The Unending Failure of the Afghan War

Afghanistan has been a disaster for U.S. policymakers since Presidents Carter and Reagan started funding Islamists almost four decades ago and then the U.S. began fighting them post-9/11, a failure that needs ending, says Alon Ben-Meir.

By Alon Ben-Meir

Sixteen years have passed and we are still fighting a war in Afghanistan which is not only the longest in American history (at a cost approaching $1 trillion and the blood of thousands of brave soldiers), but one which is morally corrupting from which there seems to be no exit with any gratification but shame.

U.S. troops in Afghanistan man a checkpoint near Takhteh Pol in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, Feb. 26, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Shane Hamann)

It was necessary to invade Afghanistan to destroy Al Qaeda following 9/11, but once it was defeated we should have departed, leaving behind some residual forces to clean up the mess. Instead, we decided to introduce democracy, a totally alien concept to a land historically governed by tribes, and which no foreign power has ever been able to govern or fully conquer for long.

Today, we are still discussing the best course of action to bring this war to some form of a satisfactory conclusion. Before we discuss prospective solutions, however, we should take a hard look at the real cost of the war and its implications that will startle many to their core.

Nearly 2,400 American soldiers have been killed and 20,000 wounded; over 33,000 Afghani civilians have lost their lives. A record number of civilians—1,662—were killed in the first six months of 2017 alone, and over 3,581 civilians were wounded. Overall, Afghani casualties are estimated at 225,000, with 2.6 million Afghani refugees and more than one million internally displaced.

Thus far, the cost of the war to date is approximately $783 billion; the cost for each soldier is $3.9 million per year. If we were to divide the war’s cost among Afghanistan’s 30 million citizens, it would amount to $33,000 per head, from which the ordinary Afghan has derived zero benefit in a country where the average annual per capita income was only $670 in 2014.

While we are spending these sums of money on an unwinnable war, 15 million U.S. children (21 percent) live in households below the federal poverty threshold. Hundreds of thousands go to sleep hungry, and many are living in squalid conditions, with infrastructure and homes on the verge of collapsing.

To understand the travesty of these expenditures on the war, just think of the cost to America, not only in human lives and money, but our moral standing in the world and the pervasive, corrosive thinking that the war can still be won with military muscle.

It is naïve to think that after 16 years of fighting, dispatching an additional military force of 4,000 soldiers (as recommended by Secretary of Defense James Mattis) will change anything, when at its peak over 140,000 soldiers were unable to win and create a sustainable political and security structure that would allow us to leave with dignity.

No Win in Sight

No one in the Trump administration, including the Pentagon, is suggesting that additional forces would win the war. At best, they can arrest the continuing advances of the Taliban, which is now in control of more than one third of the country — and then what?

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, appearing on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

After a visit to Afghanistan, Sen. John McCain was asked to define winning: “Winning is getting major areas of the country under control and working toward some kind of ceasefire with the Taliban.”

But as Robert L. Borosage of The Nation points out, “we’ve had major areas under control before, and the Taliban continued to resist, while corruption and division continued to cripple the Afghan government.” Beyond this resurgent Taliban threat, Al Qaeda is back in full force and is successfully spreading its wings far beyond the Afghani borders.

If anything, the situation today is even worse both in the political and security spheres, and the prospects of developing sustainable conditions on the ground and a functioning government in Kabul are next to zero. Sadly, Defense Secretary Mattis resembles a gambling addict pouring money into a slot machine, but ends up leaving depressed and frustrated for having lost every dollar, hoping against hope to win a jackpot that never pays out.

One might ask Secretary Mattis, what is our goal now in Afghanistan, and what is our exit strategy? For the past 16 years, no Defense Secretary provided a clear answer, and now we are asked to gamble again with the lives of our soldiers, with no hope of ever winning this debilitating war, which has now become a war of choice.

To be sure, there will not be a military solution to the Afghan war. The sooner we accept this reality, however bitter it may be, the better so we can focus on a practical outcome that can emerge only through negotiations with moderate elements of the Taliban.

The second option of conducting the war, which is championed by Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon, is to hire private contractors in lieu of American troops to fight a proxy war on our behalf. There is nothing more disdainful than such a proposal. If we were to choose this route — sending mercenaries to foreign lands to do our killing — will there be anything more morally decadent than this breach of our humanity?

The fact that we used mercenaries in the past to act as security guards or manage detention centers was bad enough, in that they abused their mandate and committed egregious crimes while making billions of dollars.

We should never repeat such a practice which is morally reprehensible. This scheme, not surprisingly, comes from the self-serving master manipulator Bannon, whose advice to Trump so far has got the President in more trouble than he cares to handle. A war for which we are not prepared to sacrifice the life of a soldier for a worthy cause must never be fought.

A Way Out

In a series of conversations I had with Ajmal Khan Zazai, tribal leader and Paramount Chief of Paktia province in Afghanistan, he spoke with deep frustration about the American military approach that has never had a chance of succeeding.

Seen through a night-vision device, U.S. Marines conduct a combat logistics patrol in Helmand province, Afghanistan, April 21, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Anthony L. Ortiz)

He said, “Afghanistan is a tribal country, the tribes are the past, present, and the future. To win this hard fight against the Taliban and their associates [including Al Qaeda and ISIS] without the support and backing of the tribes would be a miracle and I doubt a miracle is happening these days.”

He was emphatic about the naivete of successive American administrations, saying that government officials in the Departments of State and Defense going back to the Bush era appeared to be “either obsessed with their version of ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’ or believe only in a U.S. military solution. They don’t believe in homegrown or Afghan local solutions led by the tribes, or even winning hearts and minds.”

It is time for the U.S. to realize that the long-term solution lies, as Zazai said, with the full backing and support of the tribes. He told me that he is prepared to gather the chiefs of all the tribes to seek commitment from top U.S. officials to empower them by providing $400 million to $500 million dollars, over a few years (which is a fraction of what we spend today). The purpose would be to recruit and train their own militia to fight their own battles — not mercenaries for hire, who want to prolong the war only to enrich themselves.

The solution to the Afghanistan debacle lies with the Afghani tribes, who must take the lead in fighting the insurgency. The tribes will be fighting for their country because they want an end to outrageous foreign interventions that did nothing but cause havoc in the name of pursuing an illusionary democracy.

