Afghanistan will represent a disaster for the west, particularly the United States, as a result of no clear statement of the enemy’s identity, political hamstringing of the military, and plain old statist politics as usual.
War is a hell created by the advocates of political power over individuals. It is the objective of statists to use the threat of physical force to compel individuals in a society to do as the national planners propose, usually through some alleged politics of compromise. Unfortunately, the individual is usually the minority sacrificed to such compromise. Ultimately, such willingness to set aside any concerns for the rights of individual human beings will lead to war. It is the ultimate manifestation of the use of force by men.
When war is necessary to defend a peaceful nation against foreign state-sponsored invaders, the only appropriate objective is to completely defeat the enemy. There is no middle ground. There need be no concern for the consequence of civilian casualties in enemy territory during hostilities. It is always the instigators that bear moral responsibility for civilian casualties.
Because of the unambiguous need to defeat the enemy—for there are no partial victories in life or death—the fight must be left to the military and its generals. Political involvement is only necessary in the decision to go to war in the first place.
That the United States now appears focused on the unnecessary “politics” of war is the best predictor of the likely outcome in Afghanistan. Without a total commitment to defeating the enemy (assuming the politicians figure out its identity), the continued dalliance in Afghanistan will remain the perpetual disaster it is to this date. The generals need more troops they say, even as they are not themselves completely sure of the objective, thanks to the political administration.
The generals have been told, reading between the lines of political maneuverings, to just “shut up”. This will not end well. Not for Americans. Not for political leaders. Not for the warriors. Losses will prevail on every scale.
©Copyright 2009 Edward Podritske