Yesterday, NBC’s Chuck Todd opened a “Meet the Press” segment by calling U.S. involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq “wars now without an end.”
“The U.S. now seems to be in a semi-permanent state of war,” added Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel.
“Right now, we’re just in damage control,” explained Lt. General Dan Bolger, Retired, the author of Why We Lost: A General’s Inside Account of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. “Our enemies, the Taliban and ISIS, are talking about winning.”
Mr. Todd asked, “Why do we have this incredible military that can’t win these wars?”
“The military can give you a quick victory over a conventional army. It cannot deliver a rebuilt country in the place you go,” replied the general. “That takes an effort of the entire U.S. population and government. And moreover, it takes the commitment of the American people for the long term.”
And then Baghdad and Kabul will look a lot like Chicago or Boston?
“At what point do we walk away?” Todd wanted to know. Never?
“It becomes difficult to walk away, because these situations are spinning quite badly out of control,” offered Sarah Chayes, now with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and formerly an assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “And it’s spreading.”
Our decade-plus in Iraq and Afghanistan has cost us greatly and accomplished little good, if any.
Even a century of Americans fighting and occupying and pacifying these countries will not succeed. The cost, not just in billions of tax dollars, but also in thousands of our countrymen dead and maimed, is unacceptable.
It’s time to really end the “endless” wars.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
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