Diana West

McConnell went on to say the Taliban had a "very bad year" in 2010, and would likely face an even worse year in 2011. "We're making substantial headway," he added.

Headway? Where to? McConnell's answer is devastating: "The best we can hope for in the near-term future in terms of getting them back to what is normal for them is getting them back to 30 years ago, before the Russians came in -- which was a relatively peaceful and to some extent self-sustaining agricultural society. That's about all we can hope for."

That's it?

Is this "best we can hope for" scenario actually worth a baseline of $350 million a day, not to mention the ghastly toll of amputated limbs and other grievous injuries?

Absolutely not. It's madness. Because if America were at all serious about defeating Islamic terrorism, if America were at all serious about turning back Islamic jihad and the law of Islam (Shariah), it would have long ago realized that it is the USA that needs to be safeguarded against becoming a "haven," not Afghanistan. Fighting them over there, as that idiotic Bush line went, absolutely does not keep them from coming here. Border control does. Immigration law does. Travel restrictions do. Legal prohibitions on Shariah finance and other instruments of encroaching Islamic law do. Policing our own lawless frontier, not Afghanistan's, does.

But that, alas for the life of the republic, is where a U.S. senator will always punt.

Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).