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The 5 Biggest Insults to American Manhood by the Rules of Engagement in Afghanistan

Bing West and Vince Flynn make the case against the castration of our military.

by
David Forsmark

Bio

February 15, 2013 - 2:20 pm

2. It Spoils Them Rotten

As West spells out in frustrating detail, the nation-building policies of the last two administrations have made welfare clients rather than allies out of Pakistani villages. Even if you think that counterinsurgency programs rather than counterterrorist missions are a wise policy, all carrot and no stick is doomed to fail.

Thus, our military became a gigantic Peace Corps, holding millions of shuras, drinking billions of cups of tea, and handing out billions of dollars for projects. Risk in battle was avoided because generals proclaimed that killing the enemy could not win the war. Senior officials fantasized that the war would be won by protecting and winning over the population. The tribes however, were determined to remain neutral, while the Afghan president tolerated corruption and ineffectiveness. The futile effort to build a democracy diverted the energies of our soldiers and weakened their martial spirit.

For years, Pakistan was in the hunting-bin-Laden business, to the tune of $2 billion a year. If they actually had “found him” it would have been nice publicity, but that would have ended that particular gravy train.

Of course, as Flynn details in The Last Man, the ISI, the Pakistani intelligence agency, was neck deep with bin Laden from the beginning — and the location of his ultimate hiding place only adds to the suspicion that that association did not end after 9/11.

Our policy now is of continuous handouts to tribal leaders whose hands are constantly out, but who will do nothing to help us against the Taliban because they know there is a date certain where we will be gone and they will be on their own.  All the while we do nothing to make them regret coddling the terrorists.

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All Comments   (9)
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This is an eminently wrongheaded article. It is not surprising that much of the supporting documentation comes from novels. You can't boilerplate any strategy but current counter insurgency methods have to available in the range of capabilities that we deploy.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"...kill them whenever and wherever we can find them and let the Afghan government build its own society..."

If properly done, it would also reduce the size of the Afghan government to a core of less-corrupt individuals who have gotten the message and could build that society that could rule a country that has never been ruled before at anything larger than a tribal level.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
US Military strategy and tactics has been White House approved since 1950, per the 1948 law which formed the Air Force. Generals doing dumb things are doing dumb White House things.

The US, a contractual nation, does not understand that trader nations are different and involve routine presentation and use of deadly force to sort out the pecking order in power relationships and to do deals.

The US has tried to use military intervention in the Musim religious activity in various nations. The US has not come up with anything which works, other than compliance and pretending it is not compliance. When US intervention fails, the only fallback position which is not a self-inflicting wound would be to separate from the Muslim nation in question, limiting dealings with them to be similar to what we have with North Korea. We should respect Islam. Their foreign students should not study subjects in the US which would be frowned upon by the Koran, such as nuclear physics. They should be offered more suitable and non-offending subjects like literature, religion, and ethnic studies. Refugees from such places who are not Dhimmi can be directed to Europe or other places, but not to the US.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
In my view, this all started with the creation of the U.N. WWII was the last war we actually fought to win. As in win the war, let the hearts and minds take care of themselves.

One could make the argument that we fought the first gulf war to win, and accomplished what we set out to do, kick Iraq out of Kuwait, but to win, we would have gone up to Baghdad and Saddam then. Saving us the trouble of going back later. But that would have been viewed as aggression. Well duhhh.

We fought WWII in Europe and the Pacific by massive destruction and killing of the enemy and the civilian populations that supported him. Then we helped patch up what was left after we destroyed the desire to keep fighting on the other side. Created two solid allies and two of the strongest capitalist economies in history.

since then, it's been all about containment and winning hearts and minds. Muslims aren't interested in capitalism or democracy. Let them live in the 7th century and if they attack us, respond with such ferocity they won't want to try it again for many generations.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Greetings:

One of my favorite counter-insurgency stories comes from T.R. Fehrenbach's "Commanches: The History of a People". Back in the mid-1800s, the Texicans were having some difficulties with their aforementioned neighbors. Those neighbors had a kind of "good cop, bad cop" theory of intertribal relations in which a certain amount of gifting might preclude a certain amount of raiding.

Understanding the inexactness of thes proclivities, the Texicans invited the Comanches to a meeting (pow wow ???) at the courthouse in old San Antone to hash out some specifics. When the Amerindians arrived, the Texicans locked the courthouse and began shooting them. Those Indians crafty enough to escape the building set upon and were, in turn, set upon by local citizenry.

The author, based on his years of study, concluded that the Texicans' trap resulted in the killing of many Comanche leaders and its long term effects contributed significantly to the Comanches demise.

Americans used to know how to do these things.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And those in charge are wondering at the jump in suicides in the military....
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It is Deja Vu all over again: Keith Laumer witnessed the S.E. Asian
version of this and wrote it into his stories of an...unconventional
officer of the Corps Diplomatique Terrestrienne:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jame_Retief
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The stuffed shirts in business suits who infest Washington & work for the government don't care,they have their careers to think about. Troops get killed or maimed every day because of idiotic rules dictated by these careerists.They can always get more troops from the underclass,why question their policies & jeopardize their careers for the benefit of the troops!
PS: I recall reading something many years back about classified/secret documents in Washington.A majority of these classified documents had little or nothing to do with national security.They were classified to protect the reputations of government hot-shots who had been responsible for bad policies.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The cruels of engagement are an insult to mentalhood.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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