1. These local warlords are committing war crimes;2. Support for such terrorists conflicts with fundamental American values; and3. The fear and violence they generate are fueling anti-Americanism and aiding Talibanrecruitment.Over the long term, security has worsened in every area that these private militias haveoperated. There is nothing positive that can be said of these militias.The ghost army program is but one facet of a dysfunctional U.S. Country Team strategyin which no one is in overall charge of American efforts in a conflict country.Each of the team members, (military, diplomatic, intelligence, foreign aid, publicinformation) has its own agenda and programs.There is no overall strategy, but simply conflicting tactics.The primary tactic seems to be the same one which failed in Iraq. The idea is to usespecial units to kill as many people (guilty and innocent) as possible, arrest as manypeople as possible and make life so miserable for the balance of the population that itwill (out of exhaustion) choose peace. That tactic had a short life in Iraq. It was just longenough for the U.S. to retreat in peace.That same tactic is not even achieving a short life in Afghanistan.In the United States there is a growing revisionist history being preached about the Afghan War.Foreign Policy Magazine blames Barack Obama for ignoring Hillary Clinton, even thoughshe never articulated a credible plan for Afghanistan.
The Wall Street Journal blames the looming failure in Afghanistan on a “lack of resources.” The premise being that more money and more troops would haveresulted in victory in Afghanistan. That is also absurd. More resources wouldhave only caused more killing, more arbitrary arrests, more corruption and morewarlords.
For the American side, perhaps 99% of those who served did so with honor andcourage; but their efforts are being steadily eroded by the abuses of a few.
Those abuses continue due to the cowardice and apathy of a lackluster anddishonorable corps of senior officers, civilian officials and members of Congress.The tragedy is that the history of the Afghanistan war is being framed by photosand tales of secret arrests, black prison, torture and needless killings, all carriedout by a tiny fraction of in-country Americans.
Unless this changes, the American withdrawal from Afghanistan may be greeted with thesame response as Iraqis had, which is, “good riddance.”