Friday, July 30, 2010

Afghanistan: Winning vs Not Losing

Once again, the Europeans are morally and pragmatically ahead of us.  From the London Times, July 21, 2010, Support For Military Campaign Is Waning Across Europe,  by David Charter.

Pressure to pull troops out of Afghanistan is growing across Europe, with politicians increasingly promising withdrawal plans in the face of hardening public opinion.

"There is definitely something happening across Europe, which stems from the December 1 announcement by President Obama that American troops would begin to be withdrawn from the middle of next year," Alex Nicoll, of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, said. "It is only logical for European governments to be thinking about their own exit strategies because there will be an increasing push to reduce combat presence in Afghanistan starting as soon as they reasonably can."

I just can't see where we can "win" (which begs the question as to whether the U.S. winning is the correct outcome).  I think our leaders now recognize that we can't win, but their thinking has only progressed to the point where they think the next best outcome is "Don't lose."

Wrong.  The next step should be to replace our combat soldiers with humanitarian aid and otherwise get out of their country.


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