Thirty years ago this Christmas Eve will be the anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. It’s interesting to think that the United States will succeed where the Soviets failed. Newsweek has an interesting article on avoiding making the same Soviet mistakes. Questions abound: How much

has changed in Afghanistan in those 30 years? Is the US that much better of a military? — among many others. Personally, I feel that history will repeat itself, and will simply show that Afghans may fight amongst themselves, but will band together should an outsider intrude.

An old adage states, “Never fight a land war in Asia.” Never has this been more accurate. Afghanistan is a mysterious and complicated society where foreign militaries have consistently failed.

I agree that the U.S. military is easily the most successful, powerful and professional in history. That does not mean, however, that it will be capable of fixing every situation and being successful in every mission it undertakes. I would love nothing more to see the US succeed in Afghanistan, yet we can’t want it more than the Afghanis do. Top-down and outside-influenced democracy isn’t generally successful. Afghanis need to find their own way through political, economic and democratic development. Such an indigenous path makes it more likely that the final decision will stick.

The Soviets spent years trying to subdue the Afghanis and install a communist government. Eventually, they decided that it just wasn’t worth the time, money and effort. Will the U.S. break the Afghan curse or will we simply join the Soviets as yet another failed occupier?

A fourth part in the Afghanistan series

Written by Dan Logue