The Hazards of Military Worship
This story originally appeared on May 15, 2017. More, more, more. I was guilty of it myself. Commanding a small cavalry troop of around 85 soldiers in southwest Kandahar Province back in 2011, I certainly wanted and requested more. More troopers, more Special Forces advisers, more Afghan police, more... Read more
Afghanistan Again

Afghanistan Again

WIB politics September 20, 2017 0

Here we go again! Years after most Americans forgot about the longest war this country ever fought, American soldiers are again being deployed to Afghanistan. For almost 16 years now, at the command of three presidents and a sadly forgettable succession of generals, they have gone round and round... Read more
Afghanistan and Eggs
I spent the last decade-and-a-half listening to the nation’s military leaders explaining, over bacon and eggs, how the U.S. was making progress in Afghanistan. Ever since 2001, officers and their civilian overseers would regularly stop by the Fairmont Hotel in Washington, D.C., to explain to a bunch of reporters... Read more
How a Pink Flower Defeated a Superpower
This story originally appeared on Feb. 22, 2016. After fighting the longest war in its history, the United States stands at the brink of defeat in Afghanistan. How can this be possible? How could the world’s sole superpower have battled continuously for more than 15 years, deploying 100,000 of... Read more
We Won the War in Afghanistan—And Then Lost It
This story originally appeared on Feb. 16, 2015. Robert Grenier was the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s chief of station in Pakistan and Afghanistan on 9/11. In his new book 88 Days to Kandahar, he describes—in lively, clear prose—America’s two-month campaign to support Pashtun insurgents fighting to seize southern Afghanistan... Read more
Erik Prince’s Plan For Afghanistan Is No Good
As the U.S. war in Afghanistan approaches its 17th year, the Trump administration lacks a clear strategy for winning — or at least ending — the conflict. Rushing to fill the vacuum, private military contractor and entrepreneur Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater, has been traveling the United States... Read more
The Union Cavalry Raid That Inspired James Mattis
On April 17, 1863, a former music teacher with a fear of horses — he was kicked in the head by one as a child — set off with 1,700 Union soldiers, the scouts in Confederate uniforms, on a raid deep into Mississippi. The raid by Col. Benjamin Grierson... Read more
Podcast — The Case For Leaving Afghanistan
In case you missed it, Afghanistan is getting worse. After more than 15 years of warfare costing 4,200 American lives and no less than $700 billion, the United States can’t seem to quit Afghanistan. With no end in sight, no word on strategy from the White House, it might... Read more
Wow, Afghanistan Is Getting a Lot Worse
Militant attacks are escalating. Afghan military casualties are high. Deserters number in the thousands. Kabul’s coffers are depleted. American officials are cowering in their fortified compounds. That’s the dark picture that the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction — the U.S. government’s watchdog agency for the Afghanistan war —... Read more
Will Donald Trump Privatize the Afghanistan War?
Is the Trump administration going to hand over U.S. peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan to private mercenaries? This is now the big question in national security policy circles. It follows last week’s The New York Times report that Erik Prince, the founder of private security firm Blackwater, and Stephen Feinberg, the... Read more
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