Time to Quit Afghanistan
Nation-building in one of the world's weakest states is a lost cause
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2009 2:15 AM CDT
Members of the 3rd platoon Apache Company 2-87 Infantry wait for a helicopter to take them to the funeral of a fallen comrade in Afghanistan last month.   (AP Photo/Dima Gavrysh)

(Newser) – America needs to abandon its idea of nation-building in Afghanistan before the lives of yet more troops are squandered trying to establish an effective central government in a country that has never had one, George F. Will warns in the Washington Post. Even with America's troop-intensive efforts, experts say Kabul only controls a third of the country, and many Afghans find the government so corrupt that they openly wish for the return of the warlords, he notes.

Effectively protecting the population from insurgents would require an "inconceivable" commitment of hundreds of thousands of coalition troops for at least another decade, Will writes. Efforts to bring peace through development are a mere pipe dream in a country that has a  Gross Domestic Product equivalent to that of Boise, Idaho, he notes. America should withdraw its troops, do what needs to be done in Afghanistan using drones and special forces based offshore, and focus on Pakistan, "a country that actually matters," Will concludes.

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Showing 3 of 17 comments
fancygapva
Sep 1, 2009 12:29 PM CDT
Afghanistan is tribal territory, equivalent to Europe in the dark ages. They have no history of the rights of people. The tribal leaders rule autonimously and pay liege to the war lords, equivalent to dukes of ancient Europe or China. The Taliban are like the Medieval church, or similar to the Aztec priests. These people aren't ready for nations. They speak several languages and are divided geographically by mountain ranges and very primative roads. Leave them alone. They hava 500 to a 1000 years to grow into anything like a nation. I'm not sure nations are so great anyway. The bigger they are the more corrupt and the more the common people get screwed.
FreeThemAll
Sep 1, 2009 10:46 AM CDT
Obviously, if the mission is to fill an in-fillable hole, so to speak, that's unachievable, and we should cut our losses, and pull out.
jagerhans
Sep 1, 2009 9:46 AM CDT
i smell a distinct stench of Viet-Nam . come on open your eyes: what makes you think that it is so important for your home security to control Afghanistan ? no one is talking any longer about finding Binladen. International terror organizations never are so centralized that cutting the big head shall kill the monster. now it is just about clearing the country from insurgents to secure the oil and gas routes. you may go on supporting your fucking war but please at least be sincere and stop selling us that shit of the enduring freedom: you're doing that to enforce your energetic supremacy over our world, period. And your vassals answered the call of emperor Bush and sent troops as a tribute, in hope of getting a share of the booty. http://www.mediamonitors.net/s...