Far-called our navies melt away— On dune and headland sinks the fire— Lo, all our pomp of yesterday Is one with Nineveh and Tyre! Rudyard Kipling “Recessional” NEW YORK – War is waged to achieve political objectives, not to kill enemies. In this sense, the United States has lost the ten-year Afghan conflict, its longest war. Afghanistan remains the “graveyard of empires.”
The US has failed to install an obedient regime in Kabul that controls Afghanistan. It has made foes of the Pashtun majority, and, in pursuing this war, gravely undermined Pakistan. Claims that US forces were in Afghanistan to hunt the late Osama bin Laden were widely disbelieved.
Last Wednesday, President Barack Obama bowed to public opinion, approaching elections, military reality and financial woes by announcing he would withdraw a third of the 100,000 US troops from Afghanistan by the end of next summer. Pentagon brass growled open opposition.