After 15 years of war, billions and billions of dollars in fighting and training, more money than the US spent on the Marshall Plan on nation-building, over 2,000 combat deaths including scores by very our “Afghan allies,” tens of thousands of injuries, including many grievous “dismounted complex blast injuries,” another US general has come before the Senate Armed Services Committee to ask for more.
I refer to Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr., who told the committee this week that the war in Afghanistan, where he commands over 13,000 international troops, 8,400 of whom are American, is at a “stalemate.”
A stalemate? No, mon general, it’s lost. The war to nation-build Afghanistan into the 21st — or even the 20th — century is over, a failure, the Islam-blind COIN fantasies that fueled the multiculti-madness, junked and discredited. You should have told the senators it was high time to bring our troops home. As noted so many times before in this space, there is nothing to win there. As Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely put it back in 2009, “Let it go.”
Then Gen. Nicholson told the senators he wanted more troops — several thousand more American troops. Why? To train and advise the Afghans.
Mr. President, CNN will produce real news first.
After fifteen years of wasted training and pointless advising, we know this to be true. There’s only one thing to say to any general who, with a straight face, tells the American people that Afghanistan is the merest “stalemate,” and that thousands more American trainers will make all the difference (to what, we don’t know). That one things is: “You’re fired.”
There’s more. Nearly a decade ago, then-Col. Nicholson made public scapegoats out the MARSOC Marines of 1st Platoon, Fox Company, who, having survived a 2007 suicide attack on their group in Bati Kot, were smeared as murderers of innocent civilians. Nicholson declared he was “deeply ashamed,” the incident was a “stain on our honor,” etc. — all before any investigation. Military authorities decided our Marines were guilty as Afghan-charged. Platoon commander Maj. Fred Galvin was ordered to relieve himself of duty in front of his platoon; the platoon was ejected from the country, and underwent a grueling investigation — which cleared them all of any wrongdoing.
No apology from Nicholson or anyone else, however. No public recognition by the military that these Marines were valorous and honorable. The good news is Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) has introduced a resolution calling on the Marine Corps or Department of Defense to issue an official statement of exoneration. He will be holding a press conference to address this matter on February 16.
Gen. Nicholson should attend. It would do all concerned good for him to use the occasion to make his apologies — en route to his retirement.