American Decline

The View From Olympus: Afghanistan

Leave it to Bill Lind, the world’s leading expert on fourth-generation warfare, to succinctly describe what happened in Afghanistan. The only thing I disagree with Bill on is that the decision to leave Afghanistan wasn’t Biden’s or Trump’s alone. It was based on the prevailing consensus among ruling class opinion that Afghanistan had become too much of a liability. Nowadays, the power elite is more worried about China pulling the rug out from underneath them on international trade.

By William S. Lind, Traditional Right

The United States has lost another Fourth Generation war. To his credit, President Biden has stuck with President Trump’s decision to withdraw all U.S. forces from Afghanistan. Will that mean the fall of the current Afghan government, a return to Kabul for the Taliban, and renewed civil war? Of course. That’s Afghanistan. We could stay one hundred years in that wretched hellhole and nothing would change.

The astonishing thing is that we went there in the first place. I was a Senate staffer on Capitol Hill when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. Everyone was glum, expecting the Red Army to win a quick and easy victory. I was exultant, because I knew the Soviets had just joined the tar baby in the briar patch. I found it hard to believe Moscow would do anything so foolish and I was confident it would end badly for them. And then, with the Soviet example staring us in the face, we made the same obvious blunder! Why?

The first answer is that the Washington foreign policy establishment is willfully ignorant. They know the history of places such as Afghanistan and the Balkans, but they don’t think it applies to them. So they behave like bad children, doing whatever they want and leaving adults, in the form of the U.S. military, to clean up the mess. Unfortunately, the senior military is also willfully ignorant, in their case of the fact that they lead a Second Generation military that is doomed to defeat in Fourth Generation wars. So thousands of lives and trillions of dollars later, we accept our inevitable defeat and go home with another loss on the board.


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