With mounting calls for the U.S. to withdraw from another war before it's won, it's important that the American people get a chance to sees not just how winnable the war is, but what's at stake if we lose it. More than American pride and prowess, and even our own safety from terror, it's the lives of millions of Afghan civilians for whom victory is only another word for survival that are on the line. If we can clear away the fog of war to see anything, let it be that.
Posted: February 13, 2010 ~ 1:00 am Eastern
The fog of war is a concept that has long been used to describe the uncertainty and lack of clarity that attends combat. Soldiers, as well as their commanding officers, find that war gives off this mental fog, creating "exaggerated dimensions and unnatural appearance," in the words of the great military thinker Carl von Clausewitz.
What we've realized in modern warfare, and maybe most painfully since Vietnam, is that the fog of war extends long after the battle has been concluded, seeping into the public discourse on what actually happened, tainting the accounts and even causing us to lose sight of why we were fighting in the first place.
It's precisely this kind of after-battle fog that has blurred and distorted both the war in Iraq, which is in its "drawdown" phase, and the war in Afghanistan, which still rages and where the fog of war is still causing dangerous confusion.
The recently released book "The Only Thing Worth Dying For" (Harper Collins) is one of the few – if not the only – accounts of the Afghanistan war that clears away the political mists. It does so by providing a clear, honest and faithful account of exactly what happened on the ground in Taliban country, just weeks after 9/11.
The book's author, Eric Blehm, tells the story of a team of 11 Green Berets who used the unusual amount of strategic responsibility they were given to begin chipping away at the Taliban's southern stronghold. Without much of a plan coming from the political echelon, the team, called ODA-574, led by a young captain named Jason Amerine (who now teaches at West Point), managed to form a rag-tag army of anti-Taliban freedom fighters who were able to pull off the impossible.
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Sunday, February 14, 2010
Commentary from WorldNetDaily