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America Loses Another War – This Time in Afghanistan

America Loses Another War – This Time in Afghanistan

More than any other, the war in Afghanistan is personal to me.  I lost a Black grandson there (pictured above).  He was on his second hitch with the Marines – having previously served in Iraq.  When he was killed in 2011, I hoped his death would not be in vain.

With President Biden’s announcement that all American troops with be out of Afghanistan on September 11 (a peculiar day to select) — without any discernable benefit or victory for the United States — I have sadly determined that my grandson has, indeed, died in vain.

Not only has Biden announced a date certain for the removal of U.S. troops – something that he should not have telegraphed to the Taliban – he has sent Secretary of State Antony Blinken to urge NATO allies to also withdraw.  Maybe that is a diplomatic way of making America not look like such a singular loser.

The only thing missing from this withdrawal is an official document outlining the specific “terms of surrender.”  Of course, America never surrenders.  We just ignominiously retreat.

Although Biden is just ringing down the curtain on 20 years of conflict in Afghanistan, he is unceremoniously ending what is America’s longest war.  That in itself is an obscenity. 

The most powerful military in the world – as proclaimed by one President after another – could not bring the Afghan war to a swift and victorious conclusion.  It was a “war of attrition” – and my grandson was some of that attrition.  But he is not alone in having died in vain. 

More than 2000 of our young men and women in uniform have died in Afghanistan. And another 20,000 crippled and wounded.  And for what? 

What has been the benefit to the United States?  Where is the victory after so much loss of life and treasure? 

For sure, all those who sacrificed life and limb at the call of America are heroes of the first order.  They did what our national leaders asked them to do. It is just a pity – no, a tragedy – that our national leaders never gave a damn about having real purpose and legitimate goals in pursuing the Afghanistan war – or a determination to win the war.  We were there fighting just to be fighting.  It was a war carried out by ambassadors rather than generals.

Oh, there was a time we were supposed to be defeating the evil Taliban.  That would have been a good purpose if we had only implemented that objective – if only we had actually waged a war to defeat them.  But the evil Taliban will be there – hating America – after we leave.

The final retreat makes every articulated goal and promise of the past two decades nothing more than shallow rhetoric. 

It has pained me to write periodically about America’s sting of losing wars since World War II.  This one pains me the most … for obvious reasons.

So, there ‘tis. 

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

12 Comments

  1. Ben

    “More than 2000 of our young men and women in uniform have died in Afghanistan. And another 20,000 crippled and wounded. And for what? “

    Do you really need to ask such a question? The answer is For the benefit of the military industrial complex. More money in the pockets of the ultra rich. I think Bush said it best when laying out the War on Terror strategy, and I’m paraphrasing , “it’s better to send cannon fodder over there to give terrorist something to shoot at, than have the terrorists come over here and destroy our peaceful existence”.

    We haven’t won a war since WW2 because there hasn’t been a war worth fighting since WW2. Oh you could argue that the Afghan War was just, but as soon as we started another war before finishing the first one, we lost both.

    You can question if your grandson died in vain, but Biden’s decision ensures that no other Grandfather will have to ask that question a year or more from now.

    TWENTY FUCKING YEARS!!! It is more than time to get the fuck out of unnecessary wars. As trump said,” it’s time to end forever wars!” It is far past time that we stop being the World’s police force. We owe our young men and women that.
    If we hadn’t supplied Bin Laden w weapons to fight the Soviets, if we hadn’t covertly overthrown the democratically elected Iranian government, if we hadn’t… you get the idea, let’s start minding our own business for a change.

    Reply
    • Mike

      I could not have said it any better Ben. Thank you from this Vietnam Era Veteran for being bold and telling the truth! POTUS Eisenhower warned us about the military industrial complex, but nobody listened. They are always looking for the next war so they can sell more arms and justify making more arms. Our young are nothing more than collateral damage to their pursuit of wealth. And then we rewarded them with more tax breaks. I wonder what a trillion dollars would have done if it had been spent on education instead of war and nation building. Truth is we won the war but lost the nation building. I agree, now maybe no other grandfathers will have to feel bad, and maybe next time they will cast their vote a little more carefully!

      Reply
    • DONNA MARIE KELLEY

      Thank you for that. It is time to get the hell out of that country. We build it up and they tear it down. our men and women deserve to come home. So many times i heard Trump say he was bring the troops home but it never happened. ? Why So many times i wrote him and ask him when are you going to bring our troops home. Never got an answer. Now why is Biden waiting till September 11 to bring them home? why not get them on a plane now today and get it done. We don’t need any more of our men and women to be killed in a country that doesn’t care one bit about them. .

      Reply
  2. Ben

    Trump says Biden’s plan is a step in the right direction and good thing.
    What is this world coming to? It’s Bipartisan agreement on something with trump? Climate change must be impacting hell freezing over.

    Reply
  3. Anonymous

    I am sorry
    for the loss of that brave young man and many others who gave their lives.

