Michael's Dispatches

Time to Leave Afghanistan

78 Comments

21 January 2012

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.

Sincerely,

Michael Yon

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  • This commment is unpublished.
    Dannyh · 6 years ago
    Well said Michael! I concur

    Keep up the good work brother

    Semper Fi
    Danny
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      jredman · 6 years ago
      Maybe someone should ask the Afghan people wwhat they want. I leave in Feb. for Afghanistan to save lives, not just American lives, I fly Medevac and want to believe that what I risk my life for is for good cause, not based on someone's tired opinion who can't or wont feel what those people have gone thru. Ask the Afghan people if the government they have is worth dying for, if not, then we owe them the power to change it, after all, we took out the last one for them, and gave them the one they have now. We are not there to give them the life we enjoy and take advantage of, we are there to give them a chance at a life they know how to live, in peace. We stayed there to do something right, what kind of people are we if we walk away again. From a soldiers point of view, we need to finish what we started.
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        FThomas · 6 years ago
        Insightful from the perspective of a MedeVac Crew Member headed to the battlefield. I'm a former MedeVac Pilot, but did not fly in combat, but did serve in a MAST Unit with the same conviction that you have - I was there to save lives.

        Regardless of the bigger picture you will make a difference in the lives of all that you come into contact with in the line of duty. It has to start somewhere and starting with just one Afghan person that you are able to save will influence their life and hopefully the lives of those around them.

        Thank you for your service! Be safe and know that there are many people praying for your safety and that of all of our soldiers serving today. Remember that these people have not lived with a true government and society as we know it, but lived in a world of tribes continually fighting amongst themselves. No foreign military has every been able to concur and take over Afghanistan as a whole throughout history let alone establish a democracy of the people. I believe that it is a foreign concept to them and not one they readily understand or even want.
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        dgriego · 6 years ago
        jredman, when you go you go with our prayers before you, and our strong belief in you and what you will accomplish. As the mother of a combat soldier, I confess that I want this war to end, and I grow tired and disillusioned with it all, having seen far too many of our nations finest give their lives, and countless others their limbs. I fear for my son as any mother would...but never once have I wavered in my support of those of you who go, nor will I. May God bless and keep you safe, and thank you so much for what you do. My own son will be there at the same time as you. God speed to you and to him.
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    okiquit · 6 years ago
    Americans turned against the Afghan war years ago because of the high cost and slow progress. We had a chance to make a difference in Afghanistan ... back in 2002-2004, but we gave up the opportunity and sent our resources to Iraq. It's time for the politicians and military brass to admit we gave it a shot, but obstruction from Pakistan and the inertia of an ancient society make further progress too costly.
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      jt · 6 years ago
      Well said. Our chance to really make a difference was after 2001, when international goodwill and Afghan appreciation was at its highest. Instead, we took our eye off the ball and invaded Iraq and the Afghan effort never truly recovered. I find this very sad and I hope that the Afghans can summon up what is needed to bring peace. Otherwise, I fear another civil war is in the offing as the Tajiks will never let the Taliban come to power again.
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    David Quin · 6 years ago
    As much as I hate to do so, I agree. We have spent billions there, have lost some mighty good people and there is no end in sight.

    Those countries we are in now (Pakistan and Afghanistan) sure want our monies but are unwilling to do what needs to be done to fight terrorism.

    Hate to leave those native people who have helped/depended on us in a lurch, but their respective governments have not been of much help.
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    Rex Thornhill · 6 years ago
    I agree Michael. The cost is too great and the benefits are uncertain. I'm tired of seeing our boys come home with missing limbs. I say this as a veteran of the 566th medical detachment, Landstuhl, Germany.

