America’s current involvement in Afghanistan began shortly after the devastating attacks on September 11, 2001 which saw the destruction of the WTC Twin Towers, significant damage to the Pentagon and the death of nearly 3,000 people. This has now become the longest war in our nation’s history.
We must be realistic in assessing our situation in Afghanistan and the prospects for the future. In doing so, these factors should be considered:
1. Never in recent history has any foreign power been successful in achieving victory in Afghanistan. Both the Soviets and the British failed. In both instances the rugged physical environment, tenacious Afghan fighters and the local geopolitical tribal character of the country made any kind of victory or lasting effective national government, impossible to achieve. The situation has not changed today. It should be noted that even the Taliban had never attained the level of a national government in Afghanistan,confined instead to being rulers only of scattered city regions in the nation.
2. The existing military capabilities of the Taliban and the recruiting of fighters for the jihadist cause in this war are remarkably high. Every time America achieves a victory in this war, whether by a troop engagement, or by the use of unmanned drones in the Pakistani tribal areas, the resolve of the enemy is increased and its recruiting strength in augmented. The quality and educational level of these recruits is increasing significantly. As a result so are the effectiveness and sophistication of their technology and fighting ability.
Notwithstanding the gallantry of our own military which has been truly outstanding, we must ask ourselves this question: How do we visualize the future of America’s involvement in Afghanistan ? For the leftists and liberal elites of America, the answer is clear,but for those searching for a responsible long range solution, the answer is much less obvious.
To achieve long term success and stability will require that America demonstrate strong military resolve, and that political diplomacy be directed toward bringing in a moderate Taliban element as a faction of the Afghan government. The Afghan people must reject the fundamental hard line theocratic element of the Taliban, and a return to the fanatical brutal rule of the past.