Prescription for AfghanistanMy understanding of the history and people of Afghanistan is the result of thirty five years of observation and study. I am often asked my opinion on the subject of what we should do there next.
We should learn the lesson we should have learned in Vietnam, but evidently didn't, or at least Bush and Obama didn't. Neither of them have read much military history. Obama does not even know the difference between a battalion and a brigade! Once again we have attacked with no strategy. We have had clueless leaders who will not listen to their Generals. In military action there is always the "So What?" factor to be considered. We went in and we killed organized Taliban resistance by stiffening the Northern Alliance, occupied Kabul and sprinkled outposts all over the countryside. So what? Now the Karzai government is more corrupt than King Zahir Shah had been, and Pashtun patriots murdered his family (for corruption, natch) long before the Soviets got there (I was). Slitting throats has been a fond pastime for these people since before Europeans started bathing. I have seen it done, and they truly enjoy the moment. No hellfire missiles can successfully stop a determined man with a dagger in his teeth. Every observer on the ground that I trust says that Taliban are stronger now than at any time since we defeated them.
We need to do in Afghanistan exactly what we need to do in Iraq. Move a couple of Divisions into bases in the deserts near the borders with Iran, on the east and the west, just in case we need them. (We will need them, and we do not need permission) If/when any one of the countries in the region allow terrorists to establish bases to train and prepare to attack American interests, kill them. Our weapons and doctrine are the best in the world at electronic recon and pinpoint attack. We can easily detect and liquidate any formation of company size (Mr. Obama - that's about one hundred men and their weapons) or above.
Let the Pashtuns deal with Taliban. Let them establish their own country if they can, but we should do nothing to undermine the government of Pakistan. After all they already have nukes. Iran on the other hand should be prevented from attaining nuclear power BAMP.
That's my story, and I'm sticking to it, until or unless the facts change. But they have not changed for a long long time.