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Chan Lowe: The Afghanistan morass


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I haven’t read Bob Woodward’s new book, Obama’s Wars, yet, but enough has leaked out (all Bob Woodward has to do is belch and it becomes a weeklong media beltway story) to tell us that we’re really stuck.

Wars are always a confluence of pragmatism and politics. A political genius like FDR was able to unite the American people behind our involvement in World War II by laying out a clear purpose. In so doing, he provided the nation with a way of knowing exactly when it had achieved its objective.

It didn’t hurt his case that the Japanese pulled a sneak attack on the Pacific Fleet, or that we were fighting organized nation-states that knew how to officially surrender and cease hostilities when they were beaten.

In other words, in WWII the politics and the resoluteness of national will were not issues that needed tending, so we could turn our focus completely and wholeheartedly to prosecuting the war.

In the case of Afghanistan, we are bogged down building a nation whose “citizens” don’t even think of themselves as “Afghans,” and where the original purpose for invading⎯to root out al-Qaida⎯may no longer even be operative.

Besides, it appears that we’re losing. Americans hate to lose. What they hate even more is sacrificing American lives when they don’t see a clear purpose.

And in case we didn’t think things could get any worse, now we all know--thanks to Bob Woodward--that nobody in our leadership agrees on what to do to extricate ourselves.


Categories: Barack Obama (172), International (86), War on Terror (50), Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (52)
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Comments

Actually, we aren't stuck at all: Fly in transports, put troops and equipment on them, fly out. There - no longer stuck, problem solved.


Very insightful Chan. Keep up the good work


Its really sad to see us nation building a country with a literacy rate of 20%.The war can't be won with rules of engagement that avoid collateral damage at all costs.


Dwight Was Right...
The Military-Complex Has Might...
Really Don't See A End In Sight....

Eisenhower said it all, in his 1961 farewell speech...

According to Woodward's book, "Obama's War", the Pentagon-Brass sat the Prez. down & gave him the sad facts....You "own" the war, but we :own" you.....
The biggest "Jobs Program" is the U.S. Military, Shadow-Army mercenaries, & the Defense Contractors....

Unless we start rebuilding our failing infrastructure, manufacturing products again, we'd better get use to "Forever Wars".....


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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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