Thursday, December 08, 2005

Kunar

From the "Forgotten War" in Afghanistan, American forces continue to battle insurgents including a familiar name in the painful history of Afghanistan Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Saudi Sunni choice in the Afghan power struggle prior to the takeover by Taliban forces. Kunar province sets along the border with Pakistan in NE Afghanistan. Hizb-i-Islami, al Qaeda, and the Taliban are cooperating to menace the nation-building effort. "Drugs, timber, gems," and death seem to be the chief export through Kunar province according to American military authorities.

It seems that after an American assault and taking of ground, the Americans leave and the enemy return. A threadbare military force can hardly cover all the terrain of mountainous Afghanistan. A special operations chopper was downed in the region killing a number of Americans who were responding to save the lives of some missing special forces personnel. The war drags on and Americans and NATO will be involved in the country for the foreseeable future. The U.S. helped create the mess and we're the only party capable of rebuilding the nation which has suffered war and mayhem since the late 70's in a bloody coup and subsequent attempt at secularization by the new leaders. The war actually began when a jihad was launched threatening the Soviet satellite government. The Soviets invaded the country to prevent another Iran situation along the southern border of the U.S.S.R. familiar to most Americans who were conscious in the late 70's.

A lot of work remains to be completed. What kind of military force will the Kabul government be able to build? Will it be capable of preventing a recurrence of the deadly cycle of violence so familiar to anyone who has survived the last 25+ years in Afghanistan?

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