    Dr. Rex T.
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    JimR · 6 years ago
    We should have left immediately after the punitive expedition phase, but before the meals-on-wheels phase. So called "nation building" without the sort of severe national defeat of the level administered to Japan and Germany in WWII, and without a commitment to sit on a country and completely re-work its mores over a period of at least a generation, is a non-starter.
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      David Parsons · 6 years ago
      Exactly right. We should never have flooded Afghanistan with American soldiers. The light footprint, heavy air bombardment was the perfect solution for that place. After sending so many soldiers for so many years, we've lost some of the fear factor that said "don't mess with the Americans"
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        Jack E. Hammond · 6 years ago
        [quote name="David Parsons"]Exactly right. We should never have flooded Afghanistan with American soldiers. The light footprint, heavy air bombardment was the perfect solution for that place. After sending so many soldiers for so many years, we've lost some of the fear factor that said "don't mess with the Americans"[/quote]

        Dear David,

        Actually we should have done the opposite in 2001/2002 when there was a short time span window to destroy both the Afghan-Taliban Leaderships (ie above all to kill Mullah Omar who had put on Mohammedan's cloak in Kabul in 2000 making him in the people's eyes Allah's viceroy in Afghanistan) and al-Qeada. Operation Anaconda was the most critical time period (read NOT A GOOD DAY TO DIE!). But Rumsfeld kept interfering, not releasing that on Ranger battalion stationed north of Afghanistan as asked for by the CIA and not allowing the 101st to bring its artillery. And as a result they escaped giving the Muslim World the impression that Allah was on their side. In counter insurgency if you hear "To little, to late." it is always a bad sign.

        Also the American pubic needs to remember two sayings from Asia:

        * "In war take the last step before taking the first step."

        * "To kill is easy. To unkill is impossible."

        Last the American people need to grow up when it comes to war. Bumper stickers and flags taped in windows are no enough. Anyone after 9/11 that tried to warn them and asked them to just look at a map and do some reading on Afghanistan and Muslims were condemned as defeatists and lacking in patriotism. And no war taxes I knew would come back to haunt us just as it did in the War of 1812.

        Jack E. Hammond
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          David Parsons · 6 years ago
          9/11 taught Islamists that America was vulnerable and could be attacked. The effective response was to kill Taliban & Al Qaeda effortlessly (seemingly) by bringing death from the air, where American power is untouchable and unseen (terrifying). But by trying to chase Bin Laden's gang in their own neighborhood, and by showing our fear to cross the Pakistan border, we looked impotent, and were, and are.

          Fighting on the ground by the Geneva Convention rulebook in Afgh/Pak is a sucker's game.
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          Phil Dickey · 6 years ago
          "But Rumsfeld kept interfering..."

          In our day we had Robert McNamara who micromanaged the war from DC. He later admitted his philosophy was all wrong.
          So far Rumsfeld has had no such ephipany.

          While it is true that the SecDef is a civilian and the military is under civilian authority they should LISTEN TO THE COMMANDERS on the ground. I hate to think of the numbers of us who have died while "big brains" in DC dithered over minutia of diplomacy. By then it's too f'ing late. War is the failure of diplomacy - so get out of the way and let us soldiers do our job!
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    A&N · 6 years ago
    We've let a lot of horses to water and it is a true saying...you cannot make them drink.
    Something definitely stinks and it isn't in Denmark...nor is it cheese...unless you want to consider the big cheese.
    Thanks again Mike...and thanks to our great Military men.
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    Old Av8tor · 6 years ago
    About time you came to the realization! Enough of our kids blood & our treasure. It was never about our national security after Tora Bora. It is now the kind of war Smedley Butler used to write about. Enough ego, enough altruism, we can come home winners by leaving now.
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    The Alchemist · 6 years ago
    I have to be honest, I never thought you'd advocate for withdrawal, Michael, although I completely understand.

    Even a year ago you were a lot more positive and hopeful for our work in Afghanistan.

    What changed your mind the most?
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    The Sanity Inspector · 6 years ago
    There's only so much democracy, liberty, and modernity that you can stomp into a country.
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    GOPsithlord · 6 years ago
    Michael, given your reporting recently, particularly over the complete lack of regard for the safety of medvacs, I can completely sympathize with this view. I don't know what we're trying to accomplish any more. It has become clear we simply don't have the will any more to fight this conflict in a fashion that will ensure the future stability of Afghanistan. If we are to withdraw however, I hope there's at least some responsibility and foresight taken in how we do it.
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    Michael I · 6 years ago
    God Speed brother, and thanks for everything.
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    Claude Pelanne · 6 years ago
    There has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited.
    Sun Tzu

