Small Wars Journal

Losing the War in Forgotten Afghanistan

Losing the War in Forgotten Afghanistan by Andrew C. McCarthy – National Review

The media are struggling to fix the nation’s limited August attention on Captain Ahab (a.k.a. House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler) and his quest to nab the great white whale of impeachment. Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, the United States of America, the world’s lone superpower, is about to lose a war to the Taliban.

You heard me right: the Taliban.

This would be the same ragtag gang of sharia-supremacists that harbored al-Qaeda — its enduring ally — while the terror network slaughtered nearly 3,000 Americans on September 11, 2001, the bloodiest attack by a foreign power on our homeland in American history. Worse even than Pearl Harbor.

The Taliban will soon be ruling Afghanistan again, just as it did in those years before 9/11. That is when al-Qaeda was encouraged to make Afghanistan the headquarters of its global anti-American jihad. In recent years, while we were fixated on ISIS, al-Qaeda became stronger, more resilient, and more battle-hardened. When the Taliban retakes control, al-Qaeda will be right back in business.

Lest we forget, its business is killing Americans…

Read on.


From our article above:


To the contrary, it is easy to end an endless war — even more “easy” than winning a trade war. All you have to do is surrender.

Of course, no one wants to call it “surrender.” Indeed, Khalilzad spends his days figuring out how to spin withdrawal as success. But when you abandon the fight while the enemy is still fighting and still determined to attack you, what else should we call it?


What we must all come to understand today is that:

a.  Much as with the Soviets/the communists surrender to the Islamists, under Gorbachev cir. 1989, indicated a "surrender" on a much larger scale.

b.  Likewise the U.S./the West capitulation to the Islamists, under Trump beginning in 2017, also is consistent with a much larger "surrender."

Herein to note that, in both cases, what actually occurred was that: 

a.  These "revolutionary" great powers (the Soviets/the communists; the U.S./the West), and their "expansionist" and "revisionist" allies, 

b.  Whose "raison d'etre" had been to advance their unusual and unique ways of life, ways of governance, values, etc., throughout the world.

c.  Due significantly to the -- highly successful -- "resisting to unwanted transformation" campaigns of their opponents (in both cases, both great nations and small and both state and non-state actors)

d.  Abandoned their such "transformative" "reason to exist" -- which they had pursued for nearly a century -- and became greatly diminished on the world stage accordingly.

In support of this such argument, consider the following quoted items; which, in order of presentation, indicate (a) the "transformative" raison d'etre of the both the U.S./the West and the Soviets/the communists, (b) the U.S./the Wests' formal "surrender" as per our such missions cir. 2017 and [c] a reflection on how these such "surrenders" tend to diminishes great powers as a general rule.

a.  "Transformative" Missions -- as per Hans Morgenthau in 1967:

"The United States and the Soviet Union face each other not only as two great powers which in the traditional ways compete for advantage. They also face each other as the fountainheads of two hostile and incompatible ideologies, systems of government and ways of life, each trying to expand the reach of its respective political values and institutions and to prevent the expansion of the other. Thus the cold war has not only been a conflict between two world powers but also a contest between two secular religions. And like the religious wars of the seventeenth century, the war between communism and democracy does not respect national boundaries. It finds enemies and allies in all countries, opposing the one and supporting the other regardless of the niceties of international law. Here is the dynamic force which has led the two superpowers to intervene all over the globe, sometimes surreptitiously, sometimes openly, sometimes with the accepted methods of diplomatic pressure and propaganda, sometimes with the frowned-upon instruments of covert subversion and open force.

b.  The U.S./the West "surrenders" as per this larger/worldwide mission (of which Afghanistan -- and the Greater Middle East more generally -- was only a part):

Then British Prime Minister Theresa May:

“It is in our interests – those of Britain and America together – to stand strong together to defend our values, our interests and the very ideas in which we believe,” she said.

"This cannot mean a return to the failed policies of the past. The days of Britain and America intervening in sovereign countries in an attempt to remake the world in our own image are over.”

U.S. President Donald Trump:

"We do not expect diverse countries to share the same cultures, traditions, or even systems of government, but we do expect all nations to uphold these two core sovereign duties: to respect the interests of their own people and the rights of every other sovereign nation.”

“Strong sovereign nations let diverse countries with different values, different cultures, and different dreams not just coexist, but work side by side on the basis of mutual respect.”

c.  The understanding that great powers, as a general rule, are significantly diminished by these such surrenders/these such capitulations; which, indeed, may indicative of a much larger demise about to come (in this regard, for example, consider the fate of the Soviet Union):  

"The strength of a great power is diminished if it ceases to serve an idea."

(Raymond Aron, "Peace and War: A Theory of International Relations" [Garden City, NY: Anchor, 1973], p. 280.)

Bottom Line Thought -- Based on the Above:

Our surrender -- to the highly successful "resisting unwanted transformation" Afghans -- much as was the case of the Soviets/the communists similar "surrender" to the Afghans cir. 1989 -- was and is, in truth, indicative (or, indeed, "proof?") of a much larger -- and indeed all encompassing -- "surrender;" as noted above?