Thomas Friedman, New York Times wrote: “When President Barack Obama announced his decision to surge more troops into Afghanistan in 2009, I argued that it could succeed if three things happened: Pakistan became a different country, President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan became a different man and we succeeded at doing exactly what we claim not to be doing, nation-building in Afghanistan. None of that has happened, which is why I still believe our options in Afghanistan are: lose early, lose late, lose big or lose small. I vote for early and small.”
Back to Friedman:
“My wariness about Afghanistan comes from asking these three questions: When does the Middle East make you happy? How did the Cold War end? What would Ronald Reagan do? Let’s look at all three.
“When did the Middle East make us happiest in the past few decades? That’s easy: (1) when Anwar Sadat made his breakthrough visit to Jerusalem; (2) when the Sunni uprising in Iraq against the pro-al-Qaida forces turned the tide there; (3) when the Taliban regime in Afghanistan was routed in 2001 by Afghan rebels, backed only by U.S. air power and a few hundred U.S. Special Forces; (4) when Israelis and Palestinians drafted a secret peace accord in Oslo; (5) when the Green Revolution happened in Iran; (6) when the Cedar Revolution erupted in Lebanon; (7) when the democracy uprisings in Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Syria and Egypt emerged; (8) when Israel unilaterally withdrew from South Lebanon and Gaza.
“And what do they all have in common? America had nothing to do with almost all of them. They were self-propelled by the people themselves; we did not see them coming; and most of them didn’t cost us a dime.”