    Michael - Thoughtful insight and I just feel for the young men and women who served selflessly.
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    Mark Sussman · 6 years ago
    Michael,
    I’ve enjoyed and respected your many postings from Iraq and Afghanistan as honest and insightful. But I feel your present message leaves much untold and I would like to hear your deeper thoughts; e.g.:
    (1) You say: The war will “turn out badly”; General Petraeus started well, but the “current trajectory will land us in the mud”.
    I ask you straight: IS THE BLAME HERE TO BE PLACED AT THE C-IN-C’S DOORMAT? SHOULD THE MILITARY TOP BRASS BE MORE ASSERTIVE IN VOICING (EVEN DEMANDING?)A WINNING POLICY? WHAT BLAME MUST THE SECDEF BEAR?

    (2)You say: “best of luck to the Afghans, and the many peaceful Pakistanis”. I ask you straight, (and I believe the sincerity of your words of sympathy re the Afghans and Pakistanis):
    ARE NOT THE AMERICAN CITIZENS TO BLAME AS WELL? WE HEAR MUCH ABOUT HOW WE MUSTN’T BE THE POLICEMEN OF THE WORLD. BUT DO WE NOT OWE FELLOW HUMAN BEINGS UNDER ATTACK BY FORCES THAT WISH TO DICTATE THEIR “DEATH, INCARCERATION & THE PURSUIT OF MISERY” SOMETHING A LITTLE MORE THAN A FAREWELL WISH?

    Michael, let’s hear a little more, in depth, based on your informed, from-the-field, views.
    MarkS Bvue
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    peter · 6 years ago
    AFGHANISTAN is not the Problem. It is Iran on the WEST and Pakistan on the EAST. Michaeel, YOU should know THAT!!
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    Heywood Jablomi · 6 years ago
    The Karzai crime family and its cronies are laughing at us all the way to the bank.

    If the USA had a spine, we would seize all of them, dump them in Guantanamo with fresh copies of the Koran and new prayer mats, and seize all of the money that they have stolen from us that is now squirreled away in Dubai. We should repeat that process with the thousands of corrupt warlords with whom the spooks have made "alliances of convenience." And then they should be prosecuted for idiocy. If idiocy is not a crime, make it so.

    We should napalm every inch of Afghanistan where poppies grow. We should return to do it season after season until the country grows something else. Opium funds the Taliban. A cancer of global magnitude, opium is killing thousands of young Russians, and it has subverted the international banking system for decades. Time to break the needle.
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      adama · 6 years ago
      Don't we have ant Agenr Orage left over from the Vietnam era?
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    Cory Strike · 6 years ago
    I sadly agree with you. I do not see a successful future in Afghanistan. Let's get our men and women out of that archaic country as safely and quickly as possible. Thank you to all of our Military and civilians for their sacrifices.
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    Heywood Jablomi · 6 years ago
    We have no allies in that region. The government of Afghanistan is a kleptocracy. The Pakistani military is in bed with the Haqqanis. If the USA had a spine, we would strike Haqqani targets throughout Pakistan, daring the Pakistanis to resist.

    We should saturate Quetta with our assets and kill the Quetta Shura. Everybody knows that they are there. The Pakistanis pretend that they cannot be located, and due to our impotent protestations, nothing happens.

    We should show no respect for Pakistani territorial integrity or for their hurt feelings or for their insecurities as a nation or for their oh-so-delicate sovereignty.

    We should demolish the ability of Iran to wage war and to threaten its neighbors, and then turn our focus to our own Southern border. It goes without saying that the US needs to purge itself of its own corrupt government, with its racist, lying Attorney General, and the worst president in our history. He should go back to "community organizing" with his communist friends in Chicago.

