Trump and his circle of sinners are nothing if not arrogant. Secretary of Defense, Jim Mattis, told the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday that: “We are not winning in Afghanistan,” during an appearance at Capitol Hill to discuss the Pentagon’s budget. “We will correct that.”
I have no idea how he believes he can do something so different that he will succeed where many have failed, including the Russians.
Russia invaded neighboring Afghanistan in 1979 to defend the pro-soviet regime in Kabul. They did not leave until 1989. The conflict, which lasted over nine years cost the lives of an estimated one-million civilians, 90,000 Mujahideen fighters, 18,000 Afghan military, and 14,500 Soviet soldiers. After the Soviets retreated, a civil war began and paved the way for the Taliban to take control of the nation.
The U.S. invaded Afghanistan in 2001 and forces remain there today. As of 2014, 149,000 people were killed; by 2016, 2,386 American soldiers had lost their lives. In August of 2009, 100,000 American troops were fighting in Afghanistan.
Throughout America’s longest war, there have been troop surges, troop withdrawals and not a single tactic has succeeded in defeating the Taliban.
Other than the use of nuclear weapons, what change can one former general make which will succeed in the most difficult battle zone in the world?
There is no doubt that thousands of more troops will be sent to fight an unwinnable war. Republicans have never met a war they didn’t love.
Maybe Mattis will succeed; I’m certainly no military expert. But looking back at how badly the Russians were defeated offers enormous doubt. The Mujahideen, led by Osama bin Laden, received aid from the United States, but it was the terrain and style of warfare which eventually forced the Russians out of the country.
Maybe Mattis was simply miming Trump, who claims he can do everything. But that would be a problem; Trump has done nothing in nearly five months.
Please re-post; thank you.
Op-ed by James Turnage
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