Afghanistan is a losing battle. Former-CIA officer Milton Bearden argues the Obama administration should turn to the provinces for answers-and consider arming the militias. Click here to watch Bearden on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal." Full meeting at TNI available. To see Bearden's interview with TNI, please follow this link.
AS THE United States settles into its eighth year of military operations in Afghanistan, and as plans for ramping up U.S. troop strength are under way, we might reflect on an observation made by the Chinese military sage, Sun Tzu, about twenty-five hundred years ago:
In military campaigns I have heard of awkward speed but have never seen any skill in lengthy campaigns. No country has ever profited from protracted warfare.
These words tell the tale of the string of superpowers that have found themselves drawn into a fight in the inhospitable terrain we now call Afghanistan. Their stories of easy conquest followed by unyielding rebellion are hauntingly similar, from the earliest accounts of Alexander's Afghan campaign, when, in 329 BC, the great warrior found the struggle longer, more brutal and more costly than his battle in Persia. And through six centuries the Mughals never managed to bring the Afghans to heel, and most certainly not the Pashtuns. Of course, there were also the disastrous expeditions of Britain and the Soviet Union. Now it is up to the Obama administration to try to change the long odds in what will become America's longest war.