As much as I would like to believe our officials’ statements about progress in our 10 year war in Afghanistan, there are three issues I find troubling.
The first has to do with reports that 25% of Afghan soldier and police trainees desert their forces after they have received their enrollment bonus, training and weapons. According to this desertion rate, we are guaranteed an ever growing number of insurgents against whom our soldiers are deployed.
The second issue is the bribes we pay to the Taliban for safe passage for our supply convoys through territory under Taliban control. These bribes are reported to be the largest source of income to the Taliban, and again, would seem to guarantee continued financial support for our supposed enemies.
Finally, the very idea of the USA transplanting democracy in Afghanistan ignores the obvious fact reported by journalists across the political spectrum that our own democracy is broken. If Washington DC is a mess of corruption unresponsive to the wishes of citizens, how could we possibly achieve effective democracy in Kabul?
It seems to me that ten years of this sort of “progress” is quite enough. Let’s bring our soldiers home from Afghanistan. Bring the war dollars home to fund our communities, for real security. It is time to end this lunacy.
—John Heuer, chair NC Peace Action