The war in Afghanistan is lost and that loss is mostly unspoken
…The idea of winning by winning has become antiquated. The post-everything sensibility is to win by losing. To win by making so many concessions and bending over so far backward that the enemy either comes to love us or is completely discredited. This never works, but it’s the properly liberal war to approach any conflict with people who aren’t rich white men.
Winning by winning, a deep thinker will tell us, is futile. Trying to win by winning is the road to defeat. You may kill one terrorist, but a thousand will take his place. You may win a battle but by going to war you have already lost the war.
Don’t laugh. Such deep thoughts are the intellectual DNA of the diplomats and the generals, the experts in regional studies who sneer at the idea of winning wars instead of lining up all the stakeholders in a conflict and convincing them to build a working society, instead of blowing themselves up outside police stations.
So we didn’t try to win by winning. We tried to win by convincing that it was in everyone’s interest to let us help them win by living in peace. This has worked out about as well as expected in a society where winning is a zero sum game and cooperation is a temporary truce in which each party waits to stab the other in the back. Instead of winning by winning, we lost by losing. It’s the Post-American way…
Read it all at Sultan Knish: http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/