The war in Afghanistan effectively ended last week. We lost.
The last of the surge troops President Barack Obama sent there were quietly withdrawn. They did not leave in triumph:
• Taliban guerrillas dressed in U.S. Army uniforms attacked Camp Bastion in southern Afghanistan on Sept. 14, destroying eight Marine Harrier jump jets. It was our greatest loss of aircraft since the Vietnam war. For VMA-211, it was the greatest loss since the siege of Wake Island in World War II. The Harrier has been out of production for a decade, so the losses can’t be replaced.
More Harriers likely would have been lost had not the squadron commander, Lt. Col. Christopher Raible, armed with only a pistol, battled the heavily armed guerrillas. He and another Marine were killed during the raid, which was so sophisticated some defense analysts think it was plotted by Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence Agency.
“The Taliban’s major vulnerability is our mastery of the air, but if they can negate it, we are approaching tactical equality because they have home turf advantage,” said former Special Forces soldier Michael Yon, who’s spent more time in Afghanistan than any other war correspondent.