Since no one operates in a vacuum, and this includes airpower, we wish to take a moment to reflect on the end of Americans longest asymmetric war. The war in Afghanistan. Rather than the usual observations, accusations, and recriminations, we have published a more authentic and sobering historical view.
"I think we need to see the threat for what it is. It is a real threat. It's not an existential threat. The 19 hijackers that killed 3,000 Americans on 9/11 didn't succeed because they had advanced technology, because they were particularly smart, because they were ten feet tall.
They succeeded because we let our guard down and we were stupid. We need to recognize that the threat posed by violent Islamic radicalism, by terrorist organizations, al Qaeda, really is akin to a criminal conspiracy, a violent conspiracy, a dangerous conspiracy.
But it's a criminal enterprise. And the primary response to a criminal enterprise is policing.
Policing as in organizations like the FBI, intelligence organizations, some special operations forces. That would undertake a concerted campaign to identify and root out and destroy this criminal conspiracy.
But that doesn't require invading and occupying countries.
Again, one of the big mistakes the Bush Administration made, and it's a mistake we're still paying for, is that the President persuaded us that the best way to prevent another 9/11 is to embark upon a global war.
The best way to prevent another 9/11 is to organize an intensive international effort to root out and destroy that criminal conspiracy."
You will not stop the Mafia by invasion and occupation of Sicily.
It appears little blame from US authorities has been placed at the feet of a capitulating Afghan government for the most recent American deaths that killed 13. We find this misplaced.
However, the suicide bombing that killed 13 American soldiers and scores of Afghans, does underscore a simple fact.
The US military and the US national security state do not have sufficient capacity to delineate those who will do us harm versus the civilian populous.
This is called IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) capacity.
So whether it be asymmetric war in Afghanistan, Iraq, or Vietnam, the outcome is a foregone conclusion. That being - the United States military cannot identify 'the enemy' with sufficient capacity from the civilian populous - to win the war...
The Afghanistan war went off the rails - long ago.
What we are really looking at here is repeated systemic institutional failure at the Pentagon and at the highest levels of the American government. Lessons of history - never learned.
"The study finds that at least four times as many active duty personnel and war veterans of post-9/11 conflicts have died of suicide than in combat..." - Costs Of War Project; Brown University
“2021 - Paper - High Suicide Rates | Costs of War.” The Costs of War, https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/papers/2021/Suicides. Accessed 4 Sept. 2021.
Bill Moyers Journal . Transcripts | PBS. http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/08152008/transcript1.html. Accessed 31 Aug. 2021.
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