With the wisdom of hindsight perhaps signing an agreement with Taliban in Doha, one which didn’t include the Afghan Government, may have been unwise.

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Yes, there was wisdom to the slogan, "We don't negotiate with terrorists." Even if occasionally we did. Negotiating with terrorists as a formal policy was an insane idea.

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If you check Afghanistan live map US citizens in Kabul have been told to shelter in place and not approach the Embassy or the airport. I don’t know it’s current advice, but it wasn’t there yesterday.


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In light of everything that’s happened, shouldn’t Lloyd Austin, Mark Milley, Avril Haines, William Burns, Antony Blinken, Wendy Sherman and Jake Sullivan all be fired tomorrow?

Do you think that maybe General Milley should have paid a little more attention to what was happening in Afghanistan instead of spending his time figuring out how to introduce critical race theory to our nation’s armed forces?

Is our nation safe with these clowns calling the shots? In light of the incompetence they’ve demonstrated in their current roles (and the roles they played in the Obama Administration) could we win a war with China or Russia if these morons were in charge?

Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Afghan women are about to enter a form of bondage few of us can imagine, mostly because of the cluelessness of leaders of an American political party that pretends to champion the rights of women.

Does Biden see any irony in his decision to demand that Andrew Cuomo step down for sexual misconduct while a mere few days later he abandons Afghanistan to a group of monsters who will rape and pillage any woman they damn well please while preventing girls from going to school? Or in his dotage, has cognitive decline hampered Biden’s ability to perceive irony?

It’s fine to be horrified and say that Biden owns this. But if you voted for Biden, don’t you own a little piece of it too?

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We all own a little piece of this, WigWag. Those who voted for Trump and those who voted for Biden alike. Along with those who voted for Bush, Bush, Obama, and Obama. And indeed, everyone who has in any way contributed to America being what it now is, which is to say, every American, owns this. No one gets to say, "I had nothing to do with this." There's a lot more I could have done. A lot more you could have done. A lot more we could both be doing right now, too. If you'd like to do something, call your Congressman and your Senator and tell them to call the DoD tell them to authorize the ground commander to get this guy and his family on the flight manifest for our next evac plane out of there: https://twitter.com/CombatJourno. He's my friend and he's stuck there with his wife and infant daughter. He believed in us from the very first day.

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Claire, I don't think you have this quite right. It's not a failure of all Americans, it's a failure of the Americans who have been calling all of the shots since the end of the Cold War.

Working class Americans who make up the bulk of the enlisted ranks in our volunteer military joined up for three reasons: (1) many were motivated by patriotism after the 9/11 attack; (2) some came from military families where serving was an important value and (3) some joined for financial reasons as one of their few options after American elites proferred economic policies that shipped their jobs overseas or allowed immigrant labor to drive down their wages.

I don't think these Americans are to blame for the Afghanistan fiasco; many of their sons and daughters served honorably and loyally and did exactly what they were told to do by their superiors who took instructions from America's political class.

Hillary's "deplorables," Obama's religion clingers and gunslingers and Romney's languid 47 percent can't be blamed for any of this.

Many millions of these working class Americans voted for Biden and many millions voted for Trump. Millions of them voted for Obama (sometimes twice) and millions of them voted for McCain or Romney. They voted for one of the two choices presented to them. The fault lies exclusively with American (and European) elites.

Claire, you should be blaming the political class; some call it the Uniparty (which may not be wholly right, but is partly right.) What did members of the Uniparty have in common? Despite their many differences (including their membership in different political parties) they were all globalists. Call them neoconservatives or liberal internationalists or any other label you prefer, but they committed mistake after mistake after mistake. We are now seeing the results of their failure, They've squandered American resources on their fantasy of exporting democracy to the world and now, as a result of our defeat in Afghanistan, they have squandered whatever slight reputation for greatness that America had left.

Don't you see it Claire? Blaming everyone is as good as blaming no one. It clarifies nothing. It's not all Americans who screwed this up, it was American decision-makers and their amen section; the press, the pundits, the academic-experts and the minor functionaries who grease the wheels of the Administrative State.

In their greed, their arrogance and their ignorance, first they adopted economic policies that ruined the lives of millions and then they propagated social policies that defined millions of their fellow citizens as irredeemable bigots. The icing on this putrid cake is their failed experiment in the Middle East and South Asia. All capped off by their horrifying display of contempt for what millions of Afghans are about to reap.

