Trump in Sand Pit of Afghanistan

By James E. Horn

I am a stalwart supporter of President Trump.
President Trump has listened to his generals.
President Trump has spoken.
Barak Hussein Obama’s legacy includes cashiering hundreds of very capable, competent flag grade officers whose first loyalty was to America. After gutting the military’s leadership, Obama promoted less capable, less competent and very accommodating acolytes such as National Security Council Chief (General) McMaster, Secretary of Defense (General) James “Mad Dog” Mattis, and Current White House Chief of Staff (General) Kelly, all of whom ae “soft” on Islam.
While I wholeheartedly support President Trump, I have less confidence with his “generals”, who are leading President Trump down the wrong path, especially in Afghanistan.

In my book, EXPERIENCING ISLAM, I lauded President Bush for going after the Taliban’s and al Qaeda’s leadership in Afghanistan but cautioned against a prolonged involvement. I wrote to President bush and Condi Rice pointing out:
The British spent enormous treasure, and thousands of lives lost trying to bring a modicum of civilization to Afghanistan. After 160 wasted years, the British left after being handed their butts in a basket.
More recently, the Russians spent enormous treasure and thousands of lives squandered during their 20-year sojourn with a half of a million troops. They were handed their backsides on a silver platter as they left with their tails between their legs.

We are seemingly on track to repeat the failed British and Russian experiences in Afghanistan!
I won’t begin to question or second-guess General Mattis’ competence as a military strategist, as a warrior. However, after sixteen years of engagement in Afghanistan, we have not won. Throwing more troops (with accompanying body bags) into that fight essentially doing the same old thing may have some value, but may not be a comprehensive winning strategy. It’s Déjà Vu all over again. This is sucking President Trump into the wicked quagmire of Afghanistan.
At this point, a military presence is useful if not essential. But a broader strategy other than merely sending more of America’s most precious treasure (military fighters) into that sand pit is essential.
Afghanistan is a tribal land. The people of Afghanistan are not nationalists, they are simple (primitive) minded fundamentalist Islamic tribals who do not speak a common national language, who do not share a common sense of national pride, identity, or ownership. They do share a common hatred of filthy unbelieving Infidels and Kafirs – us, as well as a deep distrust of one-another. They want us out of their lives and off of their soil while they want to impose their bigoted and biased ways on us. Being followers of Mohammed who was a very vengeful person, they are likewise vengeful. Americans have killed many Afghans and they will never ever forget or forgive us. They will continue killing us wherever and whenever they can. We’ve seen this hundreds of times where they join the Afghan army or police and then we we look the other way, they gun us down.
They are patient in a timeless way and will wait us out, and kill as many of us as they can in the process as they did the British and the Russians.
Afghanistan has two major export products, hand woven carpets and opium. The peanut farmer, Jimmy Carter decided many years ago to get the farmers of Afghanistan to abandon their opium poppy production with his “alternative crops” program. He decided that better nourishment of the people of Afghanistan would be essential with an alternate program that would also generate money from exports. One of those ideas was to get farmers into the honey producing business.
Jimmy Carter sent dozens of DEA agents to school to learn all about managing honey bees and producing high quality (and high quantities) of honey. It was a wonderful idea, that backfired in a major way because of its shortsightedness and lack of proper planning and execution. Carter expected the rich and powerful of Afghanistan to build roads and work to develop all of the infrastructure and facilities to make this work, and to abandon their generating multiples of millions of dollars from their opium trade.
After their training, the DEA agents climbed on board cargo planes and returned to opium producing countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Burma, etc. and set up shop training local farmers how to manage their bees that the DEA agents provided. It was all wonderful, until the program failed. The farmers produced tons of honey and their warehouses were soon filled with honey. There was no way to market their products.
Within one season, those many impoverished farmers abandoned their honey producing business and bees, and returned to producing opium. A side effect is that these super productive productive bees were loosed in the poppy fields and opium production increased by 400% – all thanks to Jimmy Carter.

We need a well thought out and planned strategy to deal with Afghanistan. After sixteen+ years, we Americans are weary of this never ending conflict and wary of deeper military involvement without an accompanying strategy to actually prevail.
Afghanistan is warlike and violent and has been so since the Islamists invaded, murdered all of the peaceful Buddhists and Hindus to create their Islamic utopian culture of hatred, fear, poverty, suffering ignorance, and betrayals.
In my book, EXPERIENCING ISLAM, I offered effective as well as strong suggestions on how to tame a wild Afghanistan. Some were draconian, but by overwhelmingly terrorizing the terrorist, we could win. I’ll move forward to the present and suggest consideration: That Afghanistan be amalgamated to be a republic with distinctive “states” in accordance with tribal boundaries. This may or not be a viable solution with Sunnis and Shia in the mix, but worth looking into. Alternatively, dividing Afghanistan into smaller, independent nations based on their unique tribal, linguistic, religious, and cultural systems could create nations somewhat beholding to or even appreciative of the United States. Consideration or inclusion of these or related thoughts by the “geniuses” in Washington might serve to ease our involvement and assist in an effective solution or solutions along with a viable exit strategy from a prolonged, burdensome war.

About James E. Horn

Retired American Diplomat served in American embassies and consulates for 25-years, ten in Islamic societies. I am not a fan of Islam. I do public speaking and have books listed.

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