Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Military Action In Afghanistan

I watched Charlie Wilson's War last weekend.

It was much better than I expected.

I learned about the Russians armor-plating their helicopters so that the Afghan's weapons were ineffective against them. Charlie Wilson was the guy who convinced Congress to spend the money to get the Afghan rebels the missiles they needed to penetrate the armor.

The tide turned when this happened and Afghanistan become Russia's Viet Nam: an unwinnable war, unpopular with the citizenry, and draining the national treasury. So, Russia eventually pulled-out. Since the Congress believed the only point was to defeat the Russians, they failed to follow-up the military support with social support and Afghanistan, much like the United States, fell into the hands of a bunch of religious wackos.

Afghanistan was left with a huge stockpile of weapons, too. And they turned those weapons on each other.

The Taliban, an extremist religious sect, prevailed and years of living hell ensued.

The Taliban, funded primarily by Saudi Arabia, supported Muslim extremism around the world, gave refuge to terrorists, and provided proving grounds for militants who went on to commit crimes against the United States, England, and Spain.

In 2001, the United States led an attack against the Taliban in Afghanistan, in response to the bombings of the World Trade Center towers, in New York, and the Pentagon, in Maryland.

One might think that a military power like the United States could destroy the Taliban which it had funded fifteen years earlier; but, the Taliban leaders and the criminals it protected, including Osama binLaden, have been able to elude capture and lead a guerrilla war against the United States and the United Nations that continues until this day.

Listening to news on the radio this week, I learned that the United States is now shipping new Humvees to Afghanistan that have been armor-plated to protect soldiers from the guerrillas, who have been successfully destroying the vehicles and killing the occupants.

I was dismayed by the similarity between the Russians armor-plating their helicopters in the mid-1980s, and the United States armor-plating their Humvees in the mid-2000s.

The armor-plating didn't help the Russians, and I suspect that it will not help the Americans.

How can a war have gone so terribly wrong? Who's running this country?

No comments: