Afghanistan

Trump Out of Touch With Reality on Afghanistan

The president's proclamations about Afghanistan are not a plan; they're a letter to Santa Claus.

|

Nelvin C. Cepeda/ZUMA Press/Newscom

"One did not have to be a lunatic or a particularly despondent visionary to conceive quite seriously that the war would literally never end and would become the permanent condition of mankind. The stalemate and the attrition would go on infinitely, becoming, like the telephone and the internal combustion engine, a part of the accepted atmosphere of the modern experience." —Paul Fussell, The Great War and Modern Memory

The U.S. invaded Afghanistan in 2001, but don't worry: President Donald Trump is not going to be rushed out the door after a mere 16 years. In fact, he refuses to be tyrannized by any schedule.

"A core pillar of our new strategy is a shift from a time-based approach to one based on conditions," he announced. "America's enemies must never know our plans or believe they can wait us out." Afghanistan, the longest conflict in American history, has been called "the forever war." Now it's the forever-and-a-day war.

The speech was a model of bold phrases and grand promises unsupported by any specifics that would indicate the president has any idea how to make his vision into reality. It doesn't tell us much when Trump makes declarations such as, "We will push onward to victory."

His predecessors, keep in mind, didn't actually set out to lose. They tried a lot of different options and couldn't find one that would produce victory at an affordable price. If Trump has found the magic formula, it's a well-kept secret.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson either hasn't heard it or doesn't believe it. He said Tuesday that his message to the Taliban was, "You will not win a battlefield victory. We may not win one, but neither will you."

Trump reportedly plans to add some 3,900 troops to our current force of 8,400—a small presence compared with the 30,000 under George W. Bush, which rose to more than 100,000 under Barack Obama. Yet Trump claims he will achieve the success that eluded them.

He thinks loosening the restrictions on how our forces fight will make a big difference. But those restrictions are designed to minimize civilian casualties—partly because killing innocents unnecessarily is morally wrong and partly because it antagonizes Afghans, thus increasing the number of people willing to fight against us.

Trump also claims he will force Pakistan to stop providing a safe haven for the Taliban, extract more economic aid from India, and persuade our NATO allies to up their involvement in the war. This is not a plan; it's a letter to Santa Claus.

Pakistan has vital interests at stake that take precedence over ours—not to mention leverage that has made it largely impervious to the demands of American presidents. The United States, reports Reuters, "has no choice but to use Pakistani roads to resupply its troops in landlocked Afghanistan. U.S. officials worry that if Pakistan becomes an active foe, it could further destabilize Afghanistan and endanger U.S. soldiers."

India is not about to let Washington dictate its policy toward a troublesome neighbor—and more Indian involvement would worsen our relations with Pakistan. Trump has done nothing to make our allies in Europe want to knock themselves out on our behalf.

Turning the tide in Afghanistan would take a far bigger commitment than what the administration has in mind. As Bush and Obama found, even that might not do the trick. There is no escaping the stark reality of wars like this: The outcome matters far more to those fighting against us in their own country than it does to us.

Trump indulged in such fierce, uncompromising rhetoric for an obvious reason: to distract Americans from how puny his plan is and how meager his goals. He promises victory, but all he can realistically hope to do is stave off defeat—at the cost of more American lives and $25 billion a year.

David Petraeus, who once commanded coalition forces there, said in June, "This is a generational struggle. This is not something that is going to be won in a few years."

When Marine Corps Commandant Robert Neller visited Marines in Helmand province last fall, The Washington Post reported, he told them, "I can't guarantee your kids won't be here in 20 years with another old guy standing in front of them."

Trump is sinking more lives and money into the war, but they won't buy victory. They will only pay for a perpetual lease on an endless failure.

COPYRIGHT 2017 CREATORS.COM

NEXT: Watch Robby Soave on S.E. Cupp's Brand New Panel Show, Tonight at 7:00 P.M. on HLN

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. “They will only pay for a perpetual lease on an endless failure”

    Tell that to the IRA and FARC, Chaps.

    1. Americans don’t negotiate with terrorists.

    2. “”One did not have to be a lunatic or a particularly despondent visionary to conceive quite seriously that the war would literally never end and would become the permanent condition of mankind. The stalemate and the attrition would go on infinitely, becoming, like the telephone and the internal combustion engine, a part of the accepted atmosphere of the modern experience.” ?Paul Fussell, The Great War and Modern Memory”

      Oceania was at war with Eastasia: Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia.

