A new report from NBC News quotes an unnamed “senior administration official” present during a meeting on Afghanistan as saying that Donald Trump is considering deepening our involvement there. If that’s alarming to you, consider further the justification Trump has offered: The exploitation of mineral resources.
During the meeting with his generals, described as “tense” by the source, Trump complained loudly about losing the war in Afghanistan. He spoke of firing the general in command of our forces in the country. He went on and on about the ineffectuality of NATO and our allies. I imagine it was a tense meeting.
It’s hard to believe that essentially all of our news has to come now from “leaks.” There was a time when accountability was paramount to credibility. Those days are gone. In their stead, we now value secrecy and loyalty above all else. What causes a turn of events like that? It’s certainly not the transparency that comes with a conscience. Nor is it a desire to accept public input on government endeavors.
It’s secrets. More precisely, it’s secrets that would impede a president’s intentions if they got out. The tacit acknowledgement of these secrets, given when “leakers” are pursued and prosecuted for espionage, only encourages more leaks.
That’s good for Americans. It’s bad for a president who doesn’t want Americans to know his real motivation for a continuing war.
The war in Afghanistan is the longest in American history. There’s a simple reason behind that, and a much more complicated reason. The short version is that the mountainous country has simply never been conquered. The weather, the terrain, and the indomitable spirit of the tribes that have called it home for thousands of years. Alexander the Great himself never dominated there.
The longer version of our continuing involvement concerns motives outside the good will of liberation.
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