Afghanistan is, and has been for thirty years, a failed state – it’s time to leave it to its inevitable self-destruction. Intervention, for whatever reasons, by the United States, the former Soviet Union, Pakistan, and various other Arab nations have produced essentially no affect on the country that was forcibly forged out of a loosely related group of tribes and ethnic groups, so why should the efforts continue? The definition of insanity, to paraphrase an old saying, is performing the same action repeatedly and expecting different results, which most certainly applies to the Afghan region.
More recently, the United States deposed the Taliban, a rule-by-fear group that was installed and aided by the U.S. during the debacle with the USSR, and helped to create a democratic government in its place. Despite these efforts, the Afghani people are apparently ambivalent about their country, since they still look to and defend the Taliban, which often leads to the loss of coalition lives.
Afghanistan is a nation that was forced into existence, rather than through a more natural evolution, and its internal tribal strife is more than enough evidence that it cannot realistically function as a sovereign whole. In fact, the people of Afghanistan seem to not care, through neither convincing nor coercion, about their future, and are willing to continue as-is – they are a proud people, but the level of poverty and simple corruption of their nation is nothing to be proud of. However, harboring radicalized groups of Muslims and others who are far from peaceful, while claiming an interest only in being left alone, is not an agreeable alternative.
Since all efforts to help these people help themselves, while removing the installations of radical regimes, have failed, there should be no more efforts by the United States or other nations to this end. Billions of dollars have been spent in the last decade, in addition to the cost of the 1980′s and 1990′s, and the nation is still just as corrupt, derisive, and poor as it ever was. If the people are not interested in themselves, their country, or their future, then they should be left to the whims of those who would seek to subjugate their culture and take advantage of their people – the Western World should not care for those who refuse to ensure their own safety.
Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and other organizations are a problem, true, but they can be handled in a far more utilitarian method, as is currently being used in Pakistan. If the coalition forces are not interested in the democratic stability and freedom of Afghanistan, then they will not be forced to spend substantial time and effort in attempting to institute political or social reform – the Karzai government will collapse, and Afghanistan will be overrun by either Pakistan or extremist Islam groups, or perhaps it will instead devolve into a weak group of tribal forces as it once was.
The United States may see itself as a peacemaker and protector of smaller nations, but this attitude cannot be universally applicable, and it must only be applied in situations where it’s a realistic ideal. Afghanistan has no strategic value beyond the concern of terrorist organizations, and since they have largely no interest in working with the U.S., there is no definitive explanation for the coalition nations to care about the nation’s stability, freedom, and future. For a nation that has been in the process of collapse for three decades and resisted most attempts at outside intervention, even when it’s in their best interest to accept it, there is a far better strategy for dealing with the harboring of terrorist and radical organizations within their borders – one that is already applied to countries the world over: strategic, careful, and quiet military action.
Leaving Afghanistan will please many Arab nations, even as it is overrun by those interested in Islamist regimes, and it will save many Western nations considerable money, time, and lives. Let them grow poppy plants, foster the growth of violent organizations, and be a shadow satellite of Pakistan – so long as the problems of extremism are handled remotely via military action, the results of such action/inaction will not be cause for worry to the rest of the world.
From Kyle Brady…