      1. … Until Eastasia gave up and realized that Northern Ireland would never reunite with the rest of Ireland and that Colombia would never become communist.

        Or whatever you were implying, I suppose.

  2. Still amazes me that the same country that defeated both the nazis and imperial Japan in barely more than four years can’t defeat the Taliban given 4x as much time.

    At a certain point, anyone with two brain cells to rub together would pack it in. For whatever reason, something was lost in the latter half of the previous century. I’m hopeful that, if an invasion were to ever happen, the will to win would still be there, but America’s days of battling overseas successfully are long behind it.

    1. Its the difference between combat operations based on an AUMF with both hands tied behind our back and total war with a Declaration of War.

      1. Not really. The Soviets were defeated in Afghanistan and they were hardly known for their soft approach.

      2. What do you think we are prevented to do that would actually make a difference?

        1. Hiroshima & Nagasaki come to mind as examples

        2. Level everything and anything that moves, shoot it.

          That is how you “win” a war without nations and leaders that can be made to sue for peace.

          Winning in Afghanistan will never happen. Muslims don’t want peace. They want their Muslim religion to permeate the Earth.

          1. So war crimes are the answer? Yeah I’d rather lose the war and just GTFO.

            1. You can call it whatever you want but that’s a “win”.

              The USA should not fight like that, so as I said, both hands tied behind our back. In other words, we should not start wars unless they are actually winnable and quit when we reached our goals.

              Quagmires just do not suit the US well.

              1. “Quagmires just do not suit the US well.”

                The US should be used to them by now. Endless occupations of Korea, Germany, Iraq, etc. haven’t seemed to have spoiled your appetite. Bleeding the elephant white is the strategy of the enemy. Works all the better when the elephant is wallowing about in a quagmire.

                1. I agree with Iraq but not Korea and Germany.

                  Korea and Germany force commitments are not bleeding us and are not quagmires. I would rather have only token forces as an allied show of good will but not whole divisions and bases to support them.

          2. ” They want their Muslim religion to permeate the Earth.”

            We all want things we can’t have. The Taleban may want that, but they’ll settle for yankee go home.

          3. “That is how you ‘win’ a war without nations and leaders that can be made to sue for peace.”

            Then why are you comparing it to WWII when we were fighting Japan and Germany.

            That approach could ~maybe~ beat the Taliban, but it’s not going to create a stable Afghanistan (any stability would be dependent on brutal force by an occupying US force, and another group just as bad or worse than the Taliban would sprout up as soon as that isn’t there) or prevent terrorism in the US.

            1. PLUS, Trump does not understand that we are at war with a religious, totalitarian ideology and not a nation. This is the major difference between WWII and our wars in the Middle East. The enemy, although following the orders of a totalitarian government, had a real fear of dying – whereas the radical Islamists not only don’t fear death but embrace it.

              Trump’s one and only battle plan is to “bomb the sh*t out of them” whomever “them” happens to be.

              Such a scorched earth policy as Trump has in mind didn’t work for Hitler, either, any more than his admonishments to “fight to the last man.”

          4. loveconstitution1789: “Muslims don’t want peace.

            You could have said “Afghanis don’t want peace” but you had bring religion and your own religious bigotry into it.

            loveconstitution1789: “They want their Muslim religion to permeate the Earth.

            Actually, it would be more fair to say they want their country back, a not-unreasonable request given that it was the US who invaded them (even though Afghanis themselves never attacked the US).

            But now that the US has gone in they don’t seem to know how to defeat the Afghanis and get out. 16 years, thousand of American lives, and trillions of taxpayer dollars, and what has America to show for it?

            If anybody has a “religion” which wants to “permeate the Earth” it’s the US. The US is the one which keeps invading countries, bombing others, and staging coups.

            1. Afghanis =/= Taliban

              A US withdrawal, and subsequent collapse of the current regime, would only exchange one crappy Afghan government for an even crappier one.

              The idea that a Taliban regime would be preferable to NATO occupation *for Afghanis* is laughable, regardless of how many babies you think US soldiers consume daily.

              1. So you want to KEEP squandering more American lives and more American taxpayer $$$ on a war that America has little hope of winning?

                Telcontar the Wanderer: The idea that a Taliban regime would be preferable to NATO occupation *for Afghanis* is laughable…

                Who claimed it was “preferable”? There are no good options in Afghanistan. America can no more win there than the Soviets or the British before them. They can only keep squandering blood and treasure there.

