8/30/19 Danny Sjursen on the Hidden Cost of America’s Endless Wars and How Trump Could End Them

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Danny Sjursen explains why staying in Afghanistan, even indefinitely, won’t make any difference in its eventual outcome. Right now the U.S. military is only enforcing the Kabul government’s grip on a small part of the country, and if they leave, either the Taliban will take over the country, or Kabul will hang on to an even smaller sliver. These are the two possible outcomes, says Sjursen, and it doesn’t make a difference if America withdraws today, next year, or in another twenty years. The only difference is how much money our government wastes and how many Americans we have to bury. Elsewhere, Scott and Sjursen also counsel bringing our military home, promoting free trade, and allowing governments that are more directly concerned with problems like terrorism and dictators to take the lead in solving them, instead of thinking that the United States has to be the world’s police force.

Discussed on the show:

“We’re Listening to the Wrong Voices on Syria” (Antiwar.com Original)
“General Says It’s Too Early for Pullout as Taliban Signals Agreement Is Near” (National Review)
“Jim Mattis: Duty, Democracy and the Threat of Tribalism” (WSJ)
“The U.S. Abandoned Iraq. Don’t Repeat History in Afghanistan” (WSJ)
“The Destruction of Islamic State is a Strategic Mistake” (BESA Center)
“The Master of Spin Boldak” (Harper’s Magazine)

Danny Sjursen is a retired U.S. army major and former history instructor at West Point. He writes regularly for TomDispatch.com and he’s the author of “Ghost Riders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge.” Follow him on Twitter @SkepticalVet.

This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: NoDev NoOps NoIT, by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State, by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.com; Tom Woods’ Liberty Classroom; ExpandDesigns.com/Scott; Washinton Babylon; Liberty Under Attack Publications; Listen and Think Audio; TheBumperSticker.com; and LibertyStickers.com.

Donate to the show through Patreon, PayPal, or Bitcoin: 1Ct2FmcGrAGX56RnDtN9HncYghXfvF2GAh.

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Following is an auto-generated transcript of the episode.

All right, you guys on the line. I’ve got Danny shirts and regular contributor at antiwar dot com, formerly a major in the U. S. Army did combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan during both surges and, uh, very conscientious objector, figuratively, if not literally from the Army. And here’s latest Foer antiwar dot com, which actually originally appeared at Truthdig. But we reprinted Awal along with his original articles for us. We’re listening to the wrong voices on Syria. Welcome back. Danny. How you doing?

Hejaz Ghad. Good to be back. Good to have you here. Let’s talk about Afghanistan first. Uh, I don’t know what the hell was going on. Honestly, the Washington Post says that Donald Trump has given in to Lindsey Graham and that now the withdrawal from Afghanistan is going to be a reduction of troop forces levels back to where they were when he was sworn in, right around 10,000 instead of 15. Bacos, Bibi Nai Gn instead of 16 or whatever Odiz and then. So the Washington Post article seems to imply that the Taliban have agreed to that. But does that sound right to you or what is going on here? Is the deal enough? I’m not in the negotiation rooms, certainly, but come on, Auto. But I cannot imagine the Taliban giving way and allowing us to keep 10,000 troops. I mean, they have all the high cards right now. There, there. You know, I called it in one of my latest articles, Um, a, uh a talking shoot policy. And that was exactly the word they used for the North Vietnamese policy during the peace negotiations. They keep ratcheting up the violence. They would keep changing the facts on the ground in a more positive way for themselves in order to gain leverage at the negotiating table, which is a brilliant strategy as an insurgency. Orazov,

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