Endless War category archive
Gabriel Young points to news reports that the two decades the United States spent accomplishing almost nothing in Afghanistan (aside from the capture of Bin Laden) suggests that, as a society and a government, the United States is incapable of rational cost-benefit analysis. Here’s a bit; follow the link for his ideas about what might have been more effective use of those trillions.
Seeing the Afghanistan war in the context of similar quagmires in Korea and Vietnam, it has become clear the US government’s decision-making process regarding war is driven by unrealistic expectations, sunk cost fallacies, and especially misguided values.
In addition to the immeasurable human toll, the Associated Press reports that the US spent over 2 trillion dollars on direct costs of the Afghanistan war alone (Knickmeyer, 2021). The AP points out that because the funds for the war were borrowed, the total cost of merely the war itself could easily exceed 6.5 trillion dollars, in addition to 2 trillion more on future care for veterans and 6 trillion on top of that already spent on other aspects of the War on Terror, which will also incur spectacular interest if not paid off. All told, the cost of the Afghanistan war and related efforts could easily add up to between 10 and 20 trillion dollars.
Writing at The Roanoke Times, Nancy Liebrecht discerns a disturbing pattern of hubris and repeated error.
I don’t agree with every point she espouses, but methinks she makes some points worthy of consideration.
The writer of a letter to the editor of the Las Vegas Sun, one who has experience with military strategy, makes an important point. I do not necessarily agree with every word and sentence, but his main point is quite relevant to dis coarse discourse. A snippet:
What was our defined mission in Vietnam? Other than getting Obama bin Laden and his group, what was our defined mission for entering and remaining in Afghanistan?
I normally don’t pay much attention of Ross Douthat–he has a long history of rationalizing the irrational–but, as my old boss used to say, “Even a blind pig finds an acorn sometimes.”
Sam and his crew marvel at how much noncombatants seem to love themselves some combat (which, natch, they will view from afar).
In the first half of this week’s episode of Le Show, Harry Shearer reads from the August 16 “Lessons Learned” report of the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR).
It is not pretty, but it needs to be heard.
You can download the Special Inspector General’s reports (PDF) from the SIGAR website.
I would not call this “recommended listening.” Rather, I would call it required listening.
. . . condemn themselves to repeat it, as Frances Coleman points out in a powerful piece.
Read it yourself.
Seth reminds us that those who are now complaining about the events in Afghanistan are the same persons who made the war, then lied about its progress for two decades.
I think blogger Vixen Strangely may be onto something.
The full post is at the link.
Michael in Norfolk delivers himself of an epic rant about how our media is missing the point. A tidbit:
Click the link for the rest.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Tony Norman pens a parable.
I think he has a valid point.
While on the topic, Gwynne Dyer offers an historical perspective on the roots of Islamic radicalism. Her article provides a context sadly lacking from dis coarse discourse.
A Random Memory:
I remember standing outside my workplace in the smoking area (it was right outside the back door and, yes, I freed myself from that addiction over a decade ago, thank heavens) with my boss at the time (he was, by the way, a really good boss and a pleasure to work for), a veteran army NCO who, among other things, had participated in “drug interdiction” efforts in Central America.
He was enthusing over President George the Worst’s proposed war in Irag, saying that he was glad “there is a Texan in the White House.”
All I could say in reply was, “I have a bad feeling about this.”