If we had it to do over, would we send an army into Afghanistan to build a nation?
Would we invade Iraq?
While these two wars have cost 5,200 dead, a trillion dollars and a divided America facing an endless war, what have we won?
Gen. Stanley McChrystal needs 40,000 to 80,000 more troops, or we risk "mission failure" in Afghanistan. At present casualty rates -- October was the worst month of the war -- thousands more Americans will die before we see any light at the end of this tunnel, if ever we do.
Pakistan, which aided us in Afghanistan, now has a war of its own to fight. Its army is in a battle in South Waziristan, while the country is wracked by terror bombings, the latest in a Peshawar bazaar that specialized in women's clothing and jewelry and toys for kids. So horrific was the toll even the Taliban and al-Qaida denied any role in it.
The 130,000 U.S. troops in Iraq are, after almost seven years, to begin pulling out two months after January's election. But a hitch has developed. Iraq's parliament missed the deadline for setting the rules. At issue: Will voters be allowed to choose individual candidates, or will they be allowed only to vote for slates of candidates?
Gen. Ray Odierno implies that postponement of the election may mean postponement of U.S. withdrawals.
Ominously, in August, terrorists bombed the foreign and finance ministries in Baghdad, and last week blew up the Justice Ministry and Baghdad Provincial Governorate. And the Kurds are now claiming their control of oil-rich Kirkuk is non-negotiable, which crosses a red line in Baghdad.
Next door, a terror attack by Jundallah (God's Brigade) in Iran's southern province of Sistan-Baluchistan killed 40, including two senior commanders of the Revolutionary Guard.
An enraged Tehran pointed the finger at the United States, as there have been charges the CIA has been in contact with Jundallah as part of President Bush's destabilization program to effect "regime change."
But Barack Obama has been in office for nine months -- and he would never authorize such an attack on the eve of a critical meeting on Iran's nuclear program. Moreover, the State Department condemned the Jundallah bombing as terrorism and offered public condolences to the families of the victims.
But if we didn't authorize this, who did?