I wonder if former President Bush or any of his cabinet had ever read The Anabasis of Xenophon before they planned for the invasion of Afghanistan? The writer of the Anabasis makes a short but telling remark in his chapter dealing with the march of the ten-thousand Greek mercenaries through what is now modern Afghanistan: "They were the toughest opponents we had faced thusfar...". Considering that the Greeks had fought their way across the bulk of the Persian empire at this point in the narrative and had soundly defeated all-comers and considering that the Persian army itself had refused to meet the Greeks in a head-on battle for fear of the Greeks superior armament and tactics, not to mention their fiercness in battle, it is noteworthy that the Afghans presented the Hellenes with their biggest military challenge.
Also noteworthy is the fact that Alexander the Great encountered similar problems in this part of the world as well, spending two years in the mountains of Afghanistan fighting "insurgents" before dropping down into the lowlands to cross into India. I don't know that he accomplished anything in those mountains besides forming, for perhaps the first time in history, counter-insurgency-units to combat the Afghan mountain-warriors by breaking his army down into small teams of mobile cavalry and infantry to give them greater effectiveness among the crags and defiles of the enemy.
If those two examples from ancient history weren't enough to warn the Bushites away from Afghanistan there was the more recent and in-your-face Russian occupation to stand as an object-lesson. What did the former President not understand about the words: Interminable, courageous, bogged-down, embroiled, harrassed, mountain-fighters, undefeated and...Russian Viet-Nam? Well, seeing as how all those words are now being used to describe the situation being encountered by the new American occupation it would appear that Bush and his croneys turned a blind-eye to history and, even worse, our present administration, despite all the warnings and the copious writings on the wall, has continued this absurd and costly policy.
If ever there was a country that never should have been invaded, that should have been dealt with using economic sanctions and political maneuvering, it is Afghanistan. Why infuriate it's people and turn it and it's neighbor (Pakistan) into wasps-nests of freedom-fighters who will never be defeated on their own ground?
Xenophon and Alexander were glad to return to the lowlands where the roads, though full of danger, were at least fairly level. When will our government return to the level? Why are we in Afghanistan in the role of its enemy when only a few, short years ago we were its friend and ally? What did we ask of the Afghan people that they would rather fight us than give it to us?