Well if [Obama is] such a student of history, has he not understood that, you know, that's the one thing you don't do is engage in a land war in Afghanistan. Alright? Because everyone who has tried over a thousand years of history has failed. And there are reasons for that. There are other ways to engage in Afghanistan without committing more troops.Then the uproar followed, with lead necon Bill Kristol calling for Steele's resignation because he had dissed the troops. (That escaped me.)
So Steele issued -- ahem -- a clarification:
[F]or the sake of the security of the free world, our country must give our troops the support necessary to win this war.RNC spokesman Doug Heye further clarified that "nowhere did Steele say or suggest that (a) we shouldn't be there, (b) we can't win or (c) he didn't support the surge."
As we have learned throughout history, winning a war in Afghanistan is a difficult task. We must also remember that after the tragedy of September 11, 2001, it is also a necessary one. That is why I supported the decision to increase our troop force and, like the entire United States Senate, I support General Petraeus' confirmation. The stakes are too high for us to accept anything but success in Afghanistan.
I think Steele is saying that you should never fight a war in Afghanistan because you'll never win it. But should you find yourself in one anyway, you should win it.
I'll leave this to smarter people to sort out.