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08/14/2021

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Kevin Kim

I sense that the right is conflicted on the topic of whether leaving Afghanistan is the right thing to do.* Some say the problem is how Biden messed with Trump's timetable: Trump was going to withdraw; he'd already established an agreement to do so, and then Biden came along and messed with the time frame, making the US look even more untrustworthy for not honoring a commitment.

Others say, as you say above, that we've needed to leave the region for a long time. A long, costly forever war with no clear objectives isn't in the US's interests, so in some sense, Biden at least put an end to the waste (granted, he's wasting money in other areas of the economy; I'm by no means pro-Biden).

But did Biden end things the right way when he left behind all that expensive equipment and abandoned many of the people who helped the US? Maybe the problem isn't so much that Biden pulled us out of Afghanistan as it is HOW he did so—in a cowardly, dishonorable way that allows the enemy to flourish while leaving our in-country allies in the lurch.

I don't know. I'm still sorting all this out in my head. My own instinct is that the US has been involved in too many protracted conflicts where there is no exit strategy because politicians keep changing their damn minds. People with the power to make crucial decisions should read Sun Tzu. Leave war to the military; let those guys set objectives, however brutal, and I guarantee you'll see real progress. The military's role should be confined to kicking over sandcastles, not holding and occupying territory. Modern Americans are terrible conquerors, and that's one reason why I reject the "America is the Roman Empire" thesis: there are simply too many disanalogies. People who think America is imperialistic need only look at today's China to see how REAL imperialists act.

That's a fantasy, of course, thinking that we can just leave things to the military (and with the military becoming increasingly "woke," even it cannot be trusted to do its fundamental job). Basically, politicians are cravens who listen mostly to their loudest constituents, and as long as they determine long-term military strategy, we'll keep making the same mistakes over and over again.

__________

*If you deny there's a conflict and insist the right has a clear, unified vision, I invite you to visit the comments section of Instapundit, where righties manifest a huge diversity of often-conflicting opinions. It's a mess. If you then say that Instapundit commenters aren't experts, I'd counter that they're often more astute and perceptive than the "experts," and they represent a good cross-section of what the public (at least its right half) is thinking.

Charles N. Steele

They can easily get here. A substantial share of the one million “Syrian” immigrants who poured into Germany a few years ago were from Afghanistan. (I say “Syrian” because according to Eurostat only a plurality, not a majority, we’re actually Syrian.)

People crossing our Southern border illegally include Somalis and a fair number of Sub-Saharan Africans. Hezbollah is in South America and assists with such intercontinental travel.

Now that our authorities are “woke” they are likely to pitch in and help in the name of “equity.”

John Pepple

They can easily get here NOW because the open-borders crowd is in charge, but that could change if enough feminists, for example, come to their senses and realize that it is not in their best interests to allow anyone in.

As for "Syrians," I recall that there was a German pretending to be Syrian who managed to snag a lot of freebies. He didn't even speak Arabic, yet he easily fooled those in charge.

John Pepple

Kevin Kim: I agree with you about the military. Just let them do their thing. If we had done that in Iraq, though, there would have been a huge fuss from half the population here in America, so it wasn't politically possible. There was plenty of resistance to our going there in the first place.

I read Instapundit constantly, so I know that there is a diversity of opinions on the right.

Thanks for your comment.

Kevin Kim

I apologize if my use of "you" sounded as if it were directed personally at you. It was meant to be a more generic "you" aimed at differently minded folks. I could have written that comment better.

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