Restating the obvious, briefly

Source: The Power of Narrative
by Arthur Silber

"I recently read still another piece by a well-known 'antiwar' writer bemoaning the fact that U.S. policy in Afghanistan has been a miserable failure. Not only that: it's been a miserable failure for 16 years! (The particular article and the specific writer are of no consequence, but I'll probably address a few aspects of this category of analysis in the next few weeks, using that and other examples.) To call U.S. policy in Afghanistan a failure is, of course, unutterably wrong. Whenever you hear someone peddling this line, you can quickly and safely move along to find an analyst who actually knows what he's talking about." [editor's note: "Failure" v. "success" assumes purpose. And claiming that Afghanistan is all one or all the other unduly assumes only one possible purpose – TLK] (09/01/17)

http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/2017/09/restating-obvious-briefly.html

  • dL

    The Afghanistan war is an unqualified success under both the "Higgs' Rule" and the "de Jasay Principle."

    • And an unqualified failure under both of its stated purposes (first, liquidation of al Qaeda/capture or killing of bin Laden; second, turning the place into a stable western-style democracy).

      • dL

        (1) first, liquidation of al Qaeda/capture or killing of bin Laden

        bin laden is dead and al-qaeda is a shell of its former self. How is (1) an unqualified failure?

        • Because (1) was not caused by the war in Afghanistan.

          Bin Laden left Afghanistan at his leisure and lived for nine more years in Pakistan. The invasion/occupation of Afghanistan was not what resulted in his death.

          Al Qaeda continued for several years as the world's leading Islamist terror group. The invasion of Afghanistan was not what weakened it.

          Those were the advertised goals. The invasion of Afghanistan utterly and completely failed to achieve them.

          • dL

            Bin Laden left Afghanistan at his leisure and lived for nine more years in Pakistan. The invasion/occupation of Afghanistan was not what resulted in his death.

            My understanding is that the military operation that killed bin laden was launched from Afghanistan and was unbeknownst to the Pakistani government. So, no war/occupation, no ability to launch from a base of operations indigenous to the region. No?

            I would qualify your remarks w/:

            The invasion/occupation of Afghanistan did not immediately result in his death.

            Of course, I didn't support that war, and I'm playing a bit of devil's advocate here in support of Silber's position.

          • So what you're saying is that since significant numbers of SS officers escaped to South America, World War II was a success for the Germans. After all, no World War II, no escape to South America.

          • dL

            ???

            not unless biological destiny of the Fatherland meant incognito expatriation to South America

            https://rulingclass.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/hitler-destiny.jpg?w=450