I blame George W. Bush. I don’t blame him for attacking Afghanistan. Its Taliban leaders were sheltering Obama bin Laden who had launched the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the USA. Bush had UN support, Helen Clark quite correctly committed support from our army.
But his oil-hungry hawkish advisers urged a second front in Iraq. There was absolutely no Iraqi involvement in the 9/11 talks. Bin Laden and Saddam were at daggers drawn. The UN disarmament group could find no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. But Bush still went to war; an illegal war. Helen Clark quite rightly did not support him this time. That’s what I blame him for. Siphoning troops and energy away from the prime goal in Afghanistan.
As a result the war there has festered on. With resources spread thin the weakened American presence could not be effective and is increasingly resented. They are seen as invaders. Every Afghan killed whether Taliban or civilian creates a potential recruiting source for insurrection.
The mountainous terrain suits guerilla warfare. The insurgents can attack and then melt into the countryside. It worked against the British, the Russians and now the Americans. In a nation of warlords it is hard to impose a Western democratic system of government. A rigged election doesn’t help the Allied cause.
Vietnam derailed President Johnson’s Great Society. I fear Afghanistan will derail President Obama’s health reforms. And we are muddled up in the mess,