Sunday, December 6, 2020

The likely consequences of abandoning Afghanistan

 Apparently everyone wants to forget the well known horrors of life in Afghanistan when the Taliban ruled there.  The public whippings and execution of women for the least violation of extreme Islamic fundamentalism, abolishment of any education or professional work for them, the regular executions of men as well, the general misery and deprivation of almost everyone.  If we and everyone else pull out, the survival of the Kabul government becomes problematic, as long as the Taliban can continue to wage bloody terrorist war with support from their brothers in Pakistan.

But the only answer ever was to wage real war on the Taliban, ruthless, proactive war, including taking every step to throttle incoming support from Pakistan, and basically make the population more afraid of those fighting the Taliban than of the Taliban.  We civilized and correct Westerners cannot do that, and we didn't build an Afghan army and security forces that would do it and turn them loose.  Once we are gone, the bloodshed will go on and on, but with the Taliban emboldened by our departure and more of the population afraid to fight them, and others encouraged to join them.  I don't see how they can be stopped after that.
When their forces start approaching the big cities, especially Kabul, the flight of tens of thousands will begin, people as desperate or more so than the crowds of Vietnamese climbing over the embassy wall in Saigon in April '75.  How many will we take in, how many will go to Europe or India or anyplace else they can get to?  In ten years will we have Afghan restaurants springing up in US cities as Vietnamese restaurants did?  Will all our soldiers who died in Afghanistan or were crippled there have made their sacrifice in vain, because our leaders couldn't bring themselves to fight to win, not just hold some ground for a while?  How damn stupid are we, to not have learned the lesson in Viet Nam that either you fight to win or don't go there?  Rufus Phillips spent a lot of time in Viet Nam, and he understands what happened then and what's going to happen in Afghanistan.
Letters to the Editor

The likely consequences of abandoning Afghanistan

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