But the real reason why there are fewer defenders of their programs than Andy would like is the subject he tackles in his excellent books: the ideological faintheartedness of the United States. In this struggle, our enemies hide in plain sight, but Western governments will not confront them in plain sight. As I wrote here last month:
“Because the formal, visible state has been neutered by political correctness, the dark, furtive shadow state has to expand massively to make, in secret, the judgment calls that can no longer be made in public.”
And, in a broader sense, the national-security Right is a shrinking club because America has proven an ineffectual intervener. In Afghanistan, the Taliban support a bigoted, misogynist sharia state run by theocrats with ties to global terrorism, whereas America and its allies support a bigoted, misogynist sharia state run by duplicitous kleptocrats with ties to druglords and pederasts. That’s not a distinction worth twelve years of blood and treasure, and it has discredited the broader cause and its impositions on the home front. The Taliban will soon enough be back in Kabul, but Americans will be shuffling shoeless through the airports of Cleveland and Des Moines unto the end of time.