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7/16/21 Ron Enzweiler: Requiem for America’s Ineffectual War State

7/16/21 Ron Enzweiler: Requiem for America’s Ineffectual War State

Ron Enzweiler discusses the unlearned lessons of America’s wasteful and doomed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. First of all, he says, we should have known that the only thing keeping Iraq together was Saddam Hussein’s stranglehold on power, which prevented a civil war from breaking out. After the United States deposed him, explains Enzweiler, those tensions were going to bubble over no matter what. The best thing to do now would be to leave Iraq as soon as possible, but stubborn superstitions like the “safe haven” myth and the idea that President Obama pulled troops out too quickly make it hard for anyone to push withdrawal even today. In the case of Afghanistan, Enzweiler says that some fear the Taliban will not only take over that country, but will also try to export their vision of Islam to other nations. But this is a fundamental misunderstanding of who the Taliban are and what they want. They aren’t jihadists, says Enzweiler—they just want to spread their way of life within their own country and keep out foreign occupiers who try to change that. Social progress and cosmopolitanism may come to Afghanistan eventually, but we cannot force those things at the point of a gun.

Discussed on the show:

  • “Iraq and Afghan Wars: Requiem for America’s Ineffectual War State” (

Ron Enzweiler is an air force veteran and worked for USAID in Iraq for seven years. He is the author of When Will We Ever Learn. You can follow his writing at

This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: The War State and Why The Vietnam War?, by Mike Swanson; Tom Woods’ Liberty Classroom;; EasyShip; Thc Hemp Spot; Green Mill Supercritical; Bug-A-Salt; Lorenzotti Coffee; Zippix Toothpicks and Listen and Think Audio.

Shop Libertarian Institute merch or donate to the show through Patreon, PayPal or Bitcoin: 1DZBZNJrxUhQhEzgDh7k8JXHXRjYu5tZiG.

About Scott Horton

Scott Horton is director of the Libertarian Institute, editorial director of, host of Antiwar Radio on Pacifica, 90.7 FM KPFK in Los Angeles, California and podcasts the Scott Horton Show from He's the author of the 2021 book Enough Already: Time to End the War on Terrorism, the 2017 book, Fool's Errand:Time to End the War in Afghanistan, editor of the 2019 book The Great Ron Paul: The Scott Horton Show Interviews 2004–2019 and the 2022 book Hotter Than The Sun: Time to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. He’s conducted more than 5,800 interviews since 2003. Scott lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, Larisa Alexandrovna Horton.

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