Trump's speech on Afghanistan policy was calm, measured and dignified, and he read it right off the teleprompter. It was also essentially content free.

A recurring theme for most of the war has been that if we could just teach those Afghan soldiers how to fight, the Taliban could be routed. What nonsense. I am pretty sure that the problem is not technical proficiency, whatever limitations they may have in that regard, but commitment to the cause. Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan - why are those soldiers so hard to motivate to fight for the occupying power?

Trump failed to explain any details of what he would do to discourage Pakistan from supporting the Taliban. He didn't even mention the weapons and other help that Russia supplies to them. There is no clue as to what he hopes to do about the pervasive corruption that undermines all the military efforts. The "no nation building" battle cry might inspire his fellow idiots, but the fact is that it is a strategy that's been tried again and again and always failed.

We succeeded in Germany and Japan precisely because we were fully committed to nation building. We failed in Iraq because we didn't even try how to figure out how to put back together the nation Bush had shattered. Ditto Libya and so on.

Trump did experiment a bit with his patented troublemaking ideas, by trying to suck India into the Afghan quagmire. That should work well.


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