Afghanistan & ESPNZone: A Classic
You know how from time to time defense experts marvel at how the U.S. can maintain the most powerful military in history for barely three percent of GDP? I think Bruce Berkowitz’s (meh) book called it something like "supremacy without even breathing hard." That’s this Matthew Yglesias post. I hope you appreciate it, people: you’re witnessing mastery of the form here.
To add maybe one point to the post, I’d say that history teaches us that American hegemony will survive even if we get kicked out of Afghanistan. (The Soviets were in exponentially weaker shape, politically and economically, than we are.) That’s not an argument for withdrawing from Afghanistan, but it helps shape an ordinal ranking of what American interests can and can’t permit, even if we’re to take a maximal view of American interests. ("Our interest is the preservation of American hegemony.") No one died from an unpleasant meal at ESPNZone.