Credulity as Policy

Ashraf Ghani, the president of Afghanistan, announced June 7 that his government’s forces would unilaterally enter into a ceasefire with the Taliban until June 20. It remains to be seen how the Taliban responds. The jihadists didn’t agree to the plan beforehand and may simply use the lull in fighting to plan the next wave in their nationwide assault on the government. Ghani and his American backers are hoping for something much more. They think there is a chance the Taliban’s men will lay down their arms. General John Nicholson, who oversees the U.S. war effort, quickly endorsed Ghani’s move, calling it a “bold initiative for peace” and saying he supports “the search for an end to the conflict.”

But the ceasefire isn’t “bold”; it is desperate and delusional. The more we listen to America’s military commanders the clearer it becomes that they do not understand the enemies they face. Nor do they have a realistic plan for victory.

The current strategy hinges on the idea …

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