THE BLOG
06/15/2011 11:01 am ET | Updated Aug 15, 2011

Wasting Lives and Money

I have been trying to fathom Barack Obama. As a member of the Illinois legislature, Senator Obama declared against the war in Iraq. Now, as President, he not only begs to stay in Iraq, but increases our commitment in Afghanistan by tripling the number of troops. What puzzles me: What is our "commitment in Afghanistan?"

The only war we have won since World War II was in Afghanistan -- Charlie Wilson's war. Charlie and I had lunch together just before I left the Senate in 2005, and he allowed that we won that war against the Russians because Afghans "hated foreigners." He emphasized that the warlords in Afghanistan didn't trust each other, and the CIA had to pay them off to get anything done. Now I have come across Zbigniew Brzezinski's 1997 book, The Grand Chessboard, describing Eurasia, including the land mass of Russia and China. Brzezinski writes: "For America, the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia... Now a non-Eurasian power is preeminent in Eurasia -- and America's global primacy is directly dependent on how long and how effectively its preponderance on the Eurasian continent is sustained." Thus, the U. S. policy of encirclement of Russia and China. Apparently, it's being implemented with President Obama promising missiles for Poland; establishing a naval base with South Korea on Jeju Island; and staying in Afghanistan.

The lesson of Vietnam was that you couldn't change a culture militarily. This is particularly true of Afghanistan, a narco state where they still sell their daughters and the warlords control. Recently, General David Petraeus stated: "The recent progress by American and allied forces against the Taliban and other insurgent groups is 'fragile' and 'reversible,' making the continued presence of American troops in the oft-violent country a continuing necessity." After ten years of war, we're not "preeminent" in Afghanistan, much less Eurasia. Worse, China is not about to be put in a geopolitical cage. Reacting to Brzezinski's policy of preeminence in Eurasia, China agrees with Pakistan to build and operate a naval base at Pakistan's Gundar port.

President Obama and General Petraeus don't appreciate Charlie Wilson's lesson - Afghans hate foreigners, and for ten years we have been the foreigners. If you read George Crile's book, Charlie Wilson's War, you cannot find the words "Al Quaeda" or "Taliban." Crile's description: "over three hundred thousand fundamentalist Afghan warriors...." Al Quaeda and Taliban is the description by "foreigners" of Afghans today. General Petraeus concludes: "We want to ensure that Afghanistan does not become an attractive alternative to them [Al Quaeda] for again, a safe haven in which they might plot attacks such as those of 9/11." Shortly after 9/11, the State Department delivered to me a list and map of forty-five countries where Al Quaeda has operated. Apparently, General Petraeus has forty-four countries to go.

With the world's superpowers all having nuclear, the suicide weapon, China realizes that the way to attain preeminence globally is with its economy. With controlled capitalism, China uses every trick in the book. It subsidizes its product, refuses to re-value its Rimini, demands technology for foreigners to produce in China, and alters acquired technology, patenting it so that the new technology becomes the article in trade. Issuing its twelfth 5-year plan, China stresses innovation, balancing the need for growth against the necessity of protecting the environment; improving information technology; developing new and renewable energy sources, and developing high speed railway and highway networks.

China knows how to use its economic influence. Twenty years ago, after Tiananmen, the United States secured a resolution in the United Nations General Assembly to investigate human rights in China. China went to its economic friends in Africa and the Pacific Rim and there has never been a hearing on the resolution. Earlier this year, China forced Japan to return its ship captain by cutting off rare earth supplies.

Devoid of a plan, the United States can't even raise the debt limit to the amount already spent. We go broke fighting wars against terror. No nation threatens the security of the United States militarily. But China threatens our economic security in the trade war. Globalization is nothing more than a trade war with production looking for a cheaper country in which to produce. Corporate America is the fifth column in this trade war -- it opposes rebuilding our economy.

To create jobs, we need to eliminate the tax breaks for the off-shoring of jobs and give a tax break to Corporate America to create jobs in the United States by replacing the corporate tax with a 6% VAT. Then we need to enforce our trade laws to protect our economy. But Wall Street, the big banks, and Corporate America want to keep the off-shore profits flowing. As the headline on the front page of The New York Times reads, "Obama Seeks To Win Back Wall St. Cash." The President is not about to turn off his best contributor so we fail to compete in globalization.

More importantly, we are wasting lives and money. Get out of the war in Afghanistan now and get into the trade war now.