The Afghan Surge Is Wrong

Barack Obama’s announcement this week that he intends to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan gives me pause.  This is because Afghanistan has a long history of being uncontrollable.

Since Alexander the Great, the country has been the Poland of Asia, constantly being fought over because of its location on trading routes in south, central Asia.  Starting with Alexander in 328 BC, Afghanistan has been invaded by the Scythians, the Huns, the Persians, the Turks, and the Mongols.  These invaders swarmed across the country up until 1747, when a tribal council elected a king and the modern Afghanistan was born.

Afghanistan has continued to resist invasion inthe modern era. In the 19th century the British fought three wars there, including one in which one of their armies was annihilated.  The Soviets attacked in 1979 following a communist coup and eventually had to withdraw after a bloody fight.

The British lost this 1880 battle in Afghanistan

(Source of photo: BBC)

Arguments for continuing to maintain American soldiers in Afganistan do not hold water. First, staying there to prop up the current government, one that is purportedly corrupt, is a waste of American lives. Doing so also goes against the advice of our founding fathers. Both George Washington warned against maintaining long term foreign friends. In addition, Thomas Jefferson famously counseled against “entangling alliances”.  

Second, fighting “over there” so terrorists wont’ come “over here” isn’t warranted. While George W. Bush is the whipping boy of most of the world today, one thing he did right is break the ability of groups like the Taliban and Al Queda to carry on the fight. We are better off shoring up our broken immigration system and preventing terrorists from entering the United States than shedding the blood of young American men in Aghanistan.

America is a much more successful country when it stays out of other nations’ affairs and minds its own business. It’s time to get out of Afghanistan.       


US State Department

Foreign Affairs


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