The boys are coming home
The US has reached what an official called “a reduction of violence agreement” with the Taliban that could lead to an American troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, a senior administration official said Friday.
The official told reporters at a security conference in Munich that the seven-day period of a reduction of violence had not begun yet.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani during the conference on Friday.
The announcement came a day after President Trump said there was a “good chance” of reaching a deal with the Taliban on a reduction of US troops in Afghanistan.
Right. Once more, with feeling, now, lads:
All HAIL His Most Illustrious, Noble, August, Benevolent, and Legendary Celestial Majesty, the God-Emperor of Mankind, Donaldus Triumphus Magnus Astra, the First of His Name!!!
It feels good indeed to see that America has a President in charge, for the first time in perhaps thirty years, who understands that endless "savage wars of peace" are lethal to the health and well-being of the body politic.
Let's be clear about this: there was never any remote possibility of victory in Afghanistan. Not with the way that the Americans were fighting that war.
To win there would have required the complete decimation of every single Afghan village, the wholesale conversion of the Afghani people at gunpoint to Christianity, and the napalm-bombing of every last poppy field followed by turning all of them into wheat farms.
That latter, by the way, would not have been permitted because Afghan exports would immediately put quite a few American farmers out of business, and Big Agra can't have that, now can they?
As Steve Pinkerton over at Breitbart points out:
The details of whatever it is we are doing in Afghanistan are so sensitive—or, more likely, so embarrassing—that the U.S. Congress, and the public, can’t know about them. Sounds to this author as if the Deep State is covering its tracks. Or burying its mistakes.
Of course, even the Deep State can’t hide its blunders forever. Just last month, the Washington Post unearthed thousands of once-secret documents, proving nearly two decades of official “mendacity and hubris” about Afghanistan. To be sure, that mendacity and hubris had always been fully visible to the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have cycled through that dead-end country since 2001, and yet officialdom, snug and secure back in Washington, DC, seemed clueless, and acted as if it didn’t care. After all, the D.C. big cheeses have been busy worrying about other things, of more interest to them, such as starting the even more foolish Iraq War, or else bailing out Wall Street, or, most recently, investigating and impeaching Trump.
But now that all that foolishness is (mostly) in the rear-view mirror, perhaps Trump and his team can focus on getting this Afghan-exit deal done, thus finally extricating the U.S. from that rocky quagmire.
Because the truth, of course, is that U.S. public opinion long ago turned against the war; in 2018, a poll taken by Charles Koch Institute found that a majority of Americans wanted out, and for a long time before that, most Americans had deep doubts about the war.
So now, finally, it seems that it’s possible that the American people will get what they want—and deserve. And maybe the looming of the 2020 election is helping accelerate that prospect. After all, if Trump ran for election as the anti-war candidate, it would help his re-election if he could keep that anti-war promise.
It is instructive here to compare the magnificent and blessed reign of the God-Emperor with his immediate, and disastrous, predecessor.
Remember that Barack Odoofus the Liberal Lightworker ran on a platform of reducing American military commitment and power around the world - and ended up putting more American troops in harm's way and expanding America's wars of foreign entanglement and misadventure.
That is not coincidental. Barack Obama was, and remains, a product of exactly the same globalist Establishment that got America into those pointless wars in the first place. Whatever you might think of his specific policies and ideas, his overall philosophy was virtually identical to that of Presidents George Herbert Walker Bush, William Jefferson Clinton, and George Walker Bush.
That synchronicity of worldviews explains exactly why similarly globalist foreign leaders, like Prime Minister Tony Blair, were able to work seamlessly with President Clinton and President George W. Bush. They were basically exactly the same in terms of their worldviews, which dictated that American military power and force projection were to be used for "the greater good", to bring order and peace to a disorderly and restless world.
In reality, this worldview was, and is, disastrous. It always leads to a vast overseas empire that always drains the fiscal and moral health of the original nation that created it.
