Just as importantly, who actually cares anymore? The only news story that seems to be making any waves is the bombing of a Medicins Sans Frontieres hospital. How many U.S. citizens are worried about how Afghanistan is simply falling apart? The number of Afghan security force deaths is averaging over 300 per week now, more than double the same time last year. Afghan Interior Minister Nur ul-Haq Ulumi stated “We are taking so many casualties,” and “That is the reality.” Here’s another gem from the U.S.A. Today article:
“Because the Taliban are not able to muster groups of more than several dozen fighters, they have been unable to mount offensives on anything more than small checkpoints.
Afghan and coalition officials said security forces have been able to hold terrain despite the high casualty rate among soldiers and police.”
A short time ago the Taliban captured the city of Kunduz in northern Afghanistan, displacing 20,000 families. The United Nations Assistance Mission evacuated four out of thirteen provincial offices along with cities like Charchino, Oruzgan are under constant siege by the Taliban and unable to safely leave the city. The police chief of Charchino, Wali Dad, stated the following:
“We do not have any way to escape,” and “If we get any means of escaping, I will not stay for a second in the district. The government is failing in their governing, and it’s better to let the Taliban rule.”
The “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” is using such news in their propaganda website with amazing articles such as “93 hireling troops surrender in Char Chino” and “The liberation of Kunduz showed military capability and moral magnitude of the Mujahideen.” It seems apparent that the will of the Taliban to restore their rule has not been broken. The will of the Afghanistan National Army to fight for the central government certainly seems to be falling apart though. The city of Kunduz was only occupied by the Taliban for three days before an A.N.A counter-offensive took control of the city back, but I have a hard time believing that this will be the only such occurrence.
I think that a good question to ask would be what is the purpose of U.S. military forces in Afghanistan? Are we there to break the will of the Taliban? Are we there just to help the Afghan government hobble along? Is victory the goal? Who are we even calling our enemies in Afghanistan?
One of the things that I must disagree with in the following video is the idea of a “War on Terror.” Terror is a tactic, a means to an end; not an entity to be fought, broken, or conquered. One could declare a war on a country, or the Taliban, or some actual group of people. But a war on the tactic of terror makes no sense and would be never-ending.
I’ve always found the idea behind “rules of war” as seen by many to be most curious. War by its very nature is not something that lends itself to nice rules. No matter what kind of Rules of Engagement you attempt to enact, innocent people will die. Quite horrible things often have to be done to break the enemies will to fight. A war effort should be a “Total War” effort to break the enemies will to fight, or simply not be fought at all.
I wonder if the President really thinks that he can control events in the Middle East with “red-lines”, drone attacks, and bombing campaigns, or if he’s simply doing what he must to show that he cares about what happens? If the threats in the Middle East are not going to be taken seriously, why waste the time, money, and lives on fighting a war where victory is never intended to be achieved? Perhaps the President will turn to the U.N. for help? Afghanistan seems to be falling back into the hands of the Taliban, and few really seem to care.
Bonus Round: Can you tell the difference between real news and satire?