James Circello for uruknet.info:
The U.S. military has retreated from a base in the remote Korengal Valley, Afghanistan, after spending over four years trying to hold the ground. The U.S. forces even negotiated the terms of their defeat, paying the resistance fighters and leaving them the base fully intact with buildings, fuel, generators and military equipment, in order to be allowed a peaceful retreat out of the valley.
The corporate media and, for the most part, the Pentagon brass have framed the forced retreat from the “Valley of Death” as a “shift” in strategy. This so-called shift has been eye-opening for the soldiers and marines who have lost friends and shed blood in the mountains of Afghanistan, while forced to defend an outpost which U.S. military commanders have argued is “a remote backwater of limited strategic value.”
Despite its “limited strategic value,” a startling 42 U.S. troops have been killed there, hundreds have been wounded, and a disproportionate number of Afghan civilians have perished. One of the last soldiers to die there took his own life, unable to cope with the daily horrors of a hopeless mission.
U.S. troops used as bait
The soldiers stationed in the Korengal Valley had one mission: to act as sitting targets and wait to be attacked on a daily basis. The Afghans in the Korengal Valley were fighting because foreign invaders have occupied their country for nearly a decade. The U.S. military occupied the Korengal Valley to provoke them into a fight. This is the logic of empire.
The harsh reality that we have been used as nothing more than bait cannot be overlooked. The strategy of Korengal Valley—to place soldiers and marines in harm’s way in an attempt to use them as bait to lure the Afghan resistance into battle so that military fighter jets, helicopters and other resources could be called in to target the Afghan fighters and kill them using whatever equipment was available—has been a complete failure. The retreat should serve as a clear signal that our pain and suffering is of no concern to the officers and politicians forcing us to fight…
[continues at uruknet.info]