Withdraw and win: "go" for victory in Afghanistan
Borer, Douglas A.
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The war in Afghanistan can still be won. There, we have said it. Let us begin by answering the skeptics’ question: what does “victory” mean? Victory is defined by Afghanistan becoming a territorial entity from which terrorists cannot gain sufficient safe haven to organize, train, equip, and launch attacks against the USA and its allies. This means the Taliban must be denied the opportunity to return to unchecked power in Afghanistan. If the Taliban return to unilateral power, sooner or later Afghan soil will again be used by al Qaeda or similar violent radicals to strike the both the West and neighboring South Asian states. The pre-9.11.01 status quo will have been recreated and the last ten years will be wasted. This must not happen. Although we are sympathetic to those who define “victory” as meaning democracy, human rights, and other western liberal notions of individual and economic freedom, our definition of strategic victory does not require these things.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent the official policy of the US Army, US Navy, DOD, or Government of the United States. This article was submitted for internal review in October 2012. It has been approved for release by USASOC, USASFC, 1st SFG(A), SOJTF-A, and CJSOTF-A. All information is from unclassified resources or from the authors’ experience. All maps are from open source websites. Research for this article was made possible by the Combating Terrorism Archive Project (CTAP) at the Naval Postgraduate School.
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