fghanistan stinks. The death, despair, cronyism, corruption, the companies licking their chops over lithium and rare earths deposits, the endless funds which are printed here and flow through Kabul to God only knows where, the “heroin bomb” dropped on American cities. The country may look like heaven in places, but for America it has been hell.
It should be noted that the Macedonians, the British, and the Russians, all found themselves bogged down in the Hindu Kush and expended treasure and blood with nothing to show for the effort. Afghanistan killed the Soviets as a superpower.
But we didn’t heed the lessons of history. We found ourselves at the heart of Asia, a strategically vital place and we just couldn’t bring ourselves to leave the it. It’s smack dab between China, India, the Middle East, and Russia. Afghanistan is at the crossroads to the Old World. It is a prize, but the cost is dear, terribly dear.
A Navy SEAL who left his job only a few years shy of full retirement said the following: “I got out because I couldn’t take it anymore. We tried to explain how much reckless danger we were being exposed to and they told us we were being illogical.”
This type of response has created a growing crisis of confidence between our warfighters and senior military leadership. His argument wasn’t illogical at all.
A gut-wrenching pattern began forming in early 2009, a pattern completely ignored by Congress, the White House, and apparently the DoD.
In the first seven plus years of war in Afghanistan (October 2001 – December 2008) we lost 630 U.S. soldiers. In early 2009, this administration authorized the implementation of the COIN strategy. Over the next five years, the U.S. death toll skyrocket to 2,292.
Seventy-three percent of all U.S. deaths in Afghanistan have taken place since 2009.
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