During the Vietnam War it was often remarked that we should just declare victory and leave. Would this not be an opportune moment to do the same in Afghanistan?
The experiences of the fomer Soviet Union, AKA the Evil Empire, and the British empire before that, and others before them, such as the Persians I suppose, going all the way back to Alexander the Great, have earned present day Afghanistan the appelation "the Graveyard of Empires." Did the death yesterday of Osama Bin Ladin in anyway change the US prospects for victory on the battlefield in Afghanistan?
Did the capture and subsequent execution of Saddam Hussein hasten our departure from Iraq?
Think back to the days right after 9/11. President George W. Bush publicly called on Mullah Omar, the spiritual leader of the Taliban and de facto ruler of Afghanistan, to turn over Osama Bin Ladin or share his fate. Mullah Omar defiantly refused to comply and the US and it's allies invaded Afghanistan.
It seems that now, nine and a half years after the precipitating attacks of 9/11 and the day after the death of Osama Bin Ladin, would be a good time get out that old bed sheet with "Mission Accomplished" scrawled across it, tack it up on the conning tower of the aircraft carrier from which Osama Bin Ladin was buried at sea yesterday, and sail home.
Of course, we all know that is not going to happen.
The Chinese military genius, Sun Tzu, stated that if you know yourself and you know your enemy, you will surely win. If you know yourself but do not know your enemy, you may win. But if you do not know yourself, you will never win. Osama Bin Ladin's stated goal was to bleed America white, not in the bloody way Germany did to France at Verdun, but in a monetary sense.
Our national debt is now $14.07 trillion. The debt ceiling will be reached in August. Leon Paneta, the director of the CIA, had to scrounge $25 million to get bin Ladin yesterday.
How much longer can we afford these wars?