July 8, 2021

In Brief: Losing Afghanistan

“The real danger … [is] a nation completely taken over by the Taliban.”

As the United States prepares to remove the last troops from Afghanistan, even abandoning Bagram Airfield in the middle of the night, the very real danger in that country is that it will soon be unified under the control of the Taliban. In other words, just the way we found it 20 years ago.

Political analyst Dinesh D'Souza calls that “a serious foreign policy defeat for the United States.” He makes the case that the war wasn’t lost by Joe Biden’s withdrawal or Donald Trump’s plan to do likewise. It was lost from the outset.

The United States lost the war in Afghanistan from the outset because of poor leadership and an unwinnable strategy.

In fact, the United States lost the war in Afghanistan for the same reason we lost the Vietnam War. Let’s think back to Vietnam for a moment. The United States faced the threat of a communist North Vietnamese force, led by Ho Chi Minh, attempting to take over South Vietnam and turn all of Vietnam into a communist country. The obvious strategy to prevent this was to pulverize the communists in the North, wipe them out, and thus disable their capacity to make irredentist raids into the South.

But the United States didn’t do that. Instead, it built its strategy on the demilitarized zone or DMZ, the dividing line between the North and the South. Basically, U.S. troops were prohibited from fighting north of the DMZ. So the communist forces of the Vietcong could easily cross the line, pulverize South Vietnamese villages, and then race back across the line where U.S. forces couldn’t pursue them. Is it any surprise that this U.S. strategy, developed and carried out by a group of incompetent leaders, proved a dismal failure?

Yet the United States seems to have learned nothing from Vietnam and implemented an equally misguided — even obtuse — strategy in Afghanistan. Unlike Vietnam, where the case for getting involved in the first place is highly debatable, America had a very good reason to intervene in Afghanistan. The ruling Taliban, after all, sponsored, hosted, and encouraged the 9/11 hijackers.

So the obvious strategy should have been to use massive force to oust the Taliban, kill as many of them as possible, drive the rest into the mountains, and then leave Afghanistan under the control of rival tribes with long-standing enmity to the Taliban. In other words, get rid of the bad guys and install whoever is around to take their place. And then leave.

But this wasn’t the view of Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and other luminaries of the Bush administration who developed the quixotic and, upon reflection, idiotic idea that the United States should somehow attempt to remake Afghanistan in its own image. …

Thus began a project in political and cultural reform that was doomed from the beginning. Think of the absurdity of taking people who are virtually living in the 13th century and attempting to cajole them into 20th- or 21st-century democracy. Think of the madness of introducing women’s rights and the paraphernalia of Western identity politics to a mountain and desert people accustomed to thousands of years of tribal patriarchy.

D'Souza concludes:

No wonder we lost the war in Afghanistan. The war wasn’t lost by the brave American soldiers who carried out their missions and endured the hardships of surviving and fighting in a distant country. Rather, the war was lost by their leaders, who set impossible goals and then developed strategies that were destined to fail. We can only hope that our country’s leaders will get the message this time and prove a little less utopian, gullible, and inept when America once again dispatches its armed men and women abroad.

Read the whole thing here.

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

The Patriot Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, in keeping with our Military Mission of Service to our uniformed service members and veterans, are proud to support and promote the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, both the Honoring the Sacrifice and Warrior Freedom Service Dogs aiding wounded veterans, the National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, the Folds of Honor outreach, and Officer Christian Fellowship, the Air University Foundation, and Naval War College Foundation, and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. "Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13)


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

Please join us in prayer for our nation — that righteous leaders would rise and prevail and we would be united as Americans. Pray also for the protection of our Military Patriots, Veterans, First Responders, and their families. Please lift up your Patriot team and our mission to support and defend our Republic's Founding Principle of Liberty, that the fires of freedom would be ignited in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2023 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.