Respectfully, Claire, Afghanistan isn't everyone's failure. It's surely a failure of people who live in places like the Upper West Side of New York, Brookline, Massachusetts, Silicon Valley and Santa Monica in California.

Ultimately what we've just witnessed, as horrifying as it is, is evidence of a failed ideology called globalism.

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First and foremost WigWag those places you listed like Brookline and Santa Monica were some of the most anti war places in the US in the 2000s. You might not like these places as a matter of personal preference but I can tell you from personal experience Brookline, MA was hardly chomping at the bit to go to war in either Afghanistan or Iraq in the early 2000s.

Second I do agree that American elites deserve a proportionate share of the blame but in reality if you could turn back the clock would you have preferred another set of elites back during the 2000s. Russia and China were very sympathetic to Saddam Hussein and violated the UN sanctions with impunity. If I went back in time to 2002 would have I found a WigWag deeply in love with Russia and China. Canada's elites successfully navigated around the shoals of the 2008 financial crisis and Canadian banks didn't take one nickel in bailout money however, the same Canadian "elites" that prevented a financial crisis in Canada were also involved in corrupt dealings in the Saddam Hussein Iraq Oil for Food program. French elites stopped there own version of 9/11 way back in 1994 but some of the same govt officials who organized the retaking of the hijacked AF flight and the rescue of all the passengers personally made millions from Saddam's Oil for Food program. Would WigWag of that time preferred them or the incompetent buffoons' at the CIA that couldn't stop 9/11?


PS. There is a story that after the first plane hit the World Trade Center and Jacques Chirac who at an event in Rouen and was being rushed back to the Elysee Palace was hurriedly quizzing about how did they tell the US everything they needed to know about Air France Flight 8969 that happened earlier in his presidency. One reason I always bring up Maggie Thatcher to Claire is I think she is in a roundabout way disproportionately responsible for a lot today's problems in the US and UK.

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This is an object lesson in what Democrats actually mean when they prattle of “smart power.” These people presented themselves as the grown-up alternative to warmongering neocons and xenophobic isolationist MAGA types. Well the Afghanistan debacle models their alternative—which the worst of both worlds.

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On numerous occasions since he became President, Biden has assured the world that,

“America is back!”


Of course, now that seems like a cruel joke.

But to be fair, Biden was merely trying to do what politicians always do; make themselves look like heroes. Biden’s pathetic attempt to capture glory by ending the war in Afghanistan on the 20th anniversary of 9/11 will go down in history in the same embarrassing manner as George W Bush’s “V Accomplished” speech.

I think what’s more important is what Biden was told by our military leaders and intelligence officials. If they warned Biden of the likely consequences and he ignored them, that’s one thing.

On the other hand, if our military leaders and intelligence officials were themselves caught off card, then we have a huge problem that transcends Biden’s arrogance.

Either way, there is one guy who warned us about Clueless Joe; that would be former DOD Secretary Gates. He famously said, Biden

“…has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”


At least Gates got that one right.

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I voted for Biden I don't own this, YOU own this WigWag.

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No, it won’t do. This fiasco was totally preventable. The only reason it happened was because Joe Biden wanted bragging rights for “ending a war” on the twentieth anniversary of 9/11. It was a cynical, craven, cowardly and detestable political ploy, nothing more. And it exposes for all to see the true character of kindly old Uncle Joe. And if you voted for that rat, you own a piece of this shameful bug-out.

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Screw you, Thomas M Gregg. And screw the Hoosier state where you live that produced Mike Pence.

And you know what Thomas M Gregg you are damn right I own a piece of this and I damn proud of it. Unlike you I am not some hanger on Indiana residing Patrick Deneen Notre Dame associated Catholic integrationalist rad-trad Salazar loving fascist.

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Well, I would just note that proudly owning a piece of Bug-Out Joe’s Afghanistan policy is kind of like congratulating yourself for having invested a hundred percent of your life savings in zinc futures…

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Tim, kinding refrain from telling other subscribers to screw themselves or calling them fascists, irrespective of whether this is your private opinion. Given our stated ideological commitments is highly unlikely that anyone who pays money to subscribe to this newsletter would be a fascist in any meaningful sense. (If Thomas is a Salazar enthusiast, the Cosmopolitan Globalist would surely make for a strange choice of reading material.) Telling someone "Screw you" is just vulgar.

