Practically everyone now understands that the war in Afghanistan is going very badly. This is not because the Taliban and other “insurgent” forces are strong and their foreign foes weak. It is because of the Afghans’ indomitable spirit of independence that is only intensified by each civilian death due to house raids or bombs.
Republican Party chair Michael Steele says “This [war] isn’t something the U.S. wanted to engage in.” But it should be clear how we arrived at this point. And since sometimes we forget how many outrages have led to it, and how the disastrous wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are part of a continuum, let me try to sum it up.