Afghanistan is getting the same treatment now. Not that being wrong about Iraq means this class of books is wrong about Afghanistan. But I don't see the doom that these books claim is coming. We haven't won yet, so we may not. But it looks like we are winning.
One author seems to want to lift any responsibility from President Obama for the pending defeat in Afghanistan that he believes must happen by blaming the military for sending troops to the wrong area and--what a shock--blaming Bush for being distracted by Iraq:
The problem was partly rooted in a 2005 decision by President George W. Bush to reduce American forces in Afghanistan and deploy them in Iraq.
Oh good grief. The seeds of defeat go back to 2005 when Bush diverted troops from Afghanistan to Iraq? Really?
Let's go to the statistics of our troop strength in both countries, shall we (from page 9)?
Year Afgh. Iraq Total
FY2002 5,200 0 5,200
FY2003 10,400 67,700 78,100
FY2004 15,200 130,600 145,800
FY2005 19,100 143,800 162,900
FY2006 20,400 141,100 161,500
FY2007 23,700 148,300 172,000
FY2008 30,100 157,800 187,900
Excuse the lack of a table. I once spent way too much time to put a table in a post and regretted it.
In 2005, the decision was allegedly made by Bush to shift troops from Afghanistan to Iraq. So from 2005 to 2006, surely we'd see that, right?
Wrong. We had 1,300 more in Afghanistan in 2006 than in 2005. And Iraq had 2,700 fewer.
And then, the author says, the military screwed up by focusing on Helmand with the initial wave of surge troops in 2009 rather than Kandahar. Poor Obama wrongly deferred to the military, and now we are doomed. Again.
I guess I won't waste more time on this. Why bother? Max Boot takes a stab at the book.
The "good" war in Afghanistan has not gone bad--in the sense that we've lost it. But it has gone bad as liberals abandon any pretense that they'd like to win it. This was easy to predict.
Which could mean we'll lose it. But that will be from decisions we are making right now and not from decisions made in 2005.