"10. We have no choice but victory. A failure in Afghanistan will reenergize radical Islam, as did the Soviet defeat, with implications that will affect everything from the current quiet in Iraq and the nuclearization of Iran to the behavior of Turkey, and the chances of more terrorist attacks within the United States. Failed invasions are more grievous even than lost battles. Those who think we can just leave Afghanistan and call it quits are sorely mistaken. Fairly or not, we are well beyond that: Either we stabilize the country, with all the accruing advantages from that achievement, or we withdraw in defeat and expect to reap a bitter harvest from that defeat."We either deal with winning the war in Afghanistan or settle down to living in a society in which bombing of your child's school or of your local mall is a reasonable possibility. If we refuse to treat terrorism as an act of war, it will be prosecuted as a crime--like the war on drugs and, unfortunately, probably just as unsuccessfully.
It's worthwhile reading the whole column (as is the case with everything Dr. Hanson writes). Hanson points out a number of overlooked strengths for winning and overblown weaknesses that supposedly point to losing. We need more counselors like Hanson who understand military history and are able to apply its lessons to the present.