Afghanistan wird immer mehr zum neuen Vietnam der US - Und es ist nun Obamas Krieg
Ein lesenswerter Artikel aus einer kalifornischen Tageszeitung (englisch)
In den USA dreht sich das Blatt: Während jahrelang der Afghanistan-Krieg in der öffentlichen Diskussion kaum eine Rolle spielte und man den Eindruck haben konnte, die Gesellschaft stünde fest hinter der Intervention und dem "Krieg gegen den Terror", gibt es im Sommer erste Umfragen, die eine Mehrheit gegen den Krieg und für den Abzug der US-Sopldaten signalisieren.
Befürchtungen werden auch zunehmend laut, Afghanistan könne sich zu einem zweiten Vietnam entwickeln (siehe auch: "US-Krieg gerät zunehmend in die Vietnam-Falle"). Davon handelt der folgende Beitrag von Robert Scheer, der Anfang September 2009 im San Francisco Chronicle erschien. Die Parallelen zwischen dem "Hineinschlittern" Kennedys und Johnsons in den Vietnamkrieg und der Afghanistanpolitik Obamas sind sehr aufschlussreich.
Leider liegt uns der Artikel nur in Englisch vor.
Afghanistan Looking More Like Vietnam
By Robert Scheer *
True, he doesn't seem a bit like Lyndon Johnson, but
the way he's headed on Afghanistan, Barack Obama is
threatened with a quagmire that could bog down his
presidency. LBJ also had a progressive agenda in mind,
beginning with his war on poverty, but it was soon
overwhelmed by the cost and divisiveness engendered by
a meaningless, and seemingly endless, war in Vietnam.
Meaningless is the right term for the Afghanistan war,
too, because our bloody attempt to conquer this foreign
land has nothing to do with its stated purpose of
enhancing our national security. Just as the government
of Vietnam was never a puppet of communist China or the
Soviet Union, the Taliban is not a surrogate for al
Qaeda. Involved in both instances was an American
intrusion into a civil war whose passions and
parameters we never fully have grasped and will always
fail to control militarily.
The Vietnamese communists were not an extension of an
inevitably hostile, unified international communist
enemy, as evidenced by the fact that communist Vietnam
and communist China are both our close trading partners
today. Nor should the Taliban be considered simply an
extension of a Mideast-based al Qaeda movement, whose
operatives the United States recruited in the first
place to go to Afghanistan to fight the Soviets.
Those recruits included Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the
alleged mastermind of the 9-11 attack, and financier
Osama bin Laden, who met in Afghanistan as part of a
force that Ronald Reagan glorified as "freedom
fighters." As blowback from that bizarre, mismanaged
CIA intervention, the Taliban came to power and formed
a temporary alliance with the better-financed foreign
Arab fighters still on the scene.
There is no serious evidence that the Taliban
instigated the 9-11 attacks or even knew about them in
advance. Taliban members were not agents of al Qaeda;
on the contrary, the only three governments that
financed and diplomatically recognized the Taliban -
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan -
all were targets of bin Laden's group.
To insist that the Taliban be vanquished militarily as
a prerequisite for thwarting al Qaeda is a denial of
the international fluidity of that terrorist movement.
Al Qaeda, according to U.S. intelligence sources, has
operated effectively in countries as disparate as
Somalia, Indonesia, England and Pakistan, to name just
a few. What is required to stymie such a movement is
effective police and intelligence work, as opposed to
deploying vast conventional military forces in the hope
of finding, or creating, a conventional war to win.
This last wan hope is what the effort in Afghanistan -
in the last two months at its most costly point in
terms of American deaths - is all about: marshaling
enormous firepower to fight shadows.
The Taliban is a traditional guerrilla force that can
easily elude conventional armies. Once again the
generals on the ground are insisting that a desperate
situation can be turned around if only more troops are
committed, as Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal did in a
report leaked this week. Even with U.S. forces being
increased to 68,000 as part of an 110,000-strong allied
army, the general states, "The situation in Afghanistan
is serious." In the same sentence, however, he goes on
to say that "success is achievable."
Fortunately, Defense Secretary Robert Gates is given to
some somber doubts on this point, arguing that the size
of the U.S. force breeds its own discontents: "I have
expressed some concerns in the past about the size of
the American footprint, the size of the foreign
military footprint in Afghanistan," he said. "And,
clearly, I want to address those issues. And we will
have to look at the availability of forces, we'll have
to look at costs."
I write the word fortunately because just such wisdom
on the part of Robert McNamara, another defense
secretary, during the buildup to Vietnam would have led
him to oppose rather than abet what he ruefully
admitted decades after the fact was a disastrous waste
of life and treasure: 59,000 Americans dead, along with
3.4 million Indochinese, mostly innocent civilians.
I was reporting from Vietnam when that buildup began,
and then as now there was an optimism not supported by
the facts on the ground. Then as now there were
references to elections and supporting local
politicians to win the hearts and minds of people we
were bombing. Then as now the local leaders on our side
turned out to be hopelessly corrupt, a condition easily
exploited by those we term the enemy.
Those who favor an escalation of the Afghanistan war
ought to own up to its likely costs. If 110,000 troops
have failed, will we need the half million committed at
one point to Vietnam, which had a far less intractable
terrain? And can you have that increase in forces
without reinstituting the draft?
It is time for Democrats to remember that it was their
party that brought America its most disastrous overseas
adventure and to act forthrightly to pull their chosen
president back from the abyss before it is too late.
* San Francisco Chronicle, September 3, 2009
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