We celebrated Veterans Day just two days ago. Today, after reading this story at Fox News, this old man’s heart aches and there are tears welling up in his eyes. How many of our brave young men and women died in the Afghan War and for what? Did the greatest military machine the world has ever known defeat the al Qaeda terrorist? Contrary to what President Obama would have people believe, more jihadist have picked up the al Qaeda flag and now operate more countries than ever before. After 12 years did we manage to defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan? Well, we certainly killed many over the years and forced most of them into hiding; mainly in neighboring Pakistan, but they will be back with a vengeance as we and our allies withdraw from the battle fields next year. According to the Fox News story, this is what we will leave behind in Afghanistan:
Afghanistan’s opium production surged this year to record levels, despite international efforts over the past decade to wean the country off the narcotics trade, according to a report released Wednesday by the U.N.’s drug control agency.
The harvest this past May resulted in a staggering 5,500 metric tons (6,060 tons) of opium, 49 percent higher than last year and more than the combined output of the rest of the world. Even Afghan provinces with some past successes in combating poppy cultivation saw those trends reversed, according to this year’s annual U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report.
Lemahieu said those who benefit from the drug trade include farmers, insurgents and many within the government. Often, he said, they work together.
And then there was this from a small poppy farmer that made me feel sick to my stomach:
Khan Bacha, who cultivates a small plot of land in eastern Nangarhar province, a Taliban stronghold, told the AP this week that the insurgents charge farmers a “religious tax” of one kilogram of opium for every 10 kilograms produced — though the price is “negotiable.”
“They say we are going for jihad,” Bacha said. “It is the God money we give.”
So, I ask again: 12 years of war for what?
And, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?