Afghanistan and Pakistan: Time to Go

July 10, 2012 12:11 pm 2 comments

President Barack Obama with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Vice President Joe Biden. Photo: wiki commons.

I learned from reading page 9 of the New York Times of July 8th that “The United States declared Afghanistan a major non-NATO ally on Saturday with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton personally delivering the news of Afghanistan’s entry into a club that includes Israel, Japan, Pakistan and other close Asian and Middle Eastern allies.”

The Times also noted the U.S. “pledged $16 billion for civilian needs in Afghanistan, but for the first time insisted that the Afghanistan government resist corruption in order to receive all the money.”

Over the 12 years of our being in Afghanistan, we have read reports alleging corruption of the Afghan government officials, including President Hamid Karzai and his family.  We read that his brother, now dead, was a major drug trafficker.  We have been spending tens of billions annually in Afghanistan, not only on the military, but on rebuilding that country.  The monies invested have not produced the intended upgrading of Afghanistan’s infrastructure, but rather, the upgrading of the personal fortunes of members of the Afghan government and warlords who actually control parts of the country.  Now we know their ability to continue to eat at the trough filled daily with American tax dollars and support from other nations will go on undiminished.  What kind of ally have we purchased with our tax dollars?  We are now spending $2 billion a week in Afghanistan.

We are enriching a host of corrupt Afghans, including President Karzai who, according to the Times, “has in the past at one point call[ed] Americans ‘demons.’”  Worse than that, he threatened on one occasion to join the Taliban against the U.S.  Now reports the Times, “Mrs. Clinton reiterated on Saturday that Washington did envision keeping American troops in Afghanistan, where they would provide the kind of air power and surveillance capabilities needed to give Afghan forces an edge over the Taliban.”

Over the last 12 years, 2,038 American service members have been killed in Afghanistan and 15,322 have been wounded.  What is most shocking is that there is now a rise in the killing of American soldiers and soldiers of our allies in Afghanistan, e.g. Britain, Germany, et. al.  Last week, three British soldiers were killed by a member of the Afghanistan security forces.  Since 2007, we have lost 57 soldiers at the hands of Afghan National Security Forces, which our soldiers were training.  This undoubtedly will go on if we stay there.  The killing of NATO soldiers by Afghan security forces is now called “green on blue.”  Another tragedy took place this past weekend when six American soldiers were killed by the Taliban using IEDs.  Let me sum it up by saying, it is madness not to get out of Afghanistan totally and as soon as possible, rather than stay with a large force until the end of 2014 and a smaller force thereafter.

We went into Afghanistan originally because the Taliban, then the government of Afghanistan, had given shelter to al-Qaeda and bin Laden, in which country was hatched the monstrous plan to blow up the World Trade Center towers in New York City on 9/11/2001.  Al-Qaeda now functions in at least 62 countries while, according to C.I.A. Director Leon Panetta, it has no more than 50 operatives in Afghanistan.  Bin Laden found refuge in Pakistan, a far more powerful and sophisticated country with the nuclear bomb.  When he was killed by American Navy Seals, he was living in a house in the neighborhood of  one of Pakistan’s largest army base towns.  The Pakistan government denounced the successful attack by the Seals and the Pakistani people mourned bin Laden’s death.  The Pakistan government later in a dispute recently ended by a letter of apology from the American government closed its roads to American re-supply traffic to Afghanistan.  The American government’s position was that Pakistan troops had first fired on American soldiers before the Americans returned fire, killing 24 Pakistani soldiers.  Undoubtedly, the fog of war was a cause of the battle between the two allies, Pakistan and the U.S.  Apologizing for the deaths of the Pakistani soldiers was appropriate.  Closing Pakistan’s roads to U.S. military supply vehicles was not, and it cost the U.S. $1 billion for the use of alternate roads in other countries.

Is Pakistan truly an ally?  It has ally status.  On July 3rd, I was watching PBS Channel 13 and one segment was named “Pakistan: Ally, Adversary or Conditional Partner?”  The two guests discussing the issue were Vali Nasr, a former U.S. State Department official, and General Jack Keane, retired Army General.  I was most impressed with the comments of General Keane who summed up his position saying: “Well, I think our relationship has certainly changed from an allied relationship with pretty good cooperation to one that is more of a partnership that’s based more on conditions.  And, listen, I couldn’t disagree more with Vali on this in terms of our relationship.  You know, coddling the pacts that we have done now for 10 years has clearly protracted this war in Afghanistan.  We have got two sanctuaries, Afghan sanctuaries in Pakistan that Pakistan military leaders provide information on NATO and U.S. operations inside Afghanistan.  They provide training, and they provide resources.  I mean, that’s outrageous.  And if that isn’t enough, there are two fertilizer factories ostensibly which actually produce ammonium nitrate, which is the basic ingredient in 85 percent of all of the IEDs that maim and kill our troops.  And, finally, there are bomb factories that we know where they are, have pictures of them in Balochistan and also in Sharman, Pakistan, which are used to produce those IEDs as a final product.  This is why this relationship has frayed and strained and has deteriorated, because even though they do not want to destabilize Pakistan, de facto, they have protracted this war, you know, for all of these years because those sanctuaries provide that kind of support for the Taliban that are fighting inside Afghanistan.”

That Afghanistan and Pakistan are now officially our allies is ridiculous.  We are renting them at a cost of billions and they don’t identify with our aims and values.  They are both a part of the Islamist terrorist network of nations devoted to our ultimate destruction and the destruction of Western civilization.  Pakistan helps the Taliban in Afghanistan while Karzai negotiates with the Taliban.  Were we to leave, the Taliban would not be a major factor in endangering the security of the U.S.  It would re-impose Sharia and all that means in terms of oppression of women and casting Afghanistan back to the Middle Ages.

