Tom Ricks compiles some common sense that generals say behind closed doors about Afghanistan, including that Pakistan is an enemy, that the Taliban will outlast us, and that most Afghans don’t like us.
What is wrong with these people? Why the hell don’t they quit? Make a stink in front of Congress? Call bullshit on this whole ridiculous enterprise? Yes two, four, six years ago there was more room for debate. But now?
Oh, that kind of thing wouldn’t be very polite. That wouldn’t be career-enhancing. Have these “courageous generals” never realized that here’s a time to take a stand. Where is our Billy Mitchell? Where is our Smedley Butler? The war is unwinnable. American lives are being lost every day to “save face.” Well, such face isn’t worth saving, not least because we’ll withdraw at some point regardless, and things in that garbage dump of a country will still go to hell.
Not everyone who supports our continued war there is equally guilty. A great many people don’t know what to do or think about this. They trust the leadership, or they’re optimistic or disinclined by temperament to quit, or some combination of the same. But what about these critics, generals all, who think and talk this way? Are they trying to reform things from within? Wouldn’t that be convenient and oh-so-perfect? And what about Obama who saw with great clarity the fruitlessness of the Iraq campaign? What the f**k is his excuse?