Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tepid support in US for Afghan war

WaPo reported today that only ¼ of Americans support increasing troop deployment to Afghanistan, after a July that saw record casualties for the States in the country that various nations have tried to dominate for over 2000 years. On the key question of whether the West is winning the war, the margin of confidence is only 42 to 36 with 22 percent not sure. Tomorrow, there's an election that many suspect rightly is a foregone conclusion -- Hamid Karzai will be elected to another term of office tomorrow and there will likely be a lot of corporate backed vote rigging to make sure it happens (after all, Karzai is the only leader who can ensure the continued flow of oil and natural gas through the country, which is what it really comes down to).
Is this is what NATO is supporting? At the ProgBlog picnic the Sunday before last, there was a general consensus that no matter who is in power in 2011 here in Canada, some excuse will be come up with to further extend our combat operations. A country that was actually a model for women's rights in the 1960s is increasingly more repressive against women even with the Taliban out of the picture. And opium cultivation is at an all time high.
We need to refind our purpose in the war, and make sure our men and women in uniform have the most up to date equipment to fight it. But even with the most sophisticated mapping, the natives of Afghanistan know the lay of the land better than the West ever will and that gives them a decisive advantage. Capturing Osama Bin Laden has almost become a sideshow now.

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