Forever War. What Now?

On August 31, the last United States troops will withdraw from Afghanistan, officially ending the 20-year “forever war.” What now?

Fraud-In-Chief Joe Biden has strongly defended the removal of America’s troops, saying in a speech on July 8: “We did not go to Afghanistan to nation-build. It’s the right and the responsibility of the Afghan people alone to decide their future and how they want to run their country.”

Biden also said that the goal of the mission was to eliminate Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda’s ability to export terrorist attacks around the world. But Afghanistan and its people are in the same situation today as when U.S. troops first landed in 2001. Afghanistan is being systematically controlled by the Taliban, which now claims to rule 85 percent of the country, including most of the strategic borderlands.

The country has been in a state of conflict for nearly 60 years. Throughout America’s war in Afghanistan, the tide of influence has ebbed and flowed between the two sides. The “responsibility of the Afghan people” will most likely result in a civil war between the Taliban and other factions.

“I will not send another generation of Americans to war in Afghanistan with no expectation to achieve a different outcome,” Biden said. So what was the outcome of the war in Afghanistan? Or even the war in Iraq? Defeat. The “War on Terror” has only destabilized the region and made the world more dangerous than it was in 2001. Twenty years forward, any success gained in Afghanistan or Iraq has been lost. The true victor of the “War on Terror” has been Iran.

On April 9, 2003, the image of Saddam Hussein’s statue in Firdos Square, Baghdad, being torn down was broadcast around the world. In a short three weeks, the U.S. Army and its allies had crushed Saddam’s army and the dictator was on the run. Victory was in the air. However, no one anticipated the chaos and struggles that were about to grip the country.

Now that Iraq has been taken out of the picture, Iran is even closer to becoming the reigning king of the Middle East. It may seem shocking, given the U.S. presence in the region right now, but in pursuit of its goal, Iran will probably take over Iraq. At least, it will have a heavy influence over the Iraqi people.

During the war in Iraq, it soon became clear that the 18 million Shiite majority in Iraq (versus 9 million Sunnis) took their orders from Iran. The anti-American insurgency raged in the backdrop of an internal civil war between Shiite and Sunni. The Sunnis were initially led by Abu Massab al-Zarqawi who would later found the Islamic State and the Shiites by cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

The Shiites were funded and supplied by Iran, which operated death squads inside Baghdad to persecute the Sunnis. The U.S. Army increasingly found explosively formed penetrators (EFPS) from Iran within southern Iraq; these EFPS were a more deadly type of an improvised explosive device. They melted the armored plating of the vehicle and shot the molten metal and shrapnel inside, maiming and killing hundreds of Americans.

Gen. David Petraeus, then the troop commander in Iraq, testified to the Senate in 2007 about “Iran’s malign influence.” In 2008, General Petraeus was shown a phone with a text message from the now dead Quds Force commander, Qassem Suleimani: “General Petraeus, you should know that I, Qassem Suleimani, control the policy for Iran with respect to Iraq, Lebanon, Gaza and Afghanistan. And indeed, the ambassador in Baghdad is a Quds Force member. The individual who’s going to replace him is a Quds Force member.” It was obvious to everyone who was really controlling the Shiites in Iraq.

But all of this was unknown in 2003. Iraq was a dangerous part of the equation, but not the head of the snake. America has known for years who “the world’s most significant state sponsor of terrorism” was. But we lacked the will to deal with Iran. State-sponsored terrorism became deeply entrenched in the 1990s, and our leaders did almost nothing to combat it.

Iran is the head of the terrorist snake. Even when former President George W. Bush knew Iran was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans and was actively undermining American forces in Iraq, he pursued a hands-off policy toward Iran, other than imposing a few economic sanctions. President Bush knew the American people would not support a war against Iran. Every president since has lacked the will to confront Iran.

