Afghanistan revisited

Korean War Memorial

Korean War Memorial (Photo credit: Cocoabiscuit)

The US is training Afghan security forces so that our fighting men and women can be brought home. The Afghans are slated to be responsible for the security of their country. There are at least two problems.

The Afghan security force is larger than the country can afford to maintain.

Members of the Afghan security force are regularly, once or twice a week, killing or wounding their US or allied forces trainers. They are saying that they don’t want us in their country and our withdrawal can’t come soon enough.

Thinking back over recent US history, I can’t think of a single significant war that the US has won since WW2. The Korean war was a stalemate; Vietnam was a loss. Iraq was either a stalemate or a loss depending on how the future turns out. I expect to put Afghanistan in the loss column, stalemate would be an unexpected victory. Grenada and Panama don’t count because our opponents were way overmatched. There is something very wrong here with our leadership, both within the Pentagon and without, if we continue to wage war and haven’t won since 1945, 67 years ago.

On the plus side, we did win the Cold War, but it was waged without firing a shot. We are losing/have lost the war on drugs and the war on poverty. It’s too early to tell if we will win the Global War on Terror.

One size fits all

Mitt Romney in 2007 in Washington, DC at the V...

Mitt Romney in 2007 in Washington, DC at the Values Voters conference (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

John McCain was a naval pilot before he became an US Senator. As a pilot he learned how to bomb small countries like Vietnam. Now as Senator his solution to many international disputes is to bomb. He currently supports bombing Syria and Iran.

Mitt Romney expertise as a businessman at Bain was to downsize many companies. His solutions to most government problems would be to downsize and privatize since that is what he knows how to do. If we were to elect Mitt, we can expect him to shrink the size of government down to its bare essentials and national defense. This is what many of his supporters want and also those who support states rights at the expense of a strong central government. Their version of the Constitution limits what Washington is allowed to do to what government did before FDR’s New Deal.

Mitt has no military experience and would probably rely on advisers who support McCain’s way of dealing with foreign problems. If John McCain were younger, he might be persuaded to run with Mitt in the vice presidential slot of the ticket. In any case, we are likely to see someone on the ticket who supports a strong and lean military, where more support functions are handed over to private contractors than is now the case.

War on drugs

Cover of "Joe's Law: America's Toughest S...

Cover via Amazon

We have lost the war on drugs and it is time to try another approach. In his book Joe’s Law, Sheriff Joe Arpaio talked about his thirty year career in the DEA and preceding government agencies. He estimated that at the beginning and the end of his career, the government was successful in stopping only 10% of the illicit drugs coming into the US. That is 30 years of effort and 90% of illicit drugs still manage to enter the US market. And what have been the results? Crime and violence in the US and crowded, privatized prisons. Drug wars and 10s of thousands of deaths on our southern border.

Prohibition of alcohol until it was repealed led to the formation of organized crime syndicates in our major cities and the political corruption they brought with them. I don’t advocate the legalization of all drugs, but I do think that at least the weaker drugs, like marijuana, should be legalized. Rather than spending our resources on combatting the use of marijuana and putting people in prisons, we should be spending the money on education.

Please see Joe’s Law | Arizona

The Infinite Plan


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The Infinite Plan by Isabel Allende is a fictionalized account of her husband’s life before they met. It is one man’s journey through life starting in the 1950s roaming the West and continuing with his improbable success following his teen years in the barrio of East Los Angeles. It recounts in vivid detail his stint in Vietnam and the nightmares that followed, what we now label post traumatic stress disorder. Following two failed marriages and a successful career as an associate of a white shoe law firm, he finally was able to confront and at last banish the devils that tormented him. I loved this book.

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