What Are We Fighting For? Captured Taliban Released Into Battlefield
December 1, 2010
(ChattahBox World News)— The dump of stolen diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks has produced lots of gossip and a few eyebrow-raising revelations, such as the extent of biometric intelligence gathering demanded of our diplomats. A number of cables have confirmed what was already public knowledge– that Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai runs a corrupt and crooked government, involving payoffs, bags of drug money and the like. But a cache of newly released cables indicates that the Karzai government is deliberately putting American lives at risk, by making a sham of Gen. David Petraeus’s counterinsurgency efforts. Karzai is releasing Taliban fighters captured by U.S. and NATO forces, as quickly as they are jailed. And returning them back into the battlefield to kill American soldiers. Either Taliban militants secure their release with a payoff, or make use of family and tribal connections. Meanwhile, our forces are in a bloody battle to fight against the Taliban insurgency. So, you may be wondering–What are we fighting for?
Reuters reports prison for Taliban fighters is like a revolving door. Once NATO forces draw down in the next couple of years and hand over control to Afghan forces, Karzai wants to ensure he will have a working relationship with the insurgents.
But again, with the insurgency intensifying, why are we risking American lives to prop up a corrupt government that will simply climb into bed with the Taliban as soon as we leave?
“The insurgency is at its strongest across Afghanistan since the 2001 ouster of the Taliban, with civilian and military casualties at record highs despite the presence of 150,000 foreign troops, and violence reaching previously peaceful areas.”
But as soon as NATO forces capture Taliban fighters, many are soon turned loose to fight another day, according to the leaked diplomatic cables.
“Both (Karzai and the attorney general) authorize the release of detainees pre-trial and allow dangerous individuals to go free or re-enter the battlefield without ever facing an Afghan court,” the August 2009 cable from the embassy in Kabul said.”
“It goes on to list 150 pre-trial releases from one Afghan detention facility since 2007, including 27 prisoners who had been held at Guantanamo Bay by the United States.”
The United States has now been fighting in Afghanistan longer than the former Soviet Union. And 1,411 American lives have been lost, with 2009 and 2010 being the deadliest years yet. The “transition” plan to hand over security to the Afghan National Army can’t come fast enough.