I have been making the case for a year with the help of a cadre of experts in the field of Islamic study, American Politics and Military History, that establishing combat strategy to assuage the Afghan people is a losing proposition. The examples of civil and moral corruption emanating from Kabul trumps even the most egregious examples from DC.
Stories have been coming out of Afghanistan and through the mainstream media sources painting a picture of impending disaster for the past year and there has yet to be any discussion as to whether or not the current strategy is viable. Our Warriors are effecting arrests, captures and the killing of Taliban in spite of Washington's best efforts to deny them victory. Unless you have been asleep for the past 9 years, you are well aware we are in fact fighting the Taliban and, I believe, Islamic forces in general. This makes the entirety of Afghan society suspect so getting as many Taliban off the battlefield as possible is critical.
So imagine my 'surprise' when I read one of today's intel reports from Stratfor, that stated Harmid Karzai was releasing 28 Taliban back to Afghan society with another 45 due to be released sometime this week. Let's remember that this is the guy our government selected as their choice to lead Afghanistan's fledgling, Theocratic government while we sent our Warriors to do the heavy lifting; removing the Taliban from their society.
The problem isn't just that Karzai seems to have a soft spot for the Taliban (another shocker), but there was yet another story about yet another ANA soldier gunning down NATO troops while on Patrol with them. The story makes mention of other incidences in which 'rogue' ANA soldiers have done the same thing. Frankly, I find the term 'rogue' intellectually offensive! These are not the unique acts of individual Afghan's, they are the manifestation of the inner hatred of a people whose all encompassing religious ideology requires acts of murder on behalf of their deity. And we have placed sovereign US forces in the middle of this dark-age madness to 'perform' within the construct of a strategic doctrine that is nothing more than the machinations of madmen.
General Petraeus might have served his country well in his early career but his sense of service to this country has been tainted beyond recognition by the political ideology he clings to here that has led him to resurrect COIN and use it in an environment it can never be successful in. Frankly I don't care what he does with his life, his 'legacy', this sitting CIC's Commanders Intent statement or the steady stream of Chai he is sipping with his buddy Harmid. I do care that others are being required to pay the price for his arrogance, lack of significant knowledge of Islam and his undaunted loyalty to his 'king' and his 'king's' vision for the world. I also care that our Representatives and our Senators in DC are far more concerned with the upcoming election than they are the very lives of our Warriors.
I invite all of you to take a moment and read Herschel Smith's new piece on this latest Jirga, the abysmal failure of Karzai to make any responsible progress with the Taliban and his insistence in returning the Taliban back to normal life in his country. Even a modestly insightful person would be asking; 'just how long are we to show Karzai patience or give any in Afghanistan the benefit of the doubt?'. How long before reasonable men deduce that there isn't anything of value to be achieved - in the long term or the short from our insistence on placing our Warriors at unreasonable risk on the far-flung hope that we can change the hearts and minds of a people imprisoned by the hatred of their own religion?
How many Memorial services for the sacrificed has President Obama attended? How many has General Petraeus attended? Or Gates, Jones, Biden, McMullen? How do they continue to justify their actions which are obviously leading to the unnecessary deaths of our Warriors without any foreseeable, positive (victory for America), end in sight?
Until we have an answer to all of these questions and until the American people, at large, wake from their sleep and hold their elected representatives accountable, we are unlikely to hear any reliable answers or see any positive change. And our Warriors will continue to fight with what they have been given.