I am not a warmonger. I hate war. I did not support the Viet Nam War, nor the Iraq War. I wish diplomacy would work and I think it can in some instances and should be tried whenever and wherever possible. But on the issue of sending troops to fight the Taliban and Al Qaeda NATO is simply and completely wrong. 5000 more "troops" just ain't going to cut it. That's not support, no matter how Obama spins it.
Terrorism as practiced by the Taliban and Al Qaeda is not an American problem. The United States is not and never will be the sole target. The Taliban and Al Qaeda wish to eradicate the West and Western Civilization and that includes Europe and many many other countries around the world. There have been bombings traced to Al Qaeda in Spain, England, France, Italy and India, Bali, and Indonesia, to name a few. There will be more.
We made the huge mistake of supporting the Taliban against the Russians in the 1980s, just as we made the mistake of supporting Saddam Hussein for years. We have made many mistakes like that. We went into Afghanistan right after September 11 and then made the further mistake of dropping the ball and turning our attention to Iraq. We knew that then and we know that now. Had we asked for assistance in 2001 in wiping out Al Qaeda things might be very different. But we did not and now we are paying the price. We have lost our credibility. For that we can thank the past administration.
And Europe and NATO are "punishing" us by refusing to come to our aid. Rather than seeing it is their own best interest to join with us to eradicate the power of Al Qaeda--a gang of terrorists whose sole purpose is to strap bombs to themselves and destroy the lives of thousands of innocent people--they are going to sit back and let us police the world once again.
The war on terror will not be won by sending in hundreds of thousands of American soldiers into rocky, mountainous, unfamiliar terrain that the Taliban and Al Qaeda soldiers know like the backs of their hands. It will not be won by forcing our young men and women to give up their lives for a cause than cannot be won by conventional means. This is not a conventional battle; it is not a war like any we have ever seen. We are not doing this to "save" the Afghani people so that they can pass laws we do not approve of or live a lifestyle that makes us cringe. We are fighting terrorism pure and simple. We are dismantling the Taliban and Al Qaeda, amoral power systems with no regard for human life; that see nothing wrong with strapping bombs onto the bodies of young men and young women and sending them into crowded places, buses, airplanes, and detonating them for the glory of their G-d, who, is not a G-d that would ever ask such a horrific thing.
We must have a concerted effort against the Taliban and Al Qaeda by all parties concerned, by specialist troops from all NATO countries who realize that as long as terrorists are allowed to run rampant bombs will go off unexpectedly in countries all around the globe and people will be killed for the glory of an Allah who does not want that glory.
The Americans, the French, and the British have some of the best trained secret forces in the world. The Taliban and Al Qaeda have no rules of engagement, so why should we? Thus this war must be fought completely differently from the way it is now.
Forget about the way we fought the Viet Nam war. That didn't work then and it won't work now. Think about this instead: Hundred of small groups of warriors living like the Taliban in the mountains, while large numbers of trained SEAL teams are stationed elsewhere. Each group has its different orders: the SEALs take out Taliban and Al Qaeda leaders, the mountain warrior divisions take out the soldiers. My husband, a SEAL- trained Special Forces soldier during Viet Nam has outlined this particular plan to me and convinced me that it is the only one that would work. I am sure he would be happy to give the Pentagon the dirty details.
If this sounds ruthless, remember our enemy and his ruthlessness.
The second part of the equation is to show our strength against others who might wish to become "involved," in this war on terror: countries like Pakistan or Iran. By amassing hundreds of thousands of NATO soldiers along those countries' borders--as a show of solidarity and strength. Once we have broken the back of the terrorists, perhaps then some real diplomacy can begin. And perhaps we can really work with Pakistan and India and Iran and even Iraq and Afghanistan in truly constructive ways.
This is not to say that there will never be terrorism. There will always be people willing to kill themselves and others for a cause: be it their particular god or their particular cause or their particular country. But if the world shows a an equal willingness to band together against evil before it gets to the point it did in World War II then maybe we will actually be able to stop something before it gets so out of hand that millions, hundreds of millions, are dead and dying. Too many people sat on their hands while Hitler rolled through Europe. America finally came to the rescue. We were late, too, but we did come through.
NATO is very very foolish not to see that their best interests lie in coming on board now; it's already late for them, but not too late. Our strategy needs to change and somehow we need to convince them to join us in destroying the power base of both the Taliban and Al Qaeda before things get even uglier. Who knows what the terrorists are planning even at this moment? Or where?