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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Annamarie Parker
Annamarie Parker
Copy Editor

I am an English, Writing major with a double minor in German and journalism. I'm also pursuing my TESOL certificate while working for Housing and Residence Life. I love to travel and meet new people.

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

THE END — Me, sipping my tea, as I prepare for my last few days at Northern. Finishing college is a tad more anxiety-inducing than I expected, but it feels good nonetheless.
Opinion — A nervous editor's reflections on time spent at NMU
Harry StineDecember 8, 2023

Conundrum in Afghanistan

The war in Afghanistan is the longest war in United States history. It is even “officially” longer than the disastrous Vietnam War. This begs the question, where are the protests? Where is the anger of the American people being channeled to end this war? It certainly isn’t the streets, unless you count the few seen hiding in the crowds of Occupy Wall Street protests across this country.

Even if they all are at the Occupy protests, the anti-war movement needs to protest for its specific cause and demand that the U.S. withdraw from Afghanistan immediately. This is something our country should’ve done awhile ago.

When the U.S. first invaded Afghanistan, American citizens supported the measure mostly without controversy. In other countries around the world, it was much different. Out of 37 nations polled, only the U.S., India and Israel had majorities that supported military operations in Afghanistan. So from the start, the War in Afghanistan has been controversial; everywhere except the United States.

Things got even more complicated when President Bush claimed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. This was eventually found out to be untruthful, pretty obvious since the U.S. didn’t find any weapons of mass destruction.

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If that wasn’t enough evidence, the so-called “Downing Street Memo” showed that American intelligence and facts were manipulated to fit the narrative for invading Iraq with military force.

Ignoring the blunder of the war in Iraq, we move back to the war in Afghanistan. The main reason the U.S. invaded Afghanistan was to defeat Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. Something has changed since we invaded Afghanistan, though.

The number of suspected terrorists in Afghanistan had dropped to under 100. Yet, as this number of suspected terrorists is very small, the U.S. has decided to increase its troop levels from 20,000 in 2004 and 40,000 in 2009 to over 100,000 troops in 2010 and beyond.

This simply makes no sense. Why would the U.S. need 100,000 troops to go after less than 100 suspected terrorists? In fact, escalating troop levels just increases the resistance of regular people against foreign occupation through the form of an insurgency in Afghanistan.

In 2004, the insurgency in Afghanistan was around 3,000. By 2009, this insurgency of 3,000 increased to around 20,000-30,000.

This insurgency increases because the Afghanistan people have been invaded by outside countries for over 30 years, including the U.S. in the 1980s, and they want freedom from outside forces.

As Matthew Hoh, a former political officer of the U.S. State Department in Afghanistan who resigned, said, “I have observed that the bulk of the insurgency fights not for the white banner of the Taliban, but rather against the presence of foreign soldiers and taxes imposed by an unrepresentative government in Kabul.”

This is like what happened in Vietnam. In 1959, the insurgency in Vietnam was around 5,000, but as the U.S. put more ground troops in, that same insurgency quickly grew into almost 100,000 in 1964.

There is only one way to “win” the war in Afghanistan. The U.S. must defeat the insurgency, but the only way to do so is to withdraw military forces like the U.S. did in Vietnam. The insurgency in Afghanistan fights against outside influences in their country. In fact, by establishing a central government in Afghanistan, a country that recognizes tribal allegiance before nation-state allegiance, we have exacerbated the tribal tensions in their country by supporting certain tribes and cultural values against other tribes.

We need the American people to start protesting this war in mass numbers. The American people do not support the War in Afghanistan. The last CNN/ORC International Poll showed that 63 percent of Americans oppose this war.

We need this anti-war majority to demand that our country withdraw from Afghanistan. The U.S. made the same mistake in Afghanistan as it did in Vietnam. It’s finally time to give the Afghan people their country back.

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