Tuesday, September 24, 2019

The Path to Victory

How can people claim our war in Afghanistan has been futile (and lost) when this has been the situation in that country?

Once the peace talks were cancelled, U.S. forces in Afghanistan were ordered to hit the Taliban with maximum effort. The Afghan security forces were already doing so and the Afghan troops are have been carrying out nearly all the attacks against the Taliban this year. That is something the Afghans are proud of as they have been training and reorganizing for over a decade to reach that level of combat performance. Afghan soldiers and police also realize that they and their families have a lot to lose if the Taliban gain control. The last time that happened, in the mid-1990s, the Taliban retaliated against Afghans who had fought against them and families were not exempt. Technically the Taliban have abandoned such tactics but the Taliban still go after those who desert or switch sides. [emphasis added]

Remember, our intervention didn't have to finally defeat the enemy before we left. What we had to do was build up allied local forces who could fight as long as they need to in order to defeat our common enemies.

We've done that. And that achievement includes the Obama administration in that training program.

That doesn't mean that these trained troops don't need American help. Our air power is very important:

It’s not just the airstrikes, it’s also the American ability to airdrop supplies to areas that the Taliban have under siege. The Taliban take heavy losses maintaining those sieges and American supply drops enable Afghan forces to survive and win most of those battles. The Taliban learned this the hard way in 2018 when they saw many of their sieges fail because of the air delivered supplies. In 2017 the U.S. Air Force dropped 15 tons of supplies by parachute (often guided parachutes that can assure delivery in a small area.) In 2018 that increased to 304 tons and that, plus even more airstrikes made sieges unpopular with Taliban fighters.

And air strikes, recon, transport, and casualty evacuation, don't forget.

I don't know what the purpose of peace talks is. I sure isn't to achieve peace with the Taliban. But if the peace talks never achieve peace, with our help friendly Afghan security forces will continue to kill the Taliban who hosted al Qaeda which struck America on September 11, 2001.

And don't forget that peace talks are probably futile as long as our black-sheep ally Pakistan supports jihadis in Afghanistan.

But at least with locals doing the fighting, we don't have to sustain a large-scale war through Pakistani territory.

Boy would our problems be simplified if the Iranian people overthrew the mullahs in Iran.