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“Rogue Nations” and “Failed States”: America Doesn’t Know the Difference
It would be easy to blame Donald Trump for the disarray in the transatlantic alliance, but twenty-five years of American exceptionalism is the real culprit. The aggressive expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in the Clinton and Bush administrations over the objections of our West European allies began a period of discontinuity that still exists. Bush deepened the disarray in 2002 with his “axis of evil” speech that set the stage for the invasion of Iraq. Bush and Barack Obama considered Afghanistan the “good war,” which brought two full decades of chaos throughout Southwest Asia.
Robert M. Gates: Poster Child for Bureaucratic Deceit
From 2001 to 2015, the number of U.S. servicemen and women in Afghanistan exceeded 100,000, although four secretaries of defense (Donald Rumsfeld, Robert Gates, Leon Panetta, Chuck Hagel) conceded privately that the war was not winnable and that no strategy would alter our glide path to defeat.