MARCH 19, 2012 12:47PM

U.S. Still In Afghanistan...We Need To Read More Kipling

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This is a post from a few years ago as the U.S. escalated its prescence in Afghanistan. 

The United States just announced plans to send 3,000 Marines to bolster our forces in Afghanistan in preparation for an expected spring offensive by the Taliban.
The current situation in Afghanistan is probably not as rosy as many have been inclined to paint it. While it is improving, the construction of roads, schools, hospitals and many of the things needed to help the people of Afghanistan is lagging behind predictions and is falling short of what is required.
If the Karzai government is ever to stand on its own it must deliver on its promises and must get out from the shadow of the United States.
Afghanistan has a long history of defeating invaders. For the U.S. to have a lasting effect we must be seen as friends and not as invaders and occupiers.
When the Russians pulled out of Afghanistan after their disastrous experience there, they lost over 100,000 soldiers and their puppet government fell as soon as they left, a Russian general was asked about the experience. He quoted some verses from Kipling’s A Young British Soldier, and added “…We should have read more Kipling!”

When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
So-oldier ~of~ the Queen!

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Well, as much as I like Kipling, it isn't necessary to turn to poetry when we have policy. Unfortunately, policy is decided by politicians, and the evidence is clear they are seldom wise. In a previous post, I pointed out what happens When Fools Think Themselves Wise.

In that post, I quoted extensively from a paper written by George F Kennan in 1947. Too bad the fools in the Bush administration thot themselves wiser than Kennan:

"It is urgently necessary that we recognize our own limitations as a moral and ideological force among the Asiatic peoples. Our political philosophy and our patterns for living have very little applicability to masses of people in Asia. They may be all right for us, with our highly developed political traditions running back into the centuries and with our peculiarly favorable geographic position; but they are simply not practical or helpful, today, for most of the people in Asia.

This being the case, we must be very careful when we speak of exercising "leadership" in Asia. We are deceiving ourselves and others when we pretend to have the answers to the problems which agitate many of these Asiatic peoples."