reply to post by DerepentLEstranger
Well, I think the term "graveyard of empires" is more of a prideful talking point for Afghans than an accurate descriptor. The British Empire had a
spot of trouble there, but the likes of Alexander and Genghis Khan did a number. It's a matter, I think, of trying to fight a "gentleman's war" as
opposed to just getting it done, and that seems to be one of the problems our own politicians (both in and out of uniform) have failed to adequately
"Nation building" is another of those problems they aren't getting a good grip on. No such thing as "nation building" - there is a nation already
there, and they seem to be taking exception to the wrong sort of interference. If you want to build a nation, it's generally good form to build a
nation the people who will be living in it would like to have. That means letting THEM sort out the detail, rather than imposing them, and just
providing assistance in creating the infrastructure THEY want.
If, after the Soviet withdrawal, we had charged into that power vaccuum left thereby and provided that sort of assistance, the Taliban would never
have been, and Afghans would have had the country they wanted, since they would have been making the choices. The power vaccuum would have been
plugged, and the Taliban would never have had a hook to rise on. had we done that THEN, as a few isolated voices in the wilderness were calling for,
we would not have this war NOW, and there would be no need to discuss strategies and tactics for either side. It was not our involvement in the Soviet
Afghan war that nailed the coffin shut, it was our failure of involvement in the aftermath of that war. Everyone wants to try to blame Operation
Cyclone, and all manner of made up fantasy stuff (i.e. "Tim Osman", et al), but that's all just a smoke screen. Cyclone was a whopping success - the
aftermath was a failure.
"nation building" seems to me to be more a politically correct code word for "government installing", rather than having anything to do really with
I've not much use for Karzai, either. He's just as corrupt as the next guy, and is not much more than a figurehead for an installed government. About
the only thing good that can be said for him is that he is plugging the hole that the Taliban would otherwise be plugging. I don't think the Afghans
much care for either alternative, but it would probably be best to check with an actual Afghan on that.
edit on 2012/8/31 by nenothtu because: (no reason given)