Fraud-In-Chief Biden’s latest announcement only confirms America does not have the will or strength to protect the hard-won successes in Iraq and Afghanistan. These conflicts have cost the United States 60,276 troops killed or wounded. Financially, these wars have cost the U.S. government and taxpayers $6.4 trillion. All of those sacrifices and trillions of dollars have eventually given Iran control of Iraq, and the Taliban control of Afghanistan.

America’s failure in the region actually increased Iran’s power. Afghanistan, which borders Iran, will play a key role in the future. With the complete American withdrawal, Afghanistan will most likely dissolve into violent civil war, opening up a key window of opportunity for Taliban’s to step in. America’s withdrawal will only increase the speed at which this will come to pass.

In 1991, Operation Desert Storm pitted the American superpower against Saddam Hussein’s army, which had seized Kuwait. The air war and the brief ground campaign showcased America’s mighty strength. Nearly 700,000 U.S. troops took part, with 299 killed. In only 37 days, the U.S. and its allies launched 116,000 combat air sorties and dropped 88,500 tons of bombs on Iraq. The military launched 297 tomahawk cruise missiles (each costing $1.3 million) at military targets. It took the U.S. and allied ground forces only 100 hours to completely route Saddam’s army.

It was a classic military invasion: the use of air power to gain aerial mastery, the slow build-up of armor and infantry to launch an invasion on a single front, and the restraint of focusing on military targets by air assets. Despite this mighty display of power, America could not remove Hussein! It lacked the political will to follow up on military success.

After Sept. 11, 2001, the U.S. sent troops to Afghanistan to hunt down Osama bin Laden and overthrow al Qaeda. Instead of sending overwhelming force, the focus again was on the use of special forces and air power to work with local fighters to cause governmental change. This began the habit of America relying on special forces. Despite the troops’ successes in their individual objectives, the mission floundered for 20 years without a clear definition of what victory in Afghanistan would look like.

For Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, the U.S. military again tried the strategy of sending a smaller, more technologically advanced force to quickly overwhelm the enemy through speed and surprise. Commanding general Tommy Franks ran the war from a mobile command center, a shipping container with several screens, supported by hundreds of support staff. General Franks would be shown live drone feeds, a military lawyer beside him advising if it were legal or not to kill the target, and deciding whether or not to pull the trigger. It was a new kind of warfare.

The invasion used only 177,000 troops and toppled Hussein’s government in three weeks. But America’s troops were drawn into a guerilla war, forced to abandon their technological edge and fight house to house, hand to hand. The Chechens, who fought with the Sunnis against the Americans, had learned from fighting the Russians that the way to defeat a superior force was to draw them into urban ”guerilla war.” It was a war of self-imposed, confusing legal restraint that turned into a war of attrition.

Countries cursed with population patterns that afford fewer safeguards are more vulnerable to invasion unless blessed with benign neighbors (as Canada is) or topographical barriers (such as those that shelter Switzerland). Syria, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq and Iran are even more vulnerable, because most residents occupy capital cities—Damascus, Tel Aviv, Amman, Cairo, Riyadh, Kuwait City, Baghdad, and Teheran—plus a sprinkling of other centers such as Hama, Jerusalem, Alexandria, Jiddah, Basra, Meshed and Isphahan. Even one well-placed tactical nuclear weapon delivered by an aircraft, missile, motor vehicle or other means might instantaneously put any of those countries politically, economically and militarily out of commission.

Just one nuclear bomb destroying the major population center of a nation like Iran, and the nation would be “out of commission.” That is a kind of war we have not yet seen in this world: “a nuclear strike in conjunction with a ground invasion.” Whether or not nuclear capabilities are utilized, this whirlwind attack would shock the world!

While there will always be minor skirmishes in the region, this may well be the next major conflict in the Middle East.

The Forever War

US ditches forever wars

The Forever War in Afghanistan is Far From Over

Will America’s Forever Wars Ever Be Over?

The Forever War Isn’t Over

The Head of the Snake

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