Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/07/29/how-americas-wars-end-messily
Sjursen: Could Trump end afghan war? To my knowledge, more elucidatory and more morally correct would have been to have asked at least two questions linked to a much need to end the so-called Afghan war: Could Trump and American people end their aggression against Afghanistan and-or Pashtuns?
Yes, they could. At least two more questions could be now posed related to this aggression:
Is Trump wiling to end it, say, by end of the year? How much willing are the people to end it and how can they force Washington to end it?
This leads to more salient and pertinent questions related to dozens and dozens or even to hundreds other question related to the wars of aggression; what such wars cause; who benefits, who is at loss, etc.
And now we come back to one of earlier question, Are Americans onto the need to grill their master classes that may take months or even years?
End? Where does anyone see war ending? Lotsa money to be made, handshakes in the shade.
To the degree a person’s mind (even Bacevich’s) has been quite deliberately warped by military experience, the consciousness is usually confused. Healing depends on whether the warpee regards their experience of organized murder as improving, or entirely toxic.
No question that military operatives are brainwashed and unable to depart from military groupthink.
With all his references to the Nam occupation you would think that this author would have a better understanding of 21st century US occupations and wars.
Having a front row seat to this issue’s blow by blow for more than half a century here is a one paragraph explanation that corrects what the author takes many paragraphs to confuse and confound:
Even if nobody else learned any lessons from Nam the military industrial media infotainment complex (MIMIC) sure did…when occupations and wars end, MIMIC’s revenue stream ends. MIMIC’s ongoing campaign to demonize those holding gubmit accountable (including fake news about returning soldiers being spit on) and sanitize war (example: labeling civilian deaths collateral damage), and staging serial pre-emptive occupations and wars that would never end, all served to land us in 2019 wherein MIMIC owns enough of Congress to prevent any discussion of holding them accountable and limiting the endless growth of military spending. A POTUS who stages a Stalinesque Independence Day parade is the last person on earth likely to end ANY war.
As an abuse survivor myself, I have to insist that the brainwashing need not be permanently effective. There’s an ethical jiu jitsu possible here, where one’s weakness turns into a strength, because your own injury has specially qualified you to become a healer.
That empathetic advantage is nothing to be proud of, eluding us until we repudiate the murderous domination – meant to extinguish compassion – we’ve been subjected to. That ill wind bodes no good.
Yes, America’s war will ceratinly end when the entire economy will collpase and people of the main street will come out on the road to pitch-fork the corporate CEOs and Wall Street bankers. In the name of communism, terrorism and other BS the bankers and weapon makers are swindling tax-payers’ money. By the way, Pentagon cannot be audited because of national security; total and obnoxious BS.
In a sense, the situation isn’t complicated: the U.S. war in Afghanistan cannot be won.
As others have noted, though Sjursen seems slow to understand the concept, is that these are wars of occupation with the military and political objective of establishing a foothold and presence in the far-flung corners of the empire. Winning, then, is defined as maintaining a presence and keeping the military engaged, regardless of the ebb and flow of how much territory the military can control. The only way the U.S. can “lose” these wars of terror they are inflicting on peoples in lands considered valuable to the Empire, is to pack up and go home. Along as Afghanistan has a strategic value as a buffer to both Russian and Chinese influence in the area, the U.S. will fight to stay in Afghanistan, regardless of how the public rates the war in the win/loss column.
One of the reasons the Countries such as Afghanistan and now Libya and Syria REGRESS as far as human rights are concerned is that due to interventions by foreign Countries , the people rally around those that rise to fight those invaders. This generally the people most willing to use violence on another and this permeates through the entire Society. These people rise to the top and when an en enemy expelled they tend to run things for a few generations.
When Afghanistan wa sleft alone (as it was post ww2 up until Carter stuck his nose in there) , The Government moderated and women in particular gained more rights.
This rise of Militarism leading to the degrading of rights and Liberties also happens in the Countries that do the invading. Militarism is now rampant through US Police Forces where it kill now ask questions later. Its grip on US Society is so strong some 1 trillion a year spent on the Military machine even as 50,000 Plus die each year due to un-affordable health care. If the US Military lost 50000 dead a year in its wars there would be an uproar over those costs yet the Country blindy goes on waving that Silly Flag each time there a flyover by the USAF.
Afghanistan is an American Gaza, i.e., a place for live weapons testing and training in being callous about murdering civilians.
Suggested edit to title: “How America’s War Ends (Never)…”
Trump has no control because as Commander-in Chief of the armed forces, Trump is nothing but a figurehead and a war mongering puppet for the war profiteers, like Obama and previous presidents with the exception of JFK and if Trump curtailed the U.S. war profiteers cash cow in Afghanistan, he would probably end up like JFK.
Or my headline: ENDLESS ENEMIES; FOR ENDLESS WARS; FOR ENDLESS WAR PROFITS!
Well, it’s a concept but Nixon was strategic and Trump isn’t even tactical. There is no way Trump could or would pull that off. From one tweet, or abortive meeting after another nothing gets done. He can’t plan beyond the next fat burger. The only reason he stays with anything for any length of time (the wall, the Muslims, etc) is that is in front of him and stays there, in whatever shape.
It will be interesting to see how the Democrats react to any deal on Afghanistan. Will they try to use it, as they have done in the case of N Korea, as a stick with which to beat him? I would say it’s likely. The war on Vietnam was mainly a Democratic product (thus Chicago 1968).
The American Military may as well be throwing bricks of $1000 bills into the raging fire that is the basis for our current economy.
More waste, less death and destruction.
The afghan casualties are correct. Both their army and police are killed every day. USA army soldiers are in garrison. Probably awaiting Bolton to gain John Ratcliffe’s intel evaluation to attack Iran or Ireland. Expecting a George Tenet type go ahead from both Johns. Will Trump be swayed??
David does not mention Pakistan involvement providing riflemen, ammunition, leadership to taliban.
Well here’s a spot of HOPE
The International Criminal Court (ICC) recently defined and activated for prosecution a new crime which holds leadership responsible for planning, preparing, initiating or waging illegal war. Noah Weisbord, an author and associate professor of law at Queen’s University who served on the ICC’s working group that drafted the new “crime of aggression,” discusses the legacy of the Nuremberg trials and the ways in which Trump may have already violated international law.
Housekeeping item -
By your own report, as it were, Major, you’re retired now, so how about moving the ‘former’ in your bio blurb to before the ‘U.S. Army Strategist’ bit.
retired from active duty in US army.
May be a member of national guard or army reserve unit, but I cannot confirm.
May be Slovak heritage.
For those army soldiers disabled because of direct combat - should their VA disability pension be less money than their active duty monthly pay? At a VA seminar, we were advised that the ratio for PSTD is 1 of three soldiers. traditional is one of six.
When they have children who receive social security financial support until 18th birthday. should this be extended 4 or 5 years to help them with college costs?
Within the past year, active duty and contract drone operators are filing for disability pensions. I could or should be sarcastic since they whacked so many farm families in afghanistan. and used two missles. The first got the farmer in his field - the second got the rest of the family as they ran out to their dad.
Sjursen, as so many other opinionators on the subject do, omits the primary reasons for the invasion and continuing occupation of Afghanistan, which are geopolitical and economic (read “resource plundering”) in nature.
“Terror” is the political pretext for that naked neocolonialism. Empires are loath to let go of what they deem rightfully theirs, and only do so when they’re forced to face the cost.
The tragic irony for the peoples of those battered lands is, as with Vietnam and the dirty wars in Latin America, they often get a large measure of what they want in the end, anyway.