Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Operation Enduring Freedom - For Whom?

Suppose they gave a war and nobody came. Okay, maybe there will still be one army showing up, but since it takes to to tango, or dismember one another with instruments of mass and intimate destruction, then it will be more difficult to achieve the goals we generally associate with warfare. I am currently referencing the United States' concerted efforts to revive Afghanistan peace talks. What if we just pulled up stakes and left Qatar without saying goodbye?
I know, I know. It would destabilize the very precarious balance of power in that region and it could bring on a massive upheaval of violence and bloodshed in Afghanistan and the surrounding area. How would anyone notice a difference? There has seldom been a time in Afghan history during which there wasn't some sort of violent, bloody upheaval of some sort or another. It's flattering to think that the United States could, through sheer force of will and good faith, bring the people of this country something they haven't had much of in their fifteen hundred year history: peace. Ironic that we hope to conduct them to this place in time via our own armed services. I'm saying all this as a resident of Oakland, California who has seen a region torn by internal strife for decades in spite of all the efforts to bring some sort of central control to the region.
What if we just gave up and walked away? People are shooting each other practically every day, why would it be different if there was no lid on it? At some level, aren't we just encouraging strife by giving them something to fight back against?
John Kerry wants the Taliban to sit down and negotiate with the Afghan government to forge a lasting peace. Here in Oakland, we've declared a Cease Fire, but it doesn't seem as though anyone is playing along. In fact, part of the program is to bring even more officers into the area. If  we pull all of our troops out of Afghanistan and leave them to sort things out with the Taliban, maybe taking that layer of authority off the top will put a sense of urgency on things.
Or not. Maybe it's a Darwinian thing. Except I don't think that Darwin accounted for automatic weapons or IED's. Maybe peace isn't an evolved state.
Maybe not.

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