    May God Bless America. We need it more than ever.
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    Michael Yon Author · 6 years ago
    Dear Alchemist,

    I had been considering this since at least McChrystal's days but needed to be very sure of my position before saying it. There has been (and continues to be) progress on many fronts. General Petraeus came in and there was definite progress. Yet today we ARE already pulling out. France is about to pull back (looks like) and we already have downsized a force that was never sufficient to begin with. I first wrote in 12 dispatches in 2006 that we were losing in Afghanistan. Many people said I was crazy, of course. (That's what they normally say.) Since that time, I've seen a lot more, and studied much more, and talked with far more Afghans, US, British, etc., and our top leadership here and there. The general trajectory is plain to see and even the best case (that I can see) scenario in Afghanistan is not worth it to us. We will not lose the war as the Soviets did. Afghanistan is what it is. I wish the Afghans great success. I like the Afghan people and do not want to abandon them, and withdrawing our main force is not abandonment. We need to bring our people home. We can continue to work there, but we need to dramatically scale back. We are at the whims of Pakistan, and the northern routes, and a horse that doesn't drink much water.
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      Alexandr Solovetskiy · 6 years ago
      Sorry, Mike, we (USSR) did not lose this war! Yes, we lost 15000 good guys in this 10-year campaign. But we did not have the equipment and weapons, as you have. Furthermore it is no secret that the U.S. government (CIA) secretly funded the Mujahideen. American instructors taught them to fight. Against us, in fact, fought the whole world.

      The Afghans are grateful shuravi (Soviet people) who have built up new houses, schools, hospitals (United States did not build anything similar). Soviet army may thanks to stupid politics of Soviet government as a result we had a falling out with the Afghan government and have lost so many soldiers. But we do not consider ourselves to be lost!

      And yes, we had more rights (then USA) to invade Afghanistan. Afghanistan at the time was a contiguous state with the Soviet Union (it has a common border with Tajikistan.) And the flow of heroin from this country in the late 1970s was very high. Moreover, in the northern provinces of Afghanistan gained power radical Islamic (terrorist) movements (not without the help of the CIA), which threatened the security of our southern repuplics.

      This was a game ahead of the curve. If it had not entered it, we (the USSR), would include you (the U.S.). And this, if you remember, was a difficult time for us - Cold War apogee.

      I respect the work that make your ordinary boys and girls in Afghanistan. I hate corrupt politicians. That corruption is often the reason that soldiers are dying. And the same shit is happening now in Russia, in Chechnya, where also there is a struggle against terrorism.

