Rout Step Unit
You know I'll always be your slave
Till I'm dead and buried in my grave
--Bring it on Home, Sam Cooke
Well ain't your President good to you
Knocked 'em dead in Libya, Grenada too
Now he's taking his show a little further down the line
Well, 'tween me and his people,
you're gonna get along just fine
--Snake Oil, Steve Earle
There is a condition worse than blindness,
and that is seeing something that isn't there
We know the War on terror is a phony construct, and President Obama is wise to scrap it, yet the continuing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are very real. Since we agree they are not "Wars on Terror," then what is their purpose?
Supposedly, they are COIN or nation-building efforts, but after seven years, those are obviously losers. So why continue the effort?
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan follow the same concepts as the financial bailouts: the U.S. throws money and lives (theirs and ours) down a bottomless pit with no chance of a successful outcome. Seen in this light, the rebel leaders in Afghanistan are the realists and the U.S. is operating squarely in the Twilight Zone. You see, the Afghans are defending their way of life, and that's always a winner.
For some reason, America has embraced the concept that the Federal government should be in the toxic asset relief business, and that is what Afghanistan is -- a toxic national asset. U.S. leadership says "economic and military reality be damned," and continues the march as if they are actually counting cadence.
The U.S. has become a rout-step unit, incapable of a national cadence. Our national policy reminds Ranger of the saying, "It's like putting frogs in a bucket," or maybe it is like controlling a Wal-Mart crowd during an after-holiday sale. Neither the frogs nor the crowd are containable, yet that is the crux of our policies.
The problem with COIN is that our policies fail to embody the reality of America, which is that of a country not endlessly flush. Our leaders too often live in bubbles of affluence, enjoying nice perks, and thinking that all of America is like that. Even Green Daddy Gore couldn't cite the cost of a gallon of milk when called upon to do so by a reporter.
The U.S. should not be projecting this image of a flagrant excess which cannot even be sustained homeside. What a fraud to perpetrate upon poor peoples elsewhere.
Our leaders live a top-drawer lifestyle which the rest of America struggles. This is the reality, yet what happens? We continue to up-armor the fight in Afghanistan, because it is a beautiful smokescreen that hides the even uglier realities from our glaucomic eyes.
The basis of COIN is that we are selling hope, growth, freedom and improved lifestyles to a foreign population. Meanwhile, those selfsame things are wilting on the vine in our own backyards.