Friday, March 26, 2010

How is it going in Afghanistan?

Loyal readers know the Clarion Content has long doubted that there is a cohesive center that can be held together in Afghanistan. We recently read long time American power advocate Robert Kaplan in the Atlantic arguing the opposite case. He is all for lots of troops for the occupation of Afghanistan and America hanging in for the long haul.

Not everyone has Kaplan's perspective. Although the source is undoubtedly biased, as all sources are, one has to wonder how well things are going with the latest United States led actions in Afghanistan. The Israeli based Debka file, who some see as ostensibly aligned with Kaplan, both have been labeled neo-cons, reports, "The United States-British-Afghan force out to capture the Helmand provincial town of Marjah is still wide of the mark. Its control does not extend much beyond the municipal center and main police stations even though the Taliban has not gone all out to resist the allied advance, saving its strength...Among the surprises the allied force encountered were unarmed Taliban fighters queuing up with Afghan civilians to collect US hand-outs for damage, and Afghan soldiers fighting well in a scrap but relapsing into looting and dope in between battles."

The Clarion Content doubts that there is a clear enemy to defeat. The enemies of the United States way of thought extend throughout the population of Afghanistan, this is not a culture with a tradition of democracy or feminism to use but two examples. The enemies of the United States military include many who have no ideology other than they lost their loved ones to the oh so callously labeled collateral damage. What would be considering winning? The Clarion Content does not see that America somehow won in Iraq, leveling the country at a cost of trillions to its own and the world economy, while participating in the killing of upwards of 100,000 Iraqi citizen, losing the lives of 4,000 of America's own military personnel, only to install a different government that has not shown it can keep the peace without becoming autocratic. What win? Is this the scenario Kaplan and General McChrystal hope the United States can replicate in Afghanistan?

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