Oliver North on Why We Lost in Afghanistan
“You cannot win a counter-insurgency campaign- that’s what we’re waging in Afghanistan- if you tell the enemy and your friends, that you’re there to help, when you are leaving… So, what we’ve done is we’ve set up a system of failure at this point.
Ultimately the only way to do this [win the counter-insurgency] is to increase education, opportunity, particularly for women. A culture that denies half the people in their society the ability to participate in any way, culturally, socially, economically, politically- is doomed to failure, particularly in this day and age.
The illiteracy rate, not the ignorance rate, the illiteracy rate in Afghanistan is third highest in the world. You’re trying to train policemen and soldiers how to fire a weapon or how to arrest somebody and hold them for violation of law that they [the trainee] can’t even read. So, the first thing that happens when they get a new recruit is they spend six weeks teaching them the basics of the alphabet and how to read the street signs…
So, [we have] enormous problems that were never really explained particularly well to the American people. As a result, we get tired of war. American’s are tired of fighting and we’ve left ourselves very vulnerable by not telling the American people how difficult the task really was. The only ones who are over there fighting, the only ones who are committed to the victory were those young soldiers, sailors, airmen, Guardsmen and Marines because the rest of America wasn’t in the war.
The State Department didn’t go to war… I mean, infrastructure, we have a Department of Transportation that could have done a great job of building highways and bridges all over that country and none of them are there. The only ones who went to war are those wearing the green and tan uniforms and so, that is part of the problem we’ve got.”
The most succinct and on target explanation OBS has ever heard about why we’ve lost the war in Afghanistan.