George Graham

What on Earth is America Still Doing in Afghanistan?

It must be something in the water. Now that Hamid Karzai (photo above) has made it clear that he is no friend of the United States, you would think the American government would abandon the fruitless crusade in Afghanistan and bring its troops home to safety. But no, the government is talking about how to work with Karzai to achieve its “objectives” in Aghanistan.

And those objectives are? To quote Rep. Ike Skelton, chairman of the House armed services committee:

“We should also keep in mind that we are in Afghanistan to defeat al-Qaida and prevent them from using Afghanistan as a safe haven from which to again attack us. I do not think that we should allow some intemperate remarks clearly designed for domestic political purposes to undermine what I continue to believe is the best strategy to protect American security.”

Rep. Skelton must be the only person left in the world who doesn’t know Al Qaida left Afghanistan long ago. I don’t know why American troops are roaming about Afghanistan befriending the natives by day and shooting them by night. But I know it has nothing to do with Al Qaida being there.

It probably has more to do with enriching the American defense industry and avoiding a flood of returning veterans looking for jobs. And it might have something to do with protecting Pakistan’s fragile government, which is really endangered by Al Qaida and which possesses nuclear weapons that no one wants to see in the hands of Islamic terrorists.

The last ally America needs is Hamid Karzai. He is up to his ears in corruption and drug dealing. His brother and his closest political ally are among Afghanistan’s drug lords and he is said to use opium himself. So when he threatens to join the Taliban as he did recently in an address to the Afghan parliament, my response is, “Good riddance.”

It’s high time for America to get out of Afghanistan and devote its available resources to defending Pakistan. And by that I do not mean sending troops over there; I mean providing money, arms and military expertise.

Americans would be slow learners indeed if they have not realized by now that invading and occupying other people’s countries is a losing proposition.

About the author


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