Wednesday, February 04, 2009

There is no military solution in Afghanistan

When I heard that Obama signed off on a predator drone attack into Pakistan, my heart sunk. It sank again when I heard that Obama is going to commit an additional 30,000 troops to the region. Many experts and historians say that there is no military solution in Afghanistan. There is only a political solution.

The Pashtun region that includes a wide swath of border area between Pakistan and Afghanistan has been called "the graveyard of empires," because of the rough terrain. Look what happened to Genghis Khan, and the British and Indians in the first and second Afghan war. The Soviets, a century later, had 150,000 troops, yet were soundly defeated, and the entire Soviet Union was economically bled dry and crumbled into pieces.

Some may say, "Now we have 'predator drones' so we don't have to put so many troops in harms' way." That may be less controversial, but "strategic bombing" doesn't "demoralize the enemy." It kills a bunch of other people around. Therefore, beyond a shadow of a doubt, we recruit more opposition than we get rid of by killing the one person at that we wanted to kill. Historian Marilyn Young argues that bombing, even when successful, does not win hearts and minds, "I will not be grateful to you for harming someone I don't like in the course of which you kill my kid."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

the greatest conquerers in the history of this planet have gone down to defeat in afghanistan. ghenghis khan, alexander the great, the british empire, and now the neocons "leaner and meaner" military expeditionary force. the bewilderment the leadership faces cannot be eliminated by de-personalizing the slaughter process.
that obama thinks that he can do such a thing shows that he has no better understanding if the nature of the problem than did his predecessors and that is as much of a problem as the last crew of incompetents that were managing
the financial cesspool that military spending has become.

if it is true that there is "no military solution in afghanistan", it's it ominous that obama thinks that there is and that he has already started to transfer the military might in that direction?

what ever happened to the constitutional admonition against keeping a standing army? where is that much "peace" for the peoples of the world? same train wreck, different driver....