Afghanistan Is Obama’s War

Afghanistan Is Obama’s War

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The indelible spirit of people is an amazing thing. Afghanistan is a perfect example. Which leads one to wonder — can the United States win? If you ask many, the answer is no. In other words, there’s no way out.

“When you look at the situation in Afghanistan, we have decided to fight a war against a group of people who are tribal in nature, which is a problem within itself,” said Dr. Paul O. Radde, who worked at the State Department for many years and is now with the Thrival Institute in Colorado. “It is a third world country where people do not necessarily want to change, which has been a problem for anyone who has tried to go in there and change the country.

“The reason we have been able to have success in Iraq is that even before the invasion it was a second world country that was very stable, despite Saddam Hussein.”

Recently, it has been shown that a majority of Americans see the war in Afghanistan as a lost cause, and unfortunately, see the surge by President Barack Obama as a lost cause, too. The feeling is that there is no hope that America can facilitate economic development and mold an honest and effective Afghan government.

“They are wily and they [are] cunning,” said Dan Verton, founder and executive producer of Homeland Security Television. “It’s like a game of three dimensional chess with Americans who are culturally capable of playing checkers. So you’ve got people over there who we don’t understand — essentially, the fabric of a tribe. We don’t understand their culture. It was just another imperialist venture.”

In other words, this could be worse than President George W. Bush’s Iraq from a political standpoint. It could be Obama’s Vietnam.

“It’s never going to work,” said Verton, also a former Marine military intelligence officer. “Had we put the effort and resources into Afghanistan that we put into Iraq we would be pulling out of Afghanistan and leaving behind a stable country free of the Taliban. Unfortunately, that’s not what happened. We have forgotten how to wage war.”

It was assumed that when President Obama authorized the sending of additional troops to the country that it would certainly help in the effort to remove the Taliban from Afghan towns and villages. Just the opposite has happened.

“We almost have to go region by region, tribe by tribe,” said Verton. “You can’t do plastic surgery with a tank. We are in their country.”

Polls aside, the American people, battered by joblessness, a mindless media and increased deaths on all sides of the conflict are tiring of endless, directionless conflict in the Middle East and south Asia. With just over 10 weeks before nationwide elections that could define the remainder of Obama’s first term, only 38 percent say they support his expanded war effort in Afghanistan — a drop from 46 percent in March.

Just 19 percent expect the situation to improve during the next year, while 29 percent think it will get worse. Some 49 percent think it will remain the same.

The numbers could be ominous for the president and his Democratic Party, already feeling the heat for high unemployment, a slow economic recovery and a $1.3 trillion federal deficit. Strong dissent — 58 percent oppose the war — could depress Democratic turnout when the party desperately needs to energize its supporters for midterm congressional elections.

U.S. troops have suffered more than 1,100 deaths in Afghanistan since fighting began in October 2001, including a monthly record of 66 in July. Last fall, Obama authorized an increase in the force in Afghanistan by 30,000 to 100,000 troops — triple the level from 2008.

Many in Congress are increasingly doubtful that the military effort can succeed without a tough campaign against bribery and graft that have eroded the Afghan people’s trust in their government.

Only 39 percent believe the United States and its allies are winning the War on Terror. Twenty-six percent (26%) believe the terrorists are winning, and another 25 percent say neither side holds the advantage. But those numbers have changed little since March.

The number of voters who expect the situation in Afghanistan to get worse is down from surveys conducted before President Obama announced his new strategy for the war late in the year when over 50 percent of voters felt that way.

For the first time since December, the numbers who believe America is safer today than it was before the 9/11 attacks is slightly higher than those who disagree. Forty-one percent (41%) believe the United States is safer today, but 37 percent say that’s not the case. Another 22 percent are not sure.

Eighty-four percent (84%) of voters rate the U.S. military’s performance as good or excellent. That includes 52% who give the military an excellent rating. Just three percent (3%) say the military is doing a poor job.

“We’ve forgotten our own history (against the British), my God,” said Verton. “This is our house. We have not exorcised that in our foreign policy. We seem to treat them as so inferior that we can walk in and play around in their country anyway that we want to. It’s imperialism.”