If we think we can count on countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan to protect our back, we are headed down the wrong road. We should bring our military home from Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Staying there only ensures more American military deaths and casualties with no real or permanent benefits for the U.S.  Enough already.  Let’s get out now.

2 Comments

  • I am really impressed by this article.It is the first time ever i have seen some wise words written by an american about this area of world.

  • Robert Sklar

    Obama promised that he would focus on nation building in the US. Taking the troops out of Iraq was a good start How do we convert from a war economy to a peace economy. How do we convert war production to peace time production. How do we switch from guns to butter??????
    Is it time to throw in completely with India??? China has major territorial objectives in the South China Sea. How do we handle that?????
    How do we regain our industrial base???? Why is Korea the world’s largest ship builder????

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Theater US & Canada New Play Explores the ‘Arrogance’ of American Jews Critical of Israel, Playwright Says

    New Play Explores the ‘Arrogance’ of American Jews Critical of Israel, Playwright Says

    In his new play Mr. Goldberg Goes to Tel Aviv, playwright Oren Safdie tackles an issue that he has a major concern with: the relationship between Israelis and left-leaning Diaspora Jews with their “I know better” critical views. At the heart of the one-act play is Tony, a Jewish and gay Palestinian sympathizer who expresses strong anti-Israel sentiments when the play begins and at one point even sides with a Palestinian terrorist who holds his captive. Tony, who is also an [...]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Hassidic Parody of Taylor Swift Song Apes Long Jewish Holidays (VIDEO)

    Hassidic Parody of Taylor Swift Song Apes Long Jewish Holidays (VIDEO)

    A Jewish comedy troupe released a parody video on Wednesday of Taylor Swift’s hit song Shake It Off in which they joke about taking extensive time off from work for Jewish holidays. “And the goyim gonna stay, stay, stay, stay, stay. And the Jews are gonna pray, pray pray, pray, pray. I’m just gonna take, take, take, take, take. I’m taking off,” goes the chorus for I’m Taking Off. Menachem Weinstein, the video’s lead singer, is the creative director at [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Literature On 75th Anniversary, Looking at the Jewish Influence on Gone With the Wind

    On 75th Anniversary, Looking at the Jewish Influence on Gone With the Wind

    JNS.org – The 75th anniversary of the premiere of “Gone with the Wind” on Dec. 15 presents an opportunity to examine the Jewish influence on one of the most popular films of all time. That influence starts with the American Civil War epic’s famed producer, David O. Selznick. Adjusted for inflation, “Gone with the Wind” remains the highest-grossing movie ever made. It earned the 1939 Academy Award for Best Picture, the same honor another Selznick film, “Rebecca,” garnered in 1940. Selznick [...]

    Read more →
  • Featured Music US & Canada EXCLUSIVE: Matisyahu Provides Most Extensive Analysis Yet of His Religious, Musical Evolution (INTERVIEW)

    EXCLUSIVE: Matisyahu Provides Most Extensive Analysis Yet of His Religious, Musical Evolution (INTERVIEW)

    Matisyahu got candid in an exclusive interview with The Algemeiner on Monday about his religious and musical journey – after shedding his Chassidic skin, yarmulke, long beard and all – from the start of his career in 2005 when he became a reggae superstar with hits King Without a Crown and Jerusalem. The singer-songwriter embarks on his Festival of Light tour this month, an annual Hanukkah event that stops in Montreal, New York, and other cities before ending in San Juan, [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Personalities ‘Sheriff of Mars’ Unveils Endearing Life of Jewish Music Star Hidden in the Fields of France

    ‘Sheriff of Mars’ Unveils Endearing Life of Jewish Music Star Hidden in the Fields of France

    JNS.org – It was an era of steel strings, guitar heroes, and storytellers—high on heroin, rebellious. Outlaw country music, the hallmark of Nashville’s powerful and angry music scene of the 1970s, was the brew of greats such as Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Townes Van Zandt. But there is another, little-known music hero of that era: Daniel Antopolsky. A Jewish lad from Augusta, Ga.—the son of immigrants who settled in the south and ran a hardware store on Main Street—the [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Iranian Actress Replaces Israel’s Gal Gadot for ‘Ben-Hur’ Remake

    Iranian Actress Replaces Israel’s Gal Gadot for ‘Ben-Hur’ Remake

    Iranian actress Nazanin Boniadi replaced Israeli star Gal Gadot as the female lead in the new Ben-Hur remake, Hollywood.com reported on Tuesday. The Homeland actress will play Esther, a slave that Ben-Hur sets free and falls in love with. Gadot quit the movie when it became clear that filming conflicted with her schedule for the Man of Steel sequel. The Israeli actress plays Wonder Woman in the superhero film Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Actor Jack Huston takes on the [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Personalities Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    JNS.org – There is one sentence in “Ben-Gurion: Father of Modern Israel” that made me sit up in surprise. I thought that I knew the basic facts about how Israel came into being, but while describing what it was like in the days and hours before the state was declared, author Anita Shapira provides one important anecdote I was not aware of. On the 12th of May, the Zionist Executive met to decide what to do. Moshe Sharrett had just returned [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    An actress starring in the controversial Met Opera The Death of Klinghoffer defended the show on Tuesday by comparing it to the 1993 Holocaust film Schindler’s List, New York Post reported. “To me, this was like [the movie] Schindler’s List. We make art so people won’t forget,’’ said the actress, who plays a captured passenger in the show and asked not to be identified. The Met Opera focuses on the infamous murder of Lower East Side Jewish resident Leon Klinghoffer, 69. The wheelchair-bound father of [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.