“The Americans and British judiciously used time, geography, and force to their extreme advantage during World War II. In Afghanistan, however, the United States never took the time to analyze the situation from a strategic view. Rather than recognizing how America’s partners, such as Pakistan, could have fully assisted the war effort (had we simply made a deal with the Taliban, Pakistan’s client in Afghanistan) and remained tightly focused on al Qaeda, who knows how differently our history would have turned out?”
“Unless American leaders begin accepting limits on what pure military force can achieve (without becoming doves), and more fundamentally, inherent limitations on their power to conduct war, then a sound strategy will never be crafted in war. Rather, we will continue to “do stuff.” Action will be conflated with accomplishment. And, threats will never be mitigated. Instead, they will simply multiply–even as we increase our expenditures and commitments to the conflict.”
“The next time some hack tries to argue that the War in Afghanistan was the “good war,” just remember Shakespeare’s old line about life being a “Tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Much like his jog through the deserts of Iraq, former President Bush’s War in Afghanistan lost sight of the real enemy: jihadist terror networks in favor of an unpalatable regime (in this case, the Taliban).”
“Fear drove American policymakers to abandon practices they deemed as too cumbersome for protecting Americans from terrorists. Their assumption was both right and wrong. I do believe that the CIA’s torture program helped to break otherwise implacable terrorists in time to save some American lives (and give other viable intelligence on terror operations and organization).”
“Don’t listen to the Western press or the Left: Trump’s move just saved us. The administration now needs to build on this and work toward bringing Russia back to the Western camp, to help us stand opposed to not only Islamic extremism, but to form a united front against rising China, a country that threatens Russia even more than it does the United States. The United States and Russia will never see eye-to-eye on every issue. But, we can work to ensure that our differences are mitigated as we are linked together by a larger degree of shared interests. What’s more, together, the two greatest nuclear, Christian powers can–and must–defeat our shared enemies.”
“The Islamic Republic of Iran wants nuclear weapons to solidify its growing regional hegemony in the Middle East. Such an event will destabilize the already precarious regional order. The Trump Administration is committed to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear arms at all costs–even potentially risking war with the Islamic Republic. If conflict with Iran were to erupt, Iran’s long-time strategic partner, the Russian Federation, would disproportionately benefit.”
“I’d say buy oil stocks now because in the next several months, things are likely to ratchet up in the Middle East. If the Qatari imbroglio is resolved in Saudi Arabia’s favor (it is likely to, especially now that Qatar is reaching out to Israel), then it is quite likely that the Trump Administration will abrogate the former Obama Administration’s nuclear agreement with Iran. Once that happens, it will only be a matter of time before there is greater regional conflict.”
“The cynics insist that America’s race against the Russo-Iranian alliance for control over Deir ez-Zor is “about oil.” Not so. Yes, Dear ez-Zor has a great deal of oil in the sands beneath it, but the U.S. objective is geopolitical: we want to stop Iran from expanding its control over the Shia crescent. Denying Iran control over the ancient caravan routes is vital to keeping Iran contained and preventing Iranian hegemony in the region.”
Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz published a brilliant piece on the War in Afghanistan at the Selous Foundation for Public Policy in June of this year. This is a partial republish of that piece.
Here is my recent American Greatness article that was featured in Real Clear Politics on August 19, 2017. It’s time for a negotiated settlement, a major drawdown of U.S. forces, a regional diplomatic approach to South Asia, and the abandonment of nation-building and a focus on counterterrorism in Afghanistan.