In Afghanistan, after an Afghan police officer demanded money from me at gunpoint to get through a checkpoint, I learned of the Kabul government’s widespread corruption. I learned that spending $68 billion on Afghan forces doesn’t buy the essential ingredients of a fighting force: loyalty, courage and integrity. I learned that most generals would always ask for more money, more troops, more time — and more war. It’s like asking Tom Brady what he wants to do on Sunday.
For seventeen years, I have argued that al Qaeda needs to be engaged as a criminal enterprise, not as a nation-state. And for seventeen years, we've been waging yet another pointless war on yet another abstract concept.