American Mistakes in Afghanistan and Iraq

Deepak Tripathi

History News Network, May 3, 2010

A little more than a year after Barack Obama succeeded George W Bush as president, United States military hardware and troops are transferring to the Afghan theater in yet another attempt to control the insurgency.  Despite the ‘surge’ that General Stanley McChrystal asked for and President Obama approved after weeks of reflection, militants on both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border continue to defy American power.

High-profile military operations against the Taliban in Helmand, and more recently in Kandahar, illustrate both abilities and limitations of a superpower. This is not new.  The Soviet occupation forces went through a similar experience during their occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s.  Like the Soviets, the Americans are increasingly finding that it is possible to wrest control of specific areas, but only as long as their troops are in occupation of those areas.  As they move on for other operations, the insurgents make a comeback. More

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