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Plenty of blame to go around

Reader comment on item: The Afghan War's Dismal End; Blame Bush Too

Submitted by Gene Taglia (United States), May 28, 2014 at 23:53

Dr. Pipes is dead right. Both Iraq and Afghanistan were mismanaged from the beginning.

The military was handicapped by political interference and restrictions, disruptive changes of command, and in the case of Afghanistan, being sent in before proper preparation could be made to ensure success. Troops were rushed into Afghanistan and, in inadequate numbers and without being properly positioned, more, or less, charged through the concentrations of Taliban and dispersed them into the mountains, rather than confining them and killing as many as possible. There would have been many fewer to deal with, over the intervening years, if there had been proper preparations made to hammer them at the beginning.

The political side was botched even more than the military, and, pretty much, guaranteed failure, even if the military was successful. The people at the White House, State Dept., etc., who made the decisions as to the types of government, constitutions and people to be installed to run things, were wrong on every count. They set up governments, in both countries, that were incompatible with the conditions, culture, or our supposed aim of providing tolerable and stable government.

Other than the uncontestable benefit of attracting terrorists from around the world, killing many thousands of them, and depleting their financial resources (which is likely to be why they haven't mounted another major attack since 2001), nothing else has been, or is likely to be accomplished. It has cost a great deal of money, far too many dead and wounded, and there is plenty of blame to go around for nearly everyone, in both administrations, that was involved. There is no way of knowing whether it was worth it, since we cannot know how the terrorists that our military killed and the money that was spent to sustain them would have been used, had they not been expended in these wars.

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