Were the Wars Wise? Were They Worth It? by Patrick J. Buchanan

Very little about US warmaking since World War II can be considered wise or worthwhile. From Patrick J. Buchanan at lewrockwell.com:

Through the long Memorial Day weekend, anyone who read the newspapers or watched television could not miss or be unmoved by it: Story after story after story of the fallen, of those who had given the “last full measure of devotion” to their country.

Heart-rending is an apt description of those stories; and searing are the videos of those who survived and returned home without arms or legs.

But the stories could not help but bring questions to mind.

While the service and sacrifice were always honorable and often heroic, never to be forgotten, were the wars these soldiers were sent to fight and die in wise? Were they necessary?

What became of the causes for which these Americans were sent to fight in the new century, with thousands to die and tens of thousands to come home with permanent wounds?

And what became of the causes for which they were sent to fight?

The longest war of this new century, the longest in our history, the defining “endless war” or “forever war” was Afghanistan.

In 2001, we sent an army halfway around the world to exact retribution on al-Qaida for 9/11, an attack that rivaled Pearl Harbor in the numbers of dead and wounded Americans.

Because al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden had been given sanctuary by the Taliban in Kabul, who refused to give him up, we invaded, overthrew that Islamist regime and cleansed Tora Bora of al-Qaida.

Mission accomplished. But then the mission changed.

In control of a land that had seen off British and Soviet imperialists, we hubristically set about establishing a democracy and sent hundreds of thousands of Americans to hold off the rebel resistance for two decades while we went about nation-building.

We did not succeed. All U.S. troops are to be gone by the 20th anniversary of 9/11. And the Taliban we ousted has never been closer to recapturing power in Kabul.

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