One needs to understand the culture and mindset of career military officers. They are taught to make war. They are taught that surest road to flag rank is to fight in a war. War is good, War is just. And as I observed in so many of my colleagues, war is better than no war at all. It is life that is attended with all of the bravado and posturing one would expect of would be gladiators.
Maureen then writes, "It’s just another sign of the complete incoherence of Afghan policy." Which exactly echoes what Michael Hastings wrote in his Rolling Stone article, "Dispatching 150,000 troops to build new schools, roads, mosques and water-treatment facilities around Kandahar is like trying to stop the drug war in Mexico by occupying Arkansas and building Baptist churches in Little Rock."
I wish Maureen or Bob Herbert or someone would remind their readers that the 09/11 plot was not hatched in Afghanistan. It was hatched in Hamburg, Germany. And the Al Qaeda zealots who were the main players in the 09/11 attack did not train in Afghanistan. They trained right here in America at domestic commercial flight training schools. We were told that since the Taliban government in Afghanistan refused to turn over Osama Bin Laden that we need to invade that country to bring down the Taliban and to capture and bring Bin Laden to justice. Bin Laden has never been captured and certainly won't be no matter how many American troops are sent to die in that country.
Maureen also writes, "Yet we keep killing and making more enemies." Put an exclamation point consisting of the deaths of civilians caused by drone attacks on this statement. Stop and think about this for a minute. We have developed killer technology that puts no American lives at risk but that isn't so precise that it can discriminate between civilian and insurgent. The Afghans and the Pakistanis hate us for this. And that hatred will abide.
I wish Maureen had written more about the "outrageous cover-up" of the true cause of Pat Tillman's death that General McChrystal orchestrated. The General lied through his teeth in an effort to hide from Tillman's parents and the world the fact that Pat Tillman was fragged by his own troops because of his anti-war views. That's not just outrageous, that is despicably evil.
Sadly, politics may well intervene in the McChrystal matter. Obama may choose to make the General "his man" by pocketing his resignation and then holding it over him while the blood-thirsty McChrystal toes the line and does the President's bidding."