Monday, June 7, 2010

War in Afghanistan reaches milestone

We have been at war in Afghanistan longer than we were in Vietnam.

The complexities involved in this conflict are immense. One of the main issues contributing to the layers of difficulty here, is the nature of the groups involved.

This map shows Afghanistan and Pakistan, the darkened area in the border regions of both countries show where the Pashtun people live.

Taliban is primarily Pashtun. The above is the primary reason that we are carrying out drone attacks in Pakistan, how Al Qaeda is able to easily cross the gauze curtain that is the border, and why there is no giant outcry from the Pakistani government, or serious effort to stop it.

The region of Pakistan where the Pashtun people live has been largely autonomous, by Pakistani law, because of the tension between ethnic Punjabis and Pashtuns. There is a different type of relation in Afghanistan between the various tribal groups of Pashtuns and the various tribal groups of Afghanis, i.e. warlords.

Then bring into the equation opium poppy production (the largest source of Heroin in the world), endemic opportunistic military and political corruption, a series of colonial intrusions into the region over the last few centuries (including ours, the most recent one). In addition regional religious fundamentalism conflicts with international religious fundamentalism (both Islamic and Christian), and some history of religious tolerance in some areas.

Get Out Now. This is multiple times worse than Vietnam. This will end worse than Vietnam no matter when we get out.
Get Out Now.