Losing the War in Forgotten Afghanistan

By Andrew C. McCarthy explains that we are losing the war in forgotten Afghanistan and that “the Taliban’s waiting game is finally about to pay off”:

“Endless war” is exactly the wrong way to understand America’s last decades in the Muslim Middle East.

What have been “endless” are not military operations against our enemies but our futile experiment in democracy promotion. I began writing against this misbegotten project in 2004. My fear then, expressed many times over the years, is coming home to roost now: We were wasting the public support our government must have if it is to fight wars that actually need fighting.

The fundamentalist Islamic culture we were trying, with the best of intentions, to seduce with the blessings of liberty is deeply anti-Western. That is its preference. Sharia societies shun the West not out of ignorance but because they believe their way — authoritarian, discriminatory, and brutish — is superior. That was not going to change, certainly not for decades, if ever.

Meanwhile, it was not enough to say we had no vital national interest in whether these societies became democratic in the Western sense. It was affirmatively against our vital interests to try to convert them via military expeditions. Doing so changed the nature of the missions, which became hopelessly elongated and unwinnable. It induced us to support sharia supremacists, such as Muslim Brotherhood groups in America and overseas, in the delusion that they could become democratic allies. Worse, the effort to liberalize and democratize an anti-Western culture was prohibitively expensive in blood and treasure. It was certain to exhaust us.

Read more: National Review

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