In the end, the solution lies in peace negotiations with moderates in the Taliban, who are Afghani nationals and will not be dislodged from their own land, and no one is better equipped to achieve that than the tribal chiefs. They want to take matters into their hands and end the decades-long suffering, death, and destruction they have and continue to endure.

Dr. Alon Ben-Meir is a professor of international relations at the Center for Global Affairs at NYU. He teaches courses on international negotiation and Middle Eastern studies. [email protected] Web:


83 comments for “The Unending Failure of the Afghan War

  1. Paranam Kid
    July 25, 2017 at 12:24

    It is striking that everyone here comments about history, telling the converted how it was (as we did not know), and how it whould have been/how it should have been handled (as if we did not know). Some even take issue with the notion that Afghan war has been a failure, which it clearly is, if ever there was a failure.

    But nobody talks about the future, which is the last header in this report. History is history & cannot be altered, the future can still be embraced, but no one here seems interested. It seems to be more important to keep hammering the same points & get pats on the back from others. Curious.

  2. Antonio
    July 24, 2017 at 08:49

    I stopped reading as soon as I read the claimed connection between 9/11 and Afghanistan. If you can’t write anything truthful, better to remain silent.

  3. Ray
    July 24, 2017 at 05:18

    Afghanistan is situated from where, Iran, Persian Gulf, China, Russia Pakistan, and energy, mineral rich Central Asian countries Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan Uzbekistan, and oil rich Turkmenistan even UAE are all with in ten to 40 minutes fly time.three major rivals of US, Russia, China, and Iran in close proximity from Afghanistan.. 9/11 as a pretense of war on Terrorism has started after the US defeated Communism, It took the US 40 years to defeat cold war times, trillion and trillions were spent on defense. The war of terror spreading false flag incidents all over the US and, Europe lot of Muslim bashing by Mainstream Media against Muslim
    wide spread Propaganda by Mainstream media about Muslim, Islamophobia spreading. Besides of Pentagon neocons, Oil, Corporation, Israel has a stake too in Afghanistan, the hoax of jihad by the US backed Mujahideen against USSR (Russia) brought so many thousand Arabs and West African descent Muslim in Afghanistan and Fata, near Afghan, Pakistan border. who after Russia`s exit from Afghanistan settled and married some time with a local woman those Arabs had sympathy.for Gaza, and Palestine cause, War on Terror including Afghan war will take, more fifteen years or so, till the US is exhausted economically and the world becomes Multipolar.

  4. Lee Francis
    July 24, 2017 at 04:25

    On this side of the pond, us Brits could have told you that trying to pacify the Pashtun tribes in Afghanistan was a fool’s errand. The Afghan Wars, three conflicts (1839–42; 1878–80; 1919) in which Great Britain, from its base in India, sought to extend its control over neighbouring Afghanistan and to oppose Russian influence there ended in complete and utter failure. The retreat from Kabul to Jalalabad during the first Afghan war resulted in the British military column of 16,000 soldiers and civilians being physically annihilated by constant Afghan attacks. Only 1 British soldier (Assistant Surgeon William Brydon) together with a few Indian sepoys made it to Jalalabad. Another two Afghan wars ended with more or less the same result.

    Then it was the Russians’ turn – same outcome. And now the Americans. Well the US never loses and cannot countenance defeat. Well they might just have to. But it seems that if the US armed forces cannot defeat lightly armed Pashtun tribesmen, how are they going to conquer the world and set up a global empire, which is the ostensible aim of the the neo-cons who are driving US foreign policy. These people are truly demented. Has any nation ever been so far in hock to a cabal of ideological cranks who inhabit a parallel universe.

    • July 25, 2017 at 03:21

      Afghans decidedly lost the third war with the British Imperialists, hence the Treaty containing the Durand Line, now repudiated by the Afghan Parliament as being coerced, which purposely attempts to weaken the Pastun tribe by placing their territory into two nations, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

  5. July 23, 2017 at 21:57

    A sober, scrupulously honest analysis of America’s grotesque repetition-compulsion: Create chaos overseas to sustain the money-machine of chronic war for the monied elites. They orchestrate “crises” via the corruption-ridden American media. These manufactured “crises” are presented by neocon lobbyists to our purchased politicians as “actionable opportunities to spread democracy abroad”. With that frenzied lie as a cover, pawns like John McCain and Lindsey Graham beat the drums of war on national TV shows. The horrific consequences, wrought by the incredibly stupid and/or malicious foreign policy decisions made in the State Department and in Congress, enable Presidents Clinton, Bush, Obama, and Trump to authorize raining death upon defenseless civilians overseas. The final insult to humanity, and to the intelligence of Americans, is to describe retaliatory acts by the victims of our aggression as “terrorism”. The war-monger, Winston Churchill, was right when he cynically observed, “It’s easy to lead the public into war. They believe everything they read in the newspapers, and hear on the radio”.

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 24, 2017 at 01:08

      I’m glad you brought up Churchill, because among the few pivotal moments the U.S. History has encountered I think of how old Bulldog Himself is accountable for how we got here to this place we are now currently living in, from where he Churchill once came from. Scholarly Winston made some real history when he declared the USSR the ‘Iron Curtain’. Hence we now have a enemy. We need them to increase armament sales, Churchill at this point is living in the late 19th Century, but he’s scholarly.

      The real pivot in those years, was in my mind the 1944 Democratic Convention. The slithering MIC mixed with the Oil Tycoons put ‘every which way the wind blows Harry’ into the Oval Office, over Henry Wallace. Enough said. These Overlords (MIC/Corporate Concerns) of the White House needed a President who would obey Lieutenant General Leslie Richard Groves Jr….this where ‘the Buck Stopped Here’. It’s all crazy, but this hidden hand is all around us now, because it basically owns everything…or it says it does. Imagine a huge Market Correction…don’t worry no one on Wall St has the ballls, or is it stupidity? You tell me.

      Here’s what they are missing; if your opponent is tall and you are small, you the small one go in low. You the small one grab the tall one by their high from the ground knees. (The tall one can’t reach that low) you hoist the tall one up by their knees and let the tall opponent fall on their back with their whole weight, and you the small one win…it’s called ‘Jacking Him Up & Slamming Them’ well at least here between 13th & 27th, and as far west or east as you might want a go.

      Russia at this moment is introducing a passenger jet developed by their Russian defense industry who cut their 2017 defense budget by 26% and yet Boeing is losing orders due to stubborn Neocon attitudes against Iran. Who wants to place orders… who’s grip with Iran is this, the U.S. or Israel’s, oh and who ever it is that tags along with this pair are insistent to go after Iran. It’s so Churchillian it’s painful to watch in realtime.

