Is Afghanistan a Failed Mission?, by Pat Buchanan – The Unz Review
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As in Vietnam from 1965 to 1973, the year our prisoners of war came home, America did not lose a major battle in Afghanistan.
Yet we did not win the war. South Vietnam was lost.
And contrary to the message awaiting President George W. Bush when he landed on the carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, which was flaunting the banner “Mission Accomplished,” America did not accomplish its mission.
President Joe Biden said as much Thursday, when he responded to a reporter’s question, “The mission has not failed — yet.”
As the 20th anniversary of 9/11 impends, and with it our final exit from the Afghan war, the Taliban are overrunning districts at will, and Afghan troops are avoiding battle in what many see as a lost cause.
Monday, 1,000 Afghan soldiers fled into Tajikistan rather than face advancing Taliban forces.
Why did we not succeed? And what does our failure there portend?
We failed, first, because our initial mission, once accomplished, was altered and enlarged to where it became unattainable.
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There never was a vital U.S. interest in Afghanistan worth a war of the cost in blood, treasure and time that we have just fought.
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Many who cast their lot with us are going to pay with their lives, as will their families. And the enemies of the United States are likely to be energized by what they perceive, not wrongly, as a strategic defeat of the USA.
We did it to ourselves. Hubris was our failing, as it often is of great powers, the mindset exhibited by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright when she declared: “If we have to use force, it is because we are America. We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall. We see further into the future.”
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Unfortunately the “peace movement” of the 60’s and 70’s was astroturf against the R’s.
We, little L libertarians, are in that movement regardless of which side of the two-sided political spectrum.
Other than the Quakers, I don’t know who else we can count on to end the Hubris. Certainly NOT the MIC (Military Industrial Complex).
Let’s cut the “defense” budget 20% and rethink the Dead Old White Guys desire to avoid a standing army. Shut down the FBI and CIA while disarming the Department of Agriculture. As a matter of fact, spin the Agriculture budget back to the sovereign States and shut it down completely.
What are the proper functions of the “central” Gooferment? At most “defense” and foreign relations. Like the Swiss, no one messes with a neutral.
Repeal the Seventeenth Amendment (direct election of senators) and return the State’s power and get the money out of that layer of Gooferment.