Tuesday, August 22, 2017

America's mistake in Afghanistan

The US invaded Afghanistan in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, and had pretty much routed the villains of the piece.  But instead of exterminating them, the US let them get away.  Remember the Kunduz airlift?  Ostensibly to let "most valuable non-NATO ally" Pakistan save face and rescue its army personnel who were fighting on the side of the Taliban, it allowed (Wiki) "the evacuation of thousands of top commanders and members of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, their Pakistani advisers including Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence agents and army personnel, and other Jihadi volunteers and sympathizers, from the city of Kunduz, Afghanistan, in November 2001".

Well, he who runs away today, lives to fight another day.   They lived on, and they have kept on fighting and the US is still in Afghanistan sixteen years later, with no end in sight.

Add to the Kunduz airlift the starting of another disastrous war in Iraq instead of finishing the war in Afghanistan first, and that is about all you need to know why the globe's sole superpower is bogged down in fight it can't win.

Well, there's more you should know, such as that NATO paid Taliban-owned trucking companies to ship supplies across Pakistan to Afghanistan; i.e., they were paying the people they were fighting.  Not a way to quickly end a fight.   Why couldn't NATO use some other route?  Well, that is a long story involving Iran. 

In my opinion, there should have been no evacuation.  The Taliban, al Qaeda and Pakistani army and intelligence supporters of those should have been captured or wiped out in Kunduz.   The US should have ended the war six months later.  This is not to say that Afghanistan would have remained stable in the longer term.   The effect on Pakistan on the elimination of a significant part of its jihad-loving military also might have been temporary if positive.   But it would not be America's war any more.