Stomped On What Exactly?

by Chris Bodenner

Joe Klein has two main reasons for sticking it out in Afghanistan:

One is that the U.S. has a real national security interest in Afghanistan. We don't want to see it revert to its former status--run by Taliban extremists who provide a safe haven for Al Qaeda [....] The other answer is that we have a moral obligation to the Afghan people, just as we had to the Iraqis when we stomped in there and destroyed the most basic institutions of civil society

Crowley takes exception:

Really? America was attacked by people who were given safe harbor by Afghanistan's government. Our retaliation was well within the bounds of international conduct, as opposed to George W. Bush's extremely debatable war of choice in Iraq. It also did not involve the vast infrastructural damage that we inflicted on Iraq. (Primitive and endlessly war-torn Afghanistan just doesn't have that much infrastructure to destrory.) But even if we concede Klein his point, it feels dangerously open-ended. [...] And how many [Afghans] are willing to be killed as collateral combat damage while we strive to meet that goal?