Nicholson's thoughts about Afghanistan suggest U.S. won't make much progress there.
The recent article about Gen. John W. Nicholson heading up the Afghan war effort reminded me of how far we have yet to go as a nation if we want to win a war ("General from Baltimore County heads up Trump's new Afghanistan war effort," Aug. 25). When the general says we're headed in the right direction because we've "removed the calendar from the equation," I would remind readers that for almost 10 years there was no calendar.
The Obama administration tried to use the calendar to prod the Afghan government with the notion that the war can't go on forever. Afghanistan needed to step up or fail. When the Afghan government chose failure, they were calling our bluff, and now the calendar is back off the table. General Nicholson reminds us that if you try something innovative in that Army and fail, you can count on someone else to point a finger. And when he "also took a dig at officers assigned to run the higher-profile campaign in Iraq, deriding them for living in palaces while commanders in Afghanistan made do in tougher conditions, and described coming under fire even as a general," I thought that very telling.
Putting down soldiers and boasting of toughness and bravery will get you to the top in today's Army. Winning a war requires different skills.