                1. I was referring to the Afghanis’ perspective, not that of the US: your post implied that the Afghan people would be better off with us gone, but “us gone” would mean the return of Islamist tyranny in earnest.

                  And no: this war is not unwinnable. Insurgencies CAN, and HAVE, been defeated. Examples:

                  Irish Republican Army
                  FARC
                  Tamil Tigers

                  … And in each case, the tactic used was simple: you “tree ’em”. Deploy a *standing garrison* in the affected region, mainly to reinforce your local troops, and just wait them out. Letting them take no territory. Killing them when they pop up. Making the guerillas’ lives as miserable and morale-draining as possible.

                  It takes a *long* time. 30 or so years for the IRA, 50 years for the FARC and Tamil Tigers. But it works. They break, eventually: not in arms, but in *spirit*.

                  And given that it is assured that the country would become a haven, if not for Al-Qaeda, at least for ISIS-K the moment we left; that the resultant Taliban regime would be more harmful to the locals than anything we can devise; and that eventually, that mother lode of minerals will start paying dividends, there are many reasons to stay.

                  And as to the cons? We lost 100,000 soldiers taking back France in WWII. Versus 5,000 in Afghanistan so far. Is an entire country not worth a *tenth* as much as France was to us?

            2. Not the native Afghans, but the Taliban. The US invaded Afghanistan because the Taliban explicitly refused to extradite Osama Bin Laden to the US (whom they were hiding) after it had been shown he was the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.

              If 9/11 never happened, neither would the invasion of Afghanistan.

      3. The AUMF is an equivalent to a Declaration as there is no prescribed form for such.
        The problem with ROE’s is the National Command Authority that accedes to them.
        When you let JAG’s over-rule the trained judgement of trigger-pullers standing at the point of the spear, you have lost the battle and war, before the first engagement.

    2. The Nazis and Imperial Japan had centralized states whose war-making capabilities were utterly dependent on heavy industry, which was easily bombed the fuck up. Afghanistan is made up of dozens of mutually-antagonistic tribes whose loyalties go to whichever side advantages them on this particular day, and who have traditionally excelled at guerrilla warfare since Alexander the Great barely survived the place. They’re not even close to comparable military conflicts.

      1. Guerrilla warfare is not all that hard. It’s a matter of rounding up the civilian population who support the insurgents, disarming them and forcing them to live in protective encampments. This breaks up their social networks and makes them dependent on the occupier for food, medicine, etc.

        1. That does not work either.

          Either you kill everyone or you only fight wars that you can win. We cannot win against terrorists.

          We can win against a Muslim caliphate when they declare war on the USA. Turn their territory into glass and move on. These Muslim nutjobs do not want peace with Democracies. They do not want peaceful trade that is free.

          We don’t really need ME oil anymore and they see their revenue streams slipping away. Just don’t trade with Muslim nutjobs and let them kill themselves.

          1. “We don’t really need ME oil anymore ”

            There is no ME oil in Afghanistan. It’s heroin, and the need is just as great as it ever was.

            ” We cannot win against terrorists.”

            How do you account for the victory over Philippine terrorists just over a century ago. Everyone was not killed. The uncooperative civilian population were herded into camps, as I mentioned, where deaths only numbered in the hundreds of thousands rather than millions.

            1. We are in Iraq too. Oil in Iraq.

              How do you account for the victory over Philippine terrorists just over a century ago. Everyone was not killed

              There are still “terrorists” in the P.I. They never left. They are actually Muslim Filipinos and they don’t like the Christian Filipinos in power.

              1. “There are still “terrorists” in the P.I. ”

                Do you mean that the victory over a century ago was not a victory? Or that it was only a victory against Christian Filipinos and a loss against Muslim ones.

          2. Is there really any demand – other than by druggies – that anyone in Afghanistan should survive, or even performs a socially useful function. As someone once said: Kill them all, let God sort it out!

            1. “Is there really any demand”

              Do you know of a more effective analgesic? (pain killer) What kind of idiot sees no socially useful function for the most effective pain killer known to man or beast.

      2. Thanks, Citizen X #6… glad someone FINALLY noticed that and commented on it.
        The war against ISIS, Taliban and all their ilk is completely unlike virtually every war we’ve fought before!

        And imnsho, any ‘obvious, simple, easy solution’ for “how to win such a war” is inevitably also NOT going to work.
        This time it IS different and different ways of thinking and prosecuting the war efforts will be required.

        However, most Americans are stuck in the mindset of how previous ‘wars’ were defined and fought, and that’s going to keep us from any degree of success for a long time.

