Andrew J. Bacevich: Turn the Hot War Into a Cold War
Having read two of Andrew J. Bacevich’s books now (The New American Militarism and The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism) I know that he is always worth reading, even when you don’t agree with his conclusions (although I mostly do).
Today, he has an op-ed in the Washington Post, laying out his ideas for a new approach toward Afghanistan. Here are the first three paragraphs:
America’s long war, which began on Oct. 7, 2001, when U.S. bombs and missiles started falling on Afghanistan, has become the longest in this country’s history. The eighth anniversary of the conflict beckons, with no end in sight.
The counterinsurgency campaign proposed in Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal’s strategic assessment will prolong the war for an additional five or 10 years. The war’s most ardent proponents insist that President Obama has no choice: It’s either fight on or invite another 9/11.
Fortunately, there is an alternative to a global counterinsurgency campaign. Instead of fighting an endless hot war in a vain effort to eliminate the jihadist threat, the United States should wage a cold war to keep the threat at bay. Such a strategy worked before. It can work again.