Writing at The American Conservative, Andrew Bracevich wonders, where is Congress on Afghanistan? While the Trump administration can’t seem to make up its mind on a strategy, the branch of government actually tasked with declaring and funding wars is silent. He writes:
the Afghanistan War (ostensibly part of a Global War on Terrorism) differs from the Vietnam War (ostensibly part of the Cold War) in myriad ways. Yet it resembles Vietnam in three crucial respects. First, it drags on with no end in sight. Second, no evidence exists to suggest that mere persistence will produce a positive outcome. Third, those charged with managing the war have long since run out of ideas about how to turn things around.
Indeed, the Trump administration seems unable to make up its mind about what to do in Afghanistan. A request for additional troops by the senior U.S. field commander has been pending since February. He is still waiting for an answer. James Mattis, Trump’s defense secretary, has promised a shiny new strategy. That promise remains unfulfilled. Meanwhile, the news coming out of Kabul is almost uniformly bad. The war itself continues as if on autopilot. Lausche’s “sprawled all over the field” provides an apt description of where the United States finds itself today.
Where is the Congress in all of this? By all appearances, congressional deference to the putative prerogatives of the commander in chief remains absurdly intact.
Read more here.