    Reply
  4. Dale Robertson

    Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Were they worth fighting for? As a proud combat veteran of that conflict, I have wondered recently if they were. When we stopped in Perth, Australia on the way home, an Australian told me we had done a good job, and I thanked him and I believed it. But did we? Unlike Vietnam, the Iraq War and the Afghanistan war, we had precise goals for that war, and when they were achieved, we left, which was later argued that we left too soon and that’s why we had to go back. I was glad we went to Afghanistan because it was a response to 9/11, I thought. But where did it go wrong? 9/11 is the single most climactic time in American history. Worse than Pearl Harbor, and as a student of WW2 and having served half of my career in Pearl Harbor, I had always wondered what it felt like on December 7, 1941. I found out on September 11, 2001. It was worse than Pearl Harbor because it was against civilians on actual American soil, not just an American possession, as Hawaii was in 1941. But where did it go wrong? Is it just because of the American military industrial complex? Is it a good idea to try to export American ideals and liberty to other countries, especially ones that are so diametrically opposed to our ideals because of a certain religion? Don’t countries that really want liberty and freedom have to fight for it themselves with a little assistance? Islam is a political movement masquerading as a religion, and for it’s entire history has expanded by the sword. Until the people in those regions want freedom, and are willing to fight for it themselves, and until Islam has an awakening as Christianity did, to continue to expend our blood and treasure in these conflicts is a waste and repugnant.

    Reply
  5. Vietnamvet

    We the Unwilling
    Led by the Unqualified
    Doing the Unnecessary
    For the Ungrateful

    Reply
  6. VIETNAM VET 67-68

    QUACK QUACK QUACK, BIDEN DID US NO GOOD SERVICE BY ENDING AFGHANISTAN BECAUSE HE’S ALREADY IN IRAN, AND LETTING CHINA TAKE TAIWAN AND RUSSIA ADVANCE AGAINST THE UKRAINE AND THREATENING RUSSIA WITH WHAT I DON’T KNOW BECAUSE BIDEN IS A COWARD WHO COWERS BEHIND HIS DESK OR HIDES IN HIS BASEMENT WHILE BEING GUARDED BY ARMED GUARDS WITH HIGH FENCES AND TELLS THE AMERICAN PUBLIC TO DISARM THEMSELVES BECAUSE A FEW IDIOTS DECIDE TO MURDER 5 OR 10 PEOPLE IN SAFE NO GUN ZONES !! IF ANY OF THESE PEOPLE HAD CARRIED A GUN THEY COULD HAVE SAVED THEMSELVES AND MAYBE OTHERS INSTEAD OF BEING A TARGET BY A LUNATIC WITH A GUN !! WHEN EVER A COUNTRY DISARMS ITS POPULATION MURDERS AND AND ALL VIOLENT CRIMES GO THRU THE ROOF BECAUSE CRIMINALS DON’T CARE ABOUT GUN LAWS AND ONLY CRIMINALS WILL HAVE GUNS AND THEY WILL TAKE WHAT IS YOURS AND KILL YOU !! YOU WILL REALLY BE BRINGING A KNIFE TO A GUN FIGHT !! IF YOU DON’T LIKE GUNS DON’T GET ONE BUT DON’T TELL PEOPLE WHO WANT TO BE ABLE TO PROTECT THEMSELVES AND THEIR FAMILIES TO ARM THEMSELVES !! AMERICANS LAST YEAR USED GUNS TO PROTECT THEMSELVES AND THEIR FAMILIES OVER 1.5 MILLION TIMES, HOW MANY OF THOSE 1.5 MILLION TIMES WOULD THEY HAVE DIED IF THEY HADN’T BEEN ARMED ???? VIETNAM VET 67-68

    P.S. THANK YOU FOR YOUR GRAND SONS SACRIFICE TO OUR ONCE GREAT NATION, I KNOW ALL ABOUT A POLITICAL WAR RUN BY MORON POLITICIANS AS DO ALL VIETNAM VET AND KOREAN VETS AND AFGHANISTAN VETS, GOOD BLESS HIM AND ALL WHO HAVE DIED FOR NOTHING !!! VIETNAM VET 67-68

    Reply
    • Ben

      Vet, that’s a hell of a rant.
      But you’re right, they died for nothing. And yet you seem to be advocating for a more hard line stance against Iran, China, Korea, and Russia. We already meddled in Iran and Afghanistan’s sovereignty and it came back to bite us in the butt. I would think as someone who has obviously been deeply impacted by unnecessary war would be more cautious in getting involved in any conflict.
      Also, turn your cap locks off. That’s implied yelling, and we are here for civil dialog and free exchange of ideas.

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        There are those who lean toward guns as a solution to about everything…. often rant with great passion how we should all be armed. Hmmm, wonder why people in other advanced countries dont feel it necessary to be armed each time they leave the house. On the wars since wwll few have been able to define a win…..when asked even the generals stumbled over the answer….we always kill far more people than our enemy kills of ours, yet rarely wins the war….yes we win the battles, just not the wars. Sadly the korean, Viet Nam afghanistan, Iraq, and a dozen other smaller wars now seem to be serious errors, sadly, very sadly.

        Reply
  7. Michael

    I’m 65, and I recall Vietnam War well. Now we have gone through the Gulf War, war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Winning is always a vague
    goal with these conflicts. We still suffer political trauma from Vietnam. Fighting terrorism will be a chore for America forever it seems. Using large
    forces to fight guerrillas rarely works. We have a huge problem now with a foreign invasion of illegal aliens coming over the border. We know the drug cartels in Mexico are pushing this. Why not use our military and the Mexican army to go in and destroy them forever? They are importing crime and terrorism into America. We know where they are, and it’s time to eliminate them.

    Reply
    • Ben

      Micheal,
      Are you seriously advocating for the Military to invade Mexico over… drugs?
      If there were no American demand, there’d be no reason to supply problems here. Why not just jail or kill all our drug users and leave Mexico as a Sovereign Nation?
      You say that it’s impossible for a large invading force to win a war against guerrilla tactics, and then advocate for doing just that in the next paragraph.
      SMH

      Reply

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