Reasoning about the Afghanistan war (commitment)

Sometime, several hundred years ago, Europeans did a remarkable step in social development; they invented the Enlightenment. Reasoning became supreme over faith and ignorance.

I've seen some hints that reasoning might indeed be applicable to military affairs as well. In fact, it might even prevent stupid mistakes and disasters. Maybe we should try it. It's not fashionable to use any other part of the brain than the fear center to think about military affairs, but I don't care.

Just as an experiment and a test of our newly-discovered ability to actually think in objective terms about war and warfare - let's think about the commitment in the Afghanistan civil war.

I believe we need to answer (at least) the following five questions with “yes” (all of them) to feel that our support for the Western participation in the civil war in Afghanistan is justified:

1st: Can we expect that the Taleban have a comeback if we leave?

2nd: Can we expect that the Taleban would again harbor/support terrorists after a comeback (who fight us)?

3rd: Are these terrorists significantly more dangerous if supported by Taleban than without this support?

4th: Can we expect that our presence there keeps the Taleban away?

5th: Can we expect that our participation there hurts us less than would otherwise do additional terror strikes against us (killed & wounded citizens, economic losses)?

I would answer these questions at least three times with “No.”

(If we wanted to help foreign people who are in a serious economic situation, we can do so with much higher efficiency (same money, much more helpful effects) elsewhere first.)

Sven Ortmann

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