You can’t unwind centuries of culture in a decade and expect the people of Afghanistan to trust that we, (U.S.)  knows best.  Forcing our beliefs on Afghanistan is  like trying to install Microsoft software on an Apple computer, it just doesn’t work, no matter how much money or how many dead American bodies you throw at it. It comes down to cultural understanding and acceptance.  It’s no secret that in Russia and Mexico it is considered normal to bribe officials. In the U.S. we call it campaign donations but let’s not go down that path right now.  My point is that we need to consider the cultural hurdles and that some countries may not be ready for a full serving of Democracy, maybe just an appetizer.

From the New York Times-

Declaring that “our forces broke the Taliban’s momentum,” Mr. Obama used the summit meeting of NATO leaders here in his hometown to begin an exit from a conflict he initially embraced during his campaign for president as America’s good war.

“We’re now unified behind a plan to responsibly wind down the war in Afghanistan,” Mr. Obama said during a news conference after the meeting. He called the decision a “major step” toward the end of the war.

But Mr. Obama conceded that “real challenges” remain in dealing with the problems across the border in Pakistan, and that the conference had not resolved the impasse over reopening supply lines or the other tensions about the fight against insurgents operating from safe havens there.

“We think that Pakistan has to be part of the solution in Afghanistan,” he said. “Neither country is going to have the kind of security, stability and prosperity that it needs unless they can resolve some of these outstanding issues.”

You can read the rest of the story here.

So what’s the solution? The Obama administration is right to pull out U.S. and NATO forces out of Afghanistan. It’s a step in the right direction that’s for sure but then what?  What have we truly accomplished? How many contractors will have to stay in the country to support the house of cards blowing in the wind? And to what point?  There is no practical altruism to been seen with our involvement in this land locked gateway to Asia and the Middle East.