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Well, I will confess to a sneaking admiration for Bismarck…

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Do the Cosmopolitan Globalists now realize that their preference for Biden over Trump was a big mistake?

Yes, Trump wanted to pull out of Afghanistan too and he negotiated with the Taliban. But does anyone think that he would have permitted the Taliban to humiliate both the United States and him the way the Taliban has humiliated the United States and the current President?

It’s obvious, there’s simply no way he would have permitted it without the most forceful of responses. With Biden calling the shots, the Taliban realize they have nothing to fear.

In just the past few months, we’ve experienced the collapse of democracy in Hong Kong, a deterioration in the situation in Ukraine, an unfolding calamity in Iran, a failure to respond assertively to Belarus aggression and an assortment of domestic failures almost too numerous to actually enumerate. Of course the border situation, which straddles the line between domestic and foreign policy, is a bigger mess than ever.

This is what happens when you project weakness masquerading as sophistication. Speak loudly and carry a small stick seems to be the credo Joe Biden has adopted. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, Biden, Harris, Blinken, Malley, Wendy Sherman and the rest of Biden’s “A-team” are little more than sheep in sheep’s clothing.

Trump was surely no genius and he had some truly loathsome qualities, but he had one thing that his successor has none of; a modicum of common sense and an understanding that appeasement and weakness rarely lead to stability, much less victory?

Let me propose a rule of thumb; anyone who would have been comfortable attending Barack Obama’s recent soirée in Martha’s Vineyard should never be allowed anywhere near a position of influence in the United States. If that’s too complicated maybe a simpler rule would work better. We should simply exclude anyone who attended an Ivy League school from leadership positions in the Executive Branch, Congress or the Judiciary.

Here’s my question to the Cosmopolitan Globalists? When will you acknowledge that in the contest between Trump and Biden, you picked the wrong side. The global community was more peaceful and stable with Trump in the White House than Biden. A functional international order was safer when Trump was calling the shots than the candidate you preferred.

Is there a single member of the Cosmopolitan community willing to admit that the picked the wrong horse; the weak horse? Everything globalists cherish is collapsing before their eyes. The fall of Afghanistan isn’t the canary in the coal mine, it’s a perfect metaphor for everything that’s about to befall the world community. And all of it is brought to us courtesy of the “experts” who were going to rescue us from Trump and his Neanderthals.

Had Trump been re-elected the Cosmopolitan Globalists would have been very unhappy but not as unhappy as they are now.

Guess what, Cosmopolitan Globalists, you got it wrong. It’s time to fess up.

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The best that might be said of Trump is that if he’d been in charge of the withdrawal, this disaster might have unfolded in slow motion rather than with thunderclap suddenness. Bottom line: It was the policy of withdrawal that was fundamentally wrongheaded. Surely recent events have made that clear.

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How about this: I'll admit Biden was a mistake if you admit Trump was a mistake. Because this was a one-two punch. Deal?

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Yes, but Obama was a mistake too, and Hillary Clinton certainly would have been. Too bad that Mitt Romney didn’t unseat He of the Perfect Trouser Creases in 2012…

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So everyone after George W Bush was a mistake?

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I would argue Trump is in fact very similar to a lot of the Pakistan leadership class like AQ Khan. There are all very arrogant and prideful. I almost think of them as akin to the Phil Leotardo character from the Sopranos tv show. The thing is Phil Leotardo ends up dead and his brain smashed in from being driven over by his own SUV.


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No I am not unhappy. Trump is a fucking fascist who should be hung and btw Trump has been humiliated more times than I can count.

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While I share your feelings about Trump, please don't swear here. I know I have before, but I regret it. It's just vulgar. There are good reasons for maintaining certain standards of civility, no matter our emotions. It's an exercise in acting like civilized people, which is a skill we have to *practice* or it erodes--fast.

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Tim, finally some good news; the Biden Administration is showing some toughness. Secretary of State Blinken has notified the Taliban that they will not be permitted to enter the U.S. Embassy in Kabul until they are fully vaccinated.

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I think if you go back to the historical record you will find that Trump set in motion most of the events happening today. It was Trump who started high level negotiations with the Taliban.

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Something that bothers me that no one here including here including Claire and Vivek seems to get that Afghanistan is a landlocked country and the US doesn't particularly have good relations with any of it's neighbors. Essentially even the ability to evacuate the remaining US Embassy staff is dependent on the cooperation of Pakistan.

