The War of Unintended Consequences

Michael Yon on what happens if we leave Afghanistan:

Afghanistan will cease to exist as anything that we would call a country. It will be a region divided into fiefdoms where warlords and ethnic groups prevail. Drones that we may use will amount to little more than nuisances.

If narco-rich warlords put their minds to it, they might buy missiles to shoot down any drones we send. Of course if they get their hands on missiles, drone hunting will be the least of our concerns.

Instability might spill over to other South and Central Asian countries, threatening regional chaos.

Afghanistan and the region might well become worse than when the Taliban was the dominant force. No lasting changes will have occurred for women’s rights.


He’s probably right on all counts — but what of it? Afghanistan was never a country; it was just an area on the map where other countries weren’t. Any attempt at nation-building there was doomed to failure. I gave up on Gen. Stanley McChrystal, and really any hope of accomplishing anything with the surge, when he spoke glowingly of delivering “government in a box” to Afghan provinces.

Did he really believe that stuff? Did the White House? It’s insanity.

All we’re still doing in Afghanistan is delaying the inevitable at a terrible price in blood and treasure. And the problem with the inevitable is that it always seems to happen.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member