Aug 2, 2010

Afghanistan: The Endless War

Todd StrandbergBy Todd Strandberg
Rapture Ready

Last week, the website published "The Afghan War Diaries," a collection of 91,000 classified documents on the military operations in Afghanistan. The information consists of tens of thousands of field reports that give personal, first-hand views of the fighting.

Comparisons are being made with the "Pentagon papers," which were leaked to the press in 1971 by an unhappy analyst of the Vietnam War. Those papers told an American public what it did not know about the war. There is no smoking gun in this pile of documents. According to the New York Times, the "documents do not contradict official accounts of the war."

The war in Afghanistan is the longest conflict in our nation’s history, but it is also our least costly in terms of lives lost. The Department of Defense has identified 1,192 American service members who have died as a part of the Afghan War. The Vietnam War cost the lives of 58,159 soldiers. The Civil War remains America's deadliest, with more than 600,000 deaths.

President George W. Bush ordered troops into Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks. Our goal was to defeat the Taliban and create a democratic Afghan government complete with an army and a police force that can maintain stability.

I have long maintained that it is not in our national interest to stay in Afghanistan. The war has cost the U.S. taxpayers over $1.2 trillion. With this kind of money, we could have totally rebuilt our crumbling infrastructure.

If Afghanistan were the last holdout for evil on the planet, it would be wise for us to stay the course. Unfortunately, plenty of other hot spots could soon demand our attention.

North Korea and the standoff over Iran's nuclear program are the most likely candidates for a new conflict. I seriously doubt we could afford another trillion-dollar conflict, and I'm sure our enemies realize this fact in their war planning.

The endless fighting is having a profoundly negative impact on our military readiness. The Army has lowered its standards in order to get new recruits. People who beforehand would have been barred as mentally unfit are now on active duty. The suicide rate, long below that of the general population, has now soared above that average.

At the core of the problem are the Afghan people. They have failed to show any real desire to take advantage of the opportunities we have provided them. We liberated them from the clutches of the Taliban, and they are unwilling to form a government that can supply basic needs. The Afghan government operates almost exclusively on bribes and kickbacks.

Only a handful of Afghan military units stand qualified to defend the country. In 1987, it only took me six weeks to learn how to be an Air Force airman. We've been training Afghans for nearly a decade.

I recently saw a revealing news report about ground troops. One segment featured an Army sergeant venting his consternation over having to deal with local Afghan soldiers who stopped by the local hashish bar to get stoned out of their minds right before coming on patrol with him.

It is unfortunate that we don’t have leaders in Washington who comprehend the spiritual nature of those in the Middle East. If we did, they would understand why it’s impossible for us to ever make friends with the Muslim world. Just this week, the White House had to admit that elements of Pakistan's army are providing aid to Afghan militants. It would require the logic of an insane man to make sense of a situation in which money we give to Pakistan is being used to kill our own soldiers.

We are long past the time when we should have packed up and left this quagmire. Because Bible prophecy promises a future busy with military conflicts, anyone who lusts for battle will have plenty of opportunity in the coming years to get his fill.

And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: … For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. (Matt. 24:6-8)

Related Links
Where Are Protests of Obama's Wars? - BPB (Joseph Farah)
Dutch troops pull out from Afghanistan - International Business Times
Burden of war in Afghanistan shifts even more to U.S - Xinhua
6 Afghans killed when minibus hits roadside bomb - Washington Times
Are You Rapture Ready?: Signs, Prophecies, Warnings, Threats, and Suspicions that the Endtime is Now - Todd Strandberg (Book)