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rojo's avatar

In looking at the situation in Iraq, are we seeing a precursor of things to come in Afghanistan?

Asked by rojo (15971 points ) July 1st, 2014

In Afghanistan we also have a society without a history of democracy; an ethnic tension that has not been lessened over the years we have been there; a President who has more interest in consolidating power for himself and his party not unifying the many tribal factions into a single power sharing central government; an army of questionable skill and commitment that has not exactly shown the ability to be self sufficient let alone a potent force for good; a well organized, armed and funded foe of the present power structure, in this case the Taliban, waiting in the sidelines to regain power once the US leaves; and surrounding countries that could benefit from the downfall of the present government.
Should the US learn a lesson from Iraq? Is it that we need to stop wasting our manpower, money and resources immediately and just leave now or are there things we can do differently to insure we do not witness the same disintegration of the government we have propped up for the last 12 years? And, will it be worth the cost?

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12 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Our lesson is the world is not like us. We are so ignorant that way. Those tribes have been feuding for 10,000 years. 10,000 years from now they’ll have been feuding for 20,000 years. Yeah, the idea that they want to be just like us will bite everyone in the ass.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

OMG @Adirondackwannabe ! There really is another person out there that “gets it.” I’m amazed!

I lived in South Africa during the 70’s, and during apartheid, and the situation is (was) the same there. Americans are so used to a united population that all want basically the same thing, that they just don’t understand tribal tension. The people in the middle east, just as the tribes in Africa, will fight to the death before they would let an opposing tribe take power. That means voting for a leader in those countries is not going to work.

The only form of government that “might” work, and it’s a big “might” is to form a council of tribes, with each tribe having a representative of equal importance. And that is a big “might” because the tribes also don’t agree with sharing power in that way. It is all or nothing with them.

Symbeline's avatar

I think @Adirondackwannabe is on to something for sure. I remember seeing an interview years ago, where a soldier was being questioned by a Western journalist. This guy said something like, I hate Saddam Hussein and what he is doing, and am against his views, but I will fight alongside him against the Americans. They don’t want to be changed.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

@Symbeline Yes, as long as we keep sticking our noses into it, we become the enemy. If we would butt out, then they would go back to killing each other instead of killing us.

zenvelo's avatar

What is happening in Mesopotamia is not the same as Afghanistan. Afghanistan is more homogenous, The situation in Mesopotamia is sectarian; in Afghanistan it is tribal and warlord.

So Aghani warlords will control their areas after a bit of a struggle and accommodation to the Taliban, and then Afghanistan will just be a lawless region growing opium poppies.

Because of its location, though, ISIS will need to eventually come to some ceasefire with the region.

ibstubro's avatar

We should be pouring the billions spent at war into oil-alternative energy sources. It’s inevitable anyway, so lets just do it sooner rather than later and we’ll have less of a vested interest in the Middle East.

How can Americans be of a help in an area where 200+ educated young women can be kidnapped and never located? It’s insane and beyond our understanding or control. Our bumbling only seems to serve to make things worse.

stanleybmanly's avatar

The Middle East can be defined as a catalog of Western failures, and the showcase nation for dependable frustration has ALWAYS been the rocky nightmare of Afghanistan. It is baffling that we in the West just never seem to get it. The episodes repeat themselves endlessly because no Westerner is prepared to accept the obvious truth that primitive ragtag tribal illiterates can utilize their particular geography to embarrass then bleed any “state of the art” army that stumbles into the place. Afghanistan is the great object lesson as to what can be expected from ANY meddling in a place where tribal societies prevail that pre-date the dark age in Europe.

flutherother's avatar

Things do not look good in Afghanistan but isn’t like Iraq. A fraction of what was spent on military operations could have done a lot of good for the people of that country if we were really hell bent on ‘helping’ them but all that has been accomplished is a lot of deaths and a destabilisation of the country. Iraq is an advanced country with sectarian divisions. Afghanistan is still very backward.

kritiper's avatar

Yes we are!!

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

“Should the US learn a lesson from Iraq?”

Define “US” and the “We” in the Q.

The comment presumes that the citizens of the USA are united with the War Profiteers.

The War Profiteers are living the lessons that tell them war is profitable, and hiding that motive behind a mask of terrorism/extremism will prevent all citizens from ever becoming the wiser.

Plato described it first in The Republic(Plato) as The Noble Lie.

Nothing will change until “WE THE PEOPLE” realize these lies, and unite in truth to overcome them. Them being the War Profiteers who own our government officials, and play them as instruments of destruction at the behest of their corporate masters.

rojo's avatar

The US is the 1% and the corporations they own that own the United States.

We is you and I and everyone else that lets the Supreme Court define a corporation as a person so they can can continue to pump money into the system and buy control of your/our government and use it for their own profit.

It matters not whether you agree or disagree with the actions of your government if you let it happen.

jerv's avatar

I saw the Iraq thing turning out as it did back in 1990, mostly because of Vietnam. Think about it; a non-Western culture with different ideas on “acceptable” conduct in combat in an environment our people are not used to and much of our military hardware isn’t designed to handle, someplace halfway around the world which makes logistics a nightmare.

Whether it’s jungle (Vietnam), desert (Iraq), or rugged mountains (Afghanistan), all are the same.

Besides, ask Russia how Afghanistan went for them :p

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