Telling the Truth About the War in Afghanistan by Anthony H. Cordesman – Center for Strategic and International Studies
Anyone who has lived through the lies the U.S. government told about the war in Vietnam, or its failure to honestly report the uncertainties regarding Iraq’s continued pursuit of weapons of mass destruction that led to the U.S. invasion in 2003, knows how dangerous it is for the U.S. government to paint a false impression of success in a war or crisis, and to lie directly or by omission.
Anyone who has served in the U.S. government also knows how tempting it is for officials, commanders, and public affairs offers to “spin” the course of a war in favorable terms, to pressure the intelligence community for favorable results or silence, and to shape internal planning and analysis around comforting assumptions and illusions.
As Clausewitz touched upon in his classic writing – On War – the fog of war is partly inevitable, but it also can easily can become a self-inflicted wound. Creating a fantasy world is the worst possible way to shape a strategy, commit resources, and try to sustain a conflict…