Re: “Generals consider Afghan insider attacks” (TNT, 8-21).
We need to make a radical change in our “stay the course” strategy for Afghanistan. As a first action, end direct training between our troops and their would-be killers. After 10 years, don’t they have their own experienced cadre of trainers?
Secondly, send a clear message – without any diplomatic ambiguity – to all the Afghan tribal chieftains. Something like this:
We failed to change your society – we did what we came to do by uprooting and neutering al-Qaida post 9/11. We stayed too long as your “guest” in a noble, but now proven foolish, ideal to assist you into the 21st century. But we can’t seem to even get you to budge out of the 7th century. We are leaving, no later than 2014, but the gloves are off when it comes to killing anymore of our troops in the drawdown phase. We don’t care anymore about winning your hearts and minds. We can accept collateral damage to prevent anymore Purple Hearts or flag-draped coffins coming out of your country. We still have a technological capacity for use of pesticides to make your poppy-opium economy disappear for decades.
At even the most primitive level of human understanding the Taliban must have, this message should hit home, and if it saves just one service member’s life from anymore green-on-blue attacks it would be worth it.