City Journal Summer 2014

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Summer 2014
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Michael J. Totten
The Longest War « Back to Story

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There will always be writers who cheerlead for wars. I remember the op-eds during the Iran-Iraq war: Iraq was fighting for western values, etc. The outcome of civilization depended on the result, etc.

As a non-military taxpayer, it seems to me that U.S. forces will always be employed somewhere in the world fighting some war. One hopes the current war will turn out well for the U.S. side, but often it doesn't. Then we move on to the next one. The best course is to cultivate one's private life and let those in the war machine play their parts.
The "why" of this war has never been explained, and the cost isn't worth it.

Plus fighting with an arrogant, no character, "Commander-in-chief" like Obama (who delayed his decision to take down Bin Laden because his political adviser told him it may not be a good idea) sure isn't a morale builder.

Bring 'em home.
And this article begs the question as to why a bunch of ignorant murderous Americans have any right to "struggle for Afghanistan"
It is time to flush that toilet, and get our boys home. It is not that we are defeated; the country, its people, its culture are simply not WORTH it.
Bogiewheel,

I don't believe it was failed military tactics as much as weak political spines, failed French diplomacy, and an inability to maintain logistical lines that led to French failure in Indochina.

Alphonse,

You may be right, but I also know that when a mother - no matter how illiterate and provincial - sees her daughter going to school, and begins to believe that her daughter may have a chance to live a better life than simply being the property of a smelly abusive husband in a poverty-stricken village, her heart and mind do begin to change. More importantly, what that little girl begins to see and hear in school, and how it sparks dreams she may have never dreamed, is when the breakthrough really comes.

This is not theory. I've seen it, and I know it is the only thing that keeps some of our fighting men and women going when they run out of patience with the people running things now.
Thanks for this review, Mr. Totten.
Winning the heart and mind of the local people is a difficult task. The model that
worked well in Iraq may not work elsewhere.
Let us face the realities: No matter how
cogent is our cause, many of these people still percieve us as imperialists.
This appears the same Military tactic the French used in Indochina; and how did that turnout !