It is perplexing that advocates of a long-term engagement in Afghanistan -- folks who often reject social engineering as a tool of public policy -- accept the idea that a nation with scores of ethnic groups, widespread corruption, no industry and no bonding of language or nationality can be coaxed into constructing a stable and lasting democratic society.
What seemed to irk Will's detractors most, however, was his inconsistency. You can go from patriot to cheese-eating surrender monkeys in a mere 750 words. And if you once supported Operation Enduring Freedom, you apparently have cast your lot with Kabul forever. Which makes sense, because it's going to take that long for American troops to find a puppet Islamic state that pretends to value any enduring freedoms.
Naturally, the invasion made sense after the 9/11 attacks. Fighting terrorism with force makes sense. The subsequent military victory was worth celebrating. But if every military engagement includes an open-ended plan for nation building that pins our fortunes on the predilections of a backward nation, we are, indeed, setting ourselves up for failure.