A fight worth finishing
September 12, 2017
More than 8,000 Americans have been killed over the last 16 years in the War on Terror.
That number includes the 3,000 people who were killed during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
So far the War on Terror has been the longest conflict in the history of the U.S. The only other popular government to fight a longer war was Athens in the Peloponnesian War, which lasted 28 years and led to the fall of the democracy.
The lesson from that war fought in the fifth century B.C. is that a failure to commit full resources to the business of war leads to more tragedy, not less.
The generals who fought Desert Storm knew that safest way to defeat an enemy is through overwhelming firepower.
Even the surges employed during the last 16 years have shown some effect.
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This last 16 years have shown that while we've had both successes and failures on the battlefields of Central Asia, we haven't had the resolve to finish the fight.
That would require we commit fully to the task at hand, instead of putting our soldiers into harm's way in dribs and drabs.
Afghanistan is more than twice the size of Nevada, and home to 33 million people. There are an estimated 8,500 U.S. Service members stationed there. The recent movie "Dunkirk," tells the tail of the evacuation of 330,000 soldiers before the fall of France in 1940. That was a fraction of the total fighting force on the losing side in that particular battle. How can we expect to do better with so few in the fray?
If this conflict is worth 16 years, billions of dollars and thousands of American lives, isn't it worth finishing?