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John Block Reports from Washington

RSS By: John Block, AgWeb.com

John Block has dedicated his professional career to the fields of agriculture, food and health.

Afghanistan

Oct 08, 2009

Six months ago, here is what I said in my commentary –
 
“I don’t think sending thousands more U.S. troops into Afghanistan is a good idea. Every country that has ever tried to get control of Afghanistan has come home with their tail between their legs. Examples would be Great Britain and, more recently, the Soviet Union. In relative terms, there is far more value in having an influence in the Middle East (Iraq) where they have oil. What do they have in Afghanistan? Camels and poppy fields.”
 
That is what I thought then and I haven’t changed my mind.
 
The President and the Congress are going to have to decide where we go from here. We just lost 8 soldiers in one day in Afghanistan. Our young men and women are dying in that God-forsaken land of rocks and poverty at a rate twice what it was one year ago. And for what? We have been fighting in that country longer than World War I and World War II combined.
 
Escalating our involvement in Afghanistan will result in many more casualties and billions of dollars spent.
 
Afghanistan is not a real country. It is a bunch of tribes that control different pieces of geography. They don’t want a central government. How many years and how many dollars will it take to remake that country and its people? I remember when George Bush ran for election he said he didn’t support “nation building.” Well, we are nation building in Iraq now. We’ve found how hard and costly that can be. We don’t need another project which would be infinitely more difficult.
 
After 9/11, we attacked Afghanistan, overthrew the Taliban, and have killed or driven most of Al Qaeda out of the country. Let’s declare victory and use more of our resources to help Pakistan root out the terrorists.
 
There are those that say we must send in more troops to keep the Al Qaeda from using Afghanistan as a training ground for terrorism. That is possible, but there are many countries where they could train. They could set up bases in Somalia or Yemen or a number of African nations. Are we going to invade all of them and try to rebuild their economies?
 
Support for the war is on the decline in the U.S. and more so in Europe. We’ll see what President Obama decides. I say “bring ’em home.”
 
Until next week, I am John Block from Washington, D.C.
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COMMENTS (9 Comments)

Anonymous
When you have a bunch of tribes trying to claim their stake of certain piece of geography as explained: are we not just the obstacle, the one in the way, the one that doesnt have a true purpose, the one that keeps fighting and eventually wakes up and says: I think I forgot what Im fighting for? I just feel at some point you have to let these war mongers go at it you might say, get it over with. Kind of like two hockey players that are bound and determined to fight, eventually the referees lettem go at it and get it over with. Supply them with guns and ammunition and let them have at it. Krazy opinion but it just might work? Also with the guns and ammunition perhaps thousands of notes saying "here you go have at it settle your differences and move on.
9:40 PM Oct 13th
 
Anonymous
Al Qaeda has been and continues to be a bigger problem than some people realize. Current "rules of engagement" are rediculous and endanger the lives of our service people too much. The president needs to listen to the generals on the ground on strategy. Then decide to either commit to getting the job done with full force immediately or packup and run home immediately. The president needs to grow some and make a real decision. His childishness run and hide behavior needs to stop now.
12:45 PM Oct 13th
 

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