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posted on 09 July 2016

America's War in Afghanistan

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America's War in Afghanistan has been going on for almost 15 years, with no end in sight. Here is a recent news story: Obama to leave more troops than planned in Afghanistan.

It's debatable whether President Obama has ever made a good decision about Afghanistan. It's undebatable that this war has been a total disaster not only for the Afghans, but also for America! Hear me out ...

1. No foreigner has ever won in Afghanistan!

Three significant examples:

  1. More than 2,000 years ago, Alexander the Great's conquest of the world by seeking to reach the "ends of the world and the Great Outer Sea" actually ended in Afghanistan!
  2. In the 19th century, the British waged two wars in Afghanistan (First Anglo-Afghan War and Second Anglo-Afghan War). Both failed miserably!
  3. In the 1980s, the Soviets waged a war in Afghanistan (Soviet-Afghan War), only to find the same fate as all previous invaders: give up and withdraw!

Will America's fate be different? "No", according to a Soviet commander (shown below)! For more, read: Soviet commander: U.S. faces similar Afghan fate.

2. Why are we there?

On October 7, 2001, President George W. Bush launched the War in Afghanistan to go after Osama bin Laden, the master-mind behind the 9/11 attack. It was arguably a just war!

Unfortunately, the War in Afghanistan was soon sidelined by the Iraq War, which was totally unjust! For more, read: 9/11 Attack vs. Pearl Harbor Attack.

President Obama proved to be no better than President George W. Bush in using the war as a tool to advance his personal interest: getting re-elected ad nauseam! For more, read: Three Worst American Terrorists: JFK, GWB, and BHO!

As a result, almost 15 years after the war was launched, we are still there in Afghanistan, despite the fact that Osama bin Laden has been killed (in Pakistan) several years ago!

3. What should we do?

Get out, now! Or in the words of a Soviet-Afghan War general: "find your quickest way home"! For more, watch the video at the end.

For America, Afghanistan's situation is fundamentally different from Iraq's as follows:

  1. America's War in Afghanistan was a just war. It is America's domestic politics that has been keeping us from departing there timely!
  2. The Iraq War was an unjust war. We destroyed Iraq and hence have the responsibility to help Iraq get on its feet at least!

Different situations require different dealings!

President Obama has indeed been dealing with these two situations differently, in oppositely wrong ways though. Specifically,

  1. Presidential candidate Obama was right in saying, in 2008, that the Afghan War was just, but the Iraq War was not.
  2. President Obama keeps the just war going, even though the original goal of killing Bin Laden was achieved many years ago. In contrast, he ended the unjust war prematurely in 2011 and had to re-launch it in 2014!

What a total disaster, still on-going! For more, read: President Obama and War.

Like many Muslim countries in that region, Afghanistan has been perpetually at war and will remain so for the foreseeable future. It’s time for us to cut the losses and move on. Very importantly, stop exporting democracy, which does not even work at home! For more, read: Democracy: to be or not to be?

4. Why are we still there in Afghanistan?

In addition to blaming President Obama, blame American politics!

In other words, "too much has been sacrificed there and too little has been gained to justify a total withdrawal now", just like the British and the Soviets hesitated for many years before their final and total withdrawals!

More pointedly, President Obama has simply been treading water in Afghanistan (as well as in Iraq), until the next administration takes over! Meanwhile, more American lives and treasure will be lost. The chart below highlights the monetary cost (Afghanistan war cost).

5. Closing

Speaking of the next administration, between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, who is more likely to end our war in Afghanistan? President Trump, of course! For more, read: America's Post-WWII Foreign Policy.

Now, please sit back and enjoy the video below …

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