Before commenting on the article of the moment from Rolling Stone, I wanted to read it in full. Now that I've done so, I have to say that it was an incredibly interesting read. Obviously, the runaway hits for our media were the unabashed comments of Gen. Stanley McChystal and his staff, but I felt that it was good to read honest assessments of the failings of the Afghan War from a number of sources, including our troops there. By the closing paragraph, I felt that my inclinations were confirmed: We need to get out of Afghanistan, period.
Whatever we could have done for the better in Afghanistan was lost when the Bush administration abandoned the capture of bin Laden for the wholly unnecessary war in Iraq. I think that what good we could have done is now lost, especially considering that we are apparently are no longer really fighting al qaeda in Afghanistan. At this point we seem only to be harming our troops who have been fighting almost aimlessly and non-stop for nearly a decade. The aforementioned Michael Hastings article, as well as an op-ed from Boston University history professor Andrew Bacevich, confirms as much. And from what I can tell, counter insurgency is nothing more than another word for perpetual war.
On a different note, and going back to the Hastings article, I could not believe the level of shade thrown at Rolling Stone by the folks in the mainstream media. You would think that Rolling Stone was some piece of shit publication to hear the criticisms. I was glad to see Frank Rich go to its defense in his op-ed today, because I think that Rolling Stone has produced several hard hitting and thorough political articles; I am especially a fan of the work of Matt Taibbi (check out all that he has written about Wall Street, particularly Goldman Sachs, to see what I am talking about).
I think that the President has made a poor decision in not looking to revise his Afghan War strategy in light of the recent events. Perhaps he and his staff need to read Hastings article without blinders this time around. McChrystal's comments against the administration people were not the most important aspects of that article, and I think that an important moment is about to be lost. This war, these wars really, must come to an end. The GOP and its supporters will tear the President down regardless of his decision, so why not end the war in Afghanistan. Bring our troops home to a hero's welcome, and focus on stopping terrorist networks as Vice President suggested ages ago. It does no one any good to exacerbate the blunders of a past administration no matter how honorable the intentions; we can no longer afford them, and our troops need no longer bear them.