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Afghanistan and Honor

I asked a question at the end of the last post.  The consensus from you ladies and gentlemen is... let it go.  We've spent almost three thousand American, UK and NATO soldiers' lives there. That's a hard thing to walk away from.

Not that you're wrong. I have never seen the high-percentage shot for Afghanistan since we moved regular forces into play there. The logistics have never worked, except for illegal goods whose value is exaggerated by artificial scarcity.  Moving them into legitimate markets was never an option.  Take a look at the railroad situation.  They have no seaports, so rail roads are the next best thing.  Of their neighboring countries, China is on a different track gauge; Pakistan and nearby India are on another; Iran is on a third; only the former Soviet states share their gauge. But that means a vast distance to the nearest seaport, and connection to global trade; or else, investment in the kind of infrastructure needed to hook up with the several other lines on offer.

Putting that investment in means that you've got a viable expected return on the investment. You won't find it in industry, with an uneducated populace; and others have pointed out that even 'rare earth' minerals are often readily, and more cheaply, found elsewhere.

If we walk away from the dead, though, there is a debt of honor owed.  We must have a reckoning with those who led us to this place.