Ditch the Afghanistan Experts, by Daniel L. Davis

Experts in many cases are like massively overvalued securities that get far more respect and support than they deserve. From Daniel L. Davis at realclearworld.com:

U.S. President Joe Biden is coming under heavy pressure to abandon the May 1 deadline to withdraw U.S. combat troops from Afghanistan. The push to move the deadline might come from a former secretary of state, the congressionally mandated Afghan Study Group, or even NATO’s secretary-general. Opposing the pleas of these popular figures are 20 years of unbroken strategic failure. There is ample evidence to suggest that 20 more years of failure await, should the president give in to the wishes of these personalities.

In February, former Secretary of State Madeline Albright argued Biden should ignore the May 1 withdrawal date and instead adopt a series of five new steps. The Afghan Study Group likewise advocated to abandon the withdrawal date and offered its own objectives. Meanwhile, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the May 1 date was a “conditions-based” deal and declared the Taliban hadn’t met the conditions, and therefore NATO should continue the war.

All of these advocates ignore that every tactic and objective they advocate has been tried over the past two decades, usually multiple times, and uniformly they have failed.

When Barack Obama came into office, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Commander of U.S. Central Command David Petraeus convinced the new president that they had a better strategy than that employed by Obama’s predecessor. They advocated for a dramatic troop increase and the adoption of a counterinsurgency strategy. Obama listened. He authorized a surge of 17,000 troops to Afghanistan in February 2009, and another surge of 30,000 that December.

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