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theboardwalkpodcast866 karma

Yes. Easily. Especially after we went into Iraq.

theboardwalkpodcast576 karma

Our CT successes in Afghanistan did not create more terrorists in Iraq. Groups like al-Qaida painted the US and other western nations as invaders and occupiers. When we then invaded Iraq, their prophecy came true. Our move into Iraq was the single biggest recruitment tool for Islamic extremists.

theboardwalkpodcast567 karma

Stu here. I'd say the biggest takeaway is that if you're going to commit to a war you have to have enough forces on the ground to win it. Despite the effectiveness of drone warfare in Afghanistan and Iraq, we didn't have enough people on the ground to secure rural areas, which allowed the Taliban to rebuild and reemerge in the end.

theboardwalkpodcast425 karma

The surge was definitely a failure. It was also hampered by politics at home and Obama essentially putting a ticking clock on the war. Additionally, CI doctrine dictates 10:1 troop numbers and we topped out at around 100k against 30-70k Taliban (depending on the time).

The better answer is to not get embroiled in long-term occupations and nation-building.

theboardwalkpodcast343 karma

Unfortunately, at the highest levels, most of the leaders that lost both wars have successfully failed upwards and are either still in their positions, or have moved on to board seats of contracting companies. We hope that at least some of those who will move into top-level positions will understand the need for clear guidance, achievable goals, and honesty when addressing Congress moving forward, but we have very little hope for this.