The US defense secretary has admitted that the American public will likely stop backing the war in Afghanistan a day after a top US military chief said he can not see an end to the long-fought war.
Memo to SecDef Gates: thinking Americans have already stopped backing the war in Afghanistan (if they ever really did).
This has been about two things: the "pacification" of Afghan citizens for long enough to install the pipelines throughout the country, and the protection of the opium crops, from which so many profit so handsomely.
You've got an American puppet in power, swirling in a sewer of corruption which has even included his own brother's connections to the drug trade, a government so crooked that it has to, collectively, screw its socks on in the morning, and a people infinitely less better off than when the US and NATO invaded and occupied Afghanistan.
The options are very limited. Viet Nam should have taught both US civilian and military leadership that you cannot win what is essentially a ground war from the air; apparently, that bitter lesson has yet to be learned.
We can, of course, declare victory and go home. That might free up a little money for fixing our crumbling infrastructure.
We can attempt (and this will be impossible without the reinstitution of the draft) to overwhelm the Afghans with a number of troops which will crush the Taliban.
And when the old Soviet Union couldn't do this with 500,000 pairs of combat boots on the ground, how many troops do you think, SecDef Gates, you'd actually need to get the job done; 750,000? One million?!?
Those are pretty impressive numbers. But at the current military complement of about 68,000 troops - give or take - we're just a touch over 10% of the numbers the Soviet Union had here - when they failed.
We could declare a scorched earth policy, killing every single man, woman, and child left breathing in this country, and I am certain that this has been considered under some vilely euphemistic language, such as "final emergency pacification" of the Afghan population. However, coming from the country which so obnoxiously trumpets the values of human and civil rights and democracy (while observing those values in the breach), whatever shred of respect for this country any other country might have will have been utterly destroyed.
At the end of the day, what is needed here are not more bombs, but butter; Afghans deserve the right to create their own destiny, and a working infrastructure at every level (social, political, and economic) which will give them hope for a future.
The current US and NATO military strategy is making that absolutely impossible.