April 28th, 2011

The war, and where it's going...

It's good to note when traditional 'conservatives' and 'liberals', following different logic, come to the same ends.

On this thought, what do you think about ending the war in Afghanistan? Terrorism and security-based development theories both support the war. These views are very much in keeping with the general trends of development theory as it has been led around by right-wing ideology, largely through the World Bank, IMF, WTO, etc.

My thoughts largely followed these (until pretty recently), but something was nagging in the back of my head. It's hard to see the forest for the trees when very liberal friends and family are agreeing with very conservative ones: it just seems sensible to agree.

So, when I saw a video recently, all I thought was "A ha! That contrarianism wasn't unfounded!"

"You see, you have to learn from history: that there were half a million Soviet troops in Afghanistan and they could not contain the Afghan resistance."
-Zaid Hamid

"If you're comparing troops from Afghanistan 2009 to 2002, I believe the number of troops was very less but the development was very successful at that time, the security was much, much, much better than today. And at that time, people was having and carrying hope for a better future.[sic]"
-Shukria Barakzai

Do you think development could better flourish without Westerners staying, either in a support or attack role? Is there an approach that, via aid, could function without 'security' support?

I know there will be retorts to these comments as incorrect, based upon logic and emotions. However, these are Afghanis, and it is clear that the general population (36% of Afghanis support the American mission in Afghanistan, the numbers are the same for domestic support in the UK, US and Canada) is in agreement.

I believe it reasonable to suppose that this support, independent of any increase or decrease of Western troop concentrations, will nevertheless continue to decline with time. Should western nations retreat from Afghanistan once a certain level of the population wants us out? How much does their voice count, if at all?

what realistic way can we support such a war? It's costly, deadly, isn't progressing, is endless, and is costing international status decline.

The only support I can see for it is to say "We finish what we start" which is a very selfishly driven way of framing the issue, and one that is steeped in honor discourse. Or, as George Carlin put it "War is a whole lot of men standing in a field waving their pricks at one another...It's called dick fear."

Post-script edit:

"Washington’s military strategy in Afghanistan now aims to avoid the appearance of defeat for America, but for Afghanistan it is a recipe for unending civil war..."