So there are two options as I see it. One is find another one of Afghanistan's neighbors like Iran that can be used as an entry point into the country. The second is to bring the fight directly to Pakistan i.e. for the US to declare war on Pakistan instead of the Taliban. What frustrates me is people like Thomas Gregg seem to reject the first option as completely out of the question given there dislike of the Iranian regime and people like Claire as much as they are calling the current situation in Afghanistan a disaster don't seem to have any stomach for US-Pakistan conflict involving tactical nuclear weapons especially given Claire just 15 days ago was calling the most urgent global existential crisis to be the use of nuclear weapons NOT what is happening today in Afghanistan.


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I make no apologies for my dislike of the Islamofascist Iranian regime. Having said that, I believe that problems can only be solved, if at all, by simplifying them, not by complicating them. Trump’s Afghanistan withdrawal plan, and Biden’s, complicated a problem that was really quite simple: How to prevent the Taliban from returning to power? The simple solution was continued enforcement of the existing stalemate: a low-cost, high-return policy. The complex solution produced the results we see.

I’m personally of the opinion that a real effort should have been made to destroy the Taliban. But placing them in check, though not as satisfying, met the minimum definition of victory. And in that circumstance, a more or less permanent US military presence ensured that they’d remain in check. I fail to understand why that should be deemed so terribly objectionable.

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None of this makes the slightest bit of sense. The Taliban could easily have been neutralized at any point from 2001 to now, and Pakistan would never have risked a direct conflict with the US to protect them. Even failing that, the continuation of a small US military presence would have perpetuated a stalemate. The claim that such a commitment on the part of the US was “unsustainable” is fatuous. We enforced such a stalemate in Europe for forty years and are still doing so in Korea—in both cases at a much higher price. There’s no excuse for what Biden has done. Pointing the finger of blame at Trump is a tacit admission that Biden is equally wrongheaded and incompetent. After all, he was under no obligation to execute Trump’s policy, correct?

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The stalemate in Europe was enforced by two nuclear powers in close proximity, France and the USSR. And BTW, the Claire Berlinski's and Toomas Ilves'(or at least his parents and relatives in New Jersey) thought that stalemate was immoral and praised the moral clarity of people like Margaret Thatcher and Zbig Brzezinski who support the predecessors of the Taliban to bleed the USSR to end that stalemate in Europe by draining the USSR economically. Hell Claire wrote a whole book on the greatness of Maggie Thatcher.



To Brzezinski credit he actually was quite honest for several years before he died that he was quite content to see a govt in Kabul with Taliban involvement and basically was all around content to pull out of Afghanistan. Further Brezhinski basically said the Taliban was doing to the US what he tried to do the Soviets and there Afghan allies.


Lastly do any of you have any idea how different West Germany of 1965 was to Afghanistan of today? Can you even comprehend how different they are? 1965 was exactly 20 years after 1945. By 1965 US Troops were basically on vacation in West Germany enjoying the sights during their off duty time.

BTW, David Frum of the George W Bush Administration is on record tonight as saying Pakistan absolutely with nukes would have risked a direct conflict with the US to protect their Taliban allies.

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And I am going to make a final comment tonight. I watched Biden's speech tonight again and finally figured what historical figure would have given a similar speech. This figure of course is cold blooded haughty Charles De Gaulle throwing the Pied Noirs and the Harki's to the wolves and what happened this weekend isn't Saigan but Algiers in 1962 with Biden retreating to Camp David while the wolves go out for their prey much as De Gaulle would retreat to Colombey-les-Deux-Églises while the Harkis and Pied Noirs got slaughtered.

For better or worse America just became a little more like France today not just France generally but Gaullist France with all it pretentiousness you see today in leaders like Macron. As midnight approaches in Washington, DC this one of the most pivotal days in American history as April 8th 1962 is in French history. Also the parallel of old hasbeen Joe Biden returning to politics to save American democracy ala De Gaulle in 1958 and Biden implying he had Afghans backs earlier this year akin to De Gaulle speaking in Algiers on the balcony saying "I can hear you"


PS. Arun Kapil should have some views on this but I know he doesn't like me comparing the events of French Algiers to anything in America as he thinks they have no relevance.

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The comparison between Algeria and Afghanistan strikes me as superficial. De Gaulle was liquidating a troublesome, very costly colonial commitment that had caused considerable political instability in metropolitan France. And his hard-heartedness toward the pied noirs owed much to their support of the Vichy regime during World War II. None of that is particularly relevant to Afghanistan.

