WASHINGTON, September 23, 2009–In a recent statement by top U.S. commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal, he criticized the U.S. military for being “preoccupied with protection of our own forces” in Afghanistan. He wrote that American forces should “share risk, at least equally, with the people” of Afghanistan. What makes our leaders think that they can ever win a war with this sort of philosophy? 

“If Afghanistan now seems unwinnable, blame Bush and Obama,” writes Elan Journo, a fellow with the Ayn Rand Center. “Bush crusaded not to destroy the Taliban but to bring Afghans elections and reconstruction. Obama’s ‘new’ tack is to insist we spend billions more on nation-building and bend over backwards to safeguard the local population. Both take for granted the allegedly moral imperative of putting the lives and welfare of Afghans first–ahead of defeating the enemy to protect Americans.

“This imperative lies behind Washington’s self-crippled war–a war which could have worked to deter other jihadists and their state-sponsors, but instead encourages them to attempt further attacks.

“How many more Americans must die before we challenge this conception of a proper war?”

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