      Sincerely yours, Alexander.
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    James F. McClellan · 6 years ago
    You're right Michael. America has actually already withdrawn, at least the citizens have. There is very little awareness of the war back home and, as you said, the current leadership doesn't have a forward plan.
    A local family has lost two of their three sons there and such heartache should end as soon as possible.
    Thanks to you and to our fine armed forces personnel.
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    Michelle · 6 years ago
    I agree!
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    USN vet · 6 years ago
    Agree with Mike on this one. It is impossible to change this backward culture that is happy living in the 7th Century and engaging in tribal wars (when no outsiders are around to fight), and enjoy the benefits of their chosen religion.
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    George N · 6 years ago
    I find it highly ironic that the promise of freedom for the people of Afghanistan was sacrificed on the alter of the neocon push for Israeli security. They were doomed from the moment the US shifted it's attention and, basically, abandoned the Afghani's for the second time. Although there are extenuating circumstances we are now looking down the road to the third act of this play. The theatre will be opened up to a period of chaos wherein India and Pakistan will struggle for dominance. There is a good chance that a nuclear duel will be performed as a US withdrawal opens up a vacuum of power entangling all surrounding states.
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      David Parsons · 6 years ago
      I find it highly ironic that anti-semites always disguise their fear of Muslims in anti-semitic rhetoric.
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        George N · 6 years ago
        So any criticism of the neocons is antisemitism? Your's is the kind of response that will shed more American blood.
        Fear of Muslims? Hardly. Your's is the fear of truth however. Your comment is pure projection.
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          David Parsons · 6 years ago
          I might have visited psychiatrists offices in my time, but at least I admit to myself that Islamists are our (Western Civilization) mortal enemy. The fact that Islamists and most Muslims hate Jews, hate Israel, and hate anyone who might be friendly with Jews or Israel, is no reason to cower and blame the victim for being attacked by Muslims.
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            George N · 6 years ago
            Go see your shrink about what "projection" means.
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    Michael Yon Author · 6 years ago
    Any suggestion that we are abandoning Afghanistan splats like a raw egg on a hard floor. We've put unknown billions into Afghanistan and years of effort and over 2,000 total lives (and approaching that number just in US servicemembers). The opportunity was afforded to Afghanistan and many Afghans GREATLY appreciate it. Yet we have seen unmitigated theft by government officials and a drug trade in that region unknown to history. Pulling out our main battleforce does not equate to abandonment. It equates to dramatic reduction.
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      A&N · 6 years ago
      I'm sorry...I misunderstood. I thought we went into Afghanistan because they allowed an evil, vile bunch or Islamist terrorists to attack America in an act of war. It was never my thought nor was it our first goal to build a thriving country out of a dung hill. We lost sight of that and wrongly suppossed that we could kiss thie rears, pump billions of $ in there and teach them to be civilized...Oh the foolishness of winning hearts and minds. Our country has long forgotten how to fight a war and win. That's the bottom line. I've lost dear friends there who thought they were fighting for our Nations...good men. But that isn't the case...they are nothing but pawns in the hands of corrupt politicians...who are no better than terrorists themselves...traitors to our own country. Why can't anyone just say it...Why do you tip toe around. Can nobody get to the bottom line anymore? What do you say Mr. Yon. Would you have pity on the wretches who have chosen that life of servitude and barbarionism and sacrifice your own country for it?....or would you really start looking at the facts concerning the whole situation...Look at the whole world Mr. Yon and readers...what do you see? Do you really see the solution is in withdrawing or not withdrawing? Do you see the solutions coming from our lying kpoliticians mouths? I think not. If you have real pity...sympathy for human souls including our military the WAKE UP!!!
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    John_G · 6 years ago
    With Afghanistan as with Iraq, the military did what it was supposed to do within the first few months. We wrapped up most of the Taliban bigwigs early and that really only stopped when the war effort shifted to Iraq (and also with the later defanging of interrogation practices).

    The whole COIN strategy is a variation of the Pacification of Algiers, but that would have required us to (intend to) stay indefinitely and we never really bothered to do the things required to make a COIN strategy work (control the borders, have adequate troops in place to make it work, control the movements of the population till the bad guys could be ferretted out, etc).

    I wonder if it's just mistaken hubris. "Other guys made it work, but we can make it work with less of everything!" or something.
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    CHJohn · 6 years ago
    Our military has served above and beyond the call of duty. I cannot say the same of many of our spineless civilian politicians. Time to cut our losses. Nation-building worked during WWII after beating the enemy into submission first and destroying our enemy homelands. We have never been committed to that goal since WWII--not in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan or Iraq. This was at a great cost in blood and treasure.
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    RComped · 6 years ago
    Afghanistan and actually the entire Middle East is content to wage war and live off stipends from Iran, China, Russia, USA. The war will last forever whether we are there or not. I vote for "not".
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    Phil Strick · 6 years ago
    The real threat, and danger, is if the “bad” guys get a hold of the Paki Nukes. With us gone, that
    ends up being a real possibility. And that threat is more costly and scary than the money we are
    pouring down the drain hole with and lack of support for our troops from up high. But then, the
    American public doesn’t understand, or want to understand, the long range threat - they live for
    today, not for tomorrow (look at our deficit).
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    Ted Thomas · 6 years ago
    for nuclear war? Oh, my gosh, that will never happen!! ... until the terrorists gain enough power in Pak. to funnel dirty bomb material to their allies, who kill 5K to 10K in a western city while attempting to make it look like Pakistan did it.

    They won't be our allies then, will they?

