The war in Afghanistan — one of the worst places on earth — has been going on since September 2001, and to what end? It was effectively over in a couple of months, as the Taliban was driven from the “governmental” functions of the pretend “country” and the place quickly slipped back into tribal savagery. Now, Bush’s pointless exercise in nation-building and Obama’s feckless path of least resistance has become the longest war in American history.
Comes word that six more servicemen have died in a suicide bombing near the Bagram air base, leading the house organ of the Washington courtier establishment, the Washington Post, to respond thus:
A deeply conflicted President Obama warned earlier this year when he extended the American troop presence in Afghanistan that he did not support “the idea of endless war.” For Obama, the deaths Monday of six U.S. soldiers near Bagram air base underscore the perils of his decision to keep as many as 9,800 troops in Afghanistan through much of next year.
A war that Obama had pledged to end before he left office is now increasingly looking endless. That war followed him here to his native Hawaii, where he is on a two-week vacation with his wife and daughters.
Gee, that’s too damn bad. And does anyone outside the Beltway really believe that Obama is “deeply conflicted” about what is a transparently political decision to look tough, even at the cost of American lives?
Obama has spoken bluntly of the emotional toll that American military deaths have taken on him as he has dispatched troops to Iraq, Afghanistan and most recently Syria. Last month, he lashed out at critics urging him to do more militarily in Iraq and Syria, saying he wouldn’t send U.S. forces into combat just to look “tough.”
Which is, of course, exactly what he is doing. The only was this war will finally end is with the eventual retreat of American forces, the seizure of the bases and materiel by the enemy, and the crowing of the anti-American Left in this country that we got what we deserved.
More recently, Taliban forces have made big gains throughout southern Afghanistan’s Helmand province, the site of some of the heaviest American casualties during the height of the U.S. troop presence. Afghan civilian casualties are at an all-time high for the 14-year war, according to the United Nations, and the Afghan government’s internal squabbling has prevented it from filling key positions, such as the Defense Ministry.
The Taliban’s growing strength and the Afghan army’s struggles have drawn U.S. troops deeper into a combat role than many expected. In Kunduz, American Special Operations teams on the ground called in the mistaken strike that destroyed the Doctors Without Borders hospital. In restive Helmand province, Special Operations soldiers have been working alongside Afghan troops on the front lines.
The troops killed Monday outside Bagram air base, the largest U.S. facility in the country, were taking part in one of the core missions that Obama outlined for U.S. forces in October: They were patrolling the area outside the sprawling base to push back insurgents and protect the facility and airfield from insurgent attacks.
This is the way the losing side fights a war. So, in that sense, we have the perfect commander-in-chief for the times.