Responding to a Cheerleader for the Afghan War
Ed. Note: Recently, Peter Bergen of the New America Foundation had an op-ed published by the Washington Monthly entitled "Winning The Good War." It has been widely and approvingly linked by Democrat interventionists as a bolster to their support for Obama's staying Bush's course in Afghanistan. Co-Founder of the National Security/Foreign Policy New Ideas Fund and civil rights lawyer Guy Saperstein has written a letter in response to Bergen's column (this letter first appeared on News Hoggers):
Liberal Hawks like Peter Bergen are not merely ascendant, they have become dominant, so it is important to look at their arguments and see if they make any sense.
While I am impressed with Bergen's knowledge of Afghanistan, in a long article he fails to address the core questions about Afghanistan: Why are we fighting the Taliban? There are crucial differences between the goals of al Qaeda and the Taliban, so why are we treating them the same? Why do we have 70,000 combat troops, plus private mercenaries there? How many more will be needed? What are the metrics of success or failure? How long will we be there? What will it ultimately cost? What is the exit strategy? Are there alternatives to the military model? And what are the real strategic threats to America and is spending hundreds of millions more in Afghanistan getting in the way of dealing with more important national security issues?