9 months ago
Mark Steyn observes:
The pitiful self-inflicted tragedy of the west’s “strategy” in Afghanistan is summed up in this opening sentence:
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A newly recruited Afghan village policeman opened fire on his American allies on Friday, killing two US service members minutes after they handed him his official weapon in an inauguration ceremony.
There’s nothing clever or sophisticated about this attack. You don’t have to plot, or disguise yourself, or break into a secure facility. They come to you, to your village. They even give you money. And then they give you the gun. And then you shoot them.
Do they cover that in Pentagon-approved must-read Three Cups Of Tea? Afghanistan is just another in the long roll-call of America’s un-won wars these past six decades – except that it’s taken longer to lose than the others, and in their barbarity the locals demonstrate an almost gleeful contempt for a lavishly endowed enemy with everything except the one thing it needs: strategic purpose. This ought to be a national scandal …
The uptick in attacks by Afghan security forces against coalition troops has hit home, with all troops at NATO headquarters and all bases across Afghanistan now ordered to carry loaded weapons around the clock, CNN learned Friday.
Gen. John Allen, the NATO commander in Afghanistan, ordered the move, according to a U.S. official with direct knowledge of the orders. The order, made in recent days, was divulged amid two more so-called green-on-blue or insider attacks Friday.
It’s ridiculous that we weren’t already behaving this way. This is part of the impetus behind me asking why all Soldiers and Marines don’t already carry a sidearm. In Iraq when the Marines, 2/6 Golf Company, was in Fallujah (2007), they wouldn’t even sleep around ISF unless they had concertina wire and armed, on duty Marines between them and ISF soldiers.
As for the tragedy of the Afghanistan strategy, it isn’t that there wasn’t one. It’s that the flag and staff officers from the Pentagon to Afghanistan came under the spell of the doctrines of population-centric counterinsurgency and nation-building. For it, as Steyn observes, “We came, we saw, we left no trace. America’s longest war will leave nothing behind.” Not even killing enough of the enemy. We will be back again, hopefully as grown ups next time.