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...

  • Book Reviews Personalities How a Jewish Leader With 3 Months to Live Created a ‘Seminar’ on Life

    How a Jewish Leader With 3 Months to Live Created a ‘Seminar’ on Life

    JNS.org – What would you do if you found out that you had only three more months to live? Gordon Zacks was a successful businessman, a leader of Jewish life, and a confidante and adviser to President George H.W. Bush. He knew that he had prostate cancer, but doctors advised him that it was very slow-growing and nothing to worry about. Then came the day when the doctors told him his cancer metastasized to his liver, and that he had [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Theater 10 Things I Learned From My Play About Holocaust Denial

    10 Things I Learned From My Play About Holocaust Denial

    Last month, my one-man show Hoaxocaust! Written and performed by Barry Levey with the generous assistance of the Institute for Political and International Studies, Tehran ran in the New York International Fringe Festival, where it won an Overall Excellence Award. The play has now been selected to run in the Fringe Encores Series at Baruch College’s Performing Arts Center, for four performances which started on Thursday, September 11. Getting the play to the stage was not easy, however. Here are [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Israel Israeli Music Producer Racks Up Over 535,000 YouTube Hits – in Two Days

    Israeli Music Producer Racks Up Over 535,000 YouTube Hits – in Two Days

    Phenomenon: Tel Aviv-based musician and “sampler” extraordinaire, Kutiman (aka Ophir Kutiel) has hit another one out of the park with “Give It Up,” a fully-functioning song in its own right, assembled from hundreds of ameteur and instructional music videos. The Jerusalem-born musical prodigy is best know for his diverse online musical projects. In the latest video, uploaded to YouTube on Sept. 12th, Kutiel thanked most of the musicians and individuals he chose to include in the meticulously-edited clip, which opens with [...]

    Read more →
  • Theater US & Canada Behind-the-Scenes Reel of Ridley Scott’s Moses Epic Shows Scenes Using 4000 Extras (VIDEO)

    Behind-the-Scenes Reel of Ridley Scott’s Moses Epic Shows Scenes Using 4000 Extras (VIDEO)

    A recently released behind-the-scenes reel of Ridley Scott’s upcoming film Exodus: Gods and Kings shows just how far the director has gone to portray one of the Bible’s most famous narratives. In the clip, which shows scenes involving up to 4,000 extras, the visionary director discusses what drew him to the biblical tale of Moses. “The Moses story was a massive challenge, which I really love. I wanted to explore the complexity of his character and I was stunned by [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity Turner Classic Movies Showcases ‘Broad Sweep’ of the Jewish Experience on Film

    Turner Classic Movies Showcases ‘Broad Sweep’ of the Jewish Experience on Film

    JNS.org – Since 2006, the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) cable and satellite TV network has hosted “The Projected Image,” a month-long showcase examining how different cultural and ethnic groups have been portrayed on the big screen. At last, after previously covering African Americans, Asians, the LGBT community, Latinos, Native Americans, Arabs, and people with disabilities, the annual series is delving into Jewish film this month. “The Projected Image: The Jewish Experience on Film,” whose first segment aired Sept. 2, runs [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Jewish Identity An Inside Look at the Hasidim (REVIEW)

    An Inside Look at the Hasidim (REVIEW)

    The sight of young girls in pinafores and young boys wearing peyos – sidelocks – dangling over their ears is a sure sign that you have entered the enigmatic precincts of the Hasidim – the pious ones. Veteran New York Times journalist Joseph Berger’s new book, THE PIOUS ONES: The World of Hasidim and their Battles with America, takes the reader on a journey into the enclaves where various sects of Jews live a seemingly outmoded way of life in [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity How Jewish Television Pioneer Milton Berle Inspired Modern Comedy Stars

    How Jewish Television Pioneer Milton Berle Inspired Modern Comedy Stars

    JNS.org – Today’s comedy superstars, especially those whose careers are driven by television, may very well owe their success to pioneering Jewish entertainer Milton Berle. Born Mendel Berlinger in Manhattan in 1908, Berle became America’s first small-screen star. Aptly nicknamed “Mr. Television,” he influenced and helped promote the work of hundreds of younger comics. “Milton Berle was deceptively successful and very Jewish,” says Lawrence Epstein, author of The Haunted Smile: The Story of Jewish Comedians in America, published the year [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports Jewish ‘Hoops Whisperer’ a Secret Weapon for NBA Stars

    Jewish ‘Hoops Whisperer’ a Secret Weapon for NBA Stars

    JNS.org – Idan Ravin’s friends chipped in to buy him a humble but life-changing bar mitzvah gift—a basketball hoop his father attached to the roof of his garage. Little did his friends know that years later, he would be the personal trainer of National Basketball Association (NBA) stars Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, and Stephen Curry. Ravin’s new book, “The Hoops Whisperer: On the Court and Inside the Head of Basketball’s Best Players,” details his rise from a Jewish upbringing [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.