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On Memorial Day, US Troops Still Dying in Afghanistan but Half the Country Is Lost


On Memorial Day, US Troops Still Dying in Afghanistan but Half the Country Is Lost

Juan Cole

The Afghanistan government controls only about half of Afghanistan, 229 of 407 districts.

Maybe because it is a bad news story, our Afghanistan War, the longest in our history, keeps slipping our minds, along with thoughts of the Americans still fighting there.


If the U.S. had “successfully” occupied all of Afghanistan (and/or installed puppets and mercenaries to control it) would that mean the country had been “won?” We need to get beyond imperial strategic thinking/language/behavior, Mr. Cole. Until then, the first step is to get the hell out, then apologize for massive war crimes and crimes against humanity, and finally set up a reparations regime controlled by the beleaguered Afghan peoples. Anything less is B.S. and hand-wringing over the foibles of being a global empire.


This looks like mission impossible to me. The Taliban are Pashtun and in the Pashtun areas of Afghanistan there seems to be considerable support from the population. When they have to retreat, the Taliban and return to the areas of Pakistan that are not under control of the Pakistani government. The central government has no recent history of controlling the country. In the 1980s the Russians basically controlled it and when they were drivien out by Mujahdeen supported by the US the country was taken over by warlords. Later the warlords were driven to the edge of Afghanistan by the Taliban who became most known for blasting to bits enormous statues that did not conform to to their Muslim beliefs. When the Taliban allowed Al-Qaeda to set up training camps in the Afghanistan and 9-11 occurred George W. Bush led the US to invade Afghanistan and drove out the Taliban and Al-Qaeda using mainly the fighters of warlords aided by US air support. The Taliban and Al-Qaeda thought they could at least hold Tora Bora which they successfully did against the Russian but did not understand the technical superiority of US weapons compared with Russian weapons and were quickly defeated and they fled to Pakistan. The US allowed elections to be held and Hamad Karzai was elected president. He was not Pashtun and his government was very corrupt and eventually the Taliban made their way back into Afghanistan. Since then it has been largely a standoff. The US at one time had over 100,000 troops in Afghanistan but Obama eventually withdrew almost all of them. Since Trump has been if office he has added several thousand more. I don’t think there are enough US troops involved now for the public to be that interested and I believe most of the troops mainly are advisors to the military of the central government. It appears to be an endless war with the US taking very few casualties so it goes on in the background with fighting in Syria and Iraq having got most of the attention in recent years. Unless there is some sort of breakthrough in Afghanistan which could lead to the end of fighting it looks like this war will drag on for many years with the US public paying little attention to the longest military conflict in US history. .


This fits the definition of insanity; dong the same thing over and over, expecting to get a different outcome.


If it’s not reported on by the MSM, how do you expect the people of the U.S.to care?


It’s not insanity because imperial global capitalism is able to control nations and resources even during chaos and anarchy – plus C&A open up all kinds of avenues for capitalist profiteering. So these slaughters are not losses at all for those who run them.


Despite the massive co-optation of the MSM by capitalists and corporations, it hasn’t always been so. In the Post-WW2 Era, the U.S. had an extremely free press. Even after that - even now - there is plenty of information if you bother to look.

The meme that the U.S. population is faultless because of ubiquitous propaganda is about as grounded as the German populations saying they “didn’t know” during the Nazi Era. It’s impossible not to know unless you actively look away. Every human being has a human heart and human conscience, and only the most damaged should be excused from claims of ignorance.


bring our military home


Success? How is war ever considered a success?
Afghanistan has been a collection of tribes for a very very long time. So what if the entire boundary somebody set is not under control of a government somebody set up?
“Clear of insurgents?” You mean that the US managed to murder a bunch of people trying to control their future in their own country.

Our troops dying. I absolutely find it Neanderthal for a invading nation to complain about its dead soldiers without even bothering to count those it killed when it goes into another country.


Bring home all the military personnel. And the contractors. And cut off the proxies. And ditch the drones, and knock down the satellites.And dismantle the missiles.