Questioning logic of war

The U.S. may expand the Afghan war with no answer to basic questions.

Commander in Chief Barack Obama said he will explain his Afghan War troop decision after Thanksgiving weekend. With public opinion polls indicating sinking support for the war, it seems the lingering philosophical problematics of the terror war have taken their toll. What has never been answered is exactly how we go about fighting a âÄúwar on terror.âÄù The president has defended the need to âÄúdestroy and disable al-Qaida and its extremist allies and create a stable Afghanistan.âÄù Despite eight years of war, it seems our military presence has only futilely shifted the geographic location of stateless al-Qaida to Pakistan. Without a sweeping war on terrorism everywhere, how can we win? Do military operations create a vicious cycle of insurgency whereby more troops are needed to fight an ever-growing number of enemies? The question that these two beg: Is a base level of terrorism a societal evil we must afford to live with? Russia has dealt with Chechnya for years; Spain, the Basques. Nearly 3,000 people died Sept. 11, but at least 100,000 Iraqi and Afghan civilians have been killed since 2001. Coalition forces in Afghanistan are now nation-building in a region with no history of democracy. There is yet no easy practical recipe to get the Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara and other distinct cultural groups to join the experiment in self-governance. The theoretical nonchalance of the Afghan War debate has shirked the most basic question of all: What are we doing there? Despite the power and probable prescience of our elected elites, if the American public canâÄôt readily answer that simple question, perhaps itâÄôs because there is no answer, which begs one final question: Should there be a war at all?