I did some traveling late last week and had the opportunity to finish Scott Horton’s book “Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan.“
Two words of advice.
Seriously, this book is a must-read, especially if you still believe the “War on Terror” is somehow protecting and furthering American interests.
Many people who are skeptical of Iraq still buy into the war in Afghanistan. After all, it was the “good war,” launched to punish the people who flew planes into American buildings on 9/11. But Horton strips away the propaganda and offers a convincing argument that U.S. forces could have accomplished that goal, and been in and out of Afghanistan within months. Instead, the war turned into an impossible nation-building mission and a military occupation that ultimately gave rise to the insurgency America continues to battle more than 15 years later.
He also mercilessly smashes many of the myths surrounding the war, such as, “They hate us because of our freedom.” “We have to fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them here,” and “If we pull out now, Afghanistan will become a safe-haven for terrorists.”
I have been skeptical of the war in Afghanistan for a while, but really more on a gut level, sensing intuitively that U.S. foreign policy is often at odds with itself. Horton proves it in spades. Even I was shocked at how often decisions made by U.S. policymakers undermine stated objectives and goals.
I’ve met Scott, and appeared a number of times on his radio show. If you’ve ever listened to him, you know he’s an intense and passionate individual. You might get the impression that his book would be an extended emotional plea. It’s not. It’s seriously one of the most meticulously documented, carefully laid out works I’ve ever read. Some of the pages are literally half filled with footnotes. Scott’s work will stand up to the most intense academic scrutiny.
There was a time in my life when I embraced every U.S. foreign policy intervention. It’s only recently that I’ve come to realize that the same people who’ve made a disaster out of domestic policy also run the foreign policy. In this day and age, it’s hard to get information about U.S. wars that isn’t steeped in government propaganda.That’s why so many people support the wars without reservation.
Horton pulls the curtain away and reveals an ugly truth most Americans haven’t faced.
We need more Hortons.