George Graham

Bring Them Home!

The death of Major General Harold J. Greene, who was training America’s Afghan “allies,” vividly illustrates the price of prolonging the occupation of that wretched country.

General Greene (AP photo above) was killed Tuesday by a gunman believed to be an Afghan soldier. More than a dozen other coalition soldiers were wounded, including about eight Americans, in the treacherous attack at a military academy near Kabul.

This is one more example of the pointless danger American troops face because of outdated military strategy.

American troops should have abandoned Afghanistan long ago. I can’t imagine why their departure has been dragged out for so long.

Occupying foreign countries has never been a good idea.  And occupying Afghanistan is one of the worst ideas ever.  (Of course, occupying Iraq was even more misguided.)

Today, the US is fighting terrorism far more effectively by deploying Special Forces wherever and whenever danger is detected. When drones cannot get the job done, small, highly trained groups move in, strike and get out of there.

You can argue about the morality of these strikes, but you cannot deny their efficiency.

Occupying foreign countries is the most unwieldy and expensive way of protecting America from attack. And it has proven to be a vast waste of resources. It requires huge investments that yield no return and exposes American troops to deadly sneak attacks over an extended period.

America does not win friends by occupying their countries. The opposite is true. Occupation  breeds resentment and everlasting hostility.

You might argue that America must have strategically located bases to respond to outbreaks in the world’s hot spots. But in this age of long-range missiles, supersonic aircraft and agile military forces, the value of this strategy is highly questionable.

Furthermore, the world’s hot spots have proliferated to the point where America would need  so many bases that this strategy becomes unfeasible.

Smarter, less cumbersome means of responding to threats have been developed. And America’s military and political leaders would be wise to rely on these new strategies instead of the cumbersome territorial occupation that has caused so much bloodshed and is costing so many billions of dollars.

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About the author

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com