That's very well how Afghanistan might be remembered. The jury is still out on that one.
I actually heard a little snippet on the news the other day saying that somebody estimated that there are only about 100 Taliban/al Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan.
Then I read this article on MSNBC.com
Hard Line Pakistani Schools Lure Foreigners
Okay, so I'm sure all of you remember me telling you over and over again about the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. It sucked.
Why did it suck? Well besides being in Afghanistan, it was the place where the bad guys came from to cause all the fun.
Its been said, and given the fact that I watched it happen, that the Afghan/Pak border is pretty porous.
That's an understatement. The bad guys roll over the border, plant a few IED's, throw some lead at an unsuspecting patrol or two, stop off for a goat stew dinner, say their prayers and are back, safely in Pakistan before it gets dark!
Now we all know that there have been a few news stories here and there about American incursions over the Pakistani border. And I'm not naive enough to think that certain units are not operating on the other side of that border.
However, nothing large scale is going on over there. For us.
For them, Pakistan is huge. Pakistan is where they launch their fun little outings from. Pakistan is where they recruit, train, educate, equip and deploy their minions from.
So basically, if you want to look at it from a very cynical point of view. So far the best that the Afghan war has been able to do is move the terrorists base of operations from one country to the next.
They're still there. Still just as big a pain in the ass as ever and for whatever reason we aren't going to get them.
I've been arguing for the securing of the Afghan/Pakistan border being the most important priority any military/political effort in Afghanistan can have. Anyone who thinks otherwise, quite frankly, is either stupid or isn't looking at the facts.
You can't fix your flooded basement until you stop the water from coming in. Get it!
Now another war in Pakistan is obviously out of the question. Without a major event or shift in public opinion that'll just never fly. Nor would I want it to.
But the border has got to be shut down. The border needs to be secured. Simple. Not at all easy, but simple.
I'm starting to wonder what kind of enemy we are fighting when entire schools are dedicated to finding, educating, training, and radicalizing students and then passing them on al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations.
Its like minor league baseball over there. Learn here with us for a few years and then we'll send you on to the big league. Kind of creepy to think about. They actually take children, and completely brain wash them into radical Islamist nut jobs.
A fundamental shift in thinking is in order here. The most important real estate in Afghanistan is the 5 miles to the west of that border. The lion's share of American forces should be there if you ask me. (No one ever does.) I mean at one time we had 160,000 troops in Iraq. You're telling me that we can't get enough guys over there to secure that border.
I've beaten this horse for a while, and I am going to continue to beat it because it isn't dead yet.
How do you expect to build a viable police and military force there when you have Taliban coming across the border to corrupt the process?
How do you expect to get any infrastructure projects finished when the Taliban can slip over the border and blow it up nightly?
How do you expect to get anything done when the people that are working against you can come right on over and fuck up the works whenever they're feeling froggy?
Prevention is the best medicine, or so I've been told. Shut that border down and I'd go so far as to say that greater than 50% of the bullshit that goes on over there would come to a screeching halt. Prevent them from coming over and fucking things up, and then maybe some work could actually get done.
Once again, it won't happen but I can dream can't I?
I love you Mom...