The ever-informative Juan Cole recently ran a column on the top ten myths about Afghanistan. Many of these are things you’ve found me writing about. I heartily encourage you to take a look at this column by Cole. His hyperlinks identify solid sources which back up his systematic deconstruction of the “Conventional Wisdom” on the war in Afghanistan. These are not imaginary straw-man arguments conjured up just for the satisfaction of knocking them down. These are the key claims made in support of the current policy.
Here are the ten wide-spread claims he takes apart.
10. There has been significant progress in tamping down the insurgency in Afghanistan.
9. Afghans want the US and NATO troops to stay in their country because they feel protected by them.
8. The “surge” and precision air strikes are forcing the Taliban to the negotiating table.
7. The US presence in Afghanistan is justified by the September 11 attacks.
6. Afghans still want US troops in their country, despite their discontents.
5. The presidential elections of 2009 and the recent parliamentary elections were credible and added to the legitimacy of Afghanistan’s government.
4. President Hamid Karzai is “a key ally” of the United States.
3. Shiite Iran is arming the hyper-Sunni, Shiite-hating Taliban in Afghanistan.
2. Foreigners are responsible for much of Afghanistan’s fabled corruption.
1. The US is in Afghanistan to fight al-Qaeda.
Cole is the writer who called the invasion of Afghanistan “The right war at the right time.” The bloom is off the rose.About the Author: The major landmarks in Frank's historical interests range from ancient Persia through the Crimean War, World War II, and the modern U.S. Armed Forces, with a lot of stops in between. Frank is fascinated by the unusual, the overlooked, and the surprising. He is the New York Times number one best-selling author of the Desert Shield Fact Book (1991) and he is currently writing an historical novel on Alexander's conquest of Persia – from the Persian point of view.