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The US Will Never Win the War in Afghanistan


The US Will Never Win the War in Afghanistan

Katrina vanden Heuvel

President Trump hasn’t decided whether to sign off on his generals’ request for more troops for Afghanistan. Ironically, this would be one instance in which Trump — and the country — would benefit from repudiating President Barack Obama’s example. Instead of yet another troop surge in America’s longest war, now heading toward its 16thbirthday, Trump should adopt the advice that then-Sen.


To leave the Afghan War behind is impossible to do without losing the war.

The problem Is centered in the definition of the 'most powerful military in the world'. To lose (leave) in Afghanistan after so many years and so much money is to redefine what it means to have the most powerful military in the world. To leave Afghanistan without clear victory is to prove that for all we spend immense treasure and literally deprive our own country to maintain this gigantic military... that we can be defeated!

To leave Afghanistan proves that our military is only good for fighting a major world war like WW II. To constantly maintain such a vast and useless military without there being a world war to fight has weakened our country and has allowed China to get well along on the road to surpassing us economically.

Too bad we don't have a 'military' to fight the entrenched militarism and the paranoid military mind that have developed this absurdity before our overblown military sucks all the strength from this country's economy without their ever being used in a world war. Our gigantic military has become a parasite of sorts economically. The same thing happened to the Romans in the end btw. They couldn't afford to pay for their gigantic military.

Neither can we anymore.



Very true, Katrina...because the war profiteers really do not want to win the war in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and on and on and on, because like any profitable business, they need a demand in order to supply their war industry.


So why did KVH and the Nation support the Afghan slaughters visa v. Obama and Clinton? This piece drips with the ongoing hypocrisy of "progressives" who have rediscovered their progressivism in the Era of Trump. The good news is that he won't last out the year, nothing will change and they can quit playing: "Let's pretend we're progressives and actually on the side of the people."


Exactly. The slaughter, like most, is "unwinnable," but profitable for corporations and "strategically" useful for the occupiers. True fascists, like US/Euro/Nato imperialists, control what they can (for their interests) and destroy the rest, squeezing whatever they can from the chaos and rubble they have created. It's capitalism v. humanity pure-and-simple. Capitalism is winning.


It only took Katrina 15 years to figure out what true liberals knew from Day 1.

It's another Trumpian miracle.

Okay, Katrina here's what you should do if you want back into the liberal tribe: decide that you're already against the next war.


Its leading industry is illegal opium production, producing an estimate 70 to 80 percent of the world’s supply.


After much US intervention:

Follow the money maybe?



Do the global oligarchs care about who wins the war in Afghanistan, or do they care about who gets their hands on the estimated trillion dollars plus of minerals under the ground, and those opium poppies?


No one wins a war in Afghanistan. We won't, the Russians couldn't, the British couldn't, the Persians couldn't, heck, even Alexander the Great couldn't win there.

It's time to simply say (with a touch of irony...) "Mission accomplished", and leave. The country will sink back into warlordism and then someone else can go and try and untangle it.

Not our fight. Never has been.


The race to space is a boondoggle that is somewhat comparable to fluid war, I think, but without the killing. I see requests for new space adventures, and wonder whether they are a hedge against a possible slowing of war dollars.
Kennedy's race to space comes to mind, where shooting up rockets into space gave the feeling of the glorious grandeur of war power but could appeal to peaceful Kennedy worshippers as well.


Afghanistan sits in between Russia, China, India, and Pakistan. There is not only massive mineral wealth, but beaucoup opportunities for, heaven forbid, others to get it, and form, dearie me, all kinds of alliances.
In The Great Game, there was Britain working in Afghanistan trying desperately to keep India away from Russia.
Afghanistan itself was a country drawn up by Britain, collecting several unrelated tribes together so that whenever the need arose to tear it open or invade, it would not be difficult .


Duh! This was known in 1965. Read Michener's Caravan about Afghanistan?


Do you think you can chNge your name to something sounding more elitist?


Here is the story that says it all. When the Usa's first eager beaver troops arrived a young captain ran into an elder from one of the tribes. Gleefully and with great pride he explained how we were there to save him and his tribe from the Taliban. The elder listened attentively and finally had enough so he asked: Who are the Taliban?

As the youngster tried to explain that different people from different areas were the Taliban and some of the people were not the Elder heard enough and asked : who are you? We are the Americans, he said with great pride. Here to save you. The Eldr grunted and asked: whatever happened to the Russians?


This WAR was a lie from its onset. Osama had nothing to do with 911 and the invasion of Afghanistan was planned years before the false flag of Sept 11, 2001. The new Pearl Harbor was the 'event' needed to herd the sheeple of America into a war forever mode. National security is the buzzword for hiding the crimes of America and Israel who actually determines U.S. foreign policy. AIPAC and its minions in the media want to balkanize the Middle east to achieve Eretz Israel and are using the bumbling giant called America to do it.


the US has already "won" the war....halliburton, GE, and all the other companies who are making a profit.


There are severe difficulties with this concept of "win" and "lose," once again. It is interesting to watch over the years as positions adopted for polemic ends gradually get subsumed into something that becomes "history."

So here we have this "win" and "lose" again. Does vanden Heuvel know no better? Do we know no better?

A wide range of perceived and usually misperceived interests make a war, and war is then sold to its participants for one or another other reason, with various protests and pretences of consistency that have little to do with much of anything that actually goes on. Based on those little rhetorical gambits, pundits deliver a "win" and a "lose" for the ends of polemic.

The war in Afghanistan is "not won" in that "terrorism" is not stopped or fought or punished and "a nation" is not "built," whatever that might be taken to mean. However, there is a nation there of sorts, and the area is not open for use by Russia or India for any sorts of communication, trade, pipelines. There is some US military platform for invasion or similar mayhem in Iran--and in Pakistan, of course, where a good deal of the killing is still located. There are sales of arms, but there is also the operation and central point of the majority of the world's opium trade. Obviously it is not coincidence that this is run primarily by the US-backed government. It should also be obvious that this is all in deep collusion with American military and "intelligence" factions of some sort and with various entities of organized crime, though the specifics of such connections remain largely occulted: it could not be accomplished were it not.

It is just that whatever "victory" this is, it is awful to almost everyone.

For that reason, it is foolish to regard this as a victory or non-victory. The problem is that is that the nature of the victory or defeat is unacceptable and inconsistent at every point with all that was or ever is promised, with all that is intended or desired by most of the people participating as well as almost all of the people affected.

Why is this ignored by people who have the information to know better, even if by whatever denial or in-group sycophancy or whatever sort of cognitive dissonance some of them may not?

I have to suspect that at least part of this is because very many of the prominent people who are thereby deeply implicated are exactly those in whom many have chosen to place hope, even though they may acknowledge that as the best of a bad situation.

Compromise is certainly a part of politics, and a useful part. But to take the compromises, especially those made in a state of desperation, and distorting one's analysis of events to cover for them, this is sad and worse than unfortunate: this is making one's own bad fortune.

The US was led into war by bandits who had their own ends in mind. Those ends have been extensively served for decades by the US executive, legislature, shadow government, military, and some ill-documented concern of various businesses. Of course this is, in some sense, common.

What is common is not inconsequential: it is what really happens, for the most part. What do we gain, what do our media gain, by denying it?


That was a mouthful. Thanks.


Lost my brother in Afghanistan, 2013. Too many died before that, too many have died since. Fuck it, we need to get the hell out now.