Was The War In Afghanistan A Long Counter-Terrorism Effort?

mini-meLast weekend I heard one Administration supporter after another correcting journalists that the fight against terrorism is not a war but a long counter-terrorism effort. Okay, how is that different than that Mini-Me war in Afghanistan? I grew up during the Vietnam War and the Afghanistan War is giving me those same vibes. There is nothing that inspires fear and loathing in me more than administration officials talking about long counter-terrorism efforts and limited wars. I heard it before. If we embrace the Clausewitz thought that war is policy by other means then we have to conclude the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were not one of our shining foreign policy achievements if our objective was a long term reduction in terrorism. Like Vietnam the war in Afghanistan has struggled to find the political objective for us being there for over ten years. Since we continue to struggle with our political objectives in Afghanistan, why should we expect a long counter-terrorism effort to have a different outcome? All you need to do is ask yourself two simple questions, what was the objective for the war in Afghanistan and did we accomplish it. With a foreign policy stuck on stupid I guess it is not surprising that we have even less international support for our fight against terrorism than we did with our previous wars in Iraq! I understand the sentiment to avoid mentioning the word, war, but the war in Afghanistan can probably be best described as a long counter-terrorism effort that failed. Without any significant policy changes it is a sign of insanity when you keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results.