Andy Bacevich had yet another interview with Bill Moyers the other day, and the video and transcript are now online. Bacevich makes a succinct and reasonable case for why our Afghan adventure should be ended, and what we should do instead:
First of all, we need to assess the threat realistically. Osama bin Laden is not Adolf Hitler. Al-Qaeda is not Nazi Germany. Al-Qaeda poses a threat. It does not pose an existential threat. We should view Al-Qaeda as the equivalent of an international criminal conspiracy. Sort of a mafia that in some way or another draws its energy or legitimacy from a distorted understanding of a particular religious tradition.
And as with any other international criminal conspiracy, the proper response is a police effort. I mean, a ruthless, sustained, international police effort to identify the thugs, root out the networks and destroy it. Something that would take a long period of time and would no more succeed fully in eliminating the threat than the NYPD is able to fully eliminate criminality in New York City.
The whole thing is worth a listen. Unlike Gerson or Brooks, Bacevich is a minor media figure who is rarely quoted or published in the Times or the Post, simply because he is consistent, straightforward, honest and right.