Each call regarding whether to continue to pursue a war or not is its own animal. Will got the call in Iraq horribly wrong when he deemed it ill-advised after learning that the expected WMDs were not to be found in Iraq.
Unless the D’s snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory in Iraq–which is very possible given their soft foreign policy stance–the makeover of Iraq from a dictatorship to a democracy will pay dividends for years. Iraq has a relatively well-educated population and a wealth of natural resources. The pre-conditions for a sustainable democracy are there. To hear the D’s talk about it, you’d think that the world would be better off if the 50 million Iraqis were still under the brutal, repressive dictatorship of Saddam. They just can’t seem to make that connection.
Not so in Afghanistan. And this is where Zero™ and the D’s got it so very wrong when they claimed that the US had taken it’s eye of the ball (Afghanistan) by invading Iraq (blinded by BDS and an urge to see mistakes in all Bush decisions). The population in Afghanistan is very poorly educated. The land offers not much other than rocks and difficult-to-navigate mountains. What is so strategically important about Afghanistan itself?
Did we have to invade Afghanistan after 9/11 to deliver a punch in the nose to the area and the Taliban that supported the 9/11 terrorist training? Absolutely. No question. A failure to respond with force would have been a clear signal that terrorism pays.
But there are declining marginal returns to fighting in Afghanistan. Is Afghanistan more important today than the possible capture of nuclear weapons in Pakistan by the Taliban? Is Afghanistan more important than the emerging nuclear threat in Iran?*
Will closes with
Genius, said de Gaulle, recalling Bismarck’s decision to halt German forces short of Paris in 1870, sometimes consists of knowing when to stop. Genius is not required to recognize that in Afghanistan, when means now, before more American valor, such as Allen’s, is squandered.
Again, Will got the call wrong in Iraq. But I think he is at least asking the right question in regards to Afghanistan. Why?
*I know, N Korea is out there, too, but there are neighbors of N. Korea that need to stand up backed by our assistance. The N. Korea problem is firstly their’s.