In an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on the weekend, former State Department official Matthew Hoh provides a fairly compelling account of not only why the War in Afghanistan is doomed to fail, but how the American and NATO presence in the country is actually a destabilizing influence.
Somewhat related to this, Scott Taylor had an excellent piece in the Chronicle Herald yesterday, injecting a “dose of objective reality” into the notion that “nation building” in Kosovo has been a “success” — this of course is in the context of assertions made by some that the Balkan country was in many respects a better candidate for such an exercise than Afghanistan. Based on Taylor’s dismal assessment however, that certainly doesn’t bode well for the country that’s aptly been named the “graveyard of empires.”
And yet, I believe the AP has been reporting that all indications are that the Obama administration is still going to forge ahead with this insane folly, sending 20-40,000 more troops into the fray. I wonder though if they will be prepared to tell the American people that “victory” can probably never be achieved and a commitment to “nation building” would take at least ten years or more. At a cost of at least $1 billion per month that works out to an additional $120 billion.
Update: Another good discussion on Afghanistan featuring former Marine Corporal Jake Diliberto of Veterans for Rethinking Afghanistan on last night’s Larry King Live. Close attention should be paid to the remarks of Gen. Barry McCaffery about the long-term costs involved in prolonging the conflict.