:35
You raise a great point when you bring up the American Revolution. Take a closer look. we won very few battles in that war. We did have a very effective insurgency. New Jersey and South Carolina were two hot beds of insurgency. British troops could not leave fortified positions without expecting to be hit. this death by a 'thousand cuts' combined with British wars on other fronts made peace attractive. In Afghanistan, we took our eye off the goal when we started our ill advised war in Iraq. Couple that with the collapse of our economy courtesy of wall street and we just lack the resources and the will to invest any more blood or treasure to shore up a nation bent on living in the middle ages.
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+5 # ArtistJack Lucas 2012-08-23 20:47
We lost the moment our government decided that we should nation-build that 7th century wasteland. There will be a cost to leaving but we're already paying a significant cost by being there.
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+1 # The cost of leaving should be mentionedCharles, Bath 2012-08-24 10:01

My main point is that people who urge a quick pullout never talk about the costs of leaving.
America will emerge a weakened power if it cuts and runs, just at a time when it is crucial that the US maintains its prestige.
The question should be - "how do we win".
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+1 # RE: Countries don't get stronger through retreatsFrank 2012-08-23 22:27
Huh! Let the Predators and Reapers take care of the war with a few Spec.Ops. teams on the ground. Enough of this BS. This is costing lives and money our money. Screw the freakin Islamists. If we had a government that had some testicles we would racial profile like every other country and told the ACLU and the rest to GO SUCK A LEMON.. Will we change out minds five years down the road when we are stepping on IED's? Afraid to go on a bus. Walk into a Federal building? When does the light go on in the heads of America?
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+6 # RE: RE: Countries don't get stronger through retreatsAG 2012-08-24 00:13
I knew we'd lost when Bush said..."Islam is a good religion" Maybe when we get enough and we have a Prez who says..."Islam is not a good religion" we will win. Profile...and close our borders and get a President who doesn't give us away..State by State. Bring our men home. They are nothing but political pawns now.
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# Screw the Islamists? If only it was that easy.Charles, Bath 2012-08-24 10:21

America might never have had to face 9/11 if it had not retreated from Lebanon and Somalia, and failed to respond adequately to the first World Trade Centre and Embassy bombings.

Bin Laden, and many other Islamists, are motivated by a perception of Western weakness. They think that all they have to do is keep hitting us and we eventually give in.

The American reaction to 9/11 to some degree changed that. The Iraqi surge operation also changed that perception.

Cutting and running from Aghanistan risks putting the US right back in the "Western weakness" box. That will merely encourage your enemies to hit you in the future. You will save lives now but lose them later.
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+1 # RE: Screw the Islamists? If only it was that easy.Frank 2012-08-25 01:07

I agree with you on your first and second point. How much money,blood,and loss of lives does it take? We will not win in the eyes of anyone. Did you ever think that these foreign countries are just trying to bleed us dry of our wealth and run our military into the ground? Our Military is tired and equipment is used up. The Islamists will never stop. A radical change from the people of this country will be the only way to stop them. I hope I never see the day we have the same problems the rest of the world have.
Read Looming Towers by Wright this book will open your eyes. I dealt with the RSADF Saudi military on the PATRIOT program for 10 years. They are a strange group of people and do not like our way of life. These are our allies?

We are the Crazy Rich Uncle to the world. Just the other day the DEA gave $12 million to the Mexican government to secure evidence in drug houses and obtain better equipment. What we should be giving them is their Illegals and street gangs back.
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+12 # ARNG19k30 ret, MM2 TF-116 RVNSam 2012-08-23 22:54
As a former Adviser in Viet Nam, I still hurt for the good ARVNs we left behind. That said, Viet Nam was winnable and actually won when we quit and ran like yellow dogs. I was getting my family out during the evacuation and was one of those yellow dogs that ran.

Afghanistan is different. We came in and trashed the bad guys in a few weeks and except for perhaps leaving a few SF teams, we should have been out for at least 10 years. The VNs were and are reasonably civilized. I haven't heard anyone accuse the Afganis of that.

This problem belongs to Russia, China and Pakistan. Let them fix it.
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+4 # Re; SamLarry 2012-08-23 23:07
Excellent points Sam, and thank you sir for your service.
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+1 # RE: Afghanistan: CUT LOSSESJeff E 2012-08-24 12:31
Michael, I could not agree more. And you (as always) eloquently explain why. I felt that the “surge” tried before should have been at least twice the size it was and the Afghan training also sped up and our exit out of there as well, but the will and leadership wasn’t there from the Administration to do that (not a political statement, just a citizen’s view). God bless you Michael. Thanks for being the voice of so many of us.
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+1 # RE: Afghanistan: CUT LOSSESmatt 2012-08-24 16:24
I said the same 18 months ago. Once we gave up on a surge, and we gave up on common sense ROE's, and we gave up on holding Karzai accountable, what is the point of American and British and German and other kids dying or being horribly wounded.

