Monday, March 19, 2012

The Long War Will Kill US All

The war in Afghanistan is the longest large-scale, multi-divisional war fought in American history. The recent atrocity of 16 civilian deaths at the hands of an American soldier on his FOURTH combat tour demonstrates the horrible consequences of extended combat on everyone in the theater, civilian and warfighter alike. I, as an army vet, am appalled at nearly every aspect of this engagement, but I'm specifically concerned about the devastating effects on our own military services both as functional organizations, and on the individuals--and their families--who serve.

I'm writing now to alert you to an excellent article by George Friedman of Stratfor Global Intelligence, "Afghanistan and the Long War". In the article, Mr Friedman explains:

In the course of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, military strategists in the United States developed the concept of the long war. The theory was presented in many ways, but its core argument was this: The defeat of Taliban forces and the Iraqi resistance would take a long time, but success would not end the war because Islamist terrorism and its supporters would be a constantly shifting threat, both in the places and in the ways they would operate. Therefore, since it was essential to defeat terrorism, the United States was now engaging in a long war whose end was distant and course unknown.

Mr. Friedman goes on to do an excellent job of analyzing the evolution of the long war doctrine, and presents a compelling argument for its termination. If you have a serious interest in geopolitics, this is a must-read from the president of what's been called the "shadow CIA," not exactly a bleeding-heart liberal, like me.

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