For the past 13 years the United States has been involved in the Afghanistan war, and the reasons for the continuation of the Afghanistan war are very blurry. Not only are the reasons for the United States to fight the war blurry, but it seems the the cost vs. benefit of fighting the war do not equal. Only
The United States has been fighting the war in Afghanistan for the past fourteen years, yet the Taliban insurgents are not defeated and the insurgency is rising. This paper examines the major reasons why the United States has not been able to defeat the Taliban insurgent group in Afghanistan since 9/11.The main players in war against the Taliban are the governments of Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States. The Afghan Taliban insurgent group, installed and backed up by Pakistan’s government officially ruled over Afghanistan from 1996-2001. In the meantime, the Taliban endorsed and allowed Osama Bin Laden, the founder and leader of Al-Qaeda global terrorist organization to set up terrorist training camps in eastern and southern
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
For example, when David Petraeus took command of the Afghanistan mission in July of 2010, he attempted to impose the same strategy that had worked in Iraq. As Gentile explains, the “American military establishment could only provide one course of action in Afghanistan – COIN.” In The Insurgents Kaplan tells the story of how one of Petraeus’s advisers told him rather directly to not talk about Iraq so much because he was not doing enough to factor in and adapt to the differing conditions in Afghanistan, such as its primitive economy and scattered population. COIN became arborescent in its approach, and was always looking back to the root concepts that had made the Iraqi operation successful. The strategy did not evolve as Kilcullen suggested it would. In many ways it seems that the COIN approach simply became the “New Western Way of War;” just as dogmatic as the ways of conventional warfare had been
The U.S. military made the same mistakes initially in the 2003 Iraq War. The U.S. failed to allocate the proper number of troop strength, failed to adapt to the terrain, and failed to foresee the used of improvised explosive device (IED). The U.S. also lacked control of the civilian population, and the mistakes in Abu Ghraib became the rally cry for the insurgents, which the Iraqis rose to support the insurgency. (Montanus, 2005) However, the lessons learned from the British 200 years ago, the U.S. adapted and formed a concept to win the hearts of mine of the people into their counterinsurgency operation. The U.S. allocated more troops, adapted to the terrain, and employed new method to defeat IEDs. Furthermore, they opened dialogues with the Tribes, resolved conflicts, and addressed issues in order to win their support for the war. The U.S. assisted the Iraqi’s create a democratic government, provided logistic support, training
The war between Afghanistan and the United States has been one that has lasted longer than any war; the civil war combined with both World War I and World War II do not match the duration the United States currently faces with Afghanistan. With both countries engaging little to no military conflict, the U.S. continues to be on Afghanistan’s territory, securing the country from the rise of militias potentially threatening our counterpart’s sovereignty. Many people have been arguing whether the US should withdraw from Afghanistan and when. Currently, as the U.S. plans to withdraw from the Afghan nation, the issue is not one that pertains to the U.S. and Afghanistan, for they are not the only two involved. American forces had planned to leave the opponent’s nation but fear the security along with the sovereignty of Afghanistan continues to be one that is porous. The initiation of the war was the 9/11 attack and has been lasting for 13 years. However, many people complain about the extreme high cost of the war The United States should withdraw completely from Afghanistan because of the high cost of the war, popular opinion’s support, and very few al-Qaeda members are left.
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
Irregular warfare has become the centre of much military and academic study in recent years, due mostly to the ongoing NATO operations in Afghanistan. However irregular warfare is by no means a recent revelation in the evolution of warfare and strategy, numerous examples exist throughout history in which irregular warfare tactics and strategy have been adopted and later analysed by academics and military professionals. This author will focus on the key issues that governments face in creating effective strategies for irregular warfare with a particular emphasis on counter-insurgency (COIN) and terrorism. Resources such as time, space, legitimacy and support present themselves as key issues in dealing with insurgency and terrorism and are
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
The United States from the Cold War and into the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) continues to face challenges in translating military might into political desires due to its obsession with raising an army, electing politicians and assembling a diplomatic corp that continue to gravitate towards State-to-State engagements that if not rectified could lead to substantial delays in fighting terrorism and non-terrorist adversaries or worse total failure of the United States Military’s ability to properly carry out it’s politicians objectives due to being blindsided.
The function of the military forces for the United States has had no choice but to evolve as wars wax and wane. As the rise of militant terrorist groups became a threat to the United States and its allies, the armed forces of the United States were deployed by the President to countries such as Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq. Instability in these countries threatened bordering allies, and after September 11, 2001, the threat was brought to U.S. soil. Each president from Clinton to Obama has had to shape the policy of how the armed forces fit into civil-military policies abroad and overseas. In a war time environment, such as Iraq, the purpose of how the military should be deployed is easier to clearly state. But in times when there is no imminent threat, it is much more difficult to transition
As America find herself in today’s “War on Terrorism,” one can easily find a number of similarities between today’s situation and the war in Vietnam. As the Taliban steadily loses control and power over Afghanistan, it becomes exceedingly important to discuss potential replacement governments. Afghanistan is, like Vietnam in the 50’s and 60’s, a very volatile country full of a variety of people speaking different dialects and practicing different religions. It is very important, then, that the government that is installed is one that is capable of maintaining some type of control or authority over its diverse people.
The Counter Insurgency operations in Vietnam have taught the U.S. a lot that can be applied to Afghanistan. According to Phillips (2015) “Although our understanding and steadfast support can make a significant difference, ultimate success depends on
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
The first tenet of COIN aligns with the first two statements of COMISAF’s Counterinsurgency Guidance. The primary focus is on the people and earning their trust. The people function as the internal intelligence for the government and support the goal of eliminating, harboring and providing safe havens for the enemy. This effort is supported by the United States Soldiers and its allies taking up residence in the community with the Afghanistan people. This also reinforces President Obama core element of a civilian surge to reinforce positive action. It is imperative to get the people out in the public view and not living in fear. Constant and daily interaction is essential in gathering local intelligence on what is going in the government in hopes of understanding how the people feel and think about their leadership. Communication is helpful but being a good listener is an invaluable asset to information gathering. Secondly, the United States military goal is to support the fostering of renewed trust of the Afghanistan people in their government and security forces. The ultimate goal is that the Afghanistan people reject the insurgents and stop them from infiltrating their infrastructure. This approach was taught by