16 years and counting (and few seem to care)…..the number of years we have been at war in Afghanistan…..my granddaughter does not know a time when we were not at war…she 14 and she asks me why? What can I tell a 14 year old that will help her make sense of this bullsh*t?
Sixteen years. It has now been over 16 years since the United States began military operations in Afghanistan. At the beginning of those operations, as I watched friends deploy to the initial fighting, I would have found the idea that I would deploy there at the beginning of a massive buildup of American troops in 2009, or that we would still be there in 2017, inconceivable. But like Vizzini, the evil mastermind and kidnapper from Princess Bride, I had a lot to learn about the meaning of “inconceivable.”
If repeated deployments to Afghanistan were inconceivable to me, the idea was entirely preposterous to my civilian friends. In 2009, many thought we were already done with Afghanistan, and despite a spike in interest commensurate with the surge of 2010–2012, by 2015 most had forgotten the war altogether. Rarely mentioned during the presidential campaign of 2016, it seemed like an unwritten political rule to avoid discussing the war altogether.
I believe that it is an illusion….the whole story we get from the fearless leaders….but yet is goes on and on….without end….fighting and dying and more fighting…..
Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. It’s time to change our approach to Afghanistan.
Each new plan for success in Afghanistan resembles the plan before it….in other words they, our leaders, have NO earthy idea how to end this thing.
President Donald Trump announced that he is allowing the military to decide how to proceed in Afghanistan, including setting troop levels. Though I am convinced the President is trying to do what is best for the country (who better than the military leadership to determine what they need to succeed?), military power is a tool, a means among many different tools of national power, not a strategy in and of itself. Elevating military objectives over the assessment of the politically acceptable magnitude of effort for a given strategic political goal can be a slippery slope. The literature about escalation is filled with examples of cognitive biases that encourage leaders to continue throwing good money after bad.
Like the post stated…..it is an illusion…..an illusion there is a plan.
But wait! How long have we been fighting and dying in Afghanistan? 16 years the answer.
You know how everything is Obama’s fault with Trump and his minions? Well he is not blamed for the debacle in Afghanistan……nope….we have a new culprit…..RUSSIA!
As Bill Poggioobserved in the foundation’s Long War Journal,
“The Taliban displayed their military power in the contested district of Bakwa in a newly released video titled From the Fronts of Farah. The video which was released on the Taliban’s propaganda website, Voice of Jihad, ‘is dedicated to . . . showcasing the strength, control and advances of the Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate,’ according to an accompanying statement.”
Poggio concluded, more reasonably than I suggest in my opening sentence, that the trucks displayed in the Taliban video were “captured from Afghan Army and police units,” not ordered directly by the Afghan insurgents out of a Pentagon catalog.
Russia did it! Why not blame them for the US failure in Afghanistan….it is easier than admitting to the truth….that the US has NO idea how to end this war.