Do most people in the United States realize the morass our government is leading us deeper into in Afghanistan? Probably not. As Peter Rothberg recently pointed out in the Nation,
Several significant perspectives have become available recently.
Douglas Macgregor, a former U.S. Army colonel, recently laid out a scary picutre in Defense News. He sees the United States repeating mistakes that will seem all too familiar to those of us who lived through the war in Vietnam.
The whole article is worth reading. Robert Gates playing the part of Robert MacNamara, perhaps?
Meanwhile, a NATO ally, Germany, has had a military base at Kunduz in Afghanistan for several years -- and sure doesn't seem to be making any "progress" according to reporting by the German paper Spiegel. We don't read many U.S. reporters being this forthright about failure.
Pressure in the U.S. for an exit from Iraq built up gradually as people realized first that the war had been based on a lie and second that continued U.S. deaths served no useful purpose. It remains to be seen whether the Obama administration will keep its promise of full withdrawal; no one should be surprised if the Iraqi civil war, on hold for the moment, breaks out again as the U.S. draws down.
Now in Afghanistan, a military occupation with no clear U.S. objective is being challenged by a resistance that can be tamped down momentarily but not eradicated. At present, in fact, the "bad guys" are winning if we are to believe numerous accounts including this German one. And the war has leaked into Pakistan. The U.S. is now building an Iraq-style super embassy(outpost) in Islamabad.
How long will it take for people in the United States realize our troops have once again been committed to a long, expensive, unwinnable war with no plan? President Obama, what's the aim? What's the exit strategy?