Fighting Them There

It's a no-brainer that in order to win or, rather, not to totally lose, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan our U.S. Military must first gain the confidence and support of native civilians. They alone are the ones can tell our troops where the enemy is hiding out, where their weapons and bomb-making equipment are stashed, and where they plan to strike next. The tactic of luring the terrorists into population centers, "fighting them there so we won't have to fight them here," as the Neo-com mantra had it in 2005, does nothing to gain the confidence and support of native civilians. Put yourself in their shoes. Would you take sides with an invading military power that purposely turns your streets and villages into a war zone? Would you believe them when they tell you, even as you see your loved ones blow to pieces, that they are they are doing this to liberate you? Would you hate them any less than the foreign Al Qaeda terrorists, or the local Taliban insurgents whose ranks have swelled tenfold since we invaded Afghanistan? Our only viable option now is to declare that whatever it is we have accomplished a victory, and bring our troops home, the sooner the better.

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