      So you tell me who’s winning? I think Russia has an opportunity to make good on? Me thinks so. Good for the Russians, they need it, because Uncle Sam isn’t springing, by letting go of any of Iran’s sanctioned money. I would be even more concerned if I were Iran, because this money Trump always refers too, is the upfront reserve currency account Iran had to front to be able to sell oil with the U.S. Only Reserve Currency monopoly, but that’s never disgust due to its not. Iran is getting their own money back. Iran doesn’t need to purchase U.S. made goods, but Iran is showing good faith. This only makes the D.C. Beltway boys and girls even more furious to bat down the Ayatollah. So who’s winning? The country with the jets to sell, or the nation who refuses purchase orders, but instead picks a fight…that’s called obsessed with your own damn self.

      Thanks for the ‘Ole Bulldog’ reference, great paragraph to. Joe

  6. July 23, 2017 at 17:06

    Interesting article at link below:
    Why Is Afghanistan the ‘Graveyard of Empires’?
    A brief history of the empires that were broken in the Hindu Kush.

    By Akhilesh Pillalamarri
    June 30, 2017

  7. exiled off mainstreet
    July 23, 2017 at 16:52

    I don’t even think it was necessary to invade Afghanistan in 2001 as stated it was done to provide the illusion of immediate action, since they figured they need a year or two of propaganda to enable them to gin up the invasion of Iraq. Other writings have indicated that the Taliban regime with negotiation might have dealt on the Osama Bin Laden issue.

  8. exiled off mainstreet
    July 23, 2017 at 16:32

    It would have been cheaper to leave even if the government had paid ex gratia payments of $1 million to each of the people they sent in. Those receiving the payments might have started up businesses and retarded the coming economic collapse to some extent (globalism probably made the process inevitable in any event.) Afghanistan has been called the graveyard of empires. Hopefully it performed this service here, although I am afraid that the death pangs of the imperium may be fatal for us all.

  9. Edmund Gulliion
    July 23, 2017 at 15:13

    The point of the Afghan War is drugs, natural resources and plunging the U.S. into greater debt that can never be paid. War is big business.

    • Miranda Keefe
      July 23, 2017 at 15:41

      And an excuse to build bases on China’s border.

    • Beard681
      July 26, 2017 at 17:42

      No. War is a government program. It may be supported by big business, but it is run by the government on taxes, debt and fiat currency.

  10. Ol' Hippy
    July 23, 2017 at 14:12

    I, so far, fail to see why the US is in Afghanistan at all. Every venture into that wasteland has been an abject failure for the US involved actions to either fight the Soviets, the Taliban, or as an offshoot, Al Qaeda. After 16 years of failure and countless $billions, or if not, over a $trillion no one seems remotely wanting to get out of this bottomless money pit. The splendid Netflix movie “War Machine” sums up nicely the folly of continuing engaging the ‘locals’ in any meaningful way that makes sense to western ideology. Let the US government withdraw and use those $’s here to help us for a change.

    • July 24, 2017 at 20:59

      It saddens me that humans may be so lacking in empathy that they ignore the hundreds of thousands of fellow humans slaughtered by imperial greed. The Afghans were one of the wisest peoples I experience in the early ’70’s.

  11. mike k
    July 23, 2017 at 13:51

    War is the intentional hurting and killing of people in order make them obey your will. It is the ultimate form of abuse. It is the opposite of love and cooperation. The only way to deal sanely with war is not to initiate it, or to end it as soon as possible if it is already in progress. The consistent and aggressive pursuit of peace should be the policy of every group and individual.

    • CitizenOne
      July 23, 2017 at 17:41

      I agree. It would have gone down differently in India had they resisted with violence. The Brits were prepared to respond to violence with violence but when they were met with only a refusal to obey British orders it was a game changer. The sight of peaceful protesters being massacred was too much shame for the British.

      But it has been a long time since the only thing the authorities could do was beat you or shoot you and the means of violence have mushroomed out into a vast myriad of technologies all designed to separate the attacker far far away from the effects on the ground. Drones are only the tip of a coming Larsen C Ice Shelf sized iceberg of robotic warfare that is coming. It has not even become a standard and already the military is salivating for the day that an artificial intelligence will be literally calling the shots.

      As we advance our technology the consistent theme is it becomes less palpable to the attacker, increases in lethality for those attacked up to genocidal capability with a single device and soon will have no human held accountable for its actions.

      It is unlikely that AI will feel the same immorality and shame killing peaceful protesters. It is unlikely it will feel anything at all. It will not feel inhibited to make an easy decision on how to achieve permanent peace.

    • Virginia
      July 23, 2017 at 18:33

      Remember the book A FORCE MORE POWERFUL tauting the peaceful passive resistance movements arround the world that had been so successful? Your comments, Skip, Gregory, Miranda, Mike and others, reminded me of that book which came out around 2002-3.

      Did you all happen to see a Syrian rebel leader, now living in Berlin, on Democracy Now about 3 weeks ago named Abdalaziz Alhamza? I watched and kept wanting him to explain why he became a rebel, but he wasn’t about to answer that question. (I’ve read on CN how the US dropped leaflets.) So I looked him up online. He’s on Facebook, and has about 7500 followers. I asked him what made him become a rebel, if he were pleased with the outcome (reducing his country to chaos with accompanying destruction and deaths), and whether he thought what he did was very different in results than the US invasion of Iraq? Unfortunately he never responded, but a few of his followers did calling me names and asserting that I couldn’t possibly know anything. But why not, all of you if you don’t mind, join me in asking these questions right to the people most intimately involved. This Syrian rebel seems to have it made. He’s a hero living in Germany with a fan club. But does he think about his country — how it’s doing and the part he played in that? He should. As should the US war-deciders! That’s holding peoples — individuals and governments — accountable!

      • Beard681
        July 26, 2017 at 17:40

        The correct term for a person like that is Quisling.

        • Virginia
          July 29, 2017 at 13:38

          Thanks, I didn’t know that term.

  12. Skip Scott
    July 23, 2017 at 12:48

    “It was necessary to invade Afghanistan to destroy Al Qaeda following 9/11, but once it was defeated we should have departed, leaving behind some residual forces to clean up the mess.”

