Stop Saying “We Lost the War!”

Afghanistan is the debacle of debacles, for sure. It’s a foreign policy blunder that, unless there’s a miraculous reversal, will be embedded in our minds as the strategic catastrophe of our lifetimes. But we didn’t “lose the war” and it’s time people stop saying it.

A war is lost when one side surrenders. The only thing we lost was our ability to stay there indefinitely, whereas the Taliban have nothing to lose. Inevitably, they will be hungrier to govern than Afghans who were in fact governing, and certainly more so than Americans, who don’t even want to be there.

We didn’t surrender. We didn’t lose on the battlefield. We simply got tired of playing Security Guard. We were hired to restore law and order to, say, a crime-ridden office building. The moment we got there, crime plummeted. We weren’t fighting the crooks for 20 years, they fled the moment we got there. But after 20 years of patrolling, we said enough is enough, we’re not going to be here forever, we have other things to do, and we left. The crooks came back.

The United States has NEVER lost a war. Never did our commander-in-chief raise the white flag of surrender. Britain did, the Confederate States did, Germany did, Italy did, Japan did, Spain did, Mexico did, but not us. We caused all of them to surrender. The only thing we failed to do was dismantle the Taliban into complete and permanent irrelevance.

But we didn’t “lose” the war. The war was over a short while after it began, 20 years ago. To those who continue to say we lost the war, cut it out. Shame on you!

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