Regular readers of this space know that after tortured consideration I, some time ago, reversed a prior opinion and came to the conclusion that there was no good reason to remain in Afghanistan. There were no indications that any degree of permanence would result from American sacrifice. It became inescapably evident that Afghanistan would, inevitably regress into tribalism, illiteracy and mindless commitment to Islam, communicated in large measure by word of mouth.
Recent events prove the painful point. The Taliban and al Qaeda can now take a back seat to American trained and mentored Afghan security forces when it comes to killing American service men and women. To be befriended by an Afghan is, to all available evidence, meaningless. Maj. Robert Marchanti and Lt. Col. John Loftis were murdered in a secure room within the Afghan Interior Ministry by an Afghan intelligence officer. No Afghan in the building attempted to stop the murderer as he left the building.
There are no hearts and minds to be won. Tribalism and Islam will forever trump all other considerations and motivations. We have ‘trained’ them, yet the training only holds so long as it not too taxing or dangerous to actually apply that training. The reality is that we have trained our recent murderers. Americans on the ground with Afghan forces will attest, when the march is over and it’s time to secure a perimeter, the Afghans are making tea, the Americans secure the perimeter.
We have been roundly and frequently criticized by President Karzai; he of corruption, Iranian cash and splendid robes. Afghans, including their President, are ever willing to take our money but unwilling to accept any responsibility associated with it. Loyalty? Please, there is no loyalty outside of loyalty to tribe in Afghanistan, it does not appear there ever will be. Alexander the Great and many who followed learned that Afghans maintain a pride in their ignorance that is incomprehensible to the civilized world; it is, however, what it is!
At least in Iraq there was a chance that positive results might evolve based on an educated population and the opportunity for the Iraqi people to reject totalitarianism and sectarian violence. In Afghanistan there is no such chance, no such hope.
We are the equivalent otherworldly Aliens, the sooner we blast off for the home planet the better off we’ll be. There is no good reason to shed another drop of American blood in Afghanistan.
Leave today, leave tomorrow the eventual result will be the same. The Afghans have proven it to us.