Gen David Petraeus: “No country has suffered more from Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida than Afghanistan.”
That comment from a June interview with Military Times stopped me cold. Partly, it was the pat sweep of the superlative. But it was also the gratuitousness of the flip-side demotion of the American experience and sacrifice. The catastrophic terror attacks of 9/11 on our political and economic centers caused and still cause quite a lot of suffering, and they were just the beginning of a decade-long American crack-up, a self-ignited meltdown of reason and judgment that blinded us to the markers of the classical jihad in progress, causing us to set foundationally flawed policies accordingly, from war (COIN) to energy (dependence) from immigration (unprotected borders) to “outreach” (Muslim Brotherhood penetration). Blinkered, our strategists have spent billions and billions of dollars to send infidel armies to the umma to win “hearts and minds” (impossible) at a cost of thousands of young lives and tens of thousands of wounds, many lifelong, both physical and psychological. These cause quite a lot of suffering, too.
It sounds as if the general is trying to rationalize a lost cause as a just cause. But nothing can redeem the bankruptcy of COIN.
Gen. David Petraeus: “A number of different elements have to keep coming together to achieve our objectives. Again, we are talking about an objective that is Afghans able to secure and govern themselves with some continued level of support.”
That comment from today’s New York Times stopped me again.
I’ll leave aside the tenuous notion of all those elements that “have to keep coming together” to achieve our objectives. It’s that objective, singular, that is troubling. It’s changed again. The US objective is Afghans securing and governing themselves “with some continued level of support,” Petraeus says. Not too long ago, the US objective was Afghans securing and governing themselves, period. That ain’t happening, and the general knows it. Petraeus’ Plan B is to entrench Afghanistan as a permanent, multi-trillion dollar entitlement program.
We need a new crew at the top.