Money quote from Robert Gates' speech to West Point cadets:
"In my opinion, any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should 'have his head examined,' as General MacArthur so delicately put it."
So Rummy was crazy as well as incompetent? Stephen Walt runs with this:
[I]f the situation in Afghanistan were exactly as it is today but U.S. forces were not present at all, would President Obama be getting ready to send 100,000+ troops there? I very much doubt it. And if that's the case, then the only reason we are still fighting there is some combination of the "sunk cost" fallacy, misplaced concerns about credibility, overblown fears of an al Qaeda "safe haven," and the usual fears about domestic political payback.
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