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Notice to Taliban: We’re Outta Here by 2014

Yes, Mullah Omar, the place is yours at that point.

That’s what was ANNOUNCED today by NATO at the summit in Lisbon.

Look, it’s not a bad idea at all to leave Afghanistan in 2014. I just think we should win the war first. I don’t know how it makes sense to fight a war but announce when you are surrendering.

It’s generous of us to be so helpful to the Taliban, telling them when we will start to depart – July 2011 – and now adding some helpful information about when the surrender will be complete.

Why waste all those precious lives? If this is how we’re going to fight the war, we should leave tomorrow.

One wonderful moment from the summit was the assertion by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen that the Taliban can’t rely on a strategy of just waiting until we leave.

We will launch the process by which the Afghan government will take leadership for security throughout the country, district by district. If the enemies of Afghanistan have the idea that they can just wait it out until we leave, they have the wrong idea. We will stay as long as it takes to finish our job.

The Europeans are particularly good at this type of wishful doublespeak on matters of war and peace, believing strongly in the discredited concept that, “If I say it with determination, it will be true.

I mean, what is he talking about? We’re staying until 2014, not until we finish the job. THAT’S NATO POLICY.

There’s an interesting clash of cultures underlying this. To the United States, with our habit of looking just over the hood and no further, 2014 seems A LONG TIME AWAY.  For people like the Afghanis and much of the rest of the world, which lack our instant gratification mentality and our poor knowledge of history and other cultures, four years is nothing, a blip on the screen in the grand sweep of history that extends from ancient times into the future where – for the Taliban at least – a new Caliphate awaits.

The Europeans have a broader sense of time than us, and understand 2014 is right around the corner. It’s just that, being Europeans, they want to stop fighting yesterday.

The Taliban will wait us out, better believe it. And then we can build a memorial to the Afghan war dead on the mall in Washington and move on.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/21/world/europe/21nato.html?_r=1&hp
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17 Responses to Notice to Taliban: We’re Outta Here by 2014

  1. We disagree on this–the 2014 is an extension of 2011…You should be happy. I know I am not. Are we supposed to stay until for some reason a Caliphate seems impossible? Some “expert” last evening said this is just the beginning–this could be a hundred yrs or more. Why stop at a 100 yrs?

    • I thank you for your service, Brett. Since you were there–let me ask you. For 9 yrs we have been “training” police and army and standing up an Afghan force to take over “security”…Do you think this is feasible…will it happen? Doesn’t it have to happen?

  2. Numbers are the devices that most politicians use to cover what are real human happenings. $250K tax bracket,you’re good; $251K, sucks to be you. 4,000 “casualties” are acceptable, unless one of those was your son, brother, sister. Now comes 2014, not 2011 and it’s just numbers again.

    No army can free a people from tyranny if they accept whatever this kind of life poses. The Afgans like their women held under their feet, join the “enemy” that we’re fighting so that their way of life isn’t changed by the mysterious and arrogant Americans.
    .
    It’s past time to bring all the troops home.

  3. Well, I know I have many readers who disagree with me on this one. My feeling is that we will pay a terrible price for losing this war. The post-Vietnam can’t-trust-America ethos will be revived as our former allies are put to death. Iran will have a new sphere of influence, and terrorists will once again be hosted in the country. Once we’re out, we won’t just keep being able to send drones to a sovereign nation. We’ll be discredited and made to stop it. We’ll have no allies in future military actions because we will be seen for the cut and run crowd that we would be.

    Afghanistan was a relatively peaceful and united nation for decades before the Soviet intervention. It could be again. These people aren’t going to write their own Federalist Papers, I know. But the Taliban is not Afghanistan.

    • Your point is good, but who are we fighting, where are they, how do we know them when the general population and their leader is resisting our efforts. There’s no one person to surrender. If we were to kill or capture BinLaden, another would take his place.
      We’re using space-age weaponry against ghosts who disappear into the villages, tents and caves . Goat herders by day, Taliban by night and they are protected by the very people we are trying to protect.

