Sunday, February 26, 2012

Unequally yoked

Reality is becoming too hard to silence in the Graveyard of Empires:
Central to the U.S.-led international coalition's strategy for countering the Taliban insurgency is the idea of building up Afghan security capacity by working closely with the Afghan army and police. That requires a measure of trust, which is undermined when Afghans turn their guns on their foreign partners.  ((ya think?))
Just this past week the U.S. Army announced it was creating specially tailored brigades — some now getting training in the U.S. — to perform training and advising missions in Afghanistan starting this summer. It will assign 18-person teams to Afghan combat units in hopes of improving their ability to handle the Taliban insurgency on their own by 2014.
That sounds like a great idea: scatter our troops around in ever-smaller cohorts so they can be drowned in a sea of potential adversaries who seem to have resisted catching any Western sentiments even after a decade of effort by the U.S. and its cantankerous partners, both European AND South Asian.  We should not be surprised that Constitutional-style government, a la 1789, has failed to take root in that far-off land.  It was a product of a specific blend of culture, heritage and--like it or not--religious outlook.  To the extent those are rapidly shifting in Western Europe and the U.S., that same style of governance is becoming increasingly sterile there as well.

It's long past time to stop throwing good money--and lives--after bad in that sinkhole.  The announcement of withdrawing personnel from Afghan ministries due to security concerns(!) should be a brief prelude to the announcement ALL of our personnel are leaving the country for the same reason.  The last one out should ensure the various factions know we're less concerned with who ends up in control than we are that no future attacks against us be hatched in their hooch.  Should that happen, it must be crystal clear our next appearance won't be as a partner, but rather a Punisher carrying only munitions, not money.

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