    I seem to recall that the Taliban Government offered to extradite Bin Laden if our government would provide proof that he was involved in 9/11. Their offer was rebuffed. There was no need to invade Afghanistan at all.

    • Gregory Herr
      July 23, 2017 at 13:54

      I recall that too Skip. Between that and the so-called Tora-Bora “escape”, I guess Bush was telling the truth (for once) when he said in March of 2002 that he wasn’t concerned about bin Laden.

      And then there was the pipeline backdrop:

    • Miranda Keefe
      July 23, 2017 at 15:39

      Yes, that’s what I thought when I read that opening line.

      It wasn’t necessary at all to invade Afghanistan. The Taliban Government did offer to extradite Bin Laden and my recollection isn’t even that they wanted evidence before they did it; all they wanted was assurances he’d get a fair trial in an international court.

      It seems most people in the US didn’t register this fact and most now don’t know it. I remember a few years past in a comments section (I think it was HuffPo) when I asserted this, one other poster told me I was crazy and just making up stuff- until I linked him to mainstream news articles from the time reporting it. Then he apologized and told he had no idea about that.

      The novel 1984 has the government changing the records of the past, even the recent past, and the population just believing whatever they are told. I always thought that was nonsense, the most unbelievable part of the excellent dystopia novel.

      Then it started happening more and more here and I realized Orwell knew what he was talking about. Most people seem to have no long term memory and don’t recall what happened in the past, even though they lived through it, but simply believe whatever they are told about it now.

      • July 23, 2017 at 23:07

        “Most people seem to have no long term memory and don’t recall what happened in the past, even though they lived through it,”
        …very true, Miranda,not only on the international scene which is necessarily abstract to their daily lives, but even when it comes to a more personal level like investing their savings i.e. Bernie Madoff, or extrapolated on a larger scale Hank Paulson or Timothy Geithner.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 23, 2017 at 23:35

        I look upon this bogus narrative theme, as it being a media who is tightly controlled. Imagine the scoop, the story of a lifetime, the rewards for any journalist who would pull back the curtain on such a terrible crime as 911 was. Only, no Miranda that’s not going to happen, not anytime too soon, because the lit is sealed by the masters and mistresses who sit above this media apparatus we refer to as the MSM.

        If I had only one wish for the U.S. and it’s allies, I would wish a throughly honest news media would come to be. A news media who would not shy away, nor be intimidated by anyone, but a media who would be dedicated to giving the public the news in its purest truthful form….like a bunch of Robert Parry’s.

        • Gregory Herr
          July 24, 2017 at 00:08

          Joe, I just finished this video about media and the lack of truth-telling on Syria. To make a point about the Kagans, it references a Robert Parry article (7:44 mark)…good stuff

          • Joe Tedesky
            July 24, 2017 at 02:08

            ‘No Doubt’ that link was informative. Reagan gave ‘I can’t recall’, and that video amplified how often we here the word ‘No Doubt’ but never forget ‘Slam Dunk’. Eva Bartlett wasn’t pulling any of her punches, with her all to truthful critique of our present day media. It’s all so wrong.

          • July 24, 2017 at 13:56

            Nice video, Greg…I agree with Joe, the Eva Bartlett interview at the end ripped the mask off the media myth.

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 23, 2017 at 20:10

      Here’s the problem Skip with the U.S. complying with the Taliban offer, to this day the FBI has never charged Osama bin Laden for the crime of 911. Which leaves one to wonder just to what in the hell was going on, back in 2001. Maybe, oh forget it, it couldn’t have been an inside job, could it? I mean our leaders wouldn’t do anything like that, would they? This mindset is not only what blocks any truth to justice, but it serves as a perfect cover to hide the real scoundrels who acted out this plan of 911. In my mind this makes every individual who wishes to move on, and forget about it, or except the lie if you will, as being a useful idiot accomplice.

      • Realist
        July 23, 2017 at 20:55

        Excellent point, Joe. Could be very well why Bushbaby was never “able” to catch Bin Laden. If he had, they would have had to build a prosecution and Bin Laden would have been entitled to mount a legal defense. It could well be why Obomber purportedly killed Bin Laden rather than capturing him in that politically expedient raid by the Navy Seal team… if it ever really happened at all.

        • Gregory Herr
          July 23, 2017 at 22:37

          They fed him to the sharks….get this, out of “respect” for Islamic ritual…but Muslim scholars refuted that notion.
          And re-election chances needed a timely boost.

          That Seal team met their own controversial fate later that year in an old helicopter.

          • Gregory Herr
            July 23, 2017 at 22:44

            Well, they fed something to the sharks…I don’t know if it was “him”.

        • Joe Tedesky
          July 23, 2017 at 23:09

          If Osama had been captured back in 2001, Realist you can pretty well assume he would have been killed immediately, and his passport would have been found in a rather convenient spot. I personally believe that Benazir Bhutto had it right when she told David Frost that bin Laden died in 2001.

          All this is possible, because first the media, as you already know, fixes the narrative around the selected facts. Then, as you also well know, the constant repetition of this narrative becomes the only story for people to adjust their minds too. I’m no psychologist, but this controlled journalism is what our MSM is all about.

          I had people over dinner last night tell me how it’s time I let go of Hillary’s poor digressions. I told them that, no I can’t, and that they shouldn’t confuse my concern over Hillary’s black heart with Trump’s unusual behavior. Once they had time to allow my comment to seep in, then they realized where I was coming from. For some odd reason, if you are anxious to see Hillary get her just do you are a Trump supporter, and vice versa. After, that I left the table in a shambles when I said that I didn’t believe the official 911 story. Then someone said, why can’t they solve the JFK assassination? I floored them by telling them, that JFK’s assassination has been solved, but not officially. Being the only one among our dining party who has researched, and read upteen books on the Kennedy murder, my reply left them speechless. Then we ordered dessert.

          • Realist
            July 24, 2017 at 02:18

            Yep. Most humans live in a strictly Manichean world of absolutes. Just black & white, good & evil, no greys, no nuance. Easily reinforced by repetition. You’re fortunate anything seeped through.

            It would be an interesting study to sequence the genomes of everyone who frequents this site to compare with the general public. We might discover a mutation that makes the carrier immune to the widespread effects of mass media propaganda.

