11 February 2018

The U.S. Needs to Rethink What Winning in Afghanistan Looks Like


American Wars, Past and Present 

For many Americans, especially older ones, the win–loss dichotomy boils down to World War II vs. Vietnam.

World War II was the good war: well-defined, righteous goals, ending in clear, unambiguous victory. After winning, most Americans came home. Those who stayed to oversee reconstruction in Germany and Japan faced minimal violence. 

Vietnam was the bad war: ambiguous goals of uncertain importance, dragging on at considerable cost before withdrawal. The United States sacrificed immense blood and treasure, but the Communists took over anyway. 

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