Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

"
If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"
Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Friday, January 29, 2016

Whither Afghanistan?

The U.S. Army general picked to lead U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan warns the security situation there is deteriorating despite a valiant effort by Afghan forces.
The reasons are slightly unpalatable. The Bush Administration established (or allowed) a government of kleptocrats. The Obama Administration has been either unwilling or unable to change that. Afghanistan is the third most-corrupt nation on the planet.

Like the Iraqi army, the Afghan army has been plagued by officers who have cared more about lining their own pockets than fielding an effective army. Their army has ranks filled with ghost soldiers, names on a roster that don't correspond to a living person, so that the officers can pocket their pay. Equipment has been stolen and sold, often to the enemy. Public improvement projects have been repeatedly built with shoddy materials; the contractors skim the difference between what was spec'd and what was built-- often paying off the officials who awarded the contracts.

Because it would seem to be easy as pie to obtain a post in the army by bribery, the enemy has had little trouble in salting the Afghan army with agents who wait for an auspicious time and then slay their supposed comrades, superiors and advisers.

By invading Afghanistan, the neocons who were then in charge thought that they were striking a mortal blow against the Taliban and al Qaeda. But what they were really doing was punching a tar-baby. And now we're pretty well stuck there.

Unless the Pakistanis finally get tired of letting the Taliban operate within their borders, there will be no change to the situation. There is no sign of the Pakistanis ever doing that. When the 20th anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan rolls around, I predict that things will be no better than there were at the 5th, 10th or 15th anniversaries.

And, unless we follow the advice of Se. George Aiken, we'll still be there.

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