|Aiming for the light at the end of the tunnel? Baz Ratner photo|
One aspect of that very interesting book about the U.S. war in Afghanistan that I did not emphasize is that she is unwilling to say that the U.S. "lost the war." I find this odd, as she describes cascading failure and folly, but that is her position.
Meanwhile, U.S. soldiers who fought there have been having a discussion at reporter Thomas Ricks' The Best Defense blog asking what the hell happened? Many of their judgments lack empathy for the Afghans upon whom their forces were launched -- but they were there and people at home need to listen to what they are thinking. The conversation started with a query from a regular, Jim Gourley, a former military intelligence officer. He seems to have no doubt the U.S. "lost."
Someone who calls him(?)self JPWREL responded:
A commenter who calls him(?)self Kriegsakademie (who Ricks knows and trusts) replied:
Another, Kieselguhr Kid, was quite emphatic about how the wars of the '00s felt to him.
Here's a last word from someone (waris-safi123) who might be an Afghan.
I hope people in the military are discussing these questions somewhere besides Ricks' blog. Even more, I hope our politicians understand that, if they are going to authorize more wars, they better be prepared to listen to the folks who elect them and figure out why they are sending soldiers to kill and die!