The iconic American sitcom Seinfeld has this episode where George Costanza, the show’s lovable loser, mopes to friend Jerry Seinfeld: “My life is the opposite of everything I want it to be. Every instinct I have..it 's all been wrong.” Jerry deadpans back, “If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right.” Washington will eventually have its own George Costanza moment on Afghanistan, and the futility of an open-ended war. The only question is how many more dead soldiers and civilians will it take to have this epiphany.
The Special Inspector-General for Afghanistan Reconstruction’s (SIGAR) quarterly report for January is a bleak read. At close to 30%, not only do the Taliban hold more Afghan territory than any time after the 2001 invasion, but "The insurgency is spreading (Afghan forces) thin, threatening rural districts in one area while carrying out ambitious attacks in more populated centers." The Taliban trifecta of high-stakes attacks in late 2015 adds weight to SIGAR’s assessment. Moreover, even before militants briefly overran Kunduz, Kandahar airport and besieged Sangin district, UN figures revealed a 19% increase in “security incidents” between August and October.
US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, however, insists Washington will “stick with Afghanistan, but not just in 2016, that’s 2017 and beyond,” Sectors of the US media also report that military commanders are pressing President Barack Obama to shelve the troop drawdown until
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At the start of the new millennium, China became rapidly known as the fastest growing economy sparking the greatest shift of relative power in history. Coincidence, or not, Afghanistan’s narrow border with China made it a perfect strategic target to presume military presence within the Asian region. Arguably, the invasion of Afghanistan lays largely on a tactical plan designed by the US to resist
For over 2 centuries, Afghanistan has known virtually no time without war. Beginning around 326 B.C. with the conquests of Alexander the Great, to the Persians, British, Russians and most recently, America and our NATO allies, Afghanistan has been cultivated into the country that it is today through a trial by fire. Regardless of this relentless onslaught of foreign military power, the Afghan people have tirelessly defended their homeland with no outside power ever being able to subdue them completely. Following the withdrawal of the Soviet Union in 1989, the country fell into civil war, torn even further apart by fiercely dedicated tribal warlords. This power vacuum led to the rise of a group called the Taliban. Led by a one eyed man
1. In President Obama’s speech at West Point, he announced that 30,000 additional troops would be sent to Afghanistan. He made this decision because he said it was vital to the United States’ national interest. The vital national interest at risk in President Obama’s address is the security and safety of the American people as well as the “security of our allies and the common security of the world.” By involving the military and increasing the troop strength, President Obama can achieve the objectives of his strategy. His objectives are to keep the Taliban from becoming powerful, prevent them from government rule, improve Afghanistan security forces and government so they can manage their own country and prevent Al Qaeda from
The reconstruction in America after the Civil War was very similar to the reconstruction in Afghanistan after the Operation Enduring Freedom. Both countries had huge amounts of destruction and obstacles to overcome after each of their wars. There are many similarities between the reconstructions in America and Afghanistan. They had problems with the government, economy, security, and the destruction.
After the death of Osama Bin Laden, President Obama announced the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan with the intent to have all U.S. forces removed by the end of 2014. Recent events in the Middle East are raising questions as to the desirability of this withdrawal in its entirety.
With the tales of these three individuals told, it is hard not to feel a sense of pity and uncertainty about Afghanistan and especially the United States’ role in Afghanistan. With the consensus of entering Afghanistan originally being to stop terrorism, throughout Gopal’s book it seems that the goal, or better yet, the idea of wiping terrorism away had certainly been lost. No longer does it seem that the United States is helping, rather that the U.S. is one of the main problems in the country. The details and facts listed in the book open a
Every year, since the Taliban regime ended, foreign troop numbers within the country have increased dramatically. The greatest increase of troops was about twenty thousand additional troops added to the grand total of sixty-six thousand. With increased troops, the Taliban activity has also intensified. Mullah Saifur Reheman, a Taliban, began to rebuild his militia forces to support the anti- United States fighters. His forces amounted to over one thousand by the beginning of Operation Anaconda in March of 2002. Rebels against the revolution had planned to use the region as headquarters for launching guerrilla attacks (Shapiro). The United States used Kandahar International Airport as an operational base for taking and dispersing personnel and supplies. The number of U.S. troops who operated in the country grew to more than ten thousand against the al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Eventually, the United States and its allies drove the Taliban from power and curtailed al Qaeda’s efforts to plan and execute terrorist attacks at a high cost. The United States special inspector for Afghanistan reconstruction has reported that, when the security for aid workers is counted, the total amount of nonmilitary funds that Washington has appropriated since 2002 “is about one-hundred billion dollars (Emadi).” That is more than the United States has ever spent trying to rebuild a country. There is no need to spend that much money to have an impact, that money just needs to be spent well. In
