With yet one more act of senseless disrespect toward the Afghani people, this time involving the malicious killing of sixteen Afghan civilians including nine children who were murdered while they slept by an American soldier, one question immediately comes to mind; why are we still fighting this seemingly endless war? What exactly is our goal now in this war? The Taliban are no longer in power and bin Laden is long dead. Our military leaders continually talk of training the Afghan army to take our place, but what is taking so long? We train our soldiers in ten weeks, yet we have been training Afghans for ten years. I recently heard it reported that only one battalion of Afghan soldiers (600 men) have been significantly trained to take over for U.S. troops. This just doesn’t seem to make sense.
It has been reported that the soldier responsible for this horrendous slaughter of innocent lives was deployed in Iraq for three tours and was on his first tour in Afghanistan. It has also been reported that this soldier suffered head trauma while fighting in Iraq. Yet, somehow blame is being placed on a possible Dear John letter he recently received from his wife and that alcohol might also be to blame. I’m no psychiatrist, but of these three scenarios, the real culprit most likely is the head trauma suffered in battle in Iraq.
If all the facts about this horrendous act of violence comes forth, the foremost question will probably be; why was this soldier placed back in battle? However, we all know the answer; that being there are not enough volunteers to restock our military for both the Iraqi and Afghanistan wars, both the longest in U.S. history. Just one percent of Americans have actually volunteered for military service, and as such these soldiers keep going back for tour after tour after tour of duty. If America had only done the appropriate thing and initiated a draft, both these wars would have ended long ago as America would have grown tired of sending its sons and daughters off to fight and die in undeclared and unwarranted foreign wars.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who most likely maintains power solely by the presence of the U.S. military, was quoted as saying if war broke out between the Americans and neighboring Pakistan, Afghanistan would side with their neighbor. This comment alone is enough evidence to end this war. Now is the time for the American government to declare victory and bring all our troops home from this volatile region!
Steven H. Spring