We're learning the same way the Russians and the British did. We shoulda just gone in and killed 'em all.
And thinking about it, I think I should explain.
According to the narrative we've heard since 11 September 2001, the nation of Afghanistan harbored Osama bin Laden and facilitated the attacks on the US. Fine. Why did we go in there saying 'we'll take out the Taliban, but we're gonna go over there and win hearts and minds'?
Let me explain something. You don't go to war worrying about winning hearts and minds. You go to war to break the enemy, pound him far enough so he surrenders. War is ugly, dirty, and a last resort but if you're gonna go, you have to go ugly and dirty. Why in Hell do you think they call it 'war'?
We should have blown Afghanistan to shit, period. Fuck the innocents, fuck everything and kill 'em all. Worry about building hearts and minds later. There should have been a horrible price exacted from them for attacking America. Instead, we have the mess we do now. We have guys in Hindu Kush getting killed using the same tactics the Mujaheddin used against the Russians. You don't go in to a war worrying about offending sensibilities. It's war for crying out loud.
That said, there had better be a good reason for going to war. There was no good reason for us to be in Iraq. After what we've done, there is no way we can come out of there with anything resembling 'winning hearts and minds'. There is no reason for those poor people to be subjected to our 'half-assed war'. We've destroyed these people's nation, their hope for the future, and any life they had the potential of living, just because those in charge thought easy profit and rose petals would come rolling in.
Fortunately, most Americans will not have to experience combat, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't know exactly what war is about. Were it not for the warmongers among us, most of whom never have had to look into the business end of an enemy rifle, whipping up public sentiment for an imperialistic conquest, Iraq would have been at peace. Were it not for the sheep among us, who went along because they were swayed by the chest-thumping, 4000 US service people and countless Iraqis would still be alive.
Saddam would have died eventually and the Iraqis would have moved on. There was no need for us to meddle in the affairs (aside from cheap oil, right?), no need to destroy their society, no need to destroy the lives of a generation and those succeeding them. We had no right to do what we've done that country.
To all of you developmentally challeneged assholes whose only experience with combat, whose only awareness of the concept of war, is sitting in front of the TV jerking off to the Military Channel and seeing Apocalypse Now for the millionth time, it's time for you to shut the fuck up. It's time for you people to let America do what's right, and that's bringing our troops home. From both places. Attacking Iraq was criminal and the Afghan mission was flawed from the time the balloon went up. Time to come home and let those people put their lives back together.
War is not the purview of chickenshits.