      • Skip Scott
        July 24, 2017 at 09:04

        Avoiding court has been a major goal in the war on terror. It is why terrorists are called combatants and subject to indefinite (permanent) detention. It is also why they use drone strikes (even on US citizen Al Awlaki and his son) to act as judge, jury, and executioner. The goal is complete control of the narrative.

        • Joe Tedesky
          July 24, 2017 at 09:27

          Yes, and the precedent being forged is a red hot frying pan.

    • j. D. D.
      July 24, 2017 at 15:16

      You can’t provide proof is there is none. OBL was hiding in a cave by that time, even though his Saudi confederates were proven to be involved in the operation at the high levels (cf. Bandar bin Sultan)..But proof? Not necessary. Cheney even demanded to attack Iraq, an ally against Al-Qaeda, within hours of the collapse of the twin towers, having to wait until the WM hoax was played out. Then the next lie of Qaddafi genocide by Obama and Clinto, and the myth of the Syrian “moderate opposition.”.All the little, but deadly , lies based on the big lie of 911 and OBL.

    • Beard681
      July 26, 2017 at 17:38

      AGREED. Even if they held on to him, and aside from the fact that the Saudis were way more involved than the Taliban, and the Pakistanis obviously sheltered him he could have just had a price put on his head.

      The rational spouted by some for continuing the war (so girls can go to school, to prevent theocracy, crush ISIS, etc.) is nothing but a smoke screen for keeping tax payer money flowing for the status quo.

  13. Chucky LeRoi
    July 23, 2017 at 12:34

    I am following my usual pattern of lack of sources here, correct me if I am wrong.

    To connect two dots presented here, I remember seeming reports that US forces usually find the rooftops and battlefields littered with syringes and empty vials – mostly amphetamines, some steroids, all sorts of ‘performance enhancers’. Not only are we fighting a losing war for all the reasons given, the opposing force is often chemically jacked up way beyond anything we offer or would allow. Coffee and ‘go pills’ are not in the same league. Just one more factor in this mess. Not to make light of the situation, but could we call it Religious ‘Roid Rage?

  14. jimbo
    July 23, 2017 at 11:02

    I was there in the 70s myself. I went for the hashish. I and six or seven other travelers started smoking in the mini-bus just after we passed over the Iranian border headed to Herat. I didn’t stop smoking until I flew out from New Delhi with a case of jaundice. Afghani blond was the best shit in the world! It was to be had everywhere I went, and cheap, my god! Anyway, in all the reportage since this US intervention started (with Carter?) not once had I read about the hashish. Hell, everyone knew about Afghani hash. I was a part of a small army of hippies who were all there just for the hashish. Not sure of the relevance of my post here but maybe with the liberalization of US cannabis laws and some kind of peace there, a good exportable cash crop like hashish could help an Afghani tribe or two. Cheers.

  15. CitizenOne
    July 23, 2017 at 10:46

    We created the animosity Al Qaeda had for the USA when Bin Laden came to the belief that the USA was just as bad as the Russians.
    We made Iran into an enemy nation with a CIA backed coup which installed the dictator like Shah.
    We created ISIS when we invaded Iraq and funded Islamic extremists in Syria to rebel against Assad
    With the help of Saudi Arabia we are bombing the poorest people on the planet in Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Afghanistan etc.
    It reminds me of the relationship Franco had with Germany. They attacked villages so they could test their battle hardware worthiness. A live war theater where munitions could be tested on use against humans and kinks limiting their destructive power could be ironed out. Perhaps part of why Germany had superior hardware when WWII broke out.

    We feel secure in our ability to attack other nations without any credible threat of retaliation and we do it in the name of fighting terrorism but you can’t eliminate terrorism with terror. An eye for an eye making the whole World blind.

    We have turned the middle east into a hell or perhaps we just entered into that hell but what we have entered might as well be the Devil’s garden where our efforts to till the earth by making craters and digging graves means the only fruit born out of fertilizing the cratered land with blood is a growing danger of terrorism and resentment of the United States by the rest of the World.

    Trump can’t turn the ship around and even if he did something drastic they would have their way one way or another and I think he knows that. Americans lust for blood and hatred of foreigners was evident as we cheered when salvos of cruise missiles were fired off at Syria because of some rouse. Now he faces the challenge from our Congress to hurl new insults and provocations at those we wish to wage war with.

    The more we see Trump turning to the dark side, the more evident that PNACs plans for this century are very much alive and the plan is operational. We are attempting to build an empire in the last unconquered lands. Our vision for some semblance of self sustaining central government formed from the imperial colonization of Afghanistan is a pipe dream which the author correctly states.

    But let’s assume that PNAC is alive and well. This doesn’t bode well. PNACs clearly stated targets for preemptive war were Iraq, Syria, Iran and North Korea in that order. Two nations destroyed, two left to go. That’s gonna be a big boom!

    The history of the World amply demonstrates that empires rise and fall and leave behind great ruins for future generations to uncover by digging them out of the sand or clearing away the jungle only to wonder what happened. Such will be our fate as well but perhaps our civilization will not be uncovered until millions of years in the future when the next intelligent life form will start to sift through our ruins and study the fossilized bones of the species of animals that littered the planet. Will they discover a KT like boundary revealed by a thin radioactive line of Uranium evenly deposited around the entire World and will they wonder what happened? Perhaps it won’t be Uranium. Perhaps they will find the traces of Iridium just like we find at the KT boundary when the evolutionary dead end of a planet full of giant stupid lizards abruptly ended. There is already a plan to do it. Just search “NASA plans to put a meteorite in orbit around the moon”. I can’t possibly imagine anything going wrong with that plan. Or perhaps, aliens will do it. All it would take would be a tiny nudge from a very long way off to set up a collision course for some KBO with a sun grazing orbit like a comet. One thing is for sure. If there are any aliens and if they are racing to the Earth it is probably not to save us from ourselves. Perhaps there is an alien prescription for planets afflicted with stupid animals be they reptilian or mammalian.

    I sure don’t like the way the World is going. We seem to be leading the pack of defenders of the old guard with vision-less leaders who only see military options to solve our problems and who cling to obsolete dangerous finite nonrenewable resources which are poisoning the planet led by a Mad Max military vision which consists of preparing to defend those resources at all costs. All this when we could be free from the middle east and its oil in a few years by funneling just a part of our defense budget into renewable, clean energy. It is pretty sad when Congress writes laws forbidding the military to use bio-fuel, forbids NASA from studying climate change and using the Science and Technology committee like a witch hunt against science and technology.

