Good War Gone Bad

Soldiers in Afghanistan

In May of 2006, I posed the question: how could the United States allow the pointless and probably illegal war in Iraq derail the imperative and morally justified conflict in Afghanistan? Mine was not an up-to-the-minute, breaking news sort of analysis. It had long been clear that Mr. Bush’s war in Iraq was draining precious resources from the fight against the Taliban and al Qaeda, and, more importantly at that point, the reconstruction projects which would create the economic and social stability to allow the feeble Kharzai government to consolidate political authority throughout the county. The game had already turned by the time I wrote:

America failed to eradicate the Taliban, failed to deliver development aid in the amounts promised, and diverted troops which might have helped to secure the problematic southern provinces — all to focus on Iraq. Any reasonable semblance of a Marshall Plan for Afghanistan would have been cheap and easy, especially when compared against the invasion of Iraq. Now, Afghanistan is under siege by a resurgent Taliban and religious fundamentalism again dominates social behavior in Afghanistan’s cities. The appallingly corrupt Kharzai government has never been able to exert its authority much beyond Kabul. Opium production is at record levels. The people of the country are poor, hungry, and frustrated. Each day the situation gets worse.

What perplexed me, long before I finally took to writing it, was why the neoconservatives in the Pentagon and White House never saw Afghanistan as their perfect test case and allocated resources accordingly. My question was: Why Iraq?

Now, of course, Afghanistan is looking almost as uncontrollable for United States, allied, and United Nations forces as it proved for the Soviet Union. This represents an entirely avoidable strategic blunder, perhaps more significant than the fiasco in Iraq. It is not clear that the situation in Afghanistan is salvageable; and even less clear that the United States has the resources available to even make a valiant attempt, as long as Iraq sucks the air out of the military and reconstruction funding.

The mainstream media has finally picked up this story, years late, with an article in yesterday’s New York Times entitled, “How a ‘Good War’ in Afghanistan Went Bad.” Read it and weep.

Advertisements

4 Responses to “Good War Gone Bad”


  1. 1 Iraq war soldier 11 November 2007 at 8:35 am

    This represents an entirely avoidable strategic blunder as significant as the fiasco in Iraq.

    You’re absolutly right.

  2. 4 virginia 23 June 2008 at 11:00 pm

    Frist off i want to say that u guys over in war are so brave and that i do really thank you u for everything i just wish that war didnt have 2 happend at all so all of us could just stay together 4 ever with peace and love but all thats a dream i have i just cant see my sister and brothers diein for something that could of been stop with out war but just know that u do have us who have faith in u all and love all of u.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Blasts from the Past

Man Up!
Man up you pussy!

... because the idiocy of manliness is an evergreen topic.

.

Talking Turkey
how to cook a perfect turkey in half the time

... because Canada and the US will celebrate their Thanksgiving holidays and, regrettably and preventably, not 1-cook-in-10 will serve a decent turkey.

.

Filial Piety Awareness Day
Kaki Tusler, Mother's Day Celebrant

... because everyday is Mother's Day.

.

America Dreaming Small
American Dream

... because the American Dream seems but a distant memory, given the country's dominant ethos of small-mindedness.

.

Serenity and Gratitude to Bring in the New Year
New Year's Eve at Tibetan Pavillion

... to remind us that not every mix of Tibetans and Western spiritual seekers has to be nauseating.

.

Incredible Vision
Infinite Vision

... to celebrate the new edition of Infinite Vision published in India.

.

Expelliarmus! Harry Potter and the Path to Gandhian Nonviolence
Expelliarmus, Potter, Gandhi, Nonviolence

... reprised because military strategy seems more cruel and less effective than ever -- and certainly there is a better way.

.

India Going Nowhere Fast
Nano in Flames

... because cars are ruining Pondicherry, where I live. How badly are they fucking up your Indian town?

.

Understanding the Gift Economy
Gift Economy Explained

... reprinted because more-and-more people seem want to understand the gift economy. (Yeah!)

Join the Banter!

At its most fun, memestream is a dialogue -- or, better, a cacophony -- rather than a library of overwrought essays reflecting a single point of view. For that, we need your two cents!

If you read anything on memestream that provokes an interesting thought, an emotion, a laugh, violent disagreement, passionate agreement, an anecdote, an uncontrollable non sequitur... be sure to leave a comment.

It will be no surprise to anyone who follows this blog that "all the best stuff" resides in the readers' comments. So don't stop reading when you hit the end of the essays. And add your voice to the discussion!

Enter your email address to follow memestream and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 51 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 365,535 hits

%d bloggers like this: