We have continuously been critics of the sustained war in Afghanistan. After the first phase of the invasion, al Qaeda had left the country, and the U.S. military quickly lost its purpose there. With the U.S. government under President Barack Obama planning to leave Afghanistan completely by 2014, it would appear that not much has been accomplished in the country, and not much will be accomplished. Counter to the theme being pressed by government officials at all levels, progress in Afghanistan has been nearly nonexistent.
A BBC News report details a secret NATO document pointing to rampant collusion between the Afghan security forces that the U.S. has been training, equipping, and bankrolling, and the Taliban forces that have been killing American servicemen. The BBC report indicates that the Taliban are controlled mainly by the ISI, Pakistan’s intelligence services. In case you hadn’t heard, the U.S. has been giving billions of dollars to Pakistan during the last decade to help the country fight terrorism, not aid it.
The BBC writes of the NATO report that “the document says that in the last year there has been unprecedented interest, even from members of the Afghan government, in joining the Taliban cause.”
And in the report it says, “Afghan civilians frequently prefer Taliban governance over the Afghan government, usually as a result of government corruption.”
The general call of distress was echoed this week by Lieutenant Colonel Daniel L. Davis. In a shocking article published by Armed Forces Journal titled “Truth, Lies and Afghanistan,” Davis describes a dismal scene on the ground in Afghanistan. He says of the allied effort in Afghanistan, “I witnessed the absence of success on virtually every level.”
His assessment of conditions in the war zone is bleak. For instance, he writes of how “insurgents controlled virtually every piece of land beyond eyeshot of a U.S. or International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) base.”
But worst of all, his report echoes one that leaked to the BBC from NATO. The Afghanis are colluding with the Taliban against the U.S. forces. The people American leaders claim the military is protecting are in fact their enemies. Davis writes, “I observed Afghan Security forces collude with the insurgency.” He goes on to say that “Already all across [Kunar] [many elements of] the security forces have made deals with the Taliban. [The Afghan National Security Force] won’t shoot at the Taliban, and the Taliban won’t shoot them.”
The American military and U.S. taxpayers have been training and equipping the ANSF, which now is colluding with the enemy to kill U.S. servicemen. What is the long-term plan for success here?
Davis cites two reports that Americans are being fed a line of bull from the government. He quotes the Afghan NGO Security Office as saying that allied leadership’s propaganda statements regarding the war are “sharply divergent from IMF [international military forces, NGO-speak for ISAF] ‘strategic communication’ messages suggesting improvements. We encourage [nongovernment organization personnel] to recognize that no matter how authoritative the source of any such claim, messages of the nature are solely intended to influence American and European public opinion ahead of the withdrawal, and are not intended to offer an accurate portrayal of the situation for those who live and work here.”
He goes on to cite Anthony Cordesman from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, who wrote, “Since June 2010, the unclassified reporting the U.S. does provide has steadily shrunk in content, effectively ‘spinning’ the road to victory by eliminating content that illustrates the full scale of the challenges ahead. They also, however, were driven by political decisions to ignore or understate Taliban and insurgent gains from 2002 to 2009, to ignore the problems caused by weak and corrupt Afghan governance, to understate the risks posed by sanctuaries in Pakistan, and to ‘spin’ the value of tactical ISAF victories while ignoring the steady growth of Taliban influence and control.”
Commentator Pat Buchanan responds to imminent failure of the U.S. effort in Afghanistan in his post Ron Paul: Reactionary or Visionary by citing the reality of the larger U.S. strategy of world policing. Buchanan writes that “the United States, facing its fourth consecutive trillion-dollar deficit, can no longer afford to sustain all its alliance commitments, some of which we made 50 years ago during a Cold War that ended two decades ago, in a world that no longer exists.”
Buchanan expects a future war between China and Russia, and says the U.S. ought to tell both nations that we won’t be back in Asia anytime soon. In regards to Europe, Buchanan writes, “The Europeans are freeloading, as they have been for years, preserving their welfare states, skimping on defense and letting Uncle Sam carry the hod.”
Read about a strategy for the future of U.S. military operations right here on Friday.