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Marc Ash on Afghanistan: Bush was warned it would end this way

A Soviet Afghanistan debacle had ended a little more than a decade earlier. “And then we did the exact same thing. Breathtaking,” he writes.

Evacuees crowd the interior of a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft, carrying some 640 Afghans to Qatar from Kabul, Afghanistan, on Sunday.
Evacuees crowd the interior of a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft, carrying some 640 Afghans to Qatar from Kabul, Afghanistan, on Sunday.
Courtesy of Defense One/Handout via REUTERS

I believe some wars can’t be avoided, so I’m not a full-on pacifist, but guess I believe most wars can be avoided and most of those that can be, should be.

In a short piece, persuasive to me, Marc Ash of Reader Supported News argues that the United States should never have invaded and tried to occupy Afghanistan. The 9/11 attacks were planned and committed by Saudis, led by Osama bin Laden, not by Afghans. Twenty years later, we end our Afghan military operation having accomplished little of lasting importance and with the Taliban returning to full power in Afghanistan.

In making his argument, Ash raises an exchange between two colonels, an American and a Vietnamese, as the U.S. were pulling out of Vietnam 1975.

“You know,” the American colonel told his North Vietnamese counterpart,  “You never defeated us on the battlefield.”

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Colonel Nguyen Don Tu famously replied, “That may be so. But it is also irrelevant.”

I’m sure the point is obvious, but it packs a punch, especially, of course, when applied to a war between an invader from far away and a home team, fighting to liberate its own territory.

Ash’s piece is brief, so I won’t excerpt any more from it except one more paragraph just below. But I encourage you to give the whole piece a read.

Here’s that one more excerpt, in which Ash states in his own voice that:

“George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, their entire administration, and all of their enablers were told in no uncertain terms, if you occupy Afghanistan, you will become enmired and exhausted and you will go home in humiliation. That point was indelibly underscored by the Soviet Afghanistan debacle that had ended little more than a decade earlier. And then we did the exact same thing. Breathtaking.”

And here’s the link to the full piece.