        And one other note: I’d bet that every military guy with a brain threw up when Obama announced his “strategy” by announcing The Date all troops would be gone… and every dead General was spinning in their grave at high rpms over the fucking stupidity of that idea.

        The LAST THING ANY “leader” should EVER say is “we’re pulling out on this date…”
        Un-fucking-believable incompetence!

    3. The Axis Powers did not go in for guerrilla warfare to any large degree after their governments surrendered. That is the main difference.

      1. The Germans were reduced to the brink of starvation and were in no position to continue fighting. In Afghanistan the main source of funding for the insurgency, and the economy in general is the opium, and this has been steady throughout the war. Opium production today is higher than it was at the start of the war. American troops even go as far as protecting opium production, and paying protection money to insurgents to ensure delivery of vital supplies over treacherous supply lines. The war was never fought to be won.

        1. “The Germans were reduced to the brink of starvation and were in no position to continue fighting.”

          Not true. The Germans could have fought on for a long time, bleeding us bad. They surrendered because they knew the Russians were rushing towards them and if they wanted any Germany left at all, they had to surrender expeditiously to the West.

          “The war was never fought to be won.”
          Of course not. We aren’t there to fight a war. We are there to have troops near Pakistan, Iran and China.

          1. We are there to transfer wealth to the military industrial complex.

          2. “They surrendered because they knew the Russians were rushing towards them”

            I don’t think so. They had been going toe to toe with the Russians for years. I think they were simply running out of steam. The leaders were either dead or on the run. 10 year olds were being pressed into military service. The latest Messershmit jet fighter aircraft had to be towed out to the runway by cows, so short was the fuel. I could go on.

  3. “Now it’s the forever-and-a-day war.”
    Never hear it called that. I guess you made it up or heard it at a cocktail party.

    Term fits though as well as the term “forever war” before Trump.

  4. There isn’t much of a war to win. No armies, airforce, factories, or infrastructure to destroy. These people live in a place so primitive and devoid of civilization that you could say we’ve already carpet bombed the place. But you say if only we were more ruthless well I imagine the Russians were that ruthless and Bush after 9/11 and yet here we are.

    1. Why DO we want to occupy this shit hole?

      1. Baby Boomers in power cannot admit that they don’t know what they are doing overseas and getting good Americans killed for nothing. Clinton, Boosh, Obama, Trump.

      2. It’s a foothold in Central Asia that we can occupy with no significant political consequences, thus helping with the general “Contain Iran” strategy going on, as well as perhaps helping to prevent re-Russianification of the ‘Stans. Having troops on China’s border is an added bonus.

        Not saying I agree with it, but I believe this to be the general logic.

        1. yes, exactly.

        2. That is what the US military muckity-mucks want it to be but its not.

          Afghanistan is a land locked dirt heap with citizens that hate us and do not really have much in common with us.

          Using Afghanistan as a land invasion route into any of the surrounding countries is moronic and anyone advising that should read about the Anglo excursions in Afghanistan and surrounding areas.

          1. I think the idea would be more to use it as an air base…

            …if it were actually the idea, and I don’t think it is. Because sadly, I don’t think they have much of an idea at all.

      3. We don’t want to OCCUPY their shithole land; we want to make it undesirable for them to promote their caliphate into OUR country and attack OUR LAND with “warfare strategies” unlike any used en masse before!

        Snowflake…

  5. The president’s proclamations about Afghanistan are not a plan; they’re a letter to Santa Claus.

    Which differentiates Trump from Bush and Obama how?

    1. He’s the actual President today?

      1. I’m just saying, the U.S. military’s sojourn in Afghanistan has never been what you might call “thought through.”

        1. Nonsense. The US Military’s sojourn in Afghanistan is entirely well thought out. It’s just not what you think it is.

          The US is in Afghanistan to stabilize the region and train troops….it has nothing to do with the Taliban….that was an excuse for the masses. Our global strategic goals are served by having a military presence keep a lid on Pakistan and keep China on notice about any of their own goals in that direction. Musharraf knew exactly why we were there, which was why he was so opening positive about it and ‘helpful’.
          It was also a direct envelopment of Iran combined with the nation building efforts in Iraq.

          don’t believe the BS slung at you by the pundits and politicians. There are extremely smart people in the Pentagon who know exactly what they are doing, regardless of whether on not we like it.

          Just like Iraq was never about oil like the lefties screamed. If the US was that desperate for, Mexico would be the 51, 52, and 53 states. Don’t kid yourself.

