There is going to be much finger pointing about whom to blame for losing Afghanistan.
The Republicans will point to the Democrats and say that because they were weak on defense, and that they were not sufficiently committed, that the Democrats lost Afghanistan.
The Democrats will point to the Republicans, and with all the sincerity they can muster, will say if you had not led us to a useless war in Iraq then we would have won in Afghanistan; it was your Republican President who made it the forgotten war.
Our Allies will point to our nation and say that it was you who got us to join you in this endeavor, it was you, the arrogant United States who led us down the primrose path; it was you America, the evil superpower, who lost Afghanistan.
The American military will say that we were stabbed in the back. It was the weak kneed politicians who sold us down the river. If we had just stayed a little longer, if we had just had some gee whiz weapons, if we had more money, more soldiers, more of everything we would have won. It was the socialists and the liberals, and the non-believing secular humanists that sold us down the river and caused us to lose Afghanistan.
The American people will little notice that we lost, for they were never at war. They went to the mall. They played their little league games. They put on false patriotism when they thanked a soldier, thankful it was he or she and not their precious son or daughter who went to Afghanistan.
There will be a group of Americans who do not blame, who grieve for their loved ones who now lie in eternal rest with their comrades, guarded by white marble Crosses, Stars of David, and the Islamic Crescent.
Another group of Americans, men and women who went forward voluntarily to do their nation’s bidding and whose bodies and minds are broken by the war in a far away and strange lands who know, like all the veterans of that conflict that it was not the dead, or the broken, or those who went to a far away land who lost Afghanistan. It was all those who seek to blame someone else rather than looking in the mirror, who lost Afghanistan.
And in Afghanistan they will rejoice that they expelled the infidel Americans, as they expelled the infidel Russians and British and any other foreigner who dared invade their country and dared to try to bring them into the current century. The Afghnas will go back to their warrior ways, to their tribes, to their revenge killings, to the brutality of a country mired in ways and mores at odds with our western concepts of modernity.
COL (R) Henry “Hank” Foresman, Jr. retired from the United States Army after thirty-three years of service. He is now employed as a Department of the Army Civilian, the views express are his and do not reflect the views of the Department of Defense or the Department of the Army.
The photograph is of George C. Marshall in China. He was sent there by Truman to seek a peace. Marshall was blamed by McCarthy for Mao's victory. pl