James Joyner says what everyone but the wingnuts know, the war in Afghanistan is over and could never have been won.
That the war in Afghanistan has been unwinnable has been obvious to most outside analysts since well before the so-called surge of 2009. Now, the United States government has finally admitted the obvious in deeds if not words.
This mis-adventure was never winnable. The people of Afghanistan hate the NATO forces and they hate their own corrupt government. while over 2,000 American lives have been lost the NATO forceshave killed far more women and children. Is it any wonder they hate us? Our effort there depends on Pakistan which has demonstrated it is some less than a friend.
Following the murder of six NATO troops in yet another "green on blue" attack in which Afghan soldiers supposedly fighting on our side killed NATO troops, the coalition has all but ended combined operations with Afghan army and police forces at the tactical level, requiring general officer approval for exceptions.
While spokesmen insisted that "we're not walking away" from the training and advisory mission that is the ostensible reason for continued Western presence in Afghanistan eleven years into the fight there, that statement rings hollow. As American Security Project Central and South Asia specialist Joshua Foust puts it, "The training mission is the foundation of the current strategy. Without that mission, the strategy collapses. The war is adrift, and it's hard to see how anyone can avoid a complete disaster at this point."
James then makes the same point BJ did yesterday.
Speaking of campaigns, one wonders what it will take for the debacle in Afghanistan, which has claimed 2,121 American lives, 257 so far this year, to become part of the discussion between the men vying for the post of commander-in-chief. Perhaps Mitt Romney, who has had one debacle after another on the campaign trail the past few days, will seize the opening to announce his support for rapid withdrawal.Romney is a puppet to the neoconservatives so he can't support any withdrawal.
More likely, however, both he and President Obama will continue to pretend that American soldiers and marines aren't dying in Afghanistan for a cause that's long since been lost.