By Lana Duffy Come on, people. I just kvetched about this....
Karzai the Douche
By Mr. Twisted @RU_Twisted on Twitter
I vividly remember a very telling moment of my time in Iraq. I was hanging out with the S3 of the battalion I was supporting and asked him what he needed from me. He looked at me and stated bluntly, “use your PSYOP to convince our commanders we don’t need to be here.”
He had a solid point. The Iraqis were, by that point, mostly abusing our generosity and taking advantage of our capabilities, while our direct action forces were, for the most part, engaging in activities that should probably be reserved for the State Department—not the Infantry.
What our forces are currently facing in Afghanistan is, by all accounts, much worse. Within the last few days, the president of that thriving and ever-so-desired vacation spot ordered all United States Special Forces out of the Wardak province because, apparently, the Afghans that work for them are just a bunch of meanie pants. Or something.
Karzai, in his infinite wisdom, has decided that our elite warriors that helped him get where he is in the first place must cease operations in Wardak province and has made several statements that would imply he would like them out of the country entirely. Specifically he named Wardak because some of the Afghans that have worked with SF there have allegedly done some pretty nasty stuff to the civilian population, to include the beheading of a student.
I’m going to quote Uncle Jimbo from BLACKFIVE and say, given the fact that Afghanistan is in general a “gargantuan veracity black hole,” we may not know the objective truth about what is happening. However, let’s stop and ask ourselves an important question that leads to an even bigger one: how would booting SF from a province help a problem like that? Even if the stories are true—that Afghans helping our Special Forces are turning around and going rogue—how would barring those same SF groups from operations in that area prevent them from continuing to terrorize the civilian population?
But, as mentioned, this inevitably leads to a bigger question: if the president of a country that we’ve been fighting for—for well over 11 years now—thinks that our forces are causing more harm to his people than they are helping, then why are we hanging around there?
There are two possibilities regarding Karzai’s stance: one, that he’s right, and the presence of our fighting units are doing more harm than good to his country. If that is the case, then we should pack up and go home.
The second possibility is that he’s wrong and that our military presence is a stabilizing factor and has benefited the country of Afghanistan and continues to do so. Should this be the answer, it means we are fighting our asses off for a country’s leadership that is at once ignorant and completely unappreciative. In which case, we should probably pack up and go home.
Again, these are really the only two possibilities. Either Karzai is right and our SF teams are fostering torture squads, or he’s making crap up as motive for asking our people to leave. With both answers I see the exit sign as being the best option for our strategy.
The real douchebaggery of this whole story comes from Karzai in that he chose not to wait for an internal investigation—which we have done in the past—but instead blast out a directive that, in the end, only hurts his own country. Seriously, Hamid, do you really think your guys can do what our SF does on a regular basis? Are those Afghan soldiers of yours up to speed on taking out high value targets and waging an effective counter-insurgency?
Karzai’s actions have ensured one thing: that those fighters working with our SF are no longer bound by anything. They no longer have a moderating force that can keep them in check. So it is highly likely that, if they were creating evil before, it will only get worse now that the big boys on the block aren’t allowed to play in the game.
What makes Karzai a serious Douche of the Week is that it only takes a few minutes of serious thought to figure out this whole story. The Taliban know that the biggest threat to their existence fall under our Special Operations banner, so it is highly likely that they would do anything and everything in their power to discredit units such as Special Forces, Ranger Regiment, etc. This would naturally include a story about SF units using their Afghan proxies to “torture” the populace of a given area, thus making the locals distrust and even hate the Americans who they viewed as responsible. The fact that Karzai wouldn’t be able to see through a scheme like this and also bow to the pressure it created puts him in a special category of spinelessness, to be sure.
But hey, as I wrote above, I think it is more telling than he intended it to be. If he is willing to make rash decisions against the very people who enabled him to hold the position he does without any kind of thorough process, then maybe it is time we took our ball to another playground. I heard Fiji is nice this time of year.