Have you noticed something since the Stanley McChrystal debacle? Suddenly, Afghanistan isn’t the Necessary War. Not only isn’t it the Necessary War, it’s become Unwinnable. Catastrophic. Leftist media commentary on Afghanistan is bringing back memories of Iraq. The pundits are scouring the news for dead civilians.
If one were to believe the commentary since the Michael Hastings article, he’d think that the Taliban doubled its strength, our troops are in full retreat, slowing only enough to bomb a few schools, take pot shots at scurrying civilians and sip some Red Bull.
It offends the Left–deeply–that people in the military may say bad things about civilian leadership. They cringe at the thought of someone making fun of the Vice President’s name, but shrug when soldiers are blown up. That’s what soldiers are supposed to do, afterall. Blow up. See, the military deeply offends them. But they were willing to stand behind this war, if only to get their guy elected. But they’ll never make it their guy’s war.
Now, they say, Afghanistan is not a just war. We’re just killing civilians, building a couple of roads, and we just can’t get rid of the Taliban. The Left loves the idea of a bunch of jihadist rednecks making us look stupid. They think Americans are stupid.
But we’re not. In fact, if we look at history, we’ve done far better than anyone else in The Graveyard of Empires. In the 1st Anglo-Afghan War (1839-1842), the English decided to pack up and leave with their 4500 troops and 12000 civilians. By the time they got out of town, they had exactly 1 soldier left. That’s not a misprint. One dude made it out alive. His name was DR. William (Give me a beer, please!) Brydon. Well, there are conflicting stories about approximately 50 people surving and being taken into captivity to be released later. But he was the only person to make the trip from Kabul to Jalabad and survive more than a couple of days.
But America’s pretty much done everything it set out to do. Here’s what our armed forces have accomplished:
- Eliminated the al-Qaeda elements .
- Removed the Taliban from power.
- Set up a government friendly to the West. Oh but it’s so corrupt. Yes, it is. What do you think about the Turkish government? How about Russia, China? Still better than the Taliban.
- Massively increased infrastructure.
The same types that silently cheered at our apparent impending destruction in Iraq are up to their old tricks again. They talk about Just War. But the Noam Chomskys of the world would not pick up a rifle no matter how just the war.
Afghanistan’s not worth billions, but no one can rightly say we haven’t made progress and that the Taliban can’t be defeated. Yes, there’s more work to be done. And Afghanistan will look pretty much like it does today when we start pulling out in a year. But Afghanistan looks much different now than it did 10 years ago when we began this effort.