With my youngest child soon to be deployed to Afghanistan, my interest in what is unfolding there is intense. My son is well aware of operational security, and says little, which I respect.
Wars now don’t seem to be won the way WWI and WWII ended; with nations surrendering to other nations. Vietnam was, in part, to stop the expansion of communism. If that was the principal reason, an argument can be made that we did, in fact, win.
If our goal in Afghanistan is to deny a secure base, sanctuary, and shelter to the jihads, do we need the whole counter insurgency strategy? A secondary goal may be disrupting the international drug trade and denying the profits to our enemies. Can we achieve these goals without the whole nation building effort?
My late father served in the CBI Theater in WWII. He had a rare talent for learning languages. He spoke four or five dialects of Hindu, Spanish, and Navajo, all learned while being a foreman. He was no racist in his day to day dealings with the people who worked for him. He firmly believed the two things Asians understood was a boot on their neck and rice in their bellies. When those two things were consistent, harmony prevailed.
The way in which Asian people govern themselves, worship, do business and, in general, conduct themselves shouldn't’t concern us unless and until their activities become a threat to us.
I hear all the arguments, all the theories, all the justifications. What is so striking, to me, is the proponents are rarely, themselves, the ones who will go into harms way.
My position? Remove the threat and get the hell out.