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I thought of that analogy too, but I think Arun would be right. Britain's collapse East of Suez is closer. Think the fall of Singapore to Japan.

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That too although I actually think the Algeria analogy is closer. The US will still remained involved in Afghanistan(and Pakistan) covertly just as France has remained involved in Algeria. In some sense French Presidents after De Gaulle still had to remain concerned with Algeria but with nothing like the turmoil the 4th Republic governments faced.

Probably the closest France ever came to De Gaulle's gamble of withdrawing from Algeria turning sour was in 1994 during the hijacking of Air France Flight 8969 which could have very well turned into a French 9/11. This is a bit personal for me as I actually for some reason remember that hijacking even though I was 11 years old living the US and those events were the first things that came to my mind on the morning of 9/11/01. It was at that point that I realized that American state competency was not all that I had been taught growing up that it was cracked up to be and some other democracies like France had there act far more together.

I have no idea how much of a factor this was in stopping the hijackers of flight 8969 from attacking Paris but some of the people in charge of responding to the hijacking were some really mean Gaullist sons of bitches. I am thinking of Charles Pasqua who was Interior Minister but also the founder of the infamous Gaullist Party private militia/crime family SAC which was formed in cooperation with Corsican organized crime to protect De Gaulle from sympathizers with the Generals Putsch and OAS within the official police service. (I have been suggesting for a while given the sympathizes of many in the US police forces for Trump and Trumpism that the US Democrats need there own version of the SAC like the Guallists had in France. I know this also drives Arun Kapil nuts at me even suggesting the concept and comparison)


PS. Some of my previous comments on this post are not some of my greatest works and I do apologize for them.

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And more here on how take out Pakistan nuclear weapons and how Pakistani nationalists would probably react(a fit of rage against the West).


And I don't get why everyone things AQ Khan is some genius. He basically stole technology from other people and I don't why we just don't call AQ Khan who is extremely prideful person stupid to his face. I personally would be delighted to call AQ Khan stupid to his face.

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This essay by Vivek Kelkar is far and away the most informative discussion of this topic that I’ve seen anywhere. It’s really a treat to be able to subscribe to this terrific site.

In 2009, journalist Nicholas Schmidle, published a book highlighting the two years he spent traveling on the Afghan/Pakistan border. Mr. Kelkar’s article motivated me to go back and reread it; it’s still brilliant. The book is entitled “To Live or to Perish Forever.” Schmidle’s interviews with Taliban fighters are particularly fascinating. See,


The impending Afghan disaster puts me in mind of the saddest outcome of the Afghanistan imbroglio; the American service members who’s lives were devastated by what will go down in history as America’s greatest defeat since Viet Nam.

Prior to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan soldiers injured so grievously that they required the amputations of either three or four limbs almost never survived. As a result of medical and especially surgical advances, triple and quadruple amputees from our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq often survived their injuries.

I’ve met several of these young servicemen and I can assure you that it’s a humbling and remarkably emotional experience.

My interactions with these young men came from some small volunteer activities I’ve undertaken with the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

For those unfamiliar with the organization it was founded to honor the memory of Stephen Siller, a New York City fireman who lost his like when the second tower collapsed on 9/11.

The story goes like this; On September 11, 2001, Stephen, who was assigned to Brooklyn’s Squad 1, had just finished his shift and was on his way to play golf with his brothers when he got word over his scanner of a plane hitting the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Upon hearing the news, Stephen called his wife Sally and asked her to tell his brothers he would catch up with them later. He returned to Squad 1 to get his gear.

Stephen drove his pick up truck to the entrance of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel (which connects Brooklyn to Manhattan) but it had already been closed for security purposes. Determined to carry out his duty, he strapped 60 lbs. of gear to his back, and ran on foot through the tunnel to the Twin Towers, where he gave up his life while saving others when the second tower collapsed.

To honor Stephen’s sacrifice, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation was established to support first responders and service members injured in 9/11 or the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that 9/11 inspired.

One of the organization’s most important projects is building specially equipped homes for triple and quadriplegic amputees who returned home from America’s wars in the Middle East.

