I stand for lancing this festering boil of a war. End it. After nearly 20 years, it’s not worth one more American limb or life.
Were we defeated? Not in any meaningful sense. We just have nothing to gain by fighting it anymore. We came to kill al-Qaeda. We killed heaps of those scumbags. But somehow that mission morphed into making Afghanistan a place that didn’t suck. That’s crazy. It’s always sucked and it always will suck and its suckiness is not our problem.
We didn’t “win,” in the sense that we did not crush all opposition. To say we cannot win in Afghanistan is wrong. Of course we can win. What we cannot do is summon up the will to do what it would take to win. Perhaps we do not want to – and there are plenty of good reasons not to do the hard and horrendous things necessary to pacify that backwater hellhole. But we could, if we wanted to. We have the combat power. What we do not have is the will – and again, maybe we don’t want to have the will to do it. We beat Germany and Japan by, in large part, annihilating their cities. But both were existential threats to our country. Afghanistan, if it provides a refuge for jihadi degenerates again, is a threat, but hardly an existential threat.