Historical Reccurence – Afghanistan

A Broken Record

If you look back, way back, to the history of the region that is now Afghanistan, ‘stable’ has never been an adjective that really applies.

The area of Afghanistan is just north of the Indus Valley Civilization, a lot of it is (was) fertile. Fertile lands means food. It also usually means war or conflict because someone else wants that fertile land. 

Afghanistan as been the center of conflict for a long time. And right now, in present day, we’re running to an issue we’ve seen before.

A strong supporter (USA & NATO) tried to help the region, to provide a progressive (somewhat democratic) guide to stability. We provided training wheels (military support, money, weapons, training) for a few years and then took them off. Afghanistan just does not seem to be able to ride a two wheeler on its own.

This has happened before.

Long story short: About 40 years ago Afghanistan was a monarchy. Then there was a coup and Afghanistan became a republic. The main political party was socialist. The guy that staged the coup though ended up opposing his own party and tried to reorganize (still a republic at this point) but that’s where Russia (Soviet Union at the time) got involved supporting the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan. Supported by: Money, weapons, supplies, TROOPS.

USA got involved too, only we supported the anti-Soviet group. Supported by: Money, weapons, supplies. (Sound familiar? If not, google “USA, Russia, Syria”)

Russia pulled troops after deciding they had too many casualties. Civil war continued into the 90s. Enter the Taliban.

Civil war continued because for some, the fundamental Islamic interpretations of the Taliban were too extreme.USA put their foot down when the anti-Taliban leader was assassinated two days before 9/11. Enter, the USA invades Afghanistan, providing more than just money

So to point out the comparisons, in the 80’s Russia sent troops to Afghanistan, shortly after they pulled out the Taliban came into power.

If this doesn’t sound familiar. It should. 

USA and NATO withdrew a lot of forces and officially ended combat in Dec 2014. Today the Taliban has regained ground and is battling for Lashkar Gah and the surrounding area. 

So what’s the answer?

In the way of natural resources, Afghanistan is not someplace we make a huge profit. A good portion of the USA stake in the area is preventative measures. We are trying to prevent the cultivation of a society that wants to destroy us. Theoretically the use of troops and money now should save us troops and money later. But the methods we’ve tried have now failed twice – send troops & resources, train locals, let them handle it. There’s a dozen different solutions for this. Let’s not vote on the same one again, let’s vote on the permanent solution. 

Doing the same thing and expecting different results? To borrow from Einstein, that’s insane.