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There Will Be No ‘Peace’ In Afghanistan

Taliban peace talks

President Donald Trump said last Thursday there was a “good chance” of reaching an agreement with the Taliban on a reduction of US troops in Afghanistan.

The President’s remarks came after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, said an important breakthrough had been made in peace talks with the Taliban, and Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the Trump Administration had negotiated a proposal for a week-long reduction in violence.

The UK’s Guardian reported Afghan, Taliban and US sources said that a deal to curb violence was on the verge of implementation. Details about when that was set to begin were not immediately clear, but a Taliban official said it would be this week.

President Trump is to be commended for his desire to bring our troops home, but he, and more importantly, the generals and diplomats who have been conducting the war since 2001 are fooling themselves if they think this arrangement – or any arrangement with the Taliban – will truly end the war.

What none of them seem to understand is that the war in Afghanistan is part of a larger religious war that Islam has declared on the West. As such, it is not a war to control a piece of geography, it is an ideological war which the United States and the West have foolishly never understood and refused to fight.

Indeed, by promoting the foolish and wrong idea that “Islam is a religion of peace” the United States has undermined its own ideological position in this war, and, by allowing millions of Muslims to immigrate to the West we have introduced our ideological enemies into the heartland of our own countries.

It should be clear to anyone with a modicum of knowledge about Islam and its doctrine of Sharia supremacy that the Taliban in Afghanistan, the theocratic regime in Iran and ISIS in Syria and Iraq, and their offshoots and clients elsewhere around the world, do not desire any kind of “peace” except the peace of the Ummah – the peace of the worldwide reign of Islam.

That is what they are fighting for, not the governance of some piece of Godforsaken territory in Afghanistan or the Near East, and certainly not to join a coalition government with Kafir (non-believers) and those they consider to be apostates.

So, why is it so hard for our leaders, especially our military leaders, to understand the war aims of our Muslim adversaries?

Part of the reason may be that the Obama administration effectively purged from our military doctrine all teaching about the military goals of Islam, its doctrine of worldwide conquest and its teachings about how to accomplish that conquest.

Part of the reason may be that Americans are unfortunately prone to project their own ideas about the primacy of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as societal goals on to other peoples and cultures.

But part of it may also be that the generals just want to get us out of Afghanistan – to declare peace and go home.

The notion that we can broker a peace and some sort of coalition with the Taliban is a folly born of desperation to save political face, not win the war Islam has declared on the West.

This advice also demonstrates that our top echelon at the Pentagon, CIA headquarters and the State Department have learned nothing from almost 20 years of war in Afghanistan.

Despite the trillions of dollars and thousands of lives poured into geography only the Afghans want, nothing the generals and best and brightest of the intelligence community have proposed has worked.

From the failed efforts to implement a new Counterinsurgency (COIN) doctrine in Afghanistan, to the false deadlines Obama established for withdrawal, nothing American leaders have done has achieved the goal of a stable regime in Afghanistan that is inhospitable to terrorist organizations with transnational aspirations and capabilities.

And the reason for this failure has nothing to do with the bravery and selflessness of the American military personnel deployed to accomplish the goal – it has everything to do with the unwillingness of American political level leaders to recognize what enemy we are fighting and to deploy the correct resources to defeat it.

The war in Afghanistan isn’t a regional or tribal conflict, it isn’t a war on “terrorism,” it isn’t a war on narco-warlords (even though 90% of the worlds illicit opium originates there); it is a war between the values of Islam and the values of the Western Enlightenment, and if you refuse to understand it and fight it on those terms the war in Afghanistan will never be over and certainly never be won.

What leaders from both political parties over two decades have failed to grasp is that the enemy in Afghanistan isn’t the Taliban insurgency; it is their underlying ideology of Islam and the allegiance of the majority of the Afghan people to a misogynistic 7th Century Sharia-based Muslim culture.

If you understand that the teachings of Islam are fundamental motivators of the people who we are fighting in Afghanistan, then that informs your entire strategy.

That means instead of keeping a few thousand troops to Afghanistan we need to deploy all the means of our national power against the real enemy – the doctrines of Islam that motivate the Taliban.

It means we deploy psyops to attack the enemy’s belief system. It means we offer an alternative belief system to replace the one that is motivating the enemy. And it means we attack the centers and advocates of that belief system.

The United States is doing none of that in Afghanistan, because, as far as we can tell, everyone at the political decision-making level continues to believe that “Islam is a religion of peace” and not the real enemy.

While there is no doubt that, given unlimited operational freedom and resources, the United States military could defeat the Taliban, that wouldn’t defeat the enemy of Sharia supremacy.

Until we see and fight the whole war in Afghanistan – not just the one on the kinetic battlefield – we will not win the war, and we will have sacrificed at least 284 American lives* so that American political leaders can declare peace and go home.

George Rasley is editor of Richard Viguerie's A veteran of over 300 political campaigns, he served on the staff of Vice President Dan Quayle, as Director of Policy and Communication for Congressman Adam Putnam (FL-12) then Vice Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee's Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, and as spokesman for Rep. Mac Thornberry former Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.

*Military Times: Reconstruction and stabilization efforts in Afghanistan resulted in more than 200 US troop deaths, watchdog group says, by Diana Stancy Correll, 02-11-2020

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