Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Opinion (Milt Bearden): Wrong war, wrong time

Soviet troops withdrawing from Afghanistan in 1988

WASHINGTON: As the drumbeat for war with Iran grows more insistent, the search for a "casus belli" compelling enough to calm a newly assertive Congress and convince an increasingly questioning American public intensifies. Themes of justification for such a war fluctuate between fears of a nuclear-armed Tehran and the "smoking gun" of Iranian involvement in America's misadventure in Iraq.

But before Americans get sent off to a third war in a Muslim country, it is worth recalling that in the past century, no nation that has started a major war has ended up winning it. Moreover, in the last 50 years, no nationalist-based insurgency against a foreign occupation has lost — a lesson that I learned personally when, beginning in 1986, I found myself in Pakistan, managing the CIA effort to aid Afghan resistance fighters battling Soviet troops.

Read the rest at the International Herald Tribune