Just watched Sen. John McCain on Meet the Press and had thoughts that maybe he should have been elected after all. And maybe if his own party would have done more to support him, he could have won, maybe.
But while I agree with his contention that although he agrees generally with President Obama’s approach in Afghanistan, he, McCain, would favor an even more aggressive approach, I think even McCain is not aggressive enough.
And sorry for the previous awkward sentence; I’m writing this on the fly.
If you read my last blog (just scroll down), you will see that I would propose we either go all out or cut out. While McCain favors more troops than Obama, he suggested that we don’t need to move on Pakistan even though it is aiding and abetting, harboring if you will, our enemy.
I do give McCain credit for saying that Obama should warn the American people that we have a long and hard road ahead there and that there will be a high level of casualties.
And please don’t think I am some type of war hawk. Actually, I would prefer that we cut our losses and get out. But I know that is not going to happen. At least I don’t think so.
I actually think that Mr. Obama has another Vietnam on his hands. And unfortunately, much of the electorate now does not understand, or even care, about the history and legacy of Vietnam.
It has always been my belief that we could have won in Vietnam, but we might have then been left with a burden.
Even though Vietnam was partly an insurgency, it was also a conventional war with regular North Vietnamese Army troops, pith helmets and uniforms and all, and even tanks, invading South Vietnam. We never effectively cut off the North Vietnamese supply lines, even though we could have, albeit with great cost. But we expended great costs anyway for no favorable result.
Late in the Vietnam War President Nixon did at least one right thing, but failed to follow up — the public mood had turned decidedly against the war by then. He mined Haiphong Harbor, temporarily preventing Soviet supply ships from delivering war materials to the North. Even though the Soviets threatened directly or indirectly (I don’t recall) nuclear confrontation with us, they backed down, as they always did during the Cold War.
The only logical approach in Afghanistan would be to call up the military draft, throw as many troops in as possible, and support them with our new sophisticated weapons and go for all out victory, which would be complete control of the territory. If the enemy is hiding in the border areas of Pakistan, then we must attack there too.
There is a prevailing thought that in this modern day and age, facing a hard-to-find and even to identify enemy that seems to come out of nowhere and then disperse so we can’t find and kill them, that we have to employ smarter tactics with fewer forces. I know, I don’t get that either.
Historically, down through the centuries, no one has ever been successful in conquering Afghanistan, not even the once no.2 super power of the Earth the Soviet Union. That should be instructive.
So the choice is to try to win or realize we can’t and get out.
Obama claimed this week that we are no longer attempting nation building in or image in Afghanistan, but McCain seemed to imply that we should. That worries me.
The only nation we need to build — or rebuild and maintain — is our own.
McCain seemed reasonable on his economic policy suggestions, but he is in the comfortable position of not having to take the heat as Mr. Obama must.
Again, while I really do not prefer the war option, I would suggest if we choose to stay and fight, then we must go all out with military conscription.
We could solve our unemployment problem overnight and ramp up our sagging industrial sector, which could then in a future peacetime be maintained to keep us self sufficient as a nation.
What we probably should do though is cut our losses over there and pour all of our resources into rebuilding our own economy — while maintaining a strong defense, as opposed to offense — and turn ourselves back into a nation of producers of things rather than consumers of the world who buy our way into insolvency.
The reason I doubt we could ever win the hearts and minds of the population in Afghanistan is that they are so backward that they are easy prey for the Taliban and Al Qaeda, who help them a little at times, but promise them that all will be better in the great Islamic after life.
After we won World War II, the Germans were more easily subdued because they were already a modern industrial nation with a culture a parrallel to ours. And even Japan, although Asian, was a modern western type industrial nation. And both societies were not broken up into tribes.
Please check out my German-American blog where I’ve composed my own version of the Hansel and Gretel story with a suspect German translation at: http://vonwalther.wordpress.com