I’d like to unpack a little American zeitgeist for you on the Afghan war.
A recent Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 64% of Americans now think the war in Afghanistan has not been worth fighting; and an even more overwhelming 73% want a “substantial number of U.S. combat forces” to withdraw this summer.
To get a sense of the demographics of this vox populi, this same group of folks when asked about the Tea Party, replied 36% favorable, 48% unfavorable, with 16% having no opinion—seemingly, an accurate cross-section of the U.S. populace.
U.S. General David Petraeus reported on Tuesday and Wednesday to the Senate and House Armed Services Committees, withdrawal of “some combat forces” may be included in a future set of policy recommendations for President Obama.
Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Michele Flournoy, stated that the proposed drawdown of U.S. and coalition troops, between now and 2014, “…in no way signals our abandonment of Afghanistan. President Obama and President Karzai have agreed that the United States and Afghanistan will have an enduring strategic partnership beyond 2014, and we are currently working with the Afghans on the details of that partnership.”
The problem with our near decade long war in Afghanistan is that the strategy is not based on any lessons learned from history, cannot be sustained due to America’s economic over-extension, and does not have clearly defined, nor tenable goals for success. With recent developments in the Middle East, our boots-on-the-ground traditional military deployment in Afghanistan, to fight a decentralized, asymmetrical foe (al-Qaeda), puts America squarely on the wrong side of history.
Eight years of bungling.