The Longest War
As hard as outsiders have tried to subdue and “re-create” the country in their own image,
Afghanistan has been able to absorb the blows of superpowers, and
remain essentially the same.
The interesting thing is that the people trying to change it,
change more than the country does even after
Herculean efforts of governments, NGO’s, and coalitions.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
The problem is that intentions which are based on faulty and naive
assumptions are doomed to failure.
In spite of the failed attempt by the powerful Soviet army
to bring the country under its control,
the “deciders” still had the fantasy that we could do what
hadn’t been done before.
Those “deciders” did not have even the basic
understanding of the country, the history, the people,
the terrain, the language, the religion, the culture.
Lieut. Col. Daniel Davis, in an analysis of the situation in Afghanistan titled, “Truth, Lies,
and Afghanistan” published in The Armed Forces Journal in February, 2012, wrote,
“I witnessed the absence of success on virtually every level”
in his rebuttal to the military’s assertion that the war was going well and that the Coalition
was making progress. He charged the military leadership with misleading
the American public.
Davis reported that he had repeatedly seen top commanders
falsely dress up dismal situations including
General Petreus in testimony to Congress.
During the months I traveled with the Mujahadeen, I witnessed a deep camaraderie
amongst the fighters who were on the greatest mission of their lives.
They weren’t looking at the calendar.
They didn’t even worry much about casualty numbers.
The harder the fight was, the stronger they became.
Walking in the snow without boots high up in the Hindu Kush was commonplace.
Those men were as tough as it gets.
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies,
in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.
This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers,
the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.
This is not a way of life at all in any true sense.
Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.
– Dwight David Eisenhower