The US and NATO Allies have had Troops in Afghanistan since October 7, 2001–that’s longer than Vietnam, where we lost over 55,000 Military Combatants. What are we going to accomplish that we haven’t already done since the early days of the (then) President George W. Bush Administration? This makes me think of the old adage: “If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging”.
Currently, we are supposedly training the Afghans to defend themselves. Now, let’s keep in mind that Afghans have been Warriors for Millennia. Nobody has successfully conquered their Country, from: Alexander the Great; the British; the Soviet Army and, now, we are losing lives daily. What’s the real reason why we are there?
Surely, we have the Superior Military, on Paper–especially, when you consider the Technology that we bring to the Battlefield. But, still, the question remains: Is there still a Reason why we are Still in Afghanistan? I believe that there are two key reasons: Wars tend to generate Corporate Profits, and the Pentagon needs more and more Power. And, the two might be connected.
The linked “War is a Racket” web site, which provides excerpts of a speech that Retired Major General Smedley D. Butler, USMC, gave in 1933, is as follows: http://wanttoknow.info/warisaracket. The book, of the same title, was first written in 1935. General Butler’s premise was that: “Young Men Shed Blood, and Old Men Earn Profits”. I believe that General Butler knows what he is talking about, after 33 years in The Marine Corps, and with two Medals of Honor to His Credit.
Let’s look at those two reasons that I noted earlier: Pentagon Preference and Corporate Profits. Former President, and (Five Star) General, Dwight D. Eisenhower, in his Farewell Speech, warned about The Military Industrial Complex. The Pentagon needs Wars, Toys and Bigger Budgets to justify so many “Flag Rank” Officers. And, when high-ranking officers retire, they are often hired by Defense Contractors to Lobby their Former Colleagues in the Pentagon. And, the other side of that coin is the very large defense Industry, which only has one Customer–the US Department of Defense.
Just think back to the early days of the US Occupation of Iraq, when the early days of the attacks were on television. Retired General Barry McCaffrey became somewhat of a Media Celebrity. The Pentagon made special briefings available to the Retired Officers, such as McCaffrey, giving them an even better chance to schmooze with their Former Colleagues. The TV Coverage stopped once there were US Deaths–similar to the ban on coverage of Casket Flights into Andrews AFB, in Delaware.
Now, someone might have a better reason why the US and our Allies are still in Afghanistan; but, I like to look at Facts, not Emotion. But, I still believe the real reason is is that: Defense and Industry have always had a much too chummy relationship–just as President Eisenhower suggested.