“Trump must have the courage to cut America’s losses now and focus on empowering individual tribes in limited counterterrorism efforts (counterterrorism being the original reason why the United States invaded Afghanistan to begin with). The fight is against al Qaeda and other terrorists. America’s war is not about trying to nation-build in Afghanistan.”
“In effect, the real “Axis of Evil” was none other than Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Iran. And, it’s not even really an axis. One must also include Turkey, which has done everything in its power to become a rival to the United States and a friend to both Sunni extremists as well as Iran.”
“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).”
“Clearly, the fight against ISIS has shifted away from the Mideast. President Trump’s forthcoming National Security Strategy memo rightly focuses on boosting homeland security. But the president’s national security team should also intensify its support of Asian governments where Islamic extremism is on the rise. Further, the United States should expand its special forces activities in Africa and Asia, in an effort to neutralize the Islamic State’s threat before it becomes a real problem, as it did in northern Iraq and Syria in 2014.”
Brandon J. Weichert spoke with the ERA Institute’s Erik Khzmalyan on his “Eurasia Unveiled” podcast discussing the War in Afghanistan.
Brandon J. Weichert writes at American Greatness: “For all of the talk of victory, the president offered nothing new, at least strategically, that would achieve that goal.”
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.