10th Mountain Division Soldier in Afghanistan in 2007. Wikipedia photo
America is entrenched in its longest war as its been in Afghanistan since 2001 and has never been further from victory. Nation after nation, empire after empire before the US have been unable to win any war in Afghanistan, and for some reason, the political class, the defense contractors, the media, and every other swamp creature seems to not know why the U.S. has not yet won there.
There are a couple of very big factors that make Afghanistan very difficult to conquer and even more difficult to govern especially when it isn’t locals. Afghanistan is an extremely mountainous country, 75% of the land is mountains and peaks, with a number of mountains being over 20,000 feet tall, this very rough and mountainous terrain makes it extremely difficult to move soldiers and equipment. As if that isn’t difficult enough, the tribes that our troops in Afghanistan deal with, they are influenced in different ways culturally. The Taliban have utilized these caves and mountains whenever they need to retreat or hide as they battle Afghan, American, and NATO forces, and those mountains are extremely effective.
Afghanistan is located on the mainland route between Iran, Central Asia, and India, and with various invasions and settlements many have settled in the country, and the tribes are very hostile to one another. There are 14 different main ethnic groups in the country spread across tribes. Treating any of the ethnic groups – whether we are talking about the Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras or Uzbeks – as a single unified ethnic group shows absolutely no understanding whatsoever of the situation in the country. Conquering the nation is already extremely difficult but governing a tribalist, war-torn land of 35.53 million people who are loyal to different clans, tribes, sheiks, units, ethnicities, religious sects, and even different governments, it is almost impossible.
Afghanistan is a country very ethnically divided but the tribal divisions are even stronger
The US has been fighting alongside the government in Kabul, against the Taliban, bombing the country since 2001, there has been between 10,000 and 100,000 troops on the ground in the time we have been in this war, but the Taliban is stronger than ever, and it is very likely going to take Kabul.
In the Wardak Province, Monday the Taliban infiltrated an Afghan intelligence base and bombed the base killing dozens of people in one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in a war, where the Taliban’s attacks regretfully have gotten more devastating. The security situation has gotten worse as the Taliban has been gaining ground, the US has been bombing Afghanistan at a record rate but it hasn’t been able to regain ground against the Taliban, and now Afghan and US military casualties are at record levels and so are civilian casualties, as 20,000 people were killed in the last year, in this war. The Afghan troop losses are particularly devastating because there aren’t anywhere enough people to replace dead Afghan soldiers, as things worsen for the ordinary Afghans in areas controlled by the central government, ordinary Afghans are either leaving the country, or some even joining the Taliban out of desperation for a slightly better life (I nor anyone at the Conservative Daily News in any way condones or excuses anyone who would join the Taliban). It would have probably been smart, that while the US tried its nation-building policy, that they actually tried to do something about the severe corruption in the Afghan government. Things are so bad in Afghanistan that 6/10 people can’t read or write, half the country has no access to drinking water. Troop totals are down 90% from the peak of the war, but the deaths are rising and this is something we can’t sustain. We gave everything we could to build up the Afghan forces, but it has not worked!
Afghan intelligence service training building badly damaged after the terrorist attack by the Taliban
Corrupt criminal governments will always bring suspicion of ulterior motives, and sometimes, that government will vindicate your feelings, and sadly the Afghan government has proved that to be the reality. In October 2018, a “friendly fire” attack which left a US army general and even threatened the top commander in the country. That is just one example of many friendly fire attacks by Afghan government forces against our troops. The Afghan government is either incredibly incompetent or they double-cross us again and again and again.
We can’t fix the problems in Afghanistan, the endless war has not been able to change anything in the country, there is a peace opportunity before us, that yes may take time, but new talks are happening as we speak.
The US and the Taliban are in negotiations in Qatar continued Tuesday as the Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid in a statement said: “Following American acceptance of the agenda of ending the invasion of Afghanistan and preventing Afghanistan from being used against other countries in the future, talks with American representatives took place today in Doha.” The US has not officially commented on the Taliban’s comments that an agreement, the signs from both the White House and the US Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad do indicate the momentum is building towards a withdraw and an end to America’s longest war. Khalilzad who has been more hawkish than Trump on the question of the war said “Let me be clear: the US wants peace. … To achieve peace, we are ready to address legitimate concerns of all Afghan sides in a process that ensures Afghan independence and sovereignty and accounts for legitimate interests of regional states. Urgent that fighting end.” What we are hearing from both the US and the Taliban gives reason to be hopeful that an end to this war is near and that the suffering of the Afghan people can finally come to an end.
The opportunity for peace exists, President Trump wants to leave and see a peace deal! Imran Khan led the way, in the beginning, trying to encourage direct talks with the Taliban, the US and Pakistan are working together better now, Afghanistan’s President called Prime Minister Khan to thank him for all he is doing in the effort for peace – THAT’S HUGE considering Pakistan and Afghanistan’s very tense relationship. The Gulf Cooperation Council supports the peace effort! The momentum is stronger than ever, there may just be a peace deal and the long suffering of the Afghan people with endless war, can finally come to an end.