Sunday, August 01, 2010

No Mr. Gates. What's "Morally Wrong" Is the War You've Waged in Afghanistan

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates has slammed Wikileaks posting of tens of thousands of classified war documents as "morally wrong."

If anyone should know about morally wrong it is Gates and his immediate predecessors, civilian and military, the people who've waged a hapless war in Afghanistan and have sent thousands of soldiers and civilians to their deaths in a war they were never fighting to win.

The Americans have, from the beginning, fought the Afghan war "on the cheap."  In the most labour-intensive type of warfare of them all, counter-insurgency (COIN), they never mustered more than a third of the force needed for the job.   They never had the force strength necessary to prevent the Taliban from morphing their conflict from an insurgency into a full-scale civil war.   That was morally wrong.

The Americans betrayed Afghanistan when they pulled their troops out prematurely so that Bush could play in the sandbox of Iraq.   That was morally wrong - boneheaded and morally wrong.

The Americans betrayed their own armed forces, their allies' and the Afghan people when they chose, persumably out of indifference, to perpetuate warlordism and tribalism in Afghanistan while turning a blind-eye to its narco-economy.  Maybe they believed that was the best way to ensure a puppet government that would accomodate America's larger geo-political interests in South-Central Asia.  Whatever the motivation, it was horribly morally wrong.

People like Robert Gates have no right denouncing anyone else for moral wrongs.

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