          1. Just like Iraq was never about oil like the lefties screamed. If the US was that desperate for, Mexico would be the 51, 52, and 53 states.

            I was in grad school at the time, and had this argument with shrieking lefties on an almost daily basis. I tried to explain that there were good reasons to be opposed to what was going on, but that “No Blood for Oil” was really, really wide of the mark.

            I was, of course, condemned as a warmonger.

          2. “There are extremely smart people in the Pentagon who know exactly what they are doing”

            Never in the history of human conflict has a citation been more desperately needed.

          3. “The US Military’s sojourn in Afghanistan is entirely well thought out.”

            If our military leaders think this is solid plan, they are not thinking things through very well. I think they are actually quite unimaginative and are simply dogpiling US commitments on the fact that we already in Afghanistan.

            India could be a very strong ally in the region and is strategically located with China, Pakistan, Afghanistan, SE Asia, ME, and Iran. They speak English and there are 1.3 Billion of them. Plus, they are a nuclear power.

            We would lose zero American troops securing them as a super strong ally in the region if we tried.

            The reason why the Founders gave power to control the military to civilians is because military generals think in military terms not what’s best for the USA, necessarily.

  6. Trump needs to watch The Princess Bride.

    1. Only when death is on the line….

    2. It’s okay – we’ve spent years building up an immunity to land wars in Asia. . . .

      1. When we win a land war in Asia….

  7. Hello, ESPN? I understand you have a vacancy….

    1. Oh, and a friend of mine, the actor William Baldwin, wants a job too. It seems nobody wants to hire him anymore, says it would be too triggering.

      1. Well, *I* chuckled.

  8. The Russians were more ruthless than it would it be realistic to expect us to be, and they didn’t have to cross thousands of miles to get to the place. They have nothing but failure to show for it. Why will it be different this time?

    1. Why will it be different this time?

      Because ‘Murrica! Fuck yeah!

    2. In fairness, I think our goals are different. I don’t think we’re actually trying to establish sovereignty over Afghanistan. And despite the narrative, I doubt our government in fact much cares about whether or not Afghanistan has a stable and enduring government. I strongly suspect our one and only purpose is to have a place in Central Asia to station troops. An somewhat-unstable government in Afghanistan actually serves that purpose better than a stable one.

    3. “Why will it be different this time?”

      Because we aren’t pouring thousands of shoulder fired SAMS into the region to take down the only transport options the Russian had?

  9. Oh, and do you have any positions for out-or-work porno actors?

    It seems nobody watches pornography any more since it was discovered that there were two Confederate generals named Philip St. George Cocke and Alfred Cumming.

  10. “Trump Out of Touch With Reality on Afghanistan”
    The only thing the racist, pervert, REPUBLICAN President Pork Chop Pud wants to be in touch with is pussy.
    He is an active, self confessed, sexual molester of women and he appreciates your support.

    1. President Pork Chop Pud

      Damn, way to make Simple Mikey’s nicknames look well-reasoned.

      1. Trump of Doom
        Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow
        Judging by Ivanka he has a hotness gene but it’s recessive

      2. racist, pervert, REPUBLICAN is what is significant.

        Pork Chop refers to Trumps CNN wrestler video. See Pork Chop Cash of the National Wrestling Alliance.
        Pud…he did brag about the size of his penis during the campaign and he is a dick.

    2. e-
      Thanks for that constructive, well thought out, and erudite commentary. Also, who are you talking to, exactly?

      1. All the pussy grabbing perverts that can read.

  11. And I haven’t been able to sell any of these NSFW pictures.

    1. Somebody else go click on that link. I’m sure as hell not.

  12. “Our nation must seek an honorable and enduring outcome worthy of the tremendous sacrifices that have been made, especially the sacrifices of lives”

    That’s the most disturbing quote out of his speech – the great deal-making, high-flyer businessman Donald Trump apparently doesn’t understand the concept of sunk costs. Las Vegas loves that type of high roller.

    1. Possibly it’s because in this case it isn’t his money or kinfolk that will be spent. It’s easy to be profligate with the wealth and lives of others.

    2. Re: Jerryskids,

      Recently I was engaged in sort of a spat with a few Trumpistas in the Facebook page of the Media Reseaech Center (as a side note: for an outfit that engages in something that is more or less journalism-centered criticism, its Facebook friends are quite illiterate) after I said the president was an economics ignoramus. Some said he was the most brilliant businessman the planet had ever seen and that I was an idiot (or a Hillary bot) for insinuating such a thing.

