Polls show that support for the Af-pak war is fading. The standard rationals for the war — prevent another 9-11, nation-building — are demolished. The debate has shown the war’s advocates without an substantive reasons for the war. We will soon see if the American public notices. Or cares. Or can make its voice heard.
To save the war, some of the more creative among them have come up with a new reason why we fight: to prevent atomic war between India and Pakistan. These wild stories, with no evidentiary foundation, show the intellectual bankruptcy of the war.
- “9/11, American Myopia and Nuclear War“, Jari Lindholm (Finnish journalist), posted at his blog, “The stupidest man on earth, 20 August 2009
- “Breaking: Finnish Blogger Nibbled to Death by Fellow Doves“, 24 August 2009
- “The Case for Afghanistan: Strategic Considerations“, Joshua Foust, Registan, 27 August 2009
- “Shedding Blood For Pakistan?“, Chris Bodenner, posted at Andrew Sullivan’s site at The Atlantic, 30 August 2009
As usual since these wars began, there is some mild questioning of this latest reason why we fight: “Analyzing the Case for Afghanistan“, Michael Cohen, 27 August 2009.
But as they total spent grows to the trillions, and the numbers of dead rise to uncounted totals, some grow willing to speak more strongly Bernard Finel of the American Security Project provides the necessary rebuttal in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nuclear War. Please read this in full. Summary:
As it turns out, these arguments are wrong — but not just wrong in details, but wrong in strategic logic and structure as well. I mean, they are essentially as wrong as wrong can be. They are in a way, the antithesis of what a reasonable debate about national strategy ought be.
Of course, if we are to take this theory seriously, there are other questions to be answered (from Foust describes the case for our war in Afghanistan):
(1) Do the folks involved consider this a serious problem? Do they believe that we’re the solution?
(2) If so, why have their governments not formally asked us for help? (”us” being whoever they believe best suited for the task). Otherwise we’re playing Father Knows Best. Neo-colonialism. Their request for assistance would give our efforts greater legitimacy — to the people in the area, the other nations of the world, and (not least) the American people.
(3) How many of the people in Afghanistan and Pakistan want want our help? Forcing it upon them might destabilize the region even further. Evidence from Pakistan suggests that our efforts are unwanted.
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To see all posts about our new wars:
Some posts about the war in Afghanistan:
- Why are we are fighting in Afghanistan?, 9 April 2008 — A debate with Joshua Foust.
- Stratfor: “The Strategic Debate Over Afghanistan”, 13 May 2009
- Real experts review a presentation about the War (look here, if you’re looking for well-written analysis!), 21 June 2009
- The Big Lie at work in Afghanistan – an open discussion, 23 June 2009
- “War without end”, a great article by George Wilson, 27 June 2009
- “Strategic Calculus and the Afghan War” by George Friedman of Stratfor, 17 July 2009
- Powerful insights about our war in Afghanistan, part 1, 18 July 2009
- We are warned about Afghanistan, but choose not to listen (part 2), 19 July 2009
- Powerful insights about our war in Afghanistan, part 3, 20 July 2009
- You can end our war in Afghanistan, 20 August 2009
- The love of an ally is sweet to behold, 21 August 2009 — About Pakistan.
- We must stay in Afghanistan to prevent atomic war!, 24 August 2009