Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Afghanistan Forever

Remember last spring? The snows were still melting in the hills overlooking Helmand Valley and American generals were optimists. They had encountered few rebels during the winter and had convinced themselves they were clearing the provinces of Taliban insurgents.
The past eight months have seen important but hard-fought progress in Afghanistan. ~ Gen David Petraeus, Mar. 2011
That was then. Today the Taliban captured an unfinished building in the capital and used it as a platform to bombard the US embassy and the homes of prominent Afghans. There have been repeated Taliban attacks on NATO bases. They haven't over run a base (yet) but they have racked up some impressive casualties with a combination of hit-and-run and suicide bomber attacks.

The official Pentagon calculation for the cost of the Afghan war in 2011 is about $6 billion a month. That is the official number; the actual cost is probably three times that. The Pentagon optimists figure on needing only another 13 years to finish the job.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Reminds me too much of Viet Nam. I am not sure what lessons we learned from Viet Nam, other than to keep casualties under the tipping point so they won't capture the public's attention. At their current level, the public and the government just ignore how many people we are killing and maiming (which we don't care about anyway since, after all, they are godless muslims), and how many of our people are being killed and maimed.