Who Is To Blame For Losing Our Unnecessary Wars In Afghanistan And Iraq?
In deciding to
pull all of the 30,000 troops from the surge out of
Afghanistan, six weeks before Election Day 2012, but
only 10,000 by year`s end, President Obama has satisfied
neither the generals nor the doves.
He has, however,
well served his political interests.
drawdown would have risked the gains made in Kandahar
and Helmand and invited a revolt of the generals, some
of whom might
resign and denounce Obama for denying them the
forces to prevail.
McCain, citing some generals, is already saying that,
with fewer troops and more missions per unit, U.S.
casualties will rise.
drawdown would have enraged the left, whose support is
indispensable to Obama`s winning a second term.
president did what comes naturally: cut the baby in
removal of 30,000 troops in 15 months means that Obama
has given up all hope of victory over the Taliban. Gen.
war, there is no substitute for victory"—is
yet another American war.
strategic goal now is the avoidance of defeat, until the
election of 2012 is behind him. And by retaining 70,000
U.S. troops in Afghanistan during the fighting season
and political season of 2012, he has an insurance policy
against a Taliban Tet-style offensive or major U.S.
military reversal as voters begin to fill out absentee
post-speech analysis, there was much chatter about a
solution"—a peace conference including Pakistan,
India, Russia, China and Iran that would bring the
moderate Taliban and Karzai government together to iron
out their differences.
self-delusion, born of hope not rational analysis.
Have we not been
here before? With Mao`s Communists and Chiang Kai-shek`s
Nationalists being pushed toward a coalition by Gen.
George Marshall in the late 1940s. With the Viet Cong
North and South Vietnamese making
in Southeast Asia in
Like the old
communists, the Taliban are all-or-nothing people.
They have a
vision, an agenda grounded in religious faith about how
a society should be structured, about how men and women
should live. They fought their way to absolute power in
the 1990s. And they have shown themselves more willing
to die for their beliefs and leaders than the Afghan
This is not to
denigrate the brave Afghan soldiers who have bled and
died. But the Taliban have not needed U.S. training,
U.S. arms, U.S. air and fire support or U.S. paychecks
to go into battle. All the suicide bombers who give up
their lives are—Taliban.
themselves. And for 10 years the Taliban have battled
U.S. soldiers and Marines, backed up by NATO troops, to
what Gen. Stanley McChrystal called
Afghanistan has become a stalemated war between the
Americans and Taliban after a decade in which 1,600
Americans have given their lives and 12,000 have been
wounded, how well will the Karzai regime and ANA make
out when the Americans, the best soldiers in the world,
depart, and they face the Taliban alone?
"This war does not lend itself to a
military solution" is the
cliché of the hour. And, surely, if the United States
cannot achieve victory over the Taliban with 100,000
troops, we are unlikely to achieve it with 70,000, or
however many may remain after 2014.
But has anyone
heard the Taliban concede,
"This war does
not lend itself to a military solution"? Even should
the Taliban come to the table and agree to compete
democratically, does anyone think it will be faithful to
a commitment given to the infidel Americans, once the
infidel Americans depart? Why should they?
Over the next 15
months, the United States will be pulling out all or
almost all of its 50,000 troops from Iraq, plus the
30,000 from the Afghan theater.
Our NATO allies
will execute similar drawdowns.
This will leave
Iraq up for grabs. But the Islamic world will see the
U.S. pullout from Afghanistan for what it is: a retreat,
forced upon a war-weary America by Islamic holy warriors
who are the sons of the mujahedeen who drove out the Red
Army in the 1980s and helped to bring down the Soviet
Make no mistake.
Obama is headed for the exit ramp, and the Karzai
government and Afghan army will not succeed where that
same government and army, backed by 150,000 U.S. and
NATO troops, could not succeed.
McCain and the
neocons will blame what is coming, a terrible day in
Kabul and across Afghanistan, on those who refused to
soldier on, no matter the cost in blood and treasure.
But the people
who should be indicted by history are not those who,
after half a trillion dollars and a decade of bleeding,
decided to cut America`s losses, but those who stampeded
this country into two of the longest and least necessary
wars in the history of the republic.
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
Patrick J. Buchanan
no introduction to
VDARE.COM readers; his book State
of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and
Conquest of America, can
be ordered from Amazon.com. His latest book
Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How
Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost
Paul Craig Roberts.