Members of congress are threatening to vote against the War Supplemental because of the cash for clunkers provision or the IMF line of credit. However, it is the issue at the core of the bill, funding the escalation of the war in Afghanistan, that really justifies its defeat.
What the Military Does
The United States Military is the finest fighting force that has ever existed. Service members are trained to defeat any enemy with lighting fast and overwhelming force. Theirs is not work of nuance and diplomacy. They are trained to hate the enemy. The enemy in this case is indistinguishable from a civilian.
We hear a lot about the need for the military to provide security in Afghanistan so that the government can function, institutions can take root, and the country can develop. When I think about the military providing security in an area, I assume they set up a perimeter and make sure anyone coming in and out goes through check points where they can be screened for weapons. Something like a more thorough version of what happens when we go through airport security.
There are checkpoints to be sure, but what ‘securing’ an area actually means is sending marines on door to door raids of an area, often in the dead of night. You don’t knock on doors, the vets told me, you kick them in, storm the building, drag people out of bed – often tying their hands and even hooding them until you are confident you know where every person in the building is. Then you look for weapons and explosives which usually aren’t there. If anyone resists, you beat and arrest them. Your orders are to detain, and sometimes to kill anyone who looks suspicious.
There is an assumption that security brings stability, but this kind of security only fans the flames of the insurgency.