Blood for nothing
GIs die while Taliban thrives
October 28, 2009
AFGHANISTAN isn't com pletely hopeless, just use less. It's a strategic joke with a bloody punch line. Even if everything went perfectly in Afghanistan — which it won't — the results would be virtually meaningless: Our mortal enemies (above all, al Qaeda) have dug in elsewhere, from Pakistan to Somalia. … From line doggies up to bird colonels (and even a few junior generals), there's a powerful sense that we're throwing away soldiers' lives for theories that just don't work. We enforce rules of engagement that kill our own troops to avoid alienating villagers who actively support the Taliban and celebrate our deaths. …
Iraq made sense to me. The stakes there were (and are) enormous. But Afghanistan's a strategic vacuum that sucks in resources and lives to no sensible purpose. By propping up President Karzai's government of thieves and attempting to force our vision on Afghanistan we've rescued a defeated Taliban from oblivion. So much for COIN theory.
Killing our nation's enemies always makes sense. Sacrificing our troops for the Pentagon's equivalent of Beanie Babies is despicable. Won't a single four-star general stand up and be counted?