Retreating With Our Heads Held High
Iraq is the exemplar of this doctrine, but he was at pains to demonstrate its applicability across the board. Indeed, the president boasted that NATO is closing out its Libya mission, success declared with the death of Muammar Qaddafi—the U.S. having abandoned that effort some time ago. He boasted of the reductions of U.S. forces already underway in Afghanistan. And he promised: “make no mistake, [U.S. force levels in Afghanistan] will continue to go down.” Gone is any language about conditions, objectives, goals, American interests, or any of the fundamental principles that Americans have fought so hard to achieve in these wars and throughout our history. American strategy is simply to go home.
Frederick W. Kagan, a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard, is director of the Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute. Kimberly Kagan is president of the Institute for the Study of War.