    Sadly, we have failed, and we will pay a heavy price.
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    Warren Eaton · 6 years ago
    Once again the weenies in the State Dept have provided ill advice to a Presient with no knowledge of how to lead, except backwards. Thanks Mike for your always lucid views in theater. :sad:
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    Harry Letaw · 6 years ago
    As a WW-2 Vet, I know that I am not with the program, but lining up in company front and trekking off to the other world ain't no way to run a railroad, IMHO. The world knows that South Asia is a dangerous mess. Enemies know and fear that just as friends, if we have any in that neck of the woods. Folks, we have to line up everyone with fears and interests there -- Iran, Pakistan, India, Central Asians & Russians, Oilstan and NATO and say, maybe 1000 times, let's come to our senses before Ted Thomas' dirty bombs starting start going off. The South Asia Disease is worse than Streptococcus Aureus as it will eat us dead, not alive. Best to All, Billy Hawkfinder; http://Hawkfinder.blogspot.com
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    Jon 5051 · 6 years ago
    Mike, Historically the UK lost 2 full armies in Afghan. The Russians lost, the best we can hope for is leaving a structure that will somehow survive when we all wthdraw. The UK have a date for leaving, yesterday the French threatened to leave. I thought the US mision was to remove AQ from Afghan, kill Bin Lardin and overthrow the Taliban. That has been sucessful. Sadly we have not been able to change the mindset of the 3m supporters of the Taliban in Pakistan. Perhaps the time is right for withdrawl? As always the bravery of the soldiers is never in doubt and they must all be remembered and those injured MUST be supported-forever.
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      David Parsons · 6 years ago
      The UK fought in Afghan to protect their trade routes. The USSR fought in afghan for God knows why - getting closer to a warm-water port? Whatever. The U.S. fought in Afghan to "help" the population. How sickening - sacrificing American lives for a fxxing Nation Building project.
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        lily trueblue · 6 years ago
        Hold on there. DP!! I am stunned by your statements -positing them as facts- are you? And what pray tell did you use as your historical [or practical] reference for these mind farts?
        My husbands been all over the middle east.SINCE 2004!!!! and guess what?? WE ARE LITERALLY PROTECTING THE TREATIED "RESOURCES" and thats our ONLY "military interest!" We are there to protect mega conglomerate interests in RARE EARTH AND OIL-PERIOD!!!! I can tell you personally and directly, my husband IS GRATEFUL he gets to help SOME...But he absolutely despises the arrogant whiney PRO WAR ignorance expressed so eagerly by folks like you -especially the armchair QBs! PLease explain to me why you think we should remain in this Lie of a Forever War! As a wife and mother with both son and husband "walking the talk" I can say THIS WAR WAS PERPETRATED ON LIES & PROFITS the few!! The criminal and despicable actions were initiated by Congress and the White House -and revenge obsessed American public! Who by the way can sit and claim they support but dont lift a finger! How many care packages have you sent ? PTSD suicide prevention? Nah! Didnt think so!
        Shame that all of you who spew "lets kill em all!" arent mustered in and drafted! I wished someone would grow some gonads and institute a full on draft! THEN we'd see a different picture! NO BODY Most especially those frakking carpetbaggers in Congress would be spewing pro war sentiment then I'll wager!
        My husband gets searched, patted down and dosed with excess radiation everytime he comes home by the TSA! He is treated like a criminal in his own country! Yet over there? They are still "TSA tyranny free" -so please tell me again- what and WHO are THE US soldiers fighting for? BRING THEM ALL HOME! NOW!! PLEASE! So we can fix our own VERY BROKEN house!
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    Yousef Teclab · 6 years ago
    I wouldn't mind you detailing your reasons behind why you think we should leave Afghanistan, Mr Yon. I mean I remember during your embeds in Zhari and Kandahar you were quite positive that progress was being made.

    However, I am 100% appreciate your work and the dangers that you go through, sir.
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      David Parsons · 6 years ago
      Good question. I would also like to hear why knowledgeable people thought it was justified to fight in a country of War Lords funded by an untouchable (Pakistan)source of money and weapons (Pakistan)
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    FTM29 · 6 years ago
    I went to Iraq and I am still proud of that mission and what we accomplished but I did not go to the Ghan. Had some opportunities but sat it out. Glad I did. Kudos to those who went but after SFOR and OIF I have had enough war.
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    Frank · 6 years ago
    First of all keep the politicians and the Elite News media out of the wars. Let the US Military brass run the war. Use all the force required to eliminate the threat. Get in and get out.

