Image by G a r r y via FlickrChuck Hagel on The Limits Of Force | Iraq and Afghanistan Aren't Ours to Win or Lose (TWP | September 3, 2009): Excerpt below:
The other night I watched the film "The Deer Hunter." Afterward, I remembered why it took me so many years to be able to watch Vietnam movies. […] It all came tumbling back -- the tragedy, the innocent victims, the waste. Too often in Washington we tend to see foreign policy as an abstraction, with little understanding of what we are committing our country to: the complications and consequences of endeavors. It is easy to get into war, not so easy to get out. Vietnam lasted more than 10 years; soon, we will slip into our ninth year in Afghanistan. We have been in Iraq for almost seven years. […] Are our policies worthy of these Americans' great sacrifices? That question must always be at the fore of our leaders' decisions. Threats to America come from more than Afghanistan. Consider Yemen and Somalia. Are we prepared to put U.S. ground troops there?
Read the whole thing here.