    Meanwhile other nations are preparing for the green revolution because they see the need for it, they feel the urgency to do it and they are developing the technology to do it. If we don’t change, we will be the hermit kingdom with all the World aligned against us.

    I just cannot believe how Americans can sign up for all of the war mongering when they could be choosing a better path. A path with a future led by different leaders. We have the power but not the inclination to change it. That is sad.

    • Beard681
      July 26, 2017 at 17:33

      ???Is it obvious why the US cheers for war? What else do we have? The US can’t build high speed rail, has crappy internet, crumbling roads, leaking dams, and we have to pay the Russians to take us to the “International” space station. Manufacturing is down to a third world level of about 12% of the economy. (It would actually be less except for military spending.) The vast majority of the jobs created in the last 10 years are low wage service “McJobs”. The solution to every problem seems to be some sort of government bailout, regulatory monstrosity, or subsidy scam. The only way that the people can maintain their living standards is to go deeper and deeper into debt. Go USA!

      • CitizenOne
        July 27, 2017 at 21:11

        Now a unanimous Congress hands Trump a Bill for more sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea. The Senate voted 97 to 2 in favor of sanctions. The House voted 419 to 3 in favor of sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea.

        Basically our Congress has unanimously decided to lump Russia in with the North Koreans. It is a unanimous vote for war. It is a unanimous vote for the media propaganda which has manufactured the consent of a majority of the populace of the USA into a xenophobic paranoia blaming foreign sources for all the ills we face.

        Meanwhile, the Congress is busily voting to reverse course on immigration, healthcare, social programs and education while supporting ever greater military budgets to deal with the foreign enemies we blame for our condition which is about to get much worse if the Congress has its way.

        Social welfare programs and programs like protecting the environment, educating our children, rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, promoting renewable energy are officially off the table and the media won’t cover any of it. Instead we have a steady drumbeat of propaganda about foreign threats which we need to deal with via economic sanctions and perhaps military action.

        This is the reverse of democracy. These are the tactics used by dictators to consolidate military power and divert government money into their military industrial complexes while simultaneously arranging to create economic hardship and despair in the population who will fall victim to the propaganda of the media which blames everything on foreign devils hoping to start a war so the war profiteers can grow insanely wealthy.

        Heaven help us. We know not what we are being led to do. When a unanimous verdict of our elected leaders is to ignore all of the domestic issues we face as well as global issues like climate change and environmental destruction in favor of provoking foreign nations and pouring money into the military we are in trouble.

        Soon, all it will take is some false flag to rile the people into a war ready state and some idiot to issue an ultimatum to some foreign devil to either bow down or face the consequences. The cards are falling into place. We are gearing up for war.

        Such a shame. We could follow a different path but our unaccountable press and government have been at this game for a long time. They know the drill and they execute it flawlessly. So we march lock step into the wilderness of pain and suffering our government is about to inflict on the World.

        I wish I had better news but all the pieces of the puzzle except one have fallen into place. Trump has a moment to define himself and dare our Congress to override his veto on more sanctions. He has a chance to put the ball back in their court which they so don’t want him to do. They would love to blame the whole thing on him. If he has an ounce of integrity he would veto the sanctions bill and be willing to face the anger of the billionaire daddy war bucks which pull all the strings attached to our elected puppets.

        I hope he does veto it. I want to see the unanimous group of strategists hoping to bait him into a trap he cannot escape from have their plans thrown in their faces and told to either take responsibility for their actions or shut the hell up.

        He really should veto it. If there is such a unanimous group that really believes this is the best course then he need not worry about it. If they feel so strongly them let them be the ones to override his veto. He can’t lose. He can only test their will. Or he can become the patsy for what is about to happen.

  16. Joe Tedesky
    July 23, 2017 at 10:41

    Wow, the comment posters seem to have the truth of the Afghanistan War well covered.

    Looking back to October 2001, and recalling how the B52 U.S. planes carpet bombed the Afghan landscape with the hopes that Osama bin Laden was underneath one of those bombing raids, now seems pretty silly. Call me a tinfoiled hat conspiracy theorist, but the U.S. instead of using B52’s really should have had an internal investigation to see who was really behind the events of 911. Although then that investigation would have been counterintuitive to the big picture of this dastardly schemes final goals, so instead America did what it did.

    The real evil doesn’t hide out in a cave in the hills of Afghanistan. The real evil dwells in the halls of but a tiny few governments, small as a group, but huge by their wealth. Until this cabal of devils is undercovered nothing much will change.

    As a side note, watch ‘War Machine’ starring Brad Pitt on Netflix. This movie is a portrayal of Michael Hastings Rolling Stone article covering the General Stanley McChrystal command while in Afghanistan. The names are fictitious, but the story is Hastings.

    • July 23, 2017 at 12:08

      “The real evil doesn’t hide out in a cave in the hills of Afghanistan. The real evil dwells in the halls of but a tiny few governments, small as a group, but huge by their wealth. Until this cabal of devils is undercovered nothing much will change.”
      Hear! Hear!

      • July 23, 2017 at 20:32

        Anna…that was moving prose!

    • Gregory Herr
      July 23, 2017 at 13:36

      Thanks for taking your turn…more truth spoken.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 23, 2017 at 22:48

        No thank you my friend for thanking me. Gregory these comments are most welcome, because on the whole you never hear these opinions. What an oasis.

    • July 24, 2017 at 18:36

      RIP Michael may your DARPA developed murder be remembered.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 24, 2017 at 20:23

        I could not agree more.

  17. July 23, 2017 at 09:56

    When A merica goes to war it goes to war to got to war. In other words, it is a racket. There is no intention on the part of the authorities to “win” in Afghanistan because the government and ruling elites we imposed on the country depends on international support and cannot and would not survive without it–therefore that gov’t is illegitimate by definition. But ordinance, training, funding mercenaries, and so on puts a lot of money in the pockets of the sleaziest elements of our society.

    Ask yourself, specifically, why the U.S. needs to control Afghanistan. What threats there might be in Afghanistan can now and could in 2001 been handled in other ways. Afghanistan is the “test case” for the GWOT which is fraudulent in very way it could be.

    • July 23, 2017 at 12:07

      “When America goes to war it goes to war to get to war. In other words, it is a racket.”