    We should have taken care of the Al-Qaeda Training camps,left Recon troops on the ground with Intel aircraft. Iraqi was a bigger mistake. Lets just rebuild every dam country we go to war with. No wonder the USA is in debt. Tell the Packys were are reducing their funding. Lives lost for what? The sXXXheads are coming in from every border to set-up Jidhist training camps here. By the way our asses in Washington don't care. Its been illegal aliens, drug cartels and now terrorists with help from the drug cartels.
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    majrod · 6 years ago
    Reminds me of Walter Cronkite's famous quote right after TET.
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    Cary · 6 years ago
    My 20 yr old son is being deployed in July...WTH is our government doing?
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    Ellie · 6 years ago
    Agreed. We are paying our enemies to kill our guys.
    We can leave the Stan but the enemy will not stop. Until Americans and the politicians that are making financial gain stop supporting Islam nothing will change. Americans will die.
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    barbara spalding · 6 years ago
    Thanks for the honest feedback Mike.
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    Gator · 6 years ago
    A few years back a neighbor and I were talking over a cup of coffee. He had been back from Afghanistan about 6 months where he had been building a high voltage power line into Kabul. The main contractor
    was from India. One day a Indian Electrical Engineer came up to him and asked him this question, If the
    19 Hi-jackers were Saudi and financed by the Wahabi Saudi and Osama was a Wahabi then why did you
    people invade Afghanistan. I told him the Saudi are our friends,wink,wink
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    Charles, Bath · 6 years ago
    Don't kid yourselves that leaving Afghanistan will be cost free. You will be perceived as having been defeated - and there is a price that comes with that. Your enemies will see you as weak and will be encouraged to take you on.

    America has lost around 1,886 soldiers in Afghanistan - you lost nearly that many in 1 day on Omaha beach. You didn't quit then and you should not quit now. To be blunt you lose more people per month on US roads than from 10 years of Afghan war. Armies must fight to stay strong.

    And America is not in decay. America will surprise with its strength in the future. America had what most countries don't - a young, growing population, plenty of land, water and natural resources, law and order and unequalled business skills.
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    Anni Golden · 6 years ago
    A powerful majority of our Government ditched our Troops.

    But we need them here. Oil/energy has been the root cause of war since I. This time it's the dope trade with a country that has beaten its population like dogs whenever the occasion calls for it (?)

    Mexico has been 'surging' in all respects e.g. drugs, illegal aliens, murder. Our Government is out of control with respect to managing these matters and all the laws associated with them. Our United States may not remain united at the rate they're going.

    Putting our troops at the border and as many points of entry as feasible is a bill I'd foot.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Harry Letaw · 6 years ago
    We are all Americans here and we all want what is best for America. I find some of the vitriol spilled in these comments to be distressing. I am an old man, so I know what it is to shoot off my mouth and regret it later. Let's cool it folks. Bily Hawkfinder
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Michael G · 6 years ago
    Well put Michael! The only progress made is showing how incapable we are and how entrenched in mindless tactics and manipulation our military leaders are! They censor the media and they have launched a year long campaign now to obstruct oversight agencies from reporting on how disjointed and wasteful their efforts are! If they only paid as much attention to contractors pilfering the taxpayers and the Taliban, this "war" would have been over.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Pencil Neck · 6 years ago
    Yo "One Punch"!

    I lived in Pakistan for a couple of years. They have never been an ally. Regarding Afghanistan, the Romans got their ass kicked. The Britts got their ass kicked. The Russians got their ass kicked. As far as I know, no country has gone from tribal to democracy without a dictator in between. We should have left there in 2002.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Charles, Bath · 6 years ago
      The Romans got their asses kicked in Afghanistan?

      That would have been news to them. The Roman Empire never got anywhere near Afghanistan.
      • This commment is unpublished.
        Janice Stroud · 6 years ago
        I think he might be making a historical reference to the Atilla the Hun or Genghis Khan or whatever his name was that kind of pushed the Crusades back (Rome?)...Been many years since I had a history lesson, but I think the writer was basically reminding us who was the last nation that conquered Afghanistan? And the last time that region/culture decided to expand their borders they did alot of conquering...
        • This commment is unpublished.
          Charles, Bath · 6 years ago
          Hmmm....Attila or Genghis Khan versus the Crusades? That's another interesting one.

