The latest insider killings and suicide bombings have sparked a major change in the way US forces operate in Afghanistan.
U.S. troops in Afghanistan have been ordered to significantly scale back operations with Afghan military and police forces after a spike in fratricidal “insider attacks” that has seriously undermined U.S. trust in their local allies.
The decision, officials said Tuesday, is also linked to concerns that American field troops have become more vulnerable to attacks because of Muslim outrage over a controversial anti-Islam video.
Sigh. It’s not about a movie. It’s about the global jihad. Afghan troops were staging insider attacks on American troops long before that video surfaced. Did they have a time machine or some awareness that someone would make a crappy YouTube clip offensive to Muslims at some point in the future?
If our media and leaders fail to grapple with the truth behind attacks on us, what hope do we have of winning the war? None, I’d say.
The orders from Gen. John R. Allen, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, represent a major shift from the long-stated U.S. philosophy that American and NATO troops are here to work “shoulder to shoulder” with their Afghan partners.
The fundamental U.S. strategy is to prepare some 350,000 Afghan forces to take over the country’s security by the end of 2014 so that the United States can pull out its combat troops.
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said he was concerned by the ongoing treacherous attacks by Afghan forces on their U.S. and NATO counterparts, in which 51 foreign troops have died so far this year. But he downplayed suggestions that the U.S. strategy for withdrawing from Afghanistan would be hampered by the decision by U.S. commanders to sharply limit training and joint operations.
It’s past time to pull up the stakes and leave Afghanistan. After crushing the Taliban with a few CIA operatives, special forces and brilliant use of our superior technology, we did our best to drag that country close to modernity and freedom. That satisfied our strategic interests there, some time ago. It’s clear that the people there want neither modernity nor freedom. Give them the freedom to choose their form of government, and they put Christians on trial for their life. Afghanistan’s leaders are unreliable partners. We’re just the latest great power to realize that Afghanistan can’t be fixed.
We should leave, with a threat: The second we see terrorists forming up again, we will be back in swarms of our most lethal aircraft and missiles to take care of the problem. And we will hold the country’s leaders accountable if al Qaeda gains a toehold in the place.