The assassinations of high Afghan government officials by their own trusted security personnel mark
a new phase in the Afghan war, and a dangerous one. It will be clear in a few months, as if it isn’t already,
that we cannot win here. The idea of ‘nation building’ in Afghanistan is ridiculous and has been since the
day George Bush sent in our troops. Our only purpose anywhere in Pakistan or Afghanistan should be to
spoil attempts to attack us. We do not need boots on the ground to do that. Back when India and Pakistan
were partitioned, the US made a fundamental strategic mistake to provide foreign aid to the latter instead
of the former. As a result, Pakistan is a hopelessly corrupt failed state and cannot be rescued. It has to be
As for Afghanistan, nobody has ever been able to enable it to rise out of the morass of tribal conflict, and
nobody ever will. The first to try was Alexander the Great. The last before us was the USSR. Time to cut
our losses and begin a process of fundamental foreign policy change that recognizes political reality rather
than the senseless dreams of idealists who are willing to pour our treasure down a hole that has no bottom.
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