After more than 10 years of Western-led war in Afghanistan, The Guardian’s Jonathan Steele says that it is a conflict that we’ll (thankfully) never win. Take note America, Britain and Australia:
Two days after 9/11, I wrote a column in The Guardiansaying that if the U.S. reaction was to put boots on the ground in Afghanistan and try to occupy that country and to bring about regime change, they would suffer exactly the same fate as the Soviet Union. And I’m afraid to say that I’ve been proved right on that, because they’re following exactly the same techniques as the Russians. It’s what I call the garrison strategy. You hold the main cities, you try and keep the roads going open between them, and you make little forays into the countryside and try and push out a bit. But it doesn’t work, because you create new resistance by being there. The resistance comes because you’re there; you’re not there because of the resistance. The occupying force itself creates the resistance.
And so, the crucial thing now is to recognize that the war is unwinnable. It is a stalemate. There is no military victory. And this is the lesson that I’m afraid President Obama hasn’t yet learned from what the Soviets did, because Mikhail Gorbachev came into power in the Kremlin in 1985, after five years of war, when 9,000 Soviets soldiers had already died. He inherited somebody else’s war from his predecessor. And he realized immediately that the war was unwinnable. He consulted his military. They also said the war is unwinnable. They didn’t say, “We want a surge.” They didn’t say, “We want new troops, new equipment, you know, more scope, more money.” They recognized that the thing is a disaster. Obama hasn’t yet recognized that. And in fact it’s worse than that, because people like General Petraeus are still convinced that there can be a military victory. He has the ear of the President. He’s the head of the CIA, sees him virtually every day. And so, it’s really important, I think, that the American public—and we know from the polls that more than half are against this war—really make their voice heard.