Time For Clueless NATO to Pack Up, ‘Lock, Stock and Barrel’ (The Nation, Pakistan)
How deaf to history are the nations of the West, still fighting 12 years later in Afghanistan? That is the question addressed by this editorial from Pakistan’s The Nation, which underlines what recent “blue on green” attacks in the country seem to illustrate: That the West has yet again utterly and disastrously failed to comprehend or appreciate the Afghan psyche.
In small part, The Nation editorial says:
Strangely, despite having been in the country for nearly 11 years, what foreign forces have failed to understand is the Afghan psyche. By virtue of a tradition going back centuries and hardened by the country’s treacherous terrain, the Afghan people are fiercely and uncompromisingly independent. This is unmistakably testified to by history. When the British invaded in the 19th century, Afghans fled to the mountains and fought until they had killed all but one British soldier [William Brydon], who was sent back to tell his tale of woe. Then came the 20th century and the Sovi et Union, which, with over 300,000 men and modern equipment like helicopter gunships, was driven out. The moral of its troops and its economic strength was so badly shattered, it was powerless to prevent its own dismemberment.
In this millennium, any assumptions that the Afghan mujahedeen’s victory over the USSR could be explained by American military superiority and help provided by Pakistan have been entirely proven wrong. The Afghan resistance has virtually worn out the armies of NATO, which have certainly not achieved their objective of decimating the enemy. Rather, what they will leave in their wake is a huge reservoir of hostile feeling. It is time to understand this and pack up, lock, stock and barrel, rather than leaving behind so-called non-combat troops to keep the pot boiling.
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