It’s snarkily easy, from the comfort of my non-threatening recliner, to lean on the oxymoronic reference. However, full disclosure, I have zero expertise and practically the same amount of accumulated knowledge of anything military. Other than being daily pummeled by a Jr. High bully, I have never actually been in a fight. Yet, to my core, I do not believe that war, the threat of war or any preponderance of might is an answer or solution to disagreement of any kind. To the extent that ideologues and zealots and simply wrong-minded bad guys, (it’s usually guys), attack and plunder and exert autocratic power over others, eventually, the just-too-much kicks in and rebellion, often violent rebellion seems the only response. Sometimes evil is quashed, the oppressed take a tremulous cleansing breath and the cycle starts all over again. We, (every society since biblical times), insist on conscripting, training, arming and aggrandizing a military presence to protect what we have and what we believe to be righteous and too easily dive into mortal combat when those values are inconsistent with others. There’s been a Hundred-Years War and two Wars-To-End-All-Wars, religious crusades and tribal wars that have waged for millennia. Now, we are calling an end to a war that was always unfocused, with no strategic arc and an enemy, (not unlike our Viet Nam fiasco), who was both undefinable and too determined and prevalent to be vanquished. Sadly, the endgame is never peace. After 20 years in Afghanistan, we gained nothing…our loss was immeasurable…and we are leaving behind a killing field for a rabid hoard of lunatics to apply their fuzzy 7thcentury retribution on anyone who would oppose them. So, even never having read Sun Tzu, I could see this coming. Why is anyone acting surprised?