Obama’s forthcoming war in Afghanistan rests on the same flawed foundation as did Bush’s war in Iraq: It’s not winnable. I don’t mean it’s unwinnable militarily; it’s unwinnable conceptually, and therefore military victory is beside the point. The inability of anyone to objectively answer the question, “What would victory in Afghanistan look like?” illustrates the problem. While it’s true that our military was able to stabilize the situation in Iraq, they still have not won and will not win. Why? Because victory refers to an objective condition. The military cannot create this; it can only enforce it. The only objective outcome you can conceptualize for either Iraq or Afghanistan is a rational society with democratically elected leaders protecting individual rights in a free republic. That isn’t the case in Iraq and it won’t be — or, if it ever is, it won’t be imposed by force; it will arise out of the hearts and minds of the people (as America originally arose).
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all in favor of advancing American military interests. America, so long as it remains at least a semi-free country, has the moral right to overthrow any despotic government it wants. Despots have no rights, while a government representing a largely free people do. But I fail to see how military intervention in either Iraq or Afghanistan can generate an actual victory over Islamic terrorism. Such things can help, but they’re not the definition of victory. Everyone knows — and almost nobody denies — that the government most responsible for Islamic terrorism for 30 years now is Iran. The Bush administration attempted “talks” for 8 years with Iran, to no avail, and now Obama bows to the religious despots almost daily. The more he bows to them, the more they hasten their resolve to acquire and use nuclear weapons. Iran represents the greatest threat to world peace and safety since Soviet Russia, and may yet end up the biggest threat to world safety in human history.
Needless to say, we have not yet gone after the single greatest threat to American safety at home: The government of Iran. We clearly will not do so until Iran does something like launch a nuclear attack against Israel — and under Obama, one wonders if America would retaliate even then (or support Israel in doing so). Afghanistan, like Iraq, is nothing more than a dangerous military mission to help us evade our biggest enemies and our greatest failures at preventing another 9/11 (or worse). The fact that we can expect Obama to go about this flawed mission even more haltingly, incompetently and apologetically than Bush did before him, in Iraq, should concern both our military and civilian Americans who hope to remain safe from terrorism at home.
Obama is like a child playing with toy soldiers who has no concept of the responsibility he possesses. He doesn’t understand, nor necessarily even care, about what really threatens us. In the meantime, our greatest enemies are hard at work planning their next attack.