We must be realistic in assessing our situation in Afghanistan and the prospects for the future. In doing so, these factors must 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 terrain, 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.
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, youth and educational level of these recruits are improving the fighting effectiveness of the Taliban significantly.
3.America is no longer welcome by the Pakistanis and the Afghans in the region.
Without the active support of these local governments, and the people,our chances for success in applying the current counterinsurrgency strategy is rapidly decreasing.
Notwithstanding the outstanding gallantry of our own military, we must ask ourselves this question: How do we define the future of America’s involvement in Afghanistan ? We must reconceptualize a future vision for Afghanistan and the immediately surrounding region, and move in that direction without delay. The existing model of counterinsugency is out of touvh with facts on the ground and is faltering. History tells us, and current conditions on the ground confirm, that we should continue this campaign using counterterrorism consisting of airstrikes, unmanned drone attacks, naval based missile launches, and CIA operatives pinpointing local strikes and interacting with the locals both to coordinate strikes and retain intelligence advantages. Significant troop withdrawals should be coordinated with the implementation of this new strategy.