Blundering Forward in the Graveyard of Empires
by Eric Margolis
Washington’s national security establishment – what used in Britain to be called “imperialists” – is in a growing panic over the war in Afghanistan which, in spite of America’s vast military and economic power, and cornucopia of high tech wizardry, is being slowly beaten by a bunch of lightly-armed but very fierce Pashtun mountain tribesman.
The renowned military strategist, Maj. Gen. J.F.C Fuller, defined war’s true objective as achieving desired political results, not killing enemies.
Operation Enduring Freedom – the dreadfully misnamed ten-year US occupation of Afghanistan – has turned into Operation Enduring Misery.
After ten years of military and civil operations costing at least $450 billion, over 1,600 dead and 15,000 seriously wounded soldiers, the US has achieved none of its strategic or political goals. As for Afghanistan, it has suffered untold civilian casualties, villages shattered by US bombing, night raids by death squads, over two million refugees and a 30-year civil war.