Afghanistan: Is there a way out?

Gen. Petraeus on winning in Afghanistan

“I am concerned that funding for our State Department and USAID partners will not sufficiently enable them to build on the hard-fought security achievements of our men and women in uniform.  Inadequate resourcing of our civilian partners could, in fact, jeopardize accomplishment of the overall mission.” – Gen. Petraeus

There is no denying that the conflict in Afghanistan needs to come to an end. However, that is where things fall apart. There appears to be no end in sight. The country has been at war for over thirty years, and ten of those have been with the United States and its allies. And, although their support has been steadily dwindling, their support to bring it to an end has not.

On the face, the US has been taking the military stance, with some political support, to help change the country. But, as well as the military has done, and with all the building they have done for the Afghan people, it still doesn’t fix the one thing that brought on the war. The leadership of the country. That is where the political pressure should have started to show some improvements. But the lack of involvement has left many question whether there is an end or not, and if the US will ever leave the country. After all, the US still maintains a military presence on the Korean Peninsula and has done so for more than fifty years. If that is any look into the future for operations in Afghanistan, it is clearly time to re-evaluate the mission.

Political direction and pressure have been stagnant, and there has been no signs of turning the page and allowing the Afghan government to take ownership and step up. Command in the military has been offering little in the way of ideas on how the transition could take place, and rightfully so. That should be on the shoulders of political figureheads. It is the Afghan people that are the ones suffering, and crying out for help. They want their country back, albeit without a US presence.

It is that presence that is giving the illusion that the United States is taking the position of ‘occupier.’ Which, in turn has put a sour taste in many. One being Gen. Petraeus, who has been a somewhat lonely voice on the issue of the Afghanistan leadership stepping up. And, without an Afghan government willing and able to take the bull by the horns. After all, a country that has been at war for thirty-plus years has a hard time learning anything new other than living a life of war.

So, with that, the question still remains: Is there a way out? There are many reasons why the US can’t just turn their backs as was done for Vietnam. However, it seems like the quickest way to end it. It seems that all sides want out, but no one is offering any real solutions.

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