The Afghan elite are rich with our gold. Our friends will have been betrayed by our fickle policy and the part of Afghan society that had the chance to modernize will be sucked back into the maelstrom.

And somehow, at the Pentagon or on Capitol Hill or at the White House, no one will bear responsibility.
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+2 # RE: Afghanistan: CUT LOSSESHeather 2012-08-24 19:05
I have been following the stump speeches and I have not heard Romney or Ryan mention our Troops in the Stan or their plan to deal w/the war. I haven't seen the war mentioned on any of the questionnaires as what is the most important concern to the people filling out those questionnaires. I am angry as well as very disheartened. We have another forgotten war on our hands and I find that disgraceful.

I get it, jobs and the economy are a priority, but so is the blood of our fellow Americans making sacrifices for us. It will be interesting to see if they get mentioned at the conventions.
I can make a safe bet the DNC won't, but will the RNC?

Truly, you can't help a culture that still has the mentality of the stone age.

God Bless our Troops, they are loved and appreciated. Bring them home!
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+3 # RE: Afghanistan: CUT LOSSESex-army 2012-08-24 23:46
I agree with you, Yon.

Why should our troops die for another man's freedom if that man doesn't have the will/ability to fight and keep it?

Bring our troops home. But then upon doing that [from the air] make sure the Taliban has the pleasure of running the country from a deep dark hole.
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+2 # army retirednightstalker 2012-08-25 02:23
There was an excellent radio show on NPR about a month ago. The president of STRATFOR was briefing on the AfPac war. He said the first thing is to define things.

A US WIN would be an Afganastan that looks like Pakistan: some lawless areas, but basic rule of law in the major cities, and periodic elections, if not actual democratic succesion of the key leaders.

A US draw would be the fall of the Karsi government, but a failure of the Taliban to create safe havens for the re-growth to Al Queda.

A US loss would be the re-introduction of Al Queda safe havens and the collapse of regular commerse in Kabul.

He went on to say the successful infiltration of the afgan security forces by the taliban has put a win out of reach. But that the schools and commercial infrastructure we have built during our war have created enough friends that we will have the ability to operate CIA teams after the withdrawal of the traditional military forces. This will prevent the establishment of safe areas for Al Queda. Thus, we are headed for a draw.
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+1 # Lessons of HistoryPeter Lovett 2012-08-27 07:26
As nearly all people are aware there is an adage that goes, "Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them."

Unfortunately this can be applied to nearly all allied forces during both the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns because the lessons hard learnt in Vietnam have been totally forgotten. The generation of officers who came through Vietnam, such as Colin Powell, have been totally sidelined by politicians who thought they knew better. Fools.

The Taliban don't have to win against the allies, they just to have patience, just as the North Vietnamese did, they will possess the field at the end of the day. Heaven help those who pinned their faith on Western nations being able to lead them to a better life. The dark ages will have nothing on what will happen in Afghanistan.
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+1 # RE: Afghanistan: CUT LOSSESrobin yatess 2012-08-27 07:57
exactly right Sir!It is obvious to me that after so many years and there is still major problems there is a flawed strategy which is being ignored by the Generals same as Vietnam.As I said in another post Donkeys leading Lions!
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-1 # Its Long time to stayShah 2012-08-27 14:34
hahahahahahahha h :lol:
keep workingg hard. its long time to be in afghanistan. afghanistan is a contry where you can come on your wish but when you want to pull out its on the wish of Taliban. So i think you need to take feet of Taliban and if they Get mercy on you i hope they will forgive you for your sins. and let you go but wait till the time come.
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+1 # RE: Afghanistan: CUT LOSSESBobby 2012-08-27 16:49
This war started going downhill the moment Bush decided to send half of the Army to attack an entire country to find one man. Has there been any good news?
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+1 # RE: RE: Afghanistan: CUT LOSSESRudy 2012-08-27 18:36
Concur - Bush was/is a moron - just carpet-bomb the infrastructure in these misfit countries until they yell Uncle (Sam, that is).. I would have started with Saudi Arabia, myself.
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+1 # Currently deployed and completely agreeMarie 2012-08-31 17:36
I am currently deployed and enduring my second deployment to Afghanistan. I have lost a very good friend over here, lost many of my fellow Soldiers, and worked to keep many Soldiers alive in spite of their life-threatenin g battle wounds. The hard work and sacrifices are Soldiers have made will never be sustained by this country. It is blatantly obvious everyday and is heartbreaking. God bless the sacrifices our Soldiers are enduring everyday over here and I pray the rest my boys and I get home safely.
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# Afghanistan: CUT LOSSESSheena 2016-05-26 01:35
Informative article, just what I needed.

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# Afghanistan: CUT LOSSESValencia 2016-07-24 06:06
This is a topic which is near to my heart...
Take care! Exactly where are your contact details though?

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