  18. F. G. Sanford
    July 23, 2017 at 09:08

    Well, I’m flattered to read that Dr. Ben-Meir borrowed my “slot machine” analogy from a recent comment. Maybe this is not a futile endeavor. Yep, it’s the drugs. Our CIA trained the Mujahideen to exploit the poppies in order to finance the anti-Soviet operation. Just like they did in Vietnam and Nicaragua. The Soviets left, and the Taliban promptly eliminated the heroin trade. This was a financial disaster for the CIA. After 9/11, we invaded, and the Taliban reconstituted the heroin trade. They now supply about 65% of U.S. street smack. Do you think it gets here by carrier pigeon?

    Culture is resistant to change. We did not defeat Japan and Germany by changing their minds. They were defeated because we dismantled their empires. Empire is vulnerable to military intervention because its essence is infrastructure. It can be bombed. Culture cannot be bombed out of existence unless every single vessel of that culture – human beings – is eliminated.

    We are systematically destroying our own infrastructure in the process of waging these wars. Cuts to our education system have already rendered our young generation incapable of competing with the technological and scientific advances now being produced by Russia and China. We still have an advantage, but it is dwindling. We no longer have the manufacturing base to sustain a “war of attrition” if challenged. Our weapons are adequate as a deterrent because we retain numerical superiority, not because of sophistication. From a historical perspective, our military is already a mercenary force based on a “poverty draft”. Mercenaries are effective deterrents; they are not reliable in wars of incursion. It’s time to reel in the empire and save ourselves.

    As an American patriot, I watch in horror as lunatic foreign policy and misplaced loyalties destroy my country’s future. It’s probably too late to turn back the tide. Pax Americana is fraught with hypocrisy, corruption and self-deception. But it is far better than whatever monstrosity will replace it. Our Constitution is still the last best hope for civilization. We appear to be hell-bent on destroying it. Our politicians are handing China an easy victory: they will not even have to fire a shot.

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 23, 2017 at 10:22

      As usual you covered it well, thank you F.G. once again you speak the truth.

    • Gregory Herr
      July 23, 2017 at 13:26

      This is what children look like who are gathered around their President with the knowledge he cares about their education and well-being:

      • July 23, 2017 at 22:40

        Thanks Gregory,…the video offers a good insight into Putin’s personality and does well to humanize the stereotype.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 23, 2017 at 23:21

        It’s unfortunate that Putin has been chosen to be the next villain on our merry way to conquer the world. Putin would have made a terrific ally, but no that spot is reserved for Israel and Saudi Arabia. Unfortunate indeed.

    • Zachary Smith
      July 23, 2017 at 13:35

      We are systematically destroying our own infrastructure in the process of waging these wars. Cuts to our education system have already rendered our young generation incapable of competing with the technological and scientific advances now being produced by Russia and China. We still have an advantage, but it is dwindling. We no longer have the manufacturing base to sustain a “war of attrition” if challenged. Our weapons are adequate as a deterrent because we retain numerical superiority, not because of sophistication. From a historical perspective, our military is already a mercenary force based on a “poverty draft”. Mercenaries are effective deterrents; they are not reliable in wars of incursion. It’s time to reel in the empire and save ourselves.

      Powerful paragraph, and most especially that first sentence.

    • July 23, 2017 at 22:47

      “Our Constitution is still the last best hope for civilization”….ahhh…therein lies the rub…how do we interpret it?

    • Beard681
      July 26, 2017 at 17:22

      CIA heroin trade conspiracy theory. As if the deep state security apparatus with a total budget of $70billion of tax payer money has to rely on the junkies for support. As for the route, it gets here through Mexico, for which Drugs are the largest foreign currency source.

      The US empire will not collapse because of education (we now have the highest percentage of college graduates in the workforce) or lack of infrastructure (which the US spends too much for too little). In the end it will be the DEBT.

    July 23, 2017 at 07:25

    Failure, yes for The People. But, not for the Bush/Clinton, et al, Drug Cartel.

  20. Herman
    July 23, 2017 at 07:20

    The enemy of our enemy is our friend and the hell with the consequences for the victims. Our guiding policy since the Cold War began, most probably since our country was founded. On Sunday morning, the cry that everybody does it just doesn’t cut it.

    There is a book I ordered from the second hand book store about Kabul in the 70’s written by a US Peace Corps Volunteer. Just the fact that we sent Volunteers there should tell us something about the country, that it was relatively poor but beautiful country. Russia’s support of the government and our determination to hurt Russia led to the support of Islamic extremists to do the job.of destroying the country. To hurt Russia. To hell with the Afghan people. To hell with secularism.

    • Beard681
      July 26, 2017 at 17:15

      The communists had no political base outside of Kabul, and the Afghans have a history of resistance to foreign invaders that goes back centuries. To say that the Russian invasion that involved 100s of thousands of troops, and caused millions of refugees was a good thing is absolutely even more crazy than saying the US should continue to fight in order to keep the corrupt Quisling government in power.

  21. john wilson
    July 23, 2017 at 05:55

    Andreas above may well be right, but the Afghans certainly had nothing to do with 9-11 but they and Iraq (also nothing to do with 9-11) have suffered terribly as a consequence. As for the Afghan war being a mistake and a continuing failure, its anything but! The Neocons, the industrial war machine and the deep state are delighted with the results as it keeps the farce of trillions of dollars on arms justified. From their point of view the Afghan war is a great success.

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 23, 2017 at 10:19

      Ah, another truth teller, thank you John.

  22. July 23, 2017 at 04:46

    “Al Qaeda” (a US invention) have nothing to do with 9/11. Why still nurture this myth?

    • Irene
      July 23, 2017 at 07:14

      Exactly. First thing should have been investigating exactly what happened to the twin towers and especially to building 7. Instead, all the evidence was shipped off to China to be recycled before most of us knew what was happening.

    • j. D. D.
      July 23, 2017 at 08:32

      This bogus report attempts to perpetuate the myth that the US role was “to introduce democracy.” By organizing, funding and arming the most backward and fanatical Islamic sects into the original “jihad” against the Soviet backed government,which had the audacity to i modernize, including the education of women. No mention of the crazy Brzezinski “Arc of Crisis” to foment religious warfare among the Islamic populations along the periphery of the Soviet Union, nor of the role of Russia in assisting the US in its intervention against the Taliban following 911,under the pretext of the stated purpose to “get Bin Laden.” (Remember that?)This program became the model for the ensuing trashing of the Middlle East, eventually leading to creation of ISIS, and the hundreds of other jihadi terrorist factions. The cost of these wars, is realistically estimated at $6 trillion, thousands of American lives, including 3000 on 911, and more than ten million of lives destroyed in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. Then, as during of the Bush and Obama Administrations, US policy was governed by no positive purpose, but rather to thwart anything, no matter what, being done by Russia, then the Soviet Union in its own backyard. Much more could be said of the article, which really belongs in the NYT, but I’ll leave this to others.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 23, 2017 at 10:18

        Ah the truth, has been spoken.

