October 6, 2009
by Victor David Hanson
NRO’s The Corner
Two-Front Wars — Theirs and Ours
” Rather than seeing the spike in violence in Afghanistan as a sign of a lost theater, it may well be that the Islamists are now increasingly unpopular, down to one front, and waging their all on a last big effort to demoralize us. “
Something is not quite right about the conventional wisdom about the Afghanistan war. For nearly eight years, yearly casualties in Afghanistan sometimes were less than a month’s losses in the dire days in Iraq (e.g., 98 Americans killed in 2006 in Afghanistan, 112 killed in Iraq during December 2006). And while many argue that we took our eye off the ball, to quote the president, by going into Iraq to fight the optional war and shorting the essential one, it remains true that while Iraq was hottest, Afghanistan was weirdly sometimes quietest.
One might suggest of course that the Taliban and their Arab terrorist allies were quietly and stealthily laying low, regrouping, gathering support, and then blew back onto the scene in a fury in late 2008 and 2009, but that would still be at a post-surge time in Iraq when we were already deploying more Marines to Afghanistan.
Just as likely are two other developments never mentioned: