July 15, 2021
At slingthought here we are commending President Biden for his announcement to withdraw substantially most American troops from Afghanistan. Mr. Biden brings to his job an understanding of foreign affairs and devotion to duty missing from the President’s office for years now. Almost without saying, Afghanistan has been a misadventure on practically every level (discussed in detail following here in a minute) and President Biden’s decision demonstrates intelligence and leadership. And while he is facing very trying times and circumstances, Mr. Biden has been gifted— by timing and (mis)fortune— with a nearly unique opportunity: few before him have been granted a chance to make the magnitude of progressive changes that are so needed for his country and the world.
But, with all that said, this magazine owes its readers alternative thoughts on the day’s topics. And so: while we’re highly optimistic regarding America’s prospects with President Biden at the helm, we’re obligated to mention those things the President isn’t telling the American people. And chief among these is the fact that no one gives a damn about Afghanistan and no one ever has.
In kindest terms possible, Afghanistan is a god-forsaken piece of dirt populated by tribal peoples who stopped evolving around the 16th century. We’re told it contains a wealth of minerals and natural resources but the country is landlocked and the minerals are buried under some of the harshest terrain in the world. After 20 years of American occupation (well, sort of) it has no functioning government or army. The country is mostly ruled (or very soon will be) by religious extremists called Taliban. The Taliban impose extreme Islamic law on the populace (who apparently don’t seem to mind) and despise culture, art, and learning. They beat and rape their girls and women. The United States has spent over a trillion dollars and lost 2,400 American lives there. For what? America has practically nothing to show for it’s time there.
That’s because we haven’t spoken at all about the real reason we’ve been there.
Afghanistan has only one thing going for it (to put it into those kinds of terms): it shares a 1,600 mile border with Pakistan. And while Afghanistan and Pakistan share other similarities, Pakistan has something Afghanistan does not: about 160 nuclear weapons. Pakistan also has an extremely fragile and corrupt national government and a national intelligence service which are both highly infiltrated with religious extremists. The idea that Pakistan could lose control over a nuclear weapon (or a few) is not too trying on the imagination. And an unsecured nuclear weapon up for grabs in that part of the world would be…… worrisome.
Which is why the U.S. invaded Afghanistan after the 9/11 attack— it was never about finding and fighting terrorists there (a couple satellite fly overs can identify any possible terrorist training camps and they can be destroyed by missile). We went to Afghanistan to install a rapid reaction force of highly trained Special Ops troops able to deploy into Pakistan on a moment’s notice (we can have Special Ops forces on the ground in Pakistan within two hours) with the mission to lead the recovery of any… misplaced… nuclear weapons.
We must tell our readers here that slingthought has no confirmation that this U.S. (and allies’) force exists but we can say: 1) we do calculate the rapid response force in Afghanistan to be between 3,000 and 5,000 Special Ops troops and 2) if the U.S. hasn’t maintained the force described here in Afghanistan for substantially most of the last 20 years it has been one of the greatest instances of malpractice by a military ever and 3) the U.S. will maintain this force in Afghanistan for something on the order of nigh onto forever.
Again, join us in wishing President Biden all the good fortune and success possible for him and our country. And join us in reminding Mr. Biden that Americans can handle any truth… we just want to know where we are and why.