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The Last Exit from Afghanistan
by Bohdan Yuri
2010-01-22 09:22:05
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Months ago I was relieved to see that President Obama was not rushing his decisions regarding his Afghanistan strategy. Unfortunately, Mr. President, your final choice of action was a return to the basics of conquering the enemy with occupation.

Yet to succeed in this manner one has to send enough forces to saturate the land, in other words, over a million men and not a paltry 40,000 reinforcement force. And even then there is no guarantee for success as insurgents, to the last man, will still try to throw out any and all occupiers of their homeland.

Nothing strange about that either as we too would do the same if the United States were invaded and occupied. One man’s terrorist is another man’s patriot, religious or nationalist. And, make no mistake; we are the invaders in this case.

In the end though, reality will finally set in as it did in Viet Nam. As the final solution to Iraq will also not surface until all of our invading forces leave, if they ever will.  (There’s more than one reason why we have built a massive base in Iraq.)

Like a red river, that was flooded by surging storms of occupation, once the blood leaves the flow, the people with find their true course no matter what. For now, this expedition in Afghanistan has been labeled a war, as each administration has tried to convince us.

So, how are all wars ended?  They are ended by a peace treaty. Therefore, let’s make one happen.

This is perhaps just a starter kit. It will be up to the administration to put the pieces together. But the outline is obvious for the most part. The details are simply built upon their preceding outcomes.

In content of character, though, this treaty needs to be set up as an example of honor in the eyes of the world as well. Any breakage will need accountability, any injustice will need justice. The rest of the world will also need to care about the honor of this treaty.

So, how does one put together a treaty in Afghanistan? Step by step.

1. Negotiations:  Send envoys, NATO allies or just US personnel, whatever is agreed upon --- but the simpler the better. Meet with Taliban leaders. Secretly at first, if you like, as you may not be ready to play.

Find out what can be played. Negotiate, then upon a tentative agreement, bring in the Karzai government and openly confirm the treaty talks as official. Heck, call in Charlie Wilson if it’d help. He knows them. And they in turn can show Charlie the maimed that our country has created. (Remember the photo-op during Russia’s occupation?)

Start realizing too that all victims are the same: we do it to them, they do it to us. Wars show us both sides of flesh. We should all want to stop seeing our children become victims of war. If this war doesn’t end then atrocities such as the execution style murder of students by allied forces or the suicide bombings will never cease. The only thing that we are truly reinforcing is hatred on both sides.

2.  Now the hard facts: These negotiations will probably be brutal. Threats will be made. e.g.: “…with due warning for evacuations, we’ll raze each of your villages as it is deemed an enemy stronghold, thus creating a nation of refugees during winter. If you’d like, we can demonstrate. This is war and you are the enemy, as are we to you. But is it worth a winter as refugees?” Would the US be willing to say that to them and mean it? You may have to, as they will offer their own threats. (And yes, all wars are nothing more than primitive destruction.)

And yet such a threat may not be outside the realm of proper conduct in war: destruction of an enemy stronghold. In fact less brutal as you would warn them to leave their village, but this is what a war is ---attrition --- until a treaty is signed to stop it. Or, do as all preceding imperialistic nations before have, simply slip away in defeat.  So, get your best Afghan negotiators.

But most of all promote “country building” during these talks …”yes we can bomb but we can also build and rebuild”. Offer hospitals, electricity, clean water --- Life! (Through anyone but Haliburton.) “We only ask for a ceasefire, a truce, and fairness for all.” And ask that you also be allowed to hunt any Al-Qaeda forces in your country by whatever means, as they have murdered our citizens. Let’s not forget that necessary clause.
If they refuse to adhere to any such treaty, then expose your efforts and show the world that you had tried with the best of intent to rebuild that nation under a peace treaty and ceasefire but they refused us. Then, you can either continue as is or leave since there will never be a true victory in Afghanistan. Just look at history, we’re next in line. But, if there’s a chance to create peace… Find the way!

3. Verification:  UN, NATO troops or both (for numbers) should be assigned to outposts to guard against retribution, as this is inevitable along with warring infighting. (The UN should someday be restructured and comprised of true Peace-Making and Peace-Keeping Forces, but that’s in another dimension…)

In any case, there will be the threat of civil war, therefore also written into this treaty will be a clause that any such factional fighting will be met with ….(fill in the hard blanks). And this clause will be agreed upon by all immediate party signers and all members of NATO/UN under what will be their (newly defined?) charter. (Whatever is applicable for guarantees.)

So there, Mr. President, that’s my best thought on your exit strategy. You can still go your own route, and you may have to if you can’t achieve a successful treaty, but staying with anything short of an official treaty will swallow you up. Sign a treaty by spring/summer or leave, that’s your timetable.

So now let’s see you go back and redo health care into Medicare for all, and implemented by this summer…waiting only makes it harder for everything, for all.

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Get it off your chest
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Asa2010-01-27 09:34:59
Bohdan also sent this article to the WhiteHouse.gov website and this was their reply:

Dear Friend:

Thank you for writing. As our service members in
Afghanistan continue to bear an enormous burden for their
fellow citizens, serving with honor, we owe them our
undying gratitude.

More than eight years after September 11, 2001, the
Taliban is resurgent, and al Qaeda continues to threaten our
country from safe havens in the border region of
Afghanistan and Pakistan. Shortly after taking office, I
approved a longstanding request for additional troops to
disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda in Afghanistan and
Pakistan, and to prevent its capacity to threaten America
and our allies. We have made progress on some important
objectives, but huge challenges remain, and the status quo
is not sustainable. After exploring different options with
our military and civilian leadership, I have determined that
it is vital to our national interest to send an additional
30,000 United States troops to Afghanistan. I made this
difficult decision because I am convinced that our security
is at stake in Afghanistan and Pakistan. This is the
epicenter of violent extremism practiced by al Qaeda. It is
from here that we were attacked on September 11th and
that new attacks are being plotted. To keep the pressure on
al Qaeda, we must increase the stability and capacity of our
partners in the region.

Our objectives are to deny al Qaeda a safe haven, to
reverse the Taliban's momentum and weaken its ability to
overthrow the Afghan government, and to strengthen the
capacity of Afghanistan's security forces and government
so that they can take responsibility for their future. To
achieve this, our strategy requires a military effort that will
create the conditions for a transition; civilian assistance that
builds the capacity of the Afghan government while
holding it accountable; and an effective partnership with
Pakistan to root out al Qaeda safe-havens. I have asked
that our commitment be joined by contributions from our
allies, and they have already responded by agreeing to
provide additional troops and resources.

Our commitment to Afghanistan will not be open-
ended. Our troops will begin to come home after 18
months at a pace that will be determined based upon
conditions on the ground. By identifying this point of
transition, we will make it clear to the Afghan government
that they will have to take more responsibility for
sustaining security. To protect our country, we will also
have to invest in our homeland security, improve and better
coordinate our intelligence, secure loose nuclear materials
from terrorists, use diplomacy to strengthen our alliances,
and draw on the strength of our values. Thank you again
for writing.


Barack Obama

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