      • July 23, 2017 at 12:05

        democracy in Afghanistan was never a goal for the US. The arms sales and control over mineral resources – this is different.
        As for the Soviet Union presence in the Afghanistan and the amazing strides made by the Afghan population thanks to this presence, the American purists prefer not to remember the inconvenient facts:
        “Afghan women made unprecedented gains under the Soviet umbrella. While the 1964 constitution had declared women equal to men, equality largely remained on paper except for a few women in the upper strata of urban society. A thin layer of women had taken off the burqa and obtained education and employment outside the home, but even in Kabul, the main urban center, half of all women still wore the full veil in the late 1970s. Throughout the country, 98 percent of women were totally illiterate. In the 1980s, in contrast, there were vast opportunities for women to escape at least the strictest restraints of purdah. Many thousands became university students, workers, professionals and leftist activists.
        By the late 1980s, women made up 40 percent of the country’s doctors (women doctors were in high demand, especially in rural areas, where women were still strictly secluded and barred from consulting male doctors). Sixty percent of the instructors at Kabul University and 65 percent of the student body were women. Family courts, in some cases presided over by female judges, had replaced the mullahs’ sharia courts. The number of working women increased 50-fold. By 1987, there were an estimated 245,000 women working in fields ranging from construction, printing and food processing to radio and TV journalism and especially teaching, where they made up 70 percent of the workforce.”

        • Gregory Herr
          July 23, 2017 at 13:16

          More truth spoken.

          • Virginia
            July 23, 2017 at 17:54

            And I was thinking the same thing when I copied this paragraph from the article: “Instead, we decided to introduce democracy, a totally alien concept to a land …” The US goal isn’t to export democracy; that’s its excuse for endless wars. Also, the author mentions the US should consider its “exit strategy.” It wasn’t so long ago that I used to talk like that and I hear it every single day in conversations. The US considers, but it’s “stay,” not exit, strategy; and it’s how-do-we-divide-up-this-country-and-it’s-wealth strategy!

            I’m glad Mr. Alon ben-Meir published here on CN. The many brilliant writers from whom I’ve learned so much will give him a great deal to think about.

          • Realist
            July 23, 2017 at 18:53

            Yes, Virginia, that remark about “democracy” stuck out like a sore thumb. The Afghans may not have had Jeffersonian “democracy” under the Soviet-supported Nagi-Bulla government, but at least it was progressive and gave women full rights, something completely taken away by the Taliban in the aftermath of Soviet withdrawal. Radical Jihadis throughout the world, who owe their existence to the “Chessmaster” for creating them during the Carter administration, must consider him one of their prophets and should be mourning his recent passing.

          • Joe Tedesky
            July 23, 2017 at 22:45

            Realist, I’m glad you mentioned Zbigniew Brzezinski, we should never forget the role this conniving man played to making our world a place of total chaos.

        • July 23, 2017 at 20:01

          “As for the Soviet Union presence in the Afghanistan and the amazing strides made by the Afghan population thanks to this presence, the American purists prefer not to remember the inconvenient facts”…Yes Anna, all true, especially the strides made by the women of Afghanistan at that time and eradicated by callous CIA stupidity. I can remember the drumbeat of the MSM against the Soviets was started by CBS’s “liberal” anchor man, Dan Rather as Americans cheered him on until the Soviets were forced to withdraw while covert aide including shoulder launch Stinger missiles were supplied to the Taliban and probably Al Qaeda itself.

          • col from oz
            July 25, 2017 at 06:45

            Joe, the apple does not fall far from the tree. Mika his TV daughter exhibits all the characteristics of a sociopath. The liberation of Aellpo was a triumph of humanity over the force of nihilism. That Mika should refer to the “fall of Aellpo as it is some kind of horrible history partakes to the real character of this woman. They/she must resist to keep her/their lies alive. Totally alien.

        • Beard681
          July 26, 2017 at 17:04

          Rah Rah for the women (or at least the wealthy ones). Most of the statistics coming out of the USSR (GDP, infant mortality, suicide, etc.,) were revealed to be fake after the USSR collapsed. What are these stats supposed to mean?

          Nobody wants their culture denigrated and destroyed or be to be told what to do by foreigners. This holds true for Afghanis as well as Vietnamese. This holds true for USSR invaders as well as ones from the USA. The Afghan invasion was wrong – no matter what the reason.

      • Mary White
        July 25, 2017 at 15:39

        Links to the matters you mention, please.

    • Paranam Kid
      July 23, 2017 at 09:06

      If it was not Al Qaeda, then who?

    • July 24, 2017 at 15:27

      In the 1970’s the USA began suppling arms and support to the Landlords and Foundamentalists who were rebeling against the Afghan government which was implementing Land Reform and Women’s rights.

    • July 24, 2017 at 18:30

      The Taliban stated Internationally that they would extradite Bin Laden to a third party nation for prosecution if the USA presented any evidence that Bin Laden was involved in 9/11. But of course no evidence was forthcoming because the USA wanted to annul the TAPI pipeline contract the Taliban signed with Argentina three weeks prior. The USA has not invaded a nation for any other reason but greed since WW2.

      • Beard681
        July 26, 2017 at 17:10

        BS. Greed? Vietnam? Grenada? Lebanon? Yemen? Kosovo? The military industrial complex is an organ of the STATE for which any profit motive is irrelevant. It runs on tax money. These endless wars are just like any other government program that enriches corporations and has a jobs base. Once the special interests are in place it is impossible to kill it. Just like Obamacare.

  23. Paranam Kid
    July 23, 2017 at 04:11

    A very good analysis, professor Ben-Meir, well done. But it is absolutely necessary to bring this to the attention of the powers that be in Washington, and Trump is only a “small cog” in that machinery. Your conversation with Mr. Zazai is inavluable & has given an invaluable insight into the psychology of the Afghanis. Please take this further, Let the US do at least 1 wise thing in terms of war, which it has not done since WW2.

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