You get the foreign policy and defense policy that you vote for. What will happen in Afghanistan over the next few years is not the fault of the military - this mess of Strategic dystopia is the fault of those in civilian uniforms in Washington DC and Brussels, Belgium.
US Gen. Joseph Dunford told the paper that Afghan security forces may need five more years of western support before being able to take over full responsibility.
“I view it as serious, and so do all the commanders,” Dunford said of the toll, which has often hit 100 per week.
“I’m not assuming that those casualties are sustainable.”
The general said “time is going to tell” whether NATO had been right to switch in June from playing a combat role to a “train, advise, assist” operation.
“I don’t think you can tell that today,” he added.
Call what we have broken if you wish - as it is - or some other shambolic mess by those who think themselves wiser than centuries of lessons show - but everyone needs to think about the second and third order effects of what is happening now and how it will manifest itself in the next decade. That is when the bill will be due.
Wishing for the impossible does not help, however hopeful and well meaning that may be. No, we need cold, hard, and experienced based thinking that is focused on the long term.
A couple of decades ago, good people warned about the second and third order effects of Somalia going south or sideways - and the path from there to 9/11 in hindsight is clear. At the time no one knew where it would lead, but many people warned of the dark path it could lead to.
On the decay of AFG post 2014 and any of the bad options we now find ourselves in Syria, we have only made the future more chaotic. that chaos will have to be addressed - but in history's great schadenfreudic habits - addressed by those who had nothing to do with it to begin with.