The top military commander in Afghanistan said in an interview Sunday the public should not expect "decisive military victory" there, only the reduction of the insurgency to manageable levels.
Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith, commander of 16 Air Assault Brigade, which has just completed its second tour in Afghanistan, told the Sunday Times that people should "lower their expectations" about how the conflict will end.
He also said Britons should prepare for a possible deal with the Taliban.
Between the complete historical ignorance about this region, coupled with tactical "magical thinking" through which this occupation was conceived and has been waged, there has never been a way to win this militarily.
The US military's own protocol indicated that it would take at least 400,000 soldiers to make this happen. So how many total do we have now, between the US and NATO? Give or take, around 50,000 troops, just slightly more than 10% of the true figure needed to have made this work.
One would also imagine that military high command would learn from the mistakes of history, and change their strategy when something doesn't work. The US military should have learned from Viet Nam that you cannot win what is essentially a land war from the air.
Apparently, this is a lesson that has gone unlearned.
So what are we doing? Massive aerial bombing, which guarantees two things: the death of a whole lot more non-combatants, and the radicalization of everyone else left standing against the current Afghani government.
So now, after 7 years of blood and money poured into this conflict, what are we (the folks in both the US and the UK whose taxes supported this war) sternly lectured that we must do by Brigadier Carlton-Smith? Lower our expectations and re-define "victory" as "...the reduction of insurgency to manageable levels."
Oh, and as an afterthought?
Cut a deal with the Taliban.
Too bad the brilliant idiots in Washington and Whitehall couldn't have managed to do that before so many of our kids (and innocent Afghanis) got maimed for life and killed.