Steve Chapman: Afghan Gratitude, American Folly

If you believe the U.S. is winning in Afghanistan, I've got some oceanfront property in Kandahar to sell you.


Public Domain

If you're looking for gratitude from the Afghans, President Ashraf Ghani is your man. When he appeared before Congress Wednesday, he expressed thanks to American troops, their families, Congress, Barack Obama and "ordinary Americans whose hard-earned taxes have over the years built the partnership" between the United States and Afghanistan.

He couldn't have laid it on any thicker if he'd been using a trowel. Americans in uniform, he attested, "have come to know our snowcapped mountains, our verdant valleys, our windswept deserts, our parched fields, our unharnessed, flowing rivers, and our plains of waving wheat." He said, "Veterans will always be welcome in Afghanistan."

The administration has gone far beyond what could reasonably have been expected of the U.S. Early in his presidency, Obama more than tripled the number of American troops there.

It was George W. Bush's war, but 75 percent of the U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan have died under Obama. That figure will rise before we are done, if we are ever done, writes Steve Chapman.