Don’t get the U.S. out of Afghanistan; get the Afghans out

Writing for “World Affiairs,” under the silly pseudonym of Cy Kofant, Ann Marlowe identifies the obvious solution to the problem of the U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. It’s the Afghans. Thus, the obvious solution:

“Should we leave Afghanistan? Absolutely not. The Afghans should leave Afghanistan! They have already shown that in other countries, they can assimilate and succeed. Do Afghans in America or Australia live in mudbrick hovels and prevent their daughters from going to school? Do they harbor terrorists, plant mines in the roads, and stone adulterous women to death? Of course not!…

…Without the Afghans, we could occupy Afghanistan indefinitely at minimal cost. We could undertake massive infrastructure improvements knowing that they wouldn’t be blown up, misused, or poorly maintained. There would be no more worries about corruption, since there would be no more Afghan government officials to deal with. We would no longer have to struggle with illiterate police and an Afghan army that has an unfortunate tendency to do things like call in airstrikes on its own units. We could give up on learning the language and culture and — everyone take a sigh of relief here — attending those endless shuras with incredibly uncomfortable seating positions and unappetizing, unsanitary food…”



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Comments (7)

  1. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 12/16/2010 - 02:48 pm.

    An interesting thought experiment but….

    The Afghans who have chosen to emigrate are not typical Afghans — not the ones who want to live in a typical Afghan society.
    The educated and ambitious few have done well; but Afghanistan as a nation may be suffering because of their loss!

  2. Submitted by Bill Kellett on 12/16/2010 - 02:51 pm.

    All the really good solutions seem so obvious once expressed.

  3. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 12/16/2010 - 04:21 pm.

    Probably less expensive, and surely with fewer casualties, to bring them all over here as legal immigrants. Give ’em green cards, rebuild their infrastructure while they’re here (as practice for rebuilding our own), and then send ’em back to a shiny new country – with electrical power that works more than a couple hours a day.

    More seriously, I might quarrel – just a bit – with Paul. I’m not sure Afghanistan is a nation according to the traditionally-accepted meaning of the word. Like Iraq and some other areas of the Middle East (i.e., Israel, Syria), it was created either directly by the British as an administrative fiction early in the 20th century, or by the various tribes living there, but using the same British maps. Aside from Islam, I’m not sure there’s much commonality holding the area together except, recently, a dislike of Americans.

    For stubbornly refusing to learn from the Russian example, several people in positions of responsibility in Washington should probably spend a minimum of 30 days in the stocks on public display in the middle of some big traffic roundabout near the White House. The power of policy momentum is illustrated by Obama’s embrace of the same failed ideas adopted by the Bush administration. No matter when we leave officially, even if we declare victory, everyone will know that it’s another Vietnam, another American defeat, but with fewer American casualties. That there are fewer of them will be small consolation to the families of the soldiers that gave their all.

  4. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 12/16/2010 - 06:57 pm.

    Good points, Ray.
    Might be better to use the term Pashtunistan to refer to the area on both sides of the Afghan/Pakistani border where the Pashtun tribes are dominant.
    And the way the Brits carved up the Ottoman Empire after WWI left us with a lot of messes.
    On the other hand, is Belgium a nation? Canada (Quebec has long harbored a secessionist faction). Poland (read their history).
    A lot of national boundaries are arbitrary.
    The real point of your last paragraph is why we continue to try to police the world for the sake of oil, with our underclasses in the military paying the price.

  5. Submitted by William Pappas on 12/16/2010 - 09:47 pm.

    While Obama was staying the course and fantasy of a July 2011 transfer of war making to the Afghans followed by a gradual withdrawl the International Red Cross called a press conference to emphasize that the country is now more violent in more places with more deaths by more armed factions than ever before. They maintain that the civil war and violence there is escalating and simply exacerbated by the American presence. Like the leaders who slogged through Viet Nam and Bush in Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama is unable to step back and take a more intellectual view of our involvement there. There are many more countries in this world that harbor more Muslim terrorists than Afghanistan yet we do not invade all of them. Only in this one do we have to continue a war that has actually driven those terrorists out of the country and left the indigenous population behind to take up arms against the American occupiers. It is litterally obscene that we send arms and troops to pacify a country in rebellion against our very presence.

  6. Submitted by Beryl John-Knudson on 12/17/2010 - 07:57 am.

    Sounds familiar, hmmm?

    Not exactly the ‘final solution’ but sounds a wee bit like Gobbelization in-transit?

    And hey, would give a whole new meaning to the concept of ‘gated community’ chosen by them or us;no matter…we wouldn’t want them running around loose when they will be but temporary immigrants, would we?

    ‘Gated’ gives a much better spin? Certainly don’t want to use old terminologies to muddy up our good intentions… like ‘reservations’ or ‘camps’; no way.

    Whether intended as tongue-in-cheek or foot-in-mouth, doesn’t really matter…after all it is the thought that counts?

  7. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 12/18/2010 - 11:28 am.

    Most of the 9/11 terrorists were Saudi citizens, as was Bin Laden.
    Saudi Arabia today is a major source (maybe THE major source) of terrorist funding.
    Tell me again who we should invade?

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