When you consider that there exists no coherent strategy for conventionally “winning” the war in Afghanistan, and that the only way we’ll ever exit that morass is if we somehow convince the natives to cooperate with us on a permanent basis, you realize what a tragedy the Quran-burning blunder really was.
We’ve been involved in that star-crossed chunk of real estate for over ten years now. Many families have lost loved ones who volunteered to fight for American freedoms, and were let down by a succession of civilian leaders who either never knew or lost sight of our strategic purpose for being there.
Maybe all the money, time, effort and lives we’ve squandered over there were starting to pay off in terms of convincing the locals we were working in their best interests⎯that’s a matter of debate. What we know for sure is that the fateful trip to the Bagram incinerator probably set us back several years in that fight.