Our main failure as I see it, is completely over estimating our patience and willigness to take casualties.
It's the exact opposite. Nobody would have guessed back in 2000 or 2001 that the West would have the patience to participate in an Afghan civil war for 18 years and suffer more than a 3,000+ dead in the process.
The very idea was INSANE.
What you're writing here is unhinged IMO, bizarro world-ish.
And that "side tracked by Iraq" stuff sounds eerily like "job not finished" Gulf War talk.
A myth in the making, TOTALLY free-floating from any contact to thinking about what, when, where, why going to war makes sense. Kindergarten-level intellectualism.
Thank you, clearly I fit into Tanknet much better than I thought I did.
Side Tracked, well they were pulling troops out of Afghanistan to make Iraq happen, at just the time when they needed to be there. By 2006 the situation that looked so promising in 2002 was going to hell in a handcart. The two events are clearly connected. Yes, the Taliban would have resurged anyway. But we would likely have made further progress in rebuilding the Afghan state and be ready for it. And we werent. We were spread fighting 2 COIN wars, when one would have fully taxed us. In the event, we didnt win in Iraq at all. We just gave the insurgents a place in Government and they stopped fighting. That should have freed up forces to double down on Afghanistan, but as it turned out, the opposite happened. People had enough of foreign involvements, and the new president gave them what they wanted. Im surprised Afghanistan didnt collapse right then.
Back in 1999 or so, Bill Clinton launched a cruise missile attack on Afghanistan. We thought that would be the limit of Western Involvement. In September 2001 we learned that tickling the problem with standoff weapons was not going to work. The intervention that followed was inevitable, and as it happened, fairly cheap. What nobody envisaged was quite how long the afterwork would be, and how little resolve there would be for it.
You can read on this site 10 years ago Americans lamenting that Americans had already forgotten 911 and hence had lost resolve. They were right.
Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 16 August 2018 - 0205 AM.