[Y]ou know that narrative of a quick aerial campaign while locals on the ground take charge of the situation? We’ve heard it before. We enforced a no-fly zone in Iraq in support of the Kurdish uprising, as part of an ostensibly international force, and look how that worked out. In Afghanistan, we were supposedly just providing air power and special forces trainers while the Northern Alliance rolled into the capitol city. Nearly 8 years, 1 Nobel Peace Prize, and way too many corpses later, well, we still have ground forces in Afghanistan, and generals are still performing their annual ritual of lying to Congress about how many objectives have been accomplished.
(Photo: A bloody checkered keffiyah is seen on the floor of a hospital as medics tend to a wounded rebel fighter who was wounded during clashes with forces loyal to strongman Moamer Kadhafi at the front line near the eastern town of Ajdabiya on March 15, 2011. By Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images)