Containment vs. withdrawal
The Afghanistan war is going to be a long, unpopular war. However, it is not Vietnam. Those who imply it is similar are mistaken or wish to distort history. Vietnam was not a religious war. We had withdrawn our combat divisions from Vietnam without losing a single battle. Nixon and Ford were made impotent by Watergate and Congress withheld funds. Vietnam fell, the North took over. An estimated three million died; the press ignored the catastrophe and returned to disinterest.
This current world war, based on religious ideology, started with 9/11 and was a brilliant victory for the murderers. The current jihadist terrorists believe it is religiously correct to murder for God. Thousands of recruits are available for suicide murder.
Why the Left opposes the war in Afghanistan and wants a time table for withdrawal is baffling. In urban guerrilla warfare, to know the day of retreat is the most encouraging information you can provide the enemy. Our stay may be indefinite. One has to look at the map of Afghanistan to realize it is an ideal training ground far inland, all of its borders are porous, except for China. Withdrawal will be a great victory for the jihadists.
This war is not a question of popularity; it is a religious movement with deadly intent. “Containment” may be our only goal.
Norman Ende, MD
Capt., MC USNR (ret.)