An Ally Nobody Needs

Secretary of State Clinton announced Sunday that the United States has declared Afghanistan to be our newest major non-NATO ally.  Huh?  What in the world does Afghanistan have to offer anyone other than a front row seat to witness rampant corruption, brutality of their women and children, warlords controlling the majority of the world’s supply of opium poppy, and lunatic Taliban fighters as intent on killing their own people as they are in eliminating all foreign forces occupying their country?

Have we learned nothing in decades of failed attempts trying to win the hearts and minds of downtrodden people we assume we can save from themselves?  We thought we could do it in Vietnam at the cost of 57,000 American lives and disruptive chaos at home that lasted a generation.  We tried to do it in the Middle East with disastrous results for Marines blown up in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.  Iraq was a folly to dispose of a dictator we had isolated for 10 years and then used doctored intelligence when it suited our needs.  Afghanistan is a dust bowl with no strategic value where Al-Qaeda was born and sheltered Osama bib Laden until his escape to Pakistan.  Our original intention was to go in to kill bin Laden and we have clearly overstayed our welcome.  I’m still trying to figure out the major non-NATO ally part.

Afghanistan produces 90% of the world’s opium and it in turn helps fund the insurgent war against us. Traffickers who distribute it throughout the world make billions more.  I’m wondering why we’ve never used our sophisticated drone aircraft to regularly drop some napalm like substance on the poppy fields to eradicate the source of the heroin it produces.  Wouldn’t our ‘new’ major non-NATO ally welcome that initiative? I think not, but I know most of the world probably would.  How do we reward a nation with an ongoing supply of military equipment and logistics without any tangible giveback on their part?  There has been over 2,000 American soldiers killed in Afghanistan and billions of dollars spent on a situation best described as a quagmire.  Our so called allies continue to play us as a rich uncle with little respect for the sacrifices we have made.

When does this end and when do we as Americans say enough is enough?  The Taliban is their problem and the munitions we supply to combat them often seem to be used against us. Billions of our aid has disappeared through corruption as we here at home grapple with our own fiscal crisis.  There is no strategic purpose to be there, just ask the Russians.  They gave up on their aggressive folly into Afghanistan years ago.  Our initial intent on going there has long been solved.  We should be more concerned at this point on how our other ‘ally’ Pakistan never knew or cared to know how Osama bin Laden lived for years within earshot of their national military academy. There is just too much spin on their explanation to even suspect truth.

Our ongoing fight against global terrorism and its threat to our citizens should be seek and destroy not occupy and mollify. Rewarding these nations with the status of being a major ally emboldens them to have one hand out and the other hidden behind their back with a gun.

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