    • The post-Vietnam can’t-trust-America ethos will be revived as our former allies are put to death

      Well, you know I don’t line up on this one. Nations are at best amoral–they act ruthlessly in their own interests. Certainly Karzai does, the Taliban do, Europe does, Russia does, Israel does. We need to. We lifted off the roof in Vietnam and our allies there were put in camps or killed. Now people vacay in Vietnam. Things change. The “enemy” is in 110 countries, I read. This particular one has never lost a war. They have a fighting season. They will keep fighting. I don’t think people trust us now, if by trust you mean some do or die BFF deal. Most people are not very starry-eyed at a certain pt in life.

      • The problem with Afghanistan (as in Iraq) is that the culture is corrupted by Islam. Islam is not just a religion, it is total consumption of the body politic: lifestyle, politics, religion, health, capitalism (or lack thereof), family life, culture. Islam will not tolerate freedom, which requires both an established free press and electorate to build a society energized by capitalism. Capitalism (and hence freedom) can’t take root in a society that is drawn not to freedom (or capitalism) but is submerged in strict, authoritarian religious dogma.

      • You make good points Star. But do or die also involves trusting a country with your lives. Why go in somewhere with the United States if we’re just going to get out before we win? Why would legitimate people ally themselves within a country we’re helping if the last ones who did so are all dead? If we lose Afghanistan, it will be a laboratory for terrorism and God-knows-what activities by Iran like no other of the 110 countries you mention.

        We can do this. Iraq looked hopeless. Sorry, Star, but the United States can defeat a bunch of Taliban thugs. Losing a war is a bad deal. It emboldens all sorts of bad guys. Obama hasn’t event given the generals the troops they said they needed, and now he’s discussing withdrawal. It’s a disgrace.

        Anyway, even if we disagree, I do empathize with your points. I hate to have us in this mess too, and it’s not easy for me to come to the conclusion on this one in favor of a policy that will result in the sacrifice of more brave young – and sometimes not so young – Americans.

        • I predict we will never “win.” We will never “defeat” thugs who live there and gain the populace’s allegiance at night while those same people seem to be on our side during the day. You will never convince me. You seem to think these countries have a choice whether we “ally” with them or not. I don’t see it that way. There was a story this morning about how we are wearing out our welcome there–if we were welcomed.

  4. For some odd reason, “the experts” (these are the men and women with college degrees so they know what they are doing) have yet to win one guerilla war. They are set to loose a second since Vietnam.

    We never won the Phillipine Insurgency (1918), we simply stamped out the Moro rebellion. Korea was a conventional war, but Eisenhower (who had gone liberal; George S. Patton made reference to Ike’s inability to lead) put the kubash on victory by calling a halt to the war and therefore only partial victory. In 1994, nearly 3,000,000 Koreans died of starvation. Vietnam was an absolute loss …. the French, who had fought Communist guerilla’s from 1946-1954 nearly a decade before we entered the war nearly pulled out a stalmate at Dien Bien Phu were successful in many areas fighting the Viet-minh (later the Viet Cong) in the Viet Bac and in the South. The French warned us about Vietnam, “unless your willing to fight a tough enemy, dont send troops” was how one Foreign Legion officer explained to a US Army MAAG advisor in 1954.

    Led by our college educated “experts”, we ended up not only loosing the war, but our politicians gave all of Vietnam to the Communists who then exterminated 3,500,000. Richard Nixon’s “peace with honor” dissapated when the first execution squads began in 1976.

    Now our “experts” once again are fighting a GUERILLA WAR with conventional means: the concrete bunker mentality, tank driver-Generals as OP Theatre commanders and tactics that reach back to the Second World War. Conventional troops are deployed, conventional tactical doctrines are operational. If this is not INSANE enough there are even ROE guidelines restricting suppressing fire in certain zones for in-zone battalions that have maneuvered toward the enemy. This is what happens when you allow college-educated nitwits (politicians and generals) to play soldiers and nation build. There is not one guerilla fighter in U.S. Command nor is there one politician who has even read Churchill, Wingate, Chapman, Trinquer, Fall or any other expert on guerilla warfare.

  5. Pull the troops out now….and then proceed to level the montains, the country and everything in it – including Kharzid and the poppy fields…tell Pakistan if they don’t want us to unleash against them what we and India have …clean things up….