      But the evidence is there.

      1. Evidence is the the Trumpistas/far-leftists/far-rightists enemy.

  13. When Marine Corps Commandant Robert Neller visited Marines in Helmand province last fall, The Washington Post reported, he told them, “I can’t guarantee your kids won’t be here in 20 years with another old guy standing in front of them.”

    Uhm…then you’re pretty goddamned worthless. Beat your fucking face, you ineffectual maggot.

    1. What, for being ineffectual at conducting a military coup?

      The brass gotta do what the suits tell ’em to. I don’t think you’d like the reverse.

  14. There is no escaping the stark reality of wars like this: The outcome matters far more to those fighting against us in their own country than it does to us.

    Someone died recently in Virginia when a statue of General Lee was set for removal. Nazis and KKK members where there. Did we not win the Civil War and World War II?

    We have over 60,000 military personnel in Europe and one MP in Germany said Nazis were threatening democracy by threatening refugees. Consider the nearly 10 attacks a day on migrants in Germany as a baseline for what peaceful nations look like.

    The population of Germany is about 83 million and the population of Afghanistan is about 35 million. If Afghanistan had 4 attacks for day with rarely any casualties, I would say it is about as peaceful as Germany. In 2016, Afghanistan had 1,340 terrorist attacks which killed a total of 4,561 people.

    Adjusting for population size, terrorist attacks in Afghanistan are about as common as hate crimes in Germany. Granted, they are deadlier and adding sublethal hate crimes to the Afghanistan numbers would increase the tally there, but Afghanistan is not fundamentally different from Germany when it comes to keeping the peace.

    1. Germany has a nation. Afghanistan has a bunch of tribes that have little interest in being a nation.

      That’s the crux of the problem.

      1. TV is correct and more people need to understand that you can’t make a state out of tribes that don’t want to work together, unlike the U.S. where 13 colonies organized for their mutual benefit. these tribes are run by narcissist who want their own little world to bow down to them even if it means living a subsistence life style for their tribes in order to maintain that control. Interesting reminds me of the progressives goal with global warming

        1. Folks living in states are much more compliant and easy to manipulate compared to unruly tribalists. That’s why the bulk of the military’s work in Afghanistan revolves around their half-hearted attempts at nation building.

      2. no, it’s not the crux of the problem.

        As with any war, it is only over when one side no longer has any will to fight.
        For some, it requires killing most of their young men.
        For others, it is just enough pain to be uncomfortable.

        Germany surrendered in 1945 solely because they were far more terrified of the Russians tearing into Germany then they were interested in continuing the fight with the West. They were friggin thankful for the Allies at that point.
        Japan surrendered because of the severe psychological shock of the atomic bombs wiped out much of their will to resist. The fact that the Russians were also headed their way was a catalytic factor.
        In Vietnam, it was the US who lost the will to fight.

        In Afghanistan, the US is completely unwilling to cause enough pain to destroy the will to fight. The Afghans are tough….it would take wiping out a solid fraction of their men. In this day and age, we have no will to do it.
        So the only alternative is nation building…..and/or providing enough stability to allow one to grow.

  15. “Trump indulged in such fierce, uncompromising rhetoric for an obvious reason: to distract Americans from how puny his plan is and how meager his goals.”

    Is this a veiled reference to his tiny penis? It certainly implies he is overcompensating.

  16. Maybe Reason’s reality is not the reality they believe it to be

    Just had to be an ass this morning

  17. The documentary “The battle for Marjah” pretty much shows why it’s a lost cause.

  18. Afghanistan wouldn’t be a problem for Trump if Obama ended the war like he said he would do.

    Giggidy, Giggidy,

    1. Obama DID end the war….according to Obama and the media. 8400 troops left behind were just teachers.

  19. Great quote, Steve, from Paul Fussell’s “The Great War and Modern Memory.” I’m a Vietnam veteran and identify with the debacle that we call the The First World War which ushered in this era of permanent war.

  20. “America’s enemies must never know our plans or believe they can wait us out.”

    This statement permeates Chapman’s commentary.

  21. If the Punditocracy wished that it’s feelings and criteria were to prevail, then one or more of that august class should have run for the office of President. Seeing as how they didn’t, they should just Chill.

  22. Edited for reality : “Turning the tide in Afghanistan would take a far bigger commitment than what the administration has in mind. As the *Soviet Union*, Bush, and Obama found, even that *will not* do the trick.”

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.