When it comes to the war in Afghanistan – or any war, really – wanting it to be over does not help end it. Thankfully, Ambassador Ryan Crocker knows this, even if many pundits do not. As the Washington Post reports:
…Crocker has two simple points to make. First: Wanting the war against al-Qaeda to be over doesn’t mean that it can be ended soon. “There are still a lot of nasty and brutally determined al-Qaeda figures out there,” he said. “I do not think that al-Qaeda is out of business because they lost Osama bin Laden. Not by a long shot.”The second hard truth is that al-Qaeda’s future is inextricably linked with that of Afghanistan and the Taliban. “Al-Qaeda is not [in Afghanistan] because we are,” Crocker said. “If we decide to go home before it is ready, you could see a Talibanization of this country and a return to the conditions that existed pre-9/11. You will see regenerated al-Qaeda getting back into the global jihad business.”
Ambassador Crocker is part of the A Team; I don’t think there’s a better guide to the situation we face in Afghanistan.Every sensible person wants this war — any war — to end as soon as possible. And Central Asia is of all the world’s strategic theaters the least sensible place for the United States to wage war. But screaming to high heaven about how we hate this war and are yearning to end it will only make it harder to get the agreements that will let us bring our troops home. The President, the Pentagon and the State Department are doing the best they can to bring an end to this thing; they and the troops in the field deserve our support.