It’s time to admit defeat – Iraq war

As great as was the feat of building the infrastructure for a military occupation and war in Iraq, and then equipping and supplying a massive military force there year after year, it was nothing compared to what the U.S had to do in Afghanistan.  Someday, the decision to invade that country, occupy it, build more than 400 bases there, surge in an extra 60,000 or more troops, masses of contractors, CIA agents, diplomats and other civilian officials, and then push a weak local government to grant Washington the right to remain more or less in perpetuity will be seen as the delusional actions of a Washington incapable of gauging the limits of its power in the world.

Talk about learning curves: Having watched their country fail disastrously in a major war on the Asian mainland three decades earlier, America???s leaders somehow convinced themselves that nothing was beyond the military prowess of the ???sole superpower.???  So they sent more than 250,000 American troops (along with all those Burger Kings, Subways and Cinnabons) into two land wars in Eurasia.  The result has been another chapter in a history of American defeat ??? this time of a power that, despite its pretensions, was not only weaker than in the Vietnam era, but also far weaker than its leaders were capable of imagining.

Try The March of Folly: from Troy to Vietnam and The Folly of Fools: The Logic of Deceit and Self-Deception in Human Life for guidance on how, and how often we do this. Logic? Oh yes, for the few it makes perfect sense to throw away those lives and materiel for their aggrandisement.

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