Discover more from The View from the Front. By Stan R. Mitchell.
Afghanistan needs its George Washington
I mentioned on Tuesday that I was feeling better about the situation in Afghanistan. I still feel that way, but several pieces of bad news dropped this week.
First, there was news of the Taliban assassinating Afghan pilots. At least seven have been killed off base in recent months. The same article states an additional problem in which Afghan aircraft are being over-used “due to increased requests for close air support, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance missions, and aerial resupply.”
Finally, the article states that Afghan special forces are being used incorrectly because local Afghan forces won’t carry their share of the load.
“When Afghan commandos arrive, they are misused to perform tasks intended for conventional forces, including route clearance and checkpoint security,” the article states.
These are all worrisome concerns, but I stand by everything I’ve said to date. First, we gave Afghanistan the greatest gift ever.
We created a democracy that Afghanistan can preserve, if it does not wilt in its fight.
We created something to behold. Something to cherish. Something we struggle to hold onto here at home, nearly two hundred and forty years after our founding.
In that barren, desolute country, we have created a miracle. We have created a democracy. One that sputters and needs fine-tuning, but a democracy nonetheless.
A place where women can be treated as equals and rise to the highest levers of power. (A place where they already have, in fact. More than 20 percent of parliament are women. Females have even served as ambassadors, in a region where twenty years ago they were property; not even allowed to leave their homes without male escort.)
It’s impossible to know what the fate of Afghanistan will become. But let’s never forget what our courageous and brave American fighting men and women achieved there. (With the help of Allies, of course, but let us never forget who bore the brunt. And who bore the grievous wound that started it all.)
America did not lose Afghanistan. Never believe those words, no matter who speaks them.
America built Afghanistan. And we did it in the span of 20 years.
We showed them courage. We showed them equality. We showed them mercy (far too many times, when calls for fire were canceled for fear we might wound the innocent, while men screamed in terror and died.)
We taught the Afghans how to fight. We taught them how to work hard. We taught them how to believe in something better. Something greater than themselves. Something worth sacrificing for.
Let us never forget this great accomplishment, despite what might happen in the years to come.
We have given Afghanistan this gift, but it is up to them to hold onto (and eventually improve) it.
Honestly, I feel like Afghanistan needs its George Washington. I’m not sure who that man or woman is, but America faced its own dark days in our early history. And people forget that for years, many Americans thought we were losing our own fight.
There will be some dark days and nights to come (possibly even for years), but I continue to hope the Afghans can hold onto their freedom and their democracy. And I hope our country continues to support them in this fight.
That’s it for this post. Please share this post if you enjoyed it.
And if you haven’t already, please subscribe for email notifications. (It’s FREE. Unless you choose to subscribe and support what I’m doing. You can cancel at any time.) Every Tuesday and Friday, I write about conflicts and military matters that are happening throughout the world. Such as what’s happening in Afghanistan or Iraq. How we’re aligning ourselves to counter China’s growing influence. Updates on new military technology that we’re fielding.
I also post veteran interviews every Sunday.
And I do all of this from a moderate perspective that focuses on unity in our country. I also don’t believe in clickbait, over-the-top headlines, or other tactics to drive web traffic. You will always get the sober, mature view, with a slight bit of my optimism peering through.
Feel free to leave a comment below. I love having conversations on here! (Please be kind in the comments. I’m a proud moderate, who wants to unite the country. So if you attack someone or say something out of line, I will delete your comment.)
Stan R. Mitchell
P.S. Part of the post above comes from Hill 406, a book I wrote that is partly about Helmand Province, but helps encapsulate everything that veterans of Afghanistan have gone through.
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