Consider the central dynamic of what the United States is engaged in. Washington is committed to a series of asymmetrical wars that are literally taking place all over the world. This is what the Obamaites now refer to as "overseas contingency operations." One might well ask contingent on what, but the words themselves quite likely are not considered to be really meaningful and are rather designed to constitute a reassuring euphemism. One of these wars, in Afghanistan, is costing the US taxpayer $10 billion a month and is tying up more than 100,000 American soldiers. Casualties are rising, most of Afghanistan has become insecure in spite of the effort, corruption and drug cultivation are rampant, and there is no end in sight. To put the cost of the war in some kind of perspective, Afghanistan’s gross domestic product for 2009 was $22 billion, meaning that it is costing nearly six times more to "defend" each year than its total economic activity. Asymmetrical indeed. Colonial empires of the past would have at least figured out how to turn a buck from their imperial endeavors, highlighting the cluelessness of Washington. If there has ever been an example of a war that makes no sense, Afghanistan is it.
The stated purpose of fighting in Afghanistan is to keep the country from becoming a base for terrorism but the premise is deeply flawed. Terrorists can literally go anywhere and do not necessarily need a geographic base. If they choose, they can even disappear for a time, sitting quietly and waiting for the situation to change in their favor.
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