It is no secret that I disagreed with most Libertarians in supporting the invasion of Iraq. I am not a dove in international relations.My view on foreign policy is that anyone who thinks killing my grandchildren is an acceptable way to accomplish their political goals should be killed.
I viewed the Iraq action as a terrorist magnet which would draw those who intended us harm out of Afghanistan and into a more favorable place for us to kill them. To a large extent, that has worked. Though we did not draw Bin Laden and his top lieutenants into Iraq, we have greatly depleted Al Qaida’s middle management.
But one of the most important reasons for supporting taking the War on Radical Islam to Iraq was that it is not Afghanistan. Quick link http://wp.me/paM4C-8MIt is not by accident that Afghanistan is referred to as the Graveyard of Empires.
The Soviets tried to occupy Afghanistan in the 80’s and failed. They had direct land routes for their supplies, and were quite willing to wage war in the customary manner in Asia Minor, which is to annihilate your enemy, his family and his livestock.
They lost because the Mujaheddin were willing to accept those civilian casualties and because we provided the Mujaheddin with advanced arms and satellite intelligence. Do not think for a moment that the Russians are not eager to return the favor.
We are not going to accept the degree of collateral death and destruction the Soviets would, which in that part of the world is taken as lack of will. We are dependent on countries who are more afraid of Putin than of Obama for bases and supply routes. The Russians will see to it we lose, even if it is to their advantage that we win.
There are some wars you fight to the death no matter what. But you do not choose to go to war unless you have some reasonable expectation of achieving your goals. That condition does not exist in Afghanistan.
If hubris takes us further into that graveyard, we will fail, and our enemies, instead of being marginalized by being driven into hiding in their mountain redoubts will be emboldened to strike at us from proven safety.
If we are not willing to go into Afghanistan with liberal use of nuclear weapons, we should stay out. It is wrong and foolish to subject your own troops and the enemy’s families to the horrors of war for no purpose.
If we want Bin Laden’s head on a pike, then we should do it in accordance with long standing Afghan tradition, and hire assassins from among his own ilk.