The latest revelations from the Afghan war seem to prove what I argued in THE RULES OF CHAOS. The more people you kill the less good it does to you. Or to put it in a more scholarly way: every enemy killed increases the number of enemies exponentially. The killing of a civilian, especially a child, increases the number of enemies even more. Parents, in-laws, relatives of every person killed turn against the West. They may not take up arms and they may not join the Taliban, but they will certainly not oppose anybody who wants to kill those who killed their loved ones. The idea that it makes any difference that the killing was unintended shows that neither the generals nor their political masters know much about human nature. As the newly released documents illustrate what has actually been evident for years, NATO has been creating more enemies of the West by the day. They are a great many more Afghans and Pakistanis today who hate the West than there had been when NATO invaded. Yet Nato soldiers continue to die, unknown numbers of Afghans and civilians die, and the wealth of our countries drains away by hundreds of billions in the cause of creating more enemies for the Western Powers and Western values, making us weaker and more vulnerable.
The intellectual harm caused by this senseless and counterproductive war should not be underestimated either. Just as a man who keeps hitting his head against the wall lose our respect, so do our leaders who are doing the same thing with other people’s heads.
All that a great power has to do to destroy itself is persist in trying to do the impossible.