Saturday, August 22, 2009

Viet Nam War Errors Being Reprised in Afghanistan?

As national passions are rising in the usually slow summer re health care reform, or health insurance reform, or something, let us remember that the Obama strategy is to ramp up a land war in Asia while pushing for a major enlargement of the medical social safety net with the promise that it will cost little. Remembering what the drawn-out and costly loss in the war that LBJ escalated cost, let us update what's happening in the current escalating war in the Af-Pak region. From Foreign Policy, Saigon 2009:

For those who say that comparing the current war in Afghanistan to the Vietnam War is taking things too far, here's a reality check: It's not taking things far enough. From the origins of these North-South conflicts to the role of insurgents and the pointlessness of this week's Afghan presidential elections, it's impossible to ignore the similarities between these wars. The places and faces may have changed but the enemy is old and familiar. The sooner the United States recognizes this, the sooner it can stop making the same mistakes in Afghanistan. . .

Legitimacy in Afghanistan over the last thousand years has come exclusively from dynastic and religious sources. The fatal blunder of the United States in eliminating a ceremonial Afghan monarchy was Afghanistan's Diem Coup: afterwards, there was little possibility of establishing a legitimate, secular national government.

It doesn't matter who wins the August elections for president in Afghanistan: he will be illegitimate because he is elected. We have apparently learned nothing from Vietnam.

The New York Time reports in an article the title of which sort of says it all: U. S. Fights Taliban With Little Aid From Afghans.

Regardless of Pakistan knocking off a few Taliban, who they regard as country bumpkins and do not fear, the U. S. effort in Afghanistan is troubled.

With the Fed joining other central banks including that of Sweden (which has a negative interest rate for retail savers) in overtly wishing for inflation, a ramped-up war in Afghanistan will cause ruinous inflation, as was associated with the Viet Nam War. If so, this will be a major victory for al Qaeda, the plan of which was to topple the Towers in lower Manhattan as a metaphor for the toppling of the U. S. economy. So far, it's not clear that their plan was not brilliant.

Copyright (C) Long Lake LLC 2009

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