Kandahar, Afghanistan. I was able to convince these soldiers from the 82nd Airborne here in Afghanistan to allow me to tag along with them in their Chinook helicopters as they resupply forward operating bases or FOBs. FOBs are small little isolated camps scattered throughout the country. And these helicopters provide everything from "beans to bullets". But these guys also serve as bus drivers in the air as well. They transport men and women across this country. Seems expensive, right? It is!
Expensive indeed! But money isn't the issue. We have proven we are more than willing to spend billions and billions on fighting wars while ignoring humanitarian issues. Or while the U.S. has such need. No, the real issue is not money in Afghanistan. The real is is lack of infrastructure. No . . . no infrastructure. As I flew aboard Chinooks all day, it became clear that the vast majority of this country, has absolutely no infrastructure. I mean no roads, no electricity, no running water, no mail system, no school system. Nothing. Now add to that one fundamental thing, geography.
I have never seen anything like this. The country is overwhelmed by geography. The Hindu Kush, this massive mountain range, determines much. And that which is not Hindu Kush, still dictates what happens. To call this "hilly" is laughable. Mountainess? Still a joke.
Now, combine the terrain with no infrastructure and then add one last component - dirt and dust. And you know what you have? You have the perfect triumvirate that will chew up and spit out any army. Like Genghis Khan. Like Alexander the Great. Like the Brits.
Now, lets put mechinzed in front of army and then look at the Soviets and the U.S.
Bottom line. Nobody has ever dominated Afghanistan and nobody ever will. The Americans could put not 30,000 but 300,000 troops on the ground and it still wouldn't be enough. Simply put, the ground will refuse to yield. And, in the end, so will the people.
If history teaches us nothing, it should at least teach us that domination in Afghanistan is futile!