The Obama Administration is saying the war in Afghanistan is over. The problem is it appears the Taliban or ISIS or al Qaeda didn’t get the memo. According to the Administration, the war is over so we can exchange prisoners and they can get back to their goat-herding or whatever they do when they are not killing babies and beheading innocent people. I have a simple question: What if you decide the war is over and the enemy doesn’t agree? What if they still want to kill innocent people? Is it still over?
I remember when WWII ended. Japan was literally brought to her knees. The Nazi machine crumbled, as did their buildings and war machines under the tracks of the tanks and the bombs of the Allies. Nazi war criminals were taken into custody and tried for their crimes. The infrastructures of both Germany and Japan were in ruins. In other words, everybody knew the war was over, especially Germany and Japan. There was a clear winner and more importantly, there was a clear loser.
So, let’s consider the Middle East and our military involvement there. Have we won? Have we lost? What have we done? Do the Islamist terrorists know they have lost? Have they turned over their weapons to our victorious military? Of course the answer is no. A war can only end when there is a clear winner and a clear loser and no amount of political rhetoric will ever change that fact.
Like most of the country I’m also tired of this seemingly never-ending war against radicals who represent no country and no flag. But there is nothing more dangerous than an enemy who doesn’t know when he is defeated. Our problem is we haven’t been convincing enough yet.
In my mind the answer is clear. For this war to end, we must end it. We cannot end it by just leaving because the enemy won’t allow that. They will still commit their atrocities and practices of killing off anybody they can’t rule over. The way to end this war is to win it, and we win it in the same way we ended WWII. We leave no doubt in the minds of our would-be enemy that further action is both futile and terminal. We level some of their cities and make glass factories out of the sand of their deserts. The fact we have allowed this nonsense to go on for as long as we have is embarrassing. We have the military capability of ending this war in a matter of seconds.
Some will say we are just better people than that. Really? When President Harry Truman decided to end the war with Japan, I’m sure he had concerns over collateral damage. Even if he did, he decided to drop the atomic bombs anyway because he knew that would lead to the fewest deaths of Americans. I have no interest in killing the people of the Middle East, but I have no interest in dying by their hand either.
I clearly remember President George W. Bush announcing after the attack on the World Trade Center that they decided when this war started, but we will decide when it ends. The reality is war can only end when a winner has been established. We haven’t won this war yet. Whether we win or lose will depend on our resolve. One thing is clear – wishing won’t make it so.