From Krist Boardman:
Give the beleaguered president some credit. He is right to be unhappy and to be questioning the course of the United States’ involvement in Afghanistan. That is his job anyway: to be setting the direction of the country on foreign policy.
If I were president, I would be unhappy too that we’ve been at war for sixteen years (without a declaration of war!) in a country in which 2,400 service men and women have been killed and 20,000 were injured, an endeavor that has cost taxpayers one trillion dollars. For all that money, we could have constructed 500 Red Line transportation systems at $2 billion each all across the U.S. that supposed penny pinchers say is too expensive. At least if we had done that we would have some transportation systems intact with lifetimes of say 100 years each instead of nothing except for some bombed out buildings in Nothingstan and too many graves of people who didn’t deserve to die.
Of course, all the focus is on why President Trump does not like the commander of the U.S. forces in Afghanistan, John Nicholson, a fact which is ruffling the feathers of Senator John McCain and reportedly would cause National Security Advisor McMaster to resign if Trump should fire Nicholson. But you can hardly blame Trump for being unhappy with the plan for Afghanistan, which is to pour more good money and lives down a rat hole to be lost forever. Why is our country doing this? There are no objectives, there is no exit strategy, it is an endless spectacle of carnage and waste. Perhaps Senator McCain is still numb from being in the Vietnam War, which also lasted too long, killed too many and cost too much to realize that the problem is not General Nicholson but where he is at and what he is trying to do.
Well, I am not president in case you were wondering but I am unhappy with the Afghanistan war too. My views haven’t changed either. Eight years ago I sponsored a resolution co-sponsored by the late Delegate B. Daniel Riley before the New Harford Democratic Club that opposed President Obama’s re-escalation of the Afghanistan war. Most of the arguments were the same then as they are now. As long as Americans are patrolling Afghanistan with weapons the people there will fight and resist the foreigners among them but the financial interests in Kabul will also gladly accept the money our government gives them to line their pockets. The New Harford Democratic Club didn’t want to do anything to oppose Obama and in their infinite wisdom they voted the resolution down by a two-to-one margin, but I doubt that even after another eight years of futility they have learned anything. After all, if Trump is against the war then surely the NHDC should be for it.
It apparently does not matter that many conquerors before the United States have tried and failed in Afghanistan before, including the Russians and British and even Alexander the Great. After all the money and effort expended there the Taliban, Al-Qaida and ISIS are still busy manufacturing their mischief and using Pakistan as a safe haven to carry our their nefarious enterprises. But this is a regional problem and not a worldwide one and there are plenty of states surrounding Afghanistan such as Iran, Pakistan, India, some former Soviet Republics and China that should be capable of policing the region adequately. We’ve already got plenty of TSA employees forcing people to take their shoes off at airports and the NSA eavesdropping on its citizens so we can prevent terrorists with box cutters from hijacking our airlines, that we don’t need soldiers in Afghanistan.
Anyway, I’m sick of bouncing my way from pothole to pothole on Madison Street on my way to work in East Baltimore and I resent the money not spent to fix our basic roads, just as people in Harford and Baltimore Counties will be angry when the crumbling bridge over Route 40 Gunpowder River falls down and kills some people because our “leaders” chose to spend the money in an unlikely place halfway around the world where our country has no business being.