Afghanistan Hits the Jackpot

Just when you thought the Afghanistan mini-series was winding down, it’s headed for another season – turns out all those goat herders and militants are sitting on one of the world’s largest deposits of valuable minerals. It will be like "The Beverly Hillbillies" with guns and turbans.

Let’s recap the show so far: Nearly 30 years ago the Soviets invaded Afghanistan where they were met by a stubborn resistance movement of religious fanatics – which neighbor Pakistan encouraged and the U.S. secretly supported. The Soviets became bogged down and ultimately quit Afghanistan, tail between their legs.

The Taliban took over and played host to Al Qaeda, a terrorist organization bent on destroying western civilization.

Al Qaeda attacked us on Sept 11, so we attacked Afghanistan.

In quick order we toppled the Taliban and drove the motley remnants of Al Qaeda into Pakistan.

We stuck around to bring democracy to a country where the vast majority of the population was illiterate and essentially living in the 15th century. The democratic government we formed under Karzai turned out to be corrupt and incompetent.

Meanwhile, the Taliban reconstituted itself, and headed back to into the fight, where they made inroads into Afghanistan’s south and east.

America elected Barack Obama, on his claims that Afghanistan was the ‘good war,’ while Iraq was the 'bad Bush war.' So Obama redoubled our efforts in Afghanistan; surging more troops and changing our strategy back to nation building, while but promising to withdraw U.S. forces in 2011.

And now, we’re in a fight that isn’t going so well. Americans are war weary, and Obama’s stuck in a conflict experts say it will take another 5 to 10 years to win.

And suddenly the planet’s poorest country is about to have the entire world, no doubt led by China, knocking at its door looking for cheap resources.

This is just about as complicated and confusing and frustrating as the TV series "Lost."

Kathleen Troia "K.T." McFarland is a Fox News National Security Analyst and host of's DefCon 3. She is a Distinguished Adviser to the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and served in national security posts in the Nixon, Ford and Reagan administrations. She wrote Secretary of Defense Weinberger’s November 1984 "Principles of War Speech" which laid out the Weinberger Doctrine. Be sure to watch "K.T." every Monday at 10 a.m. on's "DefCon3" already one of the Web's most watched national security programs. 

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