The US is winning in Iraq, in large part by abandoning or indefinitely postponing the goal of a unitary state, and cultivating the militias, such as “the Sons of Iraq” (who are more like the sons of Arab Shia Iraq) Afghanistan, however, is going down the tubes.
- Our current strategy isn’t working
- There are no real alternative strategies
- We cannot afford to lose.
There is of course an obvious alternative strategy:
The Northern Alliance took care of the Taliban just fine.
Bring back the warlords, the local militias, the armed congregations with serious theological disagreements with Al Quaeda and the Taliban. Fund them, arm them, give them ground to air missiles. Hang the democratically elected Kabul government from the nearest trees. They hate us and we should hate them. A bit over fifty percent of the voters in Afghanistan hate us, probably near sixty percent. Arm the guys that don’t hate us, and give them air support.
The Taliban is winning not only because it receives military support from Pakistan and the Pakistani armed forces, but because it receives covert support from some elements of the elected government that it is at war with. Bush famously said “If you are not with us, you are against us” but many people are doing very well standing on both sides at once.