Jack Remembers: Why waste money on Hamid Karzai when the 8th Cavalry can do the job?

By Jack Hackley

Every once in a while I read something in the paper that sets me on my ear. This time, it was an article in The Kansas City Star from the New York Times telling about the CIA giving the President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, a plastic bag full of money every month.
Sometimes they give it to him in backpacks, and sometimes in suitcases. Crisp, new, one-hundred dollar bills.
No one in the CIA will say how much they give Hamid each month. Some say it is $300,000 and some say $3 million each month, but over the past 10 years Hamid admits it has amounted to tens of millions.
The same article went on to say he would not sign the withdrawal agreement with the United States because Hamid wants all of our troops withdrawn, but our military wants to leave 10,000 or 15,000 so they will not lose what gains we have made.
The U.S. says his troops have been poorly trained and will not be able to withhold the Taliban. Whoa! Poorly trained? We have had 10 years to train the Afghans.
I told my 8th Cavalry Infantry buddies at our last reunion about this article and asked if they thought we could replicate our basic training at Fort Riley. They all agreed instead of taking 10 years, we could train them in 16 weeks, just as we were trained.
We would start out every morning with 12 repetitions of the Army Dozen, which is an exercise regimen and then a four- mile run all before breakfast.
If anyone dropped out, that night they would have to dig foxholes under the barracks for company punishment. This exercise routine is brutal. We would need to get the Afghans drunk on Budweiser at least once a week so they would know what it was like to run four miles with a hangover.
We would teach them to shoot every gun the Army had. There would be no more wasting ammunition by sticking a gun around the corner of a building and pulling the trigger. All we would ask in return for properly training these Afghans would be for the CIA to give us that sack of money every month instead of Hamid.

Jack can be reached at PO Box 40, Oak Grove, MO 64075 or Visit

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