Quote of the Day: Solutions

 

There are no solutions; there are only trade-offs. – Thomas Sowell

There is no better illustration of this piece of Sowell food than the events of August. Joe Biden claimed he has solved the problem of America’s endless war in Afghanistan, through a precipitous pullout. This is only sort-of, kind-of true. The US’s war in Afghanistan is over. We are not there. However, war in Afghanistan continues, albeit between different groups of Afghans.  And it certainly continues for the thousands of US citizens stuck in Afghanistan.

(Please do not insult me by repeating the Administration lie that only a few hundred US citizens remain in Afghanistan. The Administration gave a low-ball estimate of 10,000 US citizens in Afghanistan in early August and admits we only withdrew several thousand that month. Plus other estimates in early August stated there were 15,000 to 40,000 US citizens scattered throughout Afghanistan. Do the math.)

But is the greater war over? That depends entirely on the Taliban, ISIS and Al Qaeda. The enemy gets a vote. They have a secure base from which to launch terror attacks on the United States and an open southern US border from which to mount them. And no fear of the consequences of making another attack on this country. Why should they after we tucked our tails and ran from them?

Additionally, the US pullout was done without consulting our allies and partners in this venture. I am not talking about the Afghans. I am talking about the British, French, Germans, and even the Ukrainians. I know there are Ricochetti who claim these allies have no other choice than to suck up this US betrayal, and that legally we were entitled to behave in this manner. That is short-sighted. An unreliable ally is worse than no ally. These nations, and many around the world, will make plans excluding the US.

Can Taiwan, Japan, or South Korea depend upon the US nuclear umbrella to protect them going forward? I would not if I were them. And all three are capable of producing nuclear weapons virtually overnight. What will the US do? Sanction them? That would be cutting off our nose to spite our face. It would make us more economically dependent on our chief international adversary, China.

Will central Asian (the ‘stans) or Middle Eastern nations be more or less willing to host US military bases now than they were before? Why stick your neck out to support a feckless, unreliable United States? Better to hike the price of your oil exports to them and rely on your own resources.

No, withdrawing from Afghanistan was not a solution. It was a trade-off. A particularly poorly thought out one.

Published in Foreign Policy
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  1. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    As I get older, I wonder about trade offs. I look at Israel and wonder “So, say Israel just decided to end the whole PA problem by sending in Bulldozers and pushing them all out into some other Arab nation? And what if they just secured Lebanon, and wiped out, in one fell swoop, all the Iranian forces? And what if they used nukes to eliminate Iran’s threat once and for all?”

    OK then what? The World hates and condemns Israel? All the nations afraid of Iran in the Middle East do, what exactly? Israel is already hated, but if they have just nuked Iran, no one is going to want to do much to them. It seems to me that there will be a lot, a lot, of storm. And then, as things go, they would settled down. After all, the world accepts all the horrible things China is doing. 

     

    • #1
  2. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    China carries a bigger stick than Israel.

    • #2
  3. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Seawriter: (Please do not insult me by repeating the Administration lie that only a few hundred US citizens remain in Afghanistan. The Administration gave a low-ball estimate of 10,000 US citizens in Afghanistan in early August and admits we only withdrew several thousand that month. Plus other estimates in early August stated there were 15,000 to 40,000 US citizens scattered throughout Afghanistan. Do the math.)

    Thank you!

    • #3
  4. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Israel can end every nation in the middle east

    • #4
  5. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Seawriter:

    . . .

    (Please do not insult me by repeating the Administration lie that only a few hundred US citizens remain in Afghanistan. The Administration gave a low-ball estimate of 10,000 US citizens in Afghanistan in early August and admits we only withdrew several thousand that month. Plus other estimates in early August stated there were 15,000 to 40,000 US citizens scattered throughout Afghanistan. Do the math.)

    This is not true.  The early estimates were all over the place, and acknowledged as such.  

    You don’t know whether the supposed 10,000 estimate in early August was lowball or not.  You don’t even give a date or a source.  This is very careless.

    Here is a story from August 19 in Forbes reporting a State Department estimate of 5,000 to 10,000 Americans in Afghanistan. 

    So if you want to do math based on early reports — which are notoriously inaccurate anyway — then you should start with a lowball estimate of 5,000, and consider this in light of the President’s statement on August 31 that about 5,500 Americans were evacuated, and conclude that . . . who knows how many remain.

    But the idea that the math is obviously wrong is, itself, wrong.  You can say it all you want.

    I have NO IDEA how many Americans are in Afghanistan.  Neither do you.  I don’t know whether the government is lying about it or not.  Neither do you.

    But your argument is false. 

    • #5
  6. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    But your argument is false. 

    Feel free to believe whatever you want to. If believing it is false gives you comfort go for it.

    • #6
  7. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    But your argument is false.

    Feel free to believe whatever you want to. If believing it is false gives you comfort go for it.

    This is pitiful.  I rebutted your argument.  Be man enough to admit it.

    • #7
  8. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    But your argument is false.

    Feel free to believe whatever you want to. If believing it is false gives you comfort go for it.

    This is pitiful. I rebutted your argument. Be man enough to admit it.

    I didn’t see it as  such, but you apparently do. Your entire argument boiled down to you have no idea how many US citizens are in Afghanistan and that therefore there there must not be many. It is a lawyer’s sophistry.

    I do understand why you feel this was a decisive and crushing argument. Let me suggest we let time play out and we shall see who is correct. I am pretty confident I will be.

    • #8
  9. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    “Sowell food.”  LOL.  Love it.

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    • #9
  10. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    Getting a little distracted with some of the discussion.   It should have been  simple.  Get our weapons out, get our civilians out, then get our military out, or not get out wholly.  Those were our choices or some combination them.  Even Biden wouldn’t choose the idiocy he did without some reason.  What reason could there be?  Chinese had the goods on them.  Why are we so silent over such an obvious reason?  

    • #10