60-Second Expert: Afghanistan: What Are These People Thinking?

The Obama administration consistently fails to learn the lessons of Vietnam in Afghanistan. It mischaracterizes the Taliban threat, has not deployed an adequate number of troops, and faces waning support from the public. Despite the hopelessness of the task, the administration continues its delusional policies.

U.S. officials fail to realize that, in many ways, the situation in Afghanistan is worse than Vietnam. Although Obama often characterizes Afghanistan as “a war of necessity,” the Taliban actually represents a collection of conflicting local interests and does not just have a monolithic goal of universal jihad. The administration also reverted back to the counterinsurgency doctrine of the Vietnam era as illustrated by its “surge” of troops in Afghanistan to try to win the “hearts and minds” of the locals. Yet the “surge” may prove to be ineffective because it is still far below the estimated number of troops required to adequately secure the region. The American public has grown increasingly disillusioned with the war as well. Furthermore, NATO support for operations in Afghanistan has been limited, with large domestic oppositions within each of the member states.

No matter how you look at it, the numbers just do not add up for this impossible task in Afghanistan.

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