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Afghanistan Strategy Cliff's Notes

Wisely, a counterinsurgency strategy for Afghanistan has been adopted by the president.

Fact: Indigenous populations determine winners and losers in all insurgencies against governments.

Fact: Afghan civilians have no "exit strategy."

Fact: The Taliban have no "exit strategy."

Imagine, just for a few moments, that you are an Afghan villager and the father of five children. You have seen with your own eyes what the bloodthirsty Taliban animals do to Afghans who "collaborate" with the Americans. You have seen what they do to their family members.

Being one of the 70% majority of Afghans who are illiterate, you have just heard through the grapevine that the American president has said that the Americans who say they want to help you and your village will begin leaving just two summers from now. The invisible Europeans (save for the Brits) will be gone well before that, you're told.

What incentive do you have to share information with or assist the Americans - let alone openly take up arms - if they're going to be gone long before the Taliban?

Perhaps you conclude that you prefer a life expectancy for your children longer than 18 months? Perhaps you conclude that you like the thought of your head consistently attached to your neck?

The wisdom and arguments for the Americans' most fantastic of military-civilian plans stop right there. With the indigenous population.

Again, imagine you are an Afghan father. What do you do? Does the rest coming from American thinkers and planners matter?

Fact: Indigenous populations determine winners and losers in all insurgencies against governments.

Fact: Afghan civilians have no "exit strategy."

Fact: The Taliban have no "exit strategy."

And now, perhaps, you "get it."

UPDATE: For more elaboration than Cliff's Notes affords, you might appreciate the reading companion of a Wednesday night sneak peak at the Washington Times' Thursday editorial - Obama's quickie: Fighting insurgents takes time.

1 Comment

Overlooked Fact: It's not about strategy. It's about ideology.

Brief Discussion: Americans are not and will never be natives in Afghanistan. The natives with the strongest ideology will prevail.

Implications: This perspective that native Afghans cannot resist the Taliban without American presence betrays a lack of faith in both the strength of will of the Afghan people and the strength of freedom as an overarching ideology.

Conclusion: Embracing this perspective that elevates strategy over ideology insults both American and Afghan people.

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