Explaining Mission Creep in Afghanistan


Special guest Rick Berger joins Bryan and Chris for a discussion of the U.S. war in Afghanistan and the state of civil-military relations. The post-9/11 mission expanded from counterterrorism to nation-building, but this occurred, according to CSIS’s Mark Cancian, without a serious “discussion about the relationship between the desired end state and the military effort required to reach it.” Bryan, Rick, and Chris disagree on whether that’s actually true — and whether it matters. Bryan gives kudos to National Review’s Kevin Williamson for making the case for independent thinking, Chris knocks CNN and the Democratic debaters for spending too little time on foreign policy, and Rick praises newly installed Secretary of Defense Mark Esper for his plan to beef up conventional deterrence in the Asia-Pacific.