May 24, 2010

Really bad news in Afghanistan may never go away any time soon

An article needs to be written (here is an outline) of the possibility that the war in Afghanistan could continue even if the US got out. And that the US getting out won’t ever make immediate sense, despite long turn advisability.

An area where I am reluctant to go, but I hope others explore, is the possibility that the Afghan War is more hopeless than a “Catch 22". When the Soviets left, massive carnage and confusion followed as the warlords fought among themselves. Today the more General McChrystal avoids civilian deaths the more tolerable endless war will be. This, especially if Mullah Omar keeps responding with a strict code of ethics, of his own, often individually warning people to specifically stop cooperating with the Americans on a specific project before attacking them, and never attacking open markets and other civilian gatherings. The US tries especially under General McChrystal to use PR and try to win the hearts and minds. But now so is Mullah Omar, no more Internet executions, and he is demanding without total success that girls schools not be attacked. This careful policy on both sides makes a forever war possible if the US doesn’t run out of funds. People employed as a soldier or guard no matter what side, can become afraid of not finding work if peace comes. Even some in the Taliban may worry about no longer being able to steal supplies if the US leaves. More than the US military-industrial-complex is involved an addition to war.

A few women sadly putting back on the burqa while crying that the US or Obama or Kucinich betrayed them will spread the image of betrayal nearly as much as many people shouting betrayal as the death rate climbs from fighters continuing to find work, with various warlords. Those warlords that fought with the US will be free, if the US leaves, from avoiding civilian casualties.

If the US stays while a new order is being established as Gilbuddin Hekmatyar, a until recently Taliban supporting warlord tried to arrange, with a power sharing government with President Karzai, instead of cheering the lack of bloodbath, the American public will be incensed if a woman after a short trial is whipped for not wearing a burqa where the US troops are maintaining order or if a traitor to the Taliban is tried and executed while the US troops watch. No matter which scenario happens the American people will be disgusted with the results.

The American people won’t fight forever. If you remember Nixon claimed to have a secret plan to end the earlier war, but first tried carpet bombing and invading Cambodia and Laos. I don’t think a Republican can claim a secret plan a second time, but one may claim to plan to make what he will claim to be generous peace terms, and to take off the gloves if the other side doesn’t accept, conceivably this could mean fighting as rough as the Soviets did, and likewise getting the Muslim world similarly angry at the US. Of course international currency collapse could happen and occur sooner due to war spending, this spending could even be the threshold factor.

Someone please explore the beyond “Catch 22" angle to what the US should do or not do in trying to leave Afghanistan.

Actually I see touches of hope, besides learning to cheer a little bad news to prevent even further bad news to follow. For a little positive hope please see,

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