That’s Great About, Stanley. So Why Are We in Afghanistan Again?

OK, Stanley’s out. Petraeus is in. So, now what? The War Afghanistan began in October of 2001 as Operation Enduring Freedom. (Sounds like a feminine hygiene product.) And at the time it was heralded by all as a sound and strategic military riposte to the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11. I sure fell for it. I was here in New York and felt for the first time in my life a rage that knew no comparison, no peer. I wanted to get the bastards that attacked my city and my country and if they said Canada was behind it, I’d be for leveling Manitoba. But as the hate and fog of fear and retribution subsided, I started to listen to the reasons why we were there and began to question why.

Oh, yeah. Minerals.

There’s gold under them thar mountains! It seems that Afghanistan sits atop a treasure trove of minerals. Imagine that. Wow. Who knew?

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A New York Times article noted the following.

A Pentagon team, working with geologists and other experts, has shared its data with the Afghan government, and is working with the Afghan Ministry of Mines to prepare information for potential investors in hopes of placing some mineral exploration rights up for auction within the next six months. On Thursday, Afghan officials said they believed that the American estimates of the value of the mineral deposits — nearly $1 trillion — were too conservative, and that they could be worth as much as $3 trillion.

Imagine that as well! It just so happens that the epicenter of terrorism, the locus of hate and the corporate headquarters of al Qaeda, the Taliban, name it, happens to sit atop a a literal goldmine. Wow. What a coincidence. And what’s more interesting is that we “shared” the data with the Afghani people. Translation: We’re never leaving.

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It’s better to fight them there than here.

Now, this is my favorite rationale (if you will) of all. “They” the terrorists are in Afghanistan. “They” are a unit, a group, a collection. “They” are not an ideology or belief or means of fighting. “They” have no satellite franchises or groups elsewhere. “They” are in Afghanistan. Sorry, I don’t buy that one any more, folks. They are in Saudi Arabia and Yemen and Pakistan and parts of Jersey City. They are in Internet cafes and libraries. They are in mosques and universities. They are everywhere. Some are in Afghanistan.

COIN

Counter-insurgency. The life work of its architect Petraeus is nothing more than a reason justifying our being there. It sounds great and is logically fluid and most interesting when analyzed from afar. But if there was no strategic basis to Afghanistan anent oil rights and pipeline positioning. If there were no natural gas or mineral deposits, we’d surely find another means by which to address the menace that is Afghanistan. And I blame not in the least the military. They’ve no say and are not privy to policy. They enforce the administration’s plans.

Solution

To win the hearts and minds of these folks, inter alia, corruption must be removed. Karzai’s a thug. For the cost of one soldier a year, we could build a school, roads, wells. We could actually outbid the Taliban and save our precious military personnel and materiel.

But then again, what about all those minerals?

  1. You forgot geopolitics; maintaining a regional presence. And I completely disagree with your take on Stanleygate, but there’s not a comment button on your commentary. Obama is using him as a scapegoat to push his agenda in Afghanistan. He may be arrogant, but there was not one directly insubordinate in that article. Otherwise, there wouldn’t there be courts-martial? Have to give Obama credit for being an adept opportunist. And, the writer of that article should win a Pulitzer for single-handedly altering the course of events in one of the most critical conflicts in the last fifty years….

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