A total of 19 men hijacked four planes, using them to attack our military and economic centers and to murder almost 3,000 innocent people including men, women and children (Address on the War in Afghanistan. 1). The perpetrators were a part of the terrorist organization al-Qaeda, an organization that we have been using force against, along with those who harbor them, since 2001, days after the 9/11 attacks (Address on the War in Afghanistan. 1). With the support of our allies, NATO and the United Nations, we sent troops into Afghanistan after the Taliban denied turning Osama bin Laden over, the leader of al-Qaeda, and in the matter of months, al-Qaeda’s members scattered and many were killed (Address on the War in Afghanistan. 1). What’s next? President Obama addressed this in his speech on the War in Afghanistan, saying 30,000 additional troops will be sent to Afghanistan for the next 18 months, and after 18 months, our troops will begin to come home. (Address on the War in Afghanistan. 2) Obama’s strategy is: “We must deny al Qaeda a safe haven. We must reverse the Taliban's momentum and deny it the ability to overthrow the government. And we must strengthen the capacity of Afghanistan's security forces and government so that they can take lead responsibility for Afghanistan's future.” (Address on the War in Afghanistan. 3.) Once the United States military has aided security forces in becoming more powerfully built, many other things would fall into place.
“We lost the war in southern Afghanistan and it broke my heart.” This statement used by Graeme Smith in the introduction to his book, The Dogs are Eating Them Now: Our War in Afghanistan, sets the tone for the rest of the book. Although foreign forces had, arguably, the best of intentions going into the war, the Taliban always regrouped and reappeared, often larger and harder to defeat than before, no matter how tremendous their losses were in previous battles. International forces did what they thought was essential for rebuilding of Afghanistan, including the elimination of the Taliban through air strikes and poppy eradication, even though they did not truly understand the needs and priorities of Afghan citizens and were constantly perceived negatively by the Afghan civilians. In an accessible method, Smith provides general knowledge about how the intervention on the behalf of the international community impacted the country and its people. This book also leaves me with reflections on the dynamic between insurgents and villagers and how the international forces could have helped to prevent a power vacuum from occurring during the years where most foreign forces pulled out of Afghanistan.
Rajiv Chandrasekaran, is a Washington Post reporter and editor. He has spent three years in Afghanistan and reported extensively about the operations conducted by the ISAF and NATO forces in the post troop’s surge period. He is also the author of Imperial Life in the Emerald City: inside Iraq’s Green Zone, one of the New York Times’s 10 best books of year 2007. Interestingly the author was a guest speaker at the USAWC and presented his thoughts to the students of class of AY 14. His talk at the USAWC and relevance of situation in Afghanistan to Pakistan prompted me to select his book “Little America” for writing the critical book report.
Background information about the War in Afghanistan is absolutely necessary in order to discuss the withdrawal of United States ' troops from Afghanistan. The history intertwining the United States and Afghanistan is a long and complex chronology. For full transparency I
This paper will be explaining the similarities, and differences, between the Vietnam War and the War in Afghanistan. There are many topics that bring these two wars together. However, I am only going to be talking about public support, policy objectives, military strategy, weapons, fighting spirit, links to home, and death totals. These topics have a lot of information about them, but there is too much to write about every little detail, so I will cover the broad overview of them. Each paragraph will be about one of the topics. There will also be a discussion about insurgencies and counter insurgency operations. These are two big topics in Vietnam and Afghanistan since almost all of the enemy in both wars were, and are, comprised of insurgents and different types of militia groups.
In an age when mankind has the ability to completely annihilate itself through nuclear combat, war can be a more terrifying and powerful thought than ever before. Unfortunately, because of the extent of the actions that the Taliban has committed against both America and its own followers, the United States’ war against terrorism seems to be a necessity. I do feel, however, as if there are many things that can be done by the American government in the near future to peacefully approach a more civil and politically involved Afghanistan. Although my feelings on a war against terrorism are mixed, I do feel that significant actions must be taken in order to restrict the spread of
Then, on October 7th, President Bush announced operations in Afghanistan were underway. In his address to the nation, President Bush enumerated the demands given to Taliban leadership as, “close terrorist training camps; hand over leaders of the Al Qaeda network; and return all foreign nationals, including American citizens, unjustly detained in your country.” It was clear “none of these demands were met,” as President Bush announced military strikes were underway in Afghanistan. This concludes the first element of contemporary evidence.