10 months, 3 weeks ago by Strawman
As the “get out of Dodge” clock continues to run for the U.S. forces in Afghanistan, one has to wonder what our ten plus years of “helping out” in that country really amounted to. We’ve lost thousands of lives, had countless numbers of American men and women sent home shattered and crippled and spent millions, if not billions of dollars………for what? Accounts of the day-to-day over there paints a picture of a don’t-shoot-until-you’re-absolutely-sure-what-you’re-shooting-at-is-a-bad-guy mandate put forth by the Commander in Chief and those under him.
In effect; our troops are sitting ducks.
The most recent evidence of this comes in the form of a letter from President Obama to Hamid Karzai where by Obama pledged that,” U.S. forces shall not enter Afghan homes for the purpose of military operations, except under extraordinary circumstances involving urgent risk to life and limb of U.S. nationals.” The rules of engagement were made even tighter in 2010 after a series of U.S. bombings killed civilians and homes and villages suffered through night raids by special operations troops.
Basically, U.S. troops are playing a road game and going by Taliban rules while the Afghanis root, root, root for the home team.
What am I missing here? How about this; thanks to both Bush and Obama (yes lefties, George Bush is guilty of this too) our young men and women are risking their lives so we can hopefully come out looking like good guys. Thanks to our leadership (or lack thereof) our troops have been "transformed" into a glorified meals on wheels. The hell with getting the job done. The hell with ridding the area of the Taliban. Instead let’s let Washington play politics with someone’s son or daughter. Our troops are geared up and ready to make a difference while Washington tells them to "stand down." Where have I heard that term before?
It’s this kind of thinking that has kept the U.S. out of the winner’s column since 1945. The same mindset of “let’s not really try to win this war” (or conflict or whatever) has provided the same result; no results. We were compelled to defeat both Japan and Germany in World War II or having the general population of the United States be ready learn to goose step and speak a new language. There were some incentives there. And look what they got us.
America is a country of winners. We strive to achieve, we strive to be the best. Unfortunately over the past 50 years the leadership in Washington has chosen to use the military as a tool, a prop or sometimes window dressing for another tired speech.
I long for a leader who will stand up and say, “We’re going in and kick some ass. We’re going to break things and eradicate the bad guys so that we won’t have to do it again. And if the locals don’t like it they can move. And if the Muslims don’t like it, we’ll bomb them back into the sixth century.”
Which in Afghanistan’s case would be a two hundred year improvement.