          I think that basically the OP did not know what he was talking about in terms of the history of Afghanistan.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Joseph Spooner · 6 years ago
    Recently, I met a Vietnamese physician in LA who was still in vietnam in 69-70 when I was there as an Army officer. We had a lot to talk about but in essence I apologized for our country's betrayal of their country and its people--most particularly the egregious behavior of the Democratic Congress that refused to support the South Vietnamese with ammo etc in 1975 when the Communists invaded from the North (read American Amnesia, the book). We are doing it again in Iraq and Afghanistan and this generation of Marines, soldiers, airman and sailors will have their own apologies to make someday on behalf of our country. And, of course, it is a Democrat who will screw those folks--who else?
    • This commment is unpublished.
      okiquit · 6 years ago
      The South Vietnamese betrayed themselves by running a completely corrupt government and a military led by men who didn't give a damn for their country as long as they could steal, steal, steal.

      We gave the South Vietnamese 12 years, 58,000 lives, 300,000 wounded and hundreds of billions of dollars. But clowns like you say, "If only!"

      If only we had spent another 10,000 lives ... another five years ... another $100 billion ... THEN we would have seen democracy and capitalism replace tyranny and corruption in South Vietnam!
      • This commment is unpublished.
        Joseph Spooner · 6 years ago
        [quote name="okiquit"]The South Vietnamese betrayed themselves by running a completely corrupt government and a military led by men who didn't give a damn for their country as long as they could steal, steal, steal.

        We gave the South Vietnamese 12 years, 58,000 lives, 300,000 wounded and hundreds of billions of dollars. But clowns like you say, "If only!"

        If only we had spent another 10,000 lives ... another five years ... another $100 billion ... THEN we would have seen democracy and capitalism replace tyranny and corruption in South Vietnam![/quote]

        Are you ok okiquit? Your numbers mean absolutely nothing to me and mean nothing with respect to freedom. You knew Vietnamese during the War did you? YOu slept in their villages, did you, as I did, protected by them? You spoke with Vietnamese citizens and found out why they fled North Vietnam did you, as I did? You spoke Vietnamese, as I did, did you? You taught English to the Vietnamese in Hue City in 1970, did you, as I did? You served with the 3rd Marines, 101st ABN and 1st of the 5th ID, as I did, did you? You are not a clown, okiquit, just an angry ignorant bitter man...I suppose you would not have gone to Korea for the South Koreans, would you?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Serge · 6 years ago
    Time to go home!! ;-)
    You're gonna be missed, clowns.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Dan Floyd · 6 years ago
    I am curious about how the varius different Muslim beliefs (Shia, Sunni, other) will mix in our absence. Are they potentially at least a nuisance threat to Iran? Is there a way to exit so that the future will be more difficult for our real enemy, Iran? Let's leave as miserable a situation for Iran as is possible.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Larry · 6 years ago
      You should know how they'll "mix". They will keep on doing what they've been doing for centuries, killing each other.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    . · 6 years ago
    Totally agree, our only objective there should have been to KILL Al Quida and oust the Taliban from power to give the Afgans a CHANCE to live in freedom, But that is not an open ended one sided commitment if the tribes there allow their country to slip back into a muslim dictatorship F em they deserve it.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Richard M · 6 years ago
    Everything in war is now politics. Our military is cannon fodder for ambitious politicians. Look at the conflicts since WW2. Korean vets were lucky to make it home.Then came Vietnam and when it was possible to achieve our stated objectives, politics made it impossible. Now, our guys are
    sent here and there to sacrifice and die
    yet there is no stated objective in terms of winning. The only way US troops should be used is as a last resort but saying that, when they are used go after the enemy, kill him, full steam ahead. If we commit troops, go in there with overwhelming force, and demolish whoever and whatever. Otherwise, don't send them
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Bill Hickman · 6 years ago
    My son was SPEC OPS in 03 and 04 chasing high value taliban targets in the Hindu Kush . Opinion was that it was a no win situation.

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