America's Afghan War is now in its 16th year and how's it goin'? An incident this last week, caught the carnage and horror of it -- a disguised group of Taliban militants broke into the country's largest military installation and slaughtered up to 200 unarmed Afghan soldiers. The answer, of course, is that 16 years later it's going terribly and the American response: drop the largest non-nuclear bomb on Earth in the backlands of that country and start thinking about sending a new mini-surge of U.S. troops there. And how will that go? Well, 16 years later, I think we have a clue or two as to how successful the latest round of U.S. tactics is likely to be.
William Astore gives three reasons why we Fail, Fail, and Fail Again. However, there is one more significant reason: Just perhaps the United States doesn’t want to succeed in Afghanistan: A Perpetual and Prosperous War: The lure of profit is an obstacle to world peace. Peace to the Pentagon and war profiteers clearly represent a conflict of interest.
“Wars without end” have become a windfall for the military and war’s dealers, the profiteers, financiers, industries, and contractors that find war and security extremely lucrative enterprises. A war without end maintains troops at combat-readiness, hardened and experienced, a level of readiness that training alone cannot duplicate. War enhances Congress’ willingness to authorize defense and security appropriations. It makes all those non-military industries that profit from war viable and prosperous. And, we have a Department of Homeland Security (DHS), a “hidden world, growing beyond control,” whose supporting industries also maintain their viability and prosperity from America’s fear of the next terrorist attack. And, all offer secure employment for a significant number of Americans.
Essentially, Americans, the Pentagon, politicians, and capitalist do not have the will to end this absurdity. “And nowhere, not even in Iraq, is it clear that Washington is committed to packing up its tents, abandoning its billion-dollar monuments, and coming home.”
Unless the greater community of nations, the major countries that make up G-20 (group of 20), unite, by employing overwhelming force, to stop bloodshed where ever it may be and make a unified comment to end war and terrorism by ignoring the profits of war that contribute to their economies there will never be peace.
"It’s been sixteen years and counting, but we still don’t see the light. Maybe in another sixteen years?"
Afghan national army troops arrive near the site
of an ongoing attack on an army headquarters
in Mazar-i-Sharif in northern
Afghanistan on Friday.
Photograph: Anil Usyan/Reuters