"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Time to Go.

The Regular Guy's nephew spent two tours with the 101st Airborne in Afghanistan.   The mission there originally was to oust the Taliban, get Osama bin Laden, and eliminate Afghanistan as a base for worldwide terrorism.   That mission appears complete.   The mission then mutated into a series of plans and surges and strategies to transform Afghanistan into a functioning, peaceful nation-state.   That mission has been an epic failure, as the recent idiocies of Afghanis murdering Americans for the alleged crime of burning Korans that their own people had already defaced.   Mark Steyn captures the problem in a nutshell:

They can breach our security, but we cannot breach theirs — the vast impregnable psychological fortress in which what passes for the Pashtun mind resides. Someone accidentally burned a Koran your pals had already defaced with covert messages? Die, die, foreigners! The president of the United States issues a groveling and characteristically clueless apology for it? Die, die, foreigners! The American friend who has trained you and hired you and paid you has arrived for a meeting? Die, die, foreigners! And those are the Afghans who know us best. To the upcountry village headmen, the fellows descending from the skies in full body armor are as alien as the space invaders were to Americans in the film Independence Day.

The problem is not our strategy.   A one-year surge is not the cure for what ails Afghanistan.   Nor is a ten-year occupation.   Perhaps a hundred years of incrementally increasing contact with the West might help?   I doubt it.   No, what Afghanistan needs, sadly, is about a thousand years of evolution until they become modern human beings.   But we can't wait around for that.    It's time for us to go.   I don't want my nephew, or someone else's, or their sons, or someone's father, losing their lives in that godforsaken place.   

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