[…] I’ve been on the fence about Afghanistan for about two years now, but if McChrystal says we can’t win without 45,000 more troops — and that’s a perfectly defensible proposition — then deal me out. In 2003 the U.S. and NATO fielded 15,000 troops in Afghanistan. Every year since then we’ve added about 10,000 more troops, and every year we’ve been told that that number was sufficient. This year the United States alone added 30,000. Now McChrystal wants 45,000 more, putting total troop levels in 2010 just shy of 150,000. And I’m sure we’ll be told once again that this is sufficient.But sufficient for what? That’s never quite as clear, and without that I’m just not buying anymore. And if the commander on the ground says we can’t win without the increase, then maybe it’s time to leave instead. Enough.
And so I ask, belatedly…
What the fuck took you so long?
The goal in Afghanistan has always been amorphous. The war there had a tiny, itty-bitty modicum of sense to it in the days (not weeks–days) immediately after 9/motherfucking/11, but certainly not now, and not in late 2001, either. It’s obvious we’ve lost. We’ve wasted resources and lives. It’s obvious that there was nothing in the country to win. It’s obvious that it made no sense to begin with. But it took Kevin Drum until 2007 to realize that. And he writes for Mother Jones!
I appreciate that the discourse has reached a general platform of sanity wherein people can pose obvious questions without fear of political retribution by the party in power. (And for what it’s worth, birthers, if Obama were a fascist, he’d have arrested all of you by now). But I nevertheless find it discomfiting that it took someone like Kevin Drum until 2007 to realize that the war in Afghanistan had reached a point where it made no sense. Because that shit happened in 2001.
That shit never made sense.
It made even less sense than Iraq. Because at least Iraq had oil.