Why not victory

Bruce Kesler sent around an email asking whether we thought victory was possible in Afghanistan.  My reply was that I don’t think the Democrats can conceive of victory as a possible outcome.  As I wrote to him, I’m the child of parents who fought in WWII and the Israeli War of Independence.  Although they were bone-deep Dems and loathed Goldwater, they too understood that the only way to fight a war is to win.  Otherwise, you’re just sacrificing your own troops needlessly in an endless slow bleed.

I don’t think the Democrats are capable of conceiving an outcome to a war that is tantamount to “victory.”  To them, all wars are failures because they are . . . wars.  This means that there are no strategic goals that the Democrats can contemplate that will justify continuing to fight a war.  They will therefore approach war in a half-hearted way, waiting, not to win, but to withdraw.

Obama’s support for the war in Afghanistan has never been a committed belief in the necessity of destroying the Taliban there and protecting Pakistan.  It has always been a political move to distinguish himself from Bush:  “Bush never focused on the real war.  That’s why I focus on that war.”  Obama, though, is a Democrat and believes that all wars are unwinnable, so he’s doing the Democratic thing.  He’s throwing in bodies, but actively supporting cutting costs and appeasing the enemy.

Taking own his practical experience in Vietnam, and his breadth and depth of knowledge, Bruce came up with a post that intelligently develops my own instinctive feeling that, with war, as with pregnancy, you can’t just be “a little bit” engaged in that situation.  It’s an all or nothing proposition.  I urge you to check out Bruce’s post and cast your vote on the side of true victory in Afghanistan.

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Comments

  1. BrianE says

    BW,
    I would like to know what “victory” will consist of in Afghanistan. Defeating the Taliban? To be replaced by Karzai? I’m afraid Afghanistan resembles Vietnam more than Iraq. A weak central government unable to rise against its own corruption and gain the trust of the citizens. That and a brutal enemy who knows no limitations. Al Queda’s brutality in Iraq led to the locals taking matters into their own hands. Is there any evidence Afghanis will or are capable of doing the same to the Taliban?
    Are we enemies of the Taliban because they are enemies of Pakistan or Al Queda?Obama said during the campaign he was willing to invade Pakistan if it meant taking out Bin Laden. Many of us thought that was a foolish statement.
    I see no benefit to America leaving 75,000 troops in Afghanistan. Special forces and predators can do the job of keeping Al Queda at bay. We aren’t going to turn Afghanistan in to anything resembling a democracy, and should recognize that democracy is a special human concept reserved for people who are reluctant to turn their authority over to the first demagogue that demands it.

    On a totally unrelated subject, I am with Obama on one thing. Kayne West was a jackass. Talking to my nieces, I get the impression he also is one. I hope the president stands by his statement.

  2. says

    A weak central government unable to rise against its own corruption and gain the trust of the citizens.

    That was Iraq in 2004. And so?

    Al Queda’s brutality in Iraq led to the locals taking matters into their own hands.

    The locals were backing AQ because of a weak central government they neither trusted nor liked.

    Your comparison is invalid. That’s not how it happened.

    Special forces and predators can do the job of keeping Al Queda at bay.

    Wars aren’t won by keeping a status quo or doing defense.

    We aren’t going to turn Afghanistan in to anything resembling a democracy

    We don’t need to turn Afghanistan into Hollywood. That’d be kind of counter-productive. Nor do we need them to turn into the Democrat party, either, also ‘democracy’.

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  1. [...] Bookworm on Afghanistan, Democrats, and war: I don’t think the Democrats are capable of conceiving an outcome to a war that is tantamount to “victory.” To them, all wars are failures because they are . . . wars. This means that there are no strategic goals that the Democrats can contemplate that will justify continuing to fight a war. They will therefore approach war in a half-hearted way, waiting, not to win, but to withdraw. [...]

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