At What Cost

Seldom do I hold a President accountable for a campaign promise, simply because, “they promise you what it is that you want to hear, and they never fulfill the promise or provide the answer or the solution in the end.”  In other words, “a politician will say anything” in order to get elected.

Our President promised for example “to bring the troops home.”

And he now considers that policy in place and happening.  At first glance it would appear he is doing just that, but it is smoke and mirrors.  Mr. Obama is reducing the size of the army in Afghanistan down from 100,000 to 30,000.  That is not bringing them home, that is still leaving a sizable portion of them there to bolster the Afghan Army which is a joke, a rag-tag assemble of soldiers, who had some 24,000 deserters just last year.

Recently I talked to a vet who had been there, he said the country was a rat hole, a sewer, a festering pockmark on the face of humanity.  It all started under Bush as a narrow, modest war of necessity.  Most of the goals of that administration were accomplished quickly.  Then as it is with all American Wars, it was expanded.

We set out with determined measure to transform this tribal nation into a stable democracy.  Ten years later, the goal remains out of our grasp, despite the loss of 1,800 American lives and a cost of over $400 billion dollars.  Now ask yourself this question, “What would $400 billion dollars buy in the way of computers for kids, how far would it go towards a poverty program for those who are hungry?  In what way could this money have been spent better for a cause that was worthy?”  We spend all of our money building roads and bridges in countries that most people ride a donkey to town.

The democracy aspect of all this is just about as ludicrous.

Afghanistan is arguably the most primitive nation on earth with rampant malnutrition, widespread illiteracy, and a 15th century standard of living.  The government of President Hamid Karzai is totally corrupt, and is despised by the ordinary Afghans.  Their army is a shamble and certainly no match for the Taliban just next door in Pakistan.

Everything that has been accomplished in this country in the past ten years, is certainly very fragile and reversible.  If our President pushes ahead with his plan to withdraw U.S. troops by 2014, the Taliban will pour back into Afghanistan from their sanctuaries in Pakistan.  The country will once again become a terrorist haven, with disastrous consequences for the United States and for world security.

The Russians found this to be true in their brief history with the country and we are soon to find out the same end result.  After ten years of being mired in this cesspool we face the very same depressing out look.

We will in the end, give it all back.  Only one question remains.

At what cost?



3 thoughts on “At What Cost

  1. Good morning, I am having a hard time deciding what you are actually saying. Do you want the troops pulled, or to stay in numbers to keep the Taliban at bay. I think it would be wonderful if everyone came home, but then I think of the decent people left there under a ruler who is a tad insane and aggressive. As with everything thing in this life there is a right and wrong to each side. What ever we do, there will be consequences. If I were to let my heart do the talking it would say save the country, but since my brain is involved my bottom line is pull everyone out. Leave the country in the hands of God. Then we can deal with all the consequences, but all the kids can have computers, and maybe we could take care of our own a little better.

    Bring ’em home!


  2. I despise war and just wish all out troops would come home. Now, I know you are not an Obama supporter, whereas I am – which is fine. And you don’t support Santorum by default, which is where the weak minded go. But I was a bit irritated about the troops coming home from Iraq. It was actually Bush who signed that order right before he was left office, and we had up until the end of 2011 to bring them home. They could have come home before that, but didn’t. Now, although I cannot stand Bush, he’s the one who deserves the credit for signing this order – and Obama should have brought them home sooner. This is one thing I have a “beef” about with Obama. Our prez’s will never be perfect, especially because each person who is an American citizen has a different opinion as to what “perfect” would be – but they could have come home earlier…. Now Afghanistan is a different problem…. they need to come home, too.
    I supported Obama for a long time, but it has reached a point (for me that is) that I no longer can do it. For the record, “I don’t like any of them.” Period.

    Thank you for your well written comment,



  3. You are right, Don. No modern army has succeeded in Afghanistan prior to us entering in 2001, and I don’t think we are going to be the first. Bring the troops home.
    Thanks I appreciate it. My heart bleeds a little each day because of this, and if I have to hammer on it for the next ten years, I am going to do it.



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