Everything that can go wrong is going wrong in Afghanistan. The situation is so bad militarily that The New York Times reported on April 12, "Taliban insurgents have such a strong grip on such a broad area — in particular the southern provinces of Kandahar, Helmand, Oruzgan and Zabul — that even with the anticipated arrival of an additional 30,000 American troops this year, the elections will not take place in some areas, several Western and Afghan officials in Kabul said."
The Times report went on, "But beyond providing security for elections, the American, NATO, and Afghan security forces also have a broader mission: to stem the insurgency, which has sharply escalated in scale and casualties every year since 2006."
The American dead and casualties to date in Afghanistan are 672 dead, 47 in 2009 alone, and at least 2,766 injured. Last week, six NATO soldiers — all of them Canadian — were killed in a roadside blast. The Coalition casualties are 452 dead since the war began in 2001.
The Taliban forces without the sophisticated aid and training provided to the Afghan army and police, according to The Times, "will be determined to respond to any influx of new American forces. Recent attacks by insurgents and Al Qaeda have indicated a growing sophistication and ambition, including spectacular bombings and wave attacks by multiple gunmen on government buildings. Those are likely to continue, Afghan officials said."
April 29, 2009, will mark 100 days since President Obama assumed office. The current war in Afghanistan is not his doing, but if he increases our involvement in that war, as he plans to do, it will become his, and that would be a terrible mistake. Afghanistan is a corrupt country that lives on the proceeds of drug cultivation. The drugs are sold in large part in the U.S. Afghanistan is a country not worth saving even if that could be done by sacrificing the lives of our young men and women.
We rightfully invaded Afghanistan responding to the al-Qaida attack upon the U.S. on 9/11. We expected our NATO allies to honor their pledge — an attack upon one is an attack upon all.
Unfortunately, many NATO countries turned out to be summer soldiers, declining to come to our aid in the numbers they are capable of, and leaving the major fire fights to the U.S.
Most recently, our NATO allies have declined President Obama's request to add sizeable combat forces to the NATO and U.S. forces there now, while President Obama is sending 17,000 more combat troops and 4,000 more training personnel. The British, Canadians, Dutch, and Danish have been the most supportive, but even they have been reluctant to heed Obama's call for more combat troops.
The war, in a traditional sense, is lost in Afghanistan, just as it is in Iraq.
As soon as we leave Iraq, there will be an escalation of the civil war, certainly between the Shia and the Sunnis, and probably involving the Kurds as well.
In the same April 12 New York Times, it was reported that "Members of the Sunni Awakening Councils, the former insurgents who switched sides to help bring calm to Iraq, are increasingly being besieged from all sides.
“Thirteen members were killed by a suicide bomber while they gathered to collect their pay south of Baghdad on Saturday, in the latest of a string of attacks against Awakening members in recent weeks.
“Some of the Sunnis also worry that the Shiite-led government has begun singling out the councils' leaders for arrest while their chief patron, the American military, slowly abandons them."
Obama should come up with a new plan to get out even more quickly from Iraq and to simultaneously leave Afghanistan. If forces hostile to the U.S. pursue us in the U.S. homeland or abroad, as they well might, we should retaliate with special forces and bombs.
Now, when we bomb in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan civilians are injured because the terrorists hide among them, and some civilians voluntarily assist the terrorists. We are then assailed by those governments.
I believe reasonable and responsible worldwide public opinion would agree that the people of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan have an obligation to capture the terrorists living in their midst, and if they can't, we have the right to go after them and root them out, knowing there will be civilian casualties.
If we don't exercise our right of self defense, we will be the patsy.
Pakistan recently turned over to Taliban and terrorist rule the Swat Valley in the northern part of that country. In my view, the Swat Valley should be subject to bombing if necessary for our self-defense. This action is further proof that the Pakistani government is a weak and undependable ally.
The Obama government prefers to no longer use the phrase "war on terror." Whatever they prefer to call it, this war will be with us for the next 30 to 50 years. We should not commit more ground troops to Afghanistan or Pakistan. Instead, massive bombing and special forces should be used.
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