The war in Afganistan, in case you didn't know, in the words of Gen Stanley McChrystal, is "a struggle for the support of the Afghan people."
And you probably thought it was a hangover from the war on terror. Nope. We are now waging a campaign whose strategic priority (if you can call it strategic) Gen. David Petraeus calls "first and foremost ... a commitment to protecting and serving the people." And that would be the Afghan people. And no this is not the Peace Corps talking. This is the military's way of explaining what Gen. McChrystal calls a "holistic counterinsurgency campaign."
Holistic? There's more. Going pretty zen for a Joint Chiefs Chairman, Adm. Mike Mullen puts it this way: "It's not about how many enemy we kill; it’s about how many civilians we protect." (And when you can snatch the pebble from my hand ...)
It's also about how many civilians we pay. (Plus ca change, looks like ....) Still digging into the "civilian casualties" scam on which our war policy non-sanely turns, I came across this little-noted news from SecDef Gates, as reported by VOA in May:
Working to minimize civilian casualties has been a major initiative for Secretary Gates. He established a policy last year under which the U.S. forces are even more careful about their targeting, and pay reparations to families even if the cause of casualties is not clear. On Thursday, he reported that Afghan civilian casualties have fallen 40 percent since January, while casualties among coalition and Afghan troops have risen 75 percent.
1) Stupid war goal: Minimize civilian casualties in order to win hearts and minds and unicorn and rainbows and ... Dream on, holistic ones.
2) Further restrict US troops' ability to defend themselves.
3) Pay money to casualties' "survivors" "even where cause of death/injury is unclear, thus creating Afghanistan's only growth industry since opium.
4) Report to Senate that civilian casualties have fallen 40 percent while US-led coalition casualties have risen 75 percent without a paper bag over head.
5) Expect (receive) pat on back, not demand for resignation.
As the good general says, "Let Afghanistan go."