Well, let's see: Barack Obama campaigned in 2007-08 on Afghanistan being the "right" war; then, as soon as he assumed power, he pirhouetted and began talking about "ending" that war as well and establishing a timetable for withdrawal, which emboldened Talibanis and drove up U.S. casualties to such an extent that he was forced, for appearances' sake, to agree to a mini-"Surge" strategy not unlike the much bigger one that actually won the second (or, I suppose, the third) war in Iraq before O threw away that victory as well, even as he reiterated a firm date for U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. Everybody outside the White House predicted that this would only further embolden and strengthen the Taliban (and ISIS, remember), leading to the inevitable "helicopters barely escaping the U.S. embassy in Saigon in April 1975"-like debacle next year in Kabul.
The only difference may be that the Taliban will drive us out of Afghanistan long before those helicopters can ever take off:
The Taliban insurgency has spread through more of Afghanistan than at any point since 2001, according to data compiled by the United Nations as well as interviews with numerous local officials in areas under threat.
In addition, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan over the past two weeks has evacuated four of its thirteen provincial offices around the country — the most it has ever done for security reasons — according to local officials in the affected areas.
The data, compiled in early September — even before the latest surge in violence in northern Afghanistan — showed that United Nations security officials had already rated the threat level in about half of the country’s administrative districts as either “high” or “extreme,” more than at any time since the American invasion ousted the Taliban in 2001.
That assessment, which has not been publicly released but is routinely shared by the United Nations with countries in the international coalition, appears at odds with the assessment of its American commander, General John F. Campbell, in his testimony to Congress last week.
Spewing the Obamunist "ALL IS WELL!" party line in spectacularly counterfactual fashion. Indeed, whatever testimony General Campbell offered up, you could bank with utter certitude on the truth being the precise opposite of what he said.
Even the "ALL IS WELL!" insistence had the usual "multilateralist" stink to it:
“The Afghan security forces have displayed courage and resilience,” General Campbell testified to the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday. “They’re still holding. The Afghan government retains control of Kabul, of Highway One, its provincial capitals and nearly all of the district centers.”
Bullshit. The Afghan security forces are in worse shape than the Iraqi "army". They're disintegrating before the Taliban (and ISIS) onslaught, when they aren't turning on their erstwhile U.S. "benefactors" who are, after all, openly planning to abandon them - just like we did the Iraqis. Can we really blame them for exacting revenge for The One's betrayal while they still can?
But this is all in keeping with the Obama Doctrine: the U.S. "had no right" to interfere in "internal Afghan affairs" by its "aggression" against the "rightful" Taliban government fourteen years ago, and we must withdraw from and leave that country and its right to self-determination and all the progress that has been made there ever since at not-inconsiderable cost in lives and treasure to the Taliban to be annihilated in an orgy of vengeful, triumphant Islamic Fundamentalist bloodletting and butchery, followed by the resumption of Afghanistan being a(nother) base for jihadist offensives against the United States. "Smart power," after all, demands it.
And "smart power" always gets what it wants.