U.S. War In Afghanistan Now Longer Than Soviet War

It’s a dubious distinction, but as of yesterday the United States’ occupation of Afghanistan had lasted as long as the Soviet Union’s ill-fated commitment in that country:

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Soviet Union couldn’t win in Afghanistan, and now the United States is about to have something in common with that futile campaign: nine years, 50 days.

On Friday, the U.S.-led coalition will have been fighting in this South Asian country for as long as the Soviets did in their humbling attempt to build up a socialist state. The two invasions had different goals — and dramatically different body counts — but whether they have significantly different outcomes remains to be seen.

Glenn Greenwald observes:

It seems clear that a similar — or even grander — prize awaits us as the one with which the Soviets were rewarded.  I hope nobody thinks that just because we can’t identify who the Taliban leaders are after almost a decade over there that this somehow calls into doubt our ability to magically re-make that nation.  Even if it did, it’s vital that we stop the threat of Terrorism, and nothing helps to do that like spending a full decade — and counting — invading, occupying, and bombing Muslim countries.

Indeed, because it seems to be working out so well.

FILED UNDER: Afghanistan War, Quick Takes, World Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. Neil Hudelson says:

    Huzzah!