Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Wrong War

The war in Afghanistan is now America's longest war. The 2014 completion of mission still remains years into the future. Yet after all of this, there still seems to be a lack of clarity about our objectives and and about how we might achieve them. We seemed to have broken the momentum of the Taliban. The people don’t seem to want to live under Taliban rule, but neither do they want American rule. There seems to be no "what’s next." We say we don’t want to “nation build”, bet we’re supporting and helping to build up a corrupt and irrelevant central government. Like Vietnam, we say we want to win the hearts and minds of the people, yet what price does this objective have on the warrior ethos we expect of our military?  In short, how do we exit Afghanistan, with clear goals, honestly obtained and most of all what can we learn that really can help us fight the next war?

Bing West, a former Marine combat veteran, a former assistant Secretary of Defense and brilliant chronicler of war, shares his insights into Afghanistan in The Wrong War: Grit, Strategy, and the Way Out of Afghanistan.

My conversation with Bing West:

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