Andrew J. Bacevich argued in “Why veterans are proud of wars we didn’t win” [Outlook, April 13] that “the world’s best military establishment didn’t win in Iraq, and it won’t win in Afghanistan.” On what metrics is he basing his argument? With the support of the U.S. military, the Taliban in Afghanistan was overthrown, a new government (flawed, but gradually improving) was established and remaining Taliban forces were overwhelmed on the battlefield and lost the great majority of their territory. There is no sign of al-Qaeda and, despite persistent corruption, major advances in civil society benchmarks have been made each year. Also, the Taliban failed miserably in its attempt to disrupt the recent elections, and Afghans are more enthusiastic and optimistic about a new leader and Afghanistan’s journey toward democracy than they were in the last election.
If you’re keeping score, we’re in the fourth quarter of our involvement; we’re leading about 90-20 and the scrubs (the Afghan army and security forces) are playing the final minutes. If anything will be lost in the future, it will not be our military’s fault.
Stephen Perlman, Fairfax