War: Sometimes There ‘Is’ a Substitute for Victory - Jerusalem Post op-ed by COL Gian Gentile.
Sometimes the way a military fights a war results in it reaching a point where it is no longer worth the amount of blood and treasure invested to fight it in that way.
... But nation building in Afghanistan to prevent the return of a handful of al- Qaida fighters is a military mission without end.
I mean really, how long does it take to build modern, functioning states from scratch? It took the United States nearly 100 years to work out the fundamental social and political issue that divided it, namely slavery. In Europe it took hundreds and hundreds of years for small feudal entities to combine under centralized governments to form modern states.
So why do the US and its military think that it can achieve this in Afghanistan in only a few years? Because the American military, with buy-in from its political leaders, has come to accept a narrative that says nation building anywhere in the world can be done, if only the right general is put in charge and the tactics are tweaked...