Tuesday, January 24, 2012

On the war in Afghanistan...

In the last decade, it has become more and more complicated to describe what is going on in Afghanistan. Here is the best explanation of the current state of Operation Enduring Freedom I could find:

"a war begun for no wise purpose, carried on with a strange mixture of rashness and timidity, brought to a close after suffering and disaster, without much glory attached either to the government which directed, or the great body of troops which waged it. Not one benefit, political or military, was acquired with this war. Our eventual evacuation of the country resembled the retreat of an army defeated”

Now, you may say "Wait a second... we haven't even started evacuating Afghanistan. Who the hell are you quoting there?"

Simple. It's a quote from the memoirs of Chaplain G.H Gleig of the 44th regiment of Foot of her majesties British Army. He wrote those words in 1843 in reference to the first Anglo-Afghan war. His words carry a timeless quality that reverberates through every other conflict that has occurred in that country before and since, and we would do well do learn by the example left for us in our history books.

Now, I don't consider myself an anti-war person, nor do I see myself as a war hawk. I believe we invaded Afghanistan with good reason after 9/11, but in the last decade we have lost both the focus we need to achieve a lasting victory as well as the fortitude to do what needs to be done, regardless of what kind of bad press it generates. It's time to stop pussy footing around and start stomping some faces.

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