Wednesday, April 7, 2010

This, ladies and gentlemen, is how empires die

There are few places in the world that can be so connected with so many falls of empires as Afghanistan. Afghanistan has been deemed to be "the graveyard of empires." and this for a very good reason.

The only army that can be claimed to have “succeeded” to a certain degree was the one lead by Alexander the Great (327-325 B.C.). Alexander solved his conquest quandaries by applying a combination of annihilating military action whenever possible with a process of planting communities of Greek colonists in Afghanistan. In other words kill all and everyone and then move in on the place where the dead lived with people more reasonable.

Pretty much everyone else has failed miserably.

The Red Army withdrew in defeat in 1989; the USSR suffered high casualties which caused societal problems; and Moscow’s Afghan war sped the bleeding of the already dying Soviet economy. The British tried it before that and before them it was the Mughal Empire and many others.

Today we have a force of approximately 80,000 troops constituting the U.S.-led coalition. These are supposed to be an adequate force for the assigned multi-task of keeping Karzai in power and spreading democracy; creating nationwide law and order; training Kabul’s military, security, and police services; building an economy and transportation/communication infrastructure virtually from scratch; defeating al-Qaeda; eliminating the Taleban; and neutralizing the world’s most potent heroin-growers and narcotics traffickers; protect the Afghani/Pakistani border; lay the groundwork’s for oil pipelines and protect them, and much more.

Does anyone else see the stupidity here?

I can only see two possible reasons for the continuing failure and inescapable strategic and eventual moral DEFEAT of this coalition. Either the US military and its allies are so inapt and so clueless that it boggles the mind how they even manage to do anything. Or they don’t want to ‘win’.

There is no way around it; those are the only two options.

Superior airpower, massive technology and weapons advantage, trillions of dollars and the 80,000 strong (*chuckle*) coalition have managed to gain control of the Afghan cities—which each foreign invader of Afghanistan since 300 BCE has easily won—while allowing the Taleban, al-Qaeda, and their allies to flee to the Afghan mountains, Pakistan, and elsewhere to prepare to fight another day.

They should have gone all in from the start – if they wanted to win that is.

There is only one way to fight a war. You commit your nation's resources - material and the most precious of all, human - to the complete obliteration of your enemy. You mass those resources against each objective in turn, without reservation, without holding back, without care for collateral damage or world opinion. You do so until your adversary sues for peace, not because it is the political thing to do, not for expedience, but for one and only one reason: they're tired of dying. There is no "armistice" or "cease fire" in a war. There is only victory or defeat. There is only death or life.

This they didn’t do, for whatever reason. I think it is a combination of utter stupidity and the less ambitious goal of controlling the pipeline and the immediate area with enemies still there to fight. I don’t think they want to win because if they won, their enemies would be gone and there would be no reason to have troops there anymore. How can they protect their interests, keep the circle around Iran intact and have that elusive enemy to rally the American people against if they win?

And for each day that passes, with body bags arriving home to all countries supporting this scam, with new war crimes committed by US soldiers going psycho and no real victories claimed, the unavoidable withdraw with their tails between their legs comes closer and closer.

8 years they’ve been there now, and what have they to show for it except for thousands of murdered families and a so so control of the cities?

Well, the drug trade flourishes like never before, probably fueling CIA’s pockets.
That pipeline is getting build, so that’s something, temporarily at least. An extremely large anti-American movement growing all over the world, even pro-American people like myself are almost hoping ‘terrorists’ attack the US again.

Sorry, but I need to say this to you US citizens out there, you’re starting to deserve it.

And this is, for me, probably the worst thing about this. US forces and the American establishment have alienated hundreds of millions of people that is now starting to look at Western democracy, ‘capitalism’ and consumerism as the very essence of evil. These people didn’t hate American freedom and way of life before, but they are certainly starting to do so now.

There have been so many scandals; so many crimes against humanity, war crimes and total disrespect of all things the US say they stand for that it will be almost impossible to rebuild any good reputation ever again. Most Americans doesn’t seem to understand this. Partially because the American media fail to report and dig into the stories.

America is not only losing this war they are also losing credibility and support all across the world. And this they do at the same time as they are throwing trillions of dollars into their devouring war machine, running enormous deficits, crushing their communications with air restrictions, internet laws and mad government schemes. US have a growing very uneasy population back home and a looming depression at the horizon.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is how empires die!


  1. I agree with 99% of that post. I must dissent on the 'war crimes' bit though...

    As you say quite correctly the purpose of war is to 'kill em' all'

    Our Leaders lack the courage required to win. So troops take unecessary casualties and anger festers.

    These are the only ingredients necessary for attrocities to flourish.

    Get our troops home now.

  2. Have a look in Wikipedia on Sir William Nott of Kandahar 1841-42. He had the right idea, hit hard and get out fast. The Greeks left their DNA behind, some of the insurgents are in the male line from them.

  3. @Cold Steel Rain
    Well, the war crimes are pretty well documented by now. The wars in themselves are highly questionable and you don’t need pictures from Falluja or watch videos from WikiLeaks to see those being committed.

    Yeah, I know. Read about that but didn't include it because that would have taken too much space.

    Of course you're right though.