These homes are especially expensive to build because of the special accommodations required for people missing three or four limbs. Everything from the faucets to the toilets to the door knobs need to be custom made. Special lifts are required to facilitate movement. On average the cost of these accommodations increases the cost of these homes to close to $1 million each. On top of designing, building and paying for the homes, the Foundation attempts to negotiate real estate tax abatements for these soldiers because their disability payments don’t provide them with adequate income to pay property taxes on homes that cost this much.

I’ve been to a few of the “openings” of these houses and while the service members are invariably thrilled to get these houses at no cost, it solves only a small portion of their numerous difficulties.

Many of these warriors come home to find that their spouses have left them because they are not able to face what a lifetime of providing care would mean. Often, these men have to invite their moms to live with them to provide the necessary care. How many men in their mid 20s to early 30s look forward to the prospect of living with their parents, potentially for decades? What happens when their parents become too infirm to provide care?

One of the most psychologically difficult realities these men face is that they are usually incapable of performing sexually. The emotional damage this inflicts can’t be imagined by most of us. The suicide rate of these men is quite high and is only held down by the fact that because of their injuries it is often physically difficult for these men to actually kill themselves.

As we reflect on the loss of Afghanistan, we should not forget these men who must be realizing that their tragic loss ended up being in pursuit of a lost cause.

Nor should we forget who’s to blame; the dimwitted George W. Bush and the haughty Barack Obama who were both convinced that we could introduce the Afghans to Thomas Jefferson and everything would work out just fine.

What a perfect picture we had last weekend; Barack Obama partying with his sophisticated friends on Martha’s Vineyard just as the scope of disaster in Afghanistan was becoming obvious to everyone.

Has the Democratic Party or the establishment wing of the GOP learned anything from the Afghan disaster? Are liberal internationalist or neoconservative elites even interested in learning anything?

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Thank you for the kind words. I also thought this article and the first part were superb. I'm working now on an article about US strategic thought in the wake of this disaster, which was predictable and predicted.

It pains me terribly to imagine what servicemen and women who made such enormous sacrifices are going through right now, and it's not the first time they've had this experience: Many of the *same* men and women watched ISIS storm through Iraq in the wake of our withdrawal.

Michael Fumento sent this article to me yesterday with the words, "I could barely write it. Heartbroken. I know a lot of the Afghans I met must be dead." https://spectator.org/biden-afghanistan-withdrawal/

Here's an article by Jonathan Rauch arguing that it was worth it: https://www.persuasion.community/p/the-afghanistan-war-was-a-partial I partly agree with him: I *do* think our presence there was probably one reason we didn't suffer another attack like 9/11. But I'm very worried about what will happen next--especially in Pakistan.

I'll write about all of this soon.

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Well WigWam I think that is a question best put to Claire as she is much more of a neoconservative elite than I am. I would say in response to your previous response to Part I if you want the answer as to why the US loses every war it fights recently I would argue the US has not obtained total victory in any war it has fought since 1945 a long long time ago. So the US is on a much longer losing streak than many might assume. The two closest conflicts the US has been engaged in since 1945 that came closest to a win were Korea(in terms of keeping South Korea from being overrun by the North, China, and the USSR proxies and Gulf War I if viewed strictly from the standpoint of ejecting Saddam's Army out of Kuwait.

One of my personal views as to why Afghanistan was so much of a failure was that it was a landlocked country to which the US in order to gain access to was dependent on the acquiescence of it's seafaring neighbors such as Pakistan. Thus much of US policy around Afghanistan became as much about rebuilding Afghanistan as it was to placating Pakistan under both Bush and Obama.

While Germany and Japan after World War II were never good analogies for either Iraq or Afghanistan one difference than is often left out is Germany and Japan are NOT landlocked thus US policy towards Germany after 1945 was not subject to the geographical veto power of Germany's neighbors such as France for example. France and the UK after 1945 could not blockade the US Navy and US shipping to and from Germany and the US itself in the same way they could in the pre World War I era, thus when the US came out in favor of West German rearmament in the 1950s there was really nothing Britain nor France could do and in the French case this forced the creation of the EEC of which many in France were hardly enthusiastic about but was the better of two bad options.

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Well, there was total victory in Reagan’s war in Grenada and Bush (the first) did manage to capture Manuel Noriega. That these “successes are as close to what the U.S. military can claim as “total victory” tells you everything you need to know about the competence of our military leaders and their civilian counterparts.

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You might like this video about why the US doesn't fire generals anymore after World War II and maybe Korea. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxZWxxZ2JGE

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