This Is What Winning Looks Like

My guess is the principal war aim of the US in Afghanistan was and is to secure long-term military bases. These bases have been secured, and thus, the US war aim has been fulfilled. Strategically, bases in Afghanistan secure Central Asia while blocking Chinese or Russian adventurism. The bases in Iraq have a similar logic behind them; they, along with the Afghan bases, surround Iran. For the world’s most powerful country, the US, chaos in a society where we have important bases is unimportant and may even be an advantage as it provides an excuse for our continued presence while rendering local forces powerless.

Consider the NSA database. It is a fait accompli. It is here to stay. It marks a change in an era of world history. It is similar to, but vastly more powerful than, the king’s spies who used to cruise the streets listening to what people said. The revelation of the certainty and some of the scope of the database “shocks and awes” the public. It impresses me. What can anyone do about it? If we don’t have the best one in the world, someone else will.

Who controls it? Do we now have a sort of de facto world government? I think we probably do. It’s too big and powerful for anyone to stop.

The linked video presents a disappointing view of the war in Afghanistan. We see good soldiers resigned to leaving behind a mess and are led to believe that our “victory” looks more like a failure. But if long-term bases were always the main aim, the US did get what it wanted. And it also got what it wanted with the database—full spectrum dominance of the world through cyber warfare.

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