The dour new architecture of pseudo-stucco urban
ghettos in purple and orange, usually composing the
facades of hastily-built condos and CVS drugstores
Is the war across the sea?
Is the war behind the sky?
Have you each and all gone blind:
Is the war inside your mind?
--No Man can Find the War,
Here's the bad news:
"American forces suffered a deadly 24 hours in Afghanistan, with eight troops killed in attacks including an audacious Taliban raid on a police compound in the key southern city of Kandahar, officials said Wednesday (Afghan attacks kill 8 US troops in 24 hours)."
We all understand that eight troops (= people) are dead, and will remain so. But remember that for every death there are usually ten other wounded. This implies 80 more veterans for the U.S. to take care of for the next 70 to 80 years.
This tail of wounded is not a good thing, though predictably the media will try and morph the extensive therapy and prosthetics as some sort of national good, something to be proud of. But this is not the main issue with the latest attack. This, however, is:
"Three U.S. troops, an Afghan policeman and five civilians — three interpreters and two security guards — died in the attack, but NATO said the insurgents failed to enter the compound."
The irrelevance of this statement shows the NATO representative has a complete lack of understanding of insurgent warfare. It does not matter that the attackers did not enter the compound -- they completed their mission when they killed eight friendlies! A more sobering thought: What if this was only a training mission for the insurgents?
The terrain is meaningless, as is the Marjah offensive and the Kandhar campaign. We may attack and we may hold terrain while we cover it by fire, but that is not a measure of success. Rather, it IS a measure of defeat when an occupying power of the Afghan government must launch offensive operations in major portions of their own country.
If territory is so contested, then so is it obvious the illusory nature of the shadow national government (theirs) which must wrest legitimacy before it can claim nationhood. The only thing that is being accomplished by NATO/US forces in Afghanistan is the continuance and escalation of the violence level suffered by the Afghan population.
If a government cannot command the ground or control the population, then it is not a government -- merely a roving band of killers little different from war lords, drug kingpins or taliban or al-Qaeda operatives. Same tactics, different masters.
Violence is violence, regardless the source or propaganda spouted by the engaged factions.