The Afghanistan War Fiasco

May 1, 2013

How is it that the only thing America does best anymore is starting wars?  Ever since the first Gulf War, which started on January 16, 1991, the United States seems to be perpetually at war.  During the decade of the 1990s, some sort of military action, either troops were sent in, no fly zones were enforced or air strikes were carried out in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Haiti, Iraq, Macedonia, Somalia and Sudan by U.S. troops either own our own or as part of a United Nations coalition.  When Osama bin Laden pulled off his horrific attack against this nation on September 11, 2001, we first invaded Afghanistan, then Iraq.  After a decade of fighting in Iraq, we finally declared victory and supposedly withdrew our fighting troops from the war ravaged country, although we still have as many as thirty thousand troops stationed there as military advisers.  With no clear-cut exit strategy nor definition of victory in either country, what exactly are our soldiers fighting for?

Theoretically, our war with Afghanistan is to end at the end of next year, however America has a long history of never really pulling out all its troops after a conflict had ended.  The United States has nearly seven hundred and fifty official military bases located in other countries.  We still have thirty thousand troops stationed along the 38th parallel in Korea sixty years after that war ended.  We have numerous military bases located throughout Europe nearly seventy years after World War II ended.  In addition to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, during the past few years the U.S. has invaded or are conducting drone missile attacks in Pakistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Uganda.  Just a few weeks ago, before the Boston marathon bombing knocked Kim Jong-un from the news, talk of nuclear war with North Korea filed our airwaves, as the North Korean dictator was threatening to attack American military bases in South Korea, Japan, Guam and Hawaii in a show of force against U.S. imperialism.

With an estimated one million deaths and more than two million refugees having fled the country during our unfunded and unnecessary war with Iraq, we have left the Iraqi people in such a mess that many believe civil war in that nation is now imminent.  When you consider that our government is seriously talking about taking aggressive action against both Iran and Syria, one cannot help but wonder how we are paying for all these missions, in terms not only of dollars and cents but also that of human life.  Our government has begun cutting much needed aid to its senior citizens, the poor and its children and Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are nearing bankruptcy, however Congress always finds the needed funds to go to war.

On Monday, it was reported that President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan boasted of receiving tens of millions of dollars in cash during the past decade, delivered by the CIA every month in suitcases, backpacks and plastic shopping bags to be used for various purposes.  One U.S. official was quoted as saying “The biggest source of corruption in Afghanistan was the United States,” as this “ghost money” has been used not only to promote corruption but to empower Afghan warlords, many who have ties to the Taliban, the very people U.S. troops are fighting.  Several years ago, it was reported that plane loads of cash were being flown into the country.

When the first U.S. drone attacks began raids into Pakistan, President Karzai declared that if war broke out between the United States and Pakistan, Afghanistan would side with their neighbors.  It is asinine for this nation to be fighting its longest war in our history all the while we our bankrupting ourselves waging warfare in a nation that does not want us to be there and its president declaring his nation would side with its neighbor if war broke out there as well.  America does not want to admit it, however, during the past twenty-five years, this nation has become the world’s most warmongering country, quite possibly in history.  War is big business, and the almighty dollar always wins out, but this violence and madness must end!

Steven H. Spring