The Afghan War: Cause and Effect

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More than half of Americans want the U.S. to pull its remaining 90,000 troops out of Afghanistan “as soon as possible,” according to a Pew survey released Monday. That continues a sharp reversal that has existed since last summer. It’s interesting to compare the two lines in the Pew chart with the U.S. casualty toll detailed in a new Congressional Research Service report, also released Monday, by Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists’ Secrecy Project (you pay for them, but Congress won’t let you see them, so Aftergood gets them somehow and posts them for taxpayers).

Wars are a tough sell to any nation. Long wars are a tougher sell. Long wars in a democracy are tougher still. And long wars with rising casualties in a democracy are the toughest sell of all. After 30 years of paying attention to these hard-and-fast rules of human nature, Battlelandcontinues to be amazed at how few politicians factor such truths into their war-making schemes.