In the comments section of Doug Mataconis’s post at Outside the Beltway on the WaPo’s “Afghanistan Papers” series, the commenters are refighting the war in Afghanistan.
Okay, I’ll play. What should we have done in Afghanistan?
In my view our invasion and occupation of Afghanistan exemplified a struggle between political and strategic interest. Politically, President Bush had to respond militarily. Thinking objectively and strategically about it, while a military response was politically necessary, its most persistent effect has been the deaths of more Americans. Nuking Afghanistan, as wanted by some, would have been widely condemned and might well have resulted in U. S. leaders becoming subject to war crimes charges.
Or, said another way, I think that practically everything we’ve done since September 12, 2001 has been wrong, counterproductive even. I said so at the time and I still think so. Political interest has triumphed over our strategic interest again and again.