"More babies are not produced by many men sleeping with one woman"

A hair-raising peek into the Taliban and tribal influence in Afghanistan in the latest Rolling Stone Magazine does not give one optimism that either McCain or Obama really understands what we are up against in that country. More troops will not produce the desired result.

""The U.S. should try to weaken the Taliban," a former Taliban commander tells me. "They should make groups, divide and conquer. If someone wants to use the division between Haqqani and Omar, they can."

"The Bush administration believes it can stop the Taliban by throwing money into clinics and schools. But even humanitarian officials scoff at the idea. "If you gave jobs to the Viet Cong, would they stop fighting?" asks one. "Two years ago you could build a road or a bridge in a village and say, 'Please don't let the Taliban come in.' But now you've reached the stage where the hearts-and-minds business doesn't work."

"Officials on the ground in Afghanistan say it is foolhardy to believe that the Americans can prevail where the Russians failed. At the height of the occupation, the Soviets had 120,000 of their own troops in Afghanistan, buttressed by roughly 300,000 Afghan troops. The Americans and their allies, by contrast, have 65,000 troops on the ground, backed up by only 137,000 Afghan security forces — and they face a Taliban who enjoy the support of a well-funded and highly organized network of Islamic extremists. "The end for the Americans will be just like for the Russians," says a former commander who served in the Taliban government. "The Americans will never succeed in containing the conflict. There will be more bleeding. It's coming to the same situation as it did for the communist forces, who found themselves confined to the provincial capitals."

"Simply put, it is too late for Bush's "quiet surge" — or even for Barack Obama's plan for a more robust reinforcement — to work in Afghanistan. More soldiers on the ground will only lead to more contact with the enemy, and more air support for troops will only lead to more civilian casualties that will alienate even more Afghans. Sooner or later, the American government will be forced to the negotiating table, just as the Soviets were before them."

http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/23612315/how_we_lost_the_war_we_won

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