The vast overseas empire of America did not begin with the above Presidents. It evolved over the course of 150 years, and if the fault of empire can be laid at the feet of any one President, it is probably Lincoln upon whom most of the blame rests.
But the fact of American empire is what it is. America never, ever should have let itself become an empire, yet it was probably inevitable. Today's Americans are left trying to clean up the ever-growing list of problems that were created by their predecessors, including those in the very recent past.
None of these messes is bigger than the ones in the Sandbox and the Rockpile.
America had no good reason to go invading Iraq in 2003 - none whatsoever. The cassus belli concerning supposed "weapons of mass destruction" was transparently flimsy and America's leadership did an appallingly bad job convincing everyone else that there were, in fact, real and credible and dangerous weapons in Saddam Hussein's arsenal, that he was selling off to various bad actors around the world.
The resulting loss in blood and treasure has weakened America's military, fighting spirit, and civic sense to a catastrophic degree. Meanwhile, America's real strategic rival, China, has grown to the point where it can begin indulging in its own imperial expansionist ambitions - and is doing so quite happily, and completely unopposed by the American hegemon.
The reason for this is simple. America has literally no ability at this point to counteract China's efforts in the South China Sea, the Pacific, the Indian Ocean, and Africa.
The strategic deterrent posed by American carrier battle groups is no longer a serious one against China's ship-killing system of systems, and the US Navy knows it. The Chinese may not be able to field a carrier battle group worth a damn, not yet, anyway, but they'll get there. And while their knock-off stealth fighters are a joke compared to American technology, they have vastly greater numbers of those jets and they don't turn them into overengineered flying kludges that require positively antiseptic conditions in order to operate.
The plain and simple fact of the matter is that if America and China had to go to war, America would not have the staying power for a protracted conflict. The Chinese would be able to win simply by killing off two carriers. That is all it would take.
And that is because the America public has grown utterly weary of war without purpose, without victory, without end.
The past Presidents who sent American troops into harm's way without a clear strategic plan that defined ultimate victory as the complete and utter destruction of an enemy's ability to make war, and the subjugation of such enemies as vassals and client states of an empire, did their own country a great and terrible disservice.
Wars are not to be fought in order to create peacekeeping missions and nation-building exercises - this is an utter waste of military resources and expertise.
Wars are to be fought in order to force an enemy to submit to a way of life that is totally different from what he wants or expects.
Those are the kinds of wars that Americans have long since forgotten how to fight. The last time that such a war was fought - and won - was WWII. As I have said for quite some time here, the American military leadership - not the grunts on the ground, the LEADERS - don't know how to fight such a war any longer. I estimate that at the rank of LTC (and equivalent) or higher in the four fighting branches of the military, most of the leadership has no interest in studying successful warfare, because they have lost sight of the entire point of war.
The point of war is, once again, to impose a complete change in the leadership, way of life, customs, and traditions of a people, that they explicitly reject and do not want, through force of arms.
That this imposition usually requires the wholesale slaughter of large segments of the population, the breaking of their will through enslavement, starvation, disease, and privation, the destruction of their religious touchstones and places of worship, and the execution of their most revered and exalted leadership groups, is all part of the horrible, awful, gut-wrenching reality of war.
That is why war is not to be conducted for frivolous or transient reasons. That is why war is regarded, rightly, as the most appallingly destructive occupation in which a man can engage. And that is why the Laws of War exist - so that, if men must become beasts and destroy each other in the most horrific ways imaginable, at least there should be some measure of sanity amidst the chaos.
A nation which fights a war in order to rebuild another nation without wiping out its leaders and breaking the will of its enemies, is a nation that fights to lose.
And that is precisely what the USA has done for 20 years in Afghanistan.
Better by far to simply declare the war done, bring the troops home, and let the Afghanis get on with the serious business of slaughtering each other, which they have been doing quite successfully since time immemorial without any unnecessary and